Bugging the Cats

No, this is not about small listening devices for feline implantation. That is what first jumped to the minds of my Facebook friends when I posted that Operation Bug the Cats was a success. But this is what really happened:

I was sitting at my desk when Oliver decided to use the litter box. I noticed that he’s quite a bit taller than the cover of the box. So I got to thinking about the covers of litter boxes and whether they were needed and whether my grey kitten would poo on the floor in front of his box less if it were uncovered.

Thesis created, my poor kittens fell victim to the scientific method.

I cleaned the litter boxes. I minimized variables by filling both boxes to the same depth with fresh litter. I left one box uncovered. My thesis would be strengthened, though not proven, if the uncovered box had more…stuff…in it.

The uncontrollable variable, though, is that Kitten Thunder has a solids box and a liquids box. It isn’t a hard or fast rule, but there is a preference.

But here’s where the experiment went awry. Obi is not a fan of open air peeing. He tried. He was very focused on it, then looked up and made eye contact with me. No. No no no.

He went into the the other box. No. No no no. To the open box. No. To the covered box. No. Open. No. Covered. No. Open. No no no. Closed…going to have to do.

So the results of this experiment. Not a bit of difference.

Not even slightly.

Do you have covered or uncovered boxes?


Oliver’s allergies are horrible this weekend and he has put deep, bloody cuts all over his precious grey face. Our favorite doctor, Tiff, has ventured out on her own with a mobile veterinary clinic (how brilliant is that?). We’re hoping for a house call tomorrow.

The tale, hopefully good, will be forthcoming.


10 responses to “Bugging the Cats

  1. Covered. All three of us are fine with them.

  2. Two covered and one uncovered. Jack is the largest of the three and he likes the big covered one or open air. Sally likes the small covered one or open air. Harley just does her thing in whichever box is cleanest.

  3. Uncovered. My cats are not shy about using the litter box in public. Thunder often jumps in the box when I go into the bathroom, whether he actually needs to use it or not. The other day, Thunder was, um, actively using one box and Seffie jumped into the other and started sniffing his butt.

    It’s good that they’re not shy. A few days ago I saw something troubling and found out that Thunder has colitis — nothing serious, but I have to give him huge horrible-tasting pills for five days (six pills down, four to go).

    • Poor Thunder. It is not his year.

      Some day, when we have a kid, my office is going to be a bedroom and the litter boxes will have to go elsewhere. I’m thinking one will be behind the door in the main floor bathroom. And since we all go into the bathroom together anyway…

      • The first five pill doses went relatively easily (leaving me convinced that I was an exceptionally talented cat-piller), but #6 and #7 were more traumatic and somewhat less successful. But the good news is that Thunder’s tests came back negative, and he’s doing better, so the vet said I could stop giving them to him.

        Thunder is a really brave cat. He hated getting the pills, but he’d stick around for treats afterwards. And I’m getting my house re-roofed this week, which involves a lot of loud noises and some general house-shaking. Seffie stayed in the Hiding Closet all day, but Thunder only spent a few hours there.

      • Of course, now that I’ve written that he’s brave, he’s gotten really scared. He wanted breakfast this morning, but appears to have become convinced that I was going to give him another pill, so he hid in the closet instead. And now the roofers are here making scary roof noises.

  4. Esme has an open box. My last cat hated the covered box. She liked to stand up as straight as possible.

  5. My boys use a covered box that is open from the top – a rubbermaid-like bin with a cover and a hole in the cover big enough for to-ing and fro-ing. It cuts down (somewhat) on the litter tracking problem, and if they want air they just leave their heads out while their butts are in – quite ingenious. Cuts down on the smell, too. Litterbox lives in a closet – don’t have to look at it!

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