Mastering the Cat Litter Box

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Mastering the Cat Litter Box

aptsherpa · May 29, 2006

Kitties are generally good at keeping themselves clean, but they do have some needs they can’t take care of on their own. That’s where you, the owner, come in: lugging heavy bags of cat litter, scooping poop for hours on end, and living with that litterbox smell. If you want to reduce your workload and freshen up your apartment, consider one of these innovative litter or litterbox options to keep your cat and your apartment as fresh as possible.

1. Crystals instead of clay

Clumping clay litter has traditionally been a popular choice with cat owners, as it’s cheap and easy to user. However, clay retains a lot of moisture, which brings smell along with it. Additionally, clumps can partially disintegrate, leaving some waste behind in the litter even when clumps are removed. Crystals can be a viable alternative to clay litter. They are lightweight, reduce odor, and absorb more than clay, making it necessary to use less litter overall. Though crystals can be useful, some cats may take time to get used to the new type of litter. Mixing clay and crystal litter for a little while may help cats adjust. Owners, too, may have problems with the litter—it can require a different type of scoop, and it may make noise when cats walk on it. Some people just aren’t into crystal litter, but others swear by its odor-reducing properties and appreciate having to buy less litter and change it less often. Try it out if you’re interested, but don’t necessarily expect to revolutionize your kitty care routine.

2. Roll out

The Omega Paw self-cleaning litterbox works with clumping litter only and eliminates the need for scooping. Instead of scooping waste out of the box, you simply roll the litterbox itself to the side, causing litter to fill a small chamber. Rolling the litterbox back causes clean litter to fall back into the box but traps waste in the appropriate department. Users love that it’s easy and effective. Since there are no moving parts, there’s no potential for motors to break, and everything can be taken apart and cleaned. If you simply despise scooping but aren’t looking to drop a big chunk of change on an electronic box, this may be the litterbox for you.

3. Maid service

This high-tech litterbox, LitterMaid, is triggered by the cat’s arrival and departure and automatically pushes waste into a receptacle for reduction of visible waste and easy disposal. It doesn’t have a cover and looks suspiciously like some kind of copier or printer (perhaps making it a nice addition to your home office), but seems to work well for many users. There are those who have had rather negative experiences, though, so do some research and decide for yourself.

4. Space age spruce-up

The Litter-Robot is a Jetsons-esque spherical litterbox that actually rotates to deposit waste in a receptacle underneath the main compartment used by cats. It’s like the Omega Paw, but self-rotating. The Litter-Robot seems to work wonders and those who use it may become lifelong converts. Note that the box does have the potential to start its cleaning cycle when a small cat is in the box (the Litter-Robot uses weight sensors, which some cats may not activate, to determine when it’s safe to rotate). The technology eliminates the need for scooping, but may make it necessary to clean the inside of the contraption fairly often (the rotating process has the potential to expose the entire inside to waste).

5. Bench it

Kattbank is a swank-looking bench designed specifically to conceal the unpleasant presence of your literbox. It allows the cat a somewhat secret way in and provides a special grid to remove litter from kitty’s feet after the box has been used. The box is adequately ventilated and can be completely disassembled for cleaning. It also comes in a wide variety of attractive colors and wood finishes. The website offers a description of the product, ordering opportunities, and pictures of the Kattbank in action. This is definitely a stylish alternative to an obvious-looking plastic litterbox.

You may not always think about technology when it comes to your pet, but developments in both litter and litterboxes may make caring for your kitties a little bit easier. Check out these and many other options if you want high-tech assistance in your pet care routine.

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