Cat Litter Tracking

A client family, a retired engineer and his retired schoolteacher wife, has taken an engineer’s scientific approach to a problem that has bugged him for a long time. Their cats (the current one, Sedona, and their previous one, Sofa) caused problems tracking cat litter onto the cars. With unlimited access to the attached garage in their home, they liked to get on the cars parked therein.

Engineer Bob titled this "Nobody knows how to relax like a cat."
Engineer Bob titled this "Nobody knows how to relax like a cat."

His first approach was to switch from a fine, clumping litter to a coarse, non-clumping litter. That helped, but didn’t totally resolve the problem, either.

His next move was to switch to a silica-gel litter, but his engineer mind made him suspect it might not be good for the cars’ finishes. He asked me what I thought. Between being a veterinarian and a former auto mechanic, it was a reasonable step, but I’ve never done any body work ( as you could tell by the clunkers I drive), so I didn’t have any insight to help with.

Smartly, Engineer Bob turned to a business owned by another of our clients, Dauro’s Collision Center. There he got the answer he sought. Patriarch Dennis Dauro said that they don’t allow any silica-containing products into their shop. Regardless of the amount of cleaning, sanding and solvent application, there is still a high risk that paint will not adhere where silica has been on an automobile.

So, silica-gel cat litter was out.

Not one to give up, Engineer Bob kept working. One day he picked up the spray version of Arm and Hammer’s Litter Box deodorizer. They had consistently used the powder version previously, and were happy with it.

Immediately they began to notice fewer tracks on the cars! It turned out to be the deodorizing powder that was being tracked, and the spray form of the same product worked better and didn’t track on the cars!

Problem solved!

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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