Cat Litter Box

olivertwistkitchenSeptember 17, 2012

OK, I know this is not technically a kitchen question, but...

We decided to remodel the mudroom/pantry off the kitchen at the same time. This will involve changing our full bath (bathroom with a stand-up shower) into a Powder Room by eliminating the shower stall, and using the extra room for a pantry. The cat boxes are in that shower stall now. If we eliminate it, where can we put them?

KD said he could make something under the sink cabinet for them in the bathroom. But I can't imagine the stench in there and trying to clean it. As it is, the poor cats "miss" an awful lot. A friend suggested putting a pet door in the basement door and relocating the whole kit and kaboodle to the basement. But we have no toilet down there, how in the world would I empty it daily with no toilet? Suggestions for where to put the litter box so that it isn't smelly, isn't gross, is cleanable, and ideally, so it doesn't track litter all over the room ???? Thanks.

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One of the great mysteries of life.
If you figure this one out, LMK!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:47PM
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The best place to have the litter box is in someone else's house :-)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:06AM
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You throw your littler in the toilet? Wow. DH would have a kiniption if I did that. We have three indoor cats. I scoop their littler niblets into a bag each night. I sometimes use the bag over a couple-three days and then toss it.

Without seeing your house layout, I have no specific suggestion to contribute other than to say it is possible to have a litter box without a nearby toilet.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:05AM
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Wow. I also wouldn't throw my litter in the toilet ... Especially the urine balls. All that clay turns to sludge. I would be afraid of some serious plumbing issues down the road.

I do what breezy girl does and scoop into a bag which I then discard. Clean it daily and no odor whatsoever.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Our box is in the basement and we have a small garbage can next to it - scoop & dump in the bag, toss bag every few days - get the litter that has some baking soda in it to keep the smell down. We used to have three cats, and then we had to toss the bag every couple of days or sooner.
Agree with others - litter in toilet? Have never tried that, would be worried about plumbing.
I got a special cat door to the basement that the smaller dog can't go through - the cat's chip triggers something that opens the door only for her. The dog likes to nibble on the deposits, so we keep him out of the basement. Actually both dogs, but one is too big for the cat door.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:48AM
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We use the "crystals", not clay or clumping litter.
So I'm not putting much actual litter in the toilet. Mostly crystal-coated poop, if you know what I mean. Have never had a problem in the toilet, and the cats are 15 years old.

So you don't find poop sitting in the garbage to be really smelly?

Those of you with boxes in the basement, is the basement finished or unfinished? Ours is unfinished, and I'm not sure I want the cats wandering around down there.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:57AM
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My sister had the coolest litter box I've ever seen. The litter box itself was inside a cabinet. The cat goes inside an entrance in the cabinet, does its business and then the box automatically scooped the clumped kitty business into a bag. When she pulled the bag out, it automatically closed. All she had to do was throw out the bag every couple of days and replace litter. The best thing about it was her house didn't smell like a cat lived there at all. And that was with three cats.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:57AM
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One box was enough for 3 cats?
Was this box bought in a store, or made?
And she really didn't clean it? The sides, etc. didn't get covered in pee?

Maybe I need to just re-teach one of the cats. There are times we see him in the box with his butt hanging out the side, and he pees right on the floor. DH thinks it's some kind of joke he plays on us.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 4:00AM
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LOL about the butt hanging over the box and going on the floor! My dear, crazy Peanut (may he rest in peace) did that all the time. He'd scoot his feet as close to the corner as they could go while still being in the box and then... Gotta love 'em, right? ;)

Yes. Poop and urine clumps are smelly. They're not any worse, less in fact, than the diapers my two year old produces. (I'm guessing you don't have kids.) Diapers and bags with litter discards don't go into the kitchen's garbage pullout. They go straight out the the big can outside.

I've never heard of such a custom set up as Poohpup's DS. We used to have an automatic box that combed through the litter every time a cat left the box and then dumped clumps in a trough-like plastic container at one end. The darn things were close to $140 a pop, but I didn't mind. With three cats, the motors pooped (pun intended LOL!) out after about 18 months. You still have to dump the plastic bins, and you still have to clean the bits of poop that stick to the sides and the tines. The same is true of any litter box regardless of where or how you install it.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'crystals', but DH still wouldn't go for flushing that down the toilet.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:26AM
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I'll see if I can find out about the cat box from my sister. She's out of town right now but I'll find out when she gets back. I know it was something that she purchased. And one box worked for three cats. She just emptied the bag every couple of days.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:32AM
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This litter box was similar to then model we had, although a little less expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Auto box

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:41AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have 2 boxes for one cat. We use the clumping stuff and I clean the box 2-3 times a day...every time I find stuff in it. We use the plastic bags from our newspapers...put it in and tie the smells. Never heard of putting any type of litter down a toilet...we are on septic and are very careful.

We put the boxes in our master bath and in the powder room...anywhere there is a cleanable floor surface. We used to have it downstairs, but he's getting older and arthritic so upstairs is easier on his old legs.

Now if only I can keep him using the boxes and not other places in the house!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:06AM
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Our box has a cover on it so there is no way the cat can go over the edge.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:22AM
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I second a covered box so the cat can't go over the edge. I used to have that problem, but now we have one covered box and one with extra high sides and it doesn't happen anymore. I have a good freind who is a plumber and he told me no type of cat litter should ever go down the toilet- I thought that would be a convenient disposal method as well, but after his advice I've never done it.
Our litter boxes are in the laundry room, with a small opening cut into the door so the cats can get in but the dog can't. I scoop daily and put the bag into the garage trash that is just off the laundry room.I do think it would smell if left in a trash bin in the house. With daily scooping I never have any smell from the box. I would advice against the basement, only because it would probably not get scooped as often if it's out of sight.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:58AM
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We have our boxes in the basement with a small doggy door that my dad put into the door going down into the basement.

I used the self-cleaning litter boxes for years but have one large cat that just found them a tad small. I replaced them with large sterlite boxes which hold quite a lot of kitty litter. Cats are happy; they have plenty of space to do their business and scratch away at the litter without it flying everywhere. Litter is nice and deep so stuff gets covered, don't stick to things. They are simple to clean and cheap to replace.

Our basement is partially finished.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:07AM
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We've been babysitting a friend's cat for just over a year and a half now. He's a big cat (19-1/2 lbs on arrival, 15-1/2 lbs now). He came with this litter box

which pretty much eliminates the possibility of peeing outside the box. The lid lifts off for cleaning. With a mat in front, there is little litter tracked outside the box. Due to no other choices (small house) this box is in the guest bath. It's OK. Here he is hogging the dog's bed (and daring our sweet Golden Retriever to do something about it).

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Shortly after we moved into our tiny rental house, I bought the litter robot box. I still feel a bit sick about how much I spent but since we've been here for soooo long, I think it's been worth it. We had no place for a litter box except the bathroom and we have 4 cats.

I love this thing - it's not perfect but it's the best I've ever had. My kids used to come running when it would start up so they could watch it but then we don't have cable.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Cat litter will settle in the plumbing pipes and not move along. Regardless of being on a city sewer line or a septic tank, it's a very bad idea to put litter into a toilet.

We use a recycled heavy plastic picnic cooler for our Lacy. With 3/4 inches of litter she is fully contained in the box so there's never any spillage.

I would put a litter box in a family bathroom, but not in a powder room used by guests.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:16AM
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Oliver, do you just have one box that all 3 cats use? If so, that could be part of the odor issue. I have "read" that ideally you should have 1 more box than you do cats. So with 3 cats, 4 boxes. I know that sounds excessive, but that is ideal. I have no experience with that as I only have 1 cat and 1 box which is fine. But 1 box for 3 cats? You might want to add at least 1 more.

Also maybe invest in the largest box you can find. Sounds like with the rearend hanging over the edge, he/she needs more space.

The more pleasant you can make the experience for the cats the better.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:36AM
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For my cat, I buy "Swheat Scoop Natural Wheat Scoopable Litter". It is biodegradable and certifed flushable. I have not had any issues flushing it down the commode.

Her litter box is in a spare bedroom that is basically a storage room. I have a dishdrainer under her box to catch any litter that she scratches out.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:50AM
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We have ours in the laundry room, and yes, you need one more box than you have cat. It minimizes any territorial issues as well as any single box being over utilized. They key to boxes not being stinky is regular cleaning. As is a minimum of once a day, but twice a day is preferable. Cats are clean and finicky creatures and find a dirty box just as nasty as you would a toilet that hadn't been flushed after several uses. So you want to locate boxes somewhere readily accessible to make it easy for you to clean on a regular basis. A basement would NOT be the ideal location unless you are in and out of there frequently.

Putting any kind of litter down a toilet is a sure recipe for plumbing issues down the road. We use plastic grocery sacks and double sack and tie them up. Then the bags go straight into the trash outside.

I would also explore other options than taking away a shower to create a pantry. It will lower the value of your house to lose that bath and turn it into a powder room. Yes, even if you have a brand new kitchen, losing a bath will trump that at appraisal time.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Ah, MuleHouse. Our "family bathroom" is tiny. A litter box in there would either block the doorway or use up all the space between the toilet and the shower precluding the use of either. The "powder room," on the other hand, actually has a bit of space in the back corner. It's a full service bathroom with a bathtub vs. our bathroom with just a shower. At 1490 sf, we don't have a mudroom, a laundry room, or even a den. When we've had cats, which has been almost always, they've been indoor/outdoor cats. I'm not fond of litter boxes. We are fond of the young lady who owns this cat (she was in Europe for a while) and her kitty, so we deal with his litter box.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Debrak, wait until your cat figures out that if he can't hang his bummy over the edge, it's just as convenient to poop in front of the box

I used to have 3 of the LitterMaid (I think) automatic litter boxes. I LOVED them. They did work only about 18 months, but boy were they convenient.

The general rule of thumb is a box per cat. I can't imagine how quickly they'd fill up, with just one. I only have 4 cats right now, and actually 5 boxes. I had 7 cats with 8 boxes. I lived for litter. Well, I still do.

Years ago, when scoopable was first invented, they also called it "flushable". That was extremely short-lived. Nonetheless, the couple of months I did put it down my toilet managed to clog the condominium plumbing. So, on septic, I don't play. I wouldn't recommend anyone flush it. It's expensive.

I've mentioned my wonderful Kharma, who just plain does not use the box. She seems to think that anything lying on the floor is for her to pee on. Laundry, papers, plastic bags, other cats, you name it. When I'm home, she stays with me so I can keep an eye on her. When I'm not, I confine her and just recently (thanks to this board again!) have determined I need to line the office floor with sheet vinyl. On one had, God bless Nature's Miracle, OTOH, she's ruining the hard wood.

Recently, someone else has started using the walk-in shower. Don't know who yet, but I'll figure it out. Gotta Nature's Miracle the grout and seal that again, just in case.

Now, for my words of wisdom to you people who (were crazy enough to) have children. Don't you have a diaper genii lying around? Well....

I thought that was brilliant.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:09AM
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How big is your mudroom/pantry? Is there space in the mudroom area, for the kitty box? I like it under a counter with a curtain in front of it. Same idea as your shower stall, but the little guys don't need that much head room! :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Not really answering your question, but I switched to "The World's Best Cat Litter". It's made from corn! but expensive and I only have the one senior indoor/outdoor cat who at this point only needs the litter box for overnight; and so far only uses it to pee. After I clean the one or two clumps out in the morning I slide the box under the chiffarobe out of sight. I have never smelled the odor of cat pee since I began using TWBCL. The company claims it doesn't track, but it does some. I think it's more like my cat thinks he's covering up the spot and instead is flicking it out over the edge of the box.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I would never throw any cat litter down my toilet - not with my old septic lines. I have enough trouble as it is. I use the plastic bags from the stores and put them in the trash can, no smell - yep, I'm one of those people who swore by the cloth shopping bags until I bought a litter box. :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Another cat thread! Yay!!! Even if it's about cat poop/pee.

I have three indoor cats and two jumbo litterboxes, the kind with high sides except in the front. I scoop usually once a day into a little waste container with plastic liner. It fills up every couple of days and then goes into the garbage. I have a small house and the only real spot for the boxes is in my office. I've tried umpteen kinds of litter and finally settled on the Petco kind you scoop into your own containers. I buy big bags of baking soda at Costco and periodically add a scoop to the litter.

Other than being in my office when a Large Event is happening, I don't think there's any odor. Of course, we cat people tend to be biased. Or deluded.

My daughter has a couple of cats and uses one of those igloo boxes. It's a pain to clean. After years of using liners and having them rip and mess up the litter, I dispensed with liners altogether and it's so much neater and cleaner. The nature of litter keeps the box clean.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:14PM
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We have a big box for our 2 cats in our laundry room. We clean it out once a day into a plastic bag, and discard the bag in the garbage in the garage, which is adjacent to the laundry room.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Linelle- LOL! I think deluded might be better. At least for me :)

Here's a cute picture I just found, while looking for 'kitchen with fireplace' and this looks like my boy :)

From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Ah, yes, Suzannes, where to put the box is always a big decision. The Mule House bathroom is small already and I'm adding a shower so there will be zero space for Lacy's box. It will probably have to go in the utility room which is right off the kitchen. Oh, well, I'll be prompted to clean it several times each day that way. : )

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:32PM
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We have one very spoiled very large Tabby that adopted us about 4 yrs ago. She is an indoor/outdoor gal. Her litter box is in our master bathroom. I dont like it but there isnt another place for it. Never stinky or gross tho. I check and clean it everyday, hardly any clean-up.

Scratching furniture tho is a WHOLE other thing. I have sheets and blankets covering everything which I hate because I have to constantly put them bk in place after sitting...erggg. In front of the arm rests and sides I have had to put trays or anything that will fit to divert her. Bratty girl. It befuddles me that she does this and I know it is mostly for attention or when she wants to be fed more than she has been given. She has scratch posts and shoe strings and lots of play things. erggggg.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:30PM
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go_figure01, have you tried "Sticky Paws"? It's double-sided tape that you put on furniture corners, or wherever your kitty scratches. Cats hate the feel of the stickiness. It's worked for my extremely bratty young cats. It's not a great look on the furniture, but it's better than shredded upholstery. You can buy it at Petco or online.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Christine don't jinx it, lol. We have had Cuddles for 8 years with the same type of litter box (with a cover) and not one accident! We don't even scoop it out everyday.

I loved my diaper genie with my kids. I can see it working for the cat litter too.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Thanks linelle - I will give that a try.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Any ideas where to get a box like that?
Very cool looking.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Well since my cat thinks its a dog, he goes to the door like the dogs and does his thing outside. No litter box. He also follows along when we take the dogs for walks. DH wants to get him a leash. Sorry no help I know.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:03PM
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I don't think this would work with a grown cat, but we were surprised with a kitten and had to find a solution for a cat litter box in our teeny tiny one bath house. I covered a box with sisal and recessed an 8 x 10"ish plastic food bin into it. I put the box in a wicker basket right next to our toliet. (So it looks as "pretty" as a litter box can.) He goes in the litter and scratches on rug and basket. As he has grown, he positions his front paws on the carpet.We clean it about 3 times a day. We use a litter made from ground walnut shells. It clumps well and is flush able.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:11PM
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They make a litter genie for cats. The scooper is attached to the side. It works great. We've had one for about a year.

Here is a link that might be useful: litter genie

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:44PM
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Wow, I never thought this question would get so many responses! The litter genie, that's hysterical. We stopped using our diaper genie after a while. Easier to just take out the garbage than use that stupid thing.
Thanks for all the responses.
I told DH about the covered box. He snickered, and said that our cat would probably just end up peeing on himself. He's probably right. Guess I'll think of something...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Has anyone trained their cats to do their business in a toilet? My friend has her cats trained - she put the litter in a tray under the seat and over time, just removed it - no mess, no fuss!
And this is really the truth!!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Tullamore- I saw the igloo litterbox at Petsmart. A small one and a large one. Thought about getting it for my cats, but I was afraid they wouldn't use it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:32PM
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My mom has a doggie door and a fenced back yard and both the dog and cat use the door and go outside.

She doesn't have a litter box at all.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I'm been using corn based flusable litter for over 10 years, 8 different residences and never had a problem. During that time we have had either one or two cats and I scoop at least twice a day. I don't think the cats we have/have had like the covered litter boxes as they just keep the smells more contained within the boxes. Plus, with Maine Coon cats, it would mean have to find really big covered boxes.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:22PM
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I don't see that anyone has mentioned the Omega cat box. You roll it to clean it - the litter drops into a tray that you can pull out and dump into a bag. I clean it once a day and use the same type of bag as I use when I walk the dog.

Having said that, I'm not sure where I'm going to put mine when I move into the house I'm renovating. Maybe in the downstairs bath in the curbless shower, moving it to the laundry room when there's guests. The downstairs bath won't be used for showering for now, its main purpose is to be an aging-in-place solution but meanwhile it will just be used as powder room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Omega Roll N Clean

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:10PM
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We have a litter box called Litter Robot. Best automatic litter box I have ever seen.

We also used to have a Litter Maid, the kind with the rake. In theory that is a good idea, but the rake would get all gunked up, the depository that it raked into wasn't big enough so it would get full too quickly and be a huge mess, and the little containers it deposited into were expensive. It finally broke, thank goodness.

The Litter Robot is wicked expensive. But it works great. The depository is big and you can use regular small trash bags in it (like 4 or 8 gal that you buy a roll of 100 for $4 from walmart) or you can use plastic bags from grocery store that you carry groceries home in. The litter is always clean. To 'clean' the box, you just pull out the bag of refuse, tie it off and throw it out. We only have one cat so it takes a while to fill up. You have to use a high quality clumping litter, some litters do not clump hard and stay mushy, these would not work as well in it as they could leave wet residue stuck on the inside.

They have a 90-day money back guarantee, an excellent warranty and will cover the warranty even if you are not the original owner (if you buy a used one). They do sometimes have refurbished units and also you can sometimes find them on Craigslist or eBay. You have to plug it into an electrical outlet. It is kind of large and looks like the Death Star. For our new house, we will have it in a pre-planned area in the laundry room. For now, we have it in a spare bathroom.

I don't think you would need multiple boxes with the LR, as it is always clean. Not sure though ?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:50AM
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My cats have their own bedroom and the box is in there. My hubby had slight cat allergies when I met him and I've developed allergies over time so I can't have that fur all over the place and 1 of our 2 is destructive. Plus my hubby grossed me out when he pointed out that even if the litter box is cleaned out, the litter has still been "used", the cat's feet touches it and then they walk all over the house. We actually have friends that let their cats go on the counters and beds (yuck). Since we don't wear shoes in the house and ask our guests not to as well, it just made sense that they have their own room. But to each his own I guess. Do you have a small hall closet to put it in?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 2:44AM
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Boxes are in the basement and are cleaned 2-3 times a day. Kitties eat and sleep in basement at night so it's easy to keep track of it. We have 3 cats and 7 litter boxes (A lot of territorial stuff happens at our house). We collect the "pee balls" in the plastic bags our produce from the supermarkets comes home in, and they go in the trash on trash day. Poop is collected in separate plastic dish, taken to first floor powder room & flushed down the toilet. We've been doing this for 16 years without any plumbing issues.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I have the bought the liter robot about 6 years ago and it was working well for me. sometimes it would need some help but it was easy to change the bag on trash days. with too cats twice a week was good. I kept mine in a hall closet near an outlet. Sad thing is it not working anymore my older cat in his last days peed all over the face of it and messed up the control board but they tell me it can be repaired I just have not found a box to ship the base back in.

yes like someone posted above it was expensive to buy but it worked better than the other ones friends and family had tried for much longer. I need to send it in for repair I miss it so

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:32PM
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