i think the one thing that keeps me from trying the pine is the urine-absorbed saw dust. maybe it's because i haven't tried it and can't quite envision how it all works but i feel a little uncomfortable with the thought. with clumping litter, all the urine is absorbed in a ball and can be disposed of, but when i think of urine absorbed in the form of saw dust, i feel like i envision tracked dust and dust on paws, all that are contaminated with urine. please correct me if i'm wrong.
me too. i just thought, "ewwww," even though i was already thinking "ewww" when i had to put a litter box next to my bed because baci kept peeing in it. (my bed) (that was all he wanted but it took me 2 years to figure it out
). the tracking of clumping litter meant that no matter what i did, i ended up with litter in my bed. all i could think was, "well, it's better than pee."
what ying ying said is exactly right. even if you're using just a regular litter box the pellets stay on top and there isn't enough sawdust (or shouldn't be) to get on their paws and track. if you just use the litter box you have now, i suggest "scooping" once a day, as in, scoop out all the pellets (shake, the sawdust will fall through), throw out the dust, and put the pellets back in, add some if you think you need to. i have three cats and they pee a lot (i had to scoop two boxes twice a day with clumping litter) and removing the dust once a day is enough. of course you have to get the poo as soon as you can because the pine won't cover the odor, but i only have one cat that takes really smelly (and big, haha) dumps. he also tends toward the looser side. not diarrhea, just not really fully formed stools and it's not even a problem with that. i smelled it last night when i was almost asleep, so first thing this morning i got it and it just sticks to the pellets a little and you throw the whole thing away. i use sandwich bags, re-use bags fruit came in, doggie-do bags, anything small.
if you remove the dust once a day, it's akin to scooping the box once a day like you would anyway. takes a little longer but not much. i'm ordering the special feline pine box today, i don't really want to but i couldn't come up with anything that i could do that would be similar. i even bought some of those "lift and sift" liners, 14 for 12.99--i wasn't expecting much and it's good thing because they're crap. if i use two of them, that's good enough to keep the pellets from falling through but i won't buy those again. i was in walgreens and grabbed them because i was curious. but the special box is two bottom pans--the dust falls through a grate and you dump it without having to sift at all, i would imagine just shake, and of course take out the poo as necessary.
if you throw out the dust every day, it honestly doesn't have any odor. letting it sit longer than 2 days i can't vouch for. i would imagine even pine doesn't deodorize forever, but i was throwing away urine clumps every day anyway and the remaining clay litter picks up the scent. i've been using the same pellets for about a week (just added some fresh today) and they don't smell.
of course, with the grate, i would imagine some urine will fall through, unlike the pellets sitting in a regular box. they would just absorb--but it's not really instant so it would be the trickle down effect. although it probably mixes with the dust, i plan on putting a chux pad in it, you know, the cotton ones with plastic backing. that's up to you, i would think it's probably easy enough just to rinse out with water. if you don't already have wee wee pads, improvise.
seriously, it's worth a try. i am fussy about housekeeping and germs, and it's lovely.
remember though, buy wood stove pellets sold for fuel and not the actual feline pine. the fuel pellets are about $5 for 40 lbs. there are no additives (i don't think there is in any of them but just check if you aren't sure). i even saw a bag in king soopers yesterday for 4.38 for 40 lbs. it was called "eco-flame". i wouldn't count on finding it in a grocery depending on where you are but ace, loew's, home depot, or any wood stove place will most likely carry it.
i just looked at the eco-flame site: Wood pellet review: Eco-Flame
depending on where you are, i guess depends on what kind you will be able to find but ying ying is in toronto and she gets them seasonally. i just happen to live in denver, so this might be why i heard about using these fuel pellets instead of feline pine. i just had to try because it's so dang cheap. but if it was dirty or smelly, it wouldn't matter, i wouldn't have switched. i'm as green as i can possibly be, but i'm not one of those people who would start rubbing a rock under my armpits for deodorant because THEY DON'T WORK hahaha. i hate to say that, but i've known people who did that and i was like well i hate to tell you, but it's not working so you might want to try something else. i'm not really a rude person but i speak my mind. i'd want to know the truth, that's why i asked roman to come over and smell my house after i started using them. i knew he'd tell me.
the reason our pine pellets are cheap is because they use trees destroyed by beetles. i don't think any other region can compete with our supply. but even so, whatever you can find will still be cheaper than feline pine, which is 31.58 for 40 lbs. on amazon or 20 lbs. for 12.99 at the grocery.
it's also a good eco-friendly way to heat your home, i may be looking into it soon, i think the wood stoves are about $1200 but it would probably be worth it.
if i buy from green earth depot, they sell a ton for $199 (that's 50 bags) and i guess a ton is about $300 in the northeast but that's still only about $6 for a 40 lb. bag.