Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 14, 2012

The Great Kitty Litter Conundrum

When we were still in the “contemplating” stages of cat ownership, our biggest sticking point was the litter box and where we’d put it.

In the end, we worked beyond that hurdle, adopted Honey, and now keep a gigantic box of feces in our kitchen.

Clearly, we are living the American dream.

There was a trial and error period in our litter box experience, however, as we’d initially gotten a generic “large” litter box that we assumed would be just fine.

It was not.

Apparently, Honey was too tall for the box, so she’d often go to tinkle and pee right up and over the back of the box.

In the first couple of weeks we had her, I’d say that I cleaned up pee off the floor and out from under her box something like a dozen times before finally breaking down and getting her a monster-sized litter box.

Seriously, the box is abso-f’n-lutely gigantic.

I couldn’t pee over the side of it if I were standing inside the dang thing. It’s like being in an abandoned mine shaft or something. No way she’s gonna be peeing up and over the sides anymore. Not even if she jumped while taking a whiz. It’s just not gonna happen.

The big issue now is that she’s tracking litter everywhere.

It’s on the carpet. It’s on the couch. It’s on the windowsills. It’s on the TV stand. It’s in my keyboard. It’s in our bed.

That last one is the real kicker, because there’s nothing worse than litter in the bed.

Imagine yourself climbing into your glorious new(ish) bed, completely exhausted after a long day of allowing nerds to borrow books with titles you can’t even pronounce and what do you feel under your bare feet? Litter.

Teeny-tiny granules of kitty litter.

It’s not cool.

Obviously, we vacuum to remedy the issue, but—like most cats—Honey isn’t exactly a real big fan of the vacuum and flips her shit every time we use it.

We obviously do it anyway, because we’re not filthy slobs, but it’d be great if there was a more reliable solution. Perhaps one that didn’t involve putting Honey through a series of frequent panic attacks, but rather managed to prevent the whole “OH MY GOD THERE IS KITTY LITTER F’N EVERYWHERE” issue in the first place.

We have a little mat that is supposed to trap litter when she steps out and it works, but only so well.

Thus far Honey has been less-than-receptive to my requests that she take a little extra time to wipe her feet, so we’re pretty much out of ideas.

Given that our apartment is roughly the size of a Toyota Camry, we don’t have the luxury of putting her box in the basement or laying out any gigantic mats or anything, so our options are just a wee-bit limited.

Does anyone out there have a working solution for a tiny apartment or is Honey doomed to a lifetime of Hoover-induced panic attacks?!

PS: Grace and I briefly discussed buying her some cat-sized Crocs, but decided against it when we realized she’d murder us in her sleep for putting her in Crocs. If anyone has tried this with success, we may put it back on the table.



  1. I switched Oola over to pine pellet litter (I went with the Whole Foods brand because I couldn’t find Feline Pine anywhere), and, while she’ll occasionally kick a pine pellet around the floor, there’s no gritty litter to be tracked all over the everywhere. And, as an added bonus, there’s no horrible overpowering floral scent like you get with a lot of the clumping litters.


    • …but the poop just lingers on the top, right?!

      So you’ve gotta clean it all the time or risk the cat stepping in their own unclumped deposits, right?! That does not sound ideal.


      • I don’t know how often Honey poops, how infrequently y’all scoop out the litter box, or if Honey is that rare breed of cat I’ve never heard of that is not renowned for their cleanliness and thus runs a huge risk of stepping in her own feces, but I can say that that’s never happened with Oola.


      • We generally clean it every day or every other day.

        Perhaps I’m over-thinking things a bit. Maybe I’ll have to scope out what you’ve got going on at the Oolaversary and see if I think it’d work.


  2. Our cat is very fluffy (even on her feet) and litter was all over our house too. i got the gigantic litter box with a tall cover and turned it toward the wall, so there is only one way in and out and she can’t leap over the mat (cuz that’s what she would prefer) i also bought an actual door mat, the kind made of plastic the slightly resembles grass.


    • Interesting…that might be the type of mat we need to upgrade too. I just question if we can find one small enough to fit in our already tight quarters.




    • I can’t imagine those would help her track around less litter, but they do make me laugh hysterically…so there’s that?!


  4. Perhaps a non-lethal when licked sticky mat? Just sticky enough to grab litter, but not sticky enough to grab Honey? Granted, this may have to be purchased every few months and I’m not overly certain it exists.


    • Something akin to flypaper, but without the toxicity.



  5. It’s more expensive, but we swore by that Yesterday’s News stuff when we had cats (recycled newspaper.) Or, you could be ambitious and try to train her to use the toilet…


  6. I have a kitchen rug that is kind of a loop weave thing, that I put in front of the litter box. It seems to trap the litter a bit better. I brush my feet off before getting into bed and make sure I pull the covers up when I get out of bed in the morning. It’s not perfect but it works ok.

    My old cat had the high peeing problem, so I got a rubber storage bin and some plastic tubing from Home Depot, cut a door in the front of the bin, sliced the tubing and installed it over the cut edge. That worked really well.

    Also, scented cat litter makes the whole litter in the bed problem worse since your bed starts to smell like litter perfume. Awesome to think about while trying to fall asleep. I use “The World’s Best Cat Litter.” It’s pricey, but has no scent, works really well and lasts a really long time, which kinda offsets the price.


  7. The pine litter that Amy mentioned is the exact same stuff that is used in pellet stoves. My dad buys a big 40 lb bag for a few bucks. It’s much cheaper that way. Also, when the pine litter gets wet, it loses it’s shape and dissolves down into pine particles. The wet stuff ends up on the bottom, with the fresher litter on top. How that works, I am guessing has to do with how kitties like to dig and cover up their messes. I’ve been having my kitties try out the pine litter myself, and so far, my two kitties have not tracked any of the pine particles out of the box. The did, however, used to track the regular litter out all of the time. So far so good.

    Another option that my dad used to do when he regularly got the newspaper was to rip the newspaper into shreds and put the shreds in the box. His kitty used it no problem. Seemed weird to me, but it worked. And there was no tracking about of clumps of anything.


    • Interesting. All solid advice.


      • The kitties are fully transitioned to the pine litter, btw. Works out great, and I find the litter seems to absorb the odor fairly well, too. That was something I was worried about.


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