Posted in cats, pet health, pets

How do I love thee? Let me count the pans…

If your toilet was overflowing, would you advise your children to use it? Horrible mental images multiply at the suggestion, but let’s face it, it’s sometimes what we expect feline pets to put up with in a multicat household where the litter pan is overused.

The generally accepted formula for the number of litter pans per cat is 1.5, or three litter pans per household where two cats reside. (I’m not certain how that number was selected, but feel free to round up to two pans per cat. No need to saw the litter pan in half for the single pet household.)

Some of this may be influenced by whether your cat is an indoor-only pet or not. I’ve heard of fastidious felines who wouldn’t dream of using nature’s landscape as a latrine – coming indoors to use the litterpan as they’ve been taught. This must be gratifying to those who litter-trained their pet from kittenhood, to know the little munchkin hasn’t strayed from the goal.

Having adopted a stray cat about five years ago, I understand how things can go awry. I really wish I could have been there in his formative weeks, since more than once I’ve inadvertently found something noxious that he’s covered up with mulch in my flower garden. Never mind that he has sole access to a litter pan in the garage. We’ve learned that he doesn’t like litter that has been perfumed, not even pine-scented litter, which you’d think might remind him of the great outdoors.

Humans are very smart, or at least we’d like to think so, but when it comes to understanding our pets, we’re often bewildered. It’s hard to put oneself in their paws. I’m sure that they find us confusing as well. For some time after having removed a litter pan from its location in the bathroom to another secluded spot in the household, one frustrated reader found that the original location – voila! – was still being used, despite the absence of the litterpan.

Many veterinarians advise that if a change in litterpan location is deemed necessary, make the transition in increments, moving the pan a few feet at a time over several weeks.

After setup, how do you keep it clean? More on that next time.

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Owned by three cats over age 13