We’ve been making a conscious effort to move toward stainless steel products instead of plastic here at the SPCA, and with the goal of the Happy Cat Auction being to raise enough money to finish replacing our litter pans and scoops with stainless steel, now seems like a good time to explain WHY we want to make this transition.
One look at stainless steel litter boxes and you can see they cost quite a bit more than their plastic counterparts, but they are also built to last. Stainless steel doesn’t scratch up and wear out like plastic does, and – bonus points – because they don’t need to be replaced frequently, they’re eco-friendly! Plus plastic is just terrible for the environment.
Plastic is also terrible at something else: cleaning up. It is porous and can trap and hold viruses and bacteria whereas steel does not. We always use a bleach solution on our litter boxes and scoops after use, but it just can’t kill all the yuckies when there are little scratches and grooves in the plastic coating, something that occurs naturally with wear and tear. When bleach hits stainless steel, we can rest assured that it’s actually killing the bacteria and that they don’t have anywhere to hide.
Cleaner boxes means healthier cats, as we reduce the risk of passing infectious viruses through the litter boxes. It also has another perk: steel is SO MUCH easier to clean so it saves time, meaning volunteers and staff can spend less time scraping poo since it slides off the steel and more time with the animals. We can hear the volunteers cheering already!
A final reason to justify the switch is that, again, because steel isn’t porous it doesn’t hold onto smells like plastic, which makes the shelter a healthier and happier place for everyone. Cats themselves greatly appreciate this; not only do they hate stinks, but some just don’t like the smell of other cats, so knowing their box was used by someone else in the distant past just adds to their stress. Having a box that is totally clean and holds no old smells will make the cats feel better about their spaces, and that means fewer potty misses.
Overall, stainless steel is more of an investment upfront but its longevity and health perks, not to mention how much easier it is on the nose, makes it a worthwhile expense. We cannot wait to switch to using stainless steel completely at the shelter and appreciate every effort and donation that helps us make that switch. And yes, in case you didn’t know about the perks of stainless steel litter boxes before, now you do and can even use them in your own home!
And pssst, seriously, the goal of the Happy Cat Auction really is to raise money toward buying stainless steel litter pans and scoops, so if you feel motivated to help out while having some fun shopping, come join us before the auction closes on Sunday at 10pm!