this thing's incredible

The Modkat Is the World’s Best (Looking) Litter Box

I adopted my two cats from a swindler who lied to me about one of them being spayed and didn’t inform me that they both had an infection that gave them explosive diarrhea (an infection that eventually went away, but still). That said, he gave me a great deal on a Modkat litter box, and I’m glad he did. This sleek feline accessory keeps litter pellets from escaping onto your floor, comes with a detachable scoop brush, and doubles as a tiny platform for your kitty to chill out on top of. And I can say from experience that it’s surprisingly easy to scrub diarrhea off its walls!

What truly sets it apart, however, is how well it works as a piece of small furniture. Unlike the garish, airplane-hangar-esque litter boxes that occupy the popular imagination, a Modkat box is a stylish, round-edged cube that looks more like a nifty, small table than a cat-waste container. It’s sort of like a squat, large Amazon Echo, in a way, right down to the perforated top. However, the top of a Modkat isn’t a speaker; it’s an easy-to-use, removable surface that your cat hops onto to begin its business. Then it slips down through a larger hole on the aforementioned top and gets to work.

Not to get too personal, but the Modkat’s usefulness for hygiene extends beyond your cat and right up to the owner, if you use it right. I’m a bath enthusiast, and I keep my Modkat in the bathroom, right near the tub. That way, when I’m soaking in my beloved suds, I can put my laptop or tablet on the top of this delightful box and guffaw at some old 30 Rock episodes while I rid myself of the day’s filth. My bathroom is now a happier, better-looking place for all the species in my household.

Modkat Litter Box Kit

“The only scratching post any cat I’ve ever had used — and seemed to really like to scratch and sleep on — is the cardboard one that looks like the symbol for infinity, the PetFusion Cat Scratcher Lounge. It’s great because it’s cool-looking and you can flip it over when your cat annihilates one side. They can also play in the holes and bop each other in the face through them. Always fun to watch.” — Kristin Perrotta, avowed cat lady. Read more about the best gifts for cats.

“My cat, like most cats, is not hugely interested in the things I want her to be interested in: her food, her toys, not throwing up on the floor, etc. We’ve probably spent nearly $100 over the last three years on tasteful, catnip-filled, feathered, animal-friendly, organic, wicker toys, most of which she ignores. But these springs — cheap, hideous, probably dangerous in some unpredictable way — she loves these springs. She spends hours hunting them around the house; sometimes I’ll wake up early in the morning and hear the sound of one scattering across the wood floor as she gallops behind it. I wish she liked something that didn’t, when left lying around, make my house look like an abandoned toy factory. But you don’t have a cat because you want your apartment to be tasteful. You have a cat because you’re a masochist.” — Max Read, editor, Select All. Read more cat-related editors’ picks here.

“It’s important to me that my apartment doesn’t smell like a cat lady’s apartment, even though — guess what? — it’s a cat lady’s apartment. This stuff is pretty much odorless, and it’s just white-meat chicken. Sometimes, when I’m eating chicken soup, my cat will harangue me and I can’t blame him, because it looks like I’m eating his food with broth around it.” — Julie Klausner, comedian. Read more about things she can’t live without here.

“The FURminator sounds simple, and it is: a metal comb, whose teeth are long enough that they can reach through your pet’s topcoat to any fur trapped or matted beneath it, attached to a plastic handle with a rubber grip. There is also a little button you can push to release the fur that collects in the comb. This simplicity (and the $30-plus price tag) makes people suspicious: Google “FURminator,” and you’ll find people on pet message boards asking, “Is it worth it?” The answer is almost always a resounding yes. Often, these yeses are accompanied by photographs of the truly astonishingly enormous heaps of fur these owners have dredged off their cats, which are often larger than the cats themselves, who also appear in the pictures, looking smooth and glossy and smug. The benefits are more than fur deep, though, and include preventing hair balls — if you remove your cat’s excess fur with a FURminator, he doesn’t have to do it himself with his tongue.” — Elizabeth Gumport, writer. Read more about the FURminator here.

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The Modkat Is the World’s Best (Looking) Litter Box