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Old 01-01-2013, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kitties and their litter boxes...

So this is going to be a few questions about litter boxes... Feel free to answer one or all

1. What kind of litter do you use? I used FelinePine for the first few weeks of having my kitties because that is what the adoption center used. I realized it was way too hard to clean the feline pine so I slowly switched them to Tidy Cats Clump-able litter. Am I an awful person for switching what the cats used because I am too lazy to clean? They seem to like the new litter and it keeps my apartment smelling much better, plus I want to clean it more often because it only takes a few mins, vs 1/2 an hour which is what it took with the feline pine.

2. Does anyone have a problem with their cats "playing" in the litter box? Sometimes Ziggy (5mo) will go in there and just sit, then shove the litter around, shake her bum like she wants to play and jump out spraying litter everywhere. I thought it was cute at first, but now it is just a mess. She does it about once a day, if I had to guess from how much I have to sweep. Can I do something to stop her from "playing" in the box or does she maybe have something wrong with her medically?

3. How often do your cats use the box? I have two boxes and I have to sift them out every day or the cats wont use the box. Ziggy (5mo) seems to use the box at least 6 times a day (but those could include times where she is just "playing" in the box), where as Moosey uses it about 4 times a day. Is that too much? Also, is it weird that they use one box more than the other?

I have never had a cat that I own myself, so although I have had about 5-6 cats in my life (not including the copious amount of stray cats that used to live in my grandma's garage for several years), I have never really paid attention to this kind of stuff. I know this post was long, so feel free to skip over it or just answer one question.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I use the clumping stuff and much prefer it to the feline pine. The shelter gave me feline pine once and I had an entire litter pooing all over the floor because they didn't want to use it. Yuck. I don't think you're a bad person for switching, especially if you did it slowly so they could get used to it.

Kittens will play everywhere, litter box included. It's pretty normal. What kind of litter box do you have? I have one that's just a plain litter tray but I bought the higher sides to go on it. Having to jump *out* limits (but not eliminates) some of the litter spray. For my permanent kitties, they have the hooded litter boxes. I have mats in front of those that are supposed to help clean kitty's feet as they come out. That helps some too. One I've seen but never tried is a top-entry litter box. It basically looks like a box, but with the hole cut in the top rather than the side. Kitty has to jump up and out once they're done with their business, which is supposed to really help with keeping the litter in the box. I've never seen this one in action.

I have 8-9 cats running around in here, so it's hard to say who uses the box and how many times. I'd say 3-4 is probably pretty normal for an adult cat. With kittens however, they're eating more and have a faster metabolism, so everything moves through them faster, including food. 6 times a day is probably pretty normal for a kitten. In terms of problems, you'd want to look for changes. If it's runny, weird colored, smells different, bloody...that type of thing.

And my cats definitely have a "favorite" box (the one on the left). The two boxes are identical, so I have no idea why one is a favorite, but it is.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your help! All of that makes sense.

I only had one box for a few weeks but then one of them started pooping under the table and peeing on the christmas tree skirt (fake tree) which got on our presents.

I introduced a second box, but the first one is their favorite. They are only about 10ish feet away from each other and we have had very minor problems with them doing business outside of the box since.

Right now, both boxes are open. Their favorite one has the higher sides and comes with a hood, but the kitten couldn't get out, so we took the hood off. The other one is actually a "top loading" litter box as you described but we took the top off of that one as I was afraid they wouldn't use it and start going on the floor again. I make sure to keep the boxes clean and use deodorizer. For the most part, you can't smell it.

The "top loading" litter box was for my roommate's ex girlfriend's cat. We had him for a few months when we first moved in and he had a problem with runny stool. That box is actually not all that great as he would jump out of the top and fling litter everywhere. Plus, my roommate didn't clean it very often.

Do you think I should try the hood again? The other box is in the bathroom, so it doesn't really bother me all that much that it gets a little messy on the floor in there, but the other one is in the "dinning room". I live in a carpeted apartment, so there wasn't much of an option to put a litter box. I also have one of those mats that track the litter. It has been a life saver, except for when the cats jump out the side... haha.

Thanks again!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My litters are in the laundry room and garage, so yay non-carpeted floor! For yours, perhaps you could buy a small piece of carpet (3x2 feet-ish) that matches yours. If you set that in front of the litter box they can jump out onto that and you could just take it outside and shake it to clean it, but since it's the same as your carpet, it wouldn't necessarily look obvious.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is a good idea. I will have to try that. I need to get another mat for the one in the bathroom.
A few questions, if you don't mind:
How many boxes/cats do you have?
How often do you have to scoop?
How often do you completely clean the box? (replace litter, scrub box)
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I use wood pellet litter. I love it and it doesn't get everywhere like the clay used to. I used to even have litter in my bed! I have 2 boxes for 3 cats. I only scoop the poop once a day and flush it. Sometimes I leave them while I am gone and they are good for 2-3 days without cleaning their box, they will continue to use it. I empty completely once a week. And I'll probably scrub it once a month. I just switched to this type of litter, but it definitely keeps my place smelling a lot better than the clay where the urine that wasn't removed would permeate my entire apartment.

My kitten, Kricket, used to play in the litter when he was younger. He stopped this behavior at about 4 months of age. So I only had to deal with it for a few weeks (I got him at 10 weeks)
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a carpeted apartment and actually prefer the litter box on carpet. There's also nothing in the world I hate more than sweeping so that might be part of it!

I just wanted to say you shouldn't feel limited by carpet if you think theres a better place for the box. I use a large doormat under the litter box (not a thick one - more like a "utility mat" I guess).

I shake out the mat every day or 2. I vacuum whenever I vacuum the rest of the house (about twice a week).

IMO, it's so much easier to run a vacuum over the area than it is to sweep up stray litter.


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Old 01-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used clay for the first few months but hated it because of the urine smell. I switched to pine pellets and have used that for 3+ years now. Like 3Gatos said, you scoop and flush the poop every day and clean the whole box every week. It's super cheap too and doesn't track everywhere.


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Old 01-02-2013, 10:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I use Purina Maxx Cats litter, which I think is the Canadian equivalent to Tidy Cats. I have three boxes for two cats: two in the den (aka cat room), which has hardwood floors, and one in my bathroom on ceramic flooring. I keep a mini brush and dustpan set in each room beside the boxes, like this one (it's about 5 inches tall...very tiny):
Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Mini Dust Pan and Brush Set: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Mini Dust Pan and Brush Set: Home & Kitchen


When I scoop the boxes, I'm kneeling in any event, so I just quickly brush up any stray litter using the mini set...it only takes a few seconds and it's a heck of a lot easier than carrying around a full-sized broom.

I scoop once a day and I clean out the boxes about every two weeks, but I never dump the old litter and replace. I simply re-use the old (scooped) litter after cleaning out the box and top up with new.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have three litter boxes and two cats. Two of the litter boxes are in the laundry room, side by side, and yet one still gets used a lot more than the other. It used to be the litter box closest to the door so I switched it so it was farthest from the door - and it's still the most used litter box! I really don't know why they prefer that one.

I always scoop at least daily, sometimes twice a day. My girls will use a really dirty litter box if they have to, but Moxie is quite obsessed with making sure everything in there is covered. If there's too many clumps I'll hear her digging and digging and digging forever trying to make sure everything is covered. So I try to keep it clean for them.

I clean the box completely once every month or two. I don't add any litter to the boxes for a week or so and then dump everything and wash it with a diluted vinegar solution. I don't like to use any harsh chemicals around the cats so that's all I use. In between full cleanings I use a baby wipe whenever I scoop to wipe the sides or the bottom to get rid of residue and soiled litter if anything gets stuck to the litter box.

I use a clumping flushable litter and I much prefer that to any other kind, but everyone seems to have their preference when it comes to cat litter! As long as your cats are ok with it just use whatever works best for you.
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