Strangling the cat that poops on the floor would be acceptable to me.
August 25, 2009 3:50 AM   Subscribe

Litterbox Troubleshooting: Two cats. One litterbox. One bathroom. No flushing. HALP.

The only place in our apartment suitable for the litterbox is in our bathroom, right next to our shower. As you can imagine, this means when the litterbox is stinky... taking a shower is also stinky.

I try to scoop it out every day... but we have the world's worst toilet and the pee clumps clogged the toilet every. single. time.

So, switched to Feline Pine (which one of the cats has used before), which would solve this problem, but created a new one: the other cat won't use it. To the point where she went and crapped ON the floor.

HALP ME. I AM LOSING MY MIND. How do we get both cats to crap in the litterbox with some kind of litter that does not clump?
posted by grapefruitmoon to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about using the clumping litter, but with an alternate disposal method? I keep a lidded container (a Rubbermaid sort of thing, but a small trash can with a pedal-operated lid would work), lined with a plastic grocery bag, next to the litterbox. Clumps get scooped into the container so the stink is sequestered until trash day.
posted by jon1270 at 4:07 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yes, stick with the clumping litter and forget trying to flush it. Just scoop it into a plastic grocery bag, then tie it off and put it in a normal garbage can.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:16 AM on August 25, 2009

Thirding the clumping litter, disposing into a bag rather than flushing, and frequent scooping. I buy paper lunch bags as an alternative/supplement to the grocery bags.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:33 AM on August 25, 2009

You actually shouldn't be flushing the clumping litter. I think they've actually ascertained that clumping litter actually is NOT flushable.

fourthing "use the clumping litter and scoop-and-trashcan it daily."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 AM on August 25, 2009

We have two kittens and are using litter kwitter which is a method that teaches them step by step to eventually use the toilet. There have been accidents but they're almost there and eventually we won't have to use kitty litter at all. So far we are impressed. Much less stinky!
posted by Jubey at 4:46 AM on August 25, 2009

When you switched to the pine litter, did you do it gradually? Cats' paws are very sensitive and some cats will object to a new litter simply because it feels "wrong". The trick is put the new litter in the bottom of the box and cover it with a layer of the old litter. Each time you change the litter, use more of the new litter and less of the old. Eventually the cat should get used to it.

As a data point, I also tried the Litter Kwitter and my four-year-old cat hated it. When I moved the dish from the floor to the toilet, he decided my bed was a better place to go. I'd try the LK again for a kitten but it seems hit-and-miss for older cats, and the set isn't cheap.
posted by Georgina at 5:29 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another reason to stick to the clumping litter, scooped in a bag and tossed in the trash: toxoplasma gondii. It's theorised that cat feces, flushed into the septic system, is being released into the water and infecting fish and other sea life.
(Sorry that second link isn't better; I can't seem to find the better article I read a few months ago.)
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 6:28 AM on August 25, 2009

Nthing the idea of regular clumping litter and a better disposal method. Also, you'll need to do more than just "try" to scoop every day. With two cats and one box, you really MUST scoop at least once a day -- preferably twice.

What I use for cat clump disposal is one of those plastic buckets you get large quantities of litter in. I line it with a plastic bag and just keep the top of the bucket snapped on between scooping sessions. There is, as far as I (and other honest guests I've asked) can tell, NO odor problem. Also... keep a small broom and dustpan in the bathroom for a quick sweep-up every time you scoop. As you've probably discovered, stepping out of the shower onto a litter-covered floor is really annoying.
posted by rhartong at 6:35 AM on August 25, 2009

If your aim with using Feline Pine was to use a more environmentally-friendly litter (because regular clumping cat litter is NOT environmentally friendly, nor is it flushable), I understand your pain.

I switched to Feline Pine one day, and one of my cats retaliated by peeing on my bed the same night. (Never did it before, never did it again- tell me it's a coincidence!) The other one seemed fine with it, but the texture of Feline Pine was pretty different than that of Tidy Cat, so I can see his problem.

Eventually we ended up using several different environmentally-friendly litters at the same time, layering one on top of the other, and the finicky cat was fine with that. We were fans of World's Best Cat Litter and Feline Pine as a combination, and sometimes we would try the wheat-based ones too.

But we always scooped every day, putting the dirty litter into paper or plastic bags and immediately moving it to a garbage bag in the garage where the smell would not be a problem.

My problem with Feline Pine was that it was always very visible in my house- the cats would track it everywhere, including the bed. The texture of World's Best Cat Litter is much finer, yet it's made from corn. The downside is that it's not cheap, while Feline Pine is much less expensive.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:34 AM on August 25, 2009

From the dollar store, regular plain old cheap cheap clay litter. Changed daily.

It's actually not that big a pain when you get in the habit. And a fresh box daily - wow! What a difference. Plus, bentonite clay is non-toxic.
posted by jbenben at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2009

Three cats, one bathroom here. They all hated the litterboxes with lids, and would probably go in for projectile crapping if we had the robot litterbox.

We use Swheat Scoop (or rather a generic version from Petco), which smells like cookie dough. It even smells pretty nice even when peed on. It has a fine, granular texture not dissimilar to the clay litter, so it's probably pretty satisfying for a cat to scratch in.

(The Feline Pine pellets seem too big -- maybe that's what is putting your cat off? It feels like it would be like walking on Legos.)

We scoop every day, sometimes twice a day, into the little plastic bags the newspaper comes in. Those get knotted and deposited in a flip-top trashcan (keeps out flies and smell) at the far end of the kitchen until trash day. No stinks, no clogged toilet.
posted by vickyverky at 1:42 PM on August 25, 2009

Plastic grocery bags are perfect for litter disposal; just scoop into the bag, tie it off and toss. Ask your friends to help keep you supplied.
posted by theora55 at 2:14 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses - we'd been using Swheat Scoop before to at least try to be environmentally friendly, but if I'm going to have to be throwing this stuff away in plastic bags every day... that's kind of self-defeating. I'll try to see if I can rig up a sealed bucket in the bathroom for the clumps, but I already do my best to use re-usable bags, so it's not like I have any plastic bags lying around the house for litter disposal.

My boss recommended crystal litter instead of the clumping kind, so that's another option.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:38 PM on August 25, 2009

Our finicky cat accepted World's Best Cat Litter (she likes the clumping) after she went on a Feline Pine strike. We now have a second cat and the vet strongly suggested having one more box than the number of cats (so, in our case, 3). But we're using 2 since we can't find a good spot for the third. Things are going well so far, 16 months after the second cat joined us.
posted by mingshan at 3:13 PM on August 25, 2009

The spherical crystal litter?

With your tender feet you will find those agonizing little deathballs -- all over the house, where they sneakily roll when you try to sweep them.
posted by Sallyfur at 3:41 PM on August 25, 2009

Response by poster: FYI: Swheat Scoop is marked as flushable. I was not endangering our pipes!

We did end up having to get a trash can. I'm not happy with the solution as it involves more plastic, but it doesn't involve a clogged toilet or cat poop on the floor. Oh well.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:10 PM on September 25, 2009

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