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Cat litter blues

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've never had indoor cats before. All of our cats have been indoor/outdoor and only went outside, never even had a litter box for them. So, now I'm clueless as to what type of litter will be the best.

Here's an overview. We have this litter box.



It's the only one that seems to keep long collie noses out of it, lol. Right now I am using the Petco brand Multi Cat litter. It works okay, I clean it once or twice a day depending on whether or not I catch it before stinky George goes or not. But, it doesn't clump liquids very well. It falls apart if you try to pick it up and then you get dirty litter that they have to stand in. YUCK! I have two more 30lb jugs of it but want to find something better at some point.

I've tried the pine litters (Feline Pine and Petco Brand) and the newspaper litters (Yesterday's news and a generic version) and while those were in the box, cat refused to use it. He pee'd right on the dog bed. Switched back and he's been perfect. I have a second box, but neither use it... ever. They only like the one box for some reason. I've tried Tidy Cats Scoop and it did the same thing.

I'm looking for something affordable, because it seems it has to be changed pretty often no matter what I use with two cats. But not something cheap that won't work. I really am getting tired of this litter breaking into peices every five minutes. I feel like without changing the entire box every week, I have a disgusting litter box no matter what. I'd like to be able to change it every two weeks. I was told by several people with two cats they only do a full change once a month and clean it daily! I'd be happy with not changing it once or twice a week!
post #2 of 22
I have found a few things to be true.

Depth drastically affects the way the litter seems to work.--especially related to urine balls. I keep our depth now pretty deep 3-4 inches.

We use Meijer brand multi cat and love it (I can't remember if they have stores in NY or not). It clumps so great. We had been using Tidy cats scoop and it just wasn't cutting it. Last week I needed litter and Tidy cats was on sale and was like $10 for 40 lbs which is awesome but I just couldn't break down and do it. I rather pay full price for Meijer brand which is $8 for 28 lbs.

I add extra litter about once a week and do a full box change once a month as well as cleaning the whole box at that point--which I just hose it out and let it dry in the sun.

good luck

Leslie
post #3 of 22
LOVE that litter pan!

Right now we've gone to wood stove pellets. We had clumping litter a long time, but the pellets are working well. However you can't just dump the pellets in the box - they don't know its litter. So we had to mix clumping and pellets together till they are used to things and now they use the pellets all the time.

When we get our new kitten next spring, he'll have clumping litter at first and then eventually be using the pellets like the others.
post #4 of 22
I have had very good luck with the Walmart (special Kitty Brand) and Target store brand litters, the clumping ones that come in a white jug.
post #5 of 22
Hi I use Nature's Miracle and love it! It clumps well, controls odors fairly well, its flushable and 100% natural corn based, so its safe for the cats if they ingest it, ie when they clean themselves. it also has a light pine scent, that does dissipate with time. It also has minimal dust!

What I do to avoid breaking the clumps when I scoop, I first shake my box side to side, front to front, if that makes sense and that loosens any clumps that are stuck on the walls of the box.

Also I only completely change it out once every 4 to 6 weeks. I usually buy one 18 lb and one 10 lb bag since I have two boxes and I like to fill them nice and deep, works best that way and I usually have about half of the 10 lb left over, but near the 3rd week, I add more litter to the boxes. The small bag costs $13 and the big one $25.

It is a little pricey but for me it's worth it. Hope this helps!
post #6 of 22
I've been thinking of changing to that kind of a box cus' my main issue is litter outside the box. It looks like it will help.

Anyway...to answer your ?, I use Fresh Step perfume and dye free (I hate the perfumey smells) I have 3 cats that use one box (their choice not mine) I change it completely once a month and one large box of litter last me about two weeks without needing to refill. I keep my litter filled high, at least 3-4 inches.

They like it and I do too.

But I have heard good things about the walmart and target litters from friends.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
What about the litter locker plus? I have a $10 off coupon and have been considering it. Does it work? I would love to be able to scoop and have an odor resistant place to put the poo. Otherwise, I put it in dog poo bags and we're now buying those like crazy.
post #8 of 22
Right now I'm using the following 3 mixed:

Swheat scoop (big bags for decent $$)
Arm & Hammer High Performance (clumpability)
Feline Pine Scoop (odor control)
post #9 of 22
I wanted to see if there really is a difference in clumping. I had some Fresh Step Scoopable and the WalMart brand Cats Pride (20 pound jug).

I filled two small rice bowls, one with each type of litter. Then, poured a level tablespoon of water into the center of each bowl.

No comparsion. The Fresh Step clumped deep and hard. The Cats Pride spread the liquid out wide and shallow and clumped much softer and fragile. The Fresh Step clumps were rock hard, only getting fragile days later when they were totally dried out.

The main difference was the cheap brand had smaller granules. The Fresh Step larger granules let the water drain a bit deeper, forming more of a round clump. I do think you can mix the cheaper brand in with the Fresh Step and not give up much.

I don't see any reason I can't go a month before doing a complete empty and replace cycle. But, that's with a pretty deep layer (3 inches) in a pretty large box -- and it's with two boxes for two cats. With one box/two cats, you will definitely have to scoop it every day without fail.

I'm sold. Fortunately, my local grocery is running a card promotion on all the flavors of Fresh Step -- 21 pound box for $6.99. Sam's Club also sells a 40 pound bucket for $14-something. So I bought three boxes and will probably buy a few more.

BTW, Fresh Step, Scoops Away, and Ever Clean are all made by Clorox, probably in the factory they acquired when they purchased Scoops Away. I have a strong suspicion these products are all the same, except of course for the "magic colored granules" that each brand claims will make your cat's poop smell like geraniums. Fresh Step and Ever Clean claim to have magic "charcoal".

One thing is that you really want to let a fresh pile or clump sit for just a few minutes before scooping it if you can.

Also, the $13 large metal scooper at PetsMart is fantastic, although nothing is as fantastic as the Omega Paw roll n' clean litter box. I am in awe of how well it works. Once a day, just roll it over. You end up with all the clumps in a removable drawer.
post #10 of 22
As long as you are scooping out the solids and the hard clumps daily, I see no reason to dump the entire pan more then once a month.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
As long as you are scooping out the solids and the hard clumps daily, I see no reason to dump the entire pan more then once a month.

I'm glad to hear you say that. I started using World's Best a few months ago (after using Feline Pine pellets for 2 years) and I've found that if I scoop it frequently, once or twice a day, then I don't have to dump the box for 3-4 weeks...and that's with 2 cats. I was questioning whether or not me doing this was a good thing.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
As long as you are scooping out the solids and the hard clumps daily, I see no reason to dump the entire pan more then once a month.
I found with more than 2-3 cats....this rule doesn't apply unfortunately. Even if I scoop 2x a day, I find myself dumping the box every week (sometimes I can make it 2 weeks). I'd rather dump it too soon than wait too late....and I have kitties who have litterbox issues to start with.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hwc View Post


I'm sold. Fortunately, my local grocery is running a card promotion on all the flavors of Fresh Step -- 21 pound box for $6.99. Sam's Club also sells a 40 pound bucket for $14-something. So I bought three boxes and will probably buy a few more.
Everything is insanely more expensive in NY. The cheapest I've seen Fresh Step is $12.00. I'm going to have to find it somewhere cheaper somehow. I'm close to the PA border. Perhaps if I smuggle it across, lol, it'll be cheaper there.
post #14 of 22
We have one of those litter containers - it's called a Booda-Dome. There were 2 sizes available where I got our so I got the larger one (Bijou is a big boy ) It does stop a lot of litter on the floor.

We use World's Best Cat Litter and I scoop once per day and add about 3 or 4 cups of new litter every 3 or 4 days. When I lift the lid off the Booda-Dome I have no overwhelming odour unless Bijou or Mika have just paid a visit.

I wash and change out the whole thing about once every 6 weeks. We also have another covered litter tray (2 cats = at least 2 litter boxes) but both kitties tend to use the Booda most often.

World's Best is expensive but I find I go through a bag far less often than the cheaper litters and honestly believe I spend less on litter than I used to with the cheaper ones which weren't nearly as effective at keeping odours down. I also buy the WBCL for "multiple" cats formula and do think it makes a difference.
post #15 of 22
Heh, heh. When all was said and done, between my wife and I, we stocked up something like 200 pounds of FreshStep while it was on sale for $6.99 per 21 lb box.

The twin Omega Paws litter boxes are working out great. These things are an absolute breeze to use. Roll em and dump the collection tray. With two kitties and two boxes, I've been emptying them once a day, but I could go two days no problem.

Both cats are adjusted to the covered boxes. They both appear to be using both boxes about equally.
post #16 of 22
I hate to admit this but I have not done a complete empty of the litter box since June. I physically was not able to lift it due to back problems and asked my adult daughter to help me. She said I was crazy, the litter had no little clumps and no odor. I have two cats and one covered box. I use Fresh Step scoopable litter. I keep it filled about 3-4 inches and scoop twice daily. I have wiped down the sides when necessary and the litter is still fine. I do add at least every day. Am I a real bad meowme?
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoughCollies View Post
What about the litter locker plus? I have a $10 off coupon and have been considering it. Does it work? I would love to be able to scoop and have an odor resistant place to put the poo. Otherwise, I put it in dog poo bags and we're now buying those like crazy.
I love my litter locker. It really does a good job locking away all the icky smells. I also get my refills for it online so they are cheaper.
post #18 of 22
Deljo:

I'm starting to think that you could probably just go indefinitely with daily scooping of Fresh Step litter. You are pulling so much litter out each day with the clumps that you are basically changing the litter continuously as you go.

As long as the box isn't a mess and in need of a hose down, there's probably no good reason to dump the litter and start over.
post #19 of 22
For those looking for a Litter Locker alternative:

I just took an empty Fresh Step litter bucket, put a 13 gallon kitchen trash bag in it, and dump the clumps in that every day. Put the lid back on the bucket -- it still seals back in place even with the garbage bag over the top edge. Stinks to high heaven when it's open, but nothing when it closed. Once a week, just carry the trash bag out to the trash and put in a new one.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by hwc View Post
For those looking for a Litter Locker alternative:

I just took an empty Fresh Step litter bucket, put a 13 gallon kitchen trash bag in it, and dump the clumps in that every day. Put the lid back on the bucket -- it still seals back in place even with the garbage bag over the top edge. Stinks to high heaven when it's open, but nothing when it closed. Once a week, just carry the trash bag out to the trash and put in a new one.
I do the exact same thing. I have a litter locker but have not used it also.
Brenda
post #21 of 22
We have been using Special Kitty Scoop (Wal-mart) brand and Tidy Cats scoop. I scoop 2-3 times a day.

Since going back to 3 cats, one being a kitten, I am back to changing 1 or 2 of the boxes every 3 weeks or so. There's always 1 box they don't use as much so I don't fully change and scrub that box until it's been 4-5 weeks.
post #22 of 22
The Booda Domes are neat-looking and nice for people who need a covered box. We had the regular one for a while but thought about getting that one because of the cool little stairway that would wipe litter off of their paws.

My 2 cats share 1 box and I have to completely change the litter every 2 weeks. There's no way I could make it a month. They have the big Cat's Rule litter box and I try to keep the litter as deep as possible because that does really help with clumping. I scoop 1-2 times a day. I know I should have more boxes but they do fine sharing the 1 and when I add more, they still just use the same one.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3124123

As far as litter goes....here are my hits and misses:

Crystal Litters:
- Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Long Haired Cat Litter (this is the best crystal litter I've tried. It's super expensive. You have to be really good about stirring the crystals otherwise the urine smell is noticeable. Absolutely no tracking.)
- Tidy Cats Crystal Litter (this is a large chunky crystal litter and I wasn't really a fan. Not as good scent control as the Dr. Elsey stuff).

Natural Litters
- World's Best Cat Litter (this one is my favorite but I don't buy it because it's too expensive for cat litter).
- Nature's Miracle (I liked this except for the awful tracking, I wouldn't re-purchase).
- Feline Pine Clumping (awful!!)
- Feline Pine (good, except that my cats don't cover their poop with this and so the scent control for that is lacking).

Clumping Clay Litter
- Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Unscented (my favorite clumping clay litter so far and what I prefer to buy now)
- Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fresh Scent (I can't stand the way this smells, when the box is clean and not clean. Scented litters are not a good idea for covered boxes).
- PetCo Store Brand (I like this because you can re-use the plastic jug. It's a good litter but there are cheaper ones. Very dusty).


I'd like to give Fresh Step and Tidy Cats a try because those seem to be popular.

I have the Litter Locker but the refills are too expensive for us at the moment.
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