Tuesday, 20 November 2012
By Ralph Lymburner
Shortly after my wife passed away I got my first cat. There was no problem training this kitten as to location of the litter box.
With a second cat a year later, there was no problem - two cats, one litter box. When I went away for a few days, I would supply an extra litter box. With new technology for making cat litter, cleaning up was easy. Everything just clumped together making waste management a simple process.
However, things have changed dramatically. I recently moved in with ESGF and inherited two more cats. All of a sudden I am “The Cat Wrangler,” aka “The Widower” aka “The Worm Farmer” aka “The Associate.”
It is my responsibility to ensure that the cats are fed and watered. Also, I have to keep track of which cat is outdoors and which cat is not. I’m thinking of making a check-out board. When one goes out they just push the slide opposite their name underneath “OUT.”
I am starting a study of a very important tool in the management of my responsibility. I am gathering data on the waste management of cats. It is important to attempt in order to analyze why a cat uses a particular litter box when given a choice.
When I first arrived at my new residence, we put four litter boxes in the same area. I noticed that some boxes got used more than others so I spread the boxes out into various areas of the garage.
After one week of evaluation, my data indicated one box received more deposits than others. Amazingly, the largest box received the least amount. This box had a cover so the cats could have a little privacy. Why? Is it the cover, the amount or type of litter. Hmmmm.
The type of litter could be the common denominator in the problem. My companion has assumed the task of researching the different types and brands of cat litter. She is very good at researching the internet.
We currently use whichever brand is on sale. Of course, cost per ounce is contributing factor. So each box could have different types of litter or a mixture. I insist that it be the clumping type as this is less messy for me.
She is recommending we try plain sand which we can dig up in the back yard. By using this asset we would be adding economy to the solution. But this does not meet the clumping requirement set forth in the research diagram.
Could sex of the cats be a factor? There are three spayed females and one neutered male.
We are currently being more diligent in the accuracy of our data. I’m thinking of getting motion cameras for each litter container. This will allow us to accurately determine which boxes are being used by particular cats, Also, time of day could be a factor.
The weather is a key element in this research because on rainy days the cats do not go outside. This causes seriously flawed data to enter the analysis. I can see where this will be much more difficult project than what I assumed. I may be required to hire a staff.
This information will all be released upon publication (which could be a long time coming).
I am currently negotiating for a waste capable truck which will have my logo “WE SCOOP THE POOP” emblazoned on the side. Oddly, my companion feels that this venture is beneath her status and refuses to participate.
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