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To not remove the litter tray?

(21 Posts)
WhereonearthamI Tue 09-Aug-11 13:50:35

Hi everyone,

We may be having my housemate's DD and DGS (18 months) to visit soon. Whilst I'm happy to make sure the house is as toddler-proof as I can make it, I'm in a quandry with what to do about my cat's litter tray.

In theory she doesn't need it, as she can get out during the day and wakes me up if she wants to go out in the night (something I am trying to discourage her from doing, as I don't want her out at night, nor do I want to be woken at 4 in the morning!). However, she has been known to do a poo on the carpet when I've been cleaning the tray (ie going where the tray usually is), and the last time she did a poo inside was when we last had people to stay (I suspect it was not coincidence as she is a fairly nervous lass).

So, WIBU to leave the tray in place, and expect the mother and grandfather to keep a close enough eye on the lad, on the basis that it is my cat's house after all, and I suspect she'll find having a small child around upsetting? I will clean it beforehand, but she always wees in it as soon as it is clean, and I always remove poos as soon as I see them, but it's not going to be sterile.

FutureNannyOgg Tue 09-Aug-11 13:53:47

Where is the litter tray, can the child not be kept out of the room it is in? You can pretty much guarantee that he will want to play with it, and the more they try to stop him, the harder he will try.

VoluptuaGoodshag Tue 09-Aug-11 13:54:57

Probably better that the poo is in the tray rather than on the carpet where the toddler can mush it with her fingers more. I would explain that to the parents and am sure they'll understand.

limitedperiodonly Tue 09-Aug-11 13:55:56

We did and we did exactly the same as you about removing poos. The DCs learned to avoid it and we kept a very close eye on them.

One cat wouldn't have gone anywhere else but the litter tray so he'd have been in agony. The other one would have held on but gone elsewhere after a while and probably never learned to do it properly again.

We had a cover on it as well with a door hole so the noise usually alerted us to a child trying to investigate.

BooyHoo Tue 09-Aug-11 13:57:13

surely there is a compromise here. ithink it would be UR not to move it somewhere else that the toddler wont be. can you put it in the bathroom or your room while they are there?

FutureNannyOgg Tue 09-Aug-11 14:13:26

OP said she would go on the carpet if it was moved. The ones with lids on are great, but if you don't already have one, she might not like adjusting to a new one at short notice. Wilkos used to do great enclosed trays with a door and a smell filter for quite cheap.

FutureNannyOgg Tue 09-Aug-11 14:14:07

By "she" I meant the cat, not OP.

BooyHoo Tue 09-Aug-11 14:18:36

in that case i would move the tray into the bathroom/bedroom and put newspaper with a tray liner under it where the tray usually sits. no litter for the child to play in but a 'safe' spot for the cat to poo in.

WhereonearthamI Tue 09-Aug-11 14:27:23

That's a good idea Booyhoo. Will probably try that.

The other problem is that the house is tiny and the the only sensible place to have the tray is in the hallway. I might move the cat's food and bed into my bedroom though, and keep the toddler in the other half of the house away from her. (Though this assumes Great-Granny doesn't come too, in which case she'll be in my room and I'll be on a sofa!)

Thanks everyone!

purplepidjin Tue 09-Aug-11 14:32:55

I would assume that an 18mo with that many adults about would be supervised all the time, at least when in that particular area. But I might be wrong confused

I have to admit, DNephew (4) is here for a week and it didn't occur to me to move the cat's and rabbit's litter trays blush even though I moved all the cleaning products, sharp things etc!

Mishy1234 Tue 09-Aug-11 14:34:28

YANBU. Just keep the toddler out of the room where the tray is kept. I love cats, but must admit the litter tray requirement rules them out as a pet for me.

milkmilklemonade Tue 09-Aug-11 14:39:12

I don't think you should have to change it. I do, however believe that cats who have litter trays use them. If you take the tray away, your cat will learn to go outside. I spent a year with my cat using a filthsome tray which my vile dogs would loot if they could get to it and one day I washed it out and put outside to dry and about a week later realised I had forgotten to put it back in. I house sat for my sister who has a cat who apparently prefers his tray. We put it outside and, again, he just pooed outside. We then had to reinstate the tray before they got back and try to reward him for using it! If you prefer to keep it, do. It's your house.

naturalbaby Tue 09-Aug-11 14:52:59

if your cat's as fussy as mine then you can't move it an inch without the cat doing it's business anywhere but the litter tray! i'm assuming it's not right in the middle of a busy room - could you block it somehow with something? we've got a playpen that would be v.handy wink

i wouldn't assume lots of adults=constant supervision of chidren. it's the opposite with mine, everyone assumes someone else is watching the kids and mine get up to all sorts of mischief in a house full of adults who are supposed to be supervising them.

InstantAtom Tue 09-Aug-11 16:50:29

Put a barrier in front of the tray so the toddler can't get past but the cat can jump over it.

MadamDeathstare Tue 09-Aug-11 16:55:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youbethemummylion Tue 09-Aug-11 19:18:38

would an enclosed litter tray be any good? Failing that could you stairgate the room where the litter tray is?

squeakytoy Tue 09-Aug-11 19:22:47

As others have said, a child so young should be supervised all the time in someone elses house anyway.

As for cat pooing on the floor while you are changing the tray, just put the cat outside while you change the tray.

katkit Tue 09-Aug-11 20:26:02

i think you should leave it- we have a toddler and 2 cat litter trays- you just have to be vigilant all the time! if you move the tray and introduce a toddler to the house at the same time, the cat'll be really stressed.

marriedinwhite Tue 09-Aug-11 20:45:14

When the children were crawling we had the litter tray (elderly cats then) in the utility room and a gate across the door. The cats could squeeze through the bars in the gate but the toddlers couldn't. Could put a gate up in the hall - 2nd hand or borrow one.

LolaRennt Tue 09-Aug-11 20:51:17

It is the parent's job to to be in charge of their toddler and where it goes in someone else's home. I "might" consider putting it in my room, but wouldn't get rid of it if that wasn't an option

purplepidjin Tue 09-Aug-11 21:00:38

"As others have said, a child so young should be supervised all the time in someone elses house anyway."

Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. I'm hyper-aware at the moment, because DNephew (almost 4) is staying to give Mum a break (Dniece is nearly 6 and has ASD) so there's no single person in charge of him at any given moment, just DP and I doing our inexperienced best.

OP, can you talk your concerns through with your housemate maybe to agree that there is a "designated person" at all times? DP and I seem to be managing this without too much overt discussion - for example it's kinda taken for granted that he does toilet trips, because it's time for DN to learn to pee like a man, which I can't really help with - but with three, it could be trickier and need stricter organisation. That, obviously, depends on how much involvement you're expecting to have. I had a lodger who's 11yo came to stay on alternate weekends, and I loved having him around; helped with homework, baked cakes etc. But that was my choice (well, I could have hidden in my room until lodger woke up, but I decided I wanted breakfast and talking to said child was unavoidable)


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