How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

I got a pug puppy a bit over a month ago, and she always tries to eat the cats litter so I have decided to switch to hooded litter boxes, and I also switched to Worlds Best Cat Litter (if someone doesnt know what that is, its a corn based litter). I have 3 litter boxes for my two cats, so I decided to take one away and replace it with the hooded one with the new litter - the other two still have the clumping clay litter. My younger cat finally used it today, but I had to take the swinging door off of it. However, my older cat (5 year old female) won't go inside of it. Is there a way to coax her in, or should I wait for her to do it on her own time? Also, how would I even begin to integrate the swinging door, because I'm thinking that if my cats see the swinging door, they won't know to just walk through it. Does anyone else on this forum use hooded litter pans? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 02:03 AM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

My cats at home use hooded litter boxes, they aren't too picky on their litter box's appearance and they got the gist of it quite easily. Anything newly introduced will take amount of time to get used to, some cats will take longer, but a good way though might be to just keep the swinging door off of the litter box. My cats I know, didn't really like the door and were hesitate to use it at first so, I just got rid of the door all together. Besides privacy, hooded litter boxes I know usually have air filters that come with them, they are said to help with the odor given off, yet you have to buy more once the filters need to be replaced. I never really noticed a obvious change with the filters. I don't know about the litter you posted, but it's better to just keep the litter box clean for you're cats and change it when needed to prevent bad odors arising from your litter box.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 03:04 AM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

Arianwen was about 8-10 months old when I adopted her, and she had never seen a hooded liter box before I showed her the one in my kitchen.
Granted, my litter boxes don't have flaps on the entrance, but with a little mild encouragement Arianwen used her covered litterboxes with no problem. I think if you take the entry flaps off, and show your cats the litter, gently moving their paw in it, they will figure it out, and find the litter when they need to use it. Even with the entry flap back in place, they will remember the scent and find the litter.

Arianwen has since grown too large for the hoods on her litterboxes, so I took the hoods off.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 01:43 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

I recommend against commercial covered boxes. They are too small and confined -- not only does the cat feel cramped, but even if you scoop daily it will be smelly. Cats don't like them. And the swinging doors just CANNOT be used.

I have dogs, too. LB #1 is a Biddy Cat box (http://www.biddycat.com) in a large closet. The door is rigged so that cats can enter but dogs cannot. It's in the position on the left, below; for scooping I just pull it over (pic on right) and then slide it back. Works great!



The door is accordian-style (wooden, in 2 pieces). I just attached a piece of cord to the door jamb and it hooks over the knob. That keeps it at cat-width but not dog-width.

Unfortunately, you have a small dog, so . . . that might not work. But you COULD use a babygate in the doorway to either a closet or a back room, which the cats could jump over and the dog could not.

When Jonah arrived I needed LB #2. I am NOT a fan of covered boxes, but I was out of closets and had no room I could completely close off. I needed to put #2 in the storeroom, which is small, but a pass-through room between DR and bathroom, so a babygate wasn't gonna work.

Here's what I've come up with. It's a 36" x 24" storage tub with hole in the end for entry. Instead of putting litter directly into the tub, I've just put the current large, high-sided LB directly into it. The problems with litter directly in the tub: it would make the litter too accessible to the dogs, and it would also make the LB hard to clean, as these tubs have moulded bottoms that make channels, which would hold urine clumps and make it impossible to scoop out ALL urine. I suspect that you can make a hole large enough for the cats but too small for the dog, since pugs are kinda chubby, blocky style dogs. Try it w/ cardboard first to make sure cats can pass through but dog cannot.



B/c my dogs are all larger and PERFECTLY willing to pull the box out and stick their heads into the end, the box is oriented thusly. I chose a 3 foot long box b/c that's JUST how much room I have between freezer and bookcase. If I had more room there, I would have gotten a MUCH bigger one so I could put a Biddy Cat box in there -- that was my original plan, but the storage tub would have had to be 4' x 30" and that wouldn't fit in that spot and I'm limited as to other places to put it.



This pic was taken BEFORE the final step, which involved a piece of 2x4 lumber nailed to the bottom shelf and extending out about 18" along the side of the box. I just remove the top of the box to clean. I can also slide it out easily by pulling out the rear of the box and sliding it out along the freexer (left).

The dogs tried once or twice, realized it was pointless, and gave up.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 02:12 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

I have been fortunate to have a smart cat. When I got the hooded litter box she knew how to get in it. Fortunately shes about 8lbs and is really small in size so she fits in it well. When we had jade, jade was a little confused about the litter box. I messed up in frustration and pushed her through the plastic flap. She freaked out and jumped out but she figured it out lmao. It was only later that I found out that azores was confronting her while she was using the bathroom forcing jade to eliminate elsewhere. ?

Also when it comes to filters, one of us on here had said they use the dryer sheets in place or wrapped around the normal filter and that seems to work. I went ahead and tried it. I took two dryer sheets and wrapped it around the existing filter for the covered litter boxes. I believe the smell has come down a bit and on occasion I get sort of a “after smell” of lavender lmao.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 02:18 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

Honestly, if you need a filter, the box needs to be larger, uncovered, cleaned more often, or something else. The box should never smell . . . if YOU can smell it enough to think you need a filter, think about the poor cat, whose nose is so much better!

Also, using a covered box has nothing to do with intelligence. Cats naturally don't like feeling trapped or cramped, and they don't like to smell their own waste. Those are the main reasons for not wanting to use them.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 02:35 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoofmaiden
Honestly, if you need a filter, the box needs to be larger, uncovered, cleaned more often, or something else. The box should never smell . . . if YOU can smell it enough to think you need a filter, think about the poor cat, whose nose is so much better!
i think that depends on the cat, diet, and behavior. worst case scenario: if you got a cat that doesnt like to cover up and does number 2 while your at work. you come home to a fumingated house and since the litterbox is uncovered the smell had nowhere to dissapate or get trapped in. in that situation i can see having a covered litter with a filter or having a setup sort of like what you described hoofmaiden.

but what puzzles me are the kittens i have. right now they have uncovered litter boxes. when they poo the smell is loud and it covers ground fast. by the time i scoop it up and trash it, the smell has made its way downstairs lol. and to top it off it lingers!!! how is a kitten making that much smell??? lmao ive spoken with the vet and they said high protein food can cause that but should subside once theyve been eating it for awhile...man i cant wait, cause one of them farts like crazy lol
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 03:28 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

I realize that folks who feed commercial food don't believe it, but those frequent, smelly poops are NOT normal. Raw fed cats have infrequent (only once in 1-2 days at most) poops that are pretty much without any smell. I kid you not.

"High protein" food causing smelly poops -- . Um, no. Cats are carnivores. They're supposed to eat protein, protein, and more protein. It's the carb-laden commercial food that causes GI tract issues in cats--loose, smelly poops, eventually leading to IBD or IBD-like symptoms (which can even develop into intestinal lymphoma over time!).

But . . . all that aside, if you're going to feed commercial food and have those nasty poops, IMO the least you can do is to let the smell dissipate more widely. No filter is going to make that NOT smell to the cat, and a smelly LB is the best way to end up w/ cats who won't use the LB.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 05:09 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoofmaiden
I realize that folks who feed commercial food don't believe it, but those frequent, smelly poops are NOT normal. Raw fed cats have infrequent (only once in 1-2 days at most) poops that are pretty much without any smell. I kid you not.

"High protein" food causing smelly poops -- . Um, no. Cats are carnivores. They're supposed to eat protein, protein, and more protein. It's the carb-laden commercial food that causes GI tract issues in cats--loose, smelly poops, eventually leading to IBD or IBD-like symptoms (which can even develop into intestinal lymphoma over time!).
i never saw it that way for some reason. but when you put it that way, im starting to see what your talking about. this whole time i was blaming the protein lol, sorry protein, my bad....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoofmaiden
But . . . all that aside, if you're going to feed commercial food and have those nasty poops, IMO the least you can do is to let the smell dissipate more widely. No filter is going to make that NOT smell to the cat, and a smelly LB is the best way to end up w/ cats who won't use the LB.
man i cant wait till i buy myself a house. i think ill set up an enclosure with small fans in it that are motion activated and have it fan out the smell through some industrial ac ventilation system that feeds the smell outside. hmm, maybe make it more "green" by adding some solar panels so its solar powered lol...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 05:14 PM
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Re: How to get a cat to use a hooded litter box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadedea Jade
man i cant wait till i buy myself a house. i think ill set up an enclosure with small fans in it that are motion activated and have it fan out the smell through some industrial ac ventilation system that feeds the smell outside. hmm, maybe make it more "green" by adding some solar panels so its solar powered lol...
Heidi has just that. Well, w/out the solar panels. I'm sure she'll describe it! But she also has 8 cats.

I've never seen the need for my 3 kitties. 2 LBs and a raw diet keeps us smell-free!
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