Thinking Outside the Box

Sometime this past summer one of our cats began to shit outside the litter box, not occasionally, but every damn day. I suspected it was Boomer, our orange tabby; he’s more devious than our other cat, Scooter Pie, and so more likely to express displeasure in ways other than sitting in the middle of the room wailing. That’s Scooter Pie’s MO.

Boomer--observe the devious look

So, I did a little research, found that this was a fairly common occurrence, and that when there are more cats than litter boxes, it is often a result of one cat deciding he no longer wants to share a litter box. It was also possible that the box needed to be replaced or scrubbed out, or sterilized. Examining the situation more closely, it occurred to me as well that the box the cats were using– one of the “Top Cat” litter boxes with a cover that has a hole for the cat to go through from the top–might be a little high for Boomer now that he was older. We’d been using the box without the top because from the beginning the cats thought shitting on it was better than going through it into the box, but I liked it anyway because it was deep and Scooter Pie is so big that a deep box was the only thing between him and the wall when he let loose. So going smaller presented a problem: there was no way to ensure Scooter Pie used the bigger, deeper box, and if he didn’t we’d have a whole other problem. In the end, we scrubbed the hell out of the box we had and purchased another box that was high in the back and low in the front and came with a cover.

And for a while everything was happy in litterville. The cats were using both boxes  and for the most part, everything was deposited inside the boxes. Of course, despite my planning, Scooter Pie selected to shit in the hooded box, or should I say outside the hooded box because he was too big and his butt often hung over the side. So occasionally there would be a pile in front of the smaller box, but it was manageable.

Scooter Pie, a handsome fellow but no rocket scientist

Within the last few months, however, someone–I’m thinking Boomer because he was pissed about Scooter shitting on the entry to his box–started shitting outside ALL THE TIME. And he didn’t just shit outside the box, he shit under my desk (their boxes are in a closet in my home office), in the door way, near the book cases, next to the file cabinet, near the paper shredder . . . you get the picture, right? It was awful, and because he worked from home and so was subjected to the smell, cleaning the mess fell to my husband who grew to find the situation less and less tolerable each day. I knew this weekend when he screamed “I have had it with this shit; shit here, shit there, every morning there is shit everywhere,” that I needed to come up with a plan.

First I turned to the internet, and after reading page after page and post after post about cats, shit, and litter boxes, I had a huge list of box options.  But I was hesitant to shell out the bucks for a new box then have buyer’s remorse, and I was sure there wouldn’t be a great return policy on used litter boxes. Then I came across a recommendation that struck me as a “why the hell didn’t I think of that” solution: get a plastic storage tub; they’re cheap and they come in all different lengths, depths, and widths! So off to Target I went, I returned with a $10.00 plastic storage bin that I thought would be deep enough to prevent Scooter Pie from peeing on the wall but not so deep as to present much of a jump for Boomer.

Second, I posted my Facebook friends, asking them to share what litter they were buying and whether or not they were happy with it. We’d been buying Fresh Step or Arm n Hammer for a while, but I wasn’t happy with them: they were really dusty and seemed even more so lately. Many of my Facebook friends were using the same brands we’d been using, but three recommended Costco’s Litter Purrfect and said it wasn’t too dusty and was a great bargain. So off to Costco we went.

Now, I am ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t even know Costco sold cat litter and neither did my husband. For years we’d been buying litter at the grocery store and Petsmart, and paying through the nose for it even when it was on sale.

Well, it’s Costco from now on! Their “Litter Purrfect” costs $7.99 for 35 pounds!!! We’d been paying twice that much for 15-20 pounds. And it is much less dusty than Arm n’ Hammer or Fresh Step or the other stuff we’ve used. And, so far the cats are happy and my office floor hasn’t seen Boomer’s displeasure in days. All is happy in litterville.

So if you or anyone you know is up to their ankles in cat shit, share this information:

  • Buy Costco litter at $7.99 for 35 lbs
  • Buy a plastic storage bin that best fits your cat for $10.00
  • Live happily ever after with a bit more cash in your bank account.
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2 Responses to Thinking Outside the Box

  1. BuddhaKat says:

    costco litter – $7.99
    target storage bin – $10
    happily ever after + spare cash – priceless!!!

  2. desertdem says:

    Indeed BuddhaKat. I hope the “happily ever after” part is prophetic. I know the costco littler is going to be forever be on my purchase list, as will the target storage bins whenever I need a litterbox 🙂

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