TOP TEN CRAPPIEST LITTERBOX CHOICES

 Written by Daniel “DQ” Quagliozzi

 

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As a cat consultant that visits your home, I am frequently called to troubleshoot litterbox avoidance problems that end up being a cut and dry case of the cat’s refusal to use the litterbox style selected by a well-intentioned consumer. Cat guardians can easily be seduced into buying litterboxes that appeal to the convenience of not having to scoop it, low litter tracking, small compact size or a design that stylishly camouflages it from public view. You have a cat. Time to put the work into sharing your space together.

I’m here to tell you that being lazy about cleaning your box and hiring a robot to do it for you is going to blow right back in your face. Shit WILL eventually hit the fan… and then your rug, couch, comforter and throw pillow. Technology and the elimination of waste should probably not mix. I’m just saying. Take a moment to yourself and mindfully scoop your box. You laugh.. but it makes the task less…well …shitty. Remember to breathe… on second thought, you might want to inhibit breathing.

Stylish but complicated in execution.

Stylish but complicated in execution.

Cat guardians are easily pissed off when their cats refuse to use the fancy-free accommodations they provide. After all, they dropped a dime or two on a box that will make living with a cat easier….right?  How’s that working out for you so far? We can fix it. You’re just going to have to slum it for a while with a more basic box that is bigger than you might like to display, but the upside is you’ll be living in a home that doesn’t smell like a veterinarian’s waiting room. Just simplify your approach a little and remember, a cat wants to crap in a huge sandbox (twice their size at a minimum) with lots of drop zones and no minefields (clumps, nuggets, dingleberries, etc) to avoid. Keep the box clean. Keep the litter soft and scent free and match the depth to your cat’s preference.  Some like it deep. Some like it shallow.  Some want the moon. Give it to them.

A cat using the litterbox on the moon. Ideal size and substrate make the moon a destination for space traveling cats.

A cat using the litterbox on the moon. Ideal size and substrate make the moon a destination for space traveling cats.

Covered litterboxes reduce the headroom a cat needs to sit upright and urinate. This is why they often urinate out the entrance and on to your shag rug. You have given them little choice but to duck and squirt.  Now…add to the lack of headroom, an entrance with flaps, stairs, rough feeling entry ways (to avoid litter tracking) or a freakin’ turnstile for dog’s sake and we have a recipe for physical graffiti on the outside of the box.

Clevercat fail.

Clevercat fail.

Dude…I’ve seen cats stand on top of covered boxes and drop a deuce right on the lid. Some won’t even walk into a box and crap-blast the entrance mat, making it a no fly zone. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! Don’t you get it? They want to use it. They really do. You just have to remove the barriers, auto-scooping and flaming hoops that are blocking them from walking in like a cat.

Your cat is not mad. He is just telling you to get your ass moving and scoop more.

Your cat is not mad at you. He’s just disappointed in your housekeeping abilities. Get it together.

Guardians choose covered boxes with doors because they don’t want to smell what’s inside. Trust me, your cats are just as sensitive and they don’t want to walk into a smelly pee-swamp, day after day. Clean your friggin’ box,! Twice a day keeps the stench away. It only smells because you are a bad housekeeper.

 

 

Using the litterbox should not be a balancing act. If your cat is teetering on the edges or reluctant to enter at all, you have to change the presentation a bit. Top entry boxes are not ideal. They allow your cat only one place (where the hole is) to stand upright once inside, thus limiting the most desirable places to squat to one side, the entrance. Not to mention, climbing out of the box, rather than walking straight out is cumbersome and not appropriate for older cats with less agility. Another potential shit show that can be remedied by replacing it with a storage bin and cutting a hole in the side for a smooth entrance.

You want the ideal box, for any cat… Well, here it is…

 

Aren't they gorgeous? Easy Peesy! Your problems are solved.

Aren’t they gorgeous? Easy Peesy! Your problems are solved.

 

Check out DQ’s Top Ten Crappiest Litterbox Choices below. Did your box make the shit list?

 

Number 10: “The Stairway to Urine”

 

Half of this box is wasted by stairs. Trust me, your cat does not want to shit in an igloo.

Half of this box is wasted by stairs. Trust me, your cat does not want to shit in an igloo. Not to mention most cats pee against the back wall, which seeps through the seam and leaks on your floor.

It’s the spiral staircase entrance, low headroom and limited elimination area that bugs me on this one. Also, many of my clients ditch them because the seam on the side is not urine-tight.

 

Number 9: “Flash Gordon”

The Jestsons meets Futurama porta-potty. This one sports superior odor control while your cat is humiliated.

The Jetsons meets Futurama porta-potty. This one sports superior odor control while your cat is once again… humiliated.

This looks silly to me. Maybe remove the glass helmet shield and it would almost be ok. This one offers odor control. I dunno. Looks like your cat might come out with a perm afterward.

 

Number 8:” Crazy cupboard ”

Two diagonal entrances? Whats wrong with walking straight? Almost there...but the entrance is jacked.

Two diagonal entrances? Whats wrong with walking straight? Almost there…but the entrance is jacked.

This box might be ok if you remove the inside wall or line the two entrance holes up. Otherwise, fill that whole cabinet with litter. Don’t squander one square inch of real estate to avoid tracking litter.

 

Number 7: The Cradle of Filth

This one is all kinds of wrong. A baby carriage for your cat to crap in. Awesome. I hope it doesn't rock.

This one is all kinds of wrong. A baby carriage for your cat to crap in. Awesome. I hope it doesn’t rock.

Rockabye Baby. You’ll be hating yourself for even thinking about this one. Litterboxes should be stabilized with the entrance on ground level. I’d be willing to bet that this cradle will rock. Not to mention the crapcake cage on the side. Just scoop your box, people.

 

Number 6: Turd raker

Lazy people love an automated box. Better save up because you'll be buying another when this one clogs and malfunctions.

Lazy people love an automated box. Better save up because you’ll be buying another when this one clogs and malfunctions.

Automated boxes often clog up, scare cats and require special litter types that may not appeal to your cats sensitive paws. If you really want one though, just go to your local landfill. There will be thousands to choose from.

 

Number 5: “Klevercat”

There's nothing clever about it. No cat should have to dumpster dive to use the box.

There’s nothing clever about it. No cat should have to dumpster dive to use the box.

Oh Klevercat. You and I will never get along, I’m afraid. I have literally seen cats stand on the top and shit all over the entrance rim. Some particularly agile cats seem to do fine, but most of the time, this choice is the garbage can of litterboxes.  Use it as such.

 

 

Number 4: “Kitty Cement Mixer”

The Cement mixer of litterboxes. Again... smearing poop and pee on the sides of the box is not the way to go.

The Cement mixer of litterboxes. Again… smearing poop and pee on the sides of the box is not the way to go.

Ok, so how does it makes sense to roll cat feces and urine soaked litter all over the sides of the box? Are you going to clean it? Nope. I didn’t think so.

Number 3: “Litter Spinner”

Another cement mixer / crap roller. Imagine yourself sitting in there. That's what I thought.

Another cement mixer / crap roller. Imagine yourself sitting in there. That’s what I thought.

Again…a defecation mixer for your cat to stand in. You’re better than this.

 

Number 2: “No room at the Inn”

 

Do I need to explain why this will go badly?

Do I need to explain why this will go badly?

If your cat can stand upright… you’re golden with this automated gem! Why? How? Just don’t. ok

 

 

Number 1: “R2D-Poo

 

The Litter Robot is like a ferris wheel of cat poop in your living room.

The Litter Robot is like a ferris wheel of cat poop in your living room.

The automated poop mixer of your dreams. It does the rolling for you and traps the poo and pee smearings in a little box for you. The sides of the box remain an olfactory nightmare for your cat.  This one appeals to your disdain for cleaning the box and your love for science fiction. R2DPoo will be a great ice-breaker for your dinner parties and a wonderful experiment in futility.  Your cat will likely decide your open clothes dryer or washing machine is “The place to be/pee”.

This is not the droid you are looking for.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I think i’ve tried them all!!

  2. Linéa Marketos says:

    We use open litter boxes, as large as our apartment will allow. I like the tote idea, and will make and use these as soon as I can. One idea I had with a senior cat who drinks and pees a lot, was to attach a $ Store plastic cutlery container at the entrance. She has no problem getting over it, and she will stand facing the wall and pee, right into it! I did put a heavy duty clamp on it to hold it in place. It saves me bags of litter, and is easy to clean.

  3. Andy H says:

    I use a simple litter box that’s oversized and then I put a big box over it that with one side completely cut out. The cats have lots of head room and it cuts down on the dust from the cat litter. My cats prefer Fresh Step litter, not the scooping kind, but the larger clay litter kind. I have tried a lot of the expensive litters and they didn’t care for it. But I am diligent about scooping every morning, so they are happy kitties!

  4. Lisa Laponjee says:

    The cruelest and most insane is the top entry box. Why on earth would anyone subject their poor cat to this kind of torture? For a cat to jump in is bad enough, but to try and lift themselves out of it must be sheer agony, especially if It’s an older cat. The SPCA should support a ban on this product. Some of the other arrangements shown above are totally nuts. If anyone is so lazy as to refuse to scoop once a day, they should not have a cat.

    • I made my own top entry out of a large, almost clear rubbermaid, and of all of my litter boxes (I have 3 different kinds of litter boxes), it is by FAR all of my cats’ favorite and the one they actually line up to use.

      And having a top entry isn’t about being too lazy to scoop (it requires the same amount of scooping all others do), but about having litter strewn everywhere (I have a major digger), and having a male cat who pees standing up. I have yet to find a high sided box that he uses appropriately.

      So no, a well thought out top entry is neither cruel nor insane. For some, it can make a huge difference.

      With cats being dumped at shelters daily for litter box issues, I’m troubled that you, and the author, would make such sweeping statements. Some cats do well with ANY of the above-mentioned types of litter boxes, some do better with them. And, of course, some do worse. Instead of wholesale trying to limit the options people have to try to help their cats, why not just discuss the pros and cons of each litter system in an objective way so that people understand what the potential issues are?

      Oh, perhaps because that’s not as dramatic as just calling it “cruel”…whether or not its even truthful. Sheesh.

  5. Have you ever used the litter robot?

    I have 3 cats and a litter robot + 1 large open litterbox. They use the litter robot about half the time. They like it because it is always clean. It doesn’t smell like you suggest. The litter robot is really well designed and high quality.

    The litter robot might not work for all cats. 2 of my 3 cats use it. It is great in combination with another litter box.

  6. badarticlesarebadmmky says:

    It would be smart to remove the Litter Robot from your list. It’s fantastic and my cat loves it. I have the open air 3 version, by the way.

    There is absolutely ZERO smell, and their litter is always clean. This means healthier for my cat, AND me, and my entire house. Would you like to walk in your own shit? No.

    If your cat takes to something, it’s not torture. The Litter Robot is high quality and works extremely well.

    No I’m not being paid to say this shit either.

Trackbacks

  1. […] eat the food you heard was good, play with the toys you fail to keep interesting and pee in the world’s crappiest litterbox  that you purchased for its convenience. You have a cat. Now you also have a job. Right now, you […]

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