Cat Getting Comfortable in Its Cat Litter

What Everyone Should Know About Cat Litter

For cats who are not allowed outdoors, cat litter is vital. Even some cats who are allowed outside come back inside to use the bathroom! Cat litter absorbs liquid and odor and gives the cat something to scratch around in.

Top Cat Litters

Here we will look at the best types of Cat Litters, from Clay to Silica.

Clay

People used sand for cat boxes until Kitty Litter, made of clay based on Fuller’s earth, was invented in 1947. Today clay cat litter is usually made of zeolite, diatomite, and sepiolite.

Clumping

Most clumping kitty litters are made from granulated bentonite clay which clumps together when wet. The clumps can be scooped out. Clumping litter also usually contains quartz or diatomaceous earth which can clog a toilet.

Bentonite Clay Cat Litter Fragments

Biodegradable

Biodegradable litters are made from various plant materials including sawdust, Brazilian cassava, pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, dried orange peel, corn, wheat, walnuts, barley, and okara.

Silica Gel Crystals

This is a porous granular form of silicon dioxide. It has the highest absorbency of any litter, excellent moisture control, and better odor elimination than any other litter.

Cost

For some people, the only reason they don’t want a cat is because of having to constantly buy and deal with cat litter and the smell of the litter pan. But those of us who are owned by cats know that they are worth it.

Some people make their own litter since the ingredients are simple. But the process is time consuming and probably would not be helpful for a multi-cat home.

Kitten Falling Asleep in Its Cat Litter

Whatever type of cat litter you end up using, you can enhance its odor absorbing capacity sprinkling down a base of baking soda each time you change it.

Other Types Of Cat Litter

Here we look at other types of Cat Litters.

Clay Or Non-Clumping Cat Litter

Cat staff who do not want to scoop and think it’s okay to dump their litter pan into the toilet and flush should think twice. The plumbing doesn’t like this.

Stir up what’s left in the pan, throw in some baking soda and some more litter and you’re good to go. Change it completely once a week or so.

This is one of the most inexpensive litters.

It’s a basic clay mixture that allows for easy absorption and is not hard on your cat’s paws. It’s also a great help getting up a frozen driveway in February, used or not.

Clumping Cat Litter

This is the most popular cat litter. The ingredients clump together when wet, so cat staff can scoop out urine clumps along with poops. What’s left in the pan can be topped up for a long time before a complete replacement is required.

You absolutely can’t flush anything scooped from this litter down the toilet. And it is more expensive than the clay type.

Multi-Cat & Scented

Homes that have several cats have a real problem with keeping odor under control. Some top brands sell multi-cat versions of their clumping and non-clumping litters. These have special ingredients for extra odor control.

Biodegradable Cat Litter in a Hand

Bear in mind that those ingredients are chemicals and could be harmful to you or your cats over time.

Scented cat litters are basically the same thing with the same problems. And some of them actually smell pretty awful even before they’ve been used. You’re better off using baking soda.

Biodegradable

Food-based litters sometimes get infested with bugs or larvae – keep them airtight.

Corn

An example is World’s Best Cat Litter – one of the most popular cat litters.

  • Granules are large, which is good for kittens but it doesn’t feel as good against cats’ paws as some other materials
  • Clumping is good
  • ​Some people find it controls odor very well but others can’t stand the smell of the unused product itself
  • It’s kind of dusty, not good for cats with breathing problems, and it tracks
  • It’s expensive

Wheat

An example is Swheat Scoop – it’s made from wheat that isn’t high-quality enough for people food.

  • Granules seem to satisfy cats – not particularly coarse, not particularly fine
  • Clumping – inconsistent – can be loose masses that fall apart when scooping and can stick to the box
  • When the clumping stops working well so does the odor control. It may need a change after two weeks or two months
  • It may or may not be dusty but tracking is a problem
  • Cheaper than corn-based

Pine

The leading examples are Feline Pine and Feline Fresh – it’s made from sawdust from lumber mills.

Pine Cat Litter Granules
  • Granules – the most popular pine litters were originally in pellet format only, but now they have finer clumping versions
  • Clumping can be weak at times
  • Pine litters control urine well. Some people say that it doesn’t do much to control the odor of poop though. If you are scooping that shouldn’t matter
  • Some people love the woodsy smell of the litter and some find it too strong
  • Dust – it doesn’t track as much as other natural litters
  • Cheaper than most natural litters and lasts a long time

Walnut

The leading brand is BLUE Naturally Fresh – it’s made from walnut shells.

  • Granules – the Naturally Fresh brand comes in a few varieties. Quick-Clumping has a finer texture and Quick-Clumping Multi-Cat is coarser. Some cats dislike the coarser formula. There is also a pellet formula.
  • Clumping is not bad at all
  • The finer clumping version has better odor control
  • Dust and tracking are less of a problem with the finer grade versions of this litter
  • Medium priced

Crystals

Crystal cat litters have to be managed properly to get the best out of them. If you do it right, they are the best at controlling odor and at absorbing moisture. Scoop the poop and then stir what’s left – if you do this every day you are good for a month with one cat.

Crystal Fragments for Cat Litter

Because it lasts so long, it is extremely cost effective. And the bags are not heavy to bring home.

In a multi-cat home, if they have a whim to all use the same litter pan on the same day, your crystals are not going to last a week.

Crystals are not as gentle on your cat’s paws as the other litter formulations.

Leave a Comment: