Do you suffer from kitty litter confusion?
One of the ways to keep your cat healthy is the type of litter you're using! And of course, a bonus is keeping your home smelling clean, so it's important to have a shortlist of the top kitty litters available before shopping. Some cats are super picky so read carefully before deciding, and you may have to experiment with different substrates.
Let's start by having a conversation about kitty litter maintenance. You may have multiple cats, short-hair or long-hair cats, or a kitten. How do you decide which kitty litter best suits your feline friends and what does the daily routine look like? Do you scoop every day or once every few days? Do you prefer scented litters or unscented? The Humane Society provides some tips on their site and guidelines for cat owners.
- Scoop feces out of the litter box daily.
- How often you replace the litter depends on the number of cats you have, the number of litter boxes and the type of litter you use.
- Twice a week is a general guideline for replacing clay litter, but depending on your circumstances, you may need to replace it every other day or only once a week.
- If you clean the litter box daily, you might only need to change clumping cat litter every two to three weeks. If you notice an odor or if much of the litter is wet or clumped, it's time for a change.
- Scrub the box every time you change the litter. Use mild dish detergent to clean it, as products with ammonia or citrus oils can turn a cat off from using their bathroom, and some cleaning products are toxic to cats.
There are many options to choose from and each cat has its unique preferences for texture, fragrance, and absorbency. Let's dive in! And remember, please check with your city on what the code is for flushing pet waste. Just because you can flush it doesn't mean you should. The only litter you CANNOT FLUSH is clay.
Grass-based litter clumps and does very well with controlling odor. It is great for inconsistent scoopers (however we recommend you scoop your cat's litter box 1-2 times a week no matter what kind of litter you use).
You can try wood-based litter that's low in dust. This natural litter has great odor control and is lightweight. This type of cat litter is great for senior and special-need cats.
Flushable cat litter and 99% dust-free? You're kidding! You'll also be excited to hear that this easy-clean up litter is made from whole-kernel corn, making it planet-friendly. You won't be flushing any harmful chemicals into the toilet. It's absolutely safe for septic and sewer systems, and cats love it.
Paper can be a great, inexpensive litter, however, it's not good for lazy litter box habits; this type of litter needs to be changed often. Okocat makes a paper pellet litter that is the best in this category. Their Natural Paper Cat Litter is $11.99.
It's classic, familiar, it clumps (hard clumps), and can help with odor. But clay cat litters are not biodegradable, and not flush-able.
Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract is a brand to consider.
Clay liters are not ecologically friendly though. According to Stanford's Eco Advice:
"75% of cat litters on the market are made using bentonite clay. Unfortunately, the majority of sodium bentonite in America is strip-mined in Wyoming. Strip mining is as bad as it sounds. Also known as surface mining, the mining company bulldozes everything at surface level, then removes the topsoil down to the desired mineral. This type of mining destroys the local environment, displaces wildlife due to habitat loss, and can contaminate water tables."
Clay litters can also cause lung problems!
Honorable Mentions: Across these categories, there are other great brands to consider including Blue Buffalo, Precious Cat Ultra, Purina Tidy Cats, Fresh Step, and Crystal Cat Litter. Many of these brands are available on Amazon. But pet owners should do their research! The best litter depends on the owner's preference and how the cat reacts!
Here is another top pick for an eco-friendly cat litter. A customer says his cat has sensitive paws, which means he can't buy clumping litter anymore. This formula is easy on his cat's paws. That is something to consider if your cat has raw paws.
Arm & Hammer has the formula you need that kills odors before you can even smell them. Check out this customer review!
This lightweight litter is loved by many cat owners. There's an ammonia blocker that prevents the smell of ammonia odor for at least two weeks! Perfect. Keep in mind that this litter formula is for multi-cat homes.
Do you have a virtually odor-free cat litter? What litter do you use? Let us know in the comments!
This post was originally published on March 23, 2018.