Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The worst thing about having cats...

...Is, by far, the litter box. It stinks. It's big and bulky. It is most definitely unattractive - hideous, even. And it has to be cleaned constantly. The little flecks of litter under my feet? They don't help either.

I have two cats who are my children.

Smiley, I found on the roof of our last apartment in Dallas, tiny and damp after a Summer rain, his huge bat ears sticking out of his little head. Just a few months later, I thought we had lost him. I posted signed and walked the neighborhood for hours; I got home and found that he was shut into our closet. He tends to be skittish and jumpy, but when he is relaxed, he's the sweetest thing. He loves to cuddle and have his chin scratched. He is a Type B and usually won't be forceful. He is a very smart cat.

Baby Smiley, Summer 2007

My handsome boy, Sept 2010

Kevin found Carmen by the dumpster of all places (at our old apartment again) on a cold December afternoon. She was so small, just a few weeks the vet said. Her little eyes were still baby blue. We bottle fed her for what seemed like forever and she was constantly hungry. She is very coy and thinks she is god's gift to the world. She is a Type A and thinks she owns the place. She struts her stuff around the house and is slowly letting me pet her without immediately starting to bite me. Kevin has perfected the art of being a little rough right back at her and making into a game.

Carmen as a kitten, Dec 2007

Full grown and gorgeous, Jan 2010

I would do anything for them, and have, including spending ungodly amounts of money to ensure their health and well being, and bending over a stinky litter box more often than I'd like. Where do you keep it, anyway? In the garage? In the bathroom? I currently have it in one of the bathrooms, but had it for a while in the far corner of our kitchen, which was not really preferred but a nice open space for a huge plastic box. If I could eliminate entirely the need for a big, stinky box for their poo, I would.

I am wondering now if toilet-training (yes, toilet training!) is a feasible alternative to a littler box and just how difficult this might be? It might be worth investigating, and I think I might be up for the challenge. With my cats, I know it would most certainly be a challenge for all parties. Nothing about them has ever been easy.

One thing I have to say has made life with cats slightly easier and more pleasant is the introduction of Soft Paws. Kevin and I (it is a team effort, for sure) have applied these handy little plastic nail 'covers' to both our cats and found we can now be affectionate toward them and welcome them onto our furniture without being clawed to shreds or having to reupholster, respectively. It's not a rare day I've gone to work sporting bright red welts on my hands (on one occasion, my face), compliments of Carmen. She is one vicious little ... mhmm. God forbid I try to pet her - she turns right into a little bundle of barbed wire. Smiley on the other hand is my sweet little (actually huge - nearly 16 pounds) awkward boy and wouldn't claw me for anything, but likes to 'play bite'. He enjoys sharpening his claws on the rug or chasing after Carmen so hard that his claws dig into the couch. But now my skin and furniture is impervious to their natural weapons.

Sometimes, the house is quiet ... Aug 2008
The litter thing? Still unsolved. Inspired by my conundrum, I Googled 'toilet training cats' and found several interesting options including this available at Amazon for less than $30. Check out the Litter Kwitter system:

I can just see the late night infomercial now.

Their website is complete with video coverage of cats at all stages of training (which apparently takes 8 weeks usually) hopping onto toilets and doing their thing. How cool is that?! I'm officially interested.

If you are a cat parent, where do you keep the littler box(es)? Or have you ventured into the world of cat toilet training? I'd love to hear your cat stories! And I'll try to keep this updated with any radical changes I might implement in the future. ;)


  1. We keep our catbox in the bathroom, and the boys are supposed to clean it. When we had Prancey and Wendy, they used a litter box for awhile but they liked to go outside and started going out there. It was great until last february Prancey dissapeared. It was like 20 degrees and he was not the type to stay gone. Then Wendy had her babies-6 lovely orange tabbies-some with white 4 boys and 2 girls. When they were 2 months old and still nursing she dissapeared. She was a good mommy and also wouldnt leave us. THen we found out about a coyote getting neighborhood pets. We decided then the kittens would never go outside. It was difficult to teach them to use the litterbox, without their mum to help teach them. Each one of the kittens(who are almost 6 months old now) has attached itself to one of the family members!! We have been halfheatedly trying to find homes for them but honestly we love them all and idk what to do....

  2. i'm sorry you have lost your pets! that is devastating! I have a very soft spot for orange tabbies. my first cat was an orange tabby that i had to give up when he was still a kitten.



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