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Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 18, 2020 11:03AM
Taking care of two older female, indoor kitties now. Have not had a cat as a pet since I was a kid.

Sweet cats, unpleasant clean-up.

Trying to figure out this litter box situation. One box is in the bathtub, because that's where one of the cats like to go. It is the covered-tub type. Trouble with this is litter gets scattered outside the box, have to sweep that out daily when I clean the box.

Second box is not covered.

What type of litter is best? Cats have rejected the crystal type. I have just ordered a bag of Dr. Elsey's Ultra, we'll see how that works.

(Clumping, odor control, prefer unscented)

What type of litter box is best?

How frequently do you throw out all the litter, scrub the box, etc?
TIA for ideas and advice.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 18, 2020 11:16AM
Just remember - the cats are in charge.

There are a lot of different products on the market and this is a case where its entire justified. Cats and owners have their preferences.

This is my fav litterbox so long as the cats like it - [www.amazon.com] - no traditional litter, a pee pad in the bottom.

Sometimes you have to withdraw one option to get them to use the new option. There's some risk.

Get yourself some Nature's Miracle because an accident is likely to happen at some point.

>One box is in the bathtub, because that's where one of the cats like to go.

10000% the right thing to do. If a cat starts going in a particular spot repeatedly, put a box there. They likely have their reasons. This is particularly pronounced if one of the cats is particularly dominant. Sometimes cats prefer to have a clear view while they do their business - so they know they won't be cornered or pounced on in the process. Of course I have no idea how that applies to your situation







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2020 11:22AM by mattkime.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 18, 2020 11:22AM
POST PICS!!!!



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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 18, 2020 11:26AM
We started using pelletized bedding for Horse Stables from Tractor Supply. Initially this was because I was cheap (it is 40 lbs for $5), but we soon discovered it was really effective. I guess that makes sense since it was made as litter for horses and cats are much smaller. It is made of compressed pine shavings in a cellulose wrapper that breaks down when wet. It holds back odor very well for several days. It is also slightly larger so does not track out as easily. My cats seem satisfied.

[www.tractorsupply.com]

As far as cleanup for normal litter, you could put the litter box inside a larger container. The cats would spill into that container which would be an easy pickup and dump.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 18, 2020 11:35AM
My wife loves the Dr. Elsey's litter (the "blue" version - I don't know all the names).

There's really one size fits all solution for scattered litter. You'll have to try different things. Litter mats to contain the scatter, top entry boxes (probably not recommended for older kitties), long entryways to the litter box.

Note that enclosed litter boxes are more for the human's convenience (of hiding the litter) than the cats. The cats probably want an open box.

I've also used the Breeze pellet boxes - until we got a cat that always has really soft, sometimes liquidy poops. It's a horrible solution for that, so we're entirely on Dr. Elsey's litter (in [modkat.com] - with most set up as top entry, but one as front entry for the newest cat, which means all the cats want to use the front entry one).

Back to the pellet boxes. They'll still spread some pellets out of the box, but you can pick them up by hand and toss them back in the box (wash your hands after!). But they might also play with the pellets and spread them far around your house (my younger cat would do that).

Once a month is probably the correct timeframe to dump the litter and clean the box, but I'll admit I go 2-3 months sometimes just adding new litter. But the cats can tell. When I clean a box, they all want to use that one and will ignore the older litter boxes. Plus, the litter in a fresh box is "lighter" and easier to scoop.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 18, 2020 11:45AM
We have four (!) cats in our house. As a result we have 5 litter boxes (Always have one per cat plus a spare). We use the cheap clumping sam's club stuff that comes in a big green bucket. we also have a never ending supply of buckets for projects or recycling.

The litter boxes close to human sleeping areas get scooped every few days to remove clumps and poops. Then get dumped and washed every other week. The other litter boxes get emptied and washed out every week.

Each box has a small bathroom rug in front of it to collect litter from paws. That gets shaken out and washed weekly.

We get lots of purrs and snuggles and endless shenanigans. As well as careful surveillance of all outside birds and rodents. Worth it.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 18, 2020 12:03PM
Quote
cbelt3
We have four (!) cats in our house. As a result we have 5 litter boxes (Always have one per cat plus a spare).

That's the rule of thumb, although we get by with 4 litter boxes for 5 cats. One cat is indoor/outdoor and the litter boxes are a bigger size. But we also scoop twice a day. And as mentioned earlier - for us, all the cats tend to use mostly one box anyway.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 18, 2020 12:08PM
Litter Genie. Litter Genie. Litter Genie.

Recommended by another MRF stalwart and the posssibly the best cat money I have spent beyond vet bills and the critters themselves. Less than twenty bucks. Two or three minutes per box scooping each morning and cat funk is a thing of the past.

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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: August 18, 2020 12:10PM
Two cats.

I got tired of all the litter boxes not quite fitting my needs, so I make my own (storage tub and a jigsaw at one end to make the wide opening). Can then use with or without cover (we use without; my wife, when re-vamping our laundry room to better suit my needs, added a rolling litter box box that the tub fits nicely into)

The roller box is big enough that I can put a door mat under the whole thing (litter box and entryway within) to catch most of the litter.

For litter; I've been cycling through some alternates. Our cats were having more-than-usual hairball/vomiting, so I started trying non-clay litter. (this has really helped the vomiting situation)

I tried PrettyLitter which was nice and worked well but did not have the longevity promised. (i.e. the urine smell got really bad after less than 2 weeks; instead of scooping out the urine, you sifted the sand; see the website for info). I really liked it, liked the color-change aspect to keep an eye on pH, but it was too expensive to change out 3 times a month and didn't meet expectations.

I just started using World's Best Cat Litter (based on a Reddit forum recommendation) and it's pretty good. Corn-based. I quite like it thus far; it's working well -- easy clumping, easy scooping. I use the unscented one b'c the corn-ish smell isn't bad at all. Cats took a while to start covering solids but it's happening finally, if sporadically.

Whole box gets cleaned out once a month; I sometimes put a smaller bag worth in at about the 70% of the month mark.

I got used to having to make a new litter box about twice a year but might not need to with the new litter.

FWIW, the wheat-based litter was next on the try list. I may still give it a try down the road but pretty happy thus far.



(BTW, it's spelled < y'all >.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2020 02:13PM by Zoidberg.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 18, 2020 12:43PM
I have also been using World's Best Cat Litter for our, now 2 cats, for many years. 2 boxes right next to a trash can, all on a large no-track pad. My wife complained about the smell for a while but I think more frequent cleaning did the trick for us. The cats sometimes like to shovel the litter outside the boxes, but that also usually means the boxes were too full, or more frequent cleaning is needed. I do about once a day now, but can let it go 2-3 without any repercussions. Worst case they will do their business next to the litter boxes, but still on the pad.
Having lived and dealt with many many cats over the years I know we are lucky.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: neophyte
Date: August 18, 2020 12:56PM
I have two low tech, "standard size" cat boxes with shields similar to this. The shield blocks most of the flicked litter from leaving the box.

For ease of changing, I have found that the boxes will fit into compactor trash bags loosely and the bags will lie mostly flat to line the bottom of the box, thus providing enough room for the litter, and also allow the shield to fit on top. Simply peel back the bag so it turns inside-out as you remove it from the box, thus enclosing the used litter. No need to wash the box. Compactor trash bags are thicker than normal 20gal bags and better resist cat's claws as they scratch at the litter.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 18, 2020 01:03PM
I have two kids. That’s enough for me.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: August West
Date: August 18, 2020 01:16PM
I thought I went overboard for cats. Damn, I'm not even close to giving up a tub to a litter box or some of the other solutions you folks practice.



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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 18, 2020 01:54PM
.....to paraphrase 'Frozen'......just.......Litter....go.........Litter go......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 18, 2020 06:47PM
Boy, and you all make fun of me for the hamsters. These cats have you all very well trained. Congratulations, you have won the Best Staff Award from Cats, Inc.™




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: A-Polly
Date: August 18, 2020 09:47PM
Hi Lemon,

May I suggest what worked best for me (an admittedly lazy housekeeper, with no convenient basement to hide these things away) and my 4 cats: a combination of the Tidy Cats Breeze pan that Mattkime linked (although mine didn't have a hood, just sort of a collar), and the pine pellets sold as horse bedding from Tractor Supply that Ombligo linked (a much more expensive version is sold as Feline Pine in pet supply stores and supermarkets).

Method: get a big box of the cheap puppy pads from Sams Club or the equivalent (not the very expensive special pads for the TC Breeze!). Put a pad in the lower pan. It will be larger than the pan bottom, but that's what you want, as it should extend up the sides. Put the sifting pan on top. Add pine pellets to the top pan (on top of the screen), no more than a couple of inches deep. As the cats use the box, the wet litter turns to sawdust and then sifts through the top pan to the bottom, on top of the puppy pad. Of course, you still need to scoop the solids out yourself, but the pine keeps the smell down a lot. Depending on how many cats and boxes you have, every week or two or even three, lift the sifter pan (with plenty of unused litter) onto a fresh puppy pad you've laid onto the floor. Pick up the used pad (which is full of wet, smelly sawdust) and dispose. Lift the fresh pad and sifter pan combo (holding the pad and pan edge together, to contain any siftage) from the floor back onto the now empty bottom pan. Top up the pellets if needed, and done. Takes much longer to explain than to do. If I'm not making sense, I think there are YouTube videos about the method.

A box of the pads costs $15 or $16, lasts for the better part of a year, almost no litter is wasted, and kitty feet don't have to dig through any wet, clumpy mess. If you try this, you'll be pleased at how much urine-soaked sawdust the pad can hold. Keeping a good layer of unused pine pellets on top contains the odor amazingly well.

Oh, and every day or so, just give the box a shake, to make trapped sawdust move down to the lower pan. I do it after scooping solids, or whenever I happen to think about it.

This changed our lives, and saves so much money on litter! However, I've heard of cats who refuse to use pine pellets. Fortunately, we didn't have that problem. They seemed happy to always have clean litter. There are other kinds of sifter pans, too. I just happened to have 2 Tidy Cats Breeze pans from an attempt to use their brand name system. The hard white pellets didn't work at all (for us, YMMV) — and were kind of like dumping Legos into a litter box.

Sorry this got so long, but I wish you good luck with your new charges!
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Rolando
Date: August 18, 2020 11:36PM
Quote
Ombligo
We started using pelletized bedding for Horse Stables from Tractor Supply. Initially this was because I was cheap (it is 40 lbs for $5), but we soon discovered it was really effective. I guess that makes sense since it was made as litter for horses and cats are much smaller. It is made of compressed pine shavings in a cellulose wrapper that breaks down when wet. It holds back odor very well for several days. It is also slightly larger so does not track out as easily. My cats seem satisfied.

[www.tractorsupply.com]

As far as cleanup for normal litter, you could put the litter box inside a larger container. The cats would spill into that container which would be an easy pickup and dump.

Ditto on this. When its cleaning time, I tell my daughter to flip it onto the lawn. A little raking and a few minutes with. the hose and its gone. The sawdust and cellulose is 100% biodegradable.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 19, 2020 08:35AM
cats are so hit and miss, but we've been lucky with the last half dozen.
One box, sometimes 2 cats. But ours are outdoor, big difference.
Still, Owen the current purr-bomb has just come in from the rain to pee in the box.
We use PetCo generic clay. No one has complained unless they have a UTI. Then all bets are off.
I also got a box of Okocat
I add a scoop to keep the smell in control and/or some baking soda.



!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 19, 2020 10:58AM
Thanks all for the great suggestions! I have a lot to look into.
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Re: Indoor cat people: litter box situation
Posted by: rz
Date: August 19, 2020 03:37PM
We have 5 cats, but everything I would have said has been covered in other posts above. We go between World's Best (corn scented) and Arm & Hammer. Leaning toward going all World's Best next time I go to buy litter. We have 4 open boxes for 5 cats. Litter trapping mats below. Have two different Litter Genies, one tall and one regular size. Only difference to the above is that our litter pans are these "sifting" kind. They're three nested pans that allow you to pull out the top one and sift, leaving only clumps. My wife cleans them that way, I just scoop with a litter shovel.
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