Litter Box FAQ
For most applications a clay based, low dust, fragrance free litter is best. Clay based litters are widely available and come in a variety of well-known brands. Dust free formulations help reduce sediment accumulation on surfaces around the litter box, and fragrance-free varieties help ensure that nice smelling additives do not irritate your companion’s sensitive nose or skin. We recommend Dr. Elsey’s brand, as in our experience it offers the best clumping performance when considering its cost. We also currently use a wood-based pellet litter, as it is a cost effective and a more environmentally conscious product. It preforms differently from typical clay-based litters, and we do not recommend it for first time sphynx families.
Young kittens require low clearance litter pans so they can easily get in and out. The good news is that by the time our companions are ready to go to their forever homes, they are pro’s at using a full-sized litter box. The short answer is that you should use what ever fits your given space, and what you would feel comfortable/is convenient for you to clean every few days. The more nuanced answer is that to effectively eliminate stray litter finding its way out of the litter box, we recommend a top-entry model. These are essentially storage totes with a hole cut in the lid that allows your companion to easily jump in and out. There are many commercially produced products available on the market, but in our opinion, they are overpriced. When we converted our home litter boxes to top entry we bought $5 storage totes from our local home improvement store and cut some holes with a box cutter. If you are only willing to take our word on one thing it would be this, a top entry litter box is a vast improvement over standard front entry models.
As mentioned above your companion will come to you fully litter box trained. Your job will be to teach your companion where their new litter box is. When your companion comes home, one of the first tasks will be to take them out of their carrier and place them into their litter box. They should be allowed to explore all around the litter box, including the outside perimeter, so they have a good idea of what its for, and more importantly what it smells like. For most companions this is the only introduction that they will need, but to help this process along, we include complementary litter attractant in our companion take home kit. By sprinkling some litter attractant in the litter, your new companion will be able to smell their new litter box, and will be able to locate more easily if it is outside of their immediate vicinity.
We recommend no more than two animals per litter box. But there are no hard and fast rules, and such a decision will ultimately be decided by how often you want to empty said litter boxes.
Again, this will depend on several factors, but we recommend cleaning a litter box with a litter scoop (we have had great success with the Litter Lifter brand) at least once per week and emptying all of the litter and disinfecting the litter box at least once a month. While it is true that the frequency of cleaning a litter box is proportional to how often it is used, we strongly encourage new sphynx families not to neglect regularly cleaning the litter box, as a heavily soiled litter box is the most common reason that companions will refuse to use it, which leads to them eliminating in unwanted places.
Yes. Given the nature of a litter box it is a common occurrence for cats to step in their own excrement. This is one of the reasons that we recommend regular bathing for all of our companions, those paws may look pink and soft, but they are really poop burying machines. Just like humans, not all cat poo’s are graceful and dignified, so we recommend that you have a package of baby wipes near your litter box to quickly wipe up any unsightly mess on your companions paws or near their litter box.