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change from uncovered to covered litterbox

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
we are wanting to switch ebony's box from an uncovered to a covered. We tried to two weeks ago with no luck because we wanted to change both the type of box and the location of the box and she got confused. We did switch back to her old box and over the last two weeks changed the location with no problems. Last night we tried to put the top on and she started acting wierd. Any suggestion on how to transition her to using a covered box? Or should we give up on trying to get her to use a box that is covered?
post #2 of 21
I am not really speaking from experience in this matter only from common "human" sense which does not always work with felines... however I know its important to keep the filter at the top of the box clean. Felines have aprox. 100x better sense of smell then we do and using an enclosed litter box makes it even worse for them considering what all goes on in there. It shuts off the air flow which tends to dry things out and reduce oder. Would you want to goto the bathroom if it smelled 100x as bad as the average litter box? I think not. That being said, if there is reason enough for you to want to use a covered litter box, perhaps there is a reason to seek some medical advice? We have had 3 cats, and with the exception of worms with our most recent addition (worms can cause stinky poo) there has been absoutly no reason to use a covered box except to contain the litter itself. Depending on which litter you use this is a problem that can solve itself as well.

I use "Feline Pine" myself which is little rabbit food looking pellets of pine shavings. As they get wet they absorbe the liquid and expand turning into a semi powder state but they continue to absorb even then as well as air dry while combating oder besides. If you want to scoop solids that works as well as it is flushable (dont dump the whole box in the john or you might have issues). I find the litter to easily dump into a garbage bag and with a couple taps or a lite push with a scraper the box is "clean" enough to last a few more changings before rinseing even becomes necessary. There is a slight tracking issue as it becomes more and more used, but it does not clump to their feet or leave clay prints on furnature because its all wood chips - wood is VERY thirsty material and soaks up liquids great. After trying silicon, clay, clumping and some others I have found this to work the best for our cats, even when we recently had one with kidney problems.

I am curious, what was it that made you switch to a covered box?
post #3 of 21
The problem with covered boxes (in my experience) is that you have to wash them every day to their brand new status. I had no problems with transition. As a matter of fact, my cats enjoyed the privacy. BUT, they stopped using it because of the odor problem only they could sense. Although I washed it everyday, somehow I couldn't get out whatever they smelled. I gave up and now its uncovered boxes for all 4.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi
The problem with covered boxes (in my experience) is that you have to wash them every day to their brand new status. I had no problems with transition. As a matter of fact, my cats enjoyed the privacy. BUT, they stopped using it because of the odor problem only they could sense. Although I washed it everyday, somehow I couldn't get out whatever they smelled. I gave up and now its uncovered boxes for all 4.
Wow! I am really shocked you had to do that daily!!! Our cats do not appear to mind if there is used litter. I am not sure if they just are that laid back or they are used to it. Since we got the new one I have been working a little harder to keep them clean, especially easier since we have 2 not 3 (third had kidney problems) so this is like a vacation for me.

What kind of litter did/do you use and have you tried anything with enzymes to clean it or just regular household cleaners? Also how often do you change the filter in the top of the lid when you used it?
post #5 of 21
I scoop out the dirty litter twice a day. I know I overdo but I can't stand looking at used litter. I use clumping litter (Tidy Cats and Fresh'n Easy).
When the covered litterbox (I had only 1) was still acceptable, I washed it with water and detergent and then wipe it with Simple Solution. Maybe I missed some spots. I guess my cats have super sensitive noses or something.
post #6 of 21
My boys hated the commercially available covered boxes for the reasons stated by others- the stench disgusted them, etc. No amount of cleaning seemed to make them happy, and while they used it without messing up elsewhere, the looks they gave me were deadly.

So my boyfriend built a wooden "outhouse", the footprint of which wasn't too much larger than the box, but it is very tall in comparison. It has a front, tunneling portal door, and on the right side is a large trap door- in fact the whole side opens up when unlatched to slide out the box sideways for cleaning.

Also, there are airvents on top and on the sides- which are done up to look like little windows- it's very adorable, the whole little house- so cute that visitors marvel no one has these sorts of Kitty outhouses for sale anywhere!

Anyway, there is enough floor room inside to tuck beside the box a tall spaghetti holder- like container of baking soda which really does help the stink (in addition to regular cleaning, of course, and baking soda mixed in the litter, too).

Now my boys come out of their little boudoir/bathroom with the look of ultimate triumph and satisfaction- no more scowls or dirty looks! They LOVE it!

So if you have a handy person around, this sort of custom deal can be built in 2 hours max, and gussied up with paint and fun details like ours, and really be great for the cat(s) plus become a creative addtion to your house to boot! I'll try to get a photo of ours to round out what I'm saying (but my camera is busted just now, so it may take a bit...)

Imagine something like this picture, but the structure is made of cheapie plywood and the entrance (porch here) is thinner and like a tunnel entry (gives the cats a sense of true privacy).










Quote:
Originally Posted by berylayn
we are wanting to switch ebony's box from an uncovered to a covered. We tried to two weeks ago with no luck because we wanted to change both the type of box and the location of the box and she got confused. We did switch back to her old box and over the last two weeks changed the location with no problems. Last night we tried to put the top on and she started acting wierd. Any suggestion on how to transition her to using a covered box? Or should we give up on trying to get her to use a box that is covered?






















post #7 of 21
Wow, I must have a more laid-back cat than I thought!
Eponine seems to enjoy her covered litter box much more than the uncovered one I originally bought her. I think it's the privacy that she enjoys the most.
I didn't know you had to clean them daily though! I have a Litter Locker and remove clumps daily, but I only water/detergent clean once a month. Eppie doesn't seem to have any litter box issues, so do I really need to wash/completely change the litter daily?
Amy
post #8 of 21
Amy, I'm with you... Smokie does not mind her covered litter box at all. In fact, she spends more time in there than necessary! I'll hear her in there for 5 minutes just scratching at the walls. I don't know what she's doing. She does this around her food bowls, too. Anyway, I scoop daily and clean and replace litter 2-3x a month. She doesn't use the clumping kind, I hear that can last longer?? Anyway, I think some cats just can't go in a covered box. My boyfriend's cat hovers on the corner of his uncovered box to do his business. I'd like to get him a covered box, but don't know how he'd ever go if he can't put all 4 paws on the corner!
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirque
I am curious, what was it that made you switch to a covered box?

Ebony was having some issues about a month back with playing in her litter box and actually taking the poop out and batting it around the house. There is a whole other thread called 'poopy apartment' that I had going about a month back.

I thoght maybe switching her box would discourage her behavior. So I went out and bought the box and now she does not want to use it. I hear some cats will never use a covered box. Perhaps I'll just have to get another cat and save the covered box for 'new kitty'
post #10 of 21
I guess I have the world's most laid-back cats. They used the uncovered dishpan that I had for a makeshift litterbox when I first brough them home, and they adjusted instantly to the covered litterbox, without having to transition. They also eat whatever I put in front of them, and let me pick them up and clip their claws.

Blessed easy motherhood I have.
post #11 of 21
I have 3 covered litter boxes for 4 cats and they all love them. Sometimes more than they should. I have covered boxes mainly because my dogs just love kitty rocha.
post #12 of 21
I heard it was just a matter of taste... some cats like covered litterboxes, some don't. I only completely dump everything and clean the litterbox after a few weeks, definitely not daily! Baylee doesn't mind, but then again she's been a very cool cat when it comes to random changes.
post #13 of 21
Ariana, I meant "scoop" not clean the entire litter. I edited my post. Like you I do the overall cleaning every two months.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi
Ariana, I meant "scoop" not clean the entire litter. I edited my post. Like you I do the overall cleaning every two months.
Oh okay! Phew, I was feeling like I was a bad cat owner!
post #15 of 21
Could you try giving her two boxes to choose from - a covered box and an uncovered box?

Another idea might be to try a high-sided box. Our Oreo, who doesn't like covered boxes, will use this high-sided box (click here). It helps to keep the litter in pretty well, and it's good for Oreo because he tends to spray on the back wall of the box. He's neutered, and doesn't spray outside the box, but for some reason he sprays when he pees - none of the other cats do that

Every week or so (depending on the box) I'll completely wash out the boxes - either dump the litter if it's dirty, or if it's scoopable litter & clean I'll pour it into another container while I wash the boxes. After washing the boxes, I spray the boxes & covers with Stink-free litterbox spray (click here). It seals the plastic to prevent odor from seeping in (so you don't have to keep replacing your boxes), and keeps litter from sticking to the box. I have to wash & recoat the box Oreo uses every week because of his spraying - the other box with scoopable litter can go a couple of weeks, and the Feline Pine boxes get washed when the litter is used up (turns to sawdust).

Right now we have 4 boxes for our 4 indoor cats, and are using Feline Pine in two of them & Swheat Scoop in two. I like the litter crystals, but they just can't keep up with the volume of urine produced by 4 senior cats. They'd probably work well for a single-cat home, though.
post #16 of 21
Beryl, So sorry that Miss Ebony is having a little bit of a challenge right now. I wish I could help, but no hx of any litter issues. But I did want to thank Tuxedo for that link very much! Quite helpful for my house!
post #17 of 21
I have 6 litter boxes for 6 cats.

3 are covered; 3 are uncovered. They're on different levels of my house in as-private-as-possible locations.

I have noticed that some of my cats prefer the uncovered ones, in a certain location of the house; some prefer the covered ones.

I guess it depends on their choice. Maybe if you set out a covered box and an uncovered box in your chosen location -- and let your cat choose and/or get used to both? Then perhaps make the switchover, once he gets used to the idea of liking the covered box?

Re: cleaning them -- I scoop the poop daily (I use Tidy Cats for multiple cats... don't like clumping litter so I use clay) and dump & scrub in the tub once a week. The boxes with tops -- I use Lysol wipes and then use a towel to dry off the wipey stuff.

Covered boxes certainly look better, but there are just some cats who refuse to use the covered kind! I have one such cat, her name is Jessie... if the uncovered boxes are occupied she would rather pee on the floor. I think she's a tad bit claustrophobic along with being a schitzo-kitty!
post #18 of 21
I had the same problem with the boys when I switched them to a covered box. To minimize the left over smell, I wipe the Booda Dome down with Petkin Litter Wipes or spray it with Vetbasis Odor Control (depends on which one I have in stock). I find that the Petkin Litter Wipes work best. Give it a try! .
post #19 of 21
My kitties really didn't go for covered litter boxes so uncovered it is!
post #20 of 21
Sorry I have no advice, just observations from my own kitties. I have 2 covered litter boxes and 1 uncovered. A few of my cats won't use the covered ones. Well, Chuckie is one that won't use one, but he is so big, I don't think he can fit inside of them very well...he's almost too big for the uncovered one too!
post #21 of 21
I've made the switch twice with no problem. I did it with my tuxedos because Oreo kicks the litter like he is digging to China. I scooped out the open box and dumped the contents into the new box sans cover. After a few day I put the cover on. I did the same thing with my Siamese. Now I have my sons cat. I am using my spare open box. What a mess. A new Boodaloo is on the way. Hope it works.
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