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Quiz: Do You Know the Litter Box Essentials?

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Current Score:  
Two kittens

Cats instinctively know how to use a litter box.

Cats instinctively know how to use a litter box.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: True

Explanation: Cats usually don't need much litter box training, but they need some. To train kitty, start with a small, uncovered box in a quiet location close to where he sleeps. Fill the box with litter -- your cat may prefer the unscented kind. When kitty sniffs at the box, pick him up and put him inside, praising and petting him. When kitty uses the box, give him a small treat. Keep the box clean and avoid any negative associations with it. For example, don't give kitty medicine or scold him when he's near the litter box.

Cat standing on litter box

Cats don't care where their litter box is placed.

Cats don't care where their litter box is placed.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: It depends on the cat

Explanation: Some cats have preferences, such as what type of litter they use and where the box is placed. If your cat stops using her box, that may be a sign it's in the wrong place. Take a look at where you put the box: Is it hard to get to? Does kitty have to pass a pooch to use it? Make the litter box as appealing as possible by keeping it clean, making sure there's at least one box per cat, and placing it in a quiet location that offers plenty of escape routes.

Woman mopping floor

Urinating outside the litter box may be a sign:

Urinating outside the litter box may be a sign:

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: All of the above

Explanation: Illness, a dirty litter box, too few boxes, litter or location preferences, arthritis, stress, painful elimination -- there are lots of reasons your cat may start going outside the box. Because advanced age, illnesses like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or cystitis, or pain from arthritis or trauma can trigger inappropriate elimination, always talk to your vet about litter box issues. And never punish your cat for going outside the box. It can make the situation worse, causing your cat to associate the box with punishment.

Konzo the zoo cat

Cats may eat kitty litter if they have:

Cats may eat kitty litter if they have:

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: Anemia

Explanation: Kittens may occasionally nibble at litter if it's introduced to them during weaning. But in general if your cat is eating kitty litter it could indicate anemia or another dietary deficiency. Other signs of anemia in cats include weight loss, lack of appetite, weakness, and pale mucous membranes. Always talk to your vet if your cat starts eating kitty litter.

Cat sitting in a basket

Cats are private creatures and prefer covered litter boxes.

Cats are private creatures and prefer covered litter boxes.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: It depends on the cat

Explanation: Covered or uncovered? Although it depends on the kitty, most cats seem to prefer uncovered boxes, which allow them to move freely and keep an eye on what's happening around them. A covered box may help reduce unpleasant odors; an uncovered box reminds us when the box needs cleaning.

Man scooping kitty litter

A clumping kitty litter never needs changing, just scooping.

A clumping kitty litter never needs changing, just scooping.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: False

Explanation: You can't scoop forever. That's because eventually cat litter becomes saturated with bad odors as small bits of waste break off scooped clumps and remain in the box. To keep kitty happy -- and odors at bay -- empty the entire litter box every two or three weeks and refill it with fresh litter. Research shows that most cats prefer 2 inches of fine-grained clay litter.

Cat smelling litterbox

Most cats prefer scented kitty litter.

Most cats prefer scented kitty litter.

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: False

Explanation: According to research, most cats don't like scented litter -- or deodorizers or air fresheners near the litter box. To control odors, scoop at least once a day, more often if possible. You can also help absorb odors by sprinkling a bit of baking soda at the bottom of the litter box. Remember, if you find the box stinky, so does kitty!

Three kittens using litter box

How many litter boxes should your home have?

How many litter boxes should your home have?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: One litter box for every cat

Explanation: The general recommendation is at least one box per cat. The reason is simple: If every cat has a box available there's never any waiting or arguments if two cats want to use the box at the same time. Allow as much space as possible between litter boxes. Put them in different rooms if you can. Also be sure to place each box so the cat using it can see the approach of people and other pets.

Cat standing on piles of litter

Can litter dust bother my cat's lungs?

Can litter dust bother my cat's lungs?

  • Your Answer: 
  • Correct Answer: Yes

Explanation: Some cats are sensitive to dust particles. Most cats are fine with today's silica-based clay cat litter, but a few may be allergic to either the fine dust found in some scoopable litters, or to the scents used in them. Allergy symptoms might include sneezing, runny eyes, and frequent scratching. Fortunately cat litter options include recycled newspapers, pressed sawdust, wheat, wood chips, and play box sand. Although research shows that cats tend to prefer fine-grained, unscented clay litter, experiment to see which your feline friend likes.

Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.
Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.

Results: SCORE FROM LOW TO HIGH

0-3 correct

Nice try! Maybe you learned more about your cat's litter box from this quiz. Some cats have litter box preferences -- location, covered or uncovered box, or type of litter, for example. Experiment to find the best litter box setup for your cat.

Results: 4-6 correct

Good job -- you have some litter box smarts! To keep your feline friend happy, clean the box regularly and look out for unusual litter box behavior.

Results: 7-9 correct

Great work! You already know plenty about the litter box. Age and disease can make using the litter box harder for your cat, so pay attention to his or her needs.