What To Consider When Shopping For Cat Litter
Clumping vs. non-clumping litters: Cat litter is sold in both clumping and non-clumping formulas. Clumping formulas, including those made from clay, corn, wood, and grass, form solid masses when they encounter urine, and those must be removed from the litter daily.
Non-clumping litters absorb urine, too, but instead of forming clumps, the granules of silica, wood, or paper become saturated and gradually break down over time. On each cleaning, the substrate must be stirred to distribute the ammonia in the box. There is no difference between how non-clumping and clumping litters interact with solids â feces must still be scooped daily.
Both clumping and non-clumping litters manage bad smells. In the case of clumping formulas, urine is removed through daily scooping. In non-clumping formulas, urine accumulates in the box over time. Clumping litters can be topped off with additional litter as needed, but boxes filled with a non-clumping litter must be completely emptied and refilled after a period of two to seven weeks, depending on the brand and type of litter.
Litter texture: Litter preferences vary from cat to cat, according to Dr. Karen Sueda, veterinary behaviorist at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, but every feline wants a toileting substrate they can easily dig and cover their waste in. Cats with sensitive feet may avoid using litters with sharper granules, such as crystal or pellet formulas.
Essentials Double Duty Natural
Another version from the original Double Duty cat litter, the Natural one is great in what it does. But theres no exceptional factor to it that makes me want to grab it and have everyone get it for themselves. I dont see why its priced super high, though because its a natural clumping litter, you can take account its higher cost of processing and quality ingredients.
The litter consists of corn fiber and baking soda, doing well enough in clumping quickly and providing a more natural smell. Its a good investment if you focus more on premium and natural choices.
Arm and Hammer Essentials Double Duty Natural
Odor Elimination: No Bad Smells
Right out of the box, the cat litter had a subtle, bathroom-like citrus fragrance. This surprised us, as the packaging doesnt mention it being scented. We usually prefer unscented litters, but fortunately the smell wasnt strong enough to overwhelm our space, and once we poured it in the litter box, we didnt smell it again.
Even when we were scooping, we didnt smell any unpleasant aromas.
In fact, we didnt smell anythingeven though we knew Mila had been in and out of the litter box plenty of times. At the end of our first week using Arm & Hammer, we confirmed that the brand lived up to its seven-day odor-free guarantee. Even when we were scooping, we didnt smell any unpleasant aromas. We know that sounds implausible, but the litter was really that good!
The Spruce Pets / Joline Buscemi
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Affordability At Its Finest
Arm and Hammer has a lot of products to offer, ranging from affordable to premium priced. Most of them fall on the budget category, which is great for anyone who wants to save on costs but still get the quality they need in cat litter. Because of their less costly products, anyone can avail their cat litter without worrying about the budget.
Most of the Arm and Hammer cat litter I reviewed fell in the budget category and did amazing for its cost. It just goes to show that you dont need to spend tons of money on quality, you just need to make sure that you purchase from a reputable brand like Arm and Hammer. Their cat litters are really for all audiences!
Are all their products worth the price? Honestly, they do fall short with some of their cat litters. But overall, they do the job right with most of their products, which is why I commend Arm and Hammer as a good brand entirely. Ill be getting into the exact details of what they have to offer, as well as the good and bad of their litter types later on.
Overall Is Arm & Hammer Cat Litter A Good Choice
At first glance, we werent sure that we were going to like Arm & Hammer cat litter. Despite the affordable price, were used to seeing this brand sold in big box stores and grocery stores where quality isnt always the priority. We were pleasantly surprised, however, after testing two cat litters and one litter deodorizer that the brand keeps to its promises as a whole when it comes to long-lasting odor control, hard-clumping action, and low dust and tracking.
Again, the main thing we noticed about Arm & Hammer cat litter is the sandy texture. This is not necessarily a problem, but it may take getting used to for some cats. This texture also means that clumps sometimes break up into tiny rocks, but they are easily scooped away, and you generally arent left with a gluey mess at the bottom of the litter box.
For affordable odor control, we heartily recommend Arm & Hammer cat litter. We look forward to reviewing some of their other products in the future, including some of their natural cat litters.
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Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter Vs Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Litter
Those looking for a less-scented cat litter might consider Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter. While the litter has a slight fragrance, its not nearly as strong as the Purina Tidy Cats litter. While we do admittedly prefer the clumping ability of Purina, the Arm & Hammer litter doesnt track nearly as much. Whichever you go for, youll be left with a clean smelling home and for a similar price.
Buy if you dont mind scented litter.
While the scent wasnt our favorite , the Purina Tidy Cats litter clumped really well and kept our home fresh. In the future, well definitely be buying the unscented version.
Kocat Natural Wood Cat Litter
Heres another innovative clumping litter, this one made from 100% wood fibers. Its biodegradable, so if your locality allows you to flush litter, you can just scoop and flush. Ökocat will also appeal to households with allergies and sensitivities since its free of scents and dust.
What we like about it:
- Free of chemicals, dyes, and fragrances
- Blocks the creation of ammonia odor for up to seven days
- Easy-to-scoop clumps simplify your cleanup
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What Does It Mean If A Cat Stops Urinating
If a cat stops urinating altogether, it is likely they are experiencing a feline urinary tract disease such as bladder inflammation or urinary stones or crystals. Male cats are particularly susceptible to the latter. “Male cats have a very narrow urethra, so crystals and mucus can form a plug or a single tiny stone may become lodged anywhere along this narrow tube,” said Tannert.
If a cat is unable to urinate, deadly toxins begin building up. Death can occur if the blockage isn’t removed by a veterinarian within 24 to 48 hours. If a veterinarian rules out medical problems like FLUTD, anxiety may be the culprit, a problem a veterinary behaviorist is best equipped to handle.
Lightweight Kitty Litter Vs Regular Clumping Cat Litter
Most people associate cat litter with being heavy so thinking of litter as being lightweight can be confusing. You may even wonder if lightweight litter works.
Good news: cat litter doesnt have to break your back to be effective at its job. Lightweight litter does behave a bit differently than other litters, so its best to know what youre getting when you reach for a package labeled lightweight.
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Now Youre A Cat Litter Expert
Starting in a world before litter when the indoor cat was rare, weve followed the tale of cat litter from inception to present day.
Weve learned how cat litter is made.
We know why it works. Weve become familiar with the brands and varieties that fill pet store shelves.
Todays cat litter market can be confusing, but educated shoppers like you can make intelligent choices based on your cats unique needs, the demands of your household, and of course, your preferences.
If youre interested in finding the best litter box for your cats personality, check out our lowdown on cat litter boxes!
Modify your litter box system: Im sure you could do this to any litter pan or box:
How To Solve Common Litter Box Problems
If youre unhappy with your current cat litter setupits hard having a small animal crapping where you live!there are a couple of other solutions that you might try before or in addition to swapping litters.
Scoop your litter at least once a day. When we went to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe to test litters, we were braced for the place to smell like a farm. It didnt. Thats because the cafes volunteers were always scooping, often within minutes of a cat doing its business. Though Church & Dwights Brown told us that litter formulas are tested for their clump integrity and odor control for up to three days , you still need to try to scoop every day.
If youre having trouble with your cat scattering litter, you could try a partially enclosed litter box instead. Or try a mat that catches litter, like the Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat, which traps litter scatter better than any mat weve tested.
Several Wirecutter staffers have also found personal litter box happiness with a Litter Genie Plus Cat Litter Disposal System close-by. Its a trash can, of sorts, that allows you to scoop litter into a small vestibule and close the lid, and then send the litter into a larger compartment that way, your nose isnt bombarded with a weeks worth of dirty litter every time you go to add newly soiled litter.
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The Best Budget Cat Litter
Quick-clumping Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Multi-Cat Strength Litter is a fragrance-free clay litter with good odor control and very little dust and tracking.
Pros: Tight-clumping medium-grain clay litter, unscented, very little dust, low tracking, does a fine job of controlling odors, affordable
Cons: Odors can accumulate over time
Several years ago, I switched my cat to the unscented Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Multi-Cat Strength Litter at the recommendation of a veterinary behaviorist, and I’ve been using it religiously ever since. But with the opportunity to test nine clumping clay litters for this guide, I was anxious to see how it would hold up compared to other brands. Quite well, it turns out.
For a highly affordable litter that is odor-containing and easy to clean, Dr. Elsey’s Ultra is as good as it gets. The unscented medium-grain clay litter also satisfies a cat’s need to scratch, dig, and bury their waste. Because it produces very little dust, it’s also a good choice for cats with respiratory issues.
In testing, it absorbed liquid almost instantly and clumped tightly. With a bit of heft to its grains, less litter was carried out of the box on my cats’ feet than with our top pick, Tidy Cats Naturally Strong Litter.
At around $0.50 per pound and sold in bags up to 40 pounds, Dr. Elsey’s is one of the top two most cost-effective brands in this guide, along with Frisco Scoopable Unscented Litter.
Dr Elsey’s Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter$11+
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Cat Litter does it all and doesn’t skimp on any of the most important qualities that make a cat litter superior. The odor control is outstanding, which means it’s ideal for homes with multiple cats. The medium grain clumping clay litter creates strong clumps that aren’t wasteful â meaning they don’t take half the litter with them. It makes the bag last a good bit longer. The formula doesn’t produce a lot of dust or tracking either, making it a dream!
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Thoughts On The Cat Litter Low Down: Everything You Need To Know About Cat Litter
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Clumping Clay Litters We Liked
- Cat’s Pride Unscented Natural Care Multi-Cat Clumping Litter: This affordable clay litter absorbed liquids instantaneously and formed clumps that were only a little more likely to break apart during cleaning than our top picks. Cat’s Pride is lighter weight than most clay litters, but that also makes it more likely to be tracked than heavier formulas. For every 15-pound jug purchased, the company donates a pound of litter to an animal shelter.
- Tidy Cats Free and Clean Lightweight Litter: This Tidy Cats Litter was on par with the brand’s Naturally Strong variety, which we selected as the best litter overall for this guide. The Free and Clean litter absorbed liquids on contact, clumped tightly, controlled odors with activated charcoal, and produced very little dust. It was also significantly lighter, making it easier to carry and pour. That lighter weight, however, resulted in more tracking than the Naturally Strong litter, with granules of litter sometimes riding on my cats’ feet all the way to the living room couch.
- Frisco Scoopable Unscented Litter: Frisco’s Multi-Cat Litter is a steal. Though it is less instantaneously absorbent, forming thinner and more fragile clumps that spread more widely across the pan, Frisco’s litter controls odors as well as our top budget pick, Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Multi-Cat Strength Litter. Unscented and among the least dusty formulas we tried, this is another great option for anyone looking to save a few bucks.
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Clumping Litter And Also Sodium Bentonite
Seventy-five percent of the litter we buy for our pet cats today is pretty horrible for the setting. They all have the exact same trouble that Fullers Earth had in the 50s, they generate a great deal of harmful dirt in the air, terrible for both animals along with humans. Except in the 1980s, Sodium Bentonite was introduced into litter just to make it easier to scoop since the moisture made clumps.
Sodium Bentonite is strip-mined, which is a process that creates water contamination along with wildlife variation, as well as much more. There are many biodegradable and also natural items on the shelves that are good for your animal and also the setting as well. Tidy Cat Vs Arm And Hammer
Clump And Seal Naturals
What I like about this Clump and Seal version is that its made with the natural ingredients like wood, plants, minerals, and obviously, baking soda to ensure the safety as your cat uses it. Those who are eco-friendly will highly appreciate the make of the Clump and Seal Naturals, especially since it comes at a moderate price. This is different from the usual natural cat litters that are more expensive!
It clumps and locks in odors just as well as Arm and Hammer advertises, though be wary that it has a shorter lifespan. But thats a minor issue for a natural cat litter.
Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal Naturals
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Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter Vs Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
We were impressed with how both the Arm & Hammer and Purina Tidy Cats litter eliminated odors and didnt produce dust. Purinas offering did clump much better than Arm & Hammers, but we also found our cat tracked it everywhere due to the larger granules. Another major difference is the scent. Arm & Hammer isnt scented, exactly, but it does have a slight citrus fragrance. The Purina Tidy Cats litter we tested was specifically made with a Glade scent. As mentioned, we prefer an unscented litter, so in this regard we prefer Arm & Hammer.
Both litters vary when it comes to price , but in general they are comparable on cost. Purina Tidy Cats is really lightweight, so even though you only receive 17 pounds in a pail, the volume of cat litter is comparable to the amount of litter that comes in Arm & Hammers 28-pound box.
Worth the purchase.
If this cat litter clumped together even slightly more, itd be perfect. But besides that one caveat, its still pretty good. The Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter kept our home free of smelly odors, and we were even happier to find that our cat didnt track it all over the house. It can be pricey depending on where you purchase it from, so just make sure you compare retailers before you buy.
Lightweight Litter Potential Cons
- Smaller, less-dense particles may be easier for kitty to track outside of the litter box. Use a litter mat to reduce tracking.
- Particles may stick to your cats paws or fur more easily than heavier weight litter particles.
- Some lightweight litters can be more dusty than others.
- Your vet may advise against very young kittens using lightweight litter until they get older and bigger. Check with your vet about any litter recommendations.
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