Will a Cat Use a Used Litter Box?
Taking care of a pet is a large undertaking for many, many people all around the world. Not only do you have to make sure that you are providing for your pets needs, such as offering food and water, but you need to make sure that you are purchasing the appropriate pet supplies for your little pet. There are absolutely times when you can cut corners on what you purchase, making it easier on your wallet or meaning that you may not have to drive as far for what you need. For instance, if someone no longer needs pet food, it would make sense to purchase it from them if it is a lower price than you would find at the store.
However, there are times when you cannot and should not cut corners on what you purchase for your cats. This usually comes into play when you are looking at pet supplies that are secondhand. This means that the pet supplies have at least been opened in the house of someone who owns cats, and may or may not have been used by the cats in the house. While the supplies might seem less expensive at first, purchasing and attempting to use secondhand pet supplies will come with a lot more hassle than people are willing to deal with. Consider one of the most important pieces of pet supplies that you can purchase for your cat: the litter box.
Should You Purchase a Used Litter Box?
In short, the answer is that you should never purchase a used litter box, no matter how inexpensive the price may be. Litter boxes that have been used are going to carry the smell of the cat who used the box. This is already problematic enough for your cat to deal with, but at the same time, the scent of the litter box that was used by the other cat is also going to carry the smell of urine and feces. To a cat, this is going to carry a much stronger scent of ownership. If you purchase a used litter box for your cat, there’s a good chance that your cat is not going to try and step foot in the litter box at all and will be more likely to eliminate around the box instead of inside of it.
If you need to purchase a litter box on a budget, there are plenty of ways that you can get this done. If you are aware that this is only going to be a temporary litter box, you can often get away with the baking trays that you can find at the dollar store, disposing of them after they have been used for a short amount of time. If you need a longer-term solution but you do not have the money for a large and high-quality litter box, you may want to consider looking at some of the less expensive litter boxes out there. It may be appealing at first to look at some of the litter boxes that are pre-owned, but you should never take the risk of purchasing one for your cats. There’s a good chance that you will never be able to fully train your cat to use the box if it carries the smell of another cat, and because of this, it will ultimately mean that you have wasted both your time and your money on the box.
Why Shouldn’t You Purchase a Used Litter Box?
Even if it is tempting to purchase a secondhand litter box, you should stay away from doing so. The biggest problem is that cats will, naturally, mark their territory in those boxes. As cats have a strong sense of smell, they will easily be able to smell if another cat has previously used the litter box before to mark their territory. Most cats will not be inclined to use a litter box that has already been marked by another cat, even within the same family, so when a litter box has been marked by another completely unknown cat, there is no reason your cat is going to want to use it. Naturally, this will mean that if there are no other suitable litter boxes in the house, then your cat is going to end up eliminating inappropriately in your house. This will be more difficult for you to clean up and keep track of.
There is also the chance that if your cat has a more dominant personality it may choose to try and “compete” with the other cat’s smell. This may result in your cat using the litter box excessively, kicking the litter out of the box, urinating around the box, and keeping any other cat in the house from being able to use the litter box in question. This is a behavior that is much harder to control, so it is not one that you would want to risk happening because you wanted to purchase a secondhand litter box.
One might think that they would be able to clean out the smell of the other cat in the litter box, and this may be true from the perspective of a human nose. However, cats have a much, much stronger sense of smell than people do. There’s a good chance that even if you clean the litter box out as much as you can that you are going to end up leaving some degree of residual smell from the previous cat. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the smell of another cat’s droppings, making it all the more important for you to settle on a brand-new litter box when you are looking at what supplies you should be purchasing for your cats.