Jan 30, 2008

Cats versus Compact: Litterbox Battles Rage On

At times I've been accused of sweating the small stuff, obsessing over minutia. Being a bit type A, I'm detail oriented, or that's my version of it. So if I obsess a bit over whether or not I should buy barrettes, it's because I figure that while they're only a small bit for my hair, workers somewhere have a lot more invested in them than I do.

Usually I can live w/o the little stuff. Then there's the litterbox scoop. I've had the same one for about 5 years. I guess while I was house sitting there was some sort of natural disaster in the box that caused the scoop to break, 'cause when I came home on Sunday the house smelled a bit and the scoop was in 2 pieces.

Turns out my cats hate the Compact. They've guilted me into buying them toys once or twice, forced me to buy a larger, second litter box (which did enable our transition to biodegradable litter), and caused me to consider stock prices for Nature's Miracle. But, that sweater was passed on by a client so don't think I've gone to dressing up Zalaazil for kicks. (but we don't have heat and he loves his warm hoodie)

So early Monday I put about 2 minutes of thought into ways of living w/o a litterbox scoop, improvising a new one, or finding a used one. Then I thought, "fuck that" and bought a new one at my local critter supply shop.

The thought of using toilet paper or plastic bags to remove litter and feces wasn't pleasant, in no small part because I knew it would mean less diligence in box cleaning. Try as I might, I couldn't think of a new scoop device that would work on both boxes (which have 2 different litter types, hurray for choosy cats). And the thought of a used poop scoop seemed doable, but I was more concerned about the need to scoop the box asap.


Darx said...

My guess is that a used poop scoop would cause your cats to pee all over it anyhow, so I think you made the sensible choice. I think our cat might like the Compact. Her favorite toy is a used twist tie.

Nim said...

I found a nice metal slotted spoon at the Goodwill. Works great!

Two other options: toilet training. Sounds silly but cats can do it. Tricky part is when you have to start cutting away the box over the toilet. Then you have to get flushable litter, which bites. There are paper cat boxes that are from recycled wastes, and they make the cutting easier.

Second option is those compostable cat boxes. Kitty's Wonder Box is one of them. I think the same company makes a sawdust-based litter, but I'm not sure.

Angela said...

I find that a plastic or metal slotted spoon works better than a standard litter scoop. It's smaller, rounded, can get into the corners better, and it is easier to retrieve the smaller stuff. I've used the standard scoops when taking care of friends' cats, and don't like them at all.

And they're cheaper!

rachel said...

oh, that slotted spoon idea is great. though i read both of those comments while eating my late lunch and was a bit grossed out.

Julie Artz said...

I'd love to hear what type of biodegradable litter you use, because I've tried a couple of corn/wheat products and they were both stinky (even with daily scooping). And you should have seen the pathetic looks the cat gave me when we tried them. If she could have spoken, she might have said, "Mom, if you loved me, you'd get me the litter I like!"

joaquin said...

Great idea for my cat. Will try to implement it.
Hey I am trying to build a group of ecobloggers, i would love you to join us and bring others. I live in Berkeley, so have a good resource of us here, but I want people from other areas, and hear what you and they are doing to reduce waste.
Here is the link

Thanks and let's keep reducing!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea the slotted spoon is! I never considered that option. Mine hardly uses litter cos it goes outside and does it in the garden. Only in bad weather is the box used. A bag of litter lasts at least a year.

Marelise said...

Hello, I'd be grateful if you'd link to my blog on your site. I've linked to yours on mine:


"Going 1X: Striving toward a Sustainable Life" covers individual steps and struggles on the path to a simpler, streamlined life free of mindless shopping and consumption.

I'm a new student in the Presidio School of Management MBA in Sustainable Management program in San Francisco. We're trying to set up a Presidio Compact.

Many thanks!
Marelise Voss

The Minimalist said...

I love your site. Lucky for me my cat goes outside! I have started a blog about minimalism which stresses a reduction in possessions in order to impact the planet less. You might like it. I am going to link to your site. :)

The Minimalist