Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Let's Talk Cats and Litter Boxes

Let's Talk Cats and Litter Boxes

It's time once again to dip into the pamphlet called Happy Cat Happy You. These quick tips for building a bond with your feline friend are suggested by the authors at the Catnip Newsletter and compiled for Tufts Institute. This is a series that I'm running which is not sponsored by anyone. I'm just offering my stunning opinions.

Tip Nine deals with your litter box. Litter Box Success. They've offered their advice and I'd like to put in my two cents.

I've given my tips on litter box etiquette many times. I even innerviewed Dr. Elsey from Precious Cat to get the full scoop–no pun intended. My peeps even made up a song they sing every time I poo.

Let's Talk Cats and Litter Boxes

Here's the advice they give with commentary from The Cat.
  1. Fill the box to a depth of three inches and don't use perfumed litters. I'm here to tell you that you best put more than three inches of litter in my boxes. Don't go chintzy on the litter. I like to dig but I don't like to uncover the bottom of the box. No perfumed litters and definitely no litters with Febreze, Glade or other toxic household cleaners. Those things are added for humans, not cats. TW has been mixing my regular unscented litter with some unscented Fresh Step which gives off a very light scent after I use the box to kinda mask what odors she thinks my poos have.
  2. Clean out deposits every day and wash the box once a month with warm, soapy water. My box gets scooped in the morning—or whenever TW happened to wake up and think of it—and after they eat supper. If I blow through the roof do poos, that gets cleaned as soon as they can get close enough to the box immediately. Never use products like ammonia or bleach on your cat's box. It can irritate your cat possibly causing a UTI.
  3. Never place the litter box near your cat's food or water bowls; cats don't like to eat near their bathroom. I guess I'm the exception to this rule. When TW pours my lunch of Weruva or Soulistic, I tell her where I want her to put it. Usually it's in front of the litter box. I've named this spot the "Litter Box Lounge."
I notice they didn't mention to avoid putting the box in high-traffic areas although one of my boxes is in the hall in front of the furnace room. I have the peeps trained not to walk through while I'm using the facilities.

Let's Talk Cats and Litter Boxes

I know many cats don't like a covered box. I've been using one since I moved here. I don't mind. The past six months of so, TW has been leaving the sun roof of the CATillac litter box in the hall open to give me more room to turn around. I really like it so she's planning to buy an open box to replace the box in Pop's bathroom.

There are, however, downsides to an open box as you can see from the very disturbing and intrusive image below. NO PRIVACY! Peeps can be such perverts when it comes to photographing cats doing their thing. If you have any kittens, hide their eyes.

Let's Talk Cats and Litter Boxes
Check out those tiny antique boxes!

Before I sign off, Aunt Pauline wanted me to tell you about Nickolette's little litter box issue and how she's "solved" it. Nickie, who was declawed before she moved in with Aunt Pauline, has always pooped in the box but chooses to urinate outside the box. She's checked out fine at the vet and any stress from the other cats in the apartment should be gone since she's now an only cat. Here's what Aunt Pauline wrote:

"Nickie would leave puddles on the floor (tile or cement, usually not wood). She loved the kitchen sink, which I didn't mind too much since I could easily scrub it. Unfortunately, she would occasionally overshoot and get the counter behind the sink instead. She also liked the glass-topped table and piles of anything -- clothes, papers, etc. Needless to say, this was not a tolerable situation, and I was at wit's end.

That's when I suddenly recalled that one of my friends used puppy pads for her little min pin instead of bringing the delicate little dog outside in bad weather. I tried them, and Nickolette accepted them at once. I now have a layer of six or eight surrounding each litter box, and they work well. I change the used ones twice a day, and so my furry little problem, er, friend, has been with me to her present most respectable age of almost fifteen."

I suggested that Aunt Pauline try putting a pad in the box to see if maybe the litter hurt Nickie's poor declawed paws. If you have any further suggestions, you can leave them in the comments. Also, you may know a cat with a similar problem and puppy pads may be a solution for you.

You can read my comments regarding the other tips too. Tip 1Tip 2Tip 3Tip 4Tip 5Tip 6Tip 7, Tip 8.


Summer at said...

When we travel, my human lines the area around my hotel litter box with puppy pads, and puts one under the litter box too. That helps contain any messes and makes it all lots easier to clean up. Who knew puppy pads had so many kitty uses?

The Menagerie Mom said...

It sure sounds like you have your peeps well trained, CK, and that's exactly as it should be. The litter box habits here are all over the place. Thimble and housemate Toby are happy to use the typical litter boxes and such. Eddy, though, still prefers to use the tiny kitten-sized boxes I got upon adopting her, and she only wants a light layer of litter at the bottom of them. And then there's Evan, whose paralysis makes him incapable of really using a litter box, so he uses a towel laid out in a giant carrier. It makes for lots of laundry, but whatever works for him! My parents have a kitty who prefers to use material such as puppy pads and towels as well. We all just do whatever the kitties tell us to do!

Three Chatty Cats said...

Great tips, CK. We had a covered box when we just had Dexter. But now we don't. But our litter boxes are well hidden, so they still get their privacy.

Colehaus Cats said...

Excellent tips, CK, especially the one about not being in a high-traffic area. Yippee to Aunt Pauline for discovering pee pads! Our Mom used those often when our angel brother Maxx had problems with his feet (he was declawed as a kitten before he was dumped in our neighborhood). Turned out, he occasionally would have pain in his feet and the pee pads worked wonderfully for him.

pilch92 said...

Great tips CK. My Lucy used to think outside the box so I had put puppy pads down and she would use those, but she would go on the edge so it would leak ( I think she used to do that on purpose :))

Cat Chat With Caren and Cody (Caren Gittleman) said...

I scoop our box usually twice a day, sometimes 3. I am awful, that NO I do not wash it out every time I add/switch litter. Bobo lived til age 18 so the heck with it lol. Cody has a covered "furniture" type of a box and loves it. It is also safely baby gated away from unwanted woofie intrusions. catchatwithcarenandcody

da tabbies o trout towne said...

ck....ya look eye rate two day; still stunning but eye rate....what givez

....N pleez ta tell nickie's mom ta look inta sand...we haza barn cat buddy whooz outdoor//indoor N when himz indoor, he will onlee use de box if it haz sand/soil in it.......guess it ree minds him oh de grate out doorz.....

but ta get ta R point, de sand may knot bother nickz feetz az much... ~~~ ♥♥♥

The Island Cats said...

We don't get 3 inches in our boxes, CK, because some cat around here (Wally) kicks the litter out of the box when there's more litter in it. And our boxes get washed out once a week. Though the mom will put the old litter back in it. Seriously.

Robin said...

Manna and Dexter give your tips 8 paws up! Dexter says that the deeper the litter, the better. Manna says that a litter box can not be scooped often enough. I'm glad that your aunt was able to find a solution of sorts for her kitty. My mom's declawed kitty didn't like the litter box either. Declawing is awful.
-Purrs from your friends at

Brian said...

Those are all good CK! We use the no pass peep shall pass a litter box without scooping if it needs it. Yes, we have lots of litter boxes!

Anonymous said...

Oh CK, these are so funny. Altho' we did find these tips to be closest to "right" of all those you've shared. Mommy despises scented litters and hates it when peeps use them, 'specially those febreeze and bakin' soda ones. As Bakin' soda's not good fur us kitties either. We know it's more 'spensive, but da SwheatScoop litter is amazin' at coverin' odors, naturally. Let me tell ya', dat Raena could stink a purrson outta da grave when she came here. But once she learned da art of coverin', there's no smell.

As to da peein' outside of da box, on occasion, when somekitty who shall remain nameless, Raena; uses mes pawdee box and mommy doesn't get to clean it befur me needs to go, me will piddle next to either of da other boxes. So mommy puts down piddle pads just in case. It doesn' happen offen, but every once in a while, mommy can't move her legs yet and me can't wait. Glad things worked out fur Nickie. Big hugs

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena

Tamago said...

Aunt Pauline is very patient and caring, and it's a great idea to use puppy pad. Glad it worked!

The Florida Furkids said...

Mom doesn't like litters with scents and, fortunately, we're not fussy about our litter. We're glad Aunt Pauline has come up with a good solution.

The Florida Furkids

meowmeowmans said...

Nice tips for el baño gato, CK. We have one high-walled litter box and one in the closet under the stairs - both very private areas.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

I guess I'm cats through the years have never been picky about the litter I used, box location, or anything else. I clean up as quickly as possible and everybody's happy :)

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

They SING while you poop? Like it requires a SOUNDTRACK? Sheesh. Any time my Momma sings, I just about lose my $#!+, but that's ridiculous! ~Bear Cat
ps - My Momma laughed at that first picture of your strong disapproval ... be assured she will not make that mistake again.

Shoko Neilson said...

You must have clumping litter Ck. Mom washes out our kit lit tray each time she cleans it. In winter she cleans the pan every Wed. and Sunday. Every day the solids are removed as soon as they are noticed. We use the kit lit tray more in the winter. I add fertilizer to my garden in the summer. The kitty litter we have now is hard on mom's feet and is tracked throughout the house under our nails so mom is looking for another different kit lit but not clumping.


Noodle Cat said...

Great tips!
We do like whatever is in the box to be nice and deep though.

Noodle and crew

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

We have a half covered litter box. Part of the top broke and we just leave it off. We like the puppy pad tip.

LP said...

Those are all great tips! We wanted to comment on your Mama's comment on Cats with blogs. She mentioned that a lot of people who come to that site don't have a blog or have never actually blogged. The reason those people are coming on Cats with Blogs is because anyone who is on Facebook can come on and follow the thread of conversation who is a Facebook friend of someone who is an actual cat blogger on Cats with Blogs. It is an open site.If you wanted to make it more private, you would need to make it a closed site.Just thought I'd mention it :) It's the reason I rarely "speak" there. I don't want the world to know my business.

the critters in the cottage xo

Unknown said...

I love that tip about the pads for declawed cats. I'm lucky as all getout that my declawed girl (Popoki) has no issues with cat litter, but I know it's a real problem with cats who have been through that surgery. Pads make so much sense, and I would imagine they'd deliver real relief!

Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie