cat litter

Exclusive for Conscious Cat readers: free shipping from PetFlow

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I hate lugging heavy bags of kitty litter from the store to my car and then into my house, but ordering litter online can be expensive, because shipping charges for heavy items add up quickly. As a result, I was really happy when I discovered PetFlow. No more trips to the store for me. With a flat shipping rate of $4.95, I can order as much or as little as I want at a time.

PetFlow also carries a large variety of food and pet supplies, including some of the brands I routinely recommend, such as Weruva, Nature’s Variety, and Wellness. To make things even easier, you can set up an autoship schedule for your own individual needs, but this is not required to order.Continue Reading

Product review: DuraScoop litter scoops

Durascoop cat

Like most cat parents, cleaning the litter box is my least favorite thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I do it diligently. It’s important to keep the litter box clean. Many inappropriate eliminatinon problems are caused by a box that isn’t kept clean enough, at least, not from the cat’s point of view.

Since I work from home, I pretty much scoop as soon as Allegra or Ruby deposit something in one of our two boxes (especially if it’s in the one right outside my office). Yes, they have me well trained – and Allegra is the official box supervisor. She always inspects the box after I’ve scooped to make sure I’ve done a good job.Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light prize pack

Cats-Pride-Fresh-Light

***This giveaway is closed***

I’m always careful about changing to a different brand of cat litter. Cats can be funny about where they do their business, and sometimes, changing to a litter they don’t like can lead to them avoiding using the litter box altogether – something none of us wants to deal with.

I use clumping clay litter. I would prefer to use something more environmentally friendly, and don’t think I haven’t tried. I offered the new litter in one box, and kept the old litter in the other. I also tried a gradual changeover, adding only a small amount of the new litter to the old litter (in one box only). None of these approaches worked. My cats always made it clear that clumping clay litter was their preference, thank you very much.

When the PR agency for Cat’s Pride’s new Fresh & Light litter contacted me, I was intrigued.Continue Reading

Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo: the spilled litter terminator

cat with vacuum cleaner

If you have a litter kicker like I do (we won’t name any names here, but her name starts with the letter “R”…), you know it’s a constant battle to keep the area around the litter box clean. I’ve always used a Dustbuster, and it worked fine, but it didn’t always pick up everything. When the PR agency for Bissell contacted me to see if I wanted to try the Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo, I was definitely interested.

The Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo is a cordless rechargeable sweeper. The product is described as follows:Continue Reading

Help World’s Best Cat Litter donate free litter to shelters

It’s always nice to see companies give back to their communities, and it’s especially nice when that giving is focused on cats.  World’s Best Cat Litter™ just launched a new round of its GiveLitter™ campaign. After donating more than 40,000 pounds of cat litter between deserved animal rescue groups in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Texas, they are now focusing on supporting cats at three new shelters spread across the country.

From 8/1-9/16, you can vote daily to donate litter, for free, to one of three deserving animal rescue organizations: Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (Wainscott, NY), Homeward Pet (Woodinville, WA), and A.D.O.P.T Pet Shelter (Naperville, IL). Each one of these participating shelters is part of the No More Homeless Pets® Network – a program of the Best Friends Animal Society.

It’s free to vote and you can do it daily. Click on the “give litter” badge in the right sidebar, vote via Facebook, or on the program’s website. The first time you vote and/or “like” World’s Best Cat Litter on Facebook, a pound of litter is donated. Each additional vote adds one-tenth of a pound. Voting is free and so is your litter donation.  At the end of the voting period, the litter will be distributed proportionally according to the total vote count for each shelter.

Now if only I could get Allegra to change her mind about this litter!

How to Prevent Litter Box Problems

cat using litter box

There is nothing as distressing for a cat owner as having a cat that eliminates outside the litter box. It’s also one of the most common reasons why cats are returned to shelters.

The reasons why cats eliminate outside the litter box vary, and include litter box aversion, urine marking, hormonal problems, and medical issues. When faced with inappropriate elimination (and this can be urine as well as feces), a thorough veterinary exam should always be the first step.

There are quite a few things owners can do to prevent litter box problems from happening in the first place, and the first step is to understand what cats want when it comes to their litter boxes. While some cats may be particularly fussy and need to have their bathroom preferences catered to in special ways, there are common errors that many cat owners, especially those new to cats and their needs, tend to make. These include:

Too few boxes

The rule of thumb is that you should have as many boxes as you have cats, plus one extra. This may mean that even if you only have one cat, you may need to have two litter boxes. This is especially important in multi-level homes.

The wrong location

Humans tend to want litter boxes out of sight, so they often end up in laundry or utility rooms or in dark corners of the basement. This may be fine for many cats, but it can cause problems if the area is not quiet. If the litter box is placed next to a noisy washer or dryer, or a furnace, and if the appliance starts up just as your cat is doing her business, she may never use that box again. Good spots for litter boxes are bathrooms, or a quiet room that isn’t used much.

The wrong type of litter

There have never been as many choices of cat litters as there are now. Unfortunately, many of the litters are designed more with the human in  mind than the cat. There is no perfect litter – each type has its advantages and its drawbacks. Most cats prefer a sandy substrate like clumping clay litter. While some cats readily accept some of the more environmentally friendly litters such as pine, wheat or corn, others will simply refuse to use a box containing those products.

Never use scented litters or scented litter deodorizers. Cats sense of smell is far more sensitive than ours, and the overpowering scent of these litters can be a big turn off for them.

Not enough litter

Keep at least 2-3 inches of litter in the box at all times – add fresh litter after you scoop out waste to maintain this level. Most cats like to scratch and bury what they produce, and they will get frustrated when there’s not enough litter to allow them to do that.

The box is too dirty

Scoop the box at least twice a day and remove all urine and feces waste. This is only possible with clumping litter. If you use a non-clumping litter, you should discard the entire content of the box whenever there is waste in it, and replace with fresh litter. If you use clumping litter, you should replace the entire litter about once a month.

The box is too clean

Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners to clean the litter box. All you really need to use is hot water and some mild, unscented dish soap. Let the box dry thoroughly before you replace litter. If you feel you must “sanitize” your box, use some bleach and hot water, but be sure to rinse thoroughly with hot water to eliminate any remnants of the scent of bleach.

Liners

Most cats don’t like liners. They don’t like the crinkly sound the plastic makes when they walk on it, nor do they like the way it feels under their paws.

Covered or hooded boxes

I don’t like covered or hooded boxes, and most cats don’t like them, either. They’re often too small for the cat to comfortably turn around in and do their business, and they trap odors inside, making it very unpleasant for the cat to use. Dust can also be much more of a problem in a covered box, as it becomes more concentrated. Cats will always breathe in dust when they dig in the litter box, but in a covered box, this becomes a bigger problem. If you must use a covered box, at the very least, remove the filters provided by some manufacturers. They’re designed to trap dust and odors, making it nice for you, but not so nice for kitty inside the box!

Litter mats

These mats are designed to trap litter that’s stuck to your cat’s paw and prevent it from being spread further throughout the house. The trouble with them is that they’re often made with nubs or deep grooves that don’t feel good on sensitive kitty paws, and this might stop a cat from going anywhere near the box.

By approaching the issue of litter boxes from the cat’s point of view, you can prevent many of the problems associated with inappropriate elimination.

Graphic: dreamstime.com

World’s Best Cat Litter Gives Back

World's Best Cat Litter

It’s always nice to see companies give back to their communities, and it’s especially nice when that giving is focused on cats.  After donating more than 23,000 pounds of litter to animal rescue groups in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, World’s Best Cat Litter™ is now focusing on supporting cats at three Texas shlters, the Austin Humane Society, Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, and the SPCA of Texas in Dallas.

WBC is calling on “felinethropists” to join in their campaign, and it won’t cost you a cent, just a simple click of the mouse.  You can participate between now and May 13 by clicking on the badge in the right sidebar, or by visiting WBC’s website or Facebook page.  “We invite animal lovers everywhere to become part of the GiveLitter™ initiative and help these Texas animal shelters as they work tirelessly to address community needs,” said Paul Zobel, Senior Director of Marketing, World’s Best Cat Litter™. ”

World’s Best Cat Litter™ is a pet-, people- and planet-safe cat litter made with whole-kernel corn and other natural ingredients using a patented scientific process that delivers advanced odor control and clumping. Using no synthetic chemicals, clays or perfumes, World’s Best Cat Litter™ is biodegradable, flushable, septic-safe and all natural.

I really like the idea of this litter.  I just wish Allegra would, too!  Unfortunately, when I tried to switch from our current, clay-based litter, she refused to use the box with WBC in it.

Photo source: World’s Best Cat Litter website

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What to do when your cat is not using the litter box

World’s Best Cat Litter Gives Back

It’s always nice to see companies give back to their communities, and it’s especially nice when that giving is focused on cats.  World’s Best Cat Litter™ launched its Give Litter™ Charity last month, and has already donated 5,255 pounds of World’s Best Cat Litter™ to its first city, Washington, DC, in August.  This month, the company is donating to three Los Angeles, CA area organizations, Alley Cat Allies, Cat House on the Kings, and Kitten Rescue.

WBC is calling on “felinethropists” to join in their campaign, and it won’t cost you a cent, just a simple click of the mouse.  “We invite animal lovers everywhere to become part of the GiveLitter™ charity and help these Los Angeles animal shelters as they work tirelessly to address community needs,” said Paul Zobel, Senior Director of Marketing, World’s Best Cat Litter™.

You can participate by clicking on the badge in the right sidebar, or by visiting WBC’s website or Facebook page.  

World’s Best Cat Litter™ is a pet-, people- and planet-safe cat litter made with whole-kernel corn and other natural ingredients using a patented scientific process that delivers advanced odor control and clumping. Using no synthetic chemicals, clays or perfumes, World’s Best Cat Litter™ is biodegradable, flushable, septic-safe and all natural.

I really like the idea of this litter.  I just wish Allegra would, too!  Unfortunately, when I tried to switch from our current, clay-based litter, she refused to use the box with WBC in it.