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Author Topic: Cat Litter  (Read 2084 times)

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Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Cat Litter
« on: December 10, 2011, 03:48:51 PM »
Is there any way I can at least tone down the ammonia fumes from the litter boxes besides changing the litter?  I would change it, but we're out, and won't have any money for 2 weeks.  All I can do is scoop, and the fumes are giving me a constant headache.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 03:52:43 PM »
Baking soda might help, sprinkle over the top and then stir it in. Ultimately you may need to find something other than cat litter to make use of for the next couple of weeks - if it's that bad smelling to you, it's ten times worse to your cats. Cats are very cleanly creatures and they will stop using the litter box when the smell is bad.

Keep in mind you can pick up a small bag of non-clumping cat litter for $2 at WalMart, if you can spare the change or even bum it off someone it would be well worth your while.

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 04:00:21 PM »
I'll try the baking soda, thanks.  I guess we'll have to scrape together some change and see what we can do.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 04:09:09 PM »
Alternately, tearing up newspapers and putting them in the box and changing them daily (probably twice daily if you can) has worked for me in a pinch. But you'd need access to a fairly large amount of recycling or newspapers to go 2 weeks on it.

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 05:57:22 PM »
The baking soda seems to have helped.  On Monday we'll take our change jar into the bank and hopefully we'll have enough for a small box. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 06:36:48 PM »
If the jar is full enough that you can't tell how much is in it - there's probably more than $2 in it.  I've been pleasantly surprised by how quickly spare change can build up.

Offline olive

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 06:40:58 PM »
Alternately, tearing up newspapers and putting them in the box and changing them daily (probably twice daily if you can) has worked for me in a pinch. But you'd need access to a fairly large amount of recycling or newspapers to go 2 weeks on it.

This works wonderfully well. I do this in a pinch and I have five cats. The newspapers actually smell less often than cat litter. The only thing is, I have one cat that really balks at using the paper, so that can be a problem.

If you don't have papers, then stop by a place that has free phone books in the racks, grab a couple of those. Those are the same type paper, and will also work. If worse comes to worse, dump the litter and use plain old dirt until you get paid.

Good luck!

Offline Oreo

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 06:55:14 PM »
Also, clean the box well and let it dry before you put the next batch of anything in it. Once the ammonia builds it needs to be thoroughly removed or the smell will take over almost immediately.

Offline Wolf369

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 08:09:10 PM »
These are all good ideas and I do have one to add. See if there are and carpentry/cabinetry shops close. Sawdust can help kill some types of smells and a lot of shops where they do woodworking have a lot of it on hand. Shouldn't cost you a thing and is usable as long as it's clean and free of debris and large chunks/shavings.

I'd just mix some in with whatever cat litter you're using.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 08:15:10 PM »
Sawdust is not good for the respiratory systems of animals. That's not a good idea at all, actually.

Offline Wolf369

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 04:18:47 PM »
Sorry that I forgot to ad this to my post above (about the sawdust), had a bad weekend and well, was tired when I wrote that. My bad.

Yes, sawdust is not good for the lungs but, the problem is in a workshop where you have saw/sander throwing it into the air at high speed (and also some exotic/expensive types of wood are even toxic.) But adding it to cat litter, in small amounts, will not create the same hazard. I've had more of a problem with the dust from the clumping litter than I have had from anything else.

My reason for adding that info it is the cost and the fact that the litter should still clump with a little sawdust added.

But, from a vet I knew for years btw, clean, shredded paper (think confetti or the like) can be used as cat litter and, if changed when needed it does work well. This is what he used/recommended for some cats after surgeries because it can be gotten cheap, is clean for the cat dust wise and so on...

But as with all things in life, your mileage may vary.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 08:26:36 PM »
I seem to recall that Yesterday's News is fairly cheap, and it's not scoopable but it's absorbent, pelleted recycled newspaper. It's more pet-safe than sawdust (don't use sawdust, especially sawdust from smelly woods like cedar and pine, unless you want to be at the vet regularly for respiratory infections) and it'll smell a lot better than re-used litter. That said, once you get some money, you may want to look in to getting one (or more) of those self-cleaning litter boxes with reusable litter. They're a big investment up front, but then you have no further litter costs and won't be subjecting your cats to 2 weeks of unchanged litter.

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 04:35:50 PM »
Ugh...  The picky one doesn't like newspaper.  I know because while I was searching for their food dish I stepped in a pile >:(   It had to have been the picky one; it's always the picky one.  The others use the the box pretty much no matter what, I've watched them do it.  Then I've caught her going behind the TV 2 days after I cleaned both boxes.  *grumbles*

I did manage to scrape together enough change to get a small cheap bag of litter, so yay.  Just in time too, I about passed out on the fumes while cleaning the boxes. 

Offline Saffron

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 04:51:32 PM »
2 days after, I don't blame her.
Litter boxes should be cleaned every day to keep your cats healthy and happy. Changed litter once a week with a freshly washed box, too.

With 5 cats, can you blame her? If you had to use the same unflushed toilet(s) as five other humans for two days+, wouldn't you want to go somewhere else? :-\

Keep in mind as well that a cats nose is much more sensitive than a humans. My cats won't use the box at all if we don't clean it every day, every other day at the very worst. Clean animals, like I said. They're smart too - they know if they go poop in a corner on the floor you're going to clean it up right away and they won't have to deal with the stench of the litter box.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 04:59:19 PM »
What Saffron said is very true. *nodnod*

Serephino... erm, have you ever thought about maybe rehoming some of your cats? Affording litter and food for five cats is a bit much, and it sounds like neither you nor the cats are very happy with the situation. It might be kinder to pare the number down to two or three.

Offline Mithlomwen

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2011, 05:17:09 PM »
I think I would echo what Trieste said.  Most of the local SPCA shelters will take animals gladly and rehome them.  I think it would probably be fairer to both yourself and the animals to reduce the numbers, and they will also spay and neuter the animals before they are put up for adoption. 

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2011, 08:12:04 PM »
We've been trying to find another home for at least one of them.  The local shelter is full, and even if I could get them to take a few, they want $50 per animal.  I know they need the money to run, but so do we.  The only way to get them to take an animal without the fee is to threaten to kill it unless they take it, and they ban you for life for it.  My mother got herself banned that way..

Offline Trieste

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2011, 08:15:33 PM »
Well... yes. If you threaten to kill an animal, I should hope that they ban you from adopting. >.<

Regardless, you might call the shelter and ask them for suggestions. Generally, if you place ads on Craigslist and Petfinder, you should charge a rehoming fee. First of all, it will help you with current expenses (you really need to either get more litter boxes or scale back to one cat per box, maximum) and second of all, it will usually help ensure that the person has thought about it and isn't just taking the animal to be abused or vivisected.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2011, 09:14:01 PM »
There's always the good old "I found it outside my house and I can't keep anymore cats" excuse, at least that might work for one.

Consider in general the cost of a cat vs. the $50 to give it to the shelter as well.

Offline Ophelia Jaxon

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2011, 02:48:39 AM »
We used to do that with our cats, just say.it was a stray and avoid the 50 we did that to get our cats their shots...though ours were mostly all strays anyway.

Offline Mithlomwen

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Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2011, 06:49:09 AM »
You can also call the shelter and ask if they know of any other rescue groups that might take the cats as you've come across some financial hardships and can no longer afford food and necessities for them. 

Offline Scott

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2011, 07:18:08 AM »
is taking the cat outside an option?

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2011, 09:12:08 PM »
No, we have neighbors who would think it was funny to run them over or poison them.  I don't like my neighbors. 

Offline Phoenixrisen

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2011, 10:42:37 PM »
Not sure if you need another idea, but I came across this.

It seemed like a good, really cheap idea, and so I thought I would share.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Cat Litter
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2011, 12:11:47 AM »
It's a tangential note but...are y'all sure that sawdust is bad for animals? I mean, we house research animals on sawdust and our IACUC is extremely (read: insanely) cautious about health and quality of life. Can y'all source that claim?

EDIT: Or perhaps this is something cat specific?

EDIT 2: Nevermind...figured it out.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 12:33:03 AM by DarklingAlice »