Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Arthur's Near Death Experience

I was out to a company party tonight and when I returned home, my fiancee Liz had a real horror story for me. Apparently, tonight Arthur almost suffocated to death by getting his head stuck in a hole in the litter liner.

Ever since we brought the boys home a month ago, we have used litter liner bags in our litter box. The idea of litter liners, of course, is to make it easier to change your litter. They surround your litter like a giant trash bag and, when it's time to change litter, you just seal up the bag and toss it. If only it were that simple.

Our boys continually chew at the litter liner and scratch it and rip it. So when it's time for us to change the litter, we can't just throw out the liner. We have to dump it into another trash bag, but the liner keeps the bottom of the litter box mostly clean.

Tonight, Liz heard a commotion in the kitchen and ran in to see that Arthur had ripped a hole in the litter liner and gotten his head stuck in it. Would he have suffocated in there if Liz wasn't there to pull him out? I'm not sure, but she certainly thinks so. We threw out the litter liner and don't plan to use it again, but this incident just points out how fragile these kittens are. Even a product that is made for them can cause injury or death.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think he would've suffocated, but I also don't think litter liners are worth it. They make it very easy on the guardian, but I bet they're annoying for the cat. Better to do without in my opinion. ~ Matt

Anonymous said...

That's scary. Glad Arthur is OK. I tried liners but gave up because they were more hassle than they are worth. They were always scratched full of holes and hard to scoop with the plastic folds. So I just have multiple boxes, and when one gets too dirty, I replace it with a clean one and take the dirty one outside to scrub and hose down. Of course, that's hard to do in the winter in Minnesota, and probably even harder any time in NYC ;-)

Peggy

socidoc said...

Avram... why not just buy a couple of large Rubbermaid clear plastic 'tote' containers (with sides low enough so the kitties could climb in and out), and use those for litter boxes? That's what I use... I only have one of them which both my cats use. When I need to change the litter (even with two cats, I only actually CHANGE the litter about once every two weeks... as opposed to SCOOPing the litter, which I do twice a day). I don't use liners (hadn't ever thought of it, and think it's a waste and worse for the environment than simply using the litter by itself). I can scrub the container out, dry it off and replace with new litter each time I clean. No need for two litter boxes, but with two kittens you might want to use two boxes. Anyway. Stick with the basics! (I realize clumping litter isn't really a 'basic', but it is a necessity, and I will also test out your recommendation for The Best Litter next time). Keep it simple! Use a Rubbermaid container. That way it isn't too expensive to replace after 6 months or so! ~~keep smiling~~ We love to read about your kitty adventures!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I use Rubbermaid containers, too, but I have the ones with high walls. Pippen has high aim, if you know what I mean ;-(
Peggy

Avram said...

Honestly, the liners did us almost no good. We're just putting the litter into the litter box with no liner now. The box I use is a plastic PetMate brand box with a hood and hood/box cost me about $25. If I need to replace the box a couple of times a year, I'll do it.

socidoc said...

Avram, Avram, Avram!! Listen!! Rubbermaid containers cost only about $6-$7, not $25. And PLEASE!! For the sake of your kitties' sensitive noses, get RID OF THE LIDDED LITTER BOX! Think about it. How do you suppose it smells ~INSIDE~ that lidded, hooded box? Your poor kitties! Their noses are something like 10X as sensitive as ours. Please! Get an OPEN box. It won't smell THAT bad, promise. Please!!!! I feel very sorry for your lovely boys if they must use a lidded box. VERY VERY BAD! And use Rubbermaid, you can replace 4 of them for every one of your expensive brand. :-)

FrannyCats said...

Hey Sociodoc - covered litter boxes aren't ALL bad! Yes, if they aren't maintained meticulously, they can stink like an outhouse.

But that isn't the case here. Avram is one of the most conscientious people I know about his kittens, and that litterbox is kept immaculately clean, and the kittens don't hesitate to use it.

There are specific reasons why Avram needs a covered box, so try to remember about "walking in his shoes," etc., etc.

I have 8 litter boxes for my four cats, and they use the one covered one just as often as the other seven.

Avram said...

I appreciate all the advice I get here and I take it all into consideration before acting. What I've found with my boys is that I think they actually like the cover, because it gives them a little privacy and protection from each other when they are using it.

As it stands, one will wait outside and swat at the other when he is using the box. If it were uncovered, they would probably have a harder time using it b/c one would be bothering the other while he tried to go. I scoop the litter a lot, because believe me, I don't like the idea of waste sitting there in the middle of my kitchen.

In selfish human terms, I also like the cover because I don't like to look at cat poop when I'm cooking and because even more litter and waste would probably get on the floor if the cover were not there. I am sensitive to the concept that it could be smelly in there so I will look into scooping the box more often I already scoop it once a day and change the litter entirely once a week. I also keep an air purifier near the box.

socidoc said...

Hi again Avram,
I did not mean to imply that you are any less meticulous than anyone else, and probably you are indeed more conscientious than most in changing your kitty litter. I assume you've considered placing the litter box in your bathroom, perhaps under the sink, if there is a cupboard there, or simply somewhere near your own toilet? It just seems to me that a covered litter box invites more stink inside. Perhaps you could get a friend to build a little 'semi-shed roof' which is partially covered... a place which would provide some internal air circulation but also privacy and be aesthetically acceptable? I don't know your particular concerns, other than the obvious aesthetic ones, and the issue about both cats being playful (which kittens always are, at any possible opportunity). Anyway, obviously it's your call. Appreciate you taking our comments into account!

Avram said...

Our bathroom is tiny over here so we can't put the litterbox in the bathroom. It just wouldn't fit unless we put it in the bathtub and we're not gonna do that. We don't want it in the middle of the livingroom or in our bedroom so kitchen is the only place. Ah, New York City living.

Anonymous said...

can any one help me...I am getting a kitten soon &dont know whether to buy a hooded litter tray or standard.
I think like avram says I dont fancy looking at poop while cooking!and think it would be more hygenic as i have 2 young (curious!) children and selfishly but sensibly Id rather the cats smelt it than I it is there do-do afterall!!!and I didnt want to have to buy liners...and from what uve all said here sounds more hassle than its worth!!!but if I did want to use such like would it not be cheaper to cut up garbagesacks?
The cat is going to be an indoor cat so are the cat vaccinations really necessary?
P.S if my online times look crazy,there not just Im in the UK!!

Anonymous said...

rubbermaid containers?!? Would it not b cheaper and luk better just to get a standard litter tray ther only about $3 anyway