Litter Tales

Street Watching

I love my cats to pieces. They are my babies, my boys. Each day when I leave the house in addition to saying goodbye to M., I also say goodbye to Clyde and Luigi often with a, “Be good boys – don’t be bad.” When I walk back into the house I always say, “Hi boys,” especially since they are right there waiting for me.

There is just one aspect of having these furry little bundles that is a source of contention in the household – the litter box. Does one person take responsibility for maintaining the cat toilet or do you share the job? It’s a dirty, nasty job, but someone has to do it. Unless you can train your cats to do it themselves – then you have supercats. Clyde and Luigi are very special, but they don’t have any special cleaning abilities. <SIGH>

M. took care of our cat box for a number of years. We started out with the standard plastic box and clumping clay litter. Then, years ago we got a Littermaid. M. liked the Littermaid because it raked the chunks into a recepticle and then he just dumped it in the trash.

When I took over letterbox duty a year or two ago, I found I was not as fond of the Littermaid as M. was. Sure, it rakes the box for you, but in the course of raking it also breaks clumps into smaller pieces that inevitably get left behind by the rake and are too small for the litter scoop to pick up. As they accumulate, these little chunks can become a big stink. Plus, the rake smears clumps that are not sufficiently covered with litter, or clumps of you know what get stuck in the rake. I found I was having to empty the receptacle every other day plus scoop to get what the rake missed. Then there is the cleaning of the rake which is just nasty and it never really comes completely clean. So I’m not liking the Littermaid all that much. Can’t say the cats were huge fans of it either – it makes weird noises, it’s actual toilet area is not very big, and the sides are not very high which means Clyde feels he needs to attempt to pull the side of my dryer down on his mess by batting at it…

On one of my recent trips to our local Petsmart I noticed they had a very large, albeit the old-fashioned plastic, litterbox. It was the most massive litterbox I had ever seen. I was excited! Now, if you don’t have cats, this entire post is likely lost on you, but if you do have cats, then you know what a plight the litter box is and how you are always in search of a way to make that job a little easier, a little less nasty.

So I carted the new jumbo box home and set to emptying and cleaning the Littermaid. And I was glad to do it because it would be the last time I did it (unless we use the Littermaid while on trips or something). I got it all cleaned out and wrapped it in a garbage bag so it could be stored in the garage. Once the Littermaid was out of the way I go the jumbo box set up and dumped in the new eco-friendly litter I bought: Feline Pine.

As I do with all products I buy, I read everything on the box. The box informed me that the clay litter I had been using was made up of strip mined clay and the dust and odor-controlling chemicals added to it were bad for me, bad for M., bad for the cats and bad for the environment. I agreed with the box that the dust from the clay litter is most unpleasant. As a bonus, I found out on the Feline Pine website that I can get my first box free with a mail in rebate. The only downside to the Feline Pine is that it sticks to the boys’ fur (they are both quite fluffy, especially in the rear area) and it gets tracked around the house. But then again, they tracked the old clay litter around too.

After having the new jumbo box and the Feline Pine for a couple days I also decided to get a LitterLocker (the cat equivalent of the Diaper Genie). The LitterLocker seems to work really well so far. I am anticipating it will save me both trips out to the trash can as well as the plastic bags I was using to deposit litter scoops into. (I’ve been looking for a way to not use plastic shopping bags and an excuse to get some of those reusable shopping totes…)

The only thing I need to complete my litter transformation is a Cat Hole.

Brush FaceFluff Cycle Please!


1 Comment

  1. bb said,

    September 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Too funny! I love my “litter locker” – have been using it for a few years now (just don’t run out of refills)! I also tell my boys to be good before I leave and greet them with “we’re home boys!”
    I found a large storage tub makes a great litterbox – sides are high enough that no accidental hanging over happens 😉

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