Liquids cats like to piss on?
September 14, 2021 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I have a few hacked CatGenie 120s, and reusable cleaning-solution cartridges. I'd like to wash the litterboxes with something that will encourage usage.

The CatGenie 120 is a self-washing litterbox (you hook it up to a cold-water line, and it runs a few rinse cycles and then a heated-dry cycle after being used by cats). It meters a liquid called "SaniSolution" from DRM-enabled cartridges into the rinse by default, but mine have had the cartridge reader hacked so as to not care about that, and it cleans pretty well with just water, which is what it'll do if the SaniSolution-sucking needle's not in an actual cartridge.

But I also have some empty cartridges that I can rejigger to put anything I like into the rinse cycle, and I'd like something cat-attractant. I'd previously, in non-autoflush litterboxes, used Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Additive, which is sort of a dried herbal blend (good for mixing with disposable litters, terrible for putting onto washable granules). Is there a good liquid which accomplishes some of the same purposes Cat Attract does? At present I'm trying using extremely diluted catnip oil (I know the oil undiluted is not particularly catsafe), so I'm putting about a dropperful of oil into a pint of water, and somewhere less than a teaspoon actually comes out in any given rinse cycle, which I reckon results in a level of catnip oil on the washed granules somewhere between "therapeutically safe" and "homeopathic".
posted by jackbishop to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
I'm confused by this question - cats, in my life-long experience, like using litter boxes because it's hardwired in them to do so, and they'll be happy to use any box that doesn't stink. That don't need to be attracted to a litter box.
posted by coffeecat at 2:57 PM on September 14

I feel like cats like to pee in places it smells like cat pee. Or maybe grass or soil. I'm not sure what's in Dr. Elseys, it mostly smells like alfalfa hay to me. I'm not sure something cats like to roll on, like catnip or valerian, would have the same effect.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:30 PM on September 14

Cats will often pee on bath mats due to the latex backing, which smells of ammonia. The ammonia smells like cat pet, so maybe try diluted ammonia?

That said, I agree with coffeecat -- ive never had a cat that didnt immediately go for a litter box with no incentive other than placing them in it, and maybe making a scratching motion with their paw. Even ferals I brought in from the street got it immediately. If you are having issues with this, you may want to take kitty to the vet, as litterbox avoidance or inconsistency often indicates something is wrong.
posted by ananci at 3:55 PM on September 14

Well I managed to very quickly train a barn kitten to using a litter box as an indoor cat by getting my small son to pee a few drops into the box. The cat sniffed and got the idea right away. I suspect that urine is the most effective liquid you are going to find. But I also suspect you don't want to do that since the whole purpose of the washing is to remove the urine smell.

The problem is that any other scent but urine might attract the cat to want to be there, but will not attract them to want to pee there. Cat nip on a cushion doesn't mean the cat will pee on it. They will roll on it, sleep on it, even hump the cushion, but they aren't likely to decide to drench the thing.
posted by Jane the Brown at 9:31 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]

You can try some kind of liquid chlorophyll (sold by health food and supplement retailers), for that grassy smell. But I tend to agree that your cats ought to be fine without it. Elsey itself says that its attractant products are more for correcting hesitancy than ongoing use (unless you choose to use them as a deodorizer).
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:39 AM on September 15

Response by poster: As a clarification: there's no specific problem this is seeking to address, so much as "hey, I can hotrod any washing liquid I want into this thing, why not add something to make it particularlly appealing for a cat to urinate on?"

Chlorophyll might be an interesting idea; I'll look into that a bit more.
posted by jackbishop at 12:14 PM on September 15

I'd trawl Amazon reviews for comments on odor; presumably for supplementation people prefer less smell.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:06 PM on September 15

« Older Ancient 6s iPhone Photo App Pro Tips for Non Pros   |   Macbook sound: no output devices Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments