Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Corny Cats and Furry Toys and Litter Robots

Corn litter. It's a great idea. It's biodegradable, it's renewable, it's non-toxic. It works in the Litter Robot. It's also dust-free and doesn't track much, and we don't have to worry about Ivan or Boo developing a giant ball of bentonite in the gut from licking clay litter off their paws.

These are good things.

The corn litter makes the laundry room (where the litter boxes are) smell like Corn Chex. And for some reason, Corn Chex Scent does not mix well with cat urine or feces - the smell is not easily described. Suffice it to say that it's not exactly pleasant.

These are bad things.

Since the good outweigh the bad, we decided to purchase a product that our pet insurance newsletter has been recommending: Zero Odor. It supposedly neutralizes odor-causing microbes and is marketed specifically for use in litter boxes. So why not try it? If that helps with the Corn-Chex-Cat-Waste scent action going on in our laundry room, the story will have a happy ending.

We just received the Zero Odor yesterday. We decided to test it immediately. First, we needed to get a good baseline whiff of the litterbox. After thoroughly scooping the box, we sniffed, recoiled, and then took the bottle of Zero Odor and gave it several good squirts into the litterbox. Then we immediately sniffed again. The recoil reaction was not as strong. So either we'd maxed out our Corn-Chex-Cat-Waste olfactory receptors with the first sniff, or the odor was now weaker. We sprayed some more Zero Odor into the box and sniffed again, and the scent definitely seemed quite a bit weaker. In fact, we seemed to be smelling mostly Corn Chex without the Cat Waste notes.

So the preliminary results indicate that we CAN have a Corn-Chex-Cat-Waste-scent-free home without abandoning the corn litter!

By the way, the litter we use is The World's Best Cat Litter - multiple cat formula. One more favorable attribute of this litter - it's quite a bit lighter than clay, so it's easier to purchase a big-ass bag and get it out of the store without damaging one's back.

Now, a more exciting topic: furry toys! We've had toy mice made from real fur in the past, and Ivan and Boo just love them. So when we saw a big furry critter toy at the local pet store, we decided we needed to try it out with our cats. They LOVE it! We accidentally discarded the packaging before we could record important information about this toy, but we'll go back to the pet store and get another. It was quite reasonably priced, and with two cats, one favorite toy is one too few! Ivan does amazing gymnastics with this toy. We'll try to catch him on video and show you.

We mentioned the Litter Robot above. We just realized that we have not given it a proper review! Here in our blog we've talked about how much we like it, and we've hinted at how it works, but that's about it. Well, let us tell you...this thing is IT! It really is the best automated litter box that we have come across. It doesn't get clogged. It doesn't have a "rake" that can get stuck. It doesn't have a difficult-to-install waste bag. This thing is a BREEZE! The initial outlay is a pretty penny, but, frankly, it's not all that much more than the rake varieties of automated litter box, and it works a million times better. In a nutshell, this baby sits and waits for your cat to climb in and use it. Seven minutes after it detects your cat has exited, it starts a cycle. The globe rotates 360 degrees, and during this rotation the litter slides across a sieve, leaving the clumped pieces, while the clean litter falls through. As the globe continues to rotate, the clumps of waste are dumped into the receptacle beneath the globe. Finally, the globe rotates back in the opposite direction to restore the clean litter to the bottom of the globe. It even rotates a bit past "level" to make sure the clean litter is re-distributed evenly. You simply pull out a bottom drawer, which is lined with an inexpensive standard "tall kitchen" garbage can liner, remove the garbage bag, and dispose of the waste. Inserting a fresh garbage bag takes about 4 seconds. You can watch a demonstration of the Litter Robot cleaning cycle here.

We love it so much we bought a second one for Dev and Belle. In their case we decided to purchase a reconditioned unit. Occasionally someone will have a cat who is not interested in using a new type of litter box, and since Litter Robot comes with a 60-day return policy, the folks with finicky cats return the little-used or completely un-used Litter Robot, and people like us can buy it at a discount. It is completely cleaned and sanitized before it is resold, of course.

We learned of this product on Catster, and numerous folks there recommended the Litter Robot to us. People with multiple-cat households, especially, love it. No more scooping litter! A fresh litter box for Fluffy every time! What more could s/he ask for? Hmm, well, yes, food that is available 24-hours a day, perhaps, but if they can't have that, at least they've got the Litter Robot!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


We have just added your latest post "The Ivan and Boo Chronicles: Corny Cats and Furry Toys and Litter Robots" to our Directory of Pets . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory and get a huge base of visitors to your website.

Warm Regards Team