My human is so chintzy, she only buys the cheapest non-clumping cat litter. To save even more money, she waits ten days before changing it. When it starts stinking, she just adds powder that smells like roses. There are three of us tabby-types using that box. That’s a lot of piddle. After a few days the pan takes on the ambiance and aroma of a feedlot floor.
I’ve tried peeing on the carpet to show her how bad it’s getting, but just yells at me. Einstein, what else can I do to get her attention?
Little Bo Peed
Yo Peed Off,
What’s your mom thinking? She’s trying to pinch pennies, but it’s going to end up costing her big bucks. Not changing the litter box is a problem for a lotta reasons, so let’s start with the obvious.
First, it’s just gross. Your mom should put herself in your paws. If, out of desperation, she has ever peeked inside a public men’s room, she’s probably kept walking and looked for relief behind the nearest shrub. She doesn’t want to get icky stuff on her feet any more than you do. And adding artificial fragrances doesn’t counteract the bouquet of well-aged cat pee any more than putting a Band-Aid® on a wound treats gangrene. It just smells like rose-scented pee. There’s simply no substitute for a clean litter box.
That diminutive nose of yours actually has 20 times the sense of smell that your mom’s has. So even the slightest hint of odeur to Mom will stink 20 times worse to you. And to add insult to odor, your nose is just a couple of inches away from the action—not three to four feet like your mom’s.
Next, we have the three-cat issue. Your méow á trois has to share a single box. You know, I’m known for my equations. Here’s one for your mom, Einstein’s Feline Formula also called the One-Plus-One Rule or in mathematical terms 1(C)+1 = LB. Translated into Human, it requires every multicat home to have one litter box per cat plus one extra. Failure to follow The Rule will result in a soggy carpet and a room filled with the fragrance of ammonia.
If you were an only cat, your mom would need to scoop soiled litter daily. At least once a week, she would dump the non-clumping filler and rinse out the box with hot water, then fill it with fresh litter. In a two cat home, the boxes need to be cleaned at least twice a week, and as necessary in a megacat house.
Regardless of the type of litter she buys, every time she scoops Mom should take a sniff from a couple of inches above the litter surface. If there’s even a hint of ammonia or a musty smell, it’s time to clean the box. (Slightly off topic, most cats prefer uncovered litter boxes and unscented, sandy textured cat litter. And if she loves you and her carpet, your opinion should matter to her.)
Then there are also health reasons for Mom cleaning up her act. Constant exposure to ammonia, which emanates from aged cat pee, may trigger asthma attacks, rhinitis, bronchitis and laryngitis. It’s bad for both people and pusses.
Because several types of parasite eggs, such as roundworms and Toxoplasma gondii (which causes toxoplasmosis), become infectious after a day, removing the poop right away resolves the problem.
Several years ago the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released the finding that relatively few cases of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women are caused by cats. Toxoplasmosis is the most feared of all kitty parasites because of what it can do to a developing human fetus. Since according to the CDC, it takes more than 24 hours for the parasite eggs in cat poop to become infective, litter boxes in the homes of pregnant women should be scooped daily and dumped and cleaned frequently. Those CDC guys also say we kitties only shed or transmit toxo in our poop for the first few weeks after we’re first infected. And in order for a person to become infected, she has to accidentally ingest (uh, eat) poop. If someone else isn’t around to clean the box, expectant women should scoop daily, wear gloves and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Sing Happy Birthday to You a couple of times because it takes about 10 seconds to sing it once.
And speaking of cleaning up, your human should thoroughly clean your yellow spots of rebellion. To shed some light on your indiscretions, Mom needs to get an ultraviolet (UV) or black light and examine the carpet under cover of darkness. Your pee will glow a florescent yellow under UV light. (Cat pee would have been great paint for psychedelic posters in the 1960s, but the smell would have been a bit off-putting for most humans.) Once Mom finds the spots, she needs to really soak each place with a good odor elimination solution. If you continue to be drawn to the newly cleaned spot, Mom can put Sticky Paws XL (available from many of AdoptAShelter.com’s fine merchants) over and around the soiled area until you’ve lost interest.
One way or another, your mom’s going to have to open her wallet and get with the program. If she doesn’t buy clean litter now, she’ll end up paying big time for new floor coverings later.
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