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Flip Top Cat Litter Buckets: CAUTION!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The following message was posted to some of the lists I belong to. I can't verify the accuracy, but the situation seems plausible and it's worth posting as a warning to folks who use these containers.
I've removed the name of the message author for privacy purposes.

Here is the warning in it's entirety:

Message:
A friend of ours on another cat group just lost one of her kitties
in a tragic accident. Her mom has written a message about what
happened that she wants all kitty parents to read. This is serious!!

PLEASE FORWARD TO EVERYONE WHO WILL HELP US GET THE WORD OUT!

From Edith:

A terrible thing has happened in our family.

Please forward this message to anyone you now who has a cat, cares
about animals, or who is in a position to spread this message further:

My daughter's cat, Geordi, a gorgeous 10-pound, 16-month old female
tortoiseshell cat suffocated to death on Friday, December 14, 2007
inside a pail/bucket (canister) of scoopable clumping cat litter. The
container was fitted with a dangerously designed flip-top (hinged) lid.

We can not fathom how Geordi got the lid open, but she did, and, being
a curious little cat, in she went. We think that the next thing that
happened was that another cat leaped onto the container to see what
she was up to and in doing so caused the lid to seal tightly. The
bucket is
designed, evidently, to seal air tightly because this is clumping
litter and must be kept moisture free.

Ironically, this litter is promoted as being for "multiple cats." It
might be safe enough in a single cat household but we think the fact
that there were other cats present may have been the part that created
the danger.

Some cat litter pails are made with one-piece lids which remove
entirely (like those on kitchen plasticware) . This would be much
safer. The lid on the bucket in which Geordi died, does not come off
completely when the container is opened. Two-thirds of the lid flips
open(hinged) and the litter is dipped or poured from that opening.

The veterinarian examined Geordi and determined that she suffocated.
The litter was inside her mouth, nose, and throat.

Needless to say, this is a time of grief for all of us, but the only
thing to do is try to make other pet owners aware of the danger. Please
do these things:

1) Pass this message on immediately to all your animal-loving friends,
whether they own cats or not, and ask them to pass this on.

2) Please note the design of all lids you presently have on scoopable
litter canisters in your house. If they have this type of lid, GET
THEM AWAY FROM YOUR CATS. Do NOT leave any of these canisters anywhere
your cat can get into it.

3) Check your pet store and contact the manufacturer of any product with
this design and request that a design change be made if this dangerous
flip-type lid is on the bucket. I am not naming the brand as there may
be more than one with this type of lid. You can check on this at the
pet store. Any lid on ANY brand that has this design would be dangerous.

3) If you are a member of any Internet cat groups, please pass this
message on to everyone in your group.

4) If you have any connection with media that might help us get the
word out, please help us try to get this in print or on television
news. The
veterinarian that examined Geordi can confirm this story.

I have contacted www.snopes.com to alert them that I am sending this
message
to as many people as I can reach. It is originating on Dec. 17, 2007
so it may take a while for the information to be posted on www.snopes.com.

If you have any questions please contact me.

*Name removed*
Locust Grove, GA 30248
post #2 of 10
OMG what a horrible tragedy! Makes me glad we keep the litter where no kitties can access it.

Laurie
post #3 of 10
Oh my goodness what a very sad loss... poor family and poor kitty.
post #4 of 10
That is terrible. I keep the litter pail in the pantry closet along with all of Holden's food and such. Sorry to hear about this.
post #5 of 10
terrible...
post #6 of 10
I know what litter this is. I have a pail in the bathroom and the lid isn't sealed. Seb doesn't care for it (of course!) so will not be buying this brand again. That poor cat. Had to be horrifying. (off to seal that lid!)
post #7 of 10
Just thought I should share this here.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message:
A friend of ours on another cat group just lost one of her kitties
in a tragic accident. Her mom has written a message about what
happened that she wants all kitty parents to read. This is serious!!

PLEASE FORWARD TO EVERYONE WHO WILL HELP US GET THE WORD OUT!

From Edith:

A terrible thing has happened in our family.

Please forward this message to anyone you now who has a cat, cares
about animals, or who is in a position to spread this message further:

My daughter's cat, Geordi, a gorgeous 10-pound, 16-month old female
tortoiseshell cat suffocated to death on Friday, December 14, 2007
inside a pail/bucket (canister) of scoopable clumping cat litter. The
container was fitted with a dangerously designed flip-top (hinged) lid.

We can not fathom how Geordi got the lid open, but she did, and, being
a curious little cat, in she went. We think that the next thing that
happened was that another cat leaped onto the container to see what
she was up to and in doing so caused the lid to seal tightly. The
bucket is
designed, evidently, to seal air tightly because this is clumping
litter and must be kept moisture free.

Ironically, this litter is promoted as being for "multiple cats." It
might be safe enough in a single cat household but we think the fact
that there were other cats present may have been the part that created
the danger.

Some cat litter pails are made with one-piece lids which remove
entirely (like those on kitchen plasticware). This would be much
safer. The lid on the bucket in which Geordi died, does not come off
completely when the container is opened. Two-thirds of the lid flips
open(hinged) and the litter is dipped or poured from that opening.

The veterinarian examined Geordi and determined that she suffocated.
The litter was inside her mouth, nose, and throat.

Needless to say, this is a time of grief for all of us, but the only
thing to do is try to make other pet owners aware of the danger. Please
do these things:

1) Pass this message on immediately to all your animal-loving friends,
whether they own cats or not, and ask them to pass this on.

2) Please note the design of all lids you presently have on scoopable
litter canisters in your house. If they have this type of lid, GET
THEM AWAY FROM YOUR CATS. Do NOT leave any of these canisters anywhere
your cat can get into it.

3) Check your pet store and contact the manufacturer of any product with
this design and request that a design change be made if this dangerous
flip-type lid is on the bucket. I am not naming the brand as there may
be more than one with this type of lid. You can check on this at the
pet store. Any lid on ANY brand that has this design would be dangerous.

3) If you are a member of any Internet cat groups, please pass this
message on to everyone in your group.

4) If you have any connection with media that might help us get the
word out, please help us try to get this in print or on television
news. The
veterinarian that examined Geordi can confirm this story.

I have contacted www.snopes.com to alert them that I am sending this
message
to as many people as I can reach. It is originating on Dec. 17, 2007
so it may take a while for the information to be posted on www.snopes.com.

If you have any questions please contact me.

Edith Kilgo
Locust Grove, GA 30248
post #8 of 10
Interestingly enough, the litter that we buy regularly is a multiple cat, clumping litter that USED to have a hinge-type lid on it.

Thank you for posting this!!

The brand we buy now has a completely removable lid (although the hinged-lid containers still sit on the shelves waiting to be purchased) and I'm wondering if this is the same type that is talked about above.
post #9 of 10
I only have one hinged container, which I keep tightly closed--I use it to keep the plastic bags away from Zek. I much prefer the litter containers with the removable lids, since I use the buckets to collect used litter and it's easier to maneuver the scoop into the completely opened bucket.
post #10 of 10
What a heartbreaking story! My heart goes out to the family for such a terrible accident.
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