The nice thing about a cat as a pet is the low maintenance. I never need to get up in the middle of the night to let her outside. She doesn’t need a walk every day to keep her behavior in check. She baths herself. And she sleeps most of the time. Plus, she doesn’t take up much room in bed. But the challenging part of having a cat in an RV is figuring out a litter box solution. Both in terms of finding good litter box products as well as finding a place for it.
Well, that and the hair.
Today’s post tackles the litter box itself. But if you are looking for ideas on where to put the litter box in the RV, this article is one of the most visited on the site. Clearly, finding a place for a litter box in an RV is a big challenge.
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t give Kitty’s litter box much thought until right before I got on the road. I didn’t think there were options so I assumed I’d be forever sweeping up tiny litter pebbles. Just like I did in sticks-and-bricks life.
A Side Story
What always baffled and amazed me was how far those litter grains could travel. Outside of her box I had a plastic grate-like thing that was supposed to help get the litter off her paws. After that I had a little throw rug to capture what the grate thing didn’t.
And still, I would find litter in my house’s entryway, 10 feet from her litter box that I kept in the laundry room. I would find it upstairs near her food dish. Sometimes, I’d even find a grain or two in my bed.
Baffled and amazed.
For the longest time, I thought tons of grains stayed stuck to her feet because I’d find clumps of it at the bottom of the water bowl I kept just outside the laundry room. She loves to bat at water. Since the water bowl was so close, I just figured she was using the litter box then playing in the water bowl.
It took me a long time (years) to finally realize the true source of the litter at the bottom of the water bowl. Any guesses? If you have a dog and a cat, you might know the answer.
Solstice frequently went treasure diving in Kitty’s litter box which meant her nose got covered with the blue and gray litter grains. And, I guess, kitty poop and litter must be salty which requires a long drink of water after consuming. So, after Solstice’s snack (Kitty Roca, as a friend calls it), she’d put her nose and mouth in the water bowl. Not only did it satisfy her thirsty, it washed away the evidence of her bad behavior.
But I digress.
Purina Tidy Cat BREEZE Litter Box System
Like I said, I hadn’t given Kitty’s litter box a thought other than knowing I’d be picking up grains for the foreseeable future. Then I came across a blog post from another full-time RVer about this litter box system. (Sorry, I can’t remember the blogger or I’d give him credit.)
I was so impressed with the system as he described it that I decided to purchase the Purina Tidy Cat BREEZE Litter System.
Life was crazy in the weeks leading up to leaving Alaska to begin RV life. One of the consequences was that I didn’t even open the BREEZE box until the night before we left. The instructions explained how to transition your cat from a more traditional kitty litter box to the BREEZE system over a few weeks.
Oops, should’ve read that sooner.
In case you are a better cat mom than me, here’s a PDF from Tidy Cat BREEZE on how to make the transition smooth.
There was no more time. And I didn’t have room to bring two litter boxes. So, like learning to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool, that’s how Kitty was going to have to transition into the new system.
Lucky for me, she did, in the van on way down the Alaska Highway.
Why Is It Different?
There are three components to the BREEZE system: the plastic litter box, the pellets and the pee pads. Let’s start with the box itself.
The plastic litter box comes in four pieces. First, there is the base. It is basically the equivalent of the traditional litter box, a large rectangle tub. But this base has a place for a tray at the bottom. The tray, the second piece, is where the pee pads go. Third, a relatively flat piece with slits sits across the base. This flat piece serves as the floor of the litter box. The thin slits are so the urine drains down onto the pee pads. Finally, there is a top piece that snaps onto the base so it’s kind of like a sandwich with the base and top as the bread, while the piece with the slits is the cheese in between. The top piece creates the side walls. It has a slight lip that curves inward to help the pellets stay in the box.
The system also comes with a scooper.
Here’s a 30-second video from Tidy Cat BREEZE that shows you all the pieces and parts, and how the system works. Click HERE.
When I purchased mine in 2017, there was only one system option. Now, I see they offer a second option. The top piece is also available “hooded.” This means the floor of the box is completely covered and the cat uses the opening at the front to go in and out. The hooded system is a couple dollars more than the non-hooded.
After you assemble the litter box, it’s time to prepare it for use. Place a pee pad on the tray, slide it in the base. Dump the bag of pellets onto the litter box floor. And it’s ready for use. Super easy.
How Does It Work?
The litter system works exactly the same way as a kitty box filled with litter. But instead of litter creating urine clumps, the urine goes through the pellets and drains through the slits in the bottom of the floor. When the cat defecates, it clings to the pellets which helps dry it out.
When you purchase the litter system, it comes with everything I described above. In other words, everything to get you started. But the pellets and the pee pads are an ongoing expense as they need regularly replaced. I’ve never done a cost analysis on the ongoing expenses of this system vs buying traditional litter. It might be a little more, but I think it’s worth it.
The instructions say the pellets should be changed monthly and the pee pads weekly. You’ll have to monitor your cat to get on a schedule for changing both. What works for me is changing out the pellets every three months and the pads every four or five days.
The reason you change the pellets is they are a bit absorbent and, over time, they hold the urine smell. Now if you were changing them out once a month, you might never notice a smell. But since I go through so many pads, I save money by changing the pellets less frequently.
The pee pads, for the most part, don’t smell. However, I have found on the last day or, especially, if I’m overdue for changing the pad, I will start to smell urine. Basically, the pad gets too full.
Tips for the Kitty Litter System
If you are budget conscious, buy the pee pads in bulk. I purchase them in the box of 40 or 60. However, I recently tried Amazon Basics brand of pee pads. I admit I was nervous they wouldn’t be as good. But, it turns out, they are better. So, I strongly recommended them instead of the Purina BREEZE brand. Firstly, they cost about 40% less. Secondly, they are thicker so you can get an extra day or two. Over time, that’s a significant savings.
Another tip is to flip the pad around mid-use. I assume my cat is like other cats. She always pees at the back of the box. As a result, the back of the pee pad fills, while the front remains dry. By pulling the tray out, turning it around and putting it in again, the urine is more evenly distributed on the pad. The added bonus to this method is it helps you monitor how fast the pad is filling and lessens the chance of it getting too full and ending up with a mess.
Because of my small space, if I’m in the trailer when she defecates, I scoop the poop right away. The drying effect of the pellets isn’t instant so smell lingers. I use dog poop bags. They are a perfect size. Then I toss the bag outside my trailer and the next time I do a trash run (which is every couple days) I add the bags to the garbage.
If you have a dog who likes to go diving for Kitty Roca then you have another reason to get it scooped up immediately. Kitty litter or pellets, Solstice was never dissuaded from eating that poop. So gross.
Like the pads, you save money on pellets by purchasing in bulk. Here is a link to a 3-pack. But, honestly, if you want the best deal, buy the pellets at Walmart. So far, I’ve always found a 3.5 pound bag for $9 or less and that beats buying in bulk from Amazon by $3 a bag.
Keep a pee pad in your shower caddy. I know it sounds weird. But a fantastic use for them is as a mini bath mat when a campground bath house has a gross floor. Here’s the post on using a campground bath house. After you scrub yourself clean, the last thing you want to do is step on to a dirty floor to dry off. Thus, a pee pad is the perfect solution.
They aren’t big, but you’ll have enough room for both feet while you dry off. Then you can slip your feet into your bath shoes and you never have to touch the gross floor with your clean feet.
Thanks to reader, Paula, who gave me this idea. She doesn’t have a cat but does the same with the pee pads she keeps in her rig for her dog.
Would love to hear solutions you have for dealing with a cat litter box, at home or on the road. If you’ve ever tried the BREEZE system, what are your thoughts on how it works. Do you love it as much as I do?
Links to Referenced SSL Blog Posts Above:
- But Where Do You Put a Kitty Litter Box in an RV?
- Road Cat: Introducing Kitty (my cat with the worse name ever)
- Road Dog: Introducing Solstice
- Tips for Using a Campground Bathhouse
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