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Best way to clean litter pan when there is no litter box liner

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by brandy-neka, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. brandy-neka

    brandy-neka Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Oct 11, 2011
    South Dakota
    So the title pretty much says it all. In the past I had a siamese cat for 17 years, he never had an issue with liners and every time I went to clean the actual box out I just watered it down with the garden hose as it didn't smell or anything and seemed good enough like that... 

    With my new cat, she is 7 months old and I've had her since August 30th. So far she had been really good with her litter box, and she's still good with using her little box... Only today I saw her scratching at the side of the litter liner not only tearing that side to pieces but also eating the liner after that... I knew that wouldn't do... First I called a vet that's open today to get advice - I wanted to make sure she'd be okay after eating the plastic. For now I've just been told to watch her. Then I called petco - to see if there was anything in the liner that could be bad for her chemically. We couldn't find anything so hopefully not... 

    Now the reason why I'm posting this. I've decided to take the liners out all together and just use her litter box and litter, the box is very smooth so it should be fine on her paws and hopefully not having the lining in there won't make her have accidents or anything. 

    What I want to know is what's the best way to clean her litter box? It's one of those big ones that have a hood over it... I no longer live in a house, I live in an apartment so a garden hose is not easily accessible. So the vet person said just to use my bathtub and then I'd just have to clean my bathtub more often. Then she said to use bleach on the actual litter box... I thought that bleach would be a bit of a strong smell for a cats nose - although it would certainly kill germs... 

    Then I called my grandma and she said baking soda... well that might be good for masking the smell but I'm not sure if it's the best for cleaning the box...

    I have clumping litter and usually scoop it daily, if I can't get to it one day for some reason I always get to it the next. 

    Just curious if there's an easy way to clean it out? With being very clean as well...

    The litter liners were so nice (sighs), even with all of her claws she'd only get a few holes in there and when I went to change the bag I only had to put a plastic bag under it and then just throw it away in the dumpster outside... But with her pica problems I don't want to chance it... 

    [​IMG]
     

  2. cat person

    cat person TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oct 31, 2010
    Please note, my answers are in bold face type.
     
     

  3. bastetservant

    bastetservant TCS Member Top Cat

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    Aug 18, 2010
    near Chicago
    I use Dawn dish washing detergent to wash all my cats' things.

    Clumping clay litter can be dangerous for kittens, if that is what you are using. Especially with a kitten inclined to eat things she shouldn't. It expands 10 times or more it's dry volume when wet, and can cause blockages.
     

  4. otto

    otto TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 7, 2008
    I have two sets of litter boxes, so while one set is in use, the other set is being washed and aired.

    Boxes are dumped and scrubbed once a week, in the bath tub. Rinsed in hot water first to remove all litter particles. (rinsed and dumped into a bucket. The bucket is then dumped outside, so litter particles are not being washed down the drain)

    The boxes are then set to soak over night with a bleach/laundry soap/hot water solution (I use laundry soap because it is safe to use with bleach, some cleaners, such as most dish soaps, are not)

    The next morning they are scrubbed and rinsed..first with hot water, then cold water to remove soap residue, then with white vinegar to remove any lingering odors or soap residue, then a final cold water rinse.

    Air dried.

    I cover the bottoms of the boxes with baking soda after they have air dried. They sit with the baking soda until it is time to use them. Then I dump the baking soda out. I don't add baking soda to the litter boxes, I don't like the idea of them breathing the baking soda dust
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011

  5. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    19,111
    8,665
    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    I scrub the boxes in the bathtub with dish soap and an old sponge, rinse, then pour enough white vinegar to cover the bottom and let it sit for 10 minutes, then a quick swish with the dish soap sponge again and rinse well. You probably don't have to do the vinegar thing every time, but since I'm cleaning so many boxes at once it works for me. You can also use properly diluted bleach mixture for the soak, but it's not actually a cleaner (just a disinfectant) so the box should be cleaned somehow before bleaching.
     

  6. brandy-neka

    brandy-neka Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    100
    11
    Oct 11, 2011
    South Dakota
    Uh she's 7 months old and I've never seen her eat her litter... this is the kind of litter I use:

    [​IMG]

    I got that kind because it helps with odor AND it's supposed to be almost entirely dust free... I only have 1 cat, so it might be overboard but at times her poo is stinky... It's also supposed to stop the growth o bacteria in the litter... it says 99.7 percent dust free... She's never eaten her litter... I don't want to change litters types... 
     

  7. annie_belle

    annie_belle TCS Member Young Cat

    30
    1
    Mar 3, 2011
    USA
    Two items I would not be without in my litter box "toolkit":

    1.  Smart Scoop No-Stick Litter Box Spray.  With a clean litter pan, I spray the bottom and sides, as well as the litter pan cleaning tools.  Let dry then add the litter.  It helps to keep things from sticking, should they make it through the litter to the bottom...or on the sides.

    2.  A metal paint scraper with the wide blade.  This is the best tool for helping to really get the box clean.  First I use the blade around the sides, much like one would do to loosen a cake in the pan.  Then I scrape along the bottom...it really gets everything away from the bottom and sides, making it easier to scoop up.  I do use clumping litter, so that is what my experience is based on.

    Also, I'm a firm believer in scooping the litter pan twice a day.  The way I look at it...I'd hate to find that my own toilet was only flushed once a day...so I won't ask any less of my cat.  In fact, if I know that she has gone in and had a BM, I head in, make sure it's covered and go on and scoop it out. 

    Anyway...that's what I do! 

    [​IMG]   Until next time...Annie
     

  8. stephanietx

    stephanietx TCS Member Veteran

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    Dec 1, 2005
    Texas
    We use plain Dawn dish soap to clean the boxes.  I use an old wash cloth to clean them.  I also have 2 sets of boxes so that I can have a set to use while one set is being cleaned.  We replace the boxes about once a year since the plastic ones can scratch and hold in odors.  I also believe in scooping twice daily to help control odors.  We use World's Best Cat Litter and love it!
     

  9. ducman69

    ducman69 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Texas
    I use a generic bleach cleaner and scrub brush... but in a bathtub?  I'd never get it clean enough to take a bath in there again.  To me that'd be like taking a sip out of a toilet, no matter how much you scrub... it wouldn't be enough mentally for me.  If the concern is you'd have to wash it constantly, I don't and have never had an issue.   Its a litterbox, they poo and pee in there regularly, so even if you got it spick and span, its going to be dirty the first time they use it anyway, and its not like they don't lick their own butts, heh.  We usually go about two months before I wash it which is when they get completely fresh litter (in between its cycled w/ new stuff gradually as its used up and topped off), but I do wipe off any mess if there is one with a wetwipe (rare).     Cats are less than two years old, but no issues to date.  *knock on wood*

    We use Swheat Scoop Multicat litter in quasi-automatic Omega Paw rolling litterboxes (four of them for two cats) and when putting fresh litter in I spray the box lightly w/ PAM vegetable oil anti-stick spray to ensure there aren't any pee clumps that stick to the bottom.   I don't like to scoop too often not just out of laziness, but the pee/poo clumps harden in the litter if allowed to sit a while which keeps the box clean when I roll it. 

    We don't use liners either, Wesley would tear it to shreds as he sometimes likes to dig to China and besides he likes licking plastic too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

  10. otto

    otto TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 7, 2008
    I don't drink out of my toilet OR my bathtub :lol3:

    I think those rolling boxes are a terrible invention. I can only imagine how much they must stink inside, being coated from top to bottom with pee and poop day after day. Ick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  11. natalie_ca

    natalie_ca TCS Member Top Cat

    I use Jonny Cat Scooping Cat Litter. I scoop morning and night, and once more in the day if I'm home.

    I do similar to what Otto does. Only I soak the boxes over night in the tub with hot water and "Mr. Clean" or "Javex" (never mixed together). Then I run the toilet brush over them and rinse a few times with hot water and then turn the boxes upside down to dry. Then into the utility closet they go until the next litter change.
     
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  12. natalie_ca

    natalie_ca TCS Member Top Cat

    When you live in an apartment, where do you suggest that the box be cleaned? Your choices are: Bath tub, bathroom sink, toilet or kitchen sink.
     

  13. ducman69

    ducman69 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Texas
    Every apartment I've been to had water somewhere outside.   Just flop it in the trunk and wash it when you wash your car. [​IMG]

    (Unless you use those scratch-o-matic drive through ones!  Worst invention everrrrr, heh.   *cringe*)
    Yup, they are definitely unpopular and poorly reviewed for that reason.   Oh wait, no they aren't.  [​IMG]



    #1 Selling litterbox on Amazon.com with 4.5 out of 5* review, with the poor reviews complaining about plastic tabs breaking, not about "stink".     And if your cat is somehow getting urine and feces on the top of the device, you really really need to bring them to the vet.    Most cats pee in the litter, which creates solid hard clumps, and they poo there as well which harden from the moisture absorption of the litter unless your kitty is suffering from persistent loose stools which would be a real medical concern.   
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  14. otto

    otto TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 7, 2008
    When you roll the box, the pee and poop goes all over the box. That is what I meant by pee and poop all over the box.

    I'm sure the box is popular, many people are lazy and don't like to be bothered with cleaning litter boxes, and don't care if their cats have to smell horrid odors when they use the box.

    For myself and my cats, I prefer cleanliness rather than convenience.

    There are many many apartments with no "water outside". Including mine. In fact, I have never lived in an apartment that had an outside water source.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  15. stephanietx

    stephanietx TCS Member Veteran

    12,566
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    Dec 1, 2005
    Texas
    I wash my litter boxes in the bathtub.  We have one of those detachable shower heads that makes it easy to rinse.  Seeing as how I don't drink out of my bathtub (and if I used it to hold water if our water was off, I'd boil it first) I have no problems using the tub or shower after I've cleaned the boxes.  I usually clean boxes and then clean the bathtub when I'm finished.  Since there's no measurable amount of litter, pee, or poop in my shower, it's no worse than washing dirty dishes in the sink.
     

  16. xocats

    xocats TCS Member Veteran

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    Mar 26, 2005
    Same here...
    plus, I have 2 littler boxes...
    before I clean the dirty one, I fill the clean box with fresh litter so that they always have litter available.

    I use clorox type wipes (never pine) rinse the box thoroughly...
    dry somewhat with paper towels, then let it air dry completely, set is aside until the next change cycle. :bigthumb:
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  17. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Northwest Indiana
    I use Dawn Dishwasing soap first and give the boxes a good scrub. Then in goes some bleach mixed with water and scrub some more. Then I rinse and rinse. Add the white vinegar and let sit for ten minutes. Rinse again and wipe dry. I have two set's of litter boxes as well. I like the suggestion of leaving baking soda sit in the bottom of the clean boxes till their next use. :bigthumb: I have a pretty large Utility sink that I wash the boxes in. I would never use or have never used the liners. They would get torn to shreds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  18. xocats

    xocats TCS Member Veteran

    20,609
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    Mar 26, 2005
    I am going to try your cleaning technique....
    it seems less toxic than using the clorox wipes. :nod:
     

  19. ducman69

    ducman69 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Texas
    I know what you said, I'm saying your guess is wrong.   As an actual long-term owner, no pee or poop goes all over the box.  I've corrected you on that statement before.  If it did, it would surely show up at least once in the near hundred reviews from actual owners of the box.   That WOULD happen if the cat doesn't pee/poo in the actual litter (which coats it and absorbs moisture) or had very loose stools, but that is a medical problem not a litterbox one IMO.  That is what I meant.  [​IMG]

    There is a similar, and looks like it may possibly be even better, sifting box though that doesn't have a lid.   Downside of course is that with an enclosed design you don't have to worry about spastic diggers making a mess and what not, but great for those cats that won't use them:

    http://www.littersystem.com/

    Looks promising!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

  20. otto

    otto TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 7, 2008
    I read about 10 of the reviews and there were several mentions about odor, but not enough to deter the people writing the review from using them.

    No matter if the pee and poop is litter covered or not, the entire inside of those boxes is covered in odor causing bacteria from the very first "roll". Not to mention litter dust. There is no avoiding it. Cats have much stronger olfactory senses than humans. It's disgusting in my opinion, and I would never subject a cat to such filth.:lol3:
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

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