Ask anyone who shares a home with cats, and they’ll tell you: “Cats love boxes!”
Just set out a cardboard box, and it draws both kittens to old cats like a magnet. They jump inside, curl up and sleep, play or ambush their pals.
Cats love enclosed spaces because they are hardwired by nature to feel that way. In the wild, cats instinctively seek shelter from enemies and a safe place to take a nap or provide a secure “den” for kittens. Providing a sheltered or hooded litter box for cats is an excellent idea.
What a Scientific Study Showed
To be fair, there has been just one peer-reviewed scientific study conducted on the preference of cats for hooded litter boxes versus open boxes. The conclusion of the study conducted by Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine is that cats actually have equal preference for shelters or open boxes.
However, the benefits of a hooded box provide some advantages in a number of ways that go beyond what your darling kitties prefer. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Why Hooded Boxes Are Better
1. They Hide “The Mess”
A litter box with lid means that unsightly lumps of kitty deposits and wet stains stay out of sight. Living with a cat does not have to mean your house looks like an animal shares it.
2. Less Litter Tracking
A hooded box prevents more litter from ending up on the floor. Some cats have a habit of really digging into their litter. They end up flipping a lot of it over the sides. An enclosed box prevents that.
3. Reduces Smell
While even a hooded box won’t stop all odors from drifting into the house, a sheltered box captures more of the air that has been tainted by the urine and feces of cats. In fact, experience with hooded boxes shows they have a significant ability to stop odors, and even more so than alternatives like scented sprays, candles, powders and other such agents.
4. Interior Design Advantage
Most people keep a litter box in the corner of a home where it is least likely to be seen. Others find they don’t have that perfect “hidden location.” In this case, a hooded box makes for a more attractive interior decorating option.
5. No Unwanted Floor Deposits
In addition to preventing cat litter from getting on the floor, a hooded box makes it far less likely that pee or poop will end up on the floor as well. As many cat owners know, some cats often “miss” and or “spray” when urinating.
6. Psychological Security
It is believed that the reason some cats tend to avoid a litter box is that they prefer “privacy” when “doing their thing.” Whether this is a psychological quirk similar to a person’s need for privacy when going to the bathroom or an instinctual imperative for feeling safe while “going,” a hooded box can make cats go more easily and use the place you want them to use – and not under a bed or somewhere else.
7. Better for Travel
Many people travel with cats. That might be a car or an SUV camper on a long vacation. In this situation, a hooded box is far superior to an open box for obvious reasons. The cat is likelier to use the litter box, but a hooded box makes it far more pleasant for fellow travelers sharing an enclosed space.
8. The Dog Factor
People who live with both cats and dogs will tell you that a feline’s canine friend can display the peculiar habit of getting at cat nuggets – and they sometimes eat them! Listen, it’s just a reality you cope with even if you don’t quite understand Fido’s motivations. Again, a hooded box can eliminate this weird problem.
Keep It Clean
Whether an open or hooded box, scooping a litter box once or twice a day is the key to reducing the unsightly aspects of certain inevitable aspects of sharing a home with your beloved furry friends.
A hooded cat box clearly provides significant advantages over an open box