But we have one issue: they poop in the house and there's nothing we can do about that, given that I-5 thunders past our house and several neighbors' cats have met their end on the freeway.
Over the last few years we've tried several cat litter solutions, and none of them has been ideal.
Traditional cat litter. Works fine if you like to scoop it out several times a day. We don't really have a great place to put it. For a while I used the World's Best Cat Litter which did work great - you could get rid of clumps down the toilet as soon as they appeared - but it was so expensive that frankly, my dears, our girls may as well have been pooping on shredded dollar bills.
Littermaid: Enter the Littermaid, automated solution 1, promptly christened the Crap-O-Matic. Here's how it works: The cat enters the litterbox, activating a little sensor, does its business, and leave. Twenty minutes later, the cleaning mechanism sweeps across the top of the litter, pushing litter clumps and other assorted nastinesses into the little plastic box. When the box is full (which doesn't take long), you slap a lid on it and drop the sealed box into the trash. Advantages: it cleans itself! Kind of. Disadvantages: Noisy. Because the litter clumps on contact with urine, the box fills up incredibly fast, and can be kind of gross to take out. Empying the litter tray is awkward and clumsy. However, the cats did take to it very well, and without incident.
Purrforma: Christ, I hated the Purrforma. Crap-O-Matic II came about because the Littermaid (our second) died, and PetCo didn't have a replacement. Plus, you know, it was on special. It lasted about a month and a half. And it is not cheap. Here's how it differs from the Littermaid: instead of using little plastic containers, clumps are swept into specially designed plastic bags. These plastic bags, while cheaper than the Littermaid boxes, are a pain in the butt to fit. The litter tray comes with clear plastic liner trays, which in theory make it much simpler to clean the box. In practice, the liner trays were never in stock in our local pet store, and Amazon had only the wrong size in stock. I hated the Purrforma.
Enter Scoopfree. O Scoopfree, self-cleaning catlitter box of my heart! How I sing your praises! I love how you make hardly any noise. I love how replacing the catlitter is incredibly simple (I just raise the mechanism and slide one of the new cartridges under). I adore the fact that the cat litter cartridges are easy to store and I never have to handle the unbelievably gross output of two very cute cats. I love how the cats don't track litter through the house (though this is also a result of the Tall Fella putting a barricade of scratchers around the box itself). And most of all: with two cats, we touch the litter box at the very most every two weeks - with no smell at all! This is because it uses crystals rather than clumping litter so that nasty odors are absorbed, leaving harmless and unscented residues to evaporate.
Negatives. Why, apart from the alarming tendency to make you a cat litter evangelist, none! Not quite true. The cartridges are almost $15 each, so it costs close to $30 a month. But that $30 lets us get away with ignoring the cat litter issue all month, with maybe 5 minutes every two weeks spent changing cartridges. Your apartment not spelling of cat poop? Priceless.