te Litter Advice!  Exotic shorthair kitties are pretty straight forward to take care of.  Persians and Exotic longhairs take a bit more thinking--their very hairy feet and sometimes long, long coats cat require a little accommodation.  Also, there are lots of products on the market these days, and it gets expensive trying everything.  Having a house full of cats, I do some experimenting with, especially with products I am hearing a lot of great things about.


v  I use and strongly recommend both Dr. Elsey’s Precious cat litters, and Tidy Cat’s BREEZE system. 


v  Dr. E’s litters are fine tuned to specific kitty needs, and they do a great job of controlling odor and being dust free.  They have some especially for kitten training, retraining problem kitties, long haired kitties, older kitties, etc.  I really like just the original scoopable in the big blue bags.  It is very economical—compare to generics at Wal-mart—but soooo much higher quality!  No dust, better odor control, harder clumps.  I also like the formula for longhairs—it is a crystal type with large sediment, and works well for long haired Exotics and Persians because it doesn’t get caught in the hair—which is occasionally a problem for fuzzy feet and super long coats.  Their website at http://www.preciouscat.com/ often has great coupons to use at the store, making their reasonable litter prices fantastic.  


v  Breeze boxes are completely different—they have a large pellet litter that sits on a raised grate in the box, which is suspended over a pan that is lined with a pad.  I like that the urine flows thru and doesn’t get in kitty’s hair.  It does a very good job of controlling urine odor.  There is zero litter tracking around the house.  Pads get changed about once a week, litter gets swapped once a month or two.  Sometimes I get a bag of litter pellets that smell funny.  That is the biggest problem I have with this system.  For me, it’s a big problem because I have a dozen boxes in the house. The smell reminds me of a dead animal.  Because I am doing 12 boxes, I buy a lot at once, which means I get mostly the same lot… at $7 a bag, that’s a lot of litter to have to pitch with no use!  It’s only happened a couple times in the 3 years I have been using them, but it’s enough to make me think again.  For a normal household, this is a great system—people won’t know you have cats until they come out to visit.  And the cost is comparable to traditional boxes.


v  Boxes—for traditional litters I really like the new stainless steel pans.  They don’t scratch, and you can get them 100% clean.  They last forever, and they don’t look half bad (for a litter box!).  Any material box will do, though, if it is maintained properly.  My biggest suggestions are get as big a box as you can accommodate, have a couple of boxes in different rooms in the house (and at least one per level of your home), and make sure you have a minimum of 1 box per 2 cats.  And, of course, keep it CLEAN.  Some of the auto-cleaning boxes are nice.  Scooping a couple times a day isn’t hard, though, and pet stores now carry used litter receptacles that make it easy to scoop a few times and then take it outside to the trash when you’re ready (for a single cat home, that could be a week), all without opening the container and subjecting yourself to the smell. 


v  Keeping the box clean will keep your nose happy, and kitty going in the box.  I do wash out litter boxes every now and then—usually when I see that litter is made up of bits of left over clump, I dump the box and while it is empty I wash it out.  Make sure it is completely dry before re-filling or litter will stick to the bottom and sides.  Likewise, when you refill, put in 3 inches or so of litter.  If it is deep, the clumps will properly form and NOT stick to the sides/bottom, and break.  Try and steer away from scented litters, ESPECIALLY citrus smells!  Cats hate citrus (put citrus rinds places you want to keep kitty out of, it repels them), so putting citrus in or around their litter box is a REALLY bad idea!