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Clever cat litter box (too small?)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I bought a clever cat (top entry litter box) for my cats (I have two boxes for the three due to space limitations and that seems to work for them). I bought this because bf complained about litter on the floor (I sweep it up, but he notices the slightest amount of stray litter). At any rate- I have had it set up for a week and they don't seem to use it (about one pee ball and that was it). They have been using their other litter box which is "open air" I introduced the top entry box to them the first day and they all could climb in and out. I set it up with the lid on because I did not think they would care. I am thinking that it may be too small for them (they are all around 12-14 pounds) and it looks like when they sit in it there is "just enough room." I took the lid off to see if that makes a difference. They used to use a covered side entry litter box but it's been awhile. I think they prefer the open air type. At any rate anyone have experience with the commercially available top entry cat boxes? I am not sure if the issue is that the box is too small for them (that they would use this type of box if it is bigger). Or they just feel "claustrophobic" in a top entry box. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I took the lid off the box this am to see if it makes a difference. How big should a box be relative to the cat. If it is an enclosed box, should it be bigger (since they can't "hang over the edge" when using an enclosed or high sided box? I appreciate any advice that might be offered. My bf thinks I should just get another clever cat box and then "they'll have to use it" but I don't want to force them into something that they don't like. I want them to like their boxes.
post #2 of 12
You didn't say how big or small the new one was... A lot of cats don't like covered boxes because they concentrate the smell (they don't like it any more than we do). Have you tried a little piece of carpet outside the box where litter scatters - it's does help.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
The litter boxes (internal dimensions) are about 17" x 12" and 17 x 13.5" I had a larger box, I would guess 27 x 22 and I think they liked that one the best (but it's the one that was in the bathroom closet and bf did not like the stray litter bits on the floor. I like the idea of a high sided box but I am thinking I might just need to get something bigger. Also I'm not sure if carpet would do the trick. I think the stray litters were due more to kicking litter out of the box versus tracking litter out of the box.

This all reminds me of an onion cartoon that had a picture of a kitty with the caption "Like boxes of **** in your house? Get a cat!" Oops it got edited it's a four letter word starting with s that also means poop.

I am thinking that they need a bigger box if it is to be high sided and/or covered.

Still would like to hear from others on the issue though.
post #4 of 12
some folks make their own top entry boxes by getting plastic containers at the store and cutting a hole in the lid. you might just get a small broom or vacuum cleaner for the scattered litter, or try a booda dome though my neighbour's cats do not like it.

I use two squares of carpet near gizmo's litterbox and one cheap plastic doormat in the entrance to the bathroom. Gizmo scatters litter but it never gets outside the bathroom door.

I'd also investigate changing litter. Some scatters more than others, but most cats will knock some out of their boxes. Highsided storage boxes wouldn't solve this problem for Gizmo since she wipes her paws vigorously on the sides of the box to dislodge the grains of litter, so it gets on the floor anyway.

I got a small Eureka hand held vacuum that is specially designed to get pet hair off sofas, and it was worth the money.
Your boyfriend will also have to accept that there will be a little dirt when you own a pet. It need not be too bad though.
post #5 of 12
I bought a Clever Cat top entry cause I thought they were a good idea. My cats refused to use it when the top was on, and some of them actually would pee on the cover rather than in the box. It's now a very expensive open top box here. The majority of my boxes are covered so that isn't their issue. I don't think it's the size, its the layout of the opening.

Great idea, but I suspect it wouldn't have passed cat trials had they tested it before they offered it to the masses.

Just MHO
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I notice with the top off (haven't checked for use yet) that my kitties ears and top of head are higher than the "lid" would be when the top is on- so the box is not deep enough for them. If I try to "make my own" I will be sure to get something that has a much higher side if covering it is the plan. But I'm not tempted to do this because I just don't think my cats are into this sort of contraption. I think it could be a good litter box for very small cats or kittens but not for my big girls!!! It's dissapointing because it seemed like such a good idea. Another 20 plus dollars wasted. Maybe I can donate it to a rescue group for use with kittens or small cats.
post #7 of 12
I bought a rubbermaid tub and cut a hole in the lid-thinking the top entry idea was brilliant because one cat likes to kick litter everywhere. Neither cats liked it so I took the top off and just use the bottom part of the tub.
post #8 of 12
I got a Clever Cat Top Entry for MIL's cat that had a tendency to pee over the edge of the VanEss covered ones. She did not like it. I ended up getting another RubberMaid or Sterlite deep, wide and long storage box and just setting the VanEss lid over the top of it.

I now have the Clever Cat in my house and only the smaller cats use it.

My cats have never minded whether the box is enclosed or not if there is enough room and I have a variety of open and closed boxes. Seven boxes in one house gives them plenty of choice, (and me plenty of scooping to do).

They do have litter mats or you can pick up those grass like welcome mats to use as litter mats that might help remove the litter from their paws and catch whatever they track out.
post #9 of 12
Cats in general hate stepping in their own waste. Wouldn't you, especially if you had to lick your paws clean? Chances are, they hate this box because it's too small; they can't see where they're stepping; and they don't know what's going on outside... Any of those things.

In any case, I would suggest getting a big plastic storage box with high sides--as high as the top of a covered litter box--and then using that for a box. Fill it to a normal depth with cat litter, and then place another plastic box, with the lid on, next to it so that the cats can jump up there and see in (in order to check for things they don't want to step on, or the presence of a current occupant). This should work in the same way as a top-entry box, only it would cancel out the problems with one (size, smell, etc.).

If you use that arrangement, though, be sure your older cats are OK with it. They get less flexible as they age, and don't like jumping as much.

Oh, and tell your boyfriend: If you replace your current box with a box the cats don't like, chances are they'll just pee on anything they can "dig" in--potted plants, thick carpet, or even your bed! I don't think he'll give you trouble after that.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I retired the "clever cat" box. We have returned to their large open top box that they had before. As I was taking the "clever cat" box down to the basement, I noticed the paper that was attached to the box claiming that it is so great and all cats just love it even big cats. Ha ha ha. Maybe it's made by the same company that makes that touch-on headache cure.
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by Cyndr03 View Post
I retired the "clever cat" box. We have returned to their large open top box that they had before. As I was taking the "clever cat" box down to the basement, I noticed the paper that was attached to the box claiming that it is so great and all cats just love it even big cats. Ha ha ha. Maybe it's made by the same company that makes that touch-on headache cure.
Maybe they only deal with teacup sized cats so their idea of big is a little stunted.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
It amazed me that they suggested this as an appropriate box for large cats. As cats, go mine are somewhat big 13 pounds is the biggest- and the box is definitely too small for them. I can't imagine a truly big cat in that thing, it would no doubt find somewhere else to go!!!
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