An apparatus for animal litter called a Cat Litter Pod. This apparatus
features a bottom built-in liner, impervious to liquids; a top gauze-like,
cheesecloth material to cover the litter granules; a way to join
the top and bottom to provide an encasement space; and absorbent
granules of various litter material inside the encasement. This
litter pod provides convenience and portability to necessary sanitation
devices for cats that are kept inside. Configured as a low profile
and disposable this apparatus is particularly important to older
or infirm cats that have problems with limited mobility.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent
1. An animal litter apparatus, comprising: (a) a bottom layer of
material impervious to liquids such as water and cat urine; (b)
a top layer of interwoven, liquid-permeable material contiguous
to the bottom layer along the entire perimeter of the top layer;
and, (c) a means to securely attach the bottom layer to the top
layer along the contiguous perimeters of the top layer and the bottom
layer whereby an encasement is formed suitable for holding various
amounts of absorbent material.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the interweave of
the top layer is configured in a way to contain cat litter granules.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the top layer material
is a cheesecloth.
4. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the top layer material
is a nylon mesh-like material.
5. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material is a composite material.
6. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material is a type plastic.
7. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material is a polyethylene.
8. The apparatus according to claim 7 wherein the polyethylene
material is approximately eight tenths mil in thickness.
9. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material is a polypropylene.
10. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material is a polycarbonate.
11. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the bottom layer
material with a thermoplastic resin.
12. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means to attach
is an adhesive.
13. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means to attach
is by way of a heat sealing process.
14. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means to attach
is a double-sided connection tape.
15. A pet litter apparatus, comprising: (a) a bottom surface of
a liquid-impervious material; (b) a top interwoven surface of a
liquid-permeable material; (c) a means to join the bottom surface
and the top surface contiguously along the respective perimeters
of each surface, (d) forming an encasement holding various amounts
of absorbent litter material.
16. A pet litter apparatus, comprising: (a) a bottom surface of
an eight tenths mil thick polyethylene sheet of plastic film; (b)
a top tightly interwoven surface of a cheese cloth material such
that said weave contains common cat litter granules; (c) a double-sided
cellophane adhesive tape to join the bottom surface and the top
surface contiguously along the respective perimeters of each surface,
(d) forming an encasement holding various amounts of absorbent litter
FIELD OF INVENTION
The present Cat Litter Pod relates to the field of animal litter
devices. Animal litter containers of the type containing loose particulate
material therein, such as so-called "litter boxes" are
well suited for household use by domestic pets, such as cats, to
deposit their excreta therein.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
BACKGROUND--FIELD OF INVENTION
The new Cat Litter Pod described in this specification is an apparatus
that is designed to easily and quickly provide access to a litter
device for pets.
A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed
Cat litter devices have traditionally been focused on combinations
of an impervious liner and an open tray of granules. These were
used in concert with a permanent or disposable container. Disposability
and convenience was often the purpose as is shown below in the teachings
of the prior art. However, most litter devices leave an untidy clean-up
for the pet owner.
Little has been accomplished to eliminate the cumbersome container
or to provide a low profile litter device. This is particularly
important to older or infirm cats that have problems with limited
mobility. The instant apparatus presented here is cat litter "pod".
The litter pod is configured and has features to permit a pet owner
to have a low profile, disposable litter device that is convenient,
clean and has several methods of utilization. Other prior art does
not suggest or disclose the features of the Cat Litter Pod.
B. Prior Art
Animal litter devices have been featured in an increasingly frequent
number of patents since the 1950's. Some devices have attempted
to improve upon litter devices for parts of the problems as stated.
In use, the prior art devices were often untidy and messy to use
as well as limited in use. The new Cat Litter Pod addresses these
limitations and provides a solution to the stated problems.
Examples of prior apparatus for liquid absorption begin with U.S.
Pat. No. 3284273 issued to Prentice (1966). This teaches an absorbent
pad for use as a floor covering to absorb dripped or spilled liquids,
and generally provides spaced-apart upper and lower layers within
which is contained a liquid-retaining material which may be a sheet
material or a granular material such as grains of absorbent clay.
At least the upper layer is made of a liquid-permeable material,
such as felt, so that liquids impinging thereon will pass therethrough
and be absorbed by the intermediate liquid-retaining layer. The
patent discloses that the lower layer may be lined with a liquid
The U.S. Pat. No. 3978818 issued to Heldenbrand (1986) discloses
a litter container containing a body of litter within a container
of waterproof material and enclosed by an outer wrapper which may
be opened to expose the open-top, substantially rectangular container
for use. The U.S. Pat. No. 4173046 issued to Gallagher (1979)
discloses an absorptive and protective underpad for human patients
utilizing a top cushioning layer which is perforated to admit liquids
therethrough and a lower absorbent layer which will permit liquid
flow into the absorbent layer and reduce to a minimum the generation
and release of offensive odors from the absorbent layer.
One difficulty with many of the prior art animal litter devices,
which utilize particulate litter material, is that the deposit of
waste material tends to cause the litter to become foul-smelling
and prompts the replacement of the entire box of litter after only
limited use. To overcome this problem, in lieu of particulate litter
material, U.S. Pat. No. 4250834 issued to Cheselka (1981) teaches
layers of absorbent fabric-like material which may be individually
removed to expose fresh layers beneath.
Another litter device patent is U.S. Pat. No. 4271787 issued
to Wellman (1981). It discloses a plurality of self-contained, disposable
feline litter boxes housed in stacked relation within a container.
Each litter box includes a removable top cover to expose the litter
material contained within respective boxes. As each litter box is
soiled, it may be removed from the container and disposed of, thereby
exposing the next one for use.
Many of these devices usually provide a hard, perforated platform
on which the animal stands. Not only do such devices fail to adequately
accommodate solid waste, but domestic animals such as cats are disinclined
to use such litter boxes as they instinctively desire to cover up
their waste and therefore favor litter boxes containing particulate
material which they can paw to cover the deposited waste.
Other prior art litter box solutions propose various assemblies
of parts including, Sweeney, U.S. Pat. No. 4534315 (1985) which
discloses an assembly wherein nonabsorbent granules are layered
over an absorbent layer. A combination liner bag and litter assembly
is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 4813374 issued to Sides (1989). It
provides for opening the bag and exposing the granules to the felines.
Another patent, issued Yananton, U.S. Pat. No. 4869204 (1989)
discloses a three part assembly consisting of a screen to prevent
tearing, an absorbent pad, and an impermeable plastic lining all
of which is covered by a layer of granular litter. An animal litter
package is taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5488930 issued to Kasbo (1996)
which shows a non-woven web film over granules that is broken open
to expose the granules.
While many additional patents could be cited regarding other variations
of assemblies, none of these prior art solutions address the problems
of either the portability or the scattering of pellitized litter
and/or have not been commercially successful because they are too
complex and costly, and require the maintenance and cleaning of
the various component parts. None of the prior art teaches all the
features and capabilities of the Cat Litter Pod.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This apparatus is a cat litter pod with various components and
features to enhance its use. The components include a bottom built-in
liner, impervious to liquids; a top gauze or cheesecloth-like material
to cover the litter granules; a way to join the top and bottom to
provide an encasement space; and granules of litter material inside
the encasement. The material comprising the top surface of the device
is porous to allow liquids to flow into the litter granules, yet
of the nature (such as "cheese cloth", or the like) to
prevent the litter granules from escaping the encasement space.
This cat litter device, when embodied in the configuration of the
present apparatus, provides a way to absorb liquid, contain the
granules, and provide several other advantages over prior art as
Objects and Advantages
Accordingly, there are several objects and advantages of the Cat
Litter Pod. One advantage of this device over others in the field
is that it prevents build-up of litter on sick or immobile cats.
Unlike other portable devices, this cat litter pod with its top
porous cover prevents the litter material from attaching or adhering
to the pet's fur after it has lain in the box because of its sickness
Further important advantages are related to the covered granules.
The containment provides a pod device that is clean and sanitary.
There is little or no tracking of litter and less dust than many
of the conventional litter designs. In addition, since the granules
are encased and contained, the pet does not "eat" or ingest
the litter. Finally, the covered granules in effect discourage an
infant or toddler from potential sandbox play that many cat owners
have experienced around small children.
In addition to the relative cleanness, the encased device has the
advantage of being used in conjunction with a litter box or pan,
or just laid on a flat surface by itself.
Another advantage is the simple and inexpensive design of the cat
litter pod. It can be made of various common materials that will
be discussed below.
Still another advantage is the versatility of the cat litter pod.
Cats can be very particular to the type of litter that the pet accepts.
The smell and the consistency of one specific litter are not universally
accepted by all cats. This device can be utilized with various common
litter granule materials already on the market today or made available
as new granule materials or the like are developed.
Another important feature is its size. The cat litter pod can be
very thin in depth and have various top and bottom areas. Its size
can be small enough for portability and convenience for travel or
use with one pet. The pod can be large enough for use with multiple
A further advantage is found in its disposability. The device can
be used only once or used multiple times. Then, the inexpensive,
contained granule device may be easily discarded without the normal
"mess" associated with loose granules or broken litter
Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present
apparatus will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and
from the full description of the cat litter pods. For one skilled
in the art of cat litter devices it is readily understood that the
features shown in the examples with this apparatus are readily adapted
to other types of pet litter devices
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS--FIGURES
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute
a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the cat
litter pod that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary
description given above and a detailed description given below serve
to explain the principles of the apparatus. It is understood, however,
that the cat litter pod is not limited to only the precise arrangements
and instrumentalities shown.
FIG. 1 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod.
FIG. 2 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod demonstrating
the two different sides.
FIG. 3 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod demonstrating
the top surface that is porous to liquids.
FIG. 4 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod demonstrating
the impervious to liquids side.
FIG. 5 is a PERSPECTIVE VIEW of the Cat Litter Pod showing its
various parts that make up an embodiment of the apparatus.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged SECTION of the Cat Litter Pod showing the
two sides, their attachment and the cat litter captured in between
the two sides.
FIG. 7 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod demonstrating
the use of the device without a container.
FIG. 8 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod demonstrating
the use of the device with a container or litter box.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged area showing the containment of the cat urine
and other egested materials by the cat litter pod.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS--REFERENCE NUMERALS
The following list refers to the drawings: 21 cat litter pod 22
top surface 23 bottom liner 24 way to connect top and bottom 25
granules 26 flat surface 27 container 28 darkened area of granules
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PERFERRED EMBODIMENT
The new apparatus is a cat litter "pod". The litter pod
is comprised of a bottom built-in liner, impervious to liquids;
a top gauze or cheesecloth-like material to cover the litter granules;
a way to join the top and bottom to provide an encasement space;
and absorbent granules of various litter material inside the encasement.
A person having ordinary skill in the field of this type of apparatus
appreciates the various materials and component parts that may be
used to physically permit this cat litter pod to be produced and
utilized. The improvements over the existing art are providing a
device that: prevents the build-up of litter on sick or immobile
cats; is clean and sanitary; may be used alone or with a container;
is a simple and inexpensive design; is versatile in the type of
absorbent granules used; is thin and can be of various sized areas;
and is disposable.
There is shown in FIGS. 1 9 a complete operative embodiment of
the cat litter pod. The apparatus generally relates to a litter
device for cats. While the present cat litter pod shows an apparatus
that is approximately sixteen to eighteen inches in length, twelve
inches in width and less than one inch in depth as the embodiment
for a cat litter pod, this showing is not meant to limit the intention
of the present device. The same concept applies to other litter
pod devices of varying lengths, widths and depths.
The preferred embodiment of the device is comprised of a few parts
as shown in FIG. 1-9 of the drawings. These parts include, but are
not limited to, a bottom built-in liner 23 impervious to liquids;
a top material 22 to cover the litter granules; a way 24 to join
the top and bottom to provide an encasement space; and absorbent
granules 25 of various litter material inside the encasement.
FIG. 1 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21.
This view delineates the cat litter pod 21 placed on top of a hard,
flat surface such as the top of a cabinet or a floor.
FIG. 2 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21 demonstrating
the two different sides. It shows the two main surfaces of the device.
The top surface 22 and the bottom liner 23 will be described below.
FIG. 3 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21 demonstrating
the top surface 22. The Top surface 22 is a gauze or cheesecloth-like
material used to cover the litter granules 25 (not shown in this
FIG.). The embodiment shown is a cheese cloth with a weave that
has been empirically derived to suit the specific granule material
25. One skilled in the art appreciates that for varying sized granules
25 the actual weave of the top material 22 may vary. However, as
the granule 25 size varies, it is a relatively simple empirical
process to select the weave "tightness or looseness" for
the top material 22 that contains the specific granule type 25 utilized.
While the embodiment shows an interwoven cloth fabric, one skilled
in the art appreciates that there are other materials in existence,
or that may be developed in the future. These other materials may
well suit the design of the top cover 22 if they are absorbent,
porous, and permeable, yet suitable in the size of the weave or
configuration in order to encase the granules 25. Therefore, it
is understood that the embodiment shown is exemplary and not limiting
the intention of the present design in respect to the actual material
specification of the top cover 22.
FIG. 4 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21 demonstrating
the bottom liner 23. The bottom liner 23 of the present embodiment
is a plastic sheet material that is impervious to liquid. This material
serves to contain the granules 25 (not shown in this FIG.) from
the bottom side of the device. The material prevents any liquid
material such as cat urine water or the like from escaping onto
the supporting flat surface 26 below One skilled in the art appreciates
that the thickness of the material may vary. The present embodiment
shows an approximately eight tenths mil (0.8 mil) thickness of polyethylene
sheet plastic. This is an example and not limitation to the intention
of the present design. Further, one skilled in the art appreciates
that alternative embodiments are possible with other impervious
materials such as waxed or impregnated paper, a plethora of other
plastic materials (such as polypropylene, poly carbonates, other
thermoplastic resins--with and without fiber fillings) and various
composite compounds currently available or developed in the future,
or the like. These various alternatives must demonstrate the characteristics
of being impervious to liquids, relatively inexpensive, and able
to be produced in a sheet-like configuration.
FIG. 5 is a PERSPECTIVE VIEW of the Cat Litter Pod 21. This view
shows the bottom liner 23 "wrapping" itself outside of
the top surface 22. Therefore any liquid, such as the cat urine,
that is being placed in and through the top surface 22 will be contained
from leakage or escape until the granules have had a chance to trap
and absorb the liquid.
FIG. 6 is an Enlarged SECTION of the Cat Litter Pod 21. This view
shows components and the way they are sealed to form an encasement.
The top surface 22 forms the top section of cat litter pod 21. The
bottom liner 23 forms the bottom section of the cat litter pod 21.
The bottom liner 23 overlaps the top surface 22 and is on the exterior
side. Sandwiched between the top surface 22 and bottom liner 3 at
the point of overlap is a way to seal 24 the two sections together
into the encasement device. This way 24 may be of various configurations.
The preferred embodiment shown is a double sided adhesive tape.
Alternative embodiments include various adhesives and glues, heat
sealing the two surfaces, and the like. The preferred embodiment
and the alternatives mentioned here are stated as examples and not
limitations to the manner in which the top surface 22 is sealed
and attached to the bottom liner 23.
Once three (3) of the sides of the cat litter device are sealed,
the various cat litter granules 25 may be placed inside the encasement.
Then, the final fourth (4th) side may be sealed and the cat litter
pod 21 is complete.
FIG. 7 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21 demonstrating
the use of the device without a container. Here the device is laid
directly onto a flat surface 26 such as a table top, counter top,
FIG. 8 is a PICTURE of an Actual Prototype Cat Litter Pod 21 demonstrating
the use of the device with a container or litter box. The container
27 may be any one of the plethora of cat litter containers, often
called litter boxes, which are commercially available. FIG. 8 shows
an area 28 where a cat has deposited its urine.
FIG. 9 is an Enlarged Area showing the containment of the cat urine
and other egested materials by the cat litter pod 21. The darken
area 28 is where the urine has penetrated through the top surface
22 and has been absorbed by the granules 25. This drawing demonstrates
a key characteristic of the device--the top surface 22 permits the
urine or other liquid to permeate through to the granules while
continuing to encase and contain the granules.
In total, all the points and details mentioned here throughout
this detailed description of the drawings are exemplary and not
limiting. Other components specific to describing a cat litter pod
21 may be added as a person, having ordinary skill in the field
of this type of litter apparatus, well appreciates. The drawing
and components have been focused on the parts shown in respect to
the present cat litter pod 21.
Operation of the Preferred Embodiment
The new cat litter pod 21 has been described in the above embodiment.
The manner of how the apparatus operates is described below. Note
well that the description above and the operation described here
must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the cat
litter pod 21.
The embodiment described above is a cat litter pod 21 which includes
a bottom built-in liner 23 impervious to liquids; a top gauze or
cheesecloth-like material 22 to cover the litter granules 25; a
way 24 to join the top and bottom to provide an encasement space;
and absorbent granules 25 of various litter material inside the
encasement. These components and material are configured to provide
the apparatus as a whole known as the cat litter pod 21.
The embodiment of the cat litter pod 21 may be used by a person
in several manners to aid in the sanitation of a cat that is kept
inside. As stated above, the cat litter pods 21 may be used alone
or by themselves on a flat surface 26 such as a table top, counter
top, or floor. Please see FIGS. 1 2 and 7. In addition, the cat
litter pod 21 may be used in conjunction with a commercially available
litter box or container. Please see FIG. 8.
Because the granules 25 are contained by the bottom liner 23 and
the top surface 22 the cat litter pod 21 provides a unique feature
for immobile or sick/infirm cats that lie on top of the litter for
long periods of their rehabilitation. That feature is that the granules
25 are contained and therefore do not stick or "mat" to
the fur of the languishing cat.
Two other points merit discussion in the operation of the embodiment
of the cat litter pod 21. First, the well known trait of some cats
is to dig and/or bury any of their urine or other excrement such
as cat feces. The ability of the top surface 22 to permit some tactility
of the paws and the litter without releasing the granules from the
encasement have been demonstrated with the prototype devices. Note
however that languishing or infirm cats are much less likely to
be concerned with the "covering trait" of healthier cats.
Second, the use of the cheesecloth or the like as a top surface
22 has some impact on containing the feces. Again, testing of the
prototype is encouraging. The liquidity of the feces of a "sickly"
cat is contained much like the urine. The presence of firm fecal
material is simply discarded from the top surface 22 after the cat
exits the cat litter pod 21 if the pod is to be re-used. Likewise
the fecal matter is encased in the device as the whole cat litter
pod 21 is folded and deposited into a trash container if and when
the pod 21 is ready to be discarded.
The cat litter pod has been described above in connection with
what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred
embodiment. With this description it is to be understood that the
apparatus is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment On the
contrary, the cat litter pod is intended to cover various modifications
and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope
of the description.