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Litter question with a twist...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a litter that does NOT absorb moisture well and that does NOT clump well.

Why you ask? Well, one of my kitties is FLUTD prone and so I try to check her urine pH regularly. But its difficult to get a sample from her. She is litter box shy. That is if I try to follow her to the box, she won't use it. I can isolate her in a room with a box until she uses it but she won't use any of the usual nonabsobant litters or litter substitutes.

I finally rigged up a box that I can use a traditional litter with and still get a sample from. But, I have to use a litter that the urine will mostly just fall through without getting absorbed. While I was experimenting with chicken crumbles as litter I discovered that a particular brand of crumbles fits the bill perfectly for my urine collection box. But, I can only get those crumbles in 50 lb bags. That's OK, but I would rather not have to store that much and am concerned it might get mildewy over time.

So, can someone suggest what is basically a poorly performing litter. One that doesn't absorb or clump very well?
post #2 of 20
I've never used the Crystal litter (looks like plastic to me) so not sure if that would not absorb the urine. If it doesn't then that's your answer.

Or can you put a screen in the box and a thin layer of litter so that some of the urine will go thru the screen to the bottom without being totally absorbed?

Another thought - put a sheet of plastic (thin) over the top of the litter and watch when she goes.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I've never used the Crystal litter (looks like plastic to me) so not sure if that would not absorb the urine. If it doesn't then that's your answer.

Or can you put a screen in the box and a thin layer of litter so that some of the urine will go thru the screen to the bottom without being totally absorbed?

Another thought - put a sheet of plastic (thin) over the top of the litter and watch when she goes.
The problem is she won't use anything other than something that has the texture of a traditional, scoopable litter.

Using a screen with litter on top is the basic idea that I got to work. But, the holes in an actual screen let too much debris (dust, small bits of litter) fall through and contaminate the urine. Also, while digging she would pull up the screen and a bunch of litter would fall through.

What I came up with is a 3 part box. I started with a Feline Pine sifting box (I know you are familiar with those ). I used two of the pieces with the holes with nylon material sandwiched between them. The material doesn't allow any debris through and because it is between the two pieces of plastic she can't dislodge it while digging. I use one of the bottom parts to collect the urine. Works like a champ but it is best if as little as possible of the urine is absorbed so it can fall through and I can't make the litter layer too thin or she won't use it. She is picky about her litter!
post #4 of 20
Is there any reason that you can't use non-clumping clay litter? It looks the same, and has the same texture, but it's much cheaper and simply doesn't clump.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Is there any reason that you can't use non-clumping clay litter? It looks the same, and has the same texture, but it's much cheaper and simply doesn't clump.
I tried clay and it was *super* absorbent! Not much urine made it to the bottom. If anyone knows of a non-clumping that also doesn't absorb very well, that is what I'm looking for.
post #6 of 20
Perhaps you could try some super fine aquarium gravel? That wouldn't absorb anything.

For clay litters, I would say to try a very thin layer of Kroger brand unscented non-clumping clay litter. When I used plain clay that was the least absorbent.

Its too bad she won’t use any other kind of litter. I use the Tidy Cats Breeze box and the pellets for that are designed for the urine to pass straight through, but they aren’t like regular litter at all!

Good luck!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
Perhaps you could try some super fine aquarium gravel? That wouldn't absorb anything.
I've never seen any fine aquarium gravel. All that I've seen have been basically little rocks. I actaully tried that. She wouldn't even consider using it.

Quote:
For clay litters, I would say to try a very thin layer of Kroger brand unscented non-clumping clay litter. When I used plain clay that was the least absorbent.
I'll check that out. Maybe some clays are less absorbant than what I tried.

Quote:
Its too bad she won’t use any other kind of litter. I use the Tidy Cats Breeze box and the pellets for that are designed for the urine to pass straight through, but they aren’t like regular litter at all!
I know, those are much like the Feline Pine pellets I used to use except the FP pellets disintegrate when they get wet. I loved that litter but had to stop using it when I got Jeta.

She's really a great cat but she is a pain when it comes to the litter box! Fortunately though when she doesn't like the litter she'll hold it for a *long* time rather than go on floor or on clothes or something. She once held it for 50 hrs before I finally gave in and gave her back her regular box!
post #8 of 20
If the clay doesn't work maybe you could try crushing up some of the Breeze Pellets? They sell a 3.5lb bag for $7, they don't crumble but I have seen broken ones so you could try putting them in a bag and beating them with a hammer to create non-absorbant sand? I'm reaching here, dunno what else to suggest. Best of luck!
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
If the clay doesn't work maybe you could try crushing up some of the Breeze Pellets? They sell a 3.5lb bag for $7, they don't crumble but I have seen broken ones so you could try putting them in a bag and beating them with a hammer to create non-absorbant sand? I'm reaching here, dunno what else to suggest. Best of luck!
That's an idea! I like hitting things with hammers!

Thanks!
post #10 of 20
As I have posted under the breeze cat box.
I use the breeze box with pellets are use a "small styrofoam
meat tray" and put on top of the pee pad and it collects the urine perfectly for what you need it for.
I am not sure if you said if your cat would use the breeze box. But
if you could use this type it works perfect for collecting urine.
My kitty was a previous UTI kitty, so seeing output gives me a good
idea where we stand on liquid input and I adjust by adding addtl.
water to canned day to day. Good luck.
Brenda
post #11 of 20
Be aware of using clay for that purpose - it will react with the urine, and affect the PH; you will not have a true reading - You want to have a completely inert medium/litter, where the urine passes through and doesn't react with at all.

You might want to consider a system like this:
http://www.felinediabetes.com/SCB/SCBindex.html

Good Luck!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Be aware of using clay for that purpose - it will react with the urine, and affect the PH; you will not have a true reading - You want to have a completely inert medium/litter, where the urine passes through and doesn't react with at all.
What ever I use I will test to make sure it doesn't affect the urine pH. The chicken crumbles that work pretty well don't affect the pH.

Quote:
You might want to consider a system like this:
http://www.felinediabetes.com/SCB/SCBindex.html
That uses safflower seeds as the litter and she won't use them (I tried).
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
What ever I use I will test to make sure it doesn't affect the urine pH. The chicken crumbles that work pretty well don't affect the pH.



That uses safflower seeds as the litter and she won't use them (I tried).
Ok - clay will affect the PH - I can tell you that. Can you get sand?? Like beach sand? If you wash it well, and use a thin layer, the urine would pass through, and not react... Just a thought.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Ok - clay will affect the PH - I can tell you that. Can you get sand?? Like beach sand? If you wash it well, and use a thin layer, the urine would pass through, and not react... Just a thought.
I thought about sand but it seems to me that sand will actually hold quite a bit of water. Maybe not. I'll put it on the "to test" list.

Thanks!
post #15 of 20
there is a corn based litter at the local feed store ... called corn cob DOES NOT clump at all ... used for bird cages and small animals
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
there is a corn based litter at the local feed store ... called corn cob DOES NOT clump at all ... used for bird cages and small animals
Do you know if it is absorbent?
post #17 of 20
Have you asked your vet if there is any other way to test her. Can your vet help you express urine instead of waiting for her to pee in the pan.

I'm guessing she will not use a pan with NO litter in it or just a very tiny bit?
post #18 of 20
it might absorb 10% ... I bought it on accident when I was just learning about chicken feed...
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Have you asked your vet if there is any other way to test her. Can your vet help you express urine instead of waiting for her to pee in the pan.
I want to be able to do test her at home on a regular basis just to verify that her urine pH stays in a good range. It would be a bother to take her to the vet every time I wanted to test.

Quote:
I'm guessing she will not use a pan with NO litter in it or just a very tiny bit?
Empty pan, no way. I tried with just a little litter, no go. My girl knows what she wants and she doesn't compromise easily!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
it might absorb 10% ... I bought it on accident when I was just learning about chicken feed...
Sounds promising. I'll look into it.

Thanks!
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