How To Build An Outdoor Cat Litter Box
Three Reasons A Cat Owner Needs An Outdoor Litter Box!
Have you ever had a Eureka moment that produced not one great idea but twins? That is what happened to me when I was pumping off oil from my fuel truck at work. The top of the oil tank is basically a square cement box and with a cut off valve you can turn to keep the oil from escaping if the tank gets full. Inside the box is covered with a three inch layer of Oil-Dri. My Eureka moment happened when I noticed some kitty leavings in the box. So I checked the oil tank in front of the building and the same thing there. It occurred to me that these feral (wild) cats that roam the premises subsisting on mainly rodents, Have many hundreds of acres to do their business but given a choice they prefer to use a litter box! So it occurred to me I could use this natural urge with my own three cats at home! So two ideas were born, build an outdoor litter box and use Oil-Dri. After doing some research I came to the conclusion that they're three very good reasons to build an outdoor litter box!
The First Reason
The first reason you need an outdoor litter box is that it takes pressure off of your indoor litter box. This is especially important when you have multiple cats. A dominant cat can keep the others from using a box but is hard for them to guard two litter boxes. By having an outdoor litter box you keep some or all of the odor and mess outside! It is healthier for your cat to be outside kicking up silica dust than inside in a confined area.
The Second Reason
The second reason you need an outdoor litter box, is it reinforces the litter box use indoors! Cats that become used to using the outdoors exclusively, without a box, don't know that they need a litter box indoors, and may forget where it is! This becomes very important when an outdoor cat is left indoors, with 3-4 days rations of food & water, while you head out of town! If however, the cat always uses a litter box, then this shouldn't be a problem. Another positive for having an outdoor litter box, is it consolidates the waste to one area of the yard, even though cats will naturally try to scatter their leavings, often times the is ground is too hard! This leaves their waste to be possibly eaten by the family dog ...Yuk!
The Third Reason
The third reason is because you are using Oil-Dri instead of kitty litter, and they are not using the indoor litter box as much, you should be saving money! A 33lb bag at Auto Zone is only $5.99. It can be purchased cheaper at Wal-mart or Sam's club. Oil-Dri is basically non-clumping kitty litter, in fact the company that produces kitty litter under the brands Cat's Pride, and Johnny Cat, also produces Oil-Dri. It can be dustier, so be careful to lay it down instead of pouring it out! Oil-Dri can be mixed with a clumping kitty litter like Scoop Away for your indoor litter box. If however, you chose not to use Oil-drI, you can still save over 40% on kitty litter, by buying the biggest bag ( 30lb+) at Wal-mart.
How To Build The Outdoor Litterbox
You will need 2-8ft 2x4s
8-3in nails or screws
30-1-1/2 finish nails
Claw hammer & Sledge hammer
Skill saw or hand saw
Tape measurer or yardstick
Find a spot that is away from your house, but that you know your cat will use. If you see cat leavings that is more concentrated than other areas, this is most likely your cat's favorlte spot! Construct a box by cutting the 8ft. 2x4s in half and then hammer or screw in 2 nails or screws in each corner. Then place the box on the ground and dig the ground under & around the box until only about an inch sticks out all around. Then take the excess dirt and back fill around the outside of the box. Cut the lattice to the length of the front of the box.Next cut the 2x2 s to 36 inches long and nail with 1 1/2 in finish to the sides, and then cut a 2x2 to fit across the top and nail to the lattice with 11/2 in finishing nails. Next use the shovel to bury the legs of the lattice about 6 inches. Then place 30lbs of Oil-Dri in the box and level out, and there you have it the outdoor litter box!