Okay, I know it’s not the most glamorous topic in the world, but it is important if you have a cat or are thinking of getting one. I adopted my very first cat less than 15 years ago. Before that time, I had decided that “I wasn’t a cat person.” I love all animals great and small but that doesn’t mean I want to own all of them.
Then – into my life – walked a cute little gray and white kitten, who I named Sadie. I was hooked. Two years later, I ended up adopting a precocious black kitten who I named Ozzie — aka The Million Dollar Cat. Now, I am a bona fide cat expert!
Well, maybe not quite but I do know a lot about cat litter. Not only have my cats tested just about every kind of cat litter there is — I also worked in the pet industry for two years. Because of this, what I lack in personal experience – I learned through the experiences of others.
How hard can it be to pick a cat littler anyway?
Here are some of the main types of cat litter. There is clay litter, clumping litter, corn, newspaper, pine, wheat, crystal, scented, unscented, natural (and not so natural), heavy and light weight. The main things people want to know are; which one lasts the longest, hides the odor and it the most eco-friendly? There are really so many things to consider. Who knew? I will explain some of the pros and cons of each and then reveal my MOST favorite cat littler in the whole world!!!
Clay litter is probably the cheapest option, but it is heavy and doesn’t clump. This means it may need to have a complete litter change more often to prevent bacteria and odor. Clay litter may contain some chemicals to supress the odor. It also emits a lot of dust.
This can be made of any number of materials but essentually it clumps so it is easy to dispose of liquid waste. Most of these can help to supress odor and come in scented and unscented versions. The clumping clay litter still emits quite a bit of dust though.
Natural fiber litter
Corn, wood, newspaper, wheat, etc are biodigradable and most are natrual. You’ll have to check the pacakging. Some may be scented and some may contain chemicals for clumping purposes. I have used the corn, wood and newspaper varieties and the corn was my favorite for odor control. The pine litter I tried smelled great when I first put it in the box but it soaked up the liquid waste and got funky fast. Now, they offer a clumping version which I have not tried. I imagine it works much like the corn.
Crystal litter has become popular in recent years. I have never tried it but people who have seem to like it. Many of them use it in their automatic litter boxes because it doesn’t get stuck in the tongs like some of the other litters can.
Scented or unscented?
This is up to you. Ozzie developed an allergy to one of the scented clumping litters I used when when he was a kitten. Sadie never had any problems but Ozzie’s paws got chapped and even started bleeding. It was horrible. That’s when I switched to an unscented version that the vet recommended. If your cat is prone to upper respiratory infections you should choose a low dust unscented cat litter.
Now for my VERY favorite cat litter! I absolutely adore this brand for many reasons…
Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping Litter
This wondrous litter is made using corn cobs and baking soda. It contains a light fresh scent which I love and luckily, Ozzie’s paws haven’t had an adverse reaction to it. I tried another corn litter before but the fine particles stuck to my cat’s paws leaving dusting cat prints all over the house.
If you have a cat I highly recommend this litter. They aren’t even paying me to say that — but they should!!!
Of course, not all litters work for all cats and owners, if your cat is having issues using their litter box, it is best to consult the vet. Cats are really good about going in their boxes, so if they suddenly stop doing that — it may be the sign of a bigger issue.
TIP: When switching litters, it is best to mix a little of the new in with the old and slowly make the transition. Cats can be finicky and if you totally switch it might throw them off and they may refuse to use the box all together.
If you have any questions or suggestions of your own — I would love to hear them.
Do you have cats? Why type of litter do you use?