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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Damon

Oh The Horror! The Litter Box

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

A cat stands on a table.
Persia, standing on a table.

The dreaded litter box. It's gross. It smells. It must be cleaned. Daily. You have to muster the strength to face the beast. Cleaning the litter daily does three things:

1. It keeps you in touch with your cat's health. Cats are very cool characters. Even when they are sick, they hide it well under their icy exterior. Cleaning the box daily alerts you to changes in their health. Look for blood in the urine and stool. Look for diarrhea, constipation, and worms. You'll get a valuable, albeit gross, picture of kitty's inner workings. You'll know her regular schedule and you'll know if something's amiss.

2. It keeps you healthier. Just think of kitty stepping in her dirty litter box and then walking around the house. She is tracking bacteria everywhere as well as onto you. (Try not to think about this one too long as it may cause a serious case of the heebie-jeebies.) Also, cat feces can sometimes contain the parasite that causes Toxoplasmosis. This is extremely dangerous to pregnant women and those with HIV or other immunocomprimised individuals. People with such conditions should not be changing the litter box!

3. It encourages kitty to go! When the litter box is really dirty, your cat will hold it. The less they go, the more likely they will develop bladder and intestinal problems. You know how prissy they are. They know this is the designated area and you simply aren't doing your job. If they could report you to a higher authority, they would.

It's also important to have a litter box for each cat in your household. This way you'll know which one is sick as well as greatly lessen the chance that certain diseases will be spread from cat to cat. Also, it cuts down on territorial marking.

Whenever I change Claudia's litter, she always sits next to me and watches. I imagine she's thinking "They worship me. I know they do. Look at they way they mine my poop as if it were precious gold."

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