Cats are fastidiously fussy about cleanliness, both their own and their environment. They won't for instance, settle for a litter tray that's next to their food or bed, and will react as they see fit when confronted with a tray that they don't like the look or smell of.
So, despite seemingly being a simple and fairly innoccuous question, "How to clean a litter tray?" can have serious repercussions for both the cat and you. However, there's no need to panic, as the answer is actually quite simple.
Although the smell of bleach itself is pretty objectionable to most animals and humans alike, used senisbly it is an extremely effective cleaner and remover of unwanted smells. The other benefit of bleach is that, again when used sensibly, it actually leaves little or no residual smell behind when dry.
The bottom line is that undiluted bleach damages or even kills everything it touches, which makes it ideal for sanitising litter trays, but which also means it can be a hazard to your cats skin, as well as its nose, and you cat knows that and will avoid anhything that smells like bleach or other disinfectant. Diluted in the right ratio, though, it is perfectly safe. After all, if you are an avid tea drinker, you'll know how cups can soon get stained by the tannin present naturally in the leaves of the Tea plant. You'll also know that filling the cup with warm water and adding a small squirt of bleach will have it sparkling like new in a few minutes and with no aftertaste once the cup has been rinsed.
It's the same with litter trays. At The Cat Palace, we use a mixture of 1 part bleach, 1 part Domestos and 2 parts water for scrubbing the tray. We then leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing and then allowing the tray to dry (preferably in the sun). Drying trays naturally helps to remove any remaining traces of the bleach/Domestos which can be left behind with towel drying.
Doing this will help to prevent your cat refusing to use the tray, reducing the number of outside-tray incidents.
The purrfect dose of information for owners and vet professionals, committed to the wellbeing and longevity of your cats!