Friday, February 13, 2015

How to make a larger cat litter

To follow-up on the popular entry "How to make a cat house for winter" (dated from november 2009!), I would like to propose an idea on how to make a larger cat litter.

One of my cats probably has a part of Maine Coon (or maybe Ragdoll or even Norwegian Forest Cat) in its murky lineage because he grew up to be huge! I mean thirty-two inches long (81 cm) from nose to tail and twenty pounds (9 kg) huge! So he was never confortable using a regular size litter (usually around 14 x 18 inches or 35 x 46 cm) and often did his business outside the litter. Since I was having a hard time finding an affordable larger size litter in pet stores, I therefore had to think outside the box (pardon the pun) to come up with a solution.

Fortunately, it was quite easy to find storage containers from stores like Canadian Tire or Walmart that would fit the purpose. And, in this case, no modifications were required. You don't want the container to be too deep because the cat might have trouble to get inside, so the under-the-bed type of storage container is the best choice. Here you have two examples:

[ Left: a 28.4 L Get-Sorted underbed storage box; right: a 38.8 L Rubbermaid container ]

The biggest (the 38.8 L, on the right) has 29 x 18 x 6 inches [73.6 x 45.7 x 15.2 cm] which offers plenty of space even for a very large cat. It cannot be more spacious than that!

Also note that, on the picture on the right, I use an old 7 kg Maxx Scoop litter sand box as container to put the clumped pee and poo scooped from the litter (commonly known as the crap box). I put inside a small 7.5 L compostable garbage bag so it is quite easy to dispose of it.

I was later confronted with a different problem: my older cat (which has unfortunately passed since then) was getting sick and he couldn't crouch to normally pee into the litter; he was often overshooting the litter's border and peeing on the wall. I needed to find a litter with higher borders which didn't seem to be commercially available in pet shops. Again, I had to create one myself and I found inspiration in my previous experiences with both the cat house and the container-made litter: I simply purchased a bigger container, cut an opening in it with a strong carpet or box cutter and covered the sharp edge of the border with tape [see opposite] to insure that the cats wouldn't cut themselves if they stepped on it. Here's two more examples:

[ Left: a 67.1 L Rubbermaid container; right: a 89.9 L Rubbermaid container ]

The smaller one (67.1 L, on the left) has a size of 23.3 x 18.7 x 12.3 inches [59.1 x 47.5 x 31.2 cm] and the larger one (89.9 L, on the right) has a size of 29 x 18 x 13.3 inches [73.6 x 45.7 x 33.7 cm]. Both have borders that are a little more than a foot high which is plenty of protection against overshooters!

I hope that my ideas will inspire you all cat lovers and be useful to you. Good day!

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