Go into any pet store, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the different types of cat litter available. Choosing the right litter for your cat can seem to be an impossible task. But actually it’s not so hard. Just remember to think like a cat.
Your cat is more interested in the smell and texture of the litter. People, on the other hand, are more concerned about odor control, how easy it is to scoop, and if it’s safe for your cat. After reading this article you should be able to pick a litter that will satisfy both you and your cat. We’ll look at what kinds of litters are available and pros and cons for each type.
Clay Cat Litter
This is the most widely used cat litter. It’s popular because it’s the least expensive litter around, and you can buy it at just about any store. It can absorb between 75% and 100% of its weight in moisture, so it soaks up urine well and controls odor fairly well, as long as you change it regularly.
- It’s not scoopable.
- A lot of cats don’t like to step on wet litter, so it needs to be changed at least twice a week if you have one cat, more often if you have more than one.
- It can be dusty. If your cat has allergies or asthma, try to find a low-dust variety.
- It smells bad when it’s wet.
- It’s not biodegradable.
Clumping Cat Litter
This type of litter is very popular. The cat’s urine causes the litter to form clumps that you can scoop out, which means it lasts a long longer than clay litter. You just replace what you scoop out. Many cats prefer its sand-like texture, too. As long as you scoop it out at least twice a day, your cat’s litter box remains more attractive to her.
Some litters do clump better than others. Clumps in the less expensive ones tend to break apart easily, making it harder to scoop them out. A better quality litter is easier to scoop.
Clumping litters can be dusty, too, so keep this in mind if either you or your kitty has allerges or asthma. These are also questions about this type of litter forming clumps in the intestines of cats who groom it off their paws. I’ll examine this question in more detail in an upcoming article.
Natural Cat Litter
Cat litter made from plant materials is becoming more popular. These are usually made from wheat, alfalfa, oat hulls, corn cob, peanut hulls, or recycled newspaper. Two that are well-known are Swheat Scoop, which is made from non-food grade wheat, and Feline Pine, manufactured from recycled pine scraps.
Some types of natural litters may not appeal to cats, especially if they have a smell and texture that’s different from what she’s used to. You may need to try several different kinds to see what your cat likes.
I just adopted a kitten (yay!), and I’m trying Swheat Scoop in her box. I’ll let you know what she thinks of it!
How Do I Change To A Different Type Of Cat Litter?
The best thing to do is to buy a new litter box for it. Keep the old box (and litter) until you know that your cat is actually using the new litter. Let your kitty discover the box on her own. You may want to take some urine or feces from her old box and put it in the new one so that she gets the idea. If she likes it, great! If not, go back to the old litter.
Once you and your furry friend find a litter you both like, stick with it to avoid litter box problems and cat urine odor.
Always avoid scented cat litter. All it does is mask odors so you may not remember to clean the box as often as necessary. Plus, many cats are repelled by it, and it can lead to litter box problems if your cat won’t use her box!
What’s The Best Litter?
Obviously, the best cat litter is the one your kitty is willing to use. It may take some experimentation, but with a little trial and error, you will find a litter acceptable to both you and your kitty.
In my next article, I’ll explore the health issues surrounding clumpable clay cat litter.