Stoop and scoop. We scoop the poop. We are people pooper-scoopers. So let’s talk about cleaning cat litter!
Clay-based clumping cat litter is a cinch to clean, and most of us use the large, plastic litter sifter to do it. But there’s one thing that most people do wrong: shaking the scoop. When you get a shovelful of the pee and poop, we like to shake the scoop side to side to sift out the unused, non-clumped litter back into the box. I think I used to do this because I thought I was saving litter and money, and that it was somehow easier to put in the bag.
But the problem of shaking the scoop is that some of the used, clumped litter breaks off and ends up back in the litter box. Since it’s already been soiled, it won’t clump anymore nor will it absorb any more odours. Over time, we keep shaking the scoop and building up the soiled litter so that the litter box smells really bad and the pee no longer clumps into a nice little ball, but instead collects in a messy pile of wet, loose sand that can’t be scooped at all. This means we have to change the whole litterbox much more frequently which is a big job that no one wants to do.
So, to extend the life of the litter, to keep it smelling fresh, and also reduce its environmental impact, don’t shake the scoop at all and throw out all the excess that happens to be in the scoop. It’s a simple way to ensure maximum removal of all soiled litter and prevent it from reducing the effectiveness of the whole litter box. This way you won’t need to change the litterbox nearly as often which makes your life easier. And since clay is still mined for use in cat litter, it also reduces the strain on the environment.
Of course, always have at least one box per cat, keep them filled with about 2 inches of litter, and remove waste daily.
I mentioned this as one of the points in the article, 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Cat Litter, but wanted to make a special mention of this one step because some people refuse to listen when I ask them to clean the litter for once! ARGH! Really, do the people in your family hate to clean the cat litter, and when they do they make such a mess that you might as well do it yourself? Is it their way of staying out of it completely? Is anyone with me on this one??
Anyway, here’s the vid for a demonstration of properly cleaning cat litter: