Sunday, September 14, 2014

Litter-box-a-palooza

Yup, purchased for $5.99!
Friday night, when the house was dark after dinner, I brought out my new black-light flashlight.  I looked in every room, every corner...everywhere.  Did you know that cat urine glows in UV/black light?  I was searching.  You see, Chucky has been peeing over the edge of the litter boxes recently.  Not just one box, but all of them.  He starts in a squat, but then his rear-end lifts higher.  Yikes!  My black-light expedition was to find any places that he may have sprinkled, without our knowledge.

Happily, I found nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  So, that means this isn't a territorial marking thing for Chuck.  So, we have to look at possible physical problems for him.  He's had a history of urine and intestinal problems (urine crystals, bladder infection, constipation), and he's been diagnosed by the veterinarian with arthritis.  The weather quickly became colder, and perhaps Chuck is feeling achey and cannot hold a squat like he used to. Or, his internal organs are playing games.

So, I decided it was time to clean every litter box in the house, and start with new litter. The hubby generously agree to wash, while I poured out the old and put in new.  We cleaned four cement mixing tubs, that we've found to make terrific litter boxes. HOWEVER, in one I placed not the usual clay, clumping stuff (the least expensive in all the land) and filled it with some wheat litter, that does NOT clump.  I've read that the clumping chemical could actually CAUSE constipation in cats!  And we've been battling this same thing in Chuck for years...yes, years!  So, I have to try, although both he and Angel had a sniff at the new stuff then walked away.  That's okay, I've got time. Changing litter brands is a difficult task, since no one wants the cats to start AVOIDING the boxes.  

The idea that we could be causing Chuck's problems by the stuff we are using just makes me shudder.  I would fill each litter box with garden dirt if I thought it would be good for the kitties!  But one step at a time, and very, very slowly we will move forward. Starting with clean boxes.
Chuck believes it's more important to feed him, than to mess around with his litter box!      
Don't have to be a cat whisperer to read what he's telling us here.


10 comments:

  1. You'll have to keep us posted on how everything...erm...comes out! Felix often sprays over the top of the box (despite having one-foot walls) because of the ACL surgery on his knee prevents him from getting a good squat.

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  2. Jenna insists on squatting at the very edge of her litter box. I finally realized I shouldn't put the litter too deep or she will overshoot the sides.

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  3. dood....tell yur mom a korner box werks veree well for "wall issuses" and de entrance iz still low enuff for cats ta get in N outta with out a lotta strain.. if therz arthur itis present...

    N troo lee. dirt ore sand iz knot a bad eye dea..... we haza cat pal that wont use a box unless it iz filled with dirt ore sand ♥

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  4. We have been through similar issues with Skootch. He's a "high flyer". An animal behaviorist told me that you should change the litter slowly, mixing in a little more each time you scoop the box. She also had us try different litter box designs. I found one covered one that works great! It's made by Tidy Cat, and it has a very high back. I put puppy piddle pads underneath all the litter boxes, in case there are any "overages".

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  5. Keep your eye on the prize Chuck- smart kitty. I really like those boxes.
    http://15andmeowing.com

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  6. Let us know how it works out for Chuck. The mom says that's a great idea for a litter box.

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  7. We use wheat litter and absolutely love it. It really does clump if it a.) has time to set a bit and G.) you don't have little tiny boys who like to dig dig dig and disturb things (oh, wait, that's me--I just have more to work with now). We just use the regular Swheat Scoop because we didn't see any difference between it and the multi-cat formula.

    I hope the new boxes work, too. Here we use a Rubbermaid storage box and nobody can pee over the sides of that!

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  8. There is an art to litter box management.
    I'm curious to hear how things turn out with your experiment =)

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  9. My Felix used to do the same thing and it didn't start until he was well into adulthood. He'd squat to pee, then lift his rump to pee up the side of the box. I had to switch to a covered box. I figured if that what he needed to do, I was glad that he only did it in the box. He didn't have any medical issues.

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  10. We have a high-sided box and a low-sided one. The cement mixing trays are a good inbetween height, and the price is certainly right, too!

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