The cats and I, we got our shit together.

We've been through the litter wars lately.
The Tortie cat, Silmi — also known as Her Evilness — has been periodically deciding that rugs are better than boxes.
(No, she's not ill, just a little sick, as it were.)

So many rugs are now rolled up and put away.
Or off being cleaned.
One room is just closed.
And we've been trying to fix the box situation, to make her happier with it.
I now have a litter box crammed into the small bathroom downstairs (so nice for company).

And since we now have a box literally underfoot in my bathroom, we are revisiting the litter question.
We have been hunting around for months.

Your basic clay is really heavy, dusty, and there is some concern about silicon in it.
And besides, I really prefer to have the clumping kind, since I can keep the box cleaner.

NOTE:

!!!!Cat turds that are flushed are linked to illness in sea otters!!!!

Cat turds get scooped separately and added to the garbage.
Luckily the lady cats don't seem to believe in burying anything anymore, so that makes the process a little easier, and more immediate.
The guys think using boxes at all is unnatural, uncatlike and just icky.

At first I was using just standard, multi-cat flushing litter.

Thumb_15334_6807dThumb_15586_683cdThumb_15341_67e81

It clumped just fine.
It clumped to the bottom of the box.
It clumped to the spatula-thingy I cleaned the box with.
It clumped in the pipes at times, despite promising it wouldn't.
Picture me very crabby.

Time for a change.

Tom came home with litter the store guys swore wouldn't do that:

And sure enough, it didn't.
It was very nice, and scooped tidily.
But it started growing pantry moths in the bag and box.
(I was fighting an infestation and had cleaned and tossed everything, but they kept coming. Out of the cat litter.)
So I read the bag closely and discovered it was made from corn.
Food corn.
Even discounting the moth issue, I just can't do this.
Or this:

These are both made from real grain.
Food.
I am unable to think it is moral to put down a foodstuff for my pet to pee on.

So I kept looking.
These two looked good:

Thumb_50828_487414755720003B

But nothing would convince Tortie that pokey pellets were litter.
The wood one smelled nice, though.

Anyway, finally I found this kind:

TA DA.

SIlmi will use it, and even likes to dig in it, enthusiastically.
It's soft, and flies around really well.
(Not dusty though.)
It clumps perfectly adequately, but mostly falls apart into slime when flushed.
If I keep a think layer of it, it never just clumps to the bottom.
And when she cleverly goes against the edge of the pan, it pulls right off.
And it's really, really light.
And made from corncobs.
There are another couple of brands, but this is the only one I can find locally.

Of course, Silmi still likes rugs, but Hen is happy with this one.

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45 responses to this post.

  1. Interesting. I use a clumping litter, but don't flush any of it. Into the garbage.
    I have Elvis' box in the guest bathtub but he still seems to get litter EVERYWHERE. I have no idea how he can be this messy, especially when he doesn't always bury his pee and often poops outside the box. I tell him he's supposed to think outside the box, not poop outside the box. It doesn't really matter, since he still does it in the tub where it's easy to clean up.
    I can close the curtain to hide it and he can still get in.

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  2. Well, they get these things in their heads.i hesitate to call them ideas.And really you can't get at them.He decided the tub is it.End of debate.At least it isn't the rug.(Am I whining? Damn straight I am.)

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  3. Kitty poop talk. Yep that is what I like about my hood. I currently have 0 cats. Just Annie & I, but the old timers around here say ground up walnut shells are the best cat litter. Now how they get it, I am not sure.

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  4. hee! mee too, georgia. don't understand kitty litter very well, but i love the hard-hitting, in-depth coverage provided here. and any time buz or her nibbleness has some feedback on bunny litter, i wanna hear about it… where else are we gonna go for this kinda info? thanks lauowolf!

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  5. Just wanted to give you folks the straight scoop.

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  6. Great post… since we recently moved continent we're in the process of trying out all the different available kitty litter brands to find out what's best…. for everybody. I don't flush, so main kitty litter complaints here are….. a) too light, gets all the way up into my bed – euwww, b) too dusty, dries the paw pads to cracking… there are two untested bags to go still, one of which is disturbingly lightweight… Fortunately… having moved to the temperate zone.. smelliness is suddenly not really an issue…. compared to what it was in the tropix… where the clumpy stuff would clump all by its own from the air humidity…

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  7. I hadn't heard of One Earth but if I ever need to change I'll check it out. We use World's Best and I like that it is edible (kitty likes to stick her face in the litter). Biggest problem is that she is black and she's always walking around covered in dust and it does track everywhere (I think this is probably true of every kind). We just started getting moths…not sure if it's the time of year, but I had better check the stored litter to be sure. That would suck.Tried Feline Pine, it took forever to get that cat pee smell out of the house…that stuff didn't cover up anything. I really wanted to like it. I think my MIL uses Yesterday's News for her litter-trained bunnies and they like it.

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  8. YIKE Redz!!I deleted you when I meant to reply!!!(It's being off coffee that does it — my brain is mush by three in the afternoon.)What I was going to saaaay, was,Lucky you that Miss Sippy warns you when she is contemplating rug devastation.Silmi is a stealth pee-er, and slinks off to be bad, and we only figure it out when the room starts smelling.

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  9. And this is from REDZ, that I deleted because I am a spaz:We use the wheat scoop stuff, which has not caused me any moral
    dilemmas after a childhood of watching wheat burned by the side of the
    road, because it wasn't sufficiently "food grade." The rug thing still
    happens, but only when the box isn't cleaned to the demands of Miss
    Sippy. Thankfully, she prefers to give fair warning, by running around
    the house, raising hell and digging in a threatening manner at the
    various rugs. Then one of us goes, "Oh, shit, quick, scoop, scoop
    before she poops on the rug."

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  10. OMG, this is so awesome. Reading your post and then the comments makes me realize how very much I have missed you guyz!!!! I am just barely slinkin' around the Vox 'hood cuz of time constraints. Once I get my Alaska trip over with (hahaha…..I can't WAIT to get there) I will be home working the rest of the summer. Then, I'll catch up! But, cat litter discussions! Yessss! We are down to three cats. Will get up to four when Ashlee comes home. (she has talked dad into letting her get a kitten…rofl). We keep the cats out of the bedrooms and the basement, just because they are more tempted to do something they shouldn't when they are left more alone. So, at night they either go outside (Eli) or inside a crate (Gree and Pinto together). They love it this way. 1030 pm every night the two crate cats show up for thier snack and go to bed in their crate. Eli gets his snack in the garage. But, I digress (story of my life).We keep the bedroom/bathroom/basement doors shut and no one has accidents. Until the kids are home and leave doors open. Yes…it's sometimes a big pain, but it works out well in the long run.We still have all kinds of puke stains on the floor, dog and cat, but who can help that?:)Thanks for the discussion. Where else can you blob about feline toiletries?

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  11. That's a lot about cat litter! I remember nights in our apartment when we had this gray cat named "Mrs. Kitty". She was a fanatic about covering up her poop. We'd be in bed at night and we'd hear her scratching and pawing and scratching and pawing – for like 15 minutes. She would work at it so long we'd start laughing. Then in the morning I go in the bathroom and see that she had actually completely missed the box. It's like she'd back up to the edge and all the poop goes over the side. She got quite good at it.

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  12. Oh, we had a cat that did that.Turns out he was standing in the box, on the litter, with his rear end hanging over the edge.Somewhat unclear on the whole concept….The all the scratching, because no matter how much the litter in the box gets moved, it isn't burying anything.We finally got a really deep (like a foot or so) plastic storage box, and things improved.They have little walnut-sized brains.Sometimes it shows.

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  13. um…i dunno about walnut-sized brains (Princess Indy would have my innards for suggesting such a thing) but…ahhh…the sitting in the box, rear end hanging over the edge? she does that, sometimes. i swear she does it deliberately just to create more work for me. other times i think the bench seat effect feels more comfortable and civilized for her, so i've just surrounded her entire litter box with an additional litter moat about an extra foot all around. but i'm not turning the kitchen playroom into a giant litter box. there i draw the line.

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  14. OMG–lauowolf, you just got kitty litter on the TIG feature page. LOL, that's perfect.

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  15. Hi. I am new to Vox and have been kinda looking around, saw your post and just ahd to read it!!! I really enjoyed hearing the antics of other cats. I grew up with cats (my parents currently have 11-inside and out). I had to share this with my mom, she battles quite constantly with certain cats that refuse to step into the litterbox and prefer the floor….. So, thanks for making me laugh and brightening my day!

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  16. hey lauo, congrats on the [this is good] shoutout. they did, however, censored shit to sh*tcensorship = not coolshit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit

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  17. Informative and fun! Thanks and Congrats on TIG.

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  18. Edgar sometimes does the over-the-edge thing, but his butt is higher than the edge so he can't use the bench seat reason. The best he does at covering is to scratch at the sides of the pan itself… walnut-sized indeed.
    I can't remember where, but wasn't it on vox somewhere that someone showed how bad Yesterday's News is because of bits of metal and plastic found in the pellets (or it might have been on a bun site I linked to from here somewhere). I use Scoop Away and have never had any problems. I've tried crystals – ick, and President's Choice "green" litter – disgusting (smelled worse than the pee and poop). And when I scoop, I add a bit of baking soda before I top up the litter.
    Thought you weren't supposed to flush litter???
    Congrats on [TIG] – I somehow missed this post until I saw it posted there.

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  19. lol at mariser. i just now noticed that too: "hm, what's that asterisk doing there, i could have sworn lauo knew how to spell…hey!" *looks at mariser's comment again* do you think they'd un-TIG a post once it's already on the Explore page?

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  20. Hooray for [TIG] recognition!
    Hooray for Mariser, our vigilant protector of free speech! It's great to have you back!

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  21. [this is shit] Sippy never accidentally misses the box, but she is a total retard when it comes to burying. It goes like this: hop into box, scratch-scratch, brief silence, ten-minute symphony of scratching. Go to open the litter box and lo and behold–a perfect little pile of poop, unburied. She's just spent ten minutes scratching at the litter box and on the inside of the litter box lid, instead of the litter. This used to horrify Flanny so much that she often followed Sippy to bury the turds. Now she's over it, but it makes it easy to take stool samples to the vet. The buried turd is Flanny's. The unburied turd is Sippy's.

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  22. heh. sippy just considers her poop performance art

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  23. Thought you weren't supposed to flush litter??? Depends on the litter. I messed up our sewer for flushing clumping clay litter several years ago (in my defense I was 19 and had never used clumping litter…I had been used to only scooping the poo into the toidy for my cat when I was growing up). Our rooter guy was none too pleased. Neither was my wallet.My kitty was starting to poop over the sides about two years ago so I switched her to a covered box. It was then that I stopped using the clay…if she was going to be stuck in a covered box to do her bidniss (as we call it) I didn't want her inhaling all that dust. Congrats on the TIG!

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  24. i generally use the scoop away stuff, and the Keekster doesn't seem to mind it. might have to give that One Earth stuff a shot though, cuz i hate the dust. she does, however, have a really odd penchant for peeing in various and sundry places outside the box–but i swear she only does it when she's in heat. i keep having to scrub at the carpets to keep them from smelling. i think it's something to do with the local tomcats outside the house and marking her territree. (hopefully once she's spayed it'll stop, cuz i never had any problems before she started going into heat)
    great post!

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  25. Congrats on making it to the Explore page by writing about your cats' poop 🙂
    Make sure they know they're famous!

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  26. shitshitshitshitshitshitshit?Gad, you're turning into the Hencat.

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  27. Speaking of cats being horrified by cats.When I was a kid someone gave my mom a beautiful marmie boy (creatively named Yellowcat) who had had an unfortunate kitten-hood.The people who had him just left him out in a cemented-over backyard all the time.No box, so he thought that was what cement was for.So at our house he'd run outside, and use the sidewalk.Our tabby boy, Napoleon (and he was aptly named), thought this was just awful.He'd slug the kid, and then try scratching grass over the messes.And then hold the marmie down and clean the hell out of him (cleaning himself adequately was another area of proper kitten training he'd missed).Eventually this was all just so humiliating that the kitty just gave up and started using the yard, and grooming himself properly, just out of self-defense.

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  28. Congrats on making it on the Homepage! Having 3 cats, we feel your pain.

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  29. congrats on the [tig], lauowolf! we'll look into those kinds you recommend for the Miao Bros. we're going to be changing theirs sometime soon to something more environmentally responsible and these look like good recommendations.

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  30. Do you have multiple cats? The one cat who is skipping the box might hate to share. That happened in our household–one cat suddenly decided she wanted her own box and refused to use any box that had been touched by one of the others. We have a big (and already scary) basement, so we upped the fear factor down there by installing one box for each cat, plus one overflow box (for a total of five boxes). Anyway thanks for the litter recommendation, I've never been happy with any of the litter products so I will give it a try!

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  31. Impressive. I applaud your thoroughness! ^_^

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  32. Congrats on TIG!!!

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  33. Neener, neener, you got TIG'd! You been scooped up!

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  34. Awesome.We don't flush any of it, our pipes clog very easily.

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  35. Hee, hee! Congrats on the TIG for this kind of topic! (I use Everclean from Petsmart- I hope that one isn't too environmentally unfriendly.)

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  36. My feline absolutely refuses to use his litter box, and thankfully doesn't do his business anywhere else in the house. He insists on going outside. I am the official human door opener. He also doesn't touch any of my flower beds. So honestly I have absolutely no clue where he goes. I'm just thankful I don't have to clean it up or have to smell it.
    We have 100 acres, so he goes somewhere out there. lol

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  37. Congrats on the [TIG]! Which is where I saw this, and of course the title intrigued me…I'm thinking of starting an advice column here, and so in that spirit, will pass along a "Clever Clue from ChickenGrrl," gleaned from umpteen years of being a "crazy cat lady." I can't tell from your post how many cats or litter boxes you have, but I read once that you should have one litter box per cat, plus one (i.e., if you have 2 cats, you need 3 litter boxes). I know that sounds like a lot, and it is, but when we had four, it was the only way to keep things under control. Every time we tried to take one away (even when we had 3 in a row in one room!), we paid the price — in poop! Anyway, just a bit of unsolicited advice that maybe someone can use. Great post; I'm going to "favorite" it so I can refer back to your scientific litter tests, should our remaining two girls decide they're too precious for the Precious Cat we've used for years! 😉

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  38. I think of myself as a crazy cat lady in training.The tortie's issues seem to revolve around the existence of our other cats, whether they are near her box or not..

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  39. god, redzilla, it is such a relief to hear that your cat scratches for ten minutes in the litter box without actually burying anything. fred darling has done that his whole life and i thought it was my fault (for, say, not cleaning out the litterbox often enough when he was a kitty). i feel absolved.

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  40. Is the One Earth litter compostable? We're currently using Feline Pine, which is working fairly well for us, although one of our cats really prefers finer grained litter (Sophie is very fickle, and will often poop on the floor if she thinks it's time for the box to be cleaned).And so I don't get anyone freaking out about my family putting the old litter in the compost heap, rest assured we don't grow anything in our yard that's edible (if we did, the neighborhood deer would probably eat the veggies before we got the chance to).

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  41. So far as I can tell it is compostable.I don't have the bag itself around to check, but I goggled it and it looks as if it should — and also the wheat and corn ones should.

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  42. Urraca scratches for ages and then doesn't cover anything up… he'll scratch the sides of the box vigorously and the floor around it, but touch the litter? no way! Yuck, you never know what might be in there… He's hand raised, so I thought/think it was my inadequate parental guidance and lack of example to follow….

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  43. You'll never know how much I appreciate your post! I've got 6 cats and am always on a quest to find the best litter 🙂

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  44. We've been using Tidy Cats for years (I don't flush – just scoop and throw away), but I bet it's too cheap to be healthy – for the environment, or for my cats. And it clumps well, but it also clumps to the box, the scooper… you know what I'm talking about.I may look into more environmentally-friendly choices – thanks for the recommendations, and congrats on TIG! 🙂

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  45. congrats on the [tig]!
    seems like I keep reading stuff when I'm busy and not commenting…
    I'm so glad I don't have to pick up Elvy's pee!

    Reply

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