Long-haired cats and litter box problems

I have read that Persian cats can become involved in litter box aversion and inappropriate elimination more often than other purebred cat. I think this may be due to their very long fur (rather than their personality) which is part of their breed standard. There are other cats with long fur so this article applies to them as well. Although the Persian can have fur which is 5 inches long. Do they they have the longest fur of all the domestic cats?

Persians kittens
Persians. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.
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It appears that the general consensus is that Persian cats can have litter box problems more often than others because of their fur. Why should long fur make cats uncomfortable peeing and pooping in a cat litter box?

There maybe two issues both of which cause the cat to associate pooping and peeing in the litter box as an activity which is unpleasant causing litter box aversion.

Firstly, poop may become attached to the fur around their anus. And secondly, because they have tufts of fur between the toes, they may pick up urine-soaked litter on their paws which also causes discomfort.

The solution is therefore to trim their fur. We know that Persian cats require grooming by their human caregiver because they can’t do it adequately alone due to their very long fur. Trimming fur around their bottom and between the toes may help to prevent litter box aversion and inappropriate elimination.

Himalayan cat
Himalayan cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Obviously it should be done very carefully. I’m sure that most Persian cats would initially object to this so there will probably be a need for a bit of gentle training to get them used to it. There’s quite a nice professional animal dog and cat cordless clipper (Wahl Professional Animal Arco) which you can purchase on Amazon if you think it’s not too extravagant to do so! It would certainly make the process easier. Incidentally, I am not being paid commission to promote any items such as this one. I’m just looking for some good solutions to a problem.

You can also buy cat litter designed for long-haired cats. I don’t know how good it is. One example is Dr. Elsey’s Long-Haired Cat Litter. It is made of silica gel crystals which apparently does not stick to tufts of fur between the toes. It may be just as easy to try various cat litters to see whether your long-haired cat prefers any of them. It certainly pays to experiment. Non-clumping litter may be preferable as it should reduce the possibility of wet clumps of letter attaching to your cat’s feet.

Trimming fur between a cat’s toes is, in fact, recommended by ASPCA. It helps to preclude the possibility of objects getting stuck in between the toes and on the paws. It’s a good opportunity, too, to check for ingrowing toenails, injuries and perhaps lesions in your cat’s paw pads.

In addition to selecting the right cat litter, its depth in the litter box may also be worth looking at. There is an appropriate depth which I’ve discussed before. You can read an article by clicking on this link. Clearly, if litter is too deep the cat is liable to sink into it which may make it more tricky for the cat to avoid picking up clumps of wet litter in her paws. It may also make it easier for poop to stick to her bottom.

Some more on cat litter boxes

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