A cat’s litter box needs to be scooped at least once a day and properly cleaned regularly, which leads to a lot of bending over. This is an issue for some people with back, knee, or balance issues. But it also adds an extra, not so pleasant, step that can contribute to cat owners neglecting the litter box longer than they should.
This article shares 8 tips if bending over to scoop the litter box is difficult or unpleasant for you.
1 – Use a Platform
If you have mobility issues but your cat doesn’t, consider raising the litter box onto a platform that’s at your waist level. You may use a folding table or another piece of furniture you already have.
You don’t want to make it difficult for your cat to get to their litter box, so consider purchasing pet steps, building a ramp, or adding objects at varying levels your cat can use to get up to their litter box.
2 – Reduce Other Strains
If the litter box is kept in the basement, having to go up and down stairs to get to it may only add to the pain/discomfort/inconvenience of bending over to scoop litter.
As much as we prefer to have the litter box out of sight, putting it in an area you walk past each day will make getting to the litter box easier.
You also can’t ignore when it needs to be scooped or cleaned, so you’re more likely to stay on top of the task. And when you clean it regularly, it only takes a few seconds to scoop, so you won’t be bending over for long periods of time.
3 – Add a Chair
If the litter box must stay on the ground, consider adding a chair with armrests next to the litter box. You can lower yourself into the chair and you’ll only have to slightly bend over to scoop the litter. You’ll be putting less strain on your back and knees.
4 – Try a Non-Clumping Litter
Although clumping litters allow you to keep the litter box cleaner and go longer between changings, they also require you to scoop more. When you use a non-clumping litter, you only scoop feces while the litter particles simply absorb the urine.
You will have to dump the entire contents, typically once per week, but it may reduce the number of times you must bend down to the litter box if you no longer need to scoop urine clumps.
5 – Use a Lighter Litter
Traditional clay litters are heavy, and when it’s time to change the litter, it can be even more difficult to lift the entire box and dump it in the garbage.
There are many litters made from lightweight, renewable, and environmentally friendly materials, so you have less weight to hold when scooping, changing, or pouring litter.
If you prefer to stick with clay litter, there are lightweight options.
6 – Longer Scoop
If moving the litter box isn’t an option, consider getting a new scoop. There are several with longer or extendable handles so the litter box can stay at ground level, and you can clean it while remaining upright.
Precision may be a little more difficult with this type of scoop, so consider a larger lined canister beside the litter box to drop waste into.
7 – Reduce Stuck-On Litter
Part of the hassle that can keep you bent over for longer is litter that sticks to the sides and bottom of the box. Scraping that hardened on litter can be a real task.
First, try a non-clay litter, such as Sustainably Yours. Clumping clay litters do a great job of forming hard clumps, but those hard clumps also stick really well to the pan.
Sustainably Yours is made with corn and cassava, which naturally clumps when it comes in contact with liquid, but the materials won’t be as solid or sticky as sodium bentonite (clumping clay).
You may also consider a new non-stick litter box and/or scoop.
8 – Self-cleaning Litter Box
This is the most obvious solution, which is why it’s last on the list. If you invest in a self-cleaning litter box, it will do the scooping for you, and you simply must empty the receptacle.
You’ll likely still need to remove the waste from the receptacle once a day, which will require you to bend over if it’s on the floor. But you’ll spend less time bending over and will have less work to do while down there.
I hope you found these tips helpful 🙂
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