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Sharly
09-20-2007, 03:21 PM
Ok, you would think with 9 cats in the house, I would be an expert at all things cat related. However, I'm ready to make a change and am just not sure what to do. We use Tidy Cat Clumping Litter and have a huge litter box that all the cats use (it is actually a dog house). We scoop it twice a day and everyone is happy with the current situation. Odor hasn't been a problem (unless we have a particularly long day away from home, then, when you get in, you know it's a house with cats!) - actually most people comment that they would never know there is a cat in the house. I think because they know we have cats they think it will stink!

The issue is that we use plastic grocery bags to scoop the litter into, then those are tied up tight and transferred to a designated can outside. On garbage day, that can is emptied into the big can - the system works, however, I would like to be more green and stop using the plastic bags. Because we have a lot of land, and the waste is biodegradeable, I wondered if we could dig a small hole and start using paper bags that we would then dump into the hole to eventually "compost" (for lack of a better word)....is there a down side to this? Does anyone have a better solution? Would "dumping" this stuff back into the earth be a no-no?:fingerwag:

Any great ideas?

Jan in CA
09-20-2007, 03:48 PM
I don't know the answer, but I've been thinking about it, too. I was thinking of getting some biodegradable "plastic" bags to use anyway and thought I'd see how the work with litter. Then they can go the normal way, but the bags would break down. We have a small yard so composting is out of the question.

http://www.ecoproducts.com/Home/home_biobags/home_index_biobags.htm

Sharly
09-20-2007, 04:01 PM
Jan, that does seem like an option - thanks for the link - I didn't know there was such a thing. Of course, I'm a bit of a cheapie, so the price is a little off-putting...but it's good to know of an option. You know they say, it's not easy being green....or cheap!! :teehee:

stitchwitch
09-20-2007, 04:15 PM
I know you can't compost poo in a composter or shouldn't because of the bacteria situation. I don't why the hole dumping thing wouldn't work though. Cows poop all over so I don't think it would be an environmental thing unless your well or something is right next to the poo hole. If so, quit dumping in there when your water turns brown. :roflhard:

Sharly
09-20-2007, 04:17 PM
Ugh!!:roflhard: Thankfully we are on a city water system :)

stitchwitch
09-20-2007, 04:22 PM
Or simply whip it over the fence into your neighbor's yard. :roflhard:

I actually had a neighbor do that at my last house. She'd whip her dog poo over my fence into my yard.

Sharly
09-20-2007, 04:32 PM
Oh, that is awful!!! :noway: I'm glad I don't have neighbors!! Well, not close by, anyway!

IBAmyB
09-20-2007, 06:36 PM
My pick:

Teach the cats to use the potty! :teehee:

I am teaching mine now and he's doing pretty good. I haven't scooped a box in months!

IBAmyB
09-20-2007, 06:39 PM
Pic of my cat on the potty.....

Jan in CA
09-20-2007, 06:44 PM
OMG! That is too cute! My cat is 16+ so no teaching her now. I imagine that is a lot easier if you start when they are kittens, no? Your kitty looks like he/she is leaning on the cabinet? I hope he doesn't fall in!

IBAmyB
09-20-2007, 06:59 PM
OMG! That is too cute! My cat is 16+ so no teaching her now. I imagine that is a lot easier if you start when they are kittens, no? Your kitty looks like he/she is leaning on the cabinet? I hope he doesn't fall in!

No, he's not leaning on the cabinet, it's just the angle the picture was taken from. (He's 3 yrs old..... but is a 20lb cat! He's HUGE!)

wildforyarn
09-20-2007, 07:13 PM
Here you can get samples:

http://www.poopbags.com/samplepoopbags1.html

Hildegard_von_Knittin
09-20-2007, 07:13 PM
Have you thought about flushable litter? this might only be an option if the box is in/very close to the bathroom. XH and I did it with the upstairs box and it worked great... and we REALLY kept it clean, because it was easy to take care of; we'd do our business, and flush away the cats' business as well.

I would LOVE to teach my cats to use the potty, but I *hate* the idea of leaving the lid up all the time.

Jan in CA
09-20-2007, 07:33 PM
What kind do you use, Hildie? I don't think our toilets would like it.. they are the new low flow or whatever they are called and they get clogged pretty easy as it is.

Many if not most of the litters available are clay based which hardens when it comes in contact with liquid. I fear it could build up.. :think:

figaro
09-20-2007, 08:21 PM
It is not biodegradable but I use Tidy Cat Crystals for my little kitten. The crystals soak up the urine (but they stay hard, do not get squishy) and the only stuff that gets removed is the actual poop with a few crystals stuck to it. And one bag for one cat lasts a month. Might be worth a try?:think:

SandraEllen
09-20-2007, 08:30 PM
we used to use that tidy cat crystals stuff and it worked really well. until my cat got too fat and his feet got too sensitive. the chunks are large and i don't think he liked it. he started pooping on the floor next to the litter box. ugh.

I don't have much help for you. When I was a kid, we used to just take the litter out and dump it in the field. I don't think the plants liked it very much though. I don't quite remember, but i don't think much grew around where we dumped it.

cinnamon_girl
09-20-2007, 08:53 PM
A couple of years ago I switched to Feline Pine and really liked it! Tucker didn't complain either. Have you seen that brand. It's like little wood chip pellets that you can scoop the solids out and you can actually 'compost' the rest.
No odor, light weight. Highly recommend it.

http://www.naturesearth.com/

feministmama
09-20-2007, 09:17 PM
Or simply whip it over the fence into your neighbor's yard. :roflhard:

I actually had a neighbor do that at my last house. She'd whip her dog poo over my fence into my yard.

Omigoddess!!!!

Hildegard_von_Knittin
09-20-2007, 10:04 PM
We used this stuff called swheat scoop; it looks like steel cut oatmeal. NOT good for sensitive paws, but we never had any problems with the septic system. I don't know how it would do in those low-flow toilets though

wewantmore
09-21-2007, 06:43 AM
http://www.catgenie.com/?OVRAW=24%20cat%20genie&OVKEY=cat%20genie&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=7796523512&OVKWID=96790080012

You could just get this. :thud:

jdee
09-21-2007, 07:15 AM
My pick:

Teach the cats to use the potty! :teehee:

I am teaching mine now and he's doing pretty good. I haven't scooped a box in months!

:roflhard::roflhard:It's early in the morning, and I haven't had much sleep, so I don't know if anyone else will think this is funny, but I just got a mental picture of 9 cats, waiting in line to use the bathroom. Maybe even complaining because one of them is taking too long.

Sharly
09-21-2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks to everyone for your great (and entertaining) responses!!

We will probably be trying some new litter because I would like something that is biodegradable, but I sure hate to mess with what is working in that department - know what I mean?

We have tried Feline Pine, though it was a long time ago. We might give that another go.

As for flushable, hubby won't hear of it - we are on a septic system, and though some of them say they will work, he won't risk it.

Thanks for the link to the sample poop bags - I will defintely try that out!

As for the potty training, that is something I would really love to do, though I know I have a couple that probably would never adjust - AND, just like jdee, said, there are NINE of them!!

I did find on-line a do-it-yourself little mini-septic system (http://homepage.mac.com/cityfarmer/PhotoAlbum22.html)for the purpose of handling pet waste. I really liked the idea of it, as it is in the ground and you can actually make it look nice. When I mentioned it to hubby, he didn't seem too keen on the idea. He just basically wants to dig a hole away from the house, dump it there, then eventually just cover it up. (UGH)... I think I can sway him later, though. With the homemade septic system, it could be closer to the house and therefore more convenient.

Keep the ideas coming though - I love new innovations!!

Sharly
09-21-2007, 09:55 AM
Oh yeah - I forgot to mention this. I saw the link for the Cat Genie and I will tell you this. We tried a "flushing" cat box several years ago. (I think at the time we had 4 or 5 cats). The concept was great, but there were things they needed to work on. We returned it and got our money back.

First of all, it took some getting used to for the cats. It had this crystal kind of "litter", and they weren't actually able to cover solid waste. Also, it was noisy when it "flushed". But, the worst thing about it was the odor. It would take a few minutes for the "flushing" to start, so in the meantime the poo is just sitting there, not covered. Then, when the water would start to swirl through to wash everthing down the drain (it was connected to the washing machine drain), the odor was just awful!! Even with the special (expensive) enzyme odor killing liquid you had to add.

Maybe they have made improvements since that time, but I can't imagine it being that great. :) Just my two cents worth!

We did have one of the giant automatic litters boxes, and I think they work really well for 1 or 2 cats, but our crew was working that thing to death!!

IBAmyB
09-21-2007, 02:05 PM
:roflhard::roflhard:It's early in the morning, and I haven't had much sleep, so I don't know if anyone else will think this is funny, but I just got a mental picture of 9 cats, waiting in line to use the bathroom. Maybe even complaining because one of them is taking too long.

Hee hee! Too funny!

Luckily it's just the one cat and we have 2 bathrooms, so he has his and I have mine! (Though one of us will have to share with DH when he gets back in 7 weeks!)

knitgal
09-21-2007, 02:18 PM
I use "Yesterdays News" kitty litter and it's flushable too. I don't flush all of it, I simply scoop out the poop and flush that, and it usually has some little stuck to it. It's made of recycled newspapers so it's ALREADY helping the environment....maybe that's worth a try? There's two textures, soft and less soft so if won't bother kitty paws and I never have odour problems (although I only have 1 cat!).
IBAmyB how on earth did you teach your cat to do that?! I think that's the funniest/cleverest thing ever!

Sharly
09-21-2007, 08:17 PM
Knitgal, thanks for your post. I know we used yesterday's news once before and there was something about it that wasn't working for us, but I cannot remember what it was. We may be giving some litters test drives, so I'll add it to the list.

Thanks again!