Monthly Archives: December 2017

5 Innovative Litter Box Solutions

Having a cat is great, well, at least most of the time. It’s a good thing that cats are so darn cute, particularly as kittens. When you take home a kitten or cat, you’re probably not thinking about the endless chores that are ahead of you. Few, if any, household tasks are quite as unpleasant as changing a litter box.


Over the years, countless hucksters have promised to make life easier for weary cat owners but they often fail to deliver. Unfortunately, litter boxes technology and concepts have consistently failed to deliver the goods and provide cat owners with a trouble-free litter box solution.


An innovative litter box solution is one that achieves two goals: first, it is easy-to-use and second, it offers improved sanitation. While there may not yet be the perfect answer to the collect woes of cat owners, there are some good options that can make the universally dreaded job of cleaning a little box just a little easier.


Here are some options to think about:


Solution #1 – A Crowdfunded Solution

Luuup Litter Box is the most successful pet product in the history of crowdfunding raising over $1 million dollars. No doubt the Luump Litter Box can be called innovative and over 14,000 backers on Kickstarter agreed. The product features three slotted trays that allow litter to fall through to the next tray, but the top trays collects the dirty litter.


Rotate the tray and the Luump Litter Box forms a solid surface. The video on the Kickstarter page makes the entire process rather straightforward. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive litter box solution, the Luump is a pretty good place to begin that search. The Luump is definitely superior to any old-fashion litter box on the market.


Solution #2 – A LitterBox that Works Like a Toilet

Another, fancier and more expensive litter box option for cat, and small dog owners the company claims, is the cleverly named Catolet.


The Catolet hooks directly into your homes cold water supply and functions essentially as a real toilet, albeit one specifically designed for cats. Most of the time no plumber is required to install the Catolet. Once installed the Catolet, which features a conveyor belt like system, removes waste automatically and cleans the conveyor belt. Yes, this is a conveyor belt for cat waste, and readies itself for the next exciting use.


By using a digital sensor, the Catolet knows when your cat has taken a litter box trip and then waits until the cat is well out of the way before beginning the safe flushing process. The litter is flushed down the sewer. This, of course, is awesome just so long as you don’t have any sewer problems. There is even a leakage detection systems that will send an alert to your smart phone, so you can synch up your technology with your potential litter box problems. If you feel as though your kitty needs a little extra privacy a privacy “shelter” is also available.


With the Catolet, you will definitely feel as though your cat has moved into the 21st Century. Learn more about the Catolet by visiting their website.


Solution #3 – A Litter Reducer

ModKat definitely takes a more low-tech approach than Catolet, but it is effective box for dramatically reducing cat box litter. ModKat takes the concept of having your cat jump into a box with a lid on it to a whole new, and pretty rewarding level. Even a well-behaved cat with perfect litter box manners will track litter onto the floor.


The ModKat has won awards due to both its design and looks. The ModKat features a liner and a lid that locks. This combination makes it very easy to clean. Additionally, the design prevents leaks and thanks to the liners is pretty easy to clean. Three litter tray liners cost around $40 dollars, and the Modkat Litter Box itself costing about $100. There are several colors available and the locking lid is actually dog proof. (If you’ve ever lived with both a dog and a cat, you already know this is a much bigger deal than it sounds!)


Solution #4 – A Indoor/Outdoor Bathroom

In terms of innovative litter box ideas on the horizon, it is tough to beat Katio. Katio is “a litter box that goes in your window, just like an A/C unit.” Currently in the prototype stage, Katio has to win marks for its originality. The Katio is literally hang off the side of your house like an air conditioning unit.


When the Katio hits the market, it will cost about $300, which seems more than reasonable for what it offers. As long as the Katio is 100% secure, doesn’t leak, won’t blow litter into your house and can withstand lots of rain and snow, the product could be a true winner. Imagine having your litter box on the outside of your house. Maybe you’ll opt for getting your cat its own cat bathroom patio.


Solution #5 – The DIY Approach

Finally, if you are the adventurous sort, you can always try to potty-train your cat. This approach isn’t for the faint of heart or for those lacking in patience, but this approach is undoubtedly an innovative one. Many people have successfully achieved this goal, particularly those with very smart kitties.


There are many cat potty training kits on the market, such as the CitiKitty, which if used successfully means never having to empty a litter box again. If you are willing to share a toilet with your cat, or if you have a half-bath that doesn’t get used too often, then potty training your cat might be an option for you.


Inventors realize that dealing with litter boxes are pretty unpleasant. Luckily there are many more options than in past years. If you’ve had enough with empty litter and litter making its way onto your floors, then check out the options highlighted in this article. You and your cat will be glad you did! Hopefully the end result will be that you forget about your cat’s bathroom needs and get back to the more rewarding parts of being a cat owner.

Posted by December 21, 2017 at 3:25 PM under Home Living Tips
What Do You Really Know About Your Furniture?

So, you have attractive furniture, and it is soft and comfortable. But what lies below the surface? The bottom line is that couches and chairs can be stuffed with almost anything. Unfortunately, usually, soft furniture is stuffed with the cheapest material possible, which typically means cheap chemical based foam or stuffing that has been impregnated with a variety of chemicals.


Is Comfort Really Everything?


If your couch is comfortable, that comfort may come at a high price in the form of exposure to various chemicals that have been linked to cancer, respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, learning disabilities in children, fertility problems and more. Of course, it is true that chemicals, including petroleum based chemicals, are everywhere, but that only means that one should be extra vigilant about reducing exposure whenever possible.

While it is true that there is no way to completely eliminate chemical exposure, it is also true that there are many steps that you can take to reduce your overall exposure and, in the process, boost your odds of maintaining or improving your health. Let’s take a closer look at the chemicals found in non-wood furniture and what you as a consumer can realistically do to avoid those chemicals.


As it turns out, simple choices can have a big impact on both your health and the environment. What you choose to purchase, and not purchase, has big ramifications in terms of what products will and will not be produced. When you say “no” to a dangerous or potentially toxic product, such as furniture, you are sending a powerful message to manufacturers around the globe.


Understanding Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde is one of the most common chemicals found in non-wood furniture. Formaldehyde (yes, the same chemical used to embalm bodies!) degasses from many kinds of furniture, from chairs and couches to even tables and dressers. Formaldehyde can degas from furniture not for months, but rather shockingly for years. Sofas, chairs and even bedding can constantly release formaldehyde, which has clearly been linked to cancer, into your air for years.

Considering the amount of time that most of us spend indoor around our furniture this is a huge problem. So, what should you do?


The clearest way to avoid formaldehyde exposure is to simply not buy foam or stuffed furniture unless it is made from safe materials. Before you buy, do your research.


Choosing wood furniture is a great way to improve your indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to formaldehyde. Another step is to invest in air cleaning plants. Air cleaning plants, such Boston ferns, snake plants and peace lilies, are all excellent at cleaning and protecting the air that you and your family breathe each and every day. These plants are great whether regardless of whether or not you already have foam based furniture.


Snake plants, in particular, are remarkably robust and do a great job with low levels of care and light. Many have stated that snake plants are practically indestructible, which, of course, isn’t true. But these tough little plants are a must if you are worried about your indoor air quality. Snake plants are particularly good at breaking down harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde.


Understanding Flame Retardant Chemicals


When it comes to dangerous chemicals found in non-wood furniture few are more concerning than flame retardant chemicals. Flame retardant chemicals are put into everything from furniture to bedding, baby products and even electronics. In fact, flame retardant chemicals are a fixture in electronic products, and many fear that they are being overused.

In recent years there has been a push to do away with laws that require furniture manufacturers to put flame retardant chemicals into furniture. However, the lobbies that benefit from the sale of flame retardant chemicals are in no rush to say goodbye to what has been a remarkably profitable and consistent cash cow.


Research into flame retardant chemicals in furniture has yielded two findings: first, flame retardant chemicals are usually of minimal value and secondly, the chemicals used can cause cancer and other diseases.


Many experts have stated that flame retardant chemicals don’t actually stop fires from spreading. Other studies have pointed to the fact that some flame retardants work to mimic estrogen which can lead to a range of health problems including increased weight, hormone disruption and learning delays in children.


However, one fact is certain, furniture containing flame retardant chemicals will serve to produce smoke that is more toxic than it would otherwise be, potentially endangering both occupants as well as fire fighters and first responders.


Taking Steps To Protect Your Home


There are many steps you can take if you are concerned about the chemicals in your furniture. First, you can replace your furniture with as much wood furniture as possible. Or look for furniture that is specifically designed to be low VOC , flame retardant free, and eco-friendly. For most people, this will take time, as furniture expenses tend to be quite expensive, especially when you’re buying quality furniture.

Secondly, don’t assume that your furniture that looks like wood furniture actually is wood. Many consumers think they are buying wood furniture only to discover that they are buying MDF wood products which are essentially a mixture of sawdust, glues and chemicals. Such furniture is not real wood furniture. As a result, it will degas for years and it won’t last for too long either. This is not what you want.


Other steps can be taken to improve your indoor air quality such as buying air cleaning plants and even air purifiers; however, it is important to note that air quality isn’t the only problem with non-wood furniture. The harmful chemicals found in the majority of non-wood furniture also escapes into the environment where it mixes with dust and can be inhaled or most dangerously of all consumed by small children. The safest way to deal with non-wood furniture is to simply avoid having it in your house in the first place.

Posted by December 04, 2017 at 5:18 PM under Environment Home Living Tips