Metro Pets

By Laura Peterson

“Great apartment… wait, is that a tray filled with poop in the middle of the room?”

Cats make amazing pets. They clean themselves, they don’t need to be walked, they provide us with affection and they have the uncanny ability to keep us humble no matter how successful we become. There’s just one thing about cats that puts a damper on the whole relationship for us apartment dwellers – where to put the darned litter box!

Since I’m borderline obsessive-compulsive when it comes to neatness in the home, I used to loathe that darned litter box as the disgusting eye and nose sore it is. I’ve tried hiding it in the bathtub, but that caused a nasty mildew to form on the bottom of the tray from putting it back in the tub after I’d shower (and that’s not healthy for humans or kitties, alike). I’ve tried hiding it in a closet, but that meant giving up precious closet space (AAGH!) and having trails of litter outside the door that needed constant vacuuming. At one time I considered teaching my clever felines how to use the toilet, but my significant other proclaimed, “We have one bathroom in this apartment, and I’ll be damned if I have to wait in the hallway for a cat to finish using the toilet!” Scratch that idea.

Gosh, I love the internet, because it was an internet search that led me to both of these amazing litter boxes and finally the chance to shock house guests – “Yes, I have a litter box… guess where it is?”

Pet’s Best Products – Hidden Litter Decorative Planters are perhaps the most ingenious invention for cat owners since the cat scratch post. To the unaware, it looks like you have a decent looking fake plant in the corner of your room. Oh, wait a second… did the cat just disappear into the planter? Wait, is that a… nah! Couldn’t be. I can’t smell anything… Oh my goodness, it IS a litter box! With a variety of colors, textures, shapes and sizes, these planters can easily blend with the décor of any apartment. Placed near a corner, with the entrance facing a wall, you both complete the disguise and prevent your cat from tracking litter around the house. Just place one of those litter mats in front of the box entrance. The actual plant part is attached to the top of the planter and can be removed to change the litter, scoop waste or play peek-a-boo with kitty while she’s going in for a tinkle. (If you do this, seriously, get cable…) The top also holds wood chips and a charcoal filter, included with your purchase, which together help control odor. I’m telling you, this litter box has become the best conversation piece with guests since I got it, with return guests requesting in front of new guests, “Show them the litter box!” (Maybe I need to get cable, too…)

As thrilled as I am with the Hidden Litter Planter, I had a new problem emerge two years ago when I got my dog. That reminds me to also update my list of why cats make amazing pets – they don’t eat poop! Few things can gross a person out more than seeing their pooch dining at the litter box. What to do? Back to the internet! This time I found a litter box “system,” or rather a Cat Approved Toilet System (C.A.T.S.). This nifty cube both disguises the litter box and prevents Feces Feeding Fido from getting into the nasty stuff. With this contraption, the cat enters through a hole in the top of the cube, proceeds down a grated ramp where he can then turn the corner to find the litter pan. Then, when kitty is done and goes back up the grated ramp, litter is brushed from his feet before he emerges, so there is very little tracking. There was one thing that concerned me about this cube before I tried it out – my 18 pound Fat Cat! But lo and behold, he got his big Fat Cat butt easily into that thing and I had no problems whatsoever, aside from a frustrated dog who had to resort to eating food, of all things.

I now have both litter boxes up and operational for my two cats. Guests are still mystified by the cleverly disguised boxes and I can make time to obsess about other household issues, like where to put water dishes so they are out of the way but accessible for the pets. Hmm…

Isn’t it great that I saved you the Google trip? You can purchase the Hidden Litter Planter only through their website at http://www.petsbestproducts.com/. Prices vary according to style, between $98 to just over $200.

The Cat Approved Toilet System (C.A.T.S.) is also only available through their website at http://www.house4cats.com. Pricing is about $90 for the unit, including shipping costs.

Originally published July 2006
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