Talk to a cat owner, and you'll hear all about the joys of Miss Tinkytoes' charming company, her tricks with string, her iPad art creations, and her intelligence. You won't likely hear about the stinky side of cat ownership: the litter box.
The American Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals estimates that the average cat uses $165 worth of cat litter in a year. That makes for a whole lot of used cat litter in landfills.
EnviroKats is tackling a couple of environmental issues at once by recycling old tires into reusable cat litter. The system looks like a modded Rubbermaid bin filled with black nuggets of shredded tread.
The company says you will never have to replace the litter, if you follow the cleaning instructions. Let's savor that for a moment. No more hauling of 30-pound boxes of litter. It's the stuff dreams are made of, but there is a catch common to all litter solutions.
EnviroKats still has to be cleaned. Scoop out the solids, and periodically rinse the litter off with water and drain the box through the drain hole. Cat urine isn't the sort of thing you're going to want to rinse off into your garden, so you'll probably want to use your toilet. You may or may not find that prospect appealing.
A single-box EnviroKats system runs $50, with an extra $20 to ship it. The deluxe two-box system is $70, with $25 shipping on top.
Each system includes 18 pounds of rubber litter. That's a lot of litter in a box. If your cat is a known slob, you might want to rig up a lid like you'll find on this litter box.
Innovations in cat litter are always welcome. I'm still waiting for a genetically modified cat that can do household chores and clean up after itself. I'm looking at you, South Korean scientists.