Sunday, March 11, 2012

litter box improvements

The list of home improvement projects is long. It seems I always have several projects going at the same time. The current big ongoing project is the mudroom, it's slowly coming together, another year or two and it'll be done. I've noticed that cat-related projects always seem to trump the non-cat related ones and get done first.

I hate litter box dust. It goes everywhere and is impossible to clean. I have been dreaming of a simple system that would filter out the dust before it coated everything. The other day I stumbled on a little tabletop HEPA air filter at Goodwill for $7.00 (sells new for $39 at Amazon) - it was the perfect thing for the job. I especially like that it's relatively quiet on the low setting and it also filters out odors.

Since dust is only stirred up when the litter box is being used or scooped, I wanted the filter to only activate at those times and not run constantly. This was easily achieved using a wireless motion activated sensor.

The biggest part of this job was installing an electrical outlet in the bathroom closet. Then it was matter of hooking everything up. Now that everything is setup, it works perfect - just as I had hoped! The sensor is located such that when a kitty steps near one of the litter boxes, the motion sensor detects movement and turns on the filter. I can adjust the amount of time the filter stays on, currently it is set to run for 5 minutes after the cat leaves.

Another exciting improvement in the litter box department is that stainless steel bin you see between the two litter boxes in the picture. That little bin serves as a poop and pee depository. Prior to this unit, the kitchen trash can received what was scooped from the litter boxes. The problem was that trash can wasn't covered and didn't always get emptied right away - can you say STINKY! STINKY!!

There are products available for disposing of used litter, such as the Litter Locker, but I wasn't excited to be forced into buying their special (and expensive) bags. I also prefer to have the opening of the container be big enough that I can tap the scoop against the side to dislodge any sticky chunks, the Little Locker opening is rather small and geared for using the plastic scoop provided. I swear by my heavy duty metal DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop - I'm never going back to plastic!

We decided to go with the simplehuman Extra Large Stainless Steel Slim Food Canister. It's meant for storing food so it has a nice rubber seal and the inside bucket is removable for easy cleaning. The inner bucket also makes it easy to place and hold a plastic bag for easy disposal. The only negative so far is the handle is too small for carrying it comfortably. I've used it for a week now and all in all, it's a big improvement over the stinky trash can!


  1. Wow ! Now you guys' litter boxes look pretty fancy !
    Well done for your human, Great Job !

  2. Nice setup! I tried one of those Litter Lockers several years ago, but wasn't too impressed by it. I think your idea is much better.

    Also, those scoops are the best, that's what we have, and I'll never go back to plastic scoops again!

  3. I like the improvements. I think an air filter for Charlie would be great! I'll tell my guy about this. I want a metal scoop I hate my plastic one. I have a 'poop holder' much like yours and boy does it help cut back on odors. Good Job!
    hugs, Linda

  4. The motion activated air filter is GENIUS! I may have to shell out the $$ and get one for the laundry room. Those Durascoops ARE the best, we have two!

  5. That is a great bargain.
    I think the idea of a poop bin is a good idea, will have to hit the shops

  6. That is a great new set up, I love the idea of a motion activated air filter! Very cool...

  7. Wow! Looks like you got the litter box situation under control!!

  8. Sounds like a great setup! No wonder Oliver wants in your house...its THE kitty place to be.

  9. This is a great idea, but mom and dad stick to the old plastic grocery bag/plastic scoop thing. I'll show them this, though. Great idea.

  10. what a brilliant idea! I love the motion sensor thing.. not sure it would work over here, but I'm definitely going to show this post to my husband!!


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