Help with new cat litter!

Dog Food Advisor Forums Off Topic Forum Help with new cat litter!

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  • #71577 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Ok, so I just replaced my cats litter box and am trying a new cat litter. I had her using Blue Buffalo’s walnut based litter, but it does not clump the urine at all. As per catinfo.org I am trying an open large cat box for her and Dr. Esley’s clay litter.

    Here’s my problem and she has never done this before with any other litter. She is playing in it, digging like she is trying to find something, and actually tried eating it!

    I’m wondering if she is freaking out about the color contrast? the box is dark blue its the SoPhresh large open box from Petco and the litter is well clay so it’s light colored.

    Any thoughts on this new behavior?

    #71686 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    It sounds like she really likes it. The hyper excitement should settle down pretty quickly.

    #71699 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Thanks BC I sure hope so! It’s been a couple days and she’s still doing it

    #72278 Report Abuse

    codexstark
    Member

    I’m a little late to this, but I was just wondering if you had an update with your kitty and her new litter/clay?

    I have two cats that I would like to introduce to new litter, but I’m partially worried it may not go as planned. Both cats are males, but the smaller one used to be prone to urinary tract infections (I believe due to previously used litter…hasn’t happened since I switched brands). I don’t want to aggravate another infection just in case. Does a “clay” litter work as well or is there a specific difference with it?

    Sorry if you don’t know the answer, I’m not quite sure where to go with this question. 🙂

    #72305 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi codexstark-
    I’m not Pitlove, but interested in helping you if possible. She mentioned on another thread that her kitten did settle down and quit playing and eating in the box.

    What kind of litter are you using now? I prefer a clay unscented clumping litter for my crew. Why do you want to switch? I’d be a little leery of switching if things are going well now. If you do, I’d do a gradual transition replacing new with old over a week or more. Maybe even just add a new box with the new litter and leave the old one out to see if they use the new one. We both know the last thing you want is for them not to use it at all or end up with an infection.
    Here are some great links with wonderful information:
    catinfo.org
    littlebigcat.com
    Naturalcatcareblog.com
    On the catinfo site, there are directions on how to make a nice big roomy cat box out of a tote. For large or multiple cats it works great. I know Bobbydog has made one and I think Pitlove mentioned that she did also. I have four cats and seven litter boxes. At least one box is in the garage and two in their outdoor enclosure. They are not all in the house. I also have a male with urinary tract issues. Write back and let us know what you think.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  crazy4cats.
    #72355 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Hi codexstark- C4C did a great job answering you. I also will give you some input as well. From the research I’ve done UTI’s are mainly caused by the build up of struvite crystals that will block the urethra. I have had a male cat in the past that ended up having a UTI. He ended up on a prescription food, however through my recent research I’ve discovered that a leading cause is a lack of moisture in their diet (i.e all dry food diet). Cats by nature don’t drink enough water. Dr. Pierson, who is the vet who started catinfo.org which C4C mentioned says on her site that she would rather see a cat eating a wet food full of by-products like Friskies than to ever see a cat eating dry food. I personally have never heard anything about litter causing UTI’s, so that is new info to me. Can you give a source for that info? Was it your vet or someone else or something you had read on the internet? I’m very interested for more info on that topic.

    My kitten has been doing well with that litter, however she has peed outside the litter box about 4 times now. It hasn’t happened in a few days though. (fingers crossed)
    C4C had a good idea about transitioning to different cat litter, however I personally have never done that. I never even thought about it like that. Ive always just put the new litter down and I have yet to have a cat that wont take to the new litter instantly.

    I’m using the Dr.Esley’s Precious Cat which is a clay litter with very little dust. Its amazing at clumping all the urine which was not true of the Blue Buffalo walnut litter I had her on before. Dr. Pierson suggests the Dr. Esleys because of the clumping power of it. It’s also unscented which encourages litter box use. Be sure to clean the litter box at least 2 times a day and spot clean if needed.

    I should have made my own litter box honestly. I ended up with a large one from my work (petco). its been working fine but I like the idea of the storage tub litter box a little more.

    I hope me and C4C have been some help. Keep us updated!

    #72400 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    I love the tote litter box I made for my kitties, it’s on wheels. Very convenient for cleaning the area I keep it in.

    One of my cats did not like the litter I switched to so it disrupted his elimination schedule. He started holding his urine until I let him outside. He developed a UTI several weeks after I started using the new litter. After a nice Vet bill I of course switched back to what he liked.

    #72401 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    my kitten is using the litter box when we are here. the times shes peed outside the litter box is when we are gone. she has peed on the bed twice and by the time i found it later that night it was dry. so she knows to use the litter box. someone mentioned to me at work that their dog pees in the house when they arent home because he has seperation anxiety. im wondering if she has that. if we are in the bathroom or outside she cries and cries til we come back inside or let her into the bathroom.

    #72403 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    I was just sharing my experience with litter being a contributing factor in my cat’s UTI. I had moved and the new store I was shopping at didn’t carry the litter I used, didn’t think anything about it and switched. It was an expensive switch.

    Separation anxiety does cause many undesirable behaviors, very frustrating.

    #72418 Report Abuse

    jakes mom
    Member

    C4C and Pitlove made some good points, hope things are going well for you. I’ve had a lot of cats and luckily have never had any litter box issues. I buy a variety of litters and my cats use the box no matter what brand it’s filled with. Have had my share of UTI and crystal issues as well with my boys. I use totes as litter boxes now, too. Have been using them for years. In the past when I had many more cats than I have now (13 at one point), I also used kiddie swimming pools as litter boxes in my basement. The hard plastic ones. Good size, high enough to keep the litter in but not too high for older cats or kittens to climb in and out.

    #72431 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    bdog- ya i know you were. that makes sense though as to how he got a UTI because of that. I was wondering if codex’s problem had to do with something like that or with the actually dust from the litter or something else. was curious about that. what litter are you using now? i’m assuming it’s working good. im trying that dr.esleys kitten attract. my GM said it was good and worked well for her cats. i’ve got my fingers crossed. open to more litter suggestions though.

    #72440 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi pitlove:
    I use Tractor Supply Company’s Paws & Claws Scoopable Kitty litter. It has one, maybe two ingredients listed on it, I can’t remember. They have a Mulit-cat Scoopable odor control too, but it has a slight scent so I stay away from it. It’s $9.99/40 lbs. or $5.99/25 lbs. I also use BJ’s wholesale club’s unscented clumping kitty litter on occasion.

    Here’s another kitty site that has some litter and litter box info that might interest you. I keep saying I am going to give his “near perfect kitty litter” a try, but I never seem to find the right time to give it a go.
    http://catsadored.com/index.htm

    #72637 Report Abuse

    codexstark
    Member

    Phew! 🙂 What helpful individuals you are, thank you for all the responses! I apologize for the late reply; I live in OK and have been a bit busy with the tornado and flood clean ups.

    I’m currently using Arm & Hammer cat litter (a multi-cat, baking soda kind); the biggest reason I’m looking to switch is the dust factor. I wasn’t sure if clay litter helped this point or not, but you have all provided me a few resources to do some more research, so I appreciate that, thank you!

    As for Archer and his UTI, I don’t know if there’s scientific lore behind his reaction to the litter my wife used previously, but our vet had mentioned that some cats can develop sensitivities to the dust or litter itself. She used a Tidy Cats brand, I think, when he started to get them. When we merged households, she introduced him to what my cat has been using and ever since he’s been fine. So not sure if there was an environmental factor or what, but the switch solved it for us.

    @pitlove: I will look into the Dr. Esley’s Precious Cat and see if that might be something worth trying out. The way you describe it seems to be what I am looking for and as I’m half-way done with my last box of litter, now would be a good time to start mixing some new litter in. Thank you for the input!

    #72640 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi codexstark:
    Here is another site with litter and allot of other useful cat info:
    http://www.catinfo.org/

    #72642 Report Abuse

    jakes mom
    Member

    The yellow box Arm & Hammer litter is really dusty but I love the new kind, the Clump and Seal, black box.

    #72652 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    ive used the clump and seal too and i just got my kitten on the Dr. Esleys Kitten attract. the grainuals are really really soft and fine. she seems to love it and its got the same great clumping power as the Precious cat. only reason I switched was to hopefully stop the peeing outside the box problem and so far so good! no accidents in more than a week now. I also noticed with the Kitten Attract that she is tracking a lot less even on her litter mat.

    #73106 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Ok so now I have another issue with her and the litter box. She has been spraying while she is in the litter box. Tail shaking everything, doesnt try to cover it after. Im thinking that is has something to do with my dog constantly going over by her litter box, however I dont want to get her another hooded one and I try to shoo him away as much as I can but its not a perfect system. I dont want her to feel uncomfortable, like she has to defend her territory. I was interested in making my own litter box now from a storage tub, but I’m wondering if you guys think that will be enough to make her feel safe from the dog but still give her ventilation and plenty of room and stop the marking?

    Also could it be medical? is it worth a trip to my vet to get her urine checked?

    #73123 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Pitlove-
    I was actually concerned about your cat when you mentioned she wasn’t using it earlier. Litter boxes are a huge deal especially for indoor cats. Location is probably the most important. They have to be located where the cats are totally comfortable using it. If you are going to use a cover, then yes, a big tote would be great. I would have at least two boxes if you can. One covered and one not. I actually have seven boxes for 4 cats. Unfortunately, I have a few in my bedroom and have a pet door on it. Besides keeping from dogs, I have a bully cat that attacks the others when they come out of boxes. They need a lot of options. Can you put one somewhere behind a gate or pet door.

    Has your kitty been spayed? I’ve never had one that sprays yet, thank goodness. Check out the Humane Society litter box problems. They have 3 or 4 links that have some good info.
    Also, it might be a good idea to have a urinalysis done. Sometimes that behavior is due to an infection. Btw, I did make a bin box. It’s the most popular box!

    #73168 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    C4C- I actually went to walmart last night and got a 30gal tote similar to the one that Dr. Pierson shows on her website. She said she recommended the 18 or 30 gal and when I looked at the 18 it just looked to small even for my 6lb kitten. the bf and I cut the opening and she did go in and use it and kept going in it and playing so I think she likes it!

    Heres what my problem is. Our living situation right now is basically a small studio apartment above his parents garage on their property. The only actual room we have is the bathroom and its so small it barely fits the trash can. Her litter box right now is currently in a central part of the house (the “living room”) right next to our TV. I have tried to think in my head what other spaces there are to put it, but outside of sticking it in the closest, which I dont want to do, there is no where private for her. The dog can get to every spot in the house.

    They often play by her litter box too which she participates in but I try to discourage it because I dont want her to associate anything else with the litter box besides “I pee and poo here”. So far the tote has been working a lot better. The sides are high enough that my dog has not tried to come sniff her while she is using it and i took a peek at her while she was peeing and it was normal. No elevator butt, nothing. Its still new so we will see how it goes but I think I found a much better option.

    this is the box I had before:
    http://www.petco.com/product/126582/So-Phresh-High-Back-Open-Litter-Box.aspx?CoreCat=MM_CatSupplies_LitterBoxes

    My other problem is there is no spot up here for a second box. I was considering using the old box as the second box for her, but I sat and looked around the apartment last night and could not find a spot that it would fit that there wasnt already something in the way.

    I also think I’m going to get her checked out by my vet. I wanna make sure she doesnt have some type of infection. I think she got spayed really early in her life (she was caught in a feral trap site). And im hoping that didnt cause complications.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Pitlove.
    #73206 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Pitlove-
    Sounds like you have very limited space. Hopefully, the big tote will help. That is the same size I used. I, (actually my husband) cut a bunch of really nice circles in the lid to help with the ventilation and keep the dogs out.
    Yes, take her to the vet if you are concerned. Are her pee clumps normal sized, or a bunch of little tiny ones? Any blood? Does she make any noise when she pees or lick herself a lot?
    I’ve never (knocking on wood) had a cat that sprayed. But, I have had two that peed outside of the box. One, the female, had an infection, and the second one had a crystal blockage.
    I have started using a couple of calming devices since my male cat’s emergency. One is a calming collar and the other is a Feliway plug in diffuser. I really believe they have both helped him. He is a little high strung and picks fights with the other cats. He is doing much better now. You probably sell them at Petco. I find that chewy has them the cheapest by far. But maybe with your discount, it would make sense to get it there.
    I was very skeptical, but I think it has made a difference. Good luck!

    #73207 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Hey C4C-
    Ya our space is insanely limited, so I’m trying to do my best for her with what I have to work with. Her pee generally is very normal. Sometimes I’ll see smaller than average clumps, but nothing as bad as my cat who passed away this past christmas when he had a UTI at 2 years old. I always think back to my experience with him when trying to decide if she could have a UTI. I saw something on one of Dr. Becker’s videos called D-Mannose and she said it was excellent for clearing up urinary infections that could end your cat at the vet otherwise and on anti-biotics. She also mentioned that while anti-biotics are not terrible to use they can often cause recurring UTIs after the first one. I know I would get a prescription for anti-biotics from my vet if I brought her and I’d really like to avoid it. Have you heard of or used D-Mannose before?

    I was using something called Rescue Remedy for Pets in her food. I got it at Whole Foods for my deceased cat before we made the 31 hour drive from CT to Louisiana. It was all natural and not a sedative and recommended to me by my old vet. Im not really sure how it worked because I went to work. I think Im going to give it to her again tomorrow morning since I have the next 2 days off and see how it works for her. It worked great for my other cat. He was calm and slept for a lot of our move.

    #73216 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi-
    Yes, I’ve heard of d-mannose. I think of it more as more of a preventative, not a cure for an existing infection. I’ve heard a few others mention on this site that they use it. If it is an infection, you don’t want to mess around. They start holding their pee because it hurts. Then that makes things much worse.
    Your kitty peeing outside of the box could be a behavioral or territorial act as well. I hope you get to the bottom of it. Cat pee smell isn’t very pleasant!

    #73221 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Ya ill have to check on that again. i wasnt quite sure if you could treat the infection with it or just prevent. So far every thing since the new litter box has been back to normal. Normal pee, no spraying, no peeing over or outside the box.
    She is mad at me right now though because I bathed her. Gave her the Rescue Remedy with dinner to calm her down. She was really upset with the bath.

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