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 an added bonus is keeping your home smelling clean, so it's important to have a short list 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 actually 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 his own 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).
2. Pine Litter Chip
You can try wood-based litter that comes in clumping and non-clumping litter formulas. This natural litter has great odor control and is dust-free. This type of unscented cat litter is great for senior and special-need cats.
Kitty's Gone Green is a feline pine litter that does not clump and has great odor control. It's made exclusively from sustainable Oregon natural products using certified organic alfalfa with a special blend of pine and white fir (lumber mill byproducts; NOT recycled pallets). A 10-pound (5 pre-measured packs) pack goes for $21.99.
One fan on their Facebook page, talked about its eco-friendly values:
"This is my favorite cat litter! I feel so much better letting my kitty use it because its chemical free. Also it smells great!"
3. Pine Pellets
Pine pellets break down from urine over time. And you can scoop solid waste out after the pellets have broken down. Depending on your cats you should change this litter every 2-3 weeks. We are fans of using this litter as mulch under ornamental landscape plants or even compost. And pine neutralizes odor and isn't dusty!
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.
5. Traditional Options Include Clay
It's classic, familiar, it clumps (hard clumps), and can help with odor. But clay cat litters are not biodegradable, and not flush-able.
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 cat litter depends on the owner's preference and how the cat reacts!
Do you have a cat litter that is virtually odor free?What litter do you use? Let us know in the comments!
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