As a business owner, I love innovation because it provides a competitive advantage. As a consumer, I look toward innovation to solve problems. As a cat owner, well...
Growing up, we had always been a dog family. But my wife came from a cat family. So when my two and half year old daughter found a stray kitten, I became a cat person. And as a cat person, I quickly learned that I needed to look for letterbox smell solutions.
As a dog owner, I had always been accustom to having any animal dirty business conducted outdoors. Yes, cleaning up the fenced in yard was not a desirable job, but it was better than what I was now facing as a cat owner: cat dirty business is done inside. So my I knew we had to find a solution.
Smell Solution #1: Enclose the Litterbox
Soon after we found this amazing kitten, we started to realize that there weren't any other families looking for him. In fact, we went around the neighborhood and found the family that had him before us - they were actually loading him into the car to take him to the pound when he escaped to our home. So we knew he was going to stay, and we had to start acting like cat owners. So the first thing we did was to purchase an enclosed letterbox. I figured that having an enclosed litterbox would contain the odor. Well, not exactly.
Smell Solution #2: Better Litter Management
Our next attempt at an odor solution was to try to better manage the litter box. A letterbox left unattended makes for an unhappy cat, but also makes for a stinky house. So we figured that a fully managed litter box would make for a happy cat and a smell-free house. We tried more frequent box changes. We tried throw-away liners, and we tried better litter. But the odor still raised its hand more than we would prefer. Apart from changing the litter box after every excursion, we couldn't eliminate the odor.
Smell Solution #3: Send the Cat Outdoors
Our third attempt to eliminate indoor odors was to send the cat outdoors. This cat had come to us on his own free will, and we decided that he should continue to be "free range." At first, we noticed that he started taking his dirty business elsewhere, and we thought that this was a viable solution. But then two things happened. First, the neighbors daughter that plays with my girls told us how our cat "gets in trouble" by "going potty in [their] garden." Yeah. Sorry about that. In addition, the winter hit and we realized that when a cat goes out, he comes back on his own terms - meaning that there are nights when he isn't back before you are ready to lock up for the evening. And for those reasons, we started letting him out less and less.
Smell Solution #4: Potty Train the Cat
Yes. You read that correctly. Our next attempt to eliminate cat odors in our home was to potty train the cat. We purchased the Cat Toilet Training System by Litter Kwitter from Amazon and got to work. The Litter Kwitter has a ring system where the system sits over the toilet and your litter goes in the middle of the contraption. Then, ring by ring, you remove parts of the system so that the litter only remains on the outside edges of the Kwitter, and an inner hole to the toilet is exposed. The idea is that once you remove the final ring (and the entire contraption), your cat should be trained to know where to go. At first, the system seemed to work like a charm. We went through ring after ring with no problems at all. But when we removed the final ring, our cat felt that the floor was a more desirable than using a toilet. Really, who can blame him?
Smell Solution #5???: The Katio
Since we had never really found a perfect solution to eliminate our letterbox smells, we have been doing the best we can with the four solutions above. But this week, we discovered a new solution that may be worth a shot: The Katio.
The Katio appears to be an amazing prototype solution that actually takes your letterbox and places it outside. Yes, outside. Just like a window air conditioner unit, the Katio is basically a "cat patio" that sits just outside of your window. The enclosed space has a door for your cat to enter, room for it to do its business, vents that lead outside, and a window for it to view the great outdoors. With an expected release date in the Spring of 2015, this may be the letterbox smell solution we have been looking for.