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Old 10-14-2008, 10:53 PM
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Thumbs up Cats 101 : Getting Your First Cat - Part 4 Litter Box and Sleeping Arrangements

Lesson 4 - Litter Box and Sleeping Arrangements
By Franny Syufy, About.com

Next to food and water, a litter box is critical for your new cat's comfort and health. But he goes outdoors, you say? You'll want to rethink that decision when we cover the indoors-outdoors debate in another lesson.

With scrupulous maintenance of your cat's litter box, you'll never have to worry about odor or "accidents."

Another big consideration with your first cat is "where will he sleep?" Will you share your own bed with him, get him his own cozy bed, or a combination of both. Don't forget, you are establishing habits that will most likely last for a lifetime.

Litter Box Essentials

Litter-ally Speaking
Actually, the kind of litter box you purchase isn't as important as the kind of litter you put in it. Just make sure it's large enough to accomodate your cat, and not too tall for a young kitten or elderly cat to easily access.

Our forum members, who come from a wide background, and have a wide variety of cats, shared their considerable expertise in discussing the pros and cons of various litters and the boxes that hold them.

Litter Box Maintenance
More important than the type of litter and/or litter box is your maintenance of the box. More cats are surrendered to shelters for "litter box avoidance" than for any other reason. You will need to keep kitty's litter box scrupulously clean, and in a location where it's easily accessible, but private. The training will almost take care of itself. Cats will always prefer a well-maintained litter box over hard floor or carpet.

Where Will Your Cat Sleep?

Comfy Beds for Cats
Most veteran "cat slaves" will respond "anywhere he wants" to the question posed above. Be aware, though, that his sleeping location the first week in his new home will set the pace for life, so be sure you want a cat as a permanent fixture in your bed, before you allow him to stay there. In any case, he should have a comfortable bed in a private location, where he can go to relieve stress, to recuperate when he's sick, or just to get away for awhile.
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