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Help me design the perfect litter box

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My name is Jarod Beukelman and I have been a cat lover pretty much my whole life. these are my two cats, Nigel and Poussin.



I am also an aspiring design student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah GA.

My goal with this thread is to aid in the design of a brand new modern litter box. I am currently gathering knowledge to help inform this process....

If you love to talk about your cats, please please please take my quick survey. Your information will be kept entirely confidential and with your permission it will be doing a great service to help in my goal!

Survey: *** http://tinyurl.com/nkhxzw ***

But this thread doesn't have to stop here! What do you think would make the best litter box?

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 19
Designing a box for cats must have the cats in mind first and foremost, otherwise they won't use the box. While people will have desires of their own, unless you understand what cats like about litter boxes, you won't be successful. Marry the 2 and you will come up with something wonderful.

I wish you luck with your endeavors!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thats a great point! Well I have a good idea of what my cats like. But what do you think your cats need?
post #4 of 19
What cats like and what they need are 2 different questions. I need water. I prefer flavored liquids.

What do they need? Someplace to go where they do not feel threatened and is clean so that that they don't spread disease.

What do they want? That's where questions on a survey would be better. I know that mine generally like big open boxes (most litter boxes sold today are too small), and enough of them so that they can pee in one and poop in another. Some like their privacy, and others would prefer if I put the box in the middle of the living room (show offs). Some like one brand of litter and other prefer another. Some don't care if they share a box and others like to have their own. None like a stinky box, and I'm not just talking about the litter, I'm talking about the box itself.

You'll get answers all over the board if you asked what people's cats preferred. There isn't an ultimate single design.
post #5 of 19
My cats need a large box width and length (or maybe thats me that needs that because I have one that splashes litter). Tall sides, except for the entrance, so they can enter easily.

My cats do not like or use covered boxes.

As far as athestically for a box, this is the perfect box for me and my kitties. If you are looking for mechanically, I have no clue.

Welcome to TCS, your kitties are adorable.
post #6 of 19
I use three large rubbermaid tubs and they have probably 50lbs of litter in each. They are too heavy for me to lift up, so I tip them when I want to wash down the sides. I think I'd have the smell under control if I didn't have a whole male. His urine is so strong I have to replace all of his litter every few weeks instead of just topping up like I do in the others. I sprinkle in baking powder once in a while to freshen it a bit more.
post #7 of 19
high sides, long, open - my kitties do not like closed boxes. They also don't like small boxes, and most of the ones sold out there are quite small.
post #8 of 19
My litterbox is a house with a door, I use a litter box inside that fits exactly without sliding and use Fresh Step crystal silica litter. I also use a plastic mat in front of the litterbox with a floating floor - the litter falls through to bottom pan when he exits. My cat seems to like it. He's 5 years old, never had an accident outside the litter box.

...and here's Marshmallow
post #9 of 19

how about high sides made out of see through plastic? That way the cat could look out and feel safe as it can see who's coming and the litter stays in the box.


post #10 of 19
I completed the survey - I've got the worst "litter kicker" around but I can't have high sides due to young kittens and the Persians don't seem to like the high sides.
post #11 of 19
I have been looking for the perfect litter box and still cannot find it. What I would like is high sides, jumbo size, not covered, with an entry opening. I have very large cats, even the so called "jumbo" litter pan is too small for them. I have been using Sterilite containers but they do not look too good in my bathroom.

This Petmate is one of the biggest I could find. I also like there is storage attatched. It could be hard for kittens or some breeds to get in and out.
post #12 of 19
my favorite litter box ever looked like a tuperware storage container with a hole cut in the top off to one side. It was amazing. No litter on the ground! I saw it at a cat shelter one day. The cats just jump in and out of it from the hole in the top, and they get their privacy and your floor stays clean.
post #13 of 19
A couple of suggestions:

I use the wood stove pellets, and it would be nice to have a litter shifter in the pan, but the pan needs to be large (length/width - not height) for my guys. The shifter should have handles on the sides where you can just pick it up and then dump the used from the pan.

The other suggestion is to have a pan where 3 sides have a plastic shield (about a foot taller then the box) for cats that stand up to pee/spray. This would be good for breeders with studs. Shield has to be on the inside of the pan of course.
post #14 of 19
I have a cat that seems to have trouble aiming their rear end, so I end up with waste on the outside of the litterbox, even with a "jumbo" box. SHe tries to back herself into the corner sometimes, but it just ends up on the wall (YUCK!) So something more like a ferret or rabbit litter box would work well if it was bigger. Those boxes tend to be triangular to fit into the corners of pens, which would also make them fit nicely into room corners. They also tend to have a lower front with the two sides that fit into the corners being much taller. And a sifter bottom would be a very clever addition indeed. But I've never had a cat that can stand covered litter boxes, but others have cats that will ONLY use the covered kind, so I wonder if you could come up with an optional cover addition. Hope you manage to get some great ideas from all the posts!
post #15 of 19
I use rubbermade bins for litter boxes, some of them have the lid with a hole cut into it, some don't have the lids on. One of my cats will pee standing up. The rubbermade bins are 15 inches tall, and so far no pee has made it out of the boxes.
post #16 of 19
store and bought a large rubber like feeding bin. It's about 40 inches by 25 inches. Sides are about 9 inches high and it has curved corners so its easy to clean. Holds 50 lbs of litter and fits nicely into a large closet. I have a night light and a white piece of material on a rod for privacy, yet they can see. This one large box eliminates the need for multiple boxes. Never an accident outside the box, I clean it in the am and pm. I have 7 cats that use it. Would never go back to the traditional boxes. Also, litter boxes that have only one entrance IMO are not that good. Cats need to pick the spot they enter the box. They will tend to not use it if they can't step where it is clean. Also, high totes tend to trap amonia. I knew someone who used them and they were not nice!!
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
Those boxes tend to be triangular to fit into the corners of pens, which would also make them fit nicely into room corners. They also tend to have a lower front with the two sides that fit into the corners being much taller. And a sifter bottom would be a very clever addition indeed.
This might work without the top on. Sometimes I discard the top and use only the bottom half of the covered boxes.

post #18 of 19
IMO I have just bought a near perfect litter box.

I have 4 cats, this one box, and ZERO problems. I clean it 3-4 times a day, they are happy and I love not having to use a scooper.

But, it could be better...

1) It's difficult to add additional litter, you have to remove the entire lid, which pops out the grate area and becomes difficult to reassemble if there is litter already in it.

2) It can be hard to roll if you have a tad too much litter in it and can cause a mess by tipping too far into one direction. It would be nice if the litter automatically rolled back into the basin once upright instead of having to shift the litter back after every use.

3) It's a tad small - sure it takes up a lot of space, but is there some other way to do this that could make it a bit roomier for the cats?

4) I actually like that it is manual. Automatic parts seem to be so clunky and get messed up if there are a couple cats who always go in one spot.

5) I would love some kind of deodorizer. Nothing floral but something that could neutralize the smell.

6) A better litter catcher for when the cats exit the box.

Hahah - ok so it looks like I have a bunch of nitpicks, but for the most part I really do love this box. But any improvements you could make would be great!

I think overall - for me - anything that makes my cats happy and cleaning up as quick as possible for me is a winner.
post #19 of 19
Thanks for that link! That would almost work, but the back sides without the top on would still probably not be high enough to prevent Loudmouth's little "Overflow" incidents. One thing I recently thought of though... How do you get the litter sifter back down through the litter after you clean it out?
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