Ever since I got my first cat close to three years ago, I’ve stuck to my same reliable litter box – the Van Ness model.
Whenever confronted with the “dogs are better – no, cats are better” debate bathroom habits always come into mind for me. As much as I endorse cats being far superior than their canine companions (sorry dog lovers), their litter boxes are a major hit to their reputation.
I started my kitty ownership with Booboo (my eldest, a 3 year old Russian Blue) and really didn’t have any big issues with litter or a box. I went to Walmart, picked out a reasonably priced and decent looking plastic litter box, and gave it a go.
Even as a kitten, Booboo never had a problem using it. I was actually quite amazed that a little tiny kitten was already trained to use it’s version of the restroom – something I don’t think dogs are naturally inclined to know (please correct me if I am wrong dog lovers).
This isn’t an article bashing dogs, but an honest look at that litter box I purchased. For a decent price of around $22 dollars, the Van Ness Extra Giant Enclosed Cat Pan was more than enough for my lone kitty. I scooped the litter about every other day, changing it about once a month – sometimes longer.
The smell of a litter box is a disadvantage cat owners have to live with, no matter how many kitties we own. With one cat, the Van Ness litter box concealed the stench amazingly. It wasn’t until my wife and I got our second kitty, Mo, that a smell was noticeable. To blame it on the litter box I think would be unfair at this point. By having a second cat using the same litter and the same box multiplied bad smells by a mathematically sound 100%.
With the increase in smell and much more frequent use of litter, the box did become a tiny bit more of a hassle, but it wasn’t anything bad. The Van Ness litter box held its own very well considering – Mo had a bad “run” of diarrhea as a kitten. What I particularly like is the filter pre-built into the top of the litter box. This filter help with the smell, and I have never purchased a replacement for it; I’m not too sure I need to.
We tried many different kinds of litter in these past 3 years, all having their own strong and weak points, but the litter box accommodated them all. Another issue commonly associated with a cat’s restroom is the mess they make with the litter tracked out on their feet. Kitties do like to dig and bury their “business” – definitely a good thing – but have the tendency to get crystals of litter all over the floor.
When we got Samson (our third kitty, a seal-point Siamese) we had to buy a separate litter box for him to use since we needed to separate the three cats at night. We figured a simple, cheap, open square litter box would suffice. Far from the truth.
Mo and Booboo loved to use the “new” box. Since it didn’t come with a cover like the Van Ness box does, the ground was literally coated with litter so much you couldn’t see the tile. Not good. The air also picked up the smell much better without the cover, spreading it’s unpleasantness to the rest of our home.
Thankfully our three cats got along quickly, allowing us to get rid of the cheap box fast. Now they all share the same covered litter box without any fuss.
It was rough trying to fit two litter boxes into the bathroom – having just the Van Ness was a relief; it really is quite space conscious. We keep it in between the small area from the toilet to the cabinets, fitting perfectly.
The space inside is big enough to always allow a clean area for the next kitty’s use, with a limited stench. It also comes with a plastic door that flaps much like the typical dog door. I haven’t honestly put it on yet since Samson is still too small to push it open (I think), though I’m sure adding it would make the litter box practically never smell – it would be almost air tight.
On another note, some of the other litter boxes we tried weren’t very “travel friendly”. They had handles at the top, but weren’t reliable to keep both the top and bottom of the box connected, leading to litter spills at very inconvenient times. This Van Ness box uses a plastic “snap” procedure, locking the two parts together soundly with 4 snaps. It’s nice knowing it won’t come apart!
The only downside to the box I can think of is the litter mess still on the floor. The cats track litter particles out of the box on their paws, getting the surrounding floor somewhat dirty. This is hardly the litter box’s fault however; what happens outside of the box is out of it’s control. I looked into buying one of the Booda Dome Cleanstep Cat Boxes to avoid the tiny litter mess, but they are slightly too large and out of my price range.
If you have a large enough wallet, you can get a litter box that cleans itself. After watching the video on Amazon’s page showing off the CatGenie-Self Washing, Self Flushing Cat Box, I have a new item on this year’s Christmas list.
You can get the Van Ness litter box for the best price here: http://amzn.to/aOcXKU.