Cockroaches aren’t exactly picky eaters, and cats cannot scoop their own litter box. As you can imagine, the two should go together like a horse and carriage (as the old song says). However, you might be surprised.
Cockroaches are not too keen on kitty litter, after all. As it turns out, although roaches love nasty, deteriorating trashiness, cat litter just isn’t their thing. Of course, if the cat litter is of the biodegradable variety, it becomes a little more attractive, but only just.
If the litter is genuinely filthy, it may attract cockroaches. However, if cockroaches are in your house, something else likely attracted them there, to begin with, long before the kitty litter went past its expiration date.
Types of Cat Litter That Attracts Roaches
If you’re looking at just cat litter alone and nothing else as if it existed in a bubble. The cat litter that would attract roaches would be of the biodegradable variety. Biodegradable cat litter is made of shredded paper, wheat, corn, and trees.
All of the above attract roaches because they are suitable for both feeding and shelter. Two of the three things that roaches require and place on their priorities list. It’s not like roaches are too picky about what they eat.
The problem is, even if you thoroughly and routinely clean your biodegradable cat litter. The fresh litter will likely attract roaches even more. The thing is, even though biodegradable cat litter is attractive to roaches. It’s still not enough to draw them to your home. It takes more to do that.
Best Cat Litter to Keep Roaches Away
There are two types of litter that are best for keeping roaches away. Clay-based cat litters and silica-based cat litters are the best kinds to keep around, especially if you want to rid your house of a roach infestation.
This type of litter is incredibly absorbent and makes up about 40% to 45% of all cat litter types sold in the United States. Because of its ability to absorb moisture and repel odors, it automatically makes the litter less congenial to roaches.
Unfortunately, it does have to be cleaned more frequently than Silica-based cat litters. Since it is a lot cheaper, it may be easier to purchase more of it than the other. SO long as you keep it cleaned more often than just periodically, it’ll work fine for your cat and against roaches.
This stuff is made up of silica gel, and while it’s not quite as absorbent as clay-based cat litter, it’s still very effective at absorbing urine and feces. A derivative of quartz, silica-based litter isn’t very attractive to roaches, no more so than a rock would be.
You don’t have to change it as frequently as the clay version. However, it’s more pricey than the clay version as well. You also won’t spend as much time cleaning it up since it holds together better than clay-based litter.
Are Roaches Attracted to Cat Urine?
Roaches are absolutely attracted to urine. Urine has a powerful, ammonia-like smell, and roaches—while not necessarily attracted to the urine itself—are attracted to the potency of that smell. To them, it equates to food, and that’s all that matters.
That’s why it’s important to frequently change your cat litter over or, at the very least, keep it thoroughly scooped, so it doesn’t have time to sit in there and marinate. The longer it’s there, the stronger and muskier the smell becomes.
So long as you keep it clean, however, it won’t be a problem, and the urine in the litter box won’t have time to work its magic on roaches.
Are Roaches Harmful to Cats?
Roaches aren’t typically harmful to cats; however, cats can bring harm upon themselves by going after a roach. Many cats simply may not be able to help themselves. Roaches are small and generally fast, both of which trigger a cat’s preternatural instinct to either toy with it or pounce.
If a cat eats a roach, that’s where the problems can potentially begin. Since a roach has a hard exoskeleton, it will be difficult for the cat to swallow correctly, leading to the cat throwing up or choking in severe and rare cases.
The hard exoskeleton has been known to do damage to a cat’s digestive system as well, causing severe irritation and inducing cats to vomit and sometimes bleed internally. In very rare cases, pieces of the exoskeleton can get into the cat’s circulatory system.
If this happens, it will most likely be a death sentence once it reaches the heart or lungs. Fortunately, that’s an exceedingly rare case. But it’s not something that you want to roll the dice on.
Most of the time, a roach will avoid a cat to the best of its ability and if it comes into contact with one, will usually escape through cracks, under furniture, up walls, or underneath kitchen appliances.
How to Prevent Roaches from Getting in?
Preventative maintenance is the most important route that you can take. You can seal up your house pretty well and it will slow roaches down, however, if roaches want in bad enough, they’re going to get in one way or another.
You have to take away their desire to get in and that means keeping a thoroughly and routinely clean house, sealing up the cracks or holes that time and pressure have created, and routinely taking out the garbage (keep your garbage dumpster as far away from the house as possible).
Do a thorough cleaning of your house, focusing on all of the areas where food usually is, along with all of the areas where there’s potential for water. Both food and water are more than enough for a roach to crave taking up residence in your dresser drawers.
Once the house is clean through and through, make sure that you consistently take out your garbage and clean out your garbage can. Garbage bags frequently rip when they are in the can and the spilled fluids and other stuff that leaks out are powerfully attractive to roaches.
Once all that is done, go through the house with plenty of caulk. Thoroughly inspect every corner, door, window, footboard, and crown mold. If you find any spots within the house that even suggest that a crack is possible. Run you a strong bead of caulk to fill it in.
Once you are done caulking and the material has had time to dry. You can go back through to each spot and gently sand down the excess caulk so that it doesn’t look like it’s bulging out. You don’t want to kill the aesthetic appeal of your home in order to keep out the roaches.
Lastly, go through your cabinets and make sure that there is no food exposed to the outside air. Anything at all that is exposed will be something that roaches can smell and be attracted to.
Kitty litter isn’t a common thing to find on a cockroach’s list. But if it’s nasty enough and it never gets cleaned or scooped. It will eventually rise up on the list to the point where it is target number one.
So long as you keep it clean and go about making your home the least attractive thing in the world for roaches. You and your cat will be just fine.
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