Story problem

You have two cats. Each cat weighs about 8 pounds. Each cat eats 1/2 pound of dry food per week, Each cat also has its own litterbox with 20 pounds of litter. When you go to change the litterboxes, the litter in each box weighs 38 pounds. How is this possible?

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Show 33 Comments


  1. Esther

    I’m not sure about your cats, Dave (perhaps they’re evil?), but I now know how to type ‘May the hounds of hell satirize your cornflakes’ in Irish:

    Go n-aora cúnna ifrinn do chuid calóga arbhair


  2. julie

    That’s a lot of pee! ❗

  3. Dave, stop pinching loaves in the cat box and you will find that your dilemma disappears. 😛

  4. Kirk

    A local church pastor had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.

    The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

    That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.

    The tree went “boing!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air – out of sight.

    The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went on about his business.

    A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

    She replied, “You won’t believe this,” and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, “Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.”

    She told the pastor, “I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her
    knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.”

    Link of the day: Crazy Cat Ladies Society & Gentlemen’s auxillary :wtf:

  5. the density of cat litter changes when liquid is added. Also, cat food is very high in sodium, that is why many male cats have problems with their urinary tracks. Female cats don’t have as much of a problem since their urinary track is much shorter and solid deposits from sodium in their diet can easily pass through.

  6. hair balls. cat spit. drool. whiskas. Also, that one friend of yours from GM that visits every week…

  7. and what made you think of weighing cat poo in the first place Dave? :wtf:

  8. Spud

    How is this possible?

    Simple fluid thermodynamics in the third power multiplied by the amount of intake squared.


    the mass fraction of secondary constituent (kg of S per kg of fluid)

    Note that for P and S uniform (1.11) reduces to Fick’s Law


  9. Dave, you should post some photos of the scene. Or you can sent the litter sample(s) to me, I would be happy to XRF analysis on it. Pro bono.

  10. If you want a pet that obeys the first law of thermodynamics, you really should get yourself a dog. Cats are not obedient animals.

    We won’t even go into how the stench of catshit goes completely against Boyle’s Law. I guess they’re getting their own back on scientists, mostly because of Schroedinger’s box trick.

  11. your cats just punk’d you. they’re uploading the video of you weighing their litter boxes to various bittorrent sites at this very moment…

  12. Anna

    At my house it’s just the other way around. When I weigh the litterboxes they always weigh (even) less than the day before.
    Turns out the dogs love catshit. They “grab” it out of the box. And the poo is covered with kittylitter. Crunchy but yummy

  13. Spud

    Unfortunately I have wittnessed this happenning…



  14. The first time I witnessed my dog munching down on a cats version of a Hersheys Crunch I ran and grabbed an old tooth brush and brushed her teeth till I felt satisfied that she could come near my face again. My dog never done that again after that. 😛

  15. Time to teach them how to use the toilet.

  16. Cats are not obedient animals.
    Au contraire. My cats know several tricks and always come running when I call their names.

    Schroedinger’s Cat Litter. Hmm, Is that how I am able to find litter in the box and not in the box at the same time, Lung?

  17. Spud

    Think outside the box …

  18. Exactly Dave, but curiously by weighing the litter you have ‘observed’ it and have therefore changed it’s reality.

    In fact, it’s well known that Heisenberg carried out his first experiments by bombarding a photosensitive plate with hairballs in a vain attempt to advance the field of quantum fuzzics.

    Sorry, perhaps a joke too far.

  19. Ah. Part of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle stemmed from direct observation of “cat meetings”. No one can predict with any degree of accuracy when a cat will suddenly wake from a REM state, and bolt out of the room to an unknown meeting.

  20. Kat

    If you scoop the box once every 36 weeks, this is possible.

  21. Is one cat on a train heading west to California at 30 mph and the other on a train heading east to New York at 40 mph? 😕

    That does matter to answer the question.

  22. Maybe it’s liquids? Or they are going out to expensize restaurants and charging it to your credit card? I wonder is that covered by card protection:idea:

  23. Shrödinger’s Cat Litter Box Thought Experiment:

    Preliminary: a common Cat is fed and weighed, while a covered Cat litter box having a charcoal activated filter is prepared with commercial grade litter and placed on a weigh-scale.

    The scientist places the Cat at the mouth of Box and waits for the Cat to enter.

    The question to be resolved: if no air escapes the box while the Cat scratches at the litter, what are the chances of a spontaneous increase (or decrease) in the total Mass of all components?

    While Hediger says the Cat does not exist while inside the box (a priori, out of sight, out of Universe), conventional wisdom says that the action of scratching litter should not involve any increase in Mass.

    This can be expressed simply as:

    C = M(CaT)/litter

    Shrödinger postulates that you cannot determine if the Cat has yet produced its feces by observation of sounds alone. Therefore has the Cat really gone, or is it still in a charged state?

  24. Soopa Grizz

    It’s gotta be all the whiskey and beer they’re stealing from you while you’re at work. Once they break that seal, there’s no stopping them…


  25. mikeB

    I blame Morris’ Law of Nine Lives

  26. Uh, I’m going to say that when you go to empty each litter box, both cats are in the box, along with the 1/2 lb each of food from that week (in the kitties or not). That would be roughly 38 lbs.

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