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Response to Samantha (Reply #139)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:52 PM

141. hey Samantha, you've done a great job with Nikita

I have 5 cats - 4 of whom are the same family: a mommacat who brought us her three girl kittens (the vet thought it was Novi's - the momma's - first litter). I couldn't give them away - I just didn't like any of the people who inquired after them. So I kept Novi and her three girls; at that time we had 3 other cats so our family rapidly swelled from 3 cats to 7. Lol. Now we're down to 5 because two of our belovedests have passed on.

You'll have to play Elton John's song "Little Nikita" when she comes in

Anyway - back to basics: I have several large litter boxes; you'll only need one, or, if you have a two-story house, maybe two - one on each floor. A "standard" box might be just fine for her, but you may also want to get a larger, plastic under-bed storage box (minus the lid, of course) -- easy to find at Target or Walmart; these boxes are a bit larger. Most cats don't like covered boxes simply because they like to see what's going on when they're doing their business and don't like to feel trapped when using the litter box. But Nikita might have no issues with it; one of my (late, beloved) cats was perfectly fine with a covered box.

I use TidyCats or Arm&Hammer scoopable litter (I find FreshStep to be kind of dusty, even the clumping kind); if there had been a good, 'green' alternative when I was first getting the cats used to being inside, I might have used that exclusively. But cats can be picky about changing the consistency of the litter -- brand changes are fine (like, Tidy Cats interchanged / mixed with Arm&Hammer is OK), but if I tried to get them to go 'cold turkey' on SwheatScoop, I could have a messy rebellion on my hands.

We have a septic tank, and I still flush the poo. I put the clumped urine into a small trash can lined with a plastic grocery bag that I then combine with the household trash before we go to the dump. Flushing the clumped litter would make a mess with the septic tank. I scoop all three boxes twice a day, but that's just so it's clean, odor-free and so I don't dread dealing with the box the way I would if there were days of accumulated waste in the box. With one cat, you probably don't need to worry about cleaning the box that much - but it takes less than 30 seconds each time you scoop if you keep up with it regularly.

Also, I have found that I can use 2/3-3/4 parts scoopable litter mixed with 1/2-1/4 of the regular, non-clumping clay and everything still clumps together just fine - just a way to reduce litter expenses without any negative effect on the clumping performance. With 5 cats, I go through a lot of litter so if I can cut my costs a bit, I'm happy.

The flat, corrugated cardboard scratching boxes you can find at Target, Walmart, etc., are great for indoor scratching; they also come with a small package of catnip to encourage your cat to scratch on the box. Our cats love these boxes and regularly shred them to bits. I buy extra catnip just because my cats are addicts

I also keep a fair number of old bath towels around, tossed on the couch or chairs or our window seat as makeshift, quick "beds" for the cats - our cats rarely sleep in the same place and like to rotate through a variety of spots in the house - the towels keep extra fur off the furniture.

And you may also want to buy a comb to groom her when/if she lets you -- I just buy regular, human 'rat-tail' combs that have a little (not a lot of) flexibility - they work just as well as the kind sold specifically for cats...

I hope you and your pup and Nikita are all very happy together!


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LineLineLineReply hey Samantha, you've done a great job with Nikita
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