Author Topic: Cat Litter  (Read 11033 times)

garion

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Cat Litter
« on: April 08, 2016, 10:32:38 AM »
Hi all,

We acquired a kitten about 6 months ago (uncharacteristically impulsive decision due to an adorable tiny mammal and my late-20s-childless-female maternal instinct). I am looking for advice on optimizing the cat litter box situation. I generally buy fairly fancy litter (Fresh Step or Scoop Away) from the grocery store, fill the box, scoop/refill as needed, and then dump and wash it every few weeks. Cat litter tracks everywhere, which is annoying, and it can stick to the floor if it gets wet.

Does anyone have any experience optimizing the litter situation economically/time-wise/etc? Any advice would be appreciated!

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 10:38:05 AM »
In terms of prolonging your cat-litter, scooping it out daily (if not 2x per day) is a must.  The less frequently you scoop, the faster you go through cat litter and/or the more unsanitary it becomes. Not to mention it helps with overall odor.

As for keeping cat little in check - again scooping litter daily helps (the cats feel less of a need to fling litter everywhere to bury their poop).  We've had good luck getting a cheap rubber mat (the kind used for entrance-ways with a textured surface on the top side) which traps the litter as the cats exit the box.  1-2x a week we fold the mat and pour it back into the litter box.

CostCo has had the best prices for us on cat litter ($8/50lb box).

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 10:42:21 AM »
In terms of prolonging your cat-litter, scooping it out daily (if not 2x per day) is a must.  The less frequently you scoop, the faster you go through cat litter and/or the more unsanitary it becomes. Not to mention it helps with overall odor.

As for keeping cat little in check - again scooping litter daily helps (the cats feel less of a need to fling litter everywhere to bury their poop).  We've had good luck getting a cheap rubber mat (the kind used for entrance-ways with a textured surface on the top side) which traps the litter as the cats exit the box.  1-2x a week we fold the mat and pour it back into the litter box.

CostCo has had the best prices for us on cat litter ($8/50lb box).

Thanks! I definitely should get more on top of the scooping situation. We might be able to do with cheaper litter that way as well because the reason we buy the expensive stuff is to keep odor controlled. But I didn't know it was related to the litter getting everywhere, so that is helpful. I'll also look into getting a mat.

Orvell

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 10:43:20 AM »
My solution is this:
I get fancy litter (World's Best Cat Litter) which is corn based and decomposes and doesn't actively do terrible things to beast and environment. It's more expensive, but it lasts about twice as long before getting super nasty. Also, not causing cancer yay!

I scoop every morning and take out the trash on my way to work. 2-3 weeks after initial filling, I top off the box with more litter to replenish things, and every month and a half I 100% dump the litter and wash things.
I have a rubber rug I put under the litterbox that's corrugated and catches at least most of the 'sandbox play time' litter that escapes.

Litter will always escape. A vacuum is your friend.
I'm always tempted to try a closed litterbox to see if that helps? Maybe someone here has an answer to that one.

Basically I'm doing what you're doing. I haven't economized or optimized beyond that.

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 10:50:16 AM »
I buy the generic clumping litter at Petco by the bucket (I bought the bucket once and now I just bring it in for refills).  It's unscented and low dust.  My cat likes it.  I dump the whole bucket into a fairly large and deep litter box.  Scoop very carefully every day.  Once the litter level goes down so that the bottom of the litter box starts getting wet when used and clumps start sticking to it, I dump the whole thing, wash the box carefully and refill with fresh litter.  I have the box sitting on a square of old flat weave carpet so most of the tracked litter stays on it (it's easy to lift and shake off).   I keep a small broom and pan nearby to sweep up any litter that gets tracked around the box. This system works well with my cat.  She is very particular about a clean litter box.

Here is a link to the best litter box advise I found.  That is pretty much what I follow.  http://www.catinfo.org/?link=litterbox

Nola584

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
My cat likes to try to dig a hole every time she uses the litter box. The solution for me was to get the Tidy Cats Breeze system and then put that whole box inside a big Rubbermaid container (clear). Pellets still occasionally escape but it's much better than the other solutions I tried. The enclosed boxes never helped that much by themselves.

It's not the cheapest solution, but the pellets only have to be changed out once a month and the pads once a week (per instructions, and this works well in practice), cleaning in between this of course.

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 11:16:15 AM »
Number of things you need to consider.

1. Cats have preferences. There is clay or "sand" litter generally, though probably pellet is another type (I'm not switching to find out). Use whichever they prefer and don't mess with it or suffer the consequences.
2. Within those broad types, they have preferences. I used Fresh Step for years, and stopped because they got much dustier. Mine don't like Tidy Cats, and when I tried it they informed me that it was not acceptable. I tried 4 different brands of litters before I settled on Arm & Hammer (or the yellow box if I got the name wrong) as acceptable to both cat and human. For clay litters, I think they're pretty much all the same, so go with the cheapest brand (though I don't use...)
3. If you're lucky, your cat's preferences are vague, so you have more flexibility in brands. If you are unlucky, stick with what they like regardless of cost. If you don't, they may not use the box.
4. Clay litter needs to be replaced every week or two. Sand type will last much longer, typically several months, maybe more with daily scooping. Number of cats will affect that as well.
5. Cats are quite unhappy about a dirty litterbox. The definition of dirty is theirs, not yours. If they consider it too dirty, they won't use it and you'll suffer the consequences.
6. Cats also develop preferences for size and type of litterboxes, and depth of litter. Some like enclosed, some don't. Some want lots of room. Some like higher sides. In general, the bigger the cat, the bigger the box. 12+ lbs you generally need the biggest box. Multiple cats may need larger boxes as well.
7. Multiple cats - rule of thumb is number of cats +1 is the number of boxes you need. Again, depending on the cats you may be able to adjust. My 2 cats require 2 boxes, and are happy with that.
8. Box location matters.
9. Litterbox problems can also indicate a physical problem. If there's a problem with using the litterbox, rule out physical, then you have to dive into the messy world of behavior, box type, box location, and litter type and it is really not easy to sort out (doable, but takes longer).

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 12:17:49 PM »
Thanks for all of the advice everyone! This is very useful.

To clarify, my cat has not had any issues with the litter box (at least not yet!). We've tried a number of types of litter and he appears to be indifferent. We humans are the pickier ones regarding odor, although I think I will try a cheaper litter (possibly the petco bulk litter) and religiously scoop twice a day.

retiringearly

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 12:24:24 PM »
I only tried two brands of litter so take what I write with that in mind.  I started out using Arm & Hammer clumping litter and it never controlled the odor.  I switched to Tidy Cats clumping and it did a great job with the odor (noticeably better).  I stuck with it because of the performance.  The best deal I found was to stock up big time when it was on sale at Target while also using coupons.  I buy coupons at thecouponclippers.com

Target will have a sale on a few times a year where if you buy two pails of Tidy Cats you get a free $5 Target gift card.  With coupons tt brought the price down to about $7.50 for a 35 pound pail. 

TootTootBeepBeep

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2016, 12:43:22 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

powersuitrecall

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 01:23:00 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

Wow - I'll check this out locally.

Thanks for the tip!

MandyM

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 02:09:38 PM »
Thanks for all of the advice everyone! This is very useful.

To clarify, my cat has not had any issues with the litter box (at least not yet!). We've tried a number of types of litter and he appears to be indifferent. We humans are the pickier ones regarding odor, although I think I will try a cheaper litter (possibly the petco bulk litter) and religiously scoop twice a day.

I think the worst part of using cheap litter is the dust. I use Tidy Cats and it isn't perfect, but I think it is less dusty some others. I do really like Blue Buffalos walnut based litter, but I have too many cats for it to be economical (I foster). I find the Glade Tidy Cats (silver/gray top) too perfumed and I don't like the purple either. Red, blue, or black is ok.

I used Arm and Hammer a couple of times and was very disappointed in how quickly it smelled really terrible.

Regarding a top on the litter: It may help contain some litter and maybe some odor, but only if your cat tolerates it.

I actually use 18 gallon storage totes. They are sturdy, can be found cheap, and the tall sides keeps more litter inside.

slappy

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 02:24:52 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

On sale for $5.50 at my tractor supply! I'm a little afraid to try it though.  :/

Daley

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 02:40:06 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

Pine oil is toxic to cats, and I would highly recommend you stop using this stuff unless you like the idea of shortening your cats lives and giving them health problems. Hardwood (hickory, oak) pellets are regarded as somewhat safer for cats, but pine based/scented anything (litter pellets, cleaning supplies, etc.) in your house as a cat owner should be strictly off limits.

Danger for Cats: Pine and Other Essential Oils
Pine Oil Poisoning in Dogs and Cats
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 02:42:43 PM by I.P. Daley »

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 02:52:03 PM »
Has anyone here successfully toilet trained a cat? We have played with that idea, because our cat really likes jumping onto the toilet, but I don't want to introduce problems, as he has been good about using the litter box so far. Is toilet training something that actually works or just a myth?

slappy

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 03:01:55 PM »
Has anyone here successfully toilet trained a cat? We have played with that idea, because our cat really likes jumping onto the toilet, but I don't want to introduce problems, as he has been good about using the litter box so far. Is toilet training something that actually works or just a myth?

One of my best friends did. He started when the cat was a kitten though.  I would love to toilet train my cat, but she's not very smart. 

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2016, 03:36:15 PM »
Has anyone here successfully toilet trained a cat? We have played with that idea, because our cat really likes jumping onto the toilet, but I don't want to introduce problems, as he has been good about using the litter box so far. Is toilet training something that actually works or just a myth?

One of my best friends did. He started when the cat was a kitten though.  I would love to toilet train my cat, but she's not very smart.

Interesting. Our cat is still technically a kitten (~7 months), and he is too smart for his own good.

nereo

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 03:42:30 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

Pine oil is toxic to cats, and I would highly recommend you stop using this stuff unless you like the idea of shortening your cats lives and giving them health problems. Hardwood (hickory, oak) pellets are regarded as somewhat safer for cats, but pine based/scented anything (litter pellets, cleaning supplies, etc.) in your house as a cat owner should be strictly off limits.

Danger for Cats: Pine and Other Essential Oils
Pine Oil Poisoning in Dogs and Cats

I did not know this!  thanks for the info.
Back when I had outdoor cats one loved to climb, sit, perch on a pine tree near our driveway. Was this also bad for him?

celticmyst08

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 03:45:26 PM »
To keep cats from spraying the litter all over the place, we use a top-down litter box. Basically just one of those big Rubbermaid bins with a lid; use a dinner plate to trace a hole on the lid, cut out with knife, fill box with litter. Voila. The cats can jump into it just fine. When they jump back out, they are on the top of the box, and most of the litter on their paws shakes off before they're jumping down onto the floor.

They are both vigorous flingers of litter, so this was a godsend.

CATman

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 04:44:02 PM »
My solution is this:
I get fancy litter (World's Best Cat Litter) which is corn based and decomposes and doesn't actively do terrible things to beast and environment. It's more expensive, but it lasts about twice as long before getting super nasty. Also, not causing cancer yay!

I scoop every morning and take out the trash on my way to work. 2-3 weeks after initial filling, I top off the box with more litter to replenish things, and every month and a half I 100% dump the litter and wash things.
I have a rubber rug I put under the litterbox that's corrugated and catches at least most of the 'sandbox play time' litter that escapes.

Litter will always escape. A vacuum is your friend.
I'm always tempted to try a closed litterbox to see if that helps? Maybe someone here has an answer to that one.

Basically I'm doing what you're doing. I haven't economized or optimized beyond that.

I've used this litter and the blue buffalo walnut based litter, but find the world's best litter tends to clump more while reducing litter dust to almost nonexistent. I paired it with the large Long litter box with a lid and they can kick it up all they like and it won't go out of the box. I have a litter catcher mat on the floor in front of the box and that tends to keep most of the litter from going all over just take it outside and shake it once a week and I'm good.

I used to scoop every day before leaving for work and this did wonders for keeping any odor away. The cat I adopted was originally an outdoor cat who has since figured out how to use the doggy door so my litter box is not needed any longer. But while I had him the above routine kept both of us happy, clean and odor free.

Daley

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 05:06:35 PM »
I did not know this!  thanks for the info.
Back when I had outdoor cats one loved to climb, sit, perch on a pine tree near our driveway. Was this also bad for him?

Pine sap exposure would obviously be a problem (especially if it was on the fur/paws and ingested during cleaning) as would potentially eating pine needles, but from what I recall, whole trees are less problematic than the processed wood for litters (can cause respiratory problems or small amounts could be ingested), and derived phenols in cleaners (can be absorbed through paws and ingested if on fur leading to liver damage and neurological problems). The big thing to remember is that their livers really can't process and eliminate it like humans can when exposed, so the biggest issue is longer term cumulative exposure which means symptoms might not manifest immediately with chronic, lower level exposures.

This is something that's unfortunately faded out of the more common collective knowledge as we have grown ever more disconnected from nature. Pine products and cats don't mix long term.

If anyone decides to switch away from pine to the hardwood pellets for litter, be careful of the sourcing. If it's not explicitly approved for animal bedding use, odds are it's meant for wood pellet stoves, and there may be added propellants to the wood that are equally toxic to small animals. We tried doing hardwood pellets for a while, but it takes considerably more effort to keep up with and harder to control odor using versus clay litter.

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 06:17:03 PM »
The following information has changed my life for the MMM better.

My cats use the pine pellets I used to buy at Petco for $19 a 40 pound bag. But now I buy the very same pine pellets at the tractor supply store. Here they are labeled as equine pellet bedding. This is less than $6 for a 40 pound bag. It's the same thing!!!

 I like the smell, it is great for covering odor and my cats are happy campers!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/equine-fresh-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb-2181006

I also buy pine pellets for Tuxedo cat's litter. You can also buy pine pellets at a home improvement store for about the same price. Kitty doesn't mind the pine pellets and it's less dust in the air.

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2016, 06:54:27 PM »
To keep cats from spraying the litter all over the place, we use a top-down litter box. Basically just one of those big Rubbermaid bins with a lid; use a dinner plate to trace a hole on the lid, cut out with knife, fill box with litter. Voila. The cats can jump into it just fine. When they jump back out, they are on the top of the box, and most of the litter on their paws shakes off before they're jumping down onto the floor.

They are both vigorous flingers of litter, so this was a godsend.

This is brilliant! Thanks. This will also help with our related problem of dogs who find cat poop to be delicious.

FrugalShrew

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2016, 09:11:11 PM »
There's another great thread on cat litter: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/cheapest-cat-litter-solution!/

And it discusses the Green Pee Cat Litter System, which basically involves a top layer of pea gravel that can be reused and an absorbent bottom layer that gets tossed (newspaper) or washed (towel). http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Green-Pee-Cat-Litter-System/

I really wish I had tried the Green Pee Cat Litter System when I had kitties. Who knows, maybe it wouldn't have worked for me, but it sounds AWESOME.

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2016, 10:35:47 PM »
Closed litter box. Scope every other day and used recycled paper pellet litter. http://www.yesterdaysnews.com/

Used to use clay and it would get all over the house. Litter mat kinda helps. Cat would bury his business and it was cheaper. Now he maybe buries his business once or twice and then leaves it on top

Had to slowly switch from clay to pellets took a few tries

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2016, 07:04:50 PM »
Has anyone here successfully toilet trained a cat? We have played with that idea, because our cat really likes jumping onto the toilet, but I don't want to introduce problems, as he has been good about using the litter box so far. Is toilet training something that actually works or just a myth?

Many years ago I had a cat who toilet trained himself! Months went by with household members accusing each other of not flushing the toilet before we realized that the cat was the one peeing in the bowl.

Tried to train other cats years later and it was too difficult in a multi-cat household. We had a lot of peeing and pooping on the bathroom floor, etc. I think it can be done if you have a cat inclined to training and not overly fussy about the location and type of litter in the cat box.

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2016, 07:43:34 PM »
I really liked crystals.

Something like these:

http://www.consumersearch.com/cat-litter/crystal-cat-litter

Pour in 1-2" in the box. About 1/2 the bag.

Scoop out poop regularly but pee will absorbe & doesn't need scooping. Once a week scoop out a some really yellow crystals and add a bit more. Some say just to stir it all without removing but I liked to remove a bit. Repeat weekly until bag is done.

So about once a month dump everything & start again.

I remember when I first heard about crystals it hijacked a party conversation for  about 20 mins.

I've never worried about how economical it was but there was almost no odour or dust.


Kitsune

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2016, 07:50:04 PM »
For those who use wheat-based (swheat scoop) or corn based litters... If you have access to a feed store (aka: access to a rural area) you can get corn or cracked wheat for a fraction of the cost.

misshathaway

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2016, 02:37:56 AM »
Has anyone here successfully toilet trained a cat? We have played with that idea, because our cat really likes jumping onto the toilet, but I don't want to introduce problems, as he has been good about using the litter box so far. Is toilet training something that actually works or just a myth?

I had a neighbor who trained his Siamese cat with a series of graduating platforms that fit over the toilet. The hole in the middle keeps getting bigger until you don't need the platform any more. I saw the cat go more than once. Amazing.

But he had to leave the toilet seat down so the cat had somewhere to balance. Gross.

Another Reader

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2016, 05:08:54 AM »
Pine litter causes cancers in cats.  I used the cheap horse bedding pellets.  Many shelters use this now.  I lost four to nasal-pharyngeal cancers over a 10 month period about a year after starting to use this.  I switched after the first case, but it was too late.

Daley

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2016, 08:14:07 AM »
Pine litter causes cancers in cats.  I used the cheap horse bedding pellets.  Many shelters use this now.  I lost four to nasal-pharyngeal cancers over a 10 month period about a year after starting to use this.  I switched after the first case, but it was too late.

I'm really sorry to hear this, and my condolences. (Also, apologies for the emphasis if it seems tacky, but people need to read it.)

There's a vague memory of our discussion in another thread about the dangers of pine products and switching to oak about four years ago. I'm guessing the info was too late?



Folks, it's a tragic and unfortunate lesson, but pay attention to Another Reader. If you won't listen to someone just warning about the health risks of pine products, listen to someone who's actually seen the consequences. Pine products are deadly for cats!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 08:19:55 AM by I.P. Daley »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2016, 09:24:44 AM »
To supplement what I.P.Daley has written, cats are not dogs. Cats are not people. Cats have livers that process toxins differently.  Something that is safe for dogs or people may not be safe for cats.  Flea shampoos/collars for dogs are dangerous for cats.  Pine oils and lemon oils are used in disinfectants, so it is not surprising these are toxic to sensitive species.

Cats are obligate carnivores, they need a higher protein and lower ash diet than dogs do.

Both are not humans, dogs/cats cannot eat onions/garlic, grapes/raisins, alcohol, caffeine (a plant insecticide) or chocolate.  They may like them, but those foods are poisonous to them. 

Gardens - does your dog or cat pounce on blowing leaves and try to eat them?  Many plants are toxic.  I stopped having foxgloves in my garden when I got this dog, she is a leaf chaser/chewer.

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/top-10-cat-poisons

Thinkum

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2016, 12:41:09 PM »
I.P. Daley THANK YOU!! We LOVE our cat and have been using pine pellets for almost the entire time we've had her. No problems yet, however, it could be a long term issue. I REALLY hope not. I will do some research into this and find a better litter if needed. In any case, I thank you for your knowledge and links.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 04:26:35 PM by Thinkum »

dess1313

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2016, 03:16:49 PM »
i had mine scattering the litter all over the place from digging.  i saw a idea elsewhere.  take one of the larger rubbermaid totes and use it as your litter box.  for the really problematic cats, put the lid on, cut a 8in or so hole (appropriate to your cat size) and stick down some fake grass turf type material to the top.  they have to jump on the top, and then down in the hole to enter.  they can dig to their heart's delight without making a mess, then when they jump out, they end up wiping their paws on the turf without any effort on your part

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2016, 03:35:02 PM »
i had mine scattering the litter all over the place from digging.  i saw a idea elsewhere.  take one of the larger rubbermaid totes and use it as your litter box.  for the really problematic cats, put the lid on, cut a 8in or so hole (appropriate to your cat size) and stick down some fake grass turf type material to the top.  they have to jump on the top, and then down in the hole to enter.  they can dig to their heart's delight without making a mess, then when they jump out, they end up wiping their paws on the turf without any effort on your part

Interesting idea about the turf. Another poster suggested the Rubbermaid bin, so we bought one and my husband is currently cutting a hole in the lid. Hoping the cat takes to it okay! I will try turf if the bin alone doesn't solve the problem.

Shipwreckgirl

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2016, 03:43:27 PM »
I switched to Swheat scoop after using Tidy Cat for years.  There is so much toxicity in the clay dust that my cats were developing respiratory issues.  I also had used covered litter boxes, but my vet suggested switching to a wheat-based litter and uncovering the litter boxes.  If you are diligent about scooping, the smell shouldn't be too bad and the litter lasts longer.  My cats coughing went away, but the damage had already been done to one of my kitties - she has lower airway disease and is on a low-dose steroid for it.  I'm pretty sure the Tidy Cat litter caused it.

garion

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2016, 04:14:28 PM »
I switched to Swheat scoop after using Tidy Cat for years.  There is so much toxicity in the clay dust that my cats were developing respiratory issues.  I also had used covered litter boxes, but my vet suggested switching to a wheat-based litter and uncovering the litter boxes.  If you are diligent about scooping, the smell shouldn't be too bad and the litter lasts longer.  My cats coughing went away, but the damage had already been done to one of my kitties - she has lower airway disease and is on a low-dose steroid for it.  I'm pretty sure the Tidy Cat litter caused it.

We couldn't stand the smell of corn-based litter (out of the package smell), but wheat is a good idea. My initial idea was to use natural litters, and we used them until he was 4 months old, but eventually bought conventional due to odor. I would like to switch back to something natural and non-toxic though.

FrugalKube

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2016, 04:27:54 PM »
I really liked crystals.

Something like these:

http://www.consumersearch.com/cat-litter/crystal-cat-litter

Pour in 1-2" in the box. About 1/2 the bag.

Scoop out poop regularly but pee will absorbe & doesn't need scooping. Once a week scoop out a some really yellow crystals and add a bit more. Some say just to stir it all without removing but I liked to remove a bit. Repeat weekly until bag is done.

So about once a month dump everything & start again.

I remember when I first heard about crystals it hijacked a party conversation for  about 20 mins.

I've never worried about how economical it was but there was almost no odour or dust.

Interesting I may have to try this

FrugalKube

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2016, 04:29:10 PM »
i had mine scattering the litter all over the place from digging.  i saw a idea elsewhere.  take one of the larger rubbermaid totes and use it as your litter box.  for the really problematic cats, put the lid on, cut a 8in or so hole (appropriate to your cat size) and stick down some fake grass turf type material to the top.  they have to jump on the top, and then down in the hole to enter.  they can dig to their heart's delight without making a mess, then when they jump out, they end up wiping their paws on the turf without any effort on your part

Interesting idea about the turf. Another poster suggested the Rubbermaid bin, so we bought one and my husband is currently cutting a hole in the lid. Hoping the cat takes to it okay! I will try turf if the bin alone doesn't solve the problem.

Alright Im going to try this