Pets are lovable, affectionate animals with their own unique, adorable quirks that make us love them oh-so-much. However, as most of us know, having a pet, or five, is not only a joy, but a responsibility as well. The hardest thing to deal with is generally waste disposal. Having pets, and actively taking responsibility for them is definitely not for the squeamish. Dog-owners find themselves having to scoop poop and look for designated litter bins. Cat-owners find themselves in a bigger dilemma, since cats can’t really be taken for walks to the park. The waste disposal takes place right at home.
Cat-owners therefore find themselves having to profile each cat. The factors to be considered when choosing the type of litter box are numerous and can range from the age of the cat, to how much privacy the cat needs when littering, to the owner’s lifestyle. In general, there are two major types of litter bins on the market. There is the old-school lined plastic tray or box, and then there is the high-end, no-scooping, automatic cat litter boxes. Both types can be open or hooded. In order to pick the ideal litter bin or box for your cat, you need to consider how high the cat or kitten will need to climb to use it. Kittens and older cats are bound to have some difficulty with getting into and out off a litter box that has high walls. Also, a cat that digs into the litter too enthusiastically will definitely need a closed litter box, if you wish to avoid messy litter and waste being tracked all over the floors.
Then there is privacy to consider. Many cats will avoid the litter box or bin when they feel they are being watched. Such a cat needs a hooded bin. However, one needs to take into consideration the fact that, hooded bins generate odor faster than open ones, since the air inside is concentrated. Cats are super-sensitive to smell, about 14 times more sensitive to smell than we are. Even when a litter box seems reasonably clean and fresh-smelling to you, to your cat it may smell like a porta-potty. This brings us to scooping. If you can be relied on to be at home most of the time, and do not mind scooping out used litter several times daily and refilling the litter box, then an old-school plastic box or tray is perfect for you.
However, for those who prefer some help and have the budget to afford it, there are the automatic cat litter boxes on the market. There are the high-end ones that actually attach to your home-sewerage system and flush waste, then there are those that self-clean, either by sifting or raking waste, and all you need to do is get rid of the disposed end product. These litter boxes have fantastic features like carbon air filters, sensors and timers, which ensure that you have much less scooping and cleaning to do, and also, that you can even go out of town for a couple of days without worrying about your cats and carpets.