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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone explain this mystery concerning clumping cat litter?

We have several cats who use various combinations of several boxes. In most of the boxes, the litter clumps normally. In one, the clumps crumble whenever I try to lift them (with a slotted scoop).

We use the same type of litter in every box. The problem box is used by only two cats, and is the only box those two cats use.
 

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I think maybe you're scooping too soon in that one box, you're not giving it the time it needs to solidify.
 
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Good point by Marie. I'm wondering if you have enough litter in the problem box. You could try adding another inch or two and see what happens. And I must admit, we have a box in the back room that's not used as often as the others so I sometimes forget to scoop it twice a day like the others. There have been complaints!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate your suggestion, but I don't think it's the answer. I clean the boxes in rotation, so I don't see how one could get scooped "too soon."

Actually a couple of boxes get cleaned more than once per cycle because they get dirty really fast -- but this is not one of them. If cleaning a box too soon were the problem, those two boxes would have crumbling clumps, but the one that does, wouldn't!
 

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That is really puzzling.
Could there be anything in the area where the box is that could be affecting the litter? Moisture, or dryness, heat or cold? What if you move that box to a different location just to see? I assume all the boxes are the same material and size and shape? If not, maybe get a new box that is like the others? Just brainstorming.
I have not heard of this before and hope that we can figure it out.
 

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We've had occasional problems with crumbling clumps when there's not enough litter in the box, if I scoop too soon after they pee before it solidifies, when they go in the same area in the box or pee a lot at once and there's too much urine to fully clump. Once a month I dump out the old litter, disinfect the box, and refill with fresh. With a lot of cats, you may need to do that more often because after a while it loses its absorbency. Adding more litter and refilling often usually works and a good pooper-scooper helps to eliminate the crumbles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All of the boxes are plastic, but they're all different sizes and shapes, purchased at different times. I don't see how the material could affect the performance of the litter, but since I don't know what's wrong I can't be too absolute about what isn't.Nor is environment likely to be a factor; all of our boxes are in heated interior spaces. Humidity should be about the same everywhere, since we have forced air. Some rooms tend to be warmer or cooler than others, but all are within the limits of human comfort. My partner thinks "something about the box" is the problem, and we've already agreed to get another one and see how it works.

Scooping too soon is definitely not the problem, for the reason I already mentioned. Actually I've found that litter typically turns to solid goo as soon as it's thoroughly wet, and once that happens it takes much longer to dry than we could afford to wait.

My partner suggested that there's something wrong with one of the cats' urine, at least from the litter's point of view. Both are overdue for a trip to the vet, which might tell us something informative.

Depth of litter is definitely not a problem. In this box it's three or four inches deep, and I top it off each time I clean.
 

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"Brainstorming is welcome, as long as a real brain is engaged (;))!"

Real brain is taking a much needed vacation so I'm using my old one right now.

Good idea having the Vet check them out. Females pee differently than males. What kind of litter are you using? gcjhhsihjdnd! Ooops... old brain had a hiccup. Sorryyyy.
 
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