Types of Cat Litter

Are you confused with all the different types of cat litter, wondering what is best for the cat, best for the environment, and best on your pocket? You are not alone. It seems that every other week there is a new variety on the market and that is not even mentioning the related accoutrements like scoops, litter pads and the huge variety of litter boxes on the market today.

Scented or Odorless

What kind of litter you buy depends on your requirements and the preferences of your fur babies. While we might appreciate the scented varieties, cats often do not.  Unscented litter, sometimes called odorless litter,  contains no artificial fragrance but it can still do a good job of reducing unpleasant smells from the tray through the use of ingredients like activated carbon.

Dust and Tracking Resistant

Apart from the smell, the dust caused by litter and its ability to get tracked all over the house are other nasty side effects of cats going potty in the house.  Cat litter can be made from a dizzying selection of materials. Those with larger particles are naturally less given to dust and tracking but there are also brands specially formulated not to do either.

Environmental Impact

When choosing the best cat litter you might also be swayed by its effect on the environment. In this case, you would avoid clay based varieties which are obtained through strip-mining and, because of the components common in clay-based cat litter, can take decades to biodegrade.

Clumping or Non-Clumping

Clumping litter is a relatively new arrival on the market. It is formulated to cause both urine and feces to form into easily removable clumps.  This makes cleaning easier and the litter tray stays fresher for longer. 

Often the active clumping ingredient is sodium bentonite.  Sodium bentonite expands in contact with water and this characteristic makes clumping litter unsuitable for kittens. Their natural curiosity can led to them  ingesting  particles of sodium bentonite which once swollen to capacity can cause blockages in a small kitten’s intestinal tract.

Non-clumping litter is often clay-based and prone to  both dust and tracking. But nowadays there are other choices such as wood  pellets, maize based litter, and even litter based on recycled newspaper -all much more eco-friendly and non-toxic to both humans and cats.

 

Kitty Litter Collection

 

Fresh Magic Crystals

Fresh Magic Crystals use the chemical reaction of adsorption as opposed to absorption to completely eliminate odor.

It comes in either a chunk or round format.  The large chunk shapes track less while the round, last a little longer and work well in automatic litter boxes.

Crystal litter is generally more expensive than the clay-based varieties.  Silica dust from crystal litter has been linked to upper respiratory issues in cats, But Fresh Magic boasts a virtually dust-free, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Features:

Activated Carbon eliminates odors
Unscented 
Containing antimicrobial agent

 

  • Available in chunk or round format
  • 1 x 8 pound, 8 x 8 pound, 32 pound cases

Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Pellets

The pellets used in the Tidy Cats Breeze system are dehydrating, anti-tracking and 99.9% dust free.  It is non-clumping. Solid waste gets dehydrated while urine passes through the pellets to the scented or unscented pad below which is guaranteed to prevent any ammonia smell for 7 days.

With one cat,the system requires that solid waste be scooped out daily and changed monthly. The pads should be changed once a week.

The pellets are made from silica gel and zeolite. 

Features:

Dehydrating, anti-tracking and 99.9% dust free
One bag plus 4 pads per month (per cat)

  • System comes with a covered  or uncovered tray
  • Available  in lightweight pellets 

Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented 

Ever Clean, Extra Strength, Unscented uses activated carbon bonded to and mixed within the litter granules to eliminate odor and it contains an antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of bacterial odors on the litter. 

This is not a cheap option but it gets great reviews for its ability to dispense with smells and low level  of dust. There are several varieties available, including a scented one, but for those whose cats have sensitive noses, this is a good choice

 

 

Features:

Activated Carbon eliminates odors
Unscented 
Containing antimicrobial agent

 

  • Available in 42, 24 and 12 pound bags
  • Lightweight, Extreme Clumping and Scented formulas also available. 

sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat All Natural Cat Litter

Apart from the annoying name, which I cant help but read as Sweat Scoop, rather than the intended Sweet Scoop, this is a good non-toxic, vet recommended, eco-friendly choice.

Unlike clay based litters, sWheat Scoop is flushable. It is made from naturally renewable wheat so no strip-mining either. Its  clumping qualities come from natural starches in the wheat so there is  neither sodium bentonite nor crystalline silica in the mix.

 

 

Features:

Powerful, long-lasting odor control, Clumps fast for easy scooping
No added dyes or perfumes
Veterinarian Recommended
100% Biodegradable
Great for multiple-cat homes

 

  • Available in  7, 14, 25 and 36 pound bags.
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