Tagged: litter box

Litter box investigator

I spent my vacation making sure Taco recovered both from his extraction and the drugs necessary to stop him from clawing out his mouth stitches. My husband and I both did this sick. In our entire 15 years of relationship, we’ve never been sick at the same time but we managed it this time – with a recovering Taco to boot.

Taco’s fine. Mostly. We anxiously watched him go in and out of the litter box without peeing – panicking about crystals and blockage and god forbid starting the peeing on the couch thing again (Taco has Idiopathic Urinary Cystitis which you can read alllll about). But ultimately he’s peeing normally again, he healed just fine and he’s off antibiotics, which is good, because now he has diarrhea. In fact, he’s had it all week. We’ve tried pet store probiotics but his poop is still not log-shaped.

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My poor baby. The vet had us start some pill yesterday which amazingly we got down his gullet TWICE! Without losing fingers! And a vet-approved antibiotic. Also pumpkin. As of this morning it hadn’t all worked yet but I have high hopes for the next BM.

When did this become my life? Tracking litter boxes?

Side note, Taco’s bottom tooth gets stuck on his upper lip sometimes now which unfortunately caused a sore. The vet says he’ll get a callus – but aside from removing the bottom tooth (hell no) there’s no cure for the dumdum face he makes when it gets stuck. Can I still love him? We’ll see.

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You learn something new every day.

I have 3 litterboxes. You’re supposed to have as many as you have cats, plus one, and there should be one on every floor (I live in a townhouse). However, since we added one downstairs in an effort to stop Taco from peeing on the couch, both cats have, for the most part, abandoned using the two upstairs, mostly likely because the downstairs one is next to the kitchen and they can cause the most destruction with their foul smells. It’s great, really. I love knowing my olfactory senses are working to full capacity.

That being said, since they hardly use the upstairs ones, I only check them once a week or so. Perhaps that’s slightly neglectful. But honestly, the smell is usually a dead giveaway if there’s waste requiring removal.

So imagine my surprise when last night, I opened the covered box to find it was completely and utterly infested with tiny brown bugs. I mean, hundreds. And after closer inspection, I realized that the tiny brown bugs were not just confined to the box, but all over the surrounding carpet.

Now, I freely admit I’m not the best housekeeper. I’m more like a PigPen. This does not mean I live in filth. The boyfriend makes up for what I lack, and I do try to keep things tidy. I’m messy, but not dirty. But still, I would like to think that I would have noticed a bazillion of these freakin’ bugs all over. So I’m reasonably sure that the infestation grew fairly quickly.

We took the box outside (where it still resides, I don’t feel like cleaning it just yet) and vacuumed up the offenders. The boyfriend immediately blamed cat poop.

So I did what every good American would do.

I googled.

You know those bugs that end up in your pantry, usually in your flour?

Yeah. Turns out they dig corn, too. Which is conveniently what my cat litter is made of. It seems there’s a certain trade-off in being environmentally friendly and therefore shunning clay litter.

The danger is always lurking.

The danger is always lurking.

So hey, at least I’m not the only one this happened to. And maybe it’s because they don’t use that box. Because the high traffic box doesn’t have a single bug (at least that I can see).

World’s Best Cat Litter, I am hereby calling you out. I do like your product, but give a girl a warning, seriously.

You can never have too many posts about litter boxes.

Today, I have been very productive. I went to Target, Michael’s, the gym AND the beach (Debby left AMAZING weather in her wake, even if she did take an awful lot of the sand dunes with her, too). And I even took half of the recycling to the recycling place! I can’t get too excited about that one. It’s literally a 5 second drive. But YAY TO ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLINESS!

Not gonna lie, I love living in Florida.

I’m not looking forward to my next task, though. Reconfiguring the downstairs litter box placement.

So we added the 3rd box downstairs in hopes it would give Taco an alternative to peeing on the couch. It’s worked out MOST of the time, but he still has his moments.

Anyway, the perfect place for a corner-style box was in the “dining room” that we don’t use as a dining room or really anything else. And this is fine. However, the boyfriend’s mom is coming to visit and the only good place to put an inflatable bed is in that very same space. Considering the boys have made that their favorite pooping place and therefore considering the stench, it’s going to have to be moved. That’s just not nice. I love the boyfriend’s mom. If she was an evil in-law, I’d probably consider leaving it but she is most definitely on the good side.

I’ve heard cats are rather finicky about change, and although mine seem to take most things in stride except for the vacuum cleaner and mattress delivery people, I’m slightly concerned with a) where to put it and b) if they are going to have, literally, a shit fit.

Even being sandwiched by work boots doesn’t faze Taco.

It feels like such a daunting task that it almost seems easier to clear the 2nd bedroom of my craft things and put her there, except there’s a litter box here, too, and my closet and bathroom (I highly recommend separate bathrooms and closets in a relationship — I think it’s the key to longevity).

There’s also other cleaning involved in preparation. Not looking forward to that either. I’m not the cleanest person on earth. Even when I try, I’m still messy.

But I suppose this is enough procrastination. SIGH.

Moosh enjoys the peacefulness of the closet. Perhaps I can hide there too.

Toilet training for cats sounds so tempting.

I have two cats. I had two litter boxes. One preferred one, the other preferred the other.

The boys in a rare moment of sharing.

Then Taco started peeing on the couch and in my attempts to try everything to discourage this, we added a third.

They say that you’re supposed to have one box per cat plus one, but I had resisted this as there is really no good place in my house for various litter boxes. As I write this, I have one next to me, in the spare bedroom that serves as an office/craft room. Another is in my boyfriend’s bathroom under the vanity. The third, the one that I tried not to have, is in my “dining room,” which is really just a space with cat stuff. We tossed the table a year ago, we never ate at it and it was ugly. We keep meaning to get another, smaller one, but haven’t gotten around to that either.

I buy three different kinds of litter. I refuse to use clay, because, if you don’t already know, it’s incredibly bad for the environment, the cats and yourself. If you’ve ever poured a batch and inhaled the cloud of dust that ensues, you’ll understand. So I have S’wheat scoop, Feline Pine and Feline Pine clumping. Taco always preferred the pine and Moosh likes the wheat, and I did the clumping downstairs because it’s miserable to step on those f&^#&ing pellets.

Nothing really stops the stench, and now BOTH cats have taken to almost exclusively using the downstairs box…the one I would really prefer them NOT use, as it is right next to the kitchen.

I cannot fathom why. They both spend the majority of their time sleeping upstairs. Moosh’s current favorite place is in my closet, and Taco’s is under or on the bed. They have developed relationships with the boxes they’re already used to. Why is this new box so special?

They are both total opposites when it comes to USING the box, too. Moosh digs to China. He spends a good 15 minutes covering. This leads to what we have affectionately labeled “the poop face,” because he is covered in pine/wheat dust. Then he likes to do what we have affectionately labeled “the poop run,” which is running up (or down) the stairs excitedly, ending with a little prance. I assume he feels lighter and freer and wants to show it off.

POOP FACE!

Taco rarely digs. His poop run consists of dropping a deuce and then hauling ass, leaving the stench to permeate. And boy, is he stench-y.

So this is why, sometimes, I am really tempted to train my cats to use the toilet. In the end, though, I’m personally too selfish to give up the use of one of MY toilets to do so. Nor do I have the patience or time. Sigh.