Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scoop Duty

One of the unexpected side effects of the No-Thing New project is running out of plastic grocery bags. Even though we've been toting our reusable bags to the grocery store for many years, the flimsy plastic ones would find their way into our lives via non-grocery shopping. Now that we're not doing any shopping, the supply has dried up.  Are you thinking, "So what?" 

Two cats, two litterboxes, that's what.  Whenever the subject of plastic bags comes up, someone inevitably says, "But what else can I use for scooping the cat litter?"  We've used bread bags, cereal box liners, even the cereal boxes themselves sometimes.  But, yes, we also used the plastic bags that found their way home with us.  So now what?

Newspaper.  I've had the idea of using newspaper for litter scooping for a long time, but never really had a reason to try it.  Once we ran out of plastic bags and other receptacles, short of toilet training the girls, I had no other ideas.

First I just tried scooping onto a few sheets of newspaper.  Strength-wise it was fine, but I found it hard to keep the everything in the center of the paper.  I started wondering if there was a way to fold the paper into some sort of bag in order to keep the scoopage more contained.   

Failing to figure it out for myself, I turned to the internet.  Finally, I found directions for folding a paper cone called a koolyok.  This is the sort of cone that might hold fish and chips or chestnuts or churros, but it turns out it works really well for this purpose too!

We are making an attempt with the new kittens to be a little more green.  With Isabella, we used the litter at Petco that comes in refillable containers.  Refilling was a step in the right direction, but I always felt awful thinking about all that clay being pulled out of the earth.  New kittens were an opportunity to try new things, so we ran through all the options: Yesterday's News, Feline Pine, Swheat Scoop, World's Best Cat Litter, etc.  The girls cooperated beautifully with all the changes and would be happy with any one of them, but our favorites were the corn and wheat litters.  Petsmart has a line called ExquisiCat Naturals which is wonderful, and we also really like the Arm & Hammer Essentials.  This stuff is light, natural, easy to scoop, and controls odors well. 

(Yes, I really did blog about litter boxes. Can ya believe it?)


Samina said...

You're so lucky that your cats have accepted a change in litter. We tried to swtich our cats from the old clay, clumping stuff to the World's Best (which really seems great) & they wouldn't have any of it. They peed all over & totally ruined our couch! It was awful.

Darling Petunia said...

Samina, we figured we'd get them while they were still babies...didn't dare try it with Isabella!

oklyous said...

I really like the idea of not using plastic bags for when I am cleaning out the litter box - now I just gotta get me some papers (perhaps my parents will give me theirs when they are done!)

Linda L said...

Susan, my aunt (whom has 6 cats) gave me this tip. I am the primary scooper of the house, so I was tired of lugging bags of used litter out with me each day from the basement to the trash. So, to make things easier on my back I took Aunt Annie's suggestion and I use a 40 lb. square bucket and "a litter pail." I line it with a bag (cheap ones, but enough to hold) and I scoop the clumps into the pail. Then, when the pail is about 1/2 full, it gets emptied. I tie off the bag into a knot and off to the trash it goes. I like this method. The lid on the bucket keeps the smells contained.

Anonymous said...

My method is similar to Linda L.'s.
But since it is usually warm enough here to cause odors to form fast, I sprinkle the contents of the bucket with baking soda every time I scoop.
That keeps the odor down.
Mostly for my sake.

I have not had good results with any Arm and Hammer litter.
It seems to develope a stange (and bad) odor right from the start.


Darling Petunia said...

oklyous: If you don't already have a newspaper delivered to your house, just "steal" some from a recycling bin.

Darling Petunia said...

Linda L and KS, I've had that suggested to me before, but I feel like I have to get it O. U. T. OUT! :)

Darling Petunia said...

KS, that's weird about the A&H litters. We really REALLY liked the ones we've tried. Of all the naturals, the chunkier stuff (paper pellets and pine pellets) was the stinkiest, because the kitties didn't cover well enough. After that, I think the wheat-based litters tended to have a bit of a weird smell, but it wasn't foul, just strange. Corn has been our top pick.