2016 is coming to an end, and I think we can all agree it’s been a big one! Over the past 12 months I have knocked over 6 plants, killed 2 mice, peed on a couch, and scaled a wall to sneak into a dark, cob-webby attic space! It’s been a fantastic year for mischief.
For Throwback Kitten Week, I’m remembering how it wasn’t so long ago that I was a kitten myself. Here’s what I looked like when my mom found me in 2012, compared to what I look like today. Big change, huh?
Through all of my growing and changing, some things have stayed the same. My mom has always loved me, no matter how many of her favorite things I destroy. My sister will always give up the top tier of the cat tree if I bop her in the head enough times. And Tidy Cats is always there to make sure I have a clean place to poop.
Check out this Throwback Kitten Week playlist on YouTube, then tell me how your cat has matured (or not) since kitten-hood for your chance to win TWO manufacturer’s coupons, each worth a free Tidy Cats product!
Q: Dear Nora,
My cat kicks litter all over the floor. I’ve heard that cats don’t like covered litter boxes, so I want to avoid them, but I’m running out of patience. Do I have other options?
A: You’re right to steer clear of the average covered litter box. We’re wild at heart, and always assume that there’s someone waiting to pounce. So when it comes to litter boxes, we like to be able to see what’s around us and have multiple exits– especially if there are other animals living in the home.
There are litter boxes on the market that have tall sides. Boxes with high sides are great, as long as your cat isn’t a kitten or arthritic. This box is also great– it has the benefits of a covered litter box, but gives your cat the ability to see if anyone is lurking outside.
Have you heard about Stank Face? Even if you don’t know it by name, I bet you’ve encountered it if there’s a litter box in your home.
My fondest Stank Face memory was when my mom was hosting a get-together of some old friends in our very small house. They were all lounging around the living room drinking tea while I lurked around under the bed because I don’t like people very much. Eventually I ventured out to use the litter box and I caused quite a stink! Her friends were holding their noses and wafting their hands in front of their faces as I raced back under the bed. My mom told me later that she and her friends had to finish their tea on the porch because the home become unbearable. If I wasn’t a cat, I would have been embarrassed.
Tidy Cats takes Stank Face seriously! That’s why they’ve improved their already-awesome litter to include TidyLock™ Protection, which does an even better job of locking away Stank Face inducing odors. To create as much awareness as possible about Stank Face and its antidote, TidyLock™ Protection, they’ve even teamed up with actress Angela Kinsey (who you may know as Angela Martin from NBC’s “The Office”). Watch the important PSA:
TidyLock™ Protection is available in both traditional and lightweight versions of your favorite 24/7 and Instant Action Tidy Cats clumping litter.
Are you ready to kick Stank Face out of your life for good? Visit www.StopStankFace.com to learn more. Also…
We’re giving away FIVE free Tidy Cats litter coupons to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment telling us about one time you experienced Stank Face for a chance to win!
One lucky Dear Nora winner will be chosen at midnight on Saturday August 13th.
Q: Dear Nora,
We use pine litter in our cat’s litter box and generally like it, except that we find it tracked all over our home! What can we do to minimize the mess?
A: If you hate finding litter tracked throughout your home, pine is the worst choice of litter for you. Our little kitty feet can trap an amazing amount of litter and we can trap even more with fine-textured pine. There are some options though.
If you are set on pine, put a textured mat outside the litter box. The mat will release the litter (most of it, at least). Some cats hate the texture of mats though and will avoid the litter box if you use one, so have a mat-free box available while you’re introducing the mat, to make sure your cat won’t do her business elsewhere.
If your kitty has extra tufty toes like I do, it helps to trim the hair between them (only to be the length of the pad of her foot– don’t actually trim between her toes). If you don’t feel totally confident that you can trim the hair without cutting her pads (ouch!) take her to a groomer.
If you want to reduce tracking even more, consider using a litter that is made of larger granules. You can even switch to the pine pellets. The bigger granules are less likely to get stuck between toes and tracked throughout your home– especially combined with a mat outside the box.
Litterboxes are the worst, whether you’re a human or a cat. They take up a lot of space and look terrible, they’re stinky, and litter tracks everywhere. Do you ever wish there was someone who would look at your litterbox area, hear your challenges, then send you everything you need to revamp your space? We sure did, and our wish came true. And yours can too!
A couple months ago Tidy Cats asked us the big question: What are your biggest litter box concerns? I gotta tell ya, we had quite the list to send back to them.
First and foremost, we wanted a litter box that didn’t look like a litter box. You may remember that we recently moved into a very small home. There’s no optimal place in our new house to put the litter box, and certainly no place to hide it away.
Since the litter box must be out in the open, we’re very concerned about the smell. We don’t want our guests to think “litter box!” the second they step into our home.
And finally, we want to minimize scatter. There are only so many times a person can vacuum in a day.
The picture above is what our litter box area looked like before Tidy Cats stepped in to grant us a Littervention. As you can see, it was quite an eyesore. The area was small, cluttered, and litter tracked out of the box. Everything about it screamed “HEY! THERE’S A LITTER BOX OVER HERE!”
Well, Tidy Cats heard our woes and set their experts on a mission to solve our problems. Here’s what they came up with:
Their team put together the purrfect Littervention kit, which systematically solved all of our problems!
The litter box cabinet hides the box in plain sight. At first glance, the cabinet looks like an end table. But even with the disguise, it’s easy for cats to get in and out of. No more eyesore!
I’m thrilled to let you know that I’ll be working with Tidy Cats again this year to bring you an inside look at new products. This also means we’ll be hosting even more litter giveaways so you’ll have a chance to try it all out and see for yourself why this litter is so great. In fact, at the end of this post you’ll find instructions for how to win a jug of the new LightWeight 4-in-1 Strength litter! But first things first.
Tidy Cats recently sent me a jug of their new litter to try out. My mom emptied my litter box, gave it a good scrub, then refilled it with the 4-in-1 Strength litter. At first I was hesitant because I’m a bit cautious when it comes to change (hey, it’s scary when things are unpredictable!), but once I found my bravery I realized that this litter is actually pretty cool! Here’s why:
The “4-in-1 Strength” part means this litter fights four of the worst parts about litter boxes: ammonia, pee and poop smells, and loose clumps. My cat nose has 40 times the smelling power of my mom’s measly human nose, so keeping those smells in check helps me feel more comfortable in the litter box.
The tighter clumps mean less stray bits of used litter being left in the box when my mom scoops. That keeps the litter fresher for longer.
The lightweight technology means my mom can store the extra litter on a higher shelf so it’s not cluttering up my litter area. Without the extra bulky containers hanging around I can easily see if my sister is sneaking up on me.
Want to try a jug for free to see if your cat agrees with my review? Simply answer this question for a chance to have a jug of Tidy Cats LightWeight 4-in-1 Strength litter sent right to your doorstep (plus some cat toys!):
What’s the most important feature you look for in a cat litter?
A winner will be chosen on Saturday April 9th. Act fast!
Q: Dear Nora, I live in an apartment with one small kitty. I love everything about her…except the litter box. I have a hard time remembering or finding the motivation to scoop it every day. Is it really necessary? Or can I get away with just scooping it a couple times a week?
A: Did you know that your cat’s sense of smell is FORTY times stronger than yours?! It’s true. You have about 5 million smell receptors in your nose, but your cat has 200 million. So if you think the box is stinky, imagine that smell being 40 times stronger. Not pleasant, right? Imagine how you’d feel if your toilet only got flushed a couple times a week. And if you had to stand in it each time you peed. So in short, yes, you do need to scoop every day.
Here are some ideas for making it easier to remember and do regularly:
Place the box in a visible place. Seeing it regularly will remind you to scoop. And if you’re scooping every day it won’t be a smelly thing to have around.
Keep a Litter Genie by the box so it’s quick and easy to dispose of the clumps you scoop out.
Make scooping a part of your daily routine by tacking it onto something you do every day anyway. For instance, do it every night after you brush your teeth or every morning before breakfast.
Q: Dear Nora, My dear cat is suddenly pooping outside of her litter box. Nothing is new about the box. It’s in the same location, we’ve been keeping it the same amount of clean, etc. What’s up?
A: Cats are finicky creatures and we can start pooping on the floor at ay time for a variety of reasons. We’re also very tuned into the smallest changes that you may not even notice yourself. Pooping outside the box is always a sign that something’s wrong and some of the potential problems are medical, so get your cat checked out by a veterinarian right away (and don’t forget to bring a stool sample). Here are some non-medical reasons this may be happening:
If you have multiple cats, other animals, or small children, your cat may be feeling threatened. Cats are always in competition, whether subtle or obvious, and your cat may be scared to enter the litter box in case she gets ambushed by another. If you have multiple cats, make sure there are enough litter boxes. The general rule is one box per cat plus one more. Make sure you place them in various places around the house so each of your cats always feels safe.
Where is your litter box placed? Is it in a dark area like a basement or closet? Perhaps as your cat gets older she’s having a hard time seeing the box well. Try adding a night light to the room.
You say nothing has changed about your box, so these next few may not apply to you. But there are some other reasons a cat may be pooping outside of the box that I wanted to cover for my other readers:
Your cat may not like the type of litter in the box, whether it’s the scent, the way it feels on her feet, or another reason. Try a new brand or type.
Some cats simply don’t like pooping in the same place they pee. You can try adding another litter box to your household. Place it in a different area of your home.
Are you keeping it clean enough? Cats have very strong senses of smell (40x stronger than yours!) If you aren’t cleaning the box at least once per day, she may be boycotting the filth.
Q: Dear Nora, I’m adopting a new cat this week and I couldn’t be happier to add her to our family. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a cat and, I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed by the litter options. I remember when my only choices were clumping and non-clumping. How do I choose between all the different ones? How do I know what’s best for my cat and family?
A: Litter has come a long way over the past several years, and the choices can indeed be overwhelming. It’s hard to know what your new cat will prefer once she gets home. Some cats are very adaptable and some are set in their ways. Paying attention to what kind of litter she has been using at the shelter can give you some clues about what she’ll dependably use in your home.
I really like the Selector Tool on the Tidy Cats website because it asks you a few simple questions about your home and lifestyle (Do you have one cat or more? Do you prefer to scoop every day or change the litter once a week? Stuff like that), then it’ll show you which type of litter is best suited to your specific situation. Give it a try!
In fact, all Dear Nora readers should give it a try and comment to let me know what it tells you. We’ll send five free product coupons to THREE lucky readers so you can choose whatever litter works best for you and your cat. We’ll choose the three winners on Thursday December 3rd, so hurry up!
As a Tidy Cats Insider I get an exclusive first look at new products, which I can then pass onto you! In fact, Tidy Cats and I are teaming up to give a free sample of their newest product to TEN lucky Dear Nora readers! Read on to find out how you can enter to win…
Last week, my friends from Tidy Cats sent me a sample of their newest innovation: Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter with Glade Tough Odors Solutions. I gotta admit, I was skeptical that it could be the solution to MY tough odors! But I was impressed! I used the litter box right after my mom filled it with this new litter (typical) and the Glade kept the odors in check without overpowering our home with an artificial perfume.
Not only that, but Tidy Cats Lightweight with Glade is 50% lighter than traditional clumping litters, makes tight clumps for easy scooping, and comes in a jug that is both resealable and recyclable with two handles for easy carrying and pouring! What could be better?!
To enter for a chance to win a FREE sample of this exciting new product, leave a comment about what you love most about your cat. That’s right, just brag about your kitty and you could be one of TEN lucky readers to have Tidy Cats Lightweight with Glade shipped right to your home! Act fast, ten lucky winners will be chosen at midnight on Saturday, August 1st.
Check out this video for more information about this new product!
I’m not a veterinarian (obviously. Cats aren’t allowed into veterinarian school). The information you’ll find here is strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. Dear Nora is not intended to diagnose and we encourage regular visits with your local veterinarian to address any medical or behavioral problems.