J.B. asks from Farmington, NM on October 03, 2008
H.G. answers from Phoenix on October 07, 2008
Haven't read all of the replies, so I don't know if this is a repeat. We use cedar shavings instead of regular litter - I think it's actually sold as bedding for hamsters and such. It's better for the environment and we just dump it in the garbage can once a week and refill.
B.K. answers from Phoenix on October 04, 2008
Put the cat litter up high where she can't reach it! The cat(s) can climb, the 2 year-old (presumably) can't!!
D.W. answers from Phoenix on October 04, 2008
They could make her own indoor sand box in an under-bed storage tote as an alternative. It probably will not even take too much sand to make her happy, so no need to fill it to the rim and have it spill over all the time for mom to sweep after.
And then of course, set expectations that the litter box is off limits if they can not prevent access in other ways. Time out works for 2 year olds, especially if there is an alternative that is okay.
A.V. answers from Phoenix on October 04, 2008
Children are very curious creatures:) This liitle 2 yr old is just enjoying what happens when water is poured on the litter, feeling the textures, and like you said - just having fun.
But, playing with kitty litter isn't sanitary or safe is it?
Is your cousin able to get a small sandbox for her daughter and let her play with it outside? Or even set up a messy time area in the kitchen? Get a cheap vinyl tablecloth, spread it on the floor, then get some plastic bowls/containers and spoons and put dried beans, or flour, or rice, in a large bowl - and just let her play. Kids love dumping and scooping and squishing:) If she is still putting things in her mouth, mom will have to keep an eye on her..or sometimes a bean will go in the ear or nose! Supervision is pretty key in this type of experience. It's messy, but there is alot of learning going on with this type of messy play. If mom isn't able to or doesn't want to do this type of messy play in the home....getting daughter to the park with a shovel and pail and let her go in the sand will probably put her in heaven! It's also still warm enough for some fun water play outside...just give her some water in a few large bowls with some cups and see how happy she is with that;).
Mom can say "NO" to the kitty litter all she wants, but she needs to say "YES" to something else, otherwise her daughter will just want to keep playing with whatever it is she can't play with unless she's redirected to something more appropriate and just as fun.
Sometimes we need to just say a big firm "NO" to our children because of immediate danger. Most other times, our children will benefit when we take just another moment to explain to them why we are saying no. "This is for our cat, it is where he goes potty. It is not for you to play with. You may play with _____." Then actually walk child to another activity in another part of the house.
Much good energy for happy and Messy playtime:)
mom of 4, Birth and Parenting Mentor
N.W. answers from Phoenix on October 03, 2008
We have our cat box in the laundry room but we have put a catdoor in the door for access maybe you can try that
L.S. answers from Kansas City on October 03, 2008
I just saw a photo in Handyman magazine this month of a make-shift cat litter box that might detour her. They took a big Rubbermaid box with a lid on it - This one was the purple one made out of the semi-flexible material. Then they cut a hole out of the front big enough for the cat to go into. The tight lid on the top would be too difficult for the 2 year old to pull off and a small hole in the front might be too difficult for her to pour something into. Good luck!
C.M. answers from Phoenix on October 05, 2008
just move the litter box, or close the door, don't forget that cats can climb put it up higher then the child, don't forget out of sight out of mind.
K.H. answers from Albuquerque on October 04, 2008
1. You have to divert her attention toward something she CAN/SHOULD play with.
2. If possible, the litter box needs to be placed out of her view/reach.
...my mother in law actually had a kitty door installed into one of her closet doors. The little box belonged in there.
I've also seen cabinets converted into "kitty outhouses" and the little pan is placed inside. These alternatives make it difficult for anyone other than the cat to enter into the litter.
S.C. answers from Phoenix on October 04, 2008
Hi, Tell your cousin to get a cat litter box that has a lid on it. They look almost like a plastic pet carrier but are in fact a litter box in the bottom and a large domed like top that clips on and off for cleaning. Get the one that has the cat door in it and the filters in the top as they also stop the smell. When the cats are used to an open box you have to sometimes shove them in there few times at first so they know where it all is. Cat faeces is extremely dangerous to handle so to have a two year old playing in the cat box is asking for trouble. Your cousin also needs to put the litter tray somewhere accessible for the cat but not for the two year old.
I really hope that i am not being rude or treading on any toes here, but if your cousin is not watching what her two year old is doing then the two year old could get into a lot worse stuff. You as a Mum know how you have to have eyes in the back of your head whe they are that age.
Maybe your cousin could get her little girl one of those tables that has a sand tray in it that she can play and put water in it and also they have a lid that you can put on after she had finished playing. That also stops the cat going in the little girls sandbox too.
K.R. answers from Phoenix on October 04, 2008
You can buy a Sand & Water table for her to play with. Then she can do all those things she seems to love where it is safe and sanitary.