Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Kitty Litter Technology - Who Knew?

This last week in Juneau my hosts have been out of town and I'm house and cat sitting. I like cats including this one. My son's allergic to cats, so I really have been out of touch with the cat world.

So among my chores here - besides picking up the mail and the Full Circle Farm box today - is to feed Nori in the morning and empty the litter box at night.

The feeding part is pretty easy - though it means I don't sleep too late because someone is hungry.

But what were these huge flat burger like things in the litter box? And so many? I've taken care of my son's dog and know she doesn't poop that much or nearly that big. What gives?

Consider what a good cat litter should do: It should suppress odors, absorb, be biodegradable, nontoxic, and inexpensive. If you have more than one cat, both should be willing to use it. It shouldn't stick to paws, or between claws; yet it should clump enough to localize waste. And it's nice if it's flushable. But none of these features matters if your cat doesn't want to use it.

Now writer Curt Wohleber traces the design evolution of the stuff. Litter boxes existed before 1947. Owners had simply lined them with sand, sawdust, or torn-up newspapers. Then one of those moments -- like Newton's Apple or Goodyear's spilled chemicals:

Edward Lowe, back from the army was working in his father's supply store when a next door neighbor asked him if he had any sawdust for her litter box. [You can read the rest of this history at  John H. Lienhard's Engines of Our Ingenuity Episode 2103 or you can get the audio here.]

It took me a while to figure out that modern science now gives us kitty litter that soaks up the urine into these patties.

While I've been watching electronic technology, kitty litter technology took off.


  1. I have to admit to a strange obsession with fat kitty hinnies. And Nori has a lovely one. I 'm smitten.

  2. Kitty litter technology has been perfected. It's called the "Tidy Cat Breeze" system. This litter box *changed my life.* I kid you not. I'm not an advertising bot either, just a cat lover who hates cat litter. I waited fifty years for this litter box. I could never go back to traditional litter.

  3. In my opinion, the best litter out there is Swheat Scoop. All natural (made from wheat), flushable, clumps great for scooping but the clumps break up easily in the toilet, prevents odor. And in each box there's a little slip-- collect 12 and the next box is free. I didn't realize this at first and I think I lost a few early on, so now I'm careful to look for the small pink piece of paper as I pour a new box.

    No, I don't work for them, I'm just a cat owner who is happy I can provide for my furry friend without destroying the environment in the process. :)

  4. I have to go with Bea on this one, Swheat Scoop is the stuff.

    Although we keep a litter box for our master, he prefers to go outside. Except for the 4 am business, I'm perfectly content with that.

  5. I have changed our cats food to Purina Indoors,
    both canned and dry food.
    What a difference. Our litter box is in another room but near our kitchen.
    Since this change, I have to leave a note on the fridge to remind myself to clean the litter.
    Hardly any odor at all!

    About a month ago we rescued a cat that was 3 years old. She took to the food immediately, but it took her system about a week before she was odor free!

  6. By the looks of the water bowl (almost empty) and the body condition of this animal... please ask this felines caretakers to look into a blood test regarding this feline. She looks to be diabetic.
    he white lining used in canned goods is being linked to several serious health issues, not only for our furry friends but humans as well.
    If not, big apologies.

  7. The concept is that since their product is 25% lighter, your cat will now be able to enjoy a relaxing day at the spa with you, instead of acting as your own personal masseur.


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