Litter box liner experiment

minka

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It's not that the liners are efficient, it's that your OCD is sated. :p

I'm glad you are saving so much litter and money! :clap:
 
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otto

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They are efficient in that they don't stink after one week, like plastic litter boxes do. And so I was having to dump and scrub weekly. What I discovered during this experimentation is that it's the plastic that smells, not the litter, which is kept scooped. The paper liners do not hold odor. I let one go unreplaced for seven weeks. It wasn't until that seventh week that I started to notice odor. That was a WonderBox though. The Nature's Miracle brand isn't quite as long lasting.
 
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minka

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Maybe you just need new litter boxes? After a while they have lots of scratches in them and so hold odor more.
Or maybe you just have a sensitive nose. :p
 

arlyn

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Clean dry box, coated with cooking spray, let sit a few minutes, add litter, problem solved.

Since I've been doing this, some 7 or 8 years, I have had zero issues with litter clumps or other 'stuff' sticking to the sides.

I do this with every dump and scrub.
 
 
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otto

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I have two sets of litter boxes and replace them every year. The plastic just stinks after a certain amount of time.

I do not want to dump and scrub any more, the work is too much for me, that was the original point to trying to find a liner that worked.

I don't want cooking spray on my cats' feet, which they will then either track around the house or lick off and ingest.

The recycled paper formed litter boxes are a good solution for me. :)
 
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jeanne

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For my three cats, I use Everclean litter and I scoop twice a day. I rarely empty and scrub the boxes. I live in a one bedroom apartment and there's no litter odor whatsoever. None. This brand is expensive, but I think it's worth the price.

If the problem is that your kitty has very stinky waste, you may want to mention it to your vet. I had a sick kitty with poo so stinky it would make my eyes water, but no issues with healthy cats.
 
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otto

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Thanks Jeanne, welcome to TCS :wavey: My cats don't have stinky waste, it is the plastic of the litter boxes that smells. Or did. With the formed disposable paper boxes, the problem has been eliminated! :)
 

txcatmom

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Hey, otto.  Sounds like you have a solution that is working, but I had to chime in on the litter sticking to the sides of the boxes, just in case this could help anyone.  This video gave me an amazingly helpful tip....

http://www.catinfo.org/?link=litterbox (may have to scroll down a bit for the video)

Anyways, her technique of shifting all litter to one end of the box and banging the clumps from the outside of the box has been brilliant for us.  There is always a side pee or two when I scoop and they release so neatly with this trick.  I don't like her practice of spot cleaning with diluted bleach.  BUT I do carry unscented baby wipes with me while I scoop and I spot clean the spot where the clump released.  The boxes stay amazingly clean with this routine.  I go MONTHS without dumping and cleaning the boxes.  Some may think "gross", but I swear there is absolutely no odor and the boxes are in pristine condition...the litter is clean too since I use a good clumping one (unscented) and am obsessive about picking out any broken pieces of clumps.  Saves a lot of backache and litter expense.   Oh, and even when months have passed and I decide to dump and clean, I hate to dump the litter because it still seems so fresh.
 
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lamiatron

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Thanks Jeanne, welcome to TCS
My cats don't have stinky waste, it is the plastic of the litter boxes that smells. Or did. With the formed disposable paper boxes, the problem has been eliminated!
i'm gonna be honest @otto  , when i first started reading this thread, and i've read from the first post to the last, i really thought you had OCD and issues and i was thinking to myself, "Otto needs to get over it!" but, the more i kept reading, and then i saw the pictures, it finally clicked in my head....and started to make sense!

IF the cats scratch the plastic, after a while, germs, bacteria, and other mess will build up and live in those crevices...and no matter how much clean litter your put, or odor absorbers you put around your litter, its just going to stink....and i'm gonna kill myself with the dumping and scrubbing (i have back issues) ....and you're wasting more litter over time...which equals more money....omg everything just clicked in my head!!!

Thank God i was bored out of my mind at work and actually sat through this whole thread and read it...

I am in the process of getting a new box for my little babies...and i'm going to try out the liner aka disposable litter box. Start fresh, and see if it works for me. I'm looking into this particular one from natures miracle:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12602764&lmdn=Litter&f=PAD/psNotAvailInUS/No

according to reviewers it lasts a month, and the liner itself helps to eliminate a lot of the odor. This will be GREAT for me. I live with roommates, and the litter box is in my room. The other one is in the hall. but my cats don't even use that one.

Thanks for documenting your experience. i hope the liners work for me too. :)
 
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otto

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Be sure to let us know how you like it.

I am so happy with the formed paper litter box liners, I hope you like them too. I see I omitted something I discovered along the way in this journey, and that was my method of cleaning. I didn't realize it at the time, but because I was cleaning the boxes with bleach, they were corroding very fast, which just made the bottoms of them a breeding ground for harboring bacteria, and that is probably the main reason they would smell after one week.

As for those who kept telling me to fill the boxes deeper, that is just not a viable solution for me. I dislike filling the litter boxes too full for a number of reasons. For the low sided boxes, it just encourages mess, litter everywhere. Not just from the cats, but from when I try to tip the boxes to find the clump.So wasteful. For the high sided boxes, filling them so high made them too heavy for me to tip and look for clumps.

And when they are so deep, the clumps and poop don't show, and if I can't tip, I have to dig, which is not only hard work, I am also more likely to break up a clump. The cats seem to prefer the litter a bit shallower too. Two of them like to dig, and when it's too deep it spoils their fun a bit. 2-3 inches is as deep as I am willing to go.

With the formed paper liners, I dump and change litter once every 4 weeks, sometimes pushing it to 5. The Wonderbox brand can go five weeks easily, the Nature's Miracle brand..not so much. The week that leads up to the change out I stop adding litter after I scoop.

By Wednesday night of that last week the boxes are getting low, and I dump the remains of one of the low sided into the other two, and they have to make do with two for the next few days. (actually there is a fourth box under the platform but no one ever uses it)

By Friday night I dump the second low sided one into the high sided one and they have to make do with just the one high sided one until Sunday, at which point I throw away the litter and the liners, wipe out the plastic boxes with white vinegar, put in fresh liners and fresh litter.

Funny story, this Sunday was the dump and change day. Mazy cat had followed me down when I was getting ready to do the switch. She jumped up on the platform, put her paws up on the box and stuck her nose in. Had a look at what was left, wrinkled her nose and jumped down, and I knew exactly what her twitching tail was saying as she stalked away: "No thanks I'll wait". :lol3:

My litter boxes are on a platform, to make it easier for me. Under the platform is spread a thin 'yoga mat'. When they jump down off the platform they sink into the mat just enough for the mat to grab the litter off their feet. I have almost zero tracking since I started using yoga mats as littler mats.

A bonus is they wipe clean so easily.:D
 
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lamiatron

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Wow otto otto another great idea with the litter mat!! As soon as I have a bigger litterbox for the kitties and try the disposable litter box pans, I'll let u know how that works out for me :)
 

happybird

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Thank you for doing the experiment and posting this, Otto! I am totally going to try the liners. I have always been skeptical about them and never used them before.

I am a weekly dump and scrubber, too (just did it today, as a matter of fact), keep the litter below optimum depth to cut down on flinging, and 2 of my cats constantly pee down the inside of the box, on the plastic. The cement clumps drive me crazy. When I have tried using 3-4 inches of litter, it still happens because one of my girls likes to dig really deep to do her business. I have seen her move more than half of the litter to one side of the box before going. At least she puts it back when she is done!

It is kind of funny, my absolute limit for a dump and scrub is 10 days, too, and I also scoop several times a day. I am excited to see if the liners work as well at my house as they did at yours. Plus, what you said about saving money on litter makes a lot of sense.

I am super sensitive to litter box odor and it makes me glow with pride when a new guest comes over, knowing I have 5 cats, and says in a surprised voice, 'Oh! You can't even tell you have cats in here!'
 

lamiatron

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@happybird  When you read the whole thread, doesn't it all just make sense? after doing more research on this i've learned that A LOT of people do what @otto  is doing, using paper/cardboard liners in their box. 

I'm in the process of buying a bigger box, so, that's when i'll also purchase liners, and take it from there, and I hope i do it right and it works out for me too :)
 

schmouse

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I have been experimenting for about a year, trying to get a handle on my geriatric cat's litter box problem. I followed the advice of the Cat Whisperer (or whatever his name is--that great tattooed guy on Animal Planet) and put litter boxes in the places that she was regularly pooping. that has worked out pretty well, except that she usually poops a couple of inches from the box. Better than the kitchen table, though, right? I am currently using plastic box liners. Even though our new kittens tear holes in them, making for urine leaks, the boxes are still easier to clean than they would have been without the liners. 

Awhile ago I started lining the boxes with extra large piddle pads, and those actually worked pretty well. I also put piddle pads in the area around the box, and the old queen frequently does her pooping on those. I only went back to liners under pressure from another family member who thinks that the piddle pads are too much work, but i don't agree. If you get a large enough piddle pad, it covers the four walls of the litter box and creates a moisture barrier that lasts for about a week. I use Swheat scoop, which does not clump, so no matter how I line the box, I need to change out all of the litter at least once a week.

I miss the convenience of clumping litter, but won't go back to it due to the dust and tracking problems. i am thinking however of combining Swheat Scoop with another litter that clumps, in the hope of finding a compromise that at least clumps a bit. Anybody have a suggestion about that? 

I wish i could use a Sterlite tub as a litter box, but with a very frail and crotchetly old queen in my household, I can't. The kittens would be fine with it though!
 
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otto

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I have been experimenting for about a year, trying to get a handle on my geriatric cat's litter box problem. I followed the advice of the Cat Whisperer (or whatever his name is--that great tattooed guy on Animal Planet) and put litter boxes in the places that she was regularly pooping. that has worked out pretty well, except that she usually poops a couple of inches from the box. Better than the kitchen table, though, right? I am currently using plastic box liners. Even though our new kittens tear holes in them, making for urine leaks, the boxes are still easier to clean than they would have been without the liners. 

Awhile ago I started lining the boxes with extra large piddle pads, and those actually worked pretty well. I also put piddle pads in the area around the box, and the old queen frequently does her pooping on those. I only went back to liners under pressure from another family member who thinks that the piddle pads are too much work, but i don't agree. If you get a large enough piddle pad, it covers the four walls of the litter box and creates a moisture barrier that lasts for about a week. I use Swheat scoop, which does not clump, so no matter how I line the box, I need to change out all of the litter at least once a week.

I miss the convenience of clumping litter, but won't go back to it due to the dust and tracking problems. i am thinking however of combining Swheat Scoop with another litter that clumps, in the hope of finding a compromise that at least clumps a bit. Anybody have a suggestion about that? 

I wish i could use a Sterlite tub as a litter box, but with a very frail and crotchetly old queen in my household, I can't. The kittens would be fine with it though!
For my little old lady I simply cut a hole in the side of the tote so she could step right in. In those days I didn't know about puppy pads and I put paper towels under a thin layer of litter, this helped her keep her feet from sliding around in the box, so keep up with those!

Giving her some on the floor is good too.

The other benefit to the walk-in high sided (clear) tote was she had the walls of the box to lean on if she needed extra support while pooping.
 
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