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Litter box - Who's right???

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi folks! As some of you may know, my husband and I are in the process of buying our first house. We're hoping to close in a couple weeks and I have some concerns over moving our two cats.

Currently, we're in a rather small, one bedroom apartment and buying this house will finally give us some space. It's that "space" that's got me concerned about the "boys". My husband wants to put a cat-door on the basement door (which is in the kitchen) and keep the litter box in the basement, which, for all intents and purposes is fine. He wants it out of sight, which is understandable. I, on the other hand, want to put it in the laundry room (which is upstairs by the bedrooms - woo hoo! ), for several reasons:
1. Easier access for them.
2. The basement is not "finished" - I'm concerned about the cats roaming around the water heater, heater, etc.. along with all their various wires.
3. There may eventually be hazardous materials down there (most likely) - things such as paint cans, spackle etc.
4. I honestly don't want to jack a$$ down to the freakin basement every morning to clean out the litter box.
5. If they're down there and do their vomiting-thing (which they do regularly), and we don't see it to clean it up, I don't want it to attract bugs.
6. It's dark down there.

Mostly, I'm worried for their safety. Along with the fact that this is a HUGE move for them too and now we have to teach them to use a cat-door?

Bruce is ADAMENT about his opinion. Before we get into a huge fight over it, I'd really appreciate your thoughts. Pro and Con.

Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks so much,
post #2 of 23
My parents have always kept their cats' litterboxes in the basement and have never had a problem, but since this is a new house, etc etc, I would probably put another litter box in the laundry room for now, just until they get used to going downstairs
post #3 of 23
To be very honest, I'm with you 100% on this.

We've always kept our cat boxed in the laundry room.

Another thing I'd add to your list of not wanting the boxes in the basement...and this happened to a friend of mine.

She's a single Mother and she lives with her Mother...like you their basement was unfinished.
Her Mother insisted that the cat box be in the basement.

I don't know where you live, but where we live it's the time of year when mice can and do find the smallest space and will do their best to get inside.

Two years ago about this time that's what happend to my friend...a mouse that had eaten poison got into their basement, her cat killed the mouse when she came home from work Georgie was very sick so she took him right to the Vet, but it was to late the poison killed Georgie.

I'm not trying to scare you in any way, but maybe if you add that to your list of reasons your Husband will change his mind about the basement.
post #4 of 23
I think upstairs is much more convenient for you. I don't have mine in the basement because I have a bad knee, and I don't want to do the steps every day. Furthermore, when it is upstairs where I can see it, I scoop as they go. I am good for 4 scoops a day. Actually 5. two of them do separate pees and poos, and the other one cuts me a break and does everything at once. So he is a one scooper. There would be no way I would shlep to the basement for all that, and if the box isn't absolutely clean for Fang, he will pee on the rug. How do your cats feel about dirty boxes? If the laundry room is out of sight, why will it bother your hubby. is there an odor? Mine never stink because of my frequent scooping, well, ahem, after a deposit there is a fragrance.

The other thing that happened for me with a basement pan, was that the organic chicken feed started growing fur! The dampness in the basement I guess.
post #5 of 23
i agree with you, a basement has far too many hazards to be a safe spot- especially in a new house. so unless its your husband schlepping down to scoop, you get to pick the site. we use the bathrooms behind a wooden screen because i toss litter in the toilets.
post #6 of 23
I agree with you too. I would put it in the laundry room or at least one in each area.
post #7 of 23
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
The other thing that happened for me with a basement pan, was that the organic chicken feed started growing fur! The dampness in the basement I guess.
I just had a sudden imagination surge and it was not pretty!

But I do agree with everyone, at this point its too unsafe to keep the boxes in the basement, not to mention very inconvenient to clean! If you are the scooper you should decide where the pooper goes
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
HA! Thanks! Yes, about 90% of the time I am the scooper and I scoop every day because I'm paranoid of my home being stinky . I do see where he's coming from though so my worries are mainly that of safety and teaching them to use a cat door.

Or maybe I'm just getting way too worrisome in my old age.

Any other thoughts, my friends?
post #9 of 23
It depends on who is doing the scooping. If he wants to handle the scooping at least once per day then by all means let him put it in the basement. If not, then it goes in the laundry room. My hubby was supposed to scoop for our cat Ebony because he wanted his litter in our basement. Well it went for days without being scooped and finally Ebony used the carpet. I told my husband it was not the cat's fault - it was his for not scooping. No more problems when I insisted on having the litter convenient for ME to scoop.
post #10 of 23
Mine will eventually be in the basement. Currently it is on the landing to the basement (we installed a "cat hole" on the basement door). Our laudry room is too small and it is an entrance to the garage -- not feasible.

Anyhow, our basement is completely unfinished and my kitty (8 months) goes down there all the time to "get away from things." We have a hot water heater, dehumidifier, furnace, etc... and a lot of storage stuff down there. I truly don't think there is much that he could get hurt by down there -- cats are a lot smarter then we think. Just make if you have a sump-pump that the lid is on it.

The benefit to it being in the basement is you won't have litter tracked all over your laundry room (right now litter is tracked into my hallway onto my shiny new Brazilian Cherry floors). The drawback is that you have to go down there to scoop. Like I said though, after I get cat #2, it is going down there.
post #11 of 23
I don't have a basement, but if I did, my cats wouldn't be allowed in it - just like they're not allowed in the attic.
post #12 of 23
My in-laws keep their litter box in the basement. I'm not sure why though, I think my wife said it used to be in the bathroom, but their bathroom is a bit on the small side so it probably took up too much space. They just leave the door open and a light on and the cat goes down there whenever it needs to. Their basement isn't finished and as far as I know they haven't had any problems.

My wife wanted to put ours in the basement but I said no for a few reasons.

1) We have a finished basement except for a workshop and laundry area. We would have to keep the door open just like her folks do and I see this as a waste of heat for the upstairs and the downstairs in the winter.

2) I'm a musician and have drums/bass down there. If I'm playing, she's not going to want to be down there because of the noise so I see that causing a problem if she has to go but doesn't want to go downstairs.

3) I down want her hiding under the stairs, by the furnace, under the oil tank etc.. for fear of her getting hurt or stuck, especially because we have a workshop with some tools and other items. She is the type who likes to hide and explore so these places aren't a good mix for a cat like her.

We have her litter box in the bathroom which to me is the natural place. We go to the bathroom there so why shouldn't she? The litter box is the covered type so it won't be as noticeable when it comes to looks, and if we clean it enough there won't be that strong of a smell.

As it is I don't even let her in the basement for ANY reason, even if we're down there. If we have to go down there we shut the door so she doesn't follow us down, although she runs away when we open the door so that probably wouldn't happen anyway

*edit* Our cat is the kind that goes nuts in the litter box, scratching like crazy and making a mess. We got one of those litter floor mats that we put outside the box so 98% of what gets outside of the box goes on the mat and not on the floor.
post #13 of 23
why cant a cat be by a hot water tank? just curious.
that bueller thang cracked me up btw. still chuckling
post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by reddicequeen View Post
why cant a cat be by a hot water tank? just curious.
that bueller thang cracked me up btw. still chuckling
I don't think it would be a good idea for the cat to be near anything that gets hot (some hot water tanks do) or could leak.
post #15 of 23
Maybe you could consider other places. I don't think your kitties would really like to have the box in the laundry room because it will get pretty loud in there sometimes. For some cats, having the box in the laundry room causes litter box avoidance.

As for the basement, that is also not so good because the cats have to go downstairs to get to it. So, if they have the runs one day, they might not make it to the box on time... Also, if the basement is unfinished it will be cold and perhaps damp down there, also not in your cats best interest.

Isn't there somewhere else it could go? like in a closet that will be left open or a bathroom? It's also good to have a box on each floor of the house.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
WOW! Thanks everyone for the great advice! I think it's going to take an "accident" for another box to be intorduced.
post #17 of 23
I've always had the litter box in the basement in both of my homes with no problems. Abby loves the basement. She thinks it is her apartment. We have heated pads and beds, etc for her down there. Since we know she spends so much time down there, we make sure any of the "hazardous" substances are not accessible.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I don't think the "kids" are going to know what to do with all the extra SPACE!
post #19 of 23
I had a cat that used to sleep on top of the water heater. It's not really not as bad as you think.

If the basement in your new house is unfinished and has a lot of hazardous things laying around that are not in cabinets, then I would be cautious about letting a cat down there. I wouldn't be so worried about things like paint cans - the worst they can do is knock them all over. The bigger issue is climbing in the rafters, into the furnace, or getting caught up in the junk that typically migrates into a basement.

If you plan on cat proofing the basement, by all means put the litter there. But if you start the cats with a litter box upstairs, and plan to migrate it later, you will confuse the cats when you do move it. I've known cats to go in the old place, regardless of where the litter box is.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hmmm.. that's the thing - I need to pick a place now and stick with it. or maybe I could just teach them to use the toilet!
post #21 of 23
can't you just put it in a spare room? my mom was one of those "always keep the boxes in the basement" people. then she adopted a rescue a few years ago with different ideas on what is acceptable litterbox etiquette. several vet visits and UTIs later, (plus he sometimes just pees outside the box cause it's dirty) she now has 2 boxes upstairs, 2 boxes downstairs.

it's been my experience, that everyone i knew who had basement boxes forgot about them. and walking downstairs would bring tears to your eyes. for a while my dad was like this: but i think he'd rather not have the cat peeing all over.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's a very valid point. Thank you! Unfortunately, hubby is adament about the basement. I think once there's an "accident" or three, he might be a little more open minded!
As far as forgetting about it, that will never happen. I'm TOTALLY PARANOID about a stinky house (have a family member with cats and their place reeks).

BUT I think since this is HIS idea, HE should clean it more often ::
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by TONIM68 View Post
That's a very valid point. Thank you! Unfortunately, hubby is adament about the basement. I think once there's an "accident" or three, he might be a little more open minded!
As far as forgetting about it, that will never happen. I'm TOTALLY PARANOID about a stinky house (have a family member with cats and their place reeks).
another thing to keep in mind-most cat behaviorists suggest that there are cat boxes on each floor. so even if you have most in the basement, there should still be one upstairs. otherwise you do risk accidents. especially when the cats get older. arthritis and other issues may make them not able to get to the box in time. honestly i think once you're in the new place, the cats will let DH know if it's an acceptable arrangement or not.

i hear you on the paranoia. i'm a scooping maniac--2 to 3 times a day. we live in an apartment, and i was actually complimented by the apartment inspection people last year (standard complex inspection every few years). they said they couldn't smell that we had cats. they also said they usually can smell cat apartments in the hallway. we know people whose places we are hesitant to sit down on their furniture.
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