5-3-19 Friday

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Help on the litter box front, please! I am going in for shoulder surgery in a few weeks, and then I will have to do all chores one-handed for at least a month. The one issue I am having is that my current litter – Dr. Elsey’s – which I like very much, produces cement-like clumps that stick hard to the litter pan and I need to scrape off the floor of the pan. Any suggestions of other clumping litter that is not as difficult to scoop? I would appreciate all suggestions. Any other workaround? I really don’t want to go to an automatic litter box (been there, done that, got the scars). Thanks!!!

I have suggestions! (I was going to say “two suggestions,” but as I typed I came up with more!)

1. You could spray the sides and bottom of the litter boxes with Pam, then wipe it off. I find that that helps with the clumps that tend to stick. Down side: they still stick a bit, and it needs to be reapplied every couple of weeks or so.

2. Non-stick litter box! (Affiliate link) I had one, it really worked, but WHOO EXPENSIVE for a litter box.

3. Arm & Hammer Slide litter! (Affiliate link for reference – buy it at Petsmart or Chewy, it’s cheaper.) I’ve tried it, it works, and if they made an unscented version, I would probably be using it. But alas they don’t, so I’m not (I loathe scented litter.)

4. Lightweight litter (all the brands have them, at this point). I don’t really recommend lightweight litter because it tracks like crazy, but I do think that the clumps stick less often.

Those are my suggestions – I hope that if y’all have other suggestions (or think any of the above suggestions don’t work), you’ll chime in!

(Also, shoulder surgery – ugh. If they offer it, GET THE NERVE BLOCK!)


Inquiring minds have to know: what is the maximum # of kittens you’ve ever napped with? Do they really stay asleep or do they start pouncing on you after 10 minutes?

Though I haven’t strictly kept track, I would guess that Ryder’s Fleet last year was the highest number of kittens I’ve napped with. There were 11 of them.

YouTube link

Usually they climb up onto the bed with me, do a little wrestling, bite my feet, maybe leave and come back, and eventually fall asleep. In other words, the pouncing takes place at the beginning of nap time, but once they fall asleep, they’re OUT. When I get up and resume my day, I usually leave a bed of sleeping kittens behind.


Is Jakey lying on 2 beds?

He is! They love those beds when there’s just one, but they LOVELOVELOVE them when there’s a second one stacked on top. One day I’m going to just start stacking beds to see how high the pile gets before it’s too tippy for the cats to climb up on.


OMG Milly/Molly is so gorgeous. I knew I loved that group! I’d love to see the others, Calais and… the other calico/tortie, forget her name.

You can see the other tortie – who was Arundel and is now Arwen – and her sister (previously Eliot, now Ellie) over at Facebook!


Please can we have a photo of Charles’s tail. I see he got this white spot on the tip.

Here’s a picture that includes his tail light. He was guarding the treat jar… or the phone (but more likely the treat jar.)


There are two toys that Caroline absolutely adores; one of them is this catnip candy cane toy.


Yes, that toy will go with her in the bag of toys I send with all fosters.

And she’s so sweet, she’ll even let the kittens play with her favorite toys.

Very often, I’ll walk into my room, find a pile of sleeping kittens on the bed, with both of Caroline’s favorite toys nearby like she left them for the kittens to play with. It is seriously adorable.

Willie gives Laura the ol’ chomperoo.

Caroline joins in and gives Willie the ol’ chomperoo.

Then Willie gets the chomperoo from both sides.

It turns into a brouhaha with everyone chomping everyone, of course.

Mary says “I’m not getting involved with THAT.”

Willie and Caroline moved to the cat tree for a snuggle and a nap.

Albert gives the play-by-play of the whole tussle. “She was like WHAM! And he was all SMACK! Then they was biting and squealing and it was all very exciting.”

“I was sleepin’.”

“Did I miss a tussle?” wonders Almanzo.


Oh, that Frankie. Isn’t he just the prettiest?


2018: Snuggling with Deanzilla.
2017: The Cajuns, one month old.
2016: “This rug is very soft!” said Princess Consuela disapprovingly.
2015: Sleepy Sunday.
2014: Dennis needs a home!! (I love the pictures in this post.)
2013: Khaleesi’s birth story.
2012: No entry.
2011: “It was skeery.”
2010: “What? I’m just rolling around, here. I’m not gonna steal your box!”
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: My feng is not shui’d, and it’s annoying me.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



5-3-19 Friday — 28 Comments

  1. Regarding a clumping litter that’s easy to scoop and clumps well; World’s Best Litter is pretty fantastic. I don’t find that it tracks, it’s lightweight, smells pleasant and absorbs odors, and clumps well. It’s a bit expensive, but well worth it.

    • I used to use it then all of a sudden my cats started avoiding it. I don’t know why, but I tested it with the cheap stuff I get at Costco and WB, and there were only a few pucks, while the other litter got hammered. I went back to the cheap stuff, but you are right, the WB is easy to work with and smells good.

  2. I love the World’s Best Cat Litter for multiple cats (red bag). It’s made from corn, it doesn’t make dust, pee clumps stick only a very little to the sides of the litter box and come off easily and it doesn’t have a lingering smell like the clumping clay litter I used to use. I would agree with the name of the product! I love that video of you napping with 11 cats. So cute!

  3. We use the lightweight litter for some of our cats and that, too, will stick to the side of the pan. It isn’t bad, but I do have to do some scraping. For some of our cats, we use Feline Pine. However, they track it EVERYWHERE. But it might be worth switching temporarily until your shoulder heals.

    My husband keeps saying how sweet the Half-Pints are. They really are a great little family.

  4. Two tips on Dr E’s clumping litter. First, keep the litter deep and scoop frequently. If you keep it deep enough, the clumps don’t get to the bottom. I also use a liner bag. If clumps do form, I grab the liner bag on one edge and tug it upwards, basically flipping the clumps off the bottom. The liner lasts quite a long time (until my little dears shred it) and then I use it to toss the remnants of litter when I freshen the whole box. Hope this helps!

    • Yes you have to use a lot of this litter for it to not clump at the bottom! I use deep litter boxes and fill them pretty full.

    • I should have mentioned this in the post – keeping the litter deep definitely helps a lot! (Though I will say that some cats prefer shallow litter, especially older cats who have a harder time balancing. We keep one litter box pretty shallow and I get a workout every morning scraping up Newt’s clumps.)

  5. I use arm and hammers slide litter clumps dont stick at all and very little dust

  6. My mom’s cat has 2 mini Beanie Baby cats. We call them his son and daughter. He really only plays with them at night, ie fat, lazy cat. When he’s done, he usually puts the “baby” in my mom’s shoe. It’s like, here mom, play. Lol

  7. I use Tidy Cat Unscented because I too LOATHE the scented litters. It is pretty clumpy but does track. Does not smell and is lightweight. You do have to layer it pretty deep though.

  8. IF your cats aren’t “digging for magma” types that would tear it to ribbons, some parchment paper lining the box would probably work. Do a spritz of cooking spray or a little swipe of olive oil with your fingers, it will hold the paper down flat until you get the litter onto it.

  9. On the litter front,I also use World’s Best Litter and I really like it BUT both of my guys have furry toes and between that and my vinyl floors, the litter gets everywhere. But I’d still recommend it.

    On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been admiring your patchwork quilt for ages and wanting to make something similar, so I wonder if you’d be kind enough to let me know the size of the squares.

    And while I’m here, does anyone have any advice on dealing with chewers? Both like paper and one likes wires/cords (all currently covered) but the other one likes chewing wood corners. Specifically a headboard that belonged to my great-grandparents and my brand new coffee table. Is there anything wood-safe and not completely ugly that would deter the Bubba from this particular source of dietary fiber? Any advice greatly appreciated.
    And yes, Frankie is just the prettiest!

    • You may try bitter apple for some of the surfaces. I have mixed success on cords and some fiber. I haven’t tested it on furniture though.

    • The squares on that quilt are 10″x10″.

      Bitter apple might work, or you could buy that sticky stuff – basically two-sided tape – to stick to the spots where he’s chewing, but (1) it’s kinda ugly and (2) I’d worry about it messing up the finish on your furniture. Hopefully someone else will have a good suggestion, but I’ll post the question in next Friday’s post and see what comes up!

    • I use a product called Bitter End for chew prevention – feline and canine!
      It is quite effective and you get way more product.

      It stopped the adolescent Labby pup from chewing my computing chair at work. With minimal, periodic reapplications my chair was safe

    • On the chewing front, I’ve had success with citrus products and with hot sauces, depending on the cat and the application. Lemon furniture polish might just do the trick on the wood products. Double sided tape sometimes works, too.

  10. Suggestion for the clumping/scooping issue. I’ve been use the litter box liner bags so you can just lift the bag a bit and it will release the clump. Also makes changing the litter 100 times easier. I put two bags in so just lift the top one out. Very little litter leaks from holes from their claws. The bags are made tough.

    • When I replaced my last broken automatic litter box, I decided to try a large stainless steel litter pan. (Maybe I got the idea here? Probably.) it was expensive for “just a litter box” but it has been totally worth it! Clumps don’t stick, doesn’t absorb odors, easy to clean. This is the one I bought: iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel Cat XL Litter Box (regular link to amazon- not affiliate) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WX7BPD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_UFve78RaFKNyN

      • That’s actually a pretty good-looking litter box. I’ve been using tall boxes, but now that my stand-up pee-ers are gone, I don’t know that I need the tall ones any more. I think I’m going to give one of these a try and see what the cats think!

      • Thanks, that looks like a good one, ordered..the plastic ones get rough after a while and make it harder for me to scoop. Speaking a scoops, there were some nice metal ones that came up as suggestions. I ordered one of them as well.

  11. Thanks, Robyn, for posting my query about litter scooping, and thanks to all of you who responded with suggestions. I’ll probably try all in the run up to the surgery. I’ve already ordered a new pan, metal scoop, liner bags and different litter (along with some other things like treats because – you know – cat) via Robyn’s affiliate link on Amazon. Robyn, I had forgotten you had had shoulder surgery back in 2015. It’s amazing how much one learns – for example, I had no idea there was such a thing as a hair blower holder which leaves my one ‘good’ hand free for styling – such as it is!

    • I have mixed Dr. Elsey’s with a lightweight Petco brand clumping litter and it works really well. It still clumps nicely, but not like a cement block that requires so much work to scrape up. I think the ratio is more of the lightweight litter and maybe about 40% of the Dr. Elsey’s.

      Oh, and yes, I second the suggestion of using a liner. I do that too, and use the same trick up flicking the clump off the liner. I put my hand underneath the liner (between liner and pan) and give the clump a little nudge.

  12. Ha, stand-up pee-ers…yes, we have one of those, and got very deep litter pans to try to contain that-this is a lady cat who should squat! Use Arm&Hammer litters, really like the Naturals Clumping, made from corn fibers-it is light-weight and seems to clump pretty well, and the kittehs like it. We have one pan with clay clumping, the Clump & Seal (wouldn’t say it actually seals, but it’s good at clumping), neither of them is perfumey, the naturals one smells woodsy.
    Hope all goes well for the surgery!

  13. Malcolm haaaaates Arm & Hammer. Last time I used it he practically rioted and would defiantly pee outside of the box, while I’d be watching, just to make sure I understood that if I brought that shit home again, there would be consequences. I get twitchy in the litter aisle if I just look at A&M.

    Love seeing Frankie! Seems like just yesterday that he decided to hang out in your yard, running a foul of the law (aka Kara).