You will be surrounded by love and litter-box cleaning when you have a cat. This guide will help you choose the best cat litter for your cat and you.
What to Look for in a Litter
There is no such thing as a cat litter that fits everyone. It would help if you found cat litter that suits your household’s and cat’s lifestyles. Cats can be very picky regarding the type of litter they use. They may even reject junk that looks great on paper.
You may have to try a few different litters before finding the right one. What we look for when choosing cat litter is:
When traditional cat litters come in contact with moisture, they clump, making it easy to scoop out the urine. It’s a great way to remove as much urine from your cat’s litter box as possible, but some cats have better options.
Clumping litter can irritate and stick to any incisions or surgical wounds your cat may have. Clumping can make it hard to tell how much urine your cat produces, which may be necessary for cats with medical conditions such as diabetes. Clumping litter can also contain ingredients that can irritate sensitive stomachs when eaten. This makes them unsuitable for cats and kittens who enjoy trying new things.
The texture of cat litter can vary from a sand texture to a larger pellet. The consistency of the trash can affect your scooping and how much will stick to your cat’s feet or get tracked throughout your house. Larger pieces are more likely to remain in your litter box.
For cats with paw sensitivity (which is more common in senior cats), it’s essential to consider the litter texture. These cats prefer a smooth, soft surface that is gentle on their paws.
Anyone with multiple cats in their household knows that litter boxes can become stinky. Some litters contain perfumes to mask the ammonia and poop smells. However, these can be irritating for cats with allergies or scent sensitivity. They don’t stop the odor at its source but add to it!
Choosing a litter that neutralizes and eliminates odors rather than just masking them is better. No trash can eliminate all unpleasant smells, but many formulas will help to reduce the smell. The best way to keep odors at bay is by frequent scooping.
Some cat litter becomes dusty when you scoop the litter or your cat digs in the box. It’s not great for anyone to inhale cat litter dust, but it can be a big problem for anyone with asthma or dust sensitivity–including your cat. Try a dust-free cat litter if your cat regularly sneezes or sniffles after using the litter box.
The Sustainability of the Economy
Did you know traditional clay litter is made of Bentonite, a non-renewable mineral mined in an environmentally harmful way and then ends up as landfill waste? Eco-conscious cat owners saw a need and developed solutions. This led to new, more sustainable cat litter made of renewable and recycled resources that decompose naturally.
Don’t worry if your cat only uses the clay litter that they used to use as a child. It’s essential to find cat litter that your cat enjoys. If your cat switches to eco-friendly waste, it will help reduce your environmental impact and make the world healthier for future generations.
Cat Litter Types
There are many litter brands to choose from, but they can all be classified into a few common categories. Here are some of the most common types of cat litter, along with their pros and cons.
Since Ed Lowe began marketing Bentonite in the 1940s, Bentonite has been the preferred cat litter. Most cats are familiar with this litter, making it a favorite. Bentonite cat kitty litter is the most common type because it’s widely available and affordable.
Silica Litter (or Crystal Litter)
The crystal litter or silica is made of small transparent pieces that are incredibly absorbent. Silica cat litter is more porous than clumping clay and can even draw moisture from feces. This helps to reduce odors. It is also very durable, lasting up to one month before it needs to be thrown out. This makes it more environmentally friendly than bentonite litter.
Diatomaceous Earth Litter
Diatomaceous Earth is formed by fossilized algae that naturally forms at the bottoms of freshwater bodies. It’s similar to silica in that it is incredibly absorbent and can be used as cat litter because it holds moisture. Diatomaceous Earth chunks are more significant and less likely to be sucked out of a litter box by your cat but can still irritate the toes.
The pellets are made of wood dust and scraps left over after lumbering. The shells break down as they absorb moisture. The scooping of a non-clumping wooden litter differs from that of a conventional clumping one because you will scoop the dirty debris out and then shake off the dust in the trash or even into the toilet for some brands.
The most common wood is pine. The scent may or may not appeal to you, depending on whether or not you enjoy the smell of Christmas trees. Many cats may not be used to pellets and therefore find it challenging to use the litter.
Paper litter is also made of recycled paper that has been compressed into pellets. Like wood litter, some cats are picky about the texture of shots, but this is a very sustainable option.
Paper is a sound absorbent of urine but does not contain an odor. Paper pellets don’t clump together, so you have to use your eyes to determine which ones are urine-stained and which are poop. To avoid soggy litter in multi-cat households, it is necessary to scoop frequently.
Grain litter, often made of corn, wheat, and other grains, is compressed into small pellets with a similar texture to traditional junk. This makes them more appealing for most cats than larger pellets found in wood or paper. The grains clump up naturally due to the starches. Most grain litters also have natural odor control, thanks to naturally occurring enzymes and other ingredients such as wood or green tea. The majority of varieties can be flushed.
Grain litter doesn’t harm cats if they eat them, so they are perfect for cats with a terrible habit of eating garbage. They should not be used for cats who are sensitive to grains.
Soybean Litter (or Tofu Litter)
The pulp from soybeans is used to make these litters. These pellets are made from dried bean solids that have been compressed into pellets. They are flushable, biodegradable, and highly absorbent. This soft soy-based cat litter is dust free, perfect for cats with sensitive paws, and safe to eat.
Grass Seed Litter
This litter, made from grass seeds, can clump better than even Bentonite! It stamps quickly and firmly. This traps urine odors and makes wet spots easier to scoop. The soft grains have a similar texture to clay litter and are biodegradable.
This litter is made of discarded walnut shells ground into soft and grainy garbage. It can be easily substituted for clay litter by cats who prefer it. The clumping varieties work like regular cat litter. However, the dark walnut shell color can make it challenging to see feces and clumps when scooping. This litter smells like walnuts, as you would expect. If you are allergic to nuts, avoid walnut litter!