If you are welcoming a new furry friend to your home or have noticed a funky smelling around your current cat’s litter box, it may be time to research the best cat litter for your feline friend’s needs.
Choosing the Best Cat Litter for Your Household
Cats are among the cleanest animals. They may spend hours grooming themself and finding their perfect spot to sleep. To cats, a litter box is much more than merely a toilet.
Finding the right cat litter can help ease feline stress and prevent litter box issues like urinating outside the litter box. Some cats can have firm opinions about litter, so don’t be surprised to see your feline being picky about the litter box that you see as perfect.
Cats may also be sensitive when it comes to litter structures and types. Therefore, it’s best for you to know what’s there on the market and how you and your feline can benefit from it.
Types Of Cat Litter
Choosing the best cat litter can be easy when you know the different types of cat litter. Don’t be overwhelmed with options on the market. Learn first what is available so you can make a better and wiser choice.
We’ve broken down the options to help you. Here are the most common cat litter types.
1. Clumping Litter
This litter absorbs the waste and turns it into little cement clumps that can be easily scooped out. This type of litter is clean and convenient, but it will bring the fine dust through the house once your cat is done with her business.
When needed, you will still have to clean off the whole tray, but not as often as you would with non-clumping litter.
2. Non-Clumping Litter
Non-Clumping Litter is a far affordable option that clumping litter, at first glance. However, it will have to be replaced more often than clumping litter, so you might think about investing in clumping if you really want to save money.
With non-clumping litter, urine is soaked up into the litter so the entire litter must be changed, and it’s usually mandatory once a week.
Crystals are a great choice if you really can’t stand litter odor and dust. They also last longer, which makes them a good investor.
If you love scented litters and your cat is OK with extra smell, then crystals should be on your top list because some are scented.
The only downside with crystals is that they might be stuck into cat’s paws and cats might eat them during their grooming seasons. That’s why every crystals package has a label saying – do not eat.
4. Recycled Paper Pellets
Recycled paper pellets are great when it comes to absorbing and easy clean-up. To some, they may seem like a smellier option, but they are among the best options for the environment. They are easily composted.
The main downside with this litter is it’s structure because not all cats like the larger texture pellets, which is why slower adaption is better.
Interestingly, when it comes to cat litter types, we can separate them on two big groups:
- the type of litter most people prefer, and
- the type of litter most cats prefer
Different studies showed that cats tend to have preferences when it comes to litter. Here is what cats love:
- Smaller Litter Particles: Cats prefer fine particle litters, as opposed to pellet and crystal types. This doesn’t come as a big surprise since cats are originally desert-dwelling animals hiding their waste in the sand. Plus, finer particles feel better on their paws.
- Odor-Free: You may love that orange scent, but your feline prefers unscented litters. Cat’s nose and sense of smell are strong and more fine-tuned than yours. So, play it safe and start with unscented litters. If you insist on scented ones, bear in mind that your feline won’t welcome anything strong, such as an orange scent or similar.
Opposite to cats, humans prefer slightly different litter types. Here are the main characteristics of cat litter that humans prefer:
- Fast and hard clumping: This means less work. Fast and hard clumping will help minimize mess and make it easier for you to clean. Plus, this type of cat litter will minimize the chances that urine-soaked clumps end up on your cat’s paws.
- Odor absorbent: Let’s be honest here – no one likes the smell of cat pee or poo. Baking soda or activated charcoal can be added around the litter box or directly to the cat litter, which can help keep ammonia and other litter box odors in check.
- Low dust: Having pets in your household means more work, more cleaning, and also it means more love. Still, humans prefer less cleaning and more love. That’s why it’s important to choose a litter that will keep your home and your lungs free from a fine layer of glitter dust. It’s important to keep yours and your cat’s lungs clean. This is even more important if you or anyone else in your home has asthma.
- Low tracking: Of course that you don’t want crumbs around your home. Crumbs should stay in the cat’s litter box. If your cat makes a big mess after using a cat litter, you should think about finding an anti-track litter that suits your cat’s needs and your own. Anti-litter tracking mat can help you keep the litter where it should be – away from your flooring.
What Is Cat Litter Made Of?
Did you know that cat litter was invented unintentionally? Edward Lowe created kitty litter, and his primary job was selling sand, sawdust, and clay to heavy industries. These materials were sometimes used to soak up spills.
One day an acquaintance of Lowe’s asked for help. She filled her cat’s box with sand, but she didn’t like how the cat tracked the dust through the house. Lowe added some clay because it’s absorbent, she tired and liked it. Plus, the cat loved it.
Lowe knew that he was on something big here, and he started convincing cat owners to try his solution. The rest is history.
With time, cat litter was perfected. Nowadays, cat litter can be made from a variety of ingredients with different properties and uses.
Some of the most common cat litters are made from the following:
- Clay: Even today this is one of the most popular cat litter materials available on the market. Many clay litter brands rely on ingredients such as carbon and plant extracts to absorb odors.
- Corn: Corn litter is biodegradable and earth-conscious. The great thing about this litter is that’s available in natural and scented formulas.
- Coconut husks: This litter can be easily composted as part of garden comport.
- Wheat: The starch inside wheat kernels gives wheat cat litter its clumping capability and exposes natural enzymes that neutralize odors.
- Wood: This is all-natural litter, where the pine scent acts as a natural deodorizer.
- Walnut shells: This litter is available in quick-clumping and non-clumping formulas.
- Recycled newspaper: This litter is available in pellet form and is considered to be eco-friendly litter.
- Silica-based gel crystals: Silica is a natural mineral known for its possibility to absorb. One cat can reuse this litter over a period of one month.
How To Switch Cat Litters
Now that you know what’s available on the market and know what you and your feline need, it’s time to make the switch. Bear in mind that cats are creatures of habit, and they can even develop anxiety when exposed to significant changes.
With that in mind, some cats can see the litter change as a significant trauma. The key is to do it carefully and step by step. A slow transition is your best friend in this case.
Add small amounts of the new litter to the old over a seven to ten-day period until you have switched over entirely. This is crucial if you are changing litter forms, because unique texture may cause your pet to later their litter box behavior.
If your cat or a kitten is avoiding their litter box, try giving them a selection of different litter types to choose from. Place down three or four boxes with different litter in each one and see if your cat has a preference.
If she shows her preference, stick to that litter type. If your cat starts going to the bathroom outside of their litter box, you should call your veterinarian. Many medical conditions can cause a change in a cat’s litter box habits.
A few things to remember…
Never forget that cats are clean animals, and they love their area to be cleaned and tightened up, including their litter box. So, make sure that you clean it daily.
Plus, a litter box can show you if your ct has any internal health problem that you should deal with, and it can be a good reminder to stick to the cat’s parasites schedule. So, don’t forget the following:
- Cats are serious about their toilet, so clean it regularly
- If you are switching to a different litter, do it slowly
- Enclosed trays are great for odor and privacy
- Regular use means regular cleaning
- If you have a multi-cat household, it means multiple trays
- Always place the tray in a quiet area, away from food
- Since cats have strong nose smell, thin about unscented litters