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Litter tray dilemma - please help!

(11 Posts)
isshoes Sat 13-Apr-13 09:45:13

Just wrote a really long post and accidentally deleted it, so here is a brief summary of my situation:

- Two adult maine coone cross-breeds
- No way to have a cat flap as the back doors are french doors
- Have tried having two litter trays but they just stick to one
- Close them in the kitchen at night, and keep litter tray in there
- Clean out the dirty litter morning and evening (and we are both at work during the day)
- Still greeted with the smell of cat wee and poo morning and night - smell spreads throughout the house. V embarrassing when we have guests
- Constantly dealing with litter kicked across the kitchen floor. Have tried those mats that the litter is supposed to stick to, but our cats are big and kick the litter further

Is there any way around this? Any way to train adult cats to toilet outside? They do this now, but I mean any way to train them to go in the evening so that they don't need to go overnight in the house? Or is there any super dooper litter tray that will solve the smell and kicking out problems? Ideally I just don't want to have a litter tray anymore but I suspect that may be an unobtainable dream...

Should say I do love the cats very much and accept that pet-owning comes with responsibilities. But I also know that no other cat owner I know seems to have such difficulties with the litter situation. So I wonder if there is something we haven't thought of?

thecatneuterer Sat 13-Apr-13 11:21:17

Firstly you absolutely cannot take away the litter tray if you don't have a cat flap.

Secondly you can have a flap in french doors. If they're single glazed it's very easy. If they're double glazed it's also very easy but you have to get a double glazing company to make you a new pane with a hole in it, and that's quite expensive, but you may think it's worth it. It is also possible to put a flap in a brick wall if you have a wall next to the door.

Thirdly, if you use wood-based litter there is never any smell of cat wee. Two cats surely can't shit that much and you can take the shit out of the tray and flush it/throw it away and that will take care of that.

If there's a lingering smell after they've had a shit then use one of those odour destroying air freshener sprays - the Febreze one works very well.

There isn't much you can do about tracking litter across the floor, whichever litter you use, but just sweep it up. I can't see that's any biggie ...

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 13-Apr-13 13:20:40

A covered tray works well for the smell, I have the argos one.

QueenStromba Sat 13-Apr-13 17:09:48

Chick crumb is brilliant as cat litter - no smell of wee or poo at all, it just soaks the smell up. It also clumps really well and is flushable which makes cleaning the litter tray out much easier. We had no idea just how good it was until she pooed over the side of the tray once and it gassed us out - we ended up chucking some chick crumb on top and coming back once it had neutralised the smell.

We have this litter tray which is great - I'm pretty sure that the only litter that ends up on the floor is from us being clumsy when we clean it out.

marzipanned Sun 14-Apr-13 11:28:03

Is there anywhere else in your house you can keep the litter tray? I'm surprised that the smell is so bad with regular cleaning out but I can imagine that having it in the kitchen makes it particularly unpleasant.

Agree with catneuterer that you should be able to get a cat flap in the french doors without too many issues.

A few other things to consider:
- The cats' diet - one of ours' gets terrible stinky poo with wet meat, but is fine with biscuits.
- Trying out different litters - chick crumb sounds good, we always use Catsan which seems to mask the smells pretty well
- Scented reed diffusers - you can buy them from most of the supermarkets I think (I get the Sains own brand ones) It's a bit trial and error as some of them are way too fake/sweet while others have a lovely smell. We keep one on the hall table and it means that when you come in the house, that's the first thing you smell rather than litter!
- One of our boys effectively does what you want - after dinner, he asks to go outside and spends a bit of time out there. He always comes in before we go to bed and he stays in the kitchen overnight without a litter tray. Same thing in the morning - goes out after breakfast, usually comes in before work.
He's not 'trained' though, this is just his preference (he hates litter trays - would rather go out in snow/rain than use one). Not saying that it will stop them toileting overnight, but is there decreased use of the litter tray if you make sure they get a bit of time outside right after eating?

I'm with you, the litter tray is the only thing I don't like about having cats around, but it's a small price to pay smile

deliasmithy Mon 15-Apr-13 07:46:13

Change the food.
We moved ours to royal canin indoor cat mix. Smell reduction of 50%. Buy off the internet in 20kg batches to make it cheaper. Also no more smelly cat food either.

PogoBob Mon 15-Apr-13 21:18:13

If you do want to put a cat flap in, we've recently got quotes around the £200 mark to replace one of the windows (62cm x 188cm) in our patio doors with a new unit with cat flap fitted.

Expensive but worth it for my sanity

moggle Mon 15-Apr-13 21:25:40

I echo changing the food. When we got our rescue cats they were on bog standard whiskas and the litter tray made me retch, their poos were big, sloppy and horrendously smelly. We changed them to high meat % food from zooplus and it is so much better. Rarely a stinky poo, they are small and firm and easily scooped.

The litter type helps too, we never get the nasty wee smell either which must be down to our litter. We use "oko plus cat's best" (from zooplus but you can also get it at Pets at home); it essentially the same as the chick crumb mentioned above but less chance of any nasties in it (read an awful story about someone using genuine chick crumb whose house got infested with some horrid bugs from it). It is expensive compared to clay type clumping litters but it lasts quite a long time, you can scoop the poo and wee clumps and either bin them or flush down the toilet because they are made of cellulose so dissolve / biodegrade.

The only trouble with this kind of litter is that it does track a bit through the house but if you already have that problem... Haven't found a good mat to get around this yet.

Hmmkay Tue 16-Apr-13 13:07:10

We're getting a cat flap fitted in one of our double glazed doors this week. Quote was about £160 altogether for the new pane and fitting then we just buy the cat flap on top of that. Had this done in our old house too, you just need to contact a local glazier.

sashh Wed 17-Apr-13 06:22:28

Firstly you absolutely cannot take away the litter tray if you don't have a cat flap.

I have neither, but I do sleep with a window open in anything that is not the coldest of weathers.

catsdogsandbabies Wed 17-Apr-13 06:26:29

You can also set up an area outside that you want then to use. A sand box/pit that you poop scoop daily can encourage outdoor use. Mine have a litter tray but rarely use despite being shut in overnight as they prefer the sand box (is hidden by plants so DS can't get to).

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