Cat Litter Problems Solved

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BrewerGeorge

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After owning cats for most of my 44 years, I've finally found the perfect litter solution and I wanted to share it.

Go to one of the pet stores or Amazon and get the Tidy Cats Breeze. (You can probably find coupons online still.) Throw away all the stuff that comes with it and go to Tractor Supply or Rural King or similar and buy the compressed pine horse bedding. This is the same stuff that's sold as Feline pine, but without the 400% markup - I got 40 lbs for $5. Fill the Breeze box with a couple inches of the pine and let the cats at it.

When the pine pellets get wet, they break up into sawdust and fall through the grate into the tray. Once a day I scoop out the solid waste and rake the litter to make sure all the sawdust is down in the tray, then pull the tray and dump it. Since it's just sawdust and not clay, I can dump it into the toilet and flush. I add a half or 3/4 of a cup of new pellets into the box and I'm done. It's about 3 minutes a day to care for. It never gets dumped because all the used-up litter falls down and gets removed every day. I suspect the 40# bag will last me two or three months with 2 cats using it.

This thing is fantastic. It's transformative to the cat owning experience. No urine smell whatsoever, absolutely none - and no weird perfume cover-up smell either. The only possibility of smell is a particularly bad BM, but then I just scoop it early. If the stools are loose, the pellets break down and clump the sawdust to them, firming them up and making them scoopable. The pellets are too big to track much and any that fly out as they scratch around just go back into the bin. There's no gross clay dust, either. The cats love it because it's much cleaner and they smell better overall with none of that "just came out of the litter box" odor about them. Litter costs have gone from $10/week for expensive, clumping litter to $5/quarter.

If you have cats, I cannot recommend this more highly.
 
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IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I don't have cats, but I just wanted to celebrate with you on your awesome find. :) I love good/handy finds like that.


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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Wow! Intriguing idea, BG!!! I've got 5 house cats and a minimum of two large litter boxes out at all times. I am always struggling to keep their litter boxes tidy and fresh. I use the cheapest clumping litter I can buy (TSC's house brand). It's an ongoing chore to haul those 25 lb sacks from TSC back home and into the house and then haul 5 cats' worth of used litter out of the house to dispose of.

Just want to clarify that you're using this type of litter box specifically because of its removable tray? I've never seen this Breeze litter box, so I want to make sure I understand.
 

BrewerGeorge

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...

Just want to clarify that you're using this type of litter box specifically because of its removable tray? I've never seen this Breeze litter box, so I want to make sure I understand.
Yes, the removable tray and the slotted bottom.

The Breeze box has a slotted bottom above a removable tray. It is designed to be used with hard (like bisque-hard) clay pellets in the box and a special absorptive pad below in the tray. Solids are scooped out while liquids run down to be sequestered by the pad - presumably by a super absorbent polymer like a diaper. This system actually works passably well, but it is somewhat expensive and the hard clay pellets are problematic. They stick to solid waste and they're too hard for me to feel good about flushing them. Not to mention stepping on them is like stepping on a Lego.

So I'm using the box alone with the pine pellets. The pine pellets are large enough to stay above the slots in the box, but the sawdust falls through them. It's awesome. Truthfully, I love this solution so much that I kind of look forward to emptying it every day - it's just so cool! We used to have family squabbles about whose turn it was to "do the litterbox" on trash days, but now that's a thing of the past.

ETA: We also have a dog and in the past have always needed to use litter boxes with covers to prevent the dog from "snacking" therein. The Breeze does not have a top, which initially concerned me, but it has absolutely not been an issue. I can only imagine that the dog does not like the scent of the pine because she has not gone looking for "treats" there a single time.
 
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DeeAnna

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My dogs like to snack too, especially the basset. :sick:

Thanks for explaining -- I got it now! :)
 

Seawolfe

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My 10 lb dog USES the cat box if we don't let him out in a timely manner. The 18 and 20 lb cats haven't killed him yet, so they must be ok with it.

This intrigues me. We have used pine pellets in the past, but the sawdust got tracked everywhere much worse than the clumping litter (which is mostly trapped by the grid in front of the box, and the rug the box and grid sit on). But you say that the sawdust trickles down into the tray so thats not an issue?
 

BrewerGeorge

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The sawdust falls down when I rake the litter. Otherwise it sort of stays together. This method does absolutely require daily attention to rake the sawdust down. Just 3-5 min, but every day.
 

Susie

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I copied/pasted that info to my sister-in-law who is owned by multiple cats.
 

DeeAnna

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I'm convinced, and I'm going to give it a try. If this does nothing but just eliminate the schlepping of heavy clay litter ... it's going to be worth it. Thanks again -- super idea!!!
 

nsmar4211

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I've been using this stuff for years because I used to use it on other livestock and had it around-never considered the "breeze" system though! Had to buy "feline pine" last week because I couldn't get to the feed store and it's the EXACT same stuff....what a ripoff.

For a regular box, a recent trick I learned was a thin (1/8th inch) layer of the silicone "crystal" litter on the bottom of the box helps even more with some of the odor....
 

Arimara

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At first, I was going to say "I HATE TIDY CATS CAT LITTER!!!" but then I calmed down and read the rest of it. I've never used Feline Pine (I was little leery of it and I liked Dr. Elsey's) but I have to say that your idea is genius and cost efficient. But I no longer have my kitty and I would not be driving to look for the closest Agway right now.
 
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CaraBou

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We have a Tractor Supply Co going up near us - will check it out for sure. I have been pleasantly surprised by my two young cats' use of nature's latrin" since moving to MT (although winter has slowed it). They scrape the pine needles :) Now that we're rural with no busy roads and we've found a way to minimize bird kills, we let them outside here (which we did not frequently do in Anchorage). But we do still have litter boxes too so thanks for the tip.

This leads me to another great product to add to your thread, if you don't mind George: "clown collars" from http://www.birdsbesafe.com/
These are colorful fabric fan collars that birds readily see, and that break away if the collar gets hung up on something. We've seen a drastic decline in captured birds, which maintains the cats' privileges to go outside. They still hunt, but are rarely successful. Voles are less lucky, but that is noticeably reduced too. Win-win-win for cats, their people, and wild critters!
 
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Arimara

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We have a Tractor Supply Co going up near us - will check it out for sure. I have been pleasantly surprised by my two young cats' use of nature's latrin" since moving to MT (although winter has slowed it). They scrape the pine needles :) Now that we're rural with no busy roads and we've found a way to minimize bird kills, we let them outside here (which we did not frequently do in Anchorage). But we do still have litter boxes too so thanks for the tip.

This leads me to another great product to add to your thread, if you don't mind George: "clown collars" from http://www.birdsbesafe.com/
These are colorful fabric fan collars that birds readily see, and that break away if the collar gets hung up on something. We've seen a drastic decline in captured birds, which maintains the cats' privileges to go outside. They still hunt, but are rarely successful. Voles are less lucky, but that is noticeably reduced too. Win-win-win for cats, their people, and wild critters!
That should lead to a nice drop in the "cats are evil" camp.
 

nsmar4211

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Those collars remind of putting a scrunchie on the cat for fun LOL.
 

LBussy

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I have one of those Litter Maid automatic raking ones. I put it on a deal with a chute that eliminates the need for the trays and allows me to empty a bag once a week (two cats.) It looks sorta like this but a little more furniture-like:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EVPW8A/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Now people either love or hate the Litter Maid. Knock on wood I have a good one right now, but even when I have issues I know enough about them to (generally) be able to address the issues.
 
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DeeAnna

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Went to Wally World tonight and could find the pads for the Breeze litter box, but of course ... no actual Breeze litter boxes. Grrr. Went to TSC and got the usual heaped cart of dog-cat-horse food ... and one bag of pine pelleted bedding.

Got home, grabbed a couple of empty spare litter boxes, and put pellets in each. (I have spare boxes so I can put extras out when we go away for a few days.) Put one pellet filled box next to each of the two clay filled litter boxes I have for my five cats ... and we'll see what happens.

Cleo, my opinionated nosy gray girl cat, checked the pine litter, but didn't seem impressed. But give it time.
 

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