"Ah, now that's my litter tray...where's my tape measure?" - Photo by sarahgb(theoriginal) (Flickr)
I have the answer (or supposed answer) to this question from a competitor's website and why not? I must admit that I hadn't given it a thought until I read about it. I just used to apply common sense principles.
But commonsense might not be accurate enough. That great euphemism, "inappropriate elimination" is the most common "problem" for us in cat caretaking so anything that helps to ensure that our cats use the litter is important for us and more importantly (for me) for the cat because this problem results in relinquishment and many times in death.
In short it is a matter of life and death.
I posted a short article about poor cat ownership causing this problem. In summary one thing we can do to prevent the problem is to keep the litter box clean. If the litter box is dirty, or if your cat dislikes the type of litter you're using, he or she may go outside the box.
Another factor is a litter box in a noisy or high-traffic (people traffic that is!) area.
If the box is too small, cats can seek other places to relieve themselves, which means outside the box and in an area that we find inappropriate.
Well, a very eminent veterinarian, Dr. Tony Buffington DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVN at Ohio State University, who has research interests that include lower urinary tract disorders of cats, has concluded that a litter box should be at least one and one-half times the length of our cat.
This, apparently is a problem as I am also reliably informed by Dr. Jon of petplace.com, that on this basis the majority of cat litter boxes are unsuitable (meaning too small)! He is, by the way, referring to the United States. I will also have to assume that the width must be a reasonable size (why is the width not referred to as well?).
Well, there it is. The next time we buy a litter box we should check the dimensions after we have measured our cat. I am, by the way, also going to make the assumption that the measurement of our cat is from the nose to the base of the tail unless someone tells me otherwise.
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