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Pet People

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Litter Box Blues


Cats and litter boxes: Where to begin? Pam mentioned in the topic below that her cat often thinks “outside the box.” Also, sometimes there is no “flushing.” Hmmm, a cat that likes to air his business to the world! Shannon asked previously about tracking down and getting rid of cat urine odor. So I figured it’s time to air our own dirty litter laundry and share our litter box trials and tribulations.

Catfish is a perfect gentleman. He covers completely. Tarzan sometimes doesn’t, and often I’ll catch Catfish doing it FOR him. So I figure, Tarzan is the man leaving the seat up and not flushing and Catfish is the woman tasked with the job of cleaning the bathroom. Sound familiar? I wonder if Dragon does latrine duty at his house? :)

Pam, you said your cat is big, right? So is Tarzan, and I think sometimes that is why his butt sometimes hangs over the edge. When he does cover, it’s like he’s digging to China; I’ll often find a huge pile of litter right outside the box from his digging expeditions. I am thinking of getting a bigger box for this problem. You know how some cats are shy about going in front of others? Not Tarzan. Every single time, without fail, the minute I go to scoop the box, he marches right over and plants his big butt into the box to go! He’s like a boss who can’t stand that you might have some lag time—gotta give you more work!

Does anyone used covered boxes? I use one on my front porch. Yes, I have a box on the front porch, and they use it. Since they can’t get out of the yard, I don’t want them going in the same places in the landscaping. I had a regular box, but you know how damp litter gums up, and Tarzan would fling it all over the porch! The covered box fixed that. I think I’ll try getting rid of it to see if they will go to the inside box, eliminating one of my many pet chores. Some cats don’t like covered boxes. One former rescue cat I know that now lives inside was first introduced to a covered box and peed and pooped everywhere but. Once a regular box was substituted, he went right to it.

Pam, is your cat declawed? I’ve heard from the women at Cats Are Us that declawed cats sometimes have issues because their natural scratching instinct gets messed up from the procedure (That is another topic to cover another day!).

There are so many reasons for litter box problems: dislike of scented litter or change in litter, too small box, health issues, and on and on and on. So share your problems, ideas, tips and advice on dealing with the Bathroom Blues!

Picture above is of Catfish and Tarzan after a hard day of cat napping. I wish I had it so rough!

posted by Sandy at 1/24/2007 10:46:00 AM

17 Comments:

Blogger Shannon said...

Litter boxes have always been a problem at my house. We live in a very small house so its hard getting it to fit somewhere, somewhat un-noticed and without the hubby complaining about the smell of it. I think my cats wait until he is right by the box and decide to make the worst smelling poo ever just so he can gripe. Also the issue of my dog Harley getting "treats" out of it. The dog was probably the biggest, nastiest problem. She would constantly be eating her snacks from the litter box. It was covered but she would just poke her head in and root around.(She definitely never got kisses from me back then-sorry-hope I'm not grossing anyone out ..close your ears Dragon boy) She did this to the point that she had to have surgery to remove almost 20 grape sized stones she developed in her bladder that the vet thinks were from the clumping litter. So- being the cheap person I am. I had looked at the huge covered litter boxes at Petsmart that have the hole cut in the top and decided I wasn't paying that much for one. I got a very large rubber made storage container from walmart that has a lid, cut a big hole in the top for my great big ol Bubba, and wa-la...problem solved. The cats adapted very well to it and just jump up on the top and climb down into it. I do realize as they get older and not as nimble, I might have to go to a different box. Poor Harley is unable to get hr head into the box so she was officially cut off from her sneaky snacking.

Does anyone remember the commercial(telling my age here) where they had the inserts you put over the toilet seat to train your kitty to use the toilet? I always wondered if that would work or not.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 4:35:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Oscar and Stella love kitty "treats". YUCK! Being that Oscar's a little dog I had a hard time finding anything that would keep him out of the litter box. I have the litter box in the back of a closet in the spare bedroom so I keep the closet door slightly open. I finally purchased a small child gate that is easy to step over. I keep it in the doorway. No more kitty "treats" for Oscar or Stella.

Now next issue... If I forget to scoop out the litter box even once, Jazzy thinks that is his clue to find a corner to do his business in. I know I don't like to use a dirty toilet either, but we all forget things in our busy schedules. I try to remember to scoop it out everyday. And I can FORGET asking my precious husband to do anything of the sort. I'd love some suggestions for breaking him of this habit. (the cat, but suggestions for the husband are welcome too!)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

My problem is not with poop, it's with pee. Some (don't know who all is guilty) of my cats like to spray in the living room. No where else. This started about the time our most recent dog, Lucy, came into the house, about 2 1/2 years ago. They go through cycles where they don't do it, and then they are doing it all the time. Our entertainment center is disentegrating at the bottom because of it. I will definately try some of the urine odor products you all have mentioned in other threads, because some days it can be pretty bad. I'm embarrassed if anyone comes over, because as I said, it's only in the living room, right at the front door!

Without catching them in the act, I just don't know what to do. Any ideas??

And Adrienne, you might be surprised. I initially thought that about my husband too, but some days I come home from work and he's already scooped it for me. I went somewhere on a trip without him once and he tended to the kids, which meant he HAD to clean it. He realized it wasn't that big of a deal. Give it a shot. All he can do is say no.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Sandy, please tell me how you keep the cats in the yard. Larry, the senior cat, insists on going outside. If I don't let him, he poops on everything. This is the same cat who poops in his crate. he has discovered poop is a weapon. So, I let him out but I worry. I keep his claws longer so he can defend himself but when he jumps on my lap, the itty bitty sharp nails hurt! So, how do you keep them in the yard? Trouble, our middle girl-cat wants to go outside but Larry hasn't shared his secret weapon with her so I don't let her out at all. She still waits by the door and makes a break for it occasionally. Scooter, our baby cat, is curious about outside but he really doesn't have any huge desire to go, not like Trouble. Trouble was a foundling about 6 weeks old. She grew up in Fresno where she used the dog door to go in and out. We don't have a dog door here and don't really want one. She knows there is a world out there, Scooter doesn't. We got Scooter from the vet after his mom died. He was supposed to be a foster kitty untill he was old enough to find a forever home. He was 8 days old when I got him. I hand fed him every two hours. Naturally, by the time he was old enough to leave, there was no way I was going to let him go. I suppose there is no huge reason to let Trouble and Scooter out but I would feel better if there was some way to keep him in the yard.

We have a covered litter box up off the floor because Charlie like to excavate treats as well. For a dog who was so underweight when we got him, he certainly doesn't turn away from any food now... even questionable food! It's been about 7 months since we moved here and have been accident free for awhile. I think moving to a new place upsets everyone... and they show their displeasure by placing bodily fluids in inappropriate places. Thankfully, that is over now.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7:33:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

I have the cat fence in system, (do a search online and you'll find their website. You can also see a video; they have a few different types and it can go on wood, chain link or any kind of fence. The boss put in on himself, but he's real handy with everything) You add it to the top of an existing fence, so your yard has to be fenced in. It's GREAT. It's mesh and comes out at an angle about 20". Since cats have to be close to something to jump up, they can't. It also keeps strays out. You can't have any trees that hang over the fence, becuase they can climb and jump over. I cut one tree down to accomodate the fence.

Pet supply places also have screen "playpen" type things that you can put your cat out in. Or you could probably make some kind of large "kennel." But the Cat Fence-in system is the BEST! I'll have to bring you all on a field trip to see it!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Actually Penelope the "Pooper" is my baby and smallest cat at 8 pounds. She isn't declawed either, couldn't stand to have any of them declawed. I do clip thier nails on occasion but not nearly often enough. They act like it's torture even though I am very careful not to cut too close to the paws Because of thier nails our carpet is ruined in places, just waiting to replace it with hardwood soon. Jon is always complaining how we can't have anything because of the cats so Stacey I'll have to tell Jon about your entertainment center.
Courtney is my biggest girl with the weight problem, she and Penelope both are the ones who do not cover thier poop. Brittany bless her heart is my neat one. They all grew up with the boxes covered but they would back up to them and pee on the sides sometimes and made them harder to clean even with liners and we double line. We have three boxes too so no lack of boxes.Our vet says there should be a box for each cat in the house. Now of course they all use all three but at least they ahve the option of where to go. I recently took all the lids off and they all seem to like it that way. None of the boxes are really out in full view so they still can have privacy. We have wracked our brains trying to figure out the pooping on the floor thing. Nothing has changed at all, no new litter, deoderant or anything different so we are still like what is going on?
Our grand doggie Roxie loves "Kitty Logs" as we call them, so gross! My daughter put thier cats box in the laundry room and keep the door shut then they put in a cat door so solved taht at thier house. Poor Roxie now has to settle for pigs ears and other treats,ha.
Shannon I do remember the toilet things to train cats to use it but don't know of anyone who actually tried doing that. Now you can feel better since I just told my age too,ha. I did see a couple of cats using the toilet on the TV but doublt my cats would ever do that, especially not my pooper. Hey I've cleaned that up cause Jon calls her "The S--ter".
Sandy your cat fence sounds fantastic, I'd love to see it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I remember reading an article about how to train your cat to use the toilet. It said all you had to do was slowly move your litter box closer and closer to the toilet. Once your cats used to their box being next to the toilet you then move the box on top of the toilet. They suggested finding a way to "suspend" the litter in the bowl while having the seat down. Once they’re used to that, you should be able to remove the suspended litter and your cat should still use the toilet.(SHOULD)-(I think they even tried to sell litter inserts for you toilet that hooked around the bowl) I have never tried this, so I don't know if it works and I wasn't willing to give up the extra bathroom to the cat for 6 months until he learned how to use it. Anyone willing to see if it works? Not me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger dragon said...

Hi Sandy, I was wondering if you, or any one else might have watched the TV show, Dog Whisperer, on Discovery Channel. I have and I found it to be very educational. I, we, have a cat that developed an attitude problem. He was doing something he shouldn’t. I applied some of the tactics from the show to the cat as was done toward the dogs. It took time but it seems to work. What I did was to change the way cat thinks. The cat developed a thought process where he thought he was number one around here. What I have done was to change the cat’s attitude and showed him that he was not king of the hill. The cat is not doing the thing that was driving me crazy and we get along much better now.

Friday, January 26, 2007 6:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Dragon, congradulations on getting the cat to stop whatever it was that it was doing but---------- don't even think for a minute that the cat doesn't still KNOW it is King of the hill. It is just making you think you are boss. Cats are a lot like us women in that repect,ha.

Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:07:00 AM  
Blogger dragon said...

Hey you’re right. Cats and women are a lot alike. I think I’ll apply some of the same tactics to my wife. I’ll stat an attitude adjustment campaign on her ASAP. The only fear I have is having to sleep in the shed. If worse comes to worse my neighbor will provide a warm bed for me to sleep in.

Women are lot more stubborn that cats. I’m sure it’s going to take a long, long, long, long, long, long time. Thanks for the insight. If I can shed any insight toward men, let me know I will help out. Hope I don’t get drummed out of the men’s club for doing so.

Women and cats. I can go somewhere with this....................

PS Its agood thing she don't know who dragon is.....

Saturday, January 27, 2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Dragon, when your wife finds out who you are, you're in for such a -A-- kicking. And cats are actually more stubborn than women believe it or not. BUT---- women are much harder to fool and more coniving. You better watch youself or you might wish the shed is all you'll get. Be careful and be afrais be VERY VERY AFRAID! And be so thankful you really aren't my husband,ha.

Sunday, January 28, 2007 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Just checked what I wrote and can see the typos, please hang with me guys I am very tired tonight and almost falling asleep writing. Talk to ya'all later.

Sunday, January 28, 2007 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Dragon, I love the Dog Whisperer and in fact took Scooter to a private traniner here that is a lot like him. He is right in how to treat dogs to make them "balanced." I know I and others do spoil them and do things that are foreign to dog minds, but I try to always do the things Caesar says. I guess there is an opening on TV for a cat whisperer, because while I am sure some training things work the same with both, cats are unique in their nature and not as ready to please as a dog!

Sunday, January 28, 2007 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Oh dear lord!! Not "The Cat Whisperer". Or, another version of the title that I won't even say here. Geezzzz!!!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, I know waht you are thinking you bad girl you,haha!

Monday, January 29, 2007 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I know, I am bad!!! But, sometimes I just can't help it!!!

LOL LOL LOL

Monday, January 29, 2007 9:13:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I do believe we are all kindred spirits here. We all have our moments and something it's fun to be naughty.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 8:18:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.
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