By: Barbara Osgood-Hartness

When my husband and I took in a new cat recently, we had some rather unexpected litter box issues. Cats are typically easy to litter train. You show them the litter box, they read the instructions, and that’s it.

Sadik knew how to use the litter box when he came to our house. He just made a terrible mess in the process! The “hood” for the standard litter box contained most of the mess, but it wasn’t pretty at cleaning time! The worst part was that he smelled. He would cuddle up to us and we’d detect the distinct odor of fecal matter, which we’d later find on his tail or one of his feet. This prompted clean-ups that were unpleasant for both us and Sadik.

Sadik is a 15-pound Bengal and his size may have been creating some of the problems. We finally determined he just didn’t have enough room to maneuver, in even a large cat box. So we emptied a large, flat plastic storage container, previously used for clothing storage under our bed, and gave that a try. The size was better, but without a “hood” the litter kept getting flung out of the box, and waste ended up in places it didn’t belong.

But my Maguyver-like husband came up with a solution. He purchased a very large Rubbermaid storage tub with a lid, then cut an opening at the base of one end. We put the large litter container inside this tub and sealed it with the lid. It works great! Now he has room, so he doesn’t step in his own waste. The waste stays in the box and any litter that gets kicked out ends up in the outer, larger tub. When it’s cleaning time, I dump the contents and “hose down” the entire thing.