Does anyone have tips on how to clean cat litter boxes easily and thriftily?
By Christine from Buffalo, NY
I use feline pine scoopable cat liter, it is very light, you don't have to put much inside the liter box, it helps with odors, and you can scoop and flush it for no longering odors in your home. It is pretty easy to clean out of the liter box. Esp if it is a newer box, the older ones it tends to stick too.
I use clumpable cat litter and a bag under that because sometimes it can get stuck to the bottom.
We have seven cats. This is what happens when two full-grown adults, who have their own fully developed households, with pets, get married! So, you know that this advice is coming from experience.
We got a litter box from Petsmart that has 2 pans, and a sieve-like insert. Basically, you put the insert inside of one of the pans, and fill with clumping litter (we use a mix of clay and one of the natural ones, which looks a lot like millet hulls). Then, you put the filled one inside of the empty pan, to store. The cats do, well, what cats do....when it comes time to clean, you pull the filled pan out of the empty one, then pick up the insert, and ease it out of the first pan- viola! The nasty stuff is clumped, and stays in the insert- it's like using a colander.
You then put the insert into the empty pan, and cart it out to the trash can, to empty it out. Once the insert's empty, you just put it into the empty pan, pour the remaining clean litter into it, and then tuck that now-empty pan under the filled one. It didn't cost a lot (it was under $20, as I recall), and I have never found a better system, for efficiency, for cleaning effort. Also, your litter lasts a long time- I top it up with a little bit of new litter, about once per week- and we have had no "smell issues", since it gets cleaned daily.
This is what has been working the best for us- but any sifting-type of litter box is going to be a money-saver for you. BTW, my mom also swears by cutting your litter 50/50 with cedar-chip horse and livestock bedding- you can buy it in big bales for really cheap. :o)
I've tried every litter imaginable and it turns out, for me anyway, that the least expensive, least amount of work and less smelly alternative (even though initially seems expensive) kitty litter is the scoopable (I buy the store brand at a discount rather than a national brand)! I just scoop Rachel's pee pee and poo poo once a day and a 21 pound container ends up lasting for a bit over a month :-) I use saved produce bags to place the scooping in to for disposal.
I have 10 cats. I'm a foster parent for a no-kill shelter, so have had up to 15 cats! I have several of those "sifter pans" and love them. They are fast, easy to use, and you only toss the clumps. Very thrifty and easy.
If you mean cleaning when you change out the litter entirely, I use a long-handled scrub brush I got at an automotive place. I rinse them out outside with the hose; spray with vinegar/water; scrub with brush; rinse; prop to air dry (in the winter, I'll let dry in the tub). I hang the scrub brush on the fence to dry - it hangs there year-round and has lasted well for years!
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