How to protect dish sponge from sponge-eating cat
April 24, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

How can we store our kitchen sink dishwashing sponge to prevent it being eaten by our cat? Rupert, after years of ignoring it, has recently decided that the sponge is a fun thing to shred and nibble on. Currently it sits on top of the sink edge on top of a spiky plastic soap saver thingy so it can dry. How can we store it so that it will be (a) easily accessible to humans, (b) not accessible to Rupert, and (c) able to air-dry? I'm imagining something like this with a flap on top, for instance.
posted by matildaben to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
Ask your older kidded friends for an old dishwasher basket thingy used to wash sippy tips and such. Clicks shut to keep things from dancing in the dishwasher, but open enough to dry. If the snap is still strong enough, will somewhat deter the cat.

Cat can nibble through broad spaces - line it with needlecraft plastic (or just make one of those squeezey box things out of that in the first place).
posted by tilde at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I microwave mine dry for about 1:00 in the wave to kill germs then I am able to put it in a drawer at night to prevent my cats from doing the same.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2012

Here's that squeeze box pattern. Would have to make it larger than she specifies. Don't need to fill in the Santa pattern, just sew the three (larger than 10 x 10 sq) bits together. Squeeze to shove the sponge in or yank it out. Can throw in dishwasher when it gets gunky (or washing machine as that's how I clean my sponges on the sterile cycle).
posted by tilde at 1:11 PM on April 24, 2012

Small tupperware-type container with holes punched in the top and bottom for drainage and air?
posted by rtha at 1:12 PM on April 24, 2012

A basket like the one you show, except mounted to the inside of your cupboard door below the sink? That's where mine is, and I keep sponges etc in there.
posted by photoexplorer at 1:20 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lowe's sells little tip out drawer thingies that retrofit your existing false drawer fronts (assuming you have false drawer fronts). I think I remember them being called something like 'flip down sponge holder'.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:31 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not quite what you asked for, but cats hate the smell of citrus. So just a bit of citrus-smelling hand/dish soap?
posted by politikitty at 1:34 PM on April 24, 2012

Best answer: Our cat does the same thing, and we keep our sponge in the dishwasher. A bit of a pain, but the cat can't get it, and when we run the dishwasher, it gets clean!
posted by cider at 1:34 PM on April 24, 2012

Ah Ha! Here it is!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:34 PM on April 24, 2012

Under a bowl.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2012

Like photoexplorer, we have a rack mounted inside the door of the cabinet under the sink, and there's enough circulation down there to dry out sponges in a reasonable manner.
posted by BrashTech at 2:48 PM on April 24, 2012

If I had this problem what I would probably do is build a little box for it of some kind, similar to what you described above. If you're even slightly handy you ought to be able to figure something out. I like the idea of just taking a tupperware container and drilling a ton of large holes in it for airflow, that seems like the simplest route.

I also like the idea of microwaving it dry when you're done with it and then sticking it in the drawer, but my kitchen sponge gets used enough times a day that I would probably spend like five or ten minutes a day microwaving the sponge and not only would that probably shorten its life, it would also shorten my sanity. If you tend to use your sponge just once or twice a day, that solution might work for you.
posted by Scientist at 3:13 PM on April 24, 2012

Have you tried lemon-scented dishwashing soap? Cats are violently opposed to lemon.
posted by schrodycat at 4:20 PM on April 24, 2012

My cat started doing this, and I put the sponge away in the cupboard under the sink for a few days. It only dried slowly, which would have been a concern in the long term, but my cat has the memory of a goldfish, so after a few days we could bring it out again and she wasn't interested anymore. Might be worth trying with yours before bothering to construct something.
posted by lollusc at 6:27 PM on April 24, 2012

Response by poster: We are not handy and already use citrus detergent. There are a few suggestions above that we can try, though.
posted by matildaben at 7:44 PM on April 24, 2012

Hanging it up might work (high enough so the cat can't reach it). Either put the sponge in one of those mesh net washing bags for delicates or put some cord through the sponge. A single nail/hook sould be enough. Here is also a nice DIY sponge holder that is made from an old shampoo bottle. They hang it on the faucet but it could be put any other place. I realize those might not be up to your aesthetic standards, but as others have said, it might be only temporary until the cat forgets/finds something new to play with. Another thing, does Rupert have enough water to drink during the night?
posted by travelwithcats at 11:51 PM on April 24, 2012

You could coat a decoy sponge with no-chew spray and leave it out for a week and see if that breaks him of the habit. (Obviously do not wash your dishes with a no-chew-spray sponge...)
posted by anaelith at 2:59 AM on April 25, 2012

Response by poster: The dishwasher is conveniently situated and we've been putting the sponge in there. Cider gets "best answer" for this one!
posted by matildaben at 3:47 PM on May 15, 2012

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