Babyproofing with cats - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our little ones will soon be mobile and it's time to contemplate babyproofing our homes. We live in an appartment and have got two cats. Each cat has its own cat litter box - one in the living room and one in a corner of the hallway/dining room (it's a central room with doors leading off to nearly every other room in the appartment). Even though I've got a "doormat" for each litter box, cat litter still happens. I'm worried about ds picking up stray litter and eating it. Or crawling into one of the litter boxes. Or just grabbing a handful out of a litterbox. puke.gif

 

So I'm thinking of fencing off the living room so that ds stays there to play - he'd be underfoot everywhere else anyways. Then I'm thinking of putting the litter box in the living room up on a shelf right next right where it is next to the window ledge - basically extending that ledge to the corner where the litter box already is - and then maybe create a kind of litter box in a box to minimize the amount of litter that still escapes.

 

What about you other cat owners with little ones or big ones that survived this age with cats. How do you babyproof your litter boxes?


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#2 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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Our cats are indoor/outdoor and we have a cat door for them so they use nature's toilet and we haven't had a litter box for them for ages. Lucky us!

If your cats go outside, is there any way you could get a cat door...or even if not train them to only pee and poo outside?

 

Otherwise I would move the litterbox into a room where you can put up a gate on the door to keep baby out. And keep a handheld vac handy for stray litter. I think there are also types of litter that don't track as bad, like cedar or pine if I remember correctly. GL!


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#3 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We rent so we can't install a cat door on our own and I don't see our landlord as being that cat friendly. But the handheld mini-vac is a really good idea.


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#4 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 05:59 AM
 
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When we were in an apartment (ds was newborn -2.5y) I kept the cat box in the bathroom. In our house we just put the litter into  the cold storage room in the basement as it gets wet and isn't a good cold storage room. 


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#5 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 06:55 AM
 
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mine isn't quite mobile, but we also live in an apartment and i've been thinking about it. really, i think the best solution for our particular living space is putting the litter box in the kitchen by the balcony door, and gating off the kitchen. it squicked me out a bit to put the box in the kitchen at first, but really, it makes sense. that floor is the dirtiest in my house anyway, and gets swept and mopped the most often, and it is the best ventilated room in the wintertime. if the kitchen is gated, then i don't have to worry about babyproofing the rest of the kitchen as much since she'll only be in there with supervision (and usually in a highchair anyway). anyway, a room that can be gated (like the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room) is probably easiest. once my lo is walking, i think it's easier to have one specific place she can't go alone, rather than only one place she can go.

 

if you do have a balcony, it might be worth seeing if the litterboxes will work out there. i put ours out there sometimes when company comes over and my cat has no problem letting me know he needs out.

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#6 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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With my first child we built what we called the "cat house" for the litter box. It was a fairly simply pine box with removable top and a small entrance way for the cats. It was around 2.5 feet high. We made some openings in the "roof" for light. The "cat house"  ended up tucked away in a corner , you couldnt really tell it was even a litter box.

 

Google "cat litter furniture" and check out the images for some ideas!

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#7 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseMcNeill View Post

With my first child we built what we called the "cat house" for the litter box. It was a fairly simply pine box with removable top and a small entrance way for the cats. It was around 2.5 feet high. We made some openings in the "roof" for light. The "cat house"  ended up tucked away in a corner , you couldnt really tell it was even a litter box.

 

Google "cat litter furniture" and check out the images for some ideas!


I think you're on to what I'm thinking. I was considering a box with an opening on top so that hopefully any litter stays in the box. I'll google though, like you recommended.


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#8 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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This is what we have for ours. I've also seen a cat box out out of an IKEA end table. I think that's on the IKEA hacks website. NAK or I'd get you an address.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseMcNeill View Post

With my first child we built what we called the "cat house" for the litter box. It was a fairly simply pine box with removable top and a small entrance way for the cats. It was around 2.5 feet high. We made some openings in the "roof" for light. The "cat house"  ended up tucked away in a corner , you couldnt really tell it was even a litter box.

 

Google "cat litter furniture" and check out the images for some ideas!




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#9 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I just saw a cat "house" that I want to make. It is a rubber tub with a hole cut in the side. Lining the hole is  brush like stuff (I don't know what to call it, but we have something similar at the bottom of our doors to keep the cold air out) which I imagine cuts down on cat litter, and also protects the cat from sharp plastic sides. There are some amazing IKEA mods out there, but the tub seems like the cheapest and easiest (if not the prettiest). Blocking the box off like that will keep the babe out of the litter box, but as far as keeping tracking down... We use the pellet style litter (Yesterday's News or Feline Pine), and still find that it gets everywhere and I constantly have to clean it up. Some of the larger cat "houses" I have seen have a tunnel that the cat needs to go through to get to the box that is lined with astroturf or some shaggy carpet to help wipe off those messy cat paws.

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#10 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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We also live in an apt but with FOUR furry friends.
They all share one litter box without any fuzz. Our kitties are all related, but once we had a roommate who brought one extra cat. We kept a separate box for about six months until we noticed that all cats would use both boxes. So we got rid of the extra box. I'm telling that to encourage you to try to get them to share just one box. Then you just need to find a solution for one of them.

We have our box in the bathroom (flushable pine). Our LO is 9mo, crawling well and quickly but hasn't shown any interest in it.

Our choice of litter is great for flushing, cats health and odor but man, it tracks. So I bought a box called clevercat which looks like a rubbermaid container with a top entrance and a tracked surface on the lid. The cats hated it at first so I was using it without the lid until a few weeks ago when I tried the lid again. All going well (apart from a few days of spraying attack when I went away and DH probably didn't keep the box clean enough). It's amazing at keeping litter from being tracked. Before, no matter how much I swept and/or vacuumed (there! I created a verb) there was litter everywhere. Now the amount of litter scattered around the house might have decreased by about 90%. Fingers crossed that the spraying attack was just because of our trip.

Cat litter box is a drag. That's the one thing for which I never found an arrangement that made me happy. And I know that there won't be one, the last box may be the closest. If they don't rebel against it, of course. My cats have been with me for 13 years and now I just have to remind myself that while our house is not the cleanest place on earth our son will be fine. I'm very conscious of washing his hands at every transition (diaper change, feeds, change of clothes...) besides sweeping /vacuuming ( ha! Somebody pls tell this foreigner that vacuum is not a verb!).

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#11 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Another option might be to train the cat to use the toilet.  (I'd like to do that myself, but DH thinks I've lost my marbles when I mention cat using the toilet and going ahead and potty training the 19 month old.

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#12 of 20 Old 11-17-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
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Another option might be to train the cat to use the toilet.  (I'd like to do that myself, but DH thinks I've lost my marbles when I mention cat using the toilet and going ahead and potty training the 19 month old.






Toilet training! Oh I wish I had heard of that when the kitties were younger.
I'd say try it! If they take to it (some do and some don't), it's absolutely the best!

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#13 of 20 Old 11-19-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Ours goes for the litter boxes. Anything that we try to prevent him gaining access to is way more interesting than toys he's allowed to play with. So I block off the boxes with gates. I don't know how long that will last, though.

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#14 of 20 Old 11-20-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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currently my living room is fenced off. i don't see a reason for her to be getting into the rest of the house anyway. The litter b oxes right now are in a bedroom garage and bathroom. Goal is none in the bathroom, the bedroom is ok if kept shut. I just remodeled my garage to lock the cats out. It's sad but no poop will be around for her to lick. She's at a licking stage right now.

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#15 of 20 Old 11-20-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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The top entry litter box produces way less tracking, but still some, so the handheld vac might be a good idea. When we were still in an apartment, DS wasn't mobile yet, but we had two bathrooms, and the guest bathroom was the cat's... You can always find a place where to put both litterboxes and put a gate up. We moved into a house when DS was 9 months old and just put the litterboxes in the basement under the stairs (we call it litterbox city), put old carpet down below as it contains a lot of the tracking. DS never was interested in them too much, but saw me cleaning them and now at 2 years wants to help cleaning them.... He never tried to eat cat litter, but generally never tried anything to eat anyways cause he still doesn't like most foods...


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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#16 of 20 Old 11-20-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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BTW, for a top entry box just get a really big plastic rubbermaid type storage box with lid and cut a  hole on top. I forget what I used but they do have drill bits for it. I think I just used a knife. They're really ncie but it trained one of my cats to never use the box so now it's just the tupperware but he still refuses to use it.  Not sure whta his problem is :/  Other cats had no issue. I used clear plastic so they could see and put a nightlight next to it.

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#17 of 20 Old 11-20-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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We put ours in a closet, with the door open just enough for the cat to squeeze in (about 4 inches), and blocked it so it couldn't slide open more. Kept both the kid and the dog away. Before that I had it blocked in behind two small bookcases, which worked great also.

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#18 of 20 Old 11-21-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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I used a covered litterbox and put it in a diagonal in the corner.  (So there is a triangle between the box and the wall).  That keeps the baby out of the litter and poop, the cat still has access to it and the litter isn't scattered all over the place.

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#19 of 20 Old 11-21-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabithaB View Post

I used a covered litterbox and put it in a diagonal in the corner.  (So there is a triangle between the box and the wall).  That keeps the baby out of the litter and poop, the cat still has access to it and the litter isn't scattered all over the place.



That just gave me an excellent idea. Our litter in the living room is currently wedged between the wall on one side and a bookcase on the other. I could simply turn the litter box around (it's also a covered box) and then they can go in through the back instead of the front and there's no way ds can get to it (yet).

 

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#20 of 20 Old 11-23-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabithaB View Post

I used a covered litterbox and put it in a diagonal in the corner.  (So there is a triangle between the box and the wall).  That keeps the baby out of the litter and poop, the cat still has access to it and the litter isn't scattered all over the place.



This is what we do too. It's in our upstairs hallway by the bathroom and facing the corner. Although initially I didn't do it for the baby proofing, but because our dog likes to get in there....yuck!

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