Talk about stupid posts...
Yesterday I cleaned the cat litter box. (One of four.) And I got to wondering if litter boxes are different. Most of my cats in America were always outdoor cats so even though I've loved a lot of cats in my lifetime I'd never even heard of such a thing as a litter box.
After I came to Japan my mother had cats and she insisted they be indoor cats and so provided them with a litter box. Disgusting! All the crunchy grey sand that got scattered everywhere and then she discovered litter box liners that were supposed to make cleaning easier (gather up the bag and dump it?) but I thought the cat was making a bigger mess! I tried buying my mother's cats a mat for putting in front of the litter box but they jumped over that and just spread sand further.
Now I'm in Japan with my 6 Japanese indoor cats. Let me tell you, I have tried as many types of litter boxes and litter "sand" as you can imagine. And I'm not truly satisfied by any but right now my solution is adequate.
I suppose even in America cats have "clumping" sand. I don't like this type. The clumps are nice for the first couple days but gradually all I get is damp smelly sand.
So I gave up on that type and tried chips. Wood chips, pulp chips and paper etc. The cats don't like the paper/pulp chips. I don't know if it is nice or not because the cats avoided the litter box. You can guess what a problem I had then!
There are sub types of pulp chips too, some with charcoal mixed in, some with green tea or bamboo but for some reason or another (some are too expensive!) they have all gone to the wayside.
Right now the litter boxes that the cats and I are both happy with are the pellet litter variety. These lovely little white pellets allow the cats to dig and do and then be easily scooped out. Instead of trying to remove clumps, there is a mat in a drawer that absorbs moisture probably made of the same stuff that disposable diapers are made from. With at least 4 cats using this box I have to change the mat every four days (at about 50 cents a mat!) but it is an easy job and less messy than other systems. The pellets do tend to get out of the box but the paw wiping mat is as unpopular with my cats as it was with my mother's so I've resigned myself to sweeping up. Not as messy as sand at least.
And yes, I have tried covered litter boxes but the cats don't like to be trapped inside when another cat comes to investigate so the covers that once adorned the litter boxes are banned to the storage area.
Didn't know one could write so much about litter boxes did you? I hope you realize how I've tried to be delicate in my vocabulary when writing this...
By the way. I took a picture of instructions on how to use a Japanese toilet when I was visiting one the other day. Explicit.
"FACE THIS WAY"
"SQUAT LOW AND FORWARD"
"CHECK FOR CLEANLINESS AFTERWARDS".
I wonder if the cats would obey if I put up signs...