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Innovative toilets to be installed at Cats Protection

01 April 2015
Innovative toilets to be installed at Cats Protection 1 April 2015

You may have read our news story this morning (see below) stating that Cats Protection is planning to replace all its toilets with litter trays for use by volunteers, staff and supporters to better understand cats.

This was actually an April Fool’s joke – but the story highlights some important points when trying to understand cats’ needs.

Domestic cats descend from the African wildcat, which chooses a safe, quiet and private area to toilet. They bury their waste to protect themselves from predators and other threats. Pet cats are no different so here are our top litter tray tips for cat owners:

- Provide one litter tray per pet cat, with one extra to avoid any competition.
  • Place each litter tray in different quiet, private areas of your home, away from food and water bowls, to give each cat the privacy they need.
  • Elderly cats need a tray with low sides so they can get in and out more easily while nervous cats may prefer the privacy of hooded litter trays.
  • Avoid placing litter trays next to cat flaps, noisy washing machines or glass doors where they can be seen or disturbed – if the tray is positioned in the open where it may be disturbed, the cat may feel too vulnerable to use it and will seek a safer spot instead.
  • Cats dislike using dirty or soiled litter trays so ensure trays are cleaned once or twice a day
  • If you want to find out more about cats and their behaviour, visit http://www.cats.org.uk/learn/e-learning-ufo or read our Understanding your cat’s behaviour leaflet.

Cats Protection is putting plans in place to replace all toilets at the National Cat Centre with litter trays to help volunteers, staff and visitors better understand the cats in our care.

The charity’s Facilities Manager Bill Ditnow commented: “Our facilities were due an upgrade so we felt this was the ideal time to make a change in keeping with our vision of a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

“As domestic cats are descended from the African wildcat, they tend to feel quite vulnerable when toileting so seek out safe places to pass and bury their waste in order to protect themselves from predators and other threats.

“Encouraging our people to use litter trays will help us get in touch with the feelings of cats. It’s also extremely cost-effective though we will, of course, still provide toilet paper and a bucket of clean water for health and safety reasons.”      

If successful, a prototype of the ground-breaking toileting solution could be developed for sale through various retail outlets to the many millions of cat owners across the UK.