6. Not scooping cat litter often enough.
Even if your feline friends have never experienced the great outdoors themselves, they still possess the survival instincts of their wildcat ancestors. One of the strongest of those instincts is the need to bury their own waste; a habit that effectively throws predators off their scent. Once indoors—and restricted to the use of a litter box—a housecat’s attempt at burying only does so much to mask the scent; hence the importance of regular scooping. “Once a week simply isn’t enough,” says Nagelschneider. “Even with a good clumping litter like Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide, you should be scooping daily, and replacing the litter completely every 30 days.” According to Nagelschneider, fresh, clean litter is the best way to prevent messes outside the litter box, and that has consequences on a large scale. “A third of all cats surrendered to shelters are there for litter box issues,” she says.
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