Did you know that litter box services exist!?

July 7 | Guest post by Cassie
Gritty Kitty Litter Box Sticker by Etsy seller lbrightIllustration

Once upon a time, I was angry and bitter. You see, my night-shifter husband had just gone to bed AGAIN instead of helping me clean the litter boxes. We have six cats. That means a lot of litter boxes, and cleaning them solo meant an hour and a half of scrubbing and stewing over the fact that my husband was sleeping instead of helping. I'm a big believer in "if you can't change your situation, change your attitude," so I tried to change my attitude. Every week, I got to try again. But it wasn't working.

So I went back to the idea of changing my situation. I wasn't getting rid of my cats, so the boxes still had to be cleaned. But what if I didn't have to do it myself? Surely someone was willing to do it for a price? The question became who, and what would they charge.

Shockingly, the who was the hardest part of the equation…

I started with my neighborhood Facebook group. I was immediately told that if I didn't want to clean litter boxes, I shouldn't have cats. (Apparently this logic doesn't apply to dog walkers, nannies, or lawn mowers.) Next I tried local pet sitters. Then I tried local pet food stores. No one knew anyone who could help me. Finally I tried Google.

Turns out, several national companies offer litter box cleaning services!

Kitty litter art by Etsy seller Fuffernutter

I ended up going with "Poop 911." Once a week, my litter box guy emails me the one-hour window of when he'll be by. I set the used boxes on my porch, he collects them, leaves me clean and filled boxes, and we all move on with our lives.

The cats are happier because, since I don't have to clean them, we use more boxes now. Guests are happier because the house smells better. I'm happier because I don't have to stress over my least favorite chore, and I get an hour and a half of my week back. Plus I no longer have to worry about who will clean the boxes if I get sick or injured. Husband is happier because I'm no longer mad at him every week for refusing to help me. Our litter box guy improves the quality of life of every living being in my house, and I regularly credit him with saving my marriage.

So maybe you're like me and you're sick of cleaning litter boxes. Or maybe you have a cat and an illness that sucks up all of your energy. (If you have limited spoons, do you really want to use them on cleaning?) Or maybe you're running a business and raising kids and taking care of your parents and volunteering and you literally don't have time to clean litter boxes. I'm here to tell you that you have options. Don't be afraid to seek them out!

P.S. The companies that clean litter boxes also scoop poop, so if you let your dog roam in a fenced yard, these guys can do double duty. Pun absolutely intended.

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  1. With two cats, I would ABSOLUTELY do this,
    exceppppttt there are a lot of neighborhood cats, both ones with homes that are VERY used to litter boxes and ones that don't have homes, but many of whom are (I suspect) abandoned.

    Do you have any problem with stray kitties using the box, then congregating around your house because it's the cool place to pee? Or, more annoyingly to me, kicking litter all over and wrecking up the dang place?

    • We also have a ton of community cats and neighbors' cats that like to wander, but thus far, they haven't caused any issues with the switch over. I'm sure that part of it is that the boxes are on the porch for less than an hour at a time. I put them out fifteen minutes before he's due to come by, and I pick up the new ones immediately. I also imagine (though I could be totally wrong about cat behavior) that the smells from the boxes would indicate to other cats that this territory has been claimed.

      1 agrees
    • Self cleaning boxes are amazing, right?! But I feel you on the procrastination part.

      3 agree
  2. I am loving all these first world problems! Seriously, this is hilarious. Keep em coming!

    1 agrees
  3. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I switched over to disposable litter boxes and never looked back. We go through an average of 2 a week and they cost about $4 at Kroger (less if there's a sale or I have a coupon). I just slide the old one into a trash bag and toss it, rip the paper off of the new one and set it down. I do keep a scoop and a jug of litter just in case it needs a little freshening up or I'm late getting to the store, but god as my witness…I'll never scrub a litter box again.

    2 agree
    • OMG, I LOVE disposable boxes. When I had one cat, that was all I used. But I haven't found any that are big enough for my larger cats. They end up kicking everything out when they dig. Do you ever have problems with that?

  4. The one concern I have with this if the boxes are not getting scooped out daily in between litter box services. Cleaning your box regularly (by this I mean daily) ensures your cat has a clean area and will not develop any litter box aversions due to smell, texture, etc. This also allows you to personally keep an eye on amounts/ consistencies of stools and urine to identify if there is a problem. Does the litter service give a report of what was in the box? Just some food for thought from a RVT who doesn't like scooping boxes either.

    2 agree
    • Great point! I still have to scoop the boxes. This service just spares me the weekly scrub out. But as to the report, no, he doesn't.

  5. We bought a Cat Genie in November and it has been worth every damn penny.

    http://www.catgenie.com

    We don't have to touch the litter. We don't have to take it to the trash. It cleans itself and disposes of the waste (we have ours running down laundry drain) without anyone lifting a finger. Every three months or so, I have to put in a new cartridge of cleaning solution and shake a few more litter granules into it to replace those that have been tracked out of the box. It is totally amazing.

    1 agrees
  6. Is scrubbing the litter box something I'm supposed to do? Husband and I alternate scooping our 3 litter boxes every night (takes 15 minutes tops), but we have literally never scrubbed the boxes…

    • Most "how to clean your litter box" information recommends emptying the box, scrubbing it, and filling it with fresh litter once a week. That gets rid of the bits that break off the clumps and helps combat the germs (and smell) in the box.

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