Apr 13, 2007

Convincing Cats to Crap on Corn

I know I've blown a lot of smoke about how companion animals are super Compactors. Someone recently remarked to me that dogs have about 10 posessions, all of which we supply. Ok, so my cats have way more than 10 posessions, the vast majority of which were aquired pre-Compact.
But I'm trying to reduce Quivus and Zalaazil's ecological pawprints by switching to corn based litter. They already eat organic, raw food from a local supplier, so we feel good about their diet. It's what comes out the other side of digestion that's bugging my housemate and myself.

If you're asking why we haven't made this transition already, note that we've tried. Why were they ever on crystals? Long story, quite sad, involving a much younger Quivus (Kwi-vis; mangled Latin meaning "whatever") and a broken pelvis.

Generally our attempts to green our cats' poop habits ends with some yellow on a treasured item. That incites either myself or my housemate to lament the amount of water and Nature's Miracle we have to consume just to save the stack of towels, pile of sheets, or our security deposit.

New strategy though! We are working with 2 litterboxes these days. One w/ corn based litter, one w/ crystals. Zalaazil (zaa-laa-zel, Arabic for "earthquakes") likes this set up, all the more to mark. Quivus shuns the corn thus far; our little girl is addicted to crystal, but I think there's hope.


Flop said...

I don't have a cat -- or any animals that pee or poo -- but this is an awesome title for a post.

James said...

Sawdust. You might try switching to sawdust instead.

We have sawdust toilets in the house, and use them often. I buy sawdust for the toilets, and slowly added sawdust to Kit-T-Kat's (Kit for short) litter box. It took a sneaky thing... I emptied the litter box, then put an inch of sawdust in the bottom, and covered that with her normal litter. She mixed it herself as she covered her deposit. It wasn't too long before she had the idea.
I would suggest using a covering of crystals over the corn cob litter. If nothing else, you will use FAR LESS of the crystals, and more of the corn cob. Let her mix it up herself. She will get used to it and eventually you won't have to use the crystals at all.
Just a suggestion.

david said...

have you tried the wheat litter?
my cat didn't like corn, but the wheat works and hides smell pretty well. think its called Swheat Scoop

Anonymous said...

What bout using shredded newspapers?

Mary in the smll village of Onsted, MI. USA

rachel said...

papier mache w/ cat urine and poop, ugh. i've thought of it. my housemate would revolt.

we have done the swheat scoop. they hated it.

i think we're making progress w/ the corn.

Chamelius said...

wow, I totally love everything you guys are doing!

Nancy said...

I tried the Swheat Scoop when I first decided to make a change, but switched to World's Best corn-based, and the cats seem to be adjusting well. For me, a rural dweller who was hauling used litter to the dump, it's been an extra bonus to keep my septic system bio-fueled!

Emily said...

I had a cat with some serious peeing-outside-the-box issues (and one cat without), and after many trials and errors and loads of laundry, the successful solution was to use corn litter and a whopping *4* litter boxes. The corn litter is lovely though - the pee turns into little polenta-like cakes that are downright adorable!

rachel said...

it is like polenta, which i'll never eat again! just kidding. it's going to take another round of crystals to get us through this. we're so skittish of change w/ them. when change takes place we find ourselves with huge vet bills!

but we're trying damnit.

Geeka said...

It is usually the smell that drives them off the new litter. You might want to mix just enough crystals in with the corn to change the smell.

I know that corn is a renewable resource, but isn't using corn for this type of thing encouraging the government to reward those who are grown 'industrial corn' (i.e. the stuff that gets made into HFCS and you wouldn't actually want to eat)?

I am always a little curious about things that are by-products. If we can utilize by-products of something that is a little worse for the environment, does that make it ok, because there is zero waste?

You can teach the cats to use the toilet. They won't waste extra water, cause usually you can't teach them to flush.

Angela said...

It's just like switching from 1% milk to skim.

Start by creating a mixture of the two types of cat litter. About 1/5 of the new stuff to 4/5 of the old stuff. Very gradually change the ratio until it's all the new stuff.