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Please talk to me about cat litter!

(39 Posts)
PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 26-Jan-16 11:31:39

As Harry is a temporarily indoor cat we are obviously having to empty his litter tray more often. At the moment we are using Catsan but it's costing a fortune. I tried clumping litter and practically needed an angle grinder to get the clump off the bottom of the tray so I won't be using that again.

Has anyone tried the silica crystal cat litter? I've seen it online and was wondering if it was any good. It sounds excellent but we've already spent loads this month on food he won't eat so money is a bit tight!

Thanks in advance

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 11:35:49

I've used clumping litter for many years (it's what they like and who am I to argue) and have never had that problem. How deep were you making it because it sounds as if you had almost only a thin skim at the bottom of the tray rather than a good deep bed of litter? (Where the pees just form a nice 'ball' on top of the litter bed.)

Thurlow Tue 26-Jan-16 11:37:24

Following with interest - I'm wondering if we're doing it wrong as well! I thought we'd put a deep layer in but after a few days I feel like it needs changing, which will obviously cost a fortune...

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 11:37:26

PS - how's the lad doing?

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 11:41:39


If you have a deep litter bed, the poos are near the top and the pee just forms little shapes. (Balls if the cat's aim is good.) Both can quickly be lifted out and disposed of. It works well. (I would never use those vile plastic scoopers though. Useless things.)

Thurlow Tue 26-Jan-16 11:44:03

Thanks smile She seems to poo at night, which means they've had a loooong time there before we get to it. I'll try topping it up a bit deeper.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 26-Jan-16 11:50:24

I thought I'd put a good thick layer - Harry didn't glare at it so I thought I'd got it right! There was nothing on the top, just a 6" wide nuclear explosion of wee stuck to the bottom of the tray! He's going to have a shock when Tesco deliver the value stuff tomorrow!

He's not doing too badly thanks cozie. He's bored but did have a feral half hour yesterday, running around and jumping from sofa to sofa and scaring DH and I half to death! Some days he seems more subdued than others but I suppose that's to be expected after all he's been through.

emwithme Tue 26-Jan-16 11:58:33

We use Felight by Bob Martin - a non-clumping clay available at Asda for less than £4 per 10 litre bag (currently on sale at £2.50) for our six month old kittens (it's a BRIGHT PINK bag). They only have one tray and, scooped daily, it lasts a good five/six days before needing a full change and wash-out. The bag lasts two "cycles" - they have it deep because GirlKitten likes to dig - one day I think she's going to reach Australia.

When we got them, they were on the ultra-clumping stuff from Pets at Home (the only one their mum would use!) but we switched them after about a month (because £12 a week in litter is not sustainable and also because - even with a tray the full depth of my index finger, it would stick to the bottom of the tray like cement). We have since tried them on the wood pellet stuff (aiming to change the tray totally every other day) but GirlKitten hated it (she would sit on the side of the tray and poo outwards) so that was a no go. We then tried cheap clumping litter but BoyKitten hated it (he didn't like the feel on his paws and shouted at us until they were rubbed with a towel to remove it) so went back to the Felight.

We are moving in the next month to a place with a garden so they'll be going out (the cat flap is already installed!) so hopefully we won't be needing trays for much longer, but I'm happy using the Felight until we do.

chemenger Tue 26-Jan-16 12:31:35

I dream of having cats who cover their poo. Old cat is too senile and little cat is too busy to bother. We use Oko Best Ever litter, which is flushable (if you dare). We had to flush after old cat's radioactive iodine treatment, apparently its the safest way to dispose of the litter. It clumps quite well and is really good with smell (and would be even better if they buried poo). It seems acceptably soft for paws as well. We have 4 trays so they last a few days between scoops for wee.

Wolfiefan Tue 26-Jan-16 12:34:25

I have switched to Lidl cat litter at £1.79. Same size bag of pretty much same stuff in Sainsburys is £4.
Fill deep. We have two cats and two trays!
I lift out obvious soiling at least once a day.
I empty once a week and use Milton and boiling water to clean it.

LostPlatypus Tue 26-Jan-16 12:48:44

I use Applaws Nature's Calling cat litter because my cat is super fussy. It's cheaper online from places like Zooplus and a bag lasts a month or so in her huge litter tray. It sticks to itself but not the tray like the clay stuff does - she had a way of peeing down the side so she would weld it to the tray as well!

I can recommend a very good litter scoop that is much stronger than the usual useless plastic ones (good for welded on cat litter!). It's made by Beco and is biodegradable. Becoscoop

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 13:36:52

I'm not sure that not covering is necessarily senility, chemenger. Seniorboy isn't so great at it anymore and he has all his marbles just fine - what he doesn't have much of any more is muscles. I reckon that it takes so much out of them to do their high poo squat in the right place that when they've finished, they just go 'Phew!' and walk.

I hold no brief for your little cat's laziness though.grin

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 13:41:28

PS - and at least Seniorboy comes to tell me he's used a tray and my cleaning services are required. smile

(We have collaborative toileting here these days. grin)

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 26-Jan-16 13:51:08

Harry has never covered! He scratches around the other end of his tray, the bath mat and the bath panel but always leaves everything on display. He's done this since he was young so nothing to do with age or senility in his case!

Wolfiefan Tue 26-Jan-16 13:53:33

Ha. Mine wait until I've cleaned it out. Then they use it. They have been known to follow me round, watch me clean one tray, use it, watch me clean it, follow me to the other tray, watch me clean it, use it, and then stalk off!!!
I know. I'm owned!

cozietoesie Tue 26-Jan-16 13:58:36

A few months back, I had to clear 5 (*Five*) lots of cat poo from the big bed in the back garden. Large poos as well.

They were just lying on top of the earth so the cat had seemingly made no attempt to cover outside. I suspect that if they're a dominant type they don't care - it's a sort of Ya Boo Sucks gesture. grin

emwithme Tue 26-Jan-16 14:40:12

A dominant/alpha cat won't necessarily cover its poo. It is confident that other cats will be scared once they smell it, and they can handle anything that another cat would bring.

BoyKitten loves using the tray WHILE the poop is being scooped. When he was a teeny new kitten (well, new to us, he was about 10 weeks old), I didn't realise this and didn't move my hand quickly enough. Kitten pee is WARM. These days, I scoop the first bit of poop, he comes and does a "HA" pee, and I scoop the rest of it. He doesn't do this on days when DH is scooping though - but he does pretend to be a parrot and jump up on DH's back.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 26-Jan-16 14:47:30

Harry definitely isn't the alpha cat in our area - he's been chased out of his own garden by other cats!

ScoopyDoo Tue 26-Jan-16 15:02:59

I use Catsan, about 2 inches deep, and that lasts a week for my two kittens using the same tray, scooped morning and evening. Sometimes have to top up, then a complete change once a week. Ordered in bulk online.

I agree sometimes the clump gets stuck to the bottom; not sure which one but one of them is a 'digger'.

I did switch to a slightly cheaper clumping version but girl-kitten got some of it stuck between her paws when wet and she limped for a while (cleaned it with wet cotton buds but it was tricky, she didn't want me near it). Went back to Catsan. It smells better too.

I always have a rapt audience when scooping the tray. Thye both sit at the side and watch me, fascinated, like they can't believe I'm actually providing this service. And yes, they will use it immediately afterwards (they would go during but I shout at them when they try and get in. There is a line.)

I like a clean loo myself, so I do empathise.

RubbishMantra Fri 29-Jan-16 03:53:22

As someone said upthread, those flimsy plastic scoopers are crap. In an emergency, I found a metal slotted spoon did the job perfectly, which I don't use for cooking anymore. Unless... mother came round for dinner grin

NightWanderer Fri 29-Jan-16 04:07:06

You can try spraying the bottom of the tray with one of those spray cooking oils. Or just rub a layer of cooking oil on with kitchen towel, like you're greasing a tin for baking. I think it helps.

cozietoesie Fri 29-Jan-16 09:35:02

I use metal flour scoops, Mantra. The construction and metal edges seem just right and they clean up a treat. I reckon that cheap metal garden trowels would do the job fine though. Poundland have enamelled versions if I recall.

cozietoesie Fri 29-Jan-16 10:05:23

Had a quick look on Amazon and they seem to have absolutely loads of them. They're a little more expensive than the plastic things but then it's a one-off purchase and not something you'll have to replace regularly.

hiddenhome2 Fri 29-Jan-16 18:44:03

I use litter liners - £1 for six and Sainsburys basics cat litter £1.55 a bag. It's excellent.

Natsku Fri 29-Jan-16 18:58:26

I use silica crystals, so glad I switched to them. I scoop out poos and any very yellow sections every day but the whole thing doesn't need to be emptied and changed for 3-4 weeks.

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