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Best Litter For Cats With Sensitive Paws

Dr Elseys Paw Sensitive Litter

Gorilla Grip The Original Cat Litter Mat, Soft on Sensitive Kitty Paws, Easy to Clean, Durable

The new formula has all the same advantages of Precious Cat Ultra, but in a smaller, finer granule size. I found that this litter performs just as well as the Ultra formula.

I put the Paw Sensitive Litter in one box, and kept the Ultra formula in the other box. Allegra didnt show a preference for this litter over the Ultra formula, she used both boxes equally.

This litter could be an excellent choice for senior cats or cats who prefer a more sand like consistency. It may also be a good choice for cats who are avoiding the litter box if the avoidance is due to a substrate issue. Most cats prefer softer, sandy type textures.

Dr. Elseys Paw Sensitive Litter is available from

FTC Disclosure: I received this litter at no charge for the purpose of this review. Receiving the complimentary product did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegras opinion.

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Why You Should Trust Us

Im Wirecutters pets writer, and Ive covered everything from the best automatic litter boxes no one should buy to our favorite cat litter mats. Im also a lifelong pet owner and animal-shelter volunteer whos dealt with her share of cat poop, and Im determined to find the best way to control litter box odors without making things worse for feline residents.

Shannon Palus was a senior staff writer who wrote the original version of this guide. She interviewed Alexandra Medley, a veterinarian who had recently graduated from the Ohio State University , and had her survey the vets in her network for answers to Wirecutters toughest litter questions. Shannon also consulted Michael Lund, a vet with the ASPCA Anne Levin, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition and manager of the Brooklyn Cat Cafe and Ray Brown, VP of household R& D at Church & Dwight, the company that owns Arm & Hammer . She tested the top-performing cat litters at Brooklyn Cat Cafe, where dozens of cats provided their, er, input.

Benefits Of Using A Cat Litter For Declawed Cats

  • Soft litter alleviates discomfort: If your cat is newly declawed, they will benefit from using a litter that wont cause further discomfort in their paws. Soft litter will be gentle on their paws, which is absolutely crucial. If your kitty experiences pain when attempting to use their litter box, they may resort to improper elimination.
  • Wont contaminate recent surgical sites: Cats who have been recently declawed will have sensitive paws due to surgery. Appropriate litter for declawed cats wont irritate or contaminate the surgical site.
  • Materials wont be too harsh on wounds: Materials like clay can feel harsh on your cat if they just got declawed. Softer materials will ensure proper healing and less pain.
  • Keep your cat from eliminating improperly: If your cat takes a pit stop at their litter box but the feel of the granules causes pain, they may start attempting to do their business somewhere else. Using a litter for declawed cats will help ensure that your kitty continues to use the box properly.
  • Good litter can help reduce stress: Using a good litter for your declawed cat can help reduce stress. Since your kitty may already be experiencing trauma after losing their claws, its important that the litter box remains a stress-free place.
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    Tips For Training Your Kitten To Use The Litter Box

    Kittens instinctively seek out soil and sandy areas in which they can bury their waste, so starting to use a litter box is usually a process directed more by instinct than training. That said, youll need to point your kitten in the right direction, and not everyone takes to the box right away. Here are some tips to help you train your kitten to use the litter box:

    • First of all, choose a litter box thats right for your kitten. Select one with adequately low sides that allow your kitten to get in and out with ease. Some high-sided litter boxes feature a lowered entryway thats just low enough to make accessing the box simple.
    • Think about placement. Its recommended that you provide one litter box for each cat in the home, plus one extra. Place the litter boxes in calm parts of the house not a high-traffic area or a noisy room.
    • Get your kitten acquainted with the box. At a quiet moment, gently place the kitten into the box and demonstrate how to scratch in the litter. Repeat this at times when your kitten might normally use the litter box in the morning, after naps, and following a meal.
    • Until your kitten catches on to the litter box, its not a good idea to leave them home alone with the ability to go anywhere in the house. Unattended kittens should be confined to a room with non-porous flooring, food, water, a place to rest, and a clean litter box.

    Top 5 Best Litters For Kittens

    Best cat litter for sensitive paws

    Quick Look : Top 5 Best Training Litters for Kittens

    Where To Buy $.61/lb

    At the top of the list, youll notice a couple of non-clumping biodegradable litters. These are ideal for very young kittens, but dont offer the same hygiene and freshness that a clumping litter would provide. For those who would prefer a clumping litter, but dont want to use sodium bentonite clay, biodegradable clumping litters may provide a safer alternative. Youll also notice one clumping clay litter this one is recommended for older kittens who need an extra push to use the litter box.

    Here are the top 5 best products you can use in your kittens litter box:

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    Does Pellet Litter Hurt Your Cats Paws

    Generally, pellet litter wont hurt your cats paws. However, senior cats, large cats, declawed cats, and cats with a variety of other medical conditions may have extra-sensitive paws. For them, a litter with a finer texture is recommended even if your cat doesnt show any signs of discomfort.

    Cat Litter Quality For Picky Cats

    If you have a particularly finicky feline, here are some bases you might want to cover when looking for litter.

    Soft Texture

    Some cats prefer a softer textured litter that is easy to sift through. They want to be able to cover up their waste easily without scooping through rough particles.

    No Tracking

    It can make a cat pretty irritated when they have litter stuck to their paws. It can even lead to overgrooming the paw pads in some cases.


    If youre concerned your cat is sensitive to the fragrances used in cat litter, try out a scentless product.

    Optimal Coverage

    Some cat litters, such as most non-clumping types, can make it difficult for your cat to cover. If they arent able to properly bury their messes, it could cause litter box issues.

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    If Your Cat Has Injured Paw Pads Avoid Dusty Litter

    Litter thats very dusty will get into your cats wounds, which impedes healing. To keep your cats wounds clean and help them to heal faster, avoid dusty litter. Clay litter is usually the dustiest type, but high-dust litter comes in many shapes and forms. Wheat litter, corn litter, and wood litter can all produce plumes of dust and contaminate your cats sensitive wounds.

    Best Litters For Cats With Asthma

    okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Cat Litter for cats with sensitive paws

    Anything that irritates an asthmatic cat’s lungs can bring on or worsen an asthma attack. Unfortunately, litter dust whether clay, or otherwise can be a potent respiratory irritant for cats. So for cats with asthma it’s a good idea to go with a litter that is as “low-dust” as possible. The litters linked below typically fit that bill, while also having some of the other characteristics of litter that both you and your cat will like.

    sWeat Scoop, World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula, and Boxiecat are also great litter options for cats suffering from asthma or respiratory issues.

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    Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut

    Clumping walnut litter with an herbal kitten attractant

    This litter uses the natural odor-absorbing properties of walnut shells to control litter box smells without any artificial fragrances. According to Blue Buffalo, this natural blend of US grown walnut shells absorbs 3X more than the leading brand of clay litter.

    Its a naturally clumping litter that encourages a quick and easy cleaning experience plus its virtually dust-free.

    What makes this litter so appropriate for kittens is its ability to encourage your kitten to use the litter box. It contains a blend of natural herbs that can naturally draw kittens to the litter. If your kitten needs a little help getting started using the box, this product may be a good choice. Buy It


    Best Litter For Cats That Need Help Learning To Use Their Litter Box

    Sometimes a new kitten might need a guidemap or, more specifically, a guide scent to find and know to do their business in their litter boxes. And this may be especially true in households without any other adult cats to show the new kitten the “ropes” of their litter boxes. For these guys, using a cat attractant litter or litter additive like the ones linked below can sometimes help. And it’s not just young kittens that can benefit from these attractant litters and additives… adult or senior cats who start going outside of their boxes can sometimes benefit from them, too.

    I hope this helps you find the best litter for you and your cat. Id love to know what you think and what litter you use with your cats. What has worked well for you and what hasnt? Please share your litter experiences in the comments section below.

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    Yesterdays News Softer Texture Unscented Cat Litter Review

    Recycled non-clumping paper pellet litter

    Paper litter is a popular choice among those seeking a gentle, paw-friendly product. This litter is specifically designed to be softer than the original Yesterdays News litter, making it perfect for delicate kitten paws.

    This litter is made from recycled newspaper and, according to the company, is 3X more absorbent than clay. Because its not a clumping litter, youll need to change it out more frequently to keep odors to a minimum.

    The litter is 99.7% dust free and wont emit a plume of dust when you pour it into the litter box. Its unscented with no artificial fragrances. Buy It


    • Non-clumping and safe for young kittens


    • Doesnt offer the best odor control

    Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

    Best Cat Litter for Sensitive Paws

    The most obvious downside of Dr. Elseys Ultra is its container. Though this litter is sometimes sold in small boxes, the lowest price is found on a 40-pound plastic bag from Amazon. Out of all the containers that litter comes in, a plastic bag is the hardest to seal, and isnt as easy to stow away as a box or a plastic bin.

    That 40-pound plastic bag is twice as heavy as other litters, which come in 20-, 30-, or 40-pound cardboard-box containers that are easier to lift and store. Pet owners with minimal arm strength may have difficulty pouring Dr. Elseys Ultra into a pan, so we recommend transferring some of the litter into an easy-pour container or using a large kibble scooper that you store in the bag. Or you can grab one of Dr. Elseys 18-pound bags, which cost 7 extra cents per pound.

    Dr. Elseys Ultra fell in the middle of the pack in our cleanability tests because it can leave sticky messes at the bottom of the pan. Its average-size granules dont pack as tightly as tinier granules, like those in the Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Clumping Litter, so more moisture can get to the bottom of the litter box. Dr. Elseys Ultra performed about as well as two cheaper litters we tested: the Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Litter and the Frisco Scoopable Cat Litter. If you are willing to pay a premium for harder clumps that wont stick to the bottom of a dirty pan, try our other pick, the Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Clumping Litter.

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    Avoid Contaminating The Surgical Site

    Recently declawed cats have ultra-sensitive paws because of the operation. And since there is an open wound, the risk that a cats paws can be contaminated, irritated, or infected is very high.

    Using an appropriate declawed cat litter can help prevent these further discomforts and complications. During this crucial period, a declawed kitty doesnt need additional irritations that can aggravate his uneasiness.

    Is Clumping Litter Safe For Kittens

    There are horror stories about cats eating clumping litter and having it form clumps inside their stomachs, but this isnt something most people need to worry about, said Medley. If your cat is eating litter, take them to the vet: It could be a sign of anemia or pica, the desire to eat things that are not food. Plus, in small quantities, sodium bentonite isnt dangerous for animalsits even an ingredient in some animal feed.

    Some people are especially worried about kittens eating clumping litter, because kittens have smaller stomachs and may be more curious. Though some brands recommend using non-clumping litters until your kitten is 4 months old or so, others, like Cats Pride, note that theres no evidence that sodium bentonite has actually caused harm to a kitten this is a conclusion supported by vets Medley and Lund, as well as by everything we found when scanning the literature and reading many Internet forums. In my 7 years experience as a vet Ive not seen a foreign body from a kitten who has ingested clay clumping litter, said Lund. If youre concerned and would still like to use clumping clay litterI would!monitor your kittens behavior and check in with your vet if something seems amiss.

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    Worlds Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula

    Although this is a multi-cat litter formula, it can absolutely be used for a single cat household! Multi-cat strength simply gives better odor and clumping benefits. Worlds Best is made from renewable whole kernel corn, so its eco-friendly. The fine texture is sure to be gentle on paws, and its dust free so your cat with allergies or asthma will also appreciate this litter!

    Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Litter

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    Purina Tidy Cats is a high-performance cat litter that is lightweight and easy to carry around.

    This litter forms clumps that are neither too hard nor too soft for the cats paws it has just the right texture that is gentle to healing paws. It is ideal for declawed cats, kittens as well as senior cats with sensitive paws and toes.

    One of the unique features of the litter brand is the lock protection that locks away urine ammonia and fecal odors.

    Your visitors would not even realize that the litter box is a few meters away. This feature makes Purina Tidy cat litter ideal for multiple cat households.

    Purina Tidy cats litter forms tight but gentle clumps that reduce litter tracking and dust from coming out of the litter box. This litter is also ideal for declawed cats that are going through post-surgery healing.


    • Some customers have reported cases of litter tracking

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    Best Hypoallergenic Cat Litters With Our 2022 Budget

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    Up next

    Cats can suffer from allergies, asthma and respiratory issues the same way humans can.

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    How To Redeem This Offer

    As you know, allergies can be extremely irritating and difficult to manage. Cats who suffer from allergies need extra care from pet parents, and its crucial to choose a cat litter that wont intensify their sensitivities.

    Hypoallergenic cat litter can play a tremendous role in keeping your cat healthy. Since your kitty uses the litter box several times a day, they need to use a litter that wont flare up their allergies. If visiting the litter box is causing your cat to sneeze or itch, they may become more likely to start eliminating outside their box. Avoid this unfortunate behavior by choosing a good hypoallergenic cat litter. In this article we bring you a list of our favorite hypoallergenic cat litters along with the benefits of using one.

    Can Litter Hurt A Cats Paws

    Yes, it is possible for cat litter to hurt your cats paws. Crystal litter can be sharp which can be painful to stand on. Also, if clay litter gets stuck to your cats paws and gets dried on, this can hurt your cat pretty bad.

    If they have to constantly walk on a hard material it can hurt. Litter that is dried on can also pull on their hair and just generally be uncomfortable.

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    Whats The Best Cat Litter According To Your Cat

    If your cat could describe to you the ideal litter box situation, it would probably be clean and comfortable. The litter box may be a place to do the necessary, but that doesnt mean the experience should be unpleasant.

    Think about how a cat litter will feel under your cats paws. If its dusty, think about how it might make conditions uncomfortable, especially in a hooded litter box. Consider whether artificial fragrance might be overwhelming.

    Respect your cats natural instincts and consider his perspective when choosing cat care essentials like litter.

    What To Look For In A Litter For Cats With Sensitive Paws

    Best Cat Litter for Sensitive Paws

    There are a few things youll want to look for when choosing the best litter for your cats fragile paws.

    Granule size: The smaller the litter granule, the softer it will be on your cats paws. Cats prefer a fine textured litter, almost like sand. Doesnt it sound much better than walking on big rocks?!

    Scent:Humans may prefer scented litter, but your cat will definitely appreciate an unscented option.

    Dustiness: A low-dust litter is best for both humans and cats. If your cat is especially sensitive already, a litter that emits limited dust is the ultimate scenario. Dust can also irritate injuries and sores.

    Flushability or other benefits: Some litters offer benefits like the ability to be flushed down a toilet, or put into a compost. The packing and labels will indicate these benefits.

    Now that we know what to look for in a litter for cats with sensitive paws, we can dive into our list of recommendations.

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