Friday, March 14, 2008

Living With The Litterbox

I have always had cats growing up but never quite realized the hassle, fuss and mess involved until I got one on my own. Having lived in a studio apartment by myself in a new city - hundreds of miles away from my family and friends - I started getting lonely - and after a crazy man from the apartment complex followed me down to my apartment trying to talk to me about God...

[ok, ok - let me back up and tell the whole story for a sec - ok, so there was this crazy man walking around outside in front of my building looking upset holding a tv by its cord with the tv hanging down his back - he asked if he could ask me a question - and naive me thought he was just going to ask if he could throw it in the trash or where the trash bins were - something like that - was NOT expecting him to ask if I watch TV and don't-you-know-that-God-hates-TV's... I immediately turned away and said sorry and moved on - he, however, followed me down to my apt door asking why I was sorry, etc, etc - I called the police and they ended up evicting him because apparently he was not taking his medicine and had harassed kids at the bus stop and set fire to the trash bins - go figure]

SO, long story short I got freaked out being utterly by myself so I got a cat to take my mind off things. I realize that a cat will not protect me from an intruder - but I had never had a dog before and did not realize I was a dog person at heart until later in life. So a cat it was - I hiked myself to the nearest Petsmart and picked a cute kitty out to take home - not noting that the cat kept hissing and growling at me (the lady at Petsmart insisted that the cat was merely stressed out) and that is how I came to own Pumpkin (a.k.a. Big Kitty).

This cat is the pickiest darn cat - not about food - oh no, she will eat dog food if she has to - as you can denote from her photo above, but about her litter box. I was slow to learn that I cannot use certain types of litter, have a small litter box, or have only one litter box, nor can I let it get the least bit icky or she will turn her nose up and find the nearest plastic bag, shoe, shirt or corner to go.

Types of Litter
Being in my recent green kick I recently wanted to try a more eco-friendly litter - and I tried World's Best made from corn of all things - it was great - but she hated it. What good is an eco-litter if the cat refuses to use it - no good at all I tell you! My other cat (who has her own set of baggage) didn't mind it at all - but there was something about the smell or the feel of the litter that Big Kitty hated - so it had to go back to plain old Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat!

Types of Litter Boxes
Over the years I have also learned her preference in TYPES of litter boxes. Her favorite for #2 is the large Booda Dome Clean Step Litter Box from Petsmart or the Booda Website and her favorite for #1 is just a large plain uncovered litter box.

(The Booda Clean Step)

We have tried several other litter boxes in the past (she will use them but not as consistently as she uses the ones listed above). My other cat, Augie, has claimed the Roll N Clean Litter Box from Omega Paw as her own - it looks huge but due to the inside grate is much smaller inside than the Booda litter box and doesn't give a lot of room to kick around - but she likes it - so we keep it) and I love how you can just roll it to clean it out! Marvelous! Too bad Big Kitty doesn't like or I would switch all our litter boxes to this kind - it is just too small for her and I even got the large one! :(

(The Omega Paw Roll N Clean)

Where To Put the Litter Box

I have also learned WHERE she likes her litter box - it cannot be near the dog's crate or the dog's food (at one point we had a spare bedroom that was all devoted to the pets stuff and since we got a smaller dog who developed a taste for cat poo I thought it would be clever to put a folding table over the dog crate and place the litter on top of the table - space saving and keeps my little dog from eating poo - perfect! Well, Big Kitty didn't think so - heaven forbid she would have to relieve herself in the presence of a dog.

P.S. As a side note, I feel I should explain Big Kitty's temperament as I mentioned above that she growled and hissed at me when I adopted her. She is a very vocal cat, she can hiss and growl and snarl up a storm - but she has NEVER EVER bitten or scratched me. It is the craziest thing I have ever seen. I can hold her down and cut her nails with clippers and the whole time she is screaming and sounding like a demon-cat but I come out completely unscathed. Any cat in their right mind would scratch a person's eyes out for such behavior - but no, my shelter cat only knows how to sound mean - not how to act mean. Good for me! :)

AND thank goodness that both of our cats aren't this picky about their litter! Little Kitty (or Augie) has always been good about going in whatever litter we put out in whatever box wherever. And she was the cat we found in a parking lot - so you would figure she would have the worse time with going in the litter box - not so. She is just crazy in other ways.


Melinda said...

Wow. So... this is what we look forward to, eh? Sigh. Fortunately Raisin is taking to our current method, but this is only week #1...

SuzyQ said...

Melinda, hopefully your cat isn't as picky as mine - I don't think they are all that way. My other cat does fine with anything - so stick in there!

Cat Pet Supplies said...

I would definitely pay money for one of those litter boxes that look like a piece of furniture. I find it gross when I go over to someone's house and they have a litter box in the bathroom that is filled with litter turds and smells like ammonia. Of course, I would keep the litter box furniture in the bathroom, and use the top shelves for regular toiletries. It would be kind of gross to keep it in the living room.