The overfilling of a cat litter box may be a common problem. It may be due to carelessness or because cat owners think that more litter is better because it’s more absorbent. I would suggest that the majority of cat companions aren’t too concerned about the depth of the litter inside a litter tray but some will be and it may encourage them to go to the toilet elsewhere.
There are one or two things to consider. Firstly, an arthritic, older cat may find deep litter slightly uncomfortable especially when pooping. This is because cats need a certain amount of stability by gripping the litter which an older cat might find more difficult if it is deeper and looser.
An overweight cat may find deep litter less than ideal because she will sink into it. Long-haired cat might dislike the feel of the litter because it will brush up against the hair on their upper legs, bottom and belly where there are sensitive hair follicles. This might irritate a cat. It may be irritating enough for them to seek out a better alternative.
“Some are diggers and coverers, some just squat, then leave….”
CAT LITTER TRAYS SHOULD FACE NORTH OR SOUTH – CLICK TO FIND OUT WHY
Incidentally, as I recall, Persian cats, which are as you know long-haired cats, are somewhat predisposed to peeing outside the litter box because of their generally sensitive mentality/personality.
All the above said, an ideal depth might be an inch or two of litter. With wood pellet litter I have had it under a inch in depth and it has been fine. I have seen litter which is too thinly spread at the bottom of a litter tray. I remember a boarding cattery providing litter trays with a tiny amount of wood pellet litter. This may be equally inappropriate but domestic cats normally adjust.
The type of litter may have an impact on the answer. I think that would pellet litter is more absorbent and better at containing odours than clumping clay litter. Therefore, on the face of it, it needn’t be quite so deep. I will defer, though to visitors if they disagree with me and have a superior answer.
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