Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The World's Worst Cat Litter

I am fed up with my cat litter.

Remember the World's Best Cat Litter and how amazing it was when I first tried it out?

Yeah, not so much anymore.

Somewhere between falling in love with this litter and Percy developing the habit of digging in his litter box, flinging litter everywhere, I realized that I actually hate this World's Best Cat Litter, and it's not the world's best anything.

In the last few months I've become increasingly annoyed with small tan colored granules scattered all over my floors and furniture, and even in places that are nowhere near the litter boxes.  

Like the toilet.

I find myself going to the bathroom, reaching down to lift the toilet lid, and realizing there is litter scattered across it.

The bathtub has also been collecting litter granules, but that's because Percy enjoys sleeping in the tub in ninety degree weather. 

I step in piles of litter constantly because the cats track them across the tile floors, and I have even started picking it out of the carpets.

This is just the nature of litter. Any litter one uses for their cats will get tracked all over the house unless one uses litter mats. I cannot use litter mats because Willow pees on them rather than dragging her ass into the box. It must just be easier to squat on the floor outside the litter box, but she won't do it on the bare floor. She'll pee on the carpet, the litter mats, newspaper, but if the floor is bare she will actually make the effort to get into the box and do her business there.

Go figure.

Litter tracking and piles getting kicked out of the box by Percy are annoying enough, but as the months passed I realized that my house always smelled like a feed store. At first I thought it was the pet food sitting out. I'd walk out of my bedroom (where scented candles are usually lit), and suddenly notice, in the absence of Hawaiian/floral/coconut scent, that my house had this musty, almost stable smell. It didn't smell like animals had been peeing or pooping around, yet it definitely smelled like animals live in my house. I'd get the same whiff when I'd come home from work or go inside after being outside for an hour, watering my plants.

It drove me nuts.

Everyday I'd sniff around trying to figure out, why the hell does my house smell like a barn? 

One day it hit me. It smelled like chicken feed. California Guy raises chickens so I'd been getting a whiff of chicken feed most weekends, and my house smelled like it had containers full of it.

Turns out it did. I had four litter boxes filled to the brim with the Worlds' Best Cat Litter which is made of corn. It says right on the bag - made of corn. I literally had four containers set strategically around the house full of corn which is essentially what all barnyard animals are fed.

No wonder my house smelled like a feed store. 

The bag says "Unscented."  Yeah, sure. Unscented as far as no added smells, but there is no way to mask that corn feed smell. 

The bag also says clumping, flushable, super absorbent, 99% dust free. That's a lot of crap too. Dust free? My ass. I was constantly sneezing with that shit lying around (and it was lying around EVERYWHERE in my house). Super absorbent maybe, but clumping? No way. 

Well, it may not be the litter's fault it doesn't clump at my house. My cats pee, create a clump, and then scratch and scratch until they've pulverized the clumps and scraped all the litter into a big mound in one corner of the box.

The litter is definitely flushable, but my cats shit and pee so much I'd be flushing all day long, and my water bill would be through the roof. It's also a serious waste of water in a climate that is dry.

Having had enough of this garbage (since I was sneezing myself off the couch and getting tired of living in a barn), I decided to go litter shopping AGAIN. I won't go back to clay litter because I still would like to be somewhat environmentally responsible. I looked at some crystal litter which is supposed to be super absorbent as well and dust free. The litter looked like it might be too sharp and painful on precious kitty's paws, and since I have finally gotten Willow to use the litter box again and stop peeing on the floor, I don't want anything to encourage litter box aversion.

I ended up picking up a bag of Blue Buffalo's BLUE Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Litter made of walnut shells.

I suppose if my house is going to smell of food, I'd rather it have a pleasant faint nutty aroma.

Besides, walnut shells might be a bit brilliant.  I mean what do you do with the shells after you've devoured the walnuts? Make little turtles out of them (half a walnut shell does look a little like a turtle shell)? And even then there's only so many turtles you can make.

I mixed half the walnut litter with half the corn litter and already noticed a large decrease in feed store smell in my house, though I did detect that pleasant faint nutty aroma. I was worried the cats would protest, but they all hopped right in one after another and did their business without a care in the world.

To be fair this litter tracks just as badly as the corn stuff. Now instead of tan granules strewn everywhere, I have dark chocolate brown crumbs everywhere. It does clump, maybe better than the other stuff, but my cats still have their scratch fests, so some of clumps still disintegrate. Maybe not as much, though. The worst part about this litter is that it's so dark. If not for the clumps and the poop shaped piles, I wouldn't be able to figure out what to scoop to clean it out.

So far it doesn't smell and the cats seem fine with it. I'm lucky my cats aren't such divas that every time I change the litter they go into a royal hissy fit. Some cats are so high maintenance about their litter boxes that changing the litter takes two months and excessive drama. It causes pouting and litter box aversion. My cats might be divas about everything else, but as long as there is a litter box for them to poop in, they're fine with whatever is in it.

I know this because in the time I've owned these cats I've gone from wood pellets to newspaper pellets to the World's Best (Worst) Cat Litter to this walnut business.

If this shit doesn't work out we will be trying yet another litter.

Eventually everyone will get rousted outside to a designated sandbox, and they can poop in that.

Another reason to move to the beach.

Can you imagine if humans had this problem with their toilets? All I need in my toilet bowl is water and bleach. It doesn't make my house stink, it's easy to clean, and I don't track what's in the toilet all over the house.

At least I hope I don't.

Who knew going to the bathroom was so dramatic? 

It's too soon to tell the verdict on the walnut litter. I have hopes, and I am happy that at least the feed store smell in my house has been solved, but I do still have my reservations about the walnut stuff.

I'm just not sure what I'll try next if this stuff doesn't work out.

The new stuff

In a shameless plug, please check out this book on sale August 8 for my published story about Puckett.

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