Cat Litter : Different Types Of Cat Litter Available
Earlier, Life was easy. Clay cat litter was the only type of cat litter available. It used to be perfect for absorbing urine and the cat used to bury its waste matter following her natural behavior.
Today, we have tons of options. Choosing the perfect cat litter type is tricky especially when we have to consider budget, odor-control, unscented, clumping, absorbency, and pet parent reviews.
But What if we tell you that we did all the hard work for you?
With CatLovesBest, You can pick which types of cat litter suits from twelve different options according to your budget, convenience, and preference.
Each litter type is unique, so dont skip this and read all the types of cat litter!
Silica Gel Crystals In Cat Litter
Crystal cat litter is made from the same type of silica gel crystals found in the desiccant packets that come with products like leather bags, cameras, and jerky.
Although these packets are well-known for their do not eat labeling, the silica gel crystals are non-toxic and safe for your cat.
Silica gel crystals are synthetically made from a combination of silicon dioxide, oxygen, and water.
Each crystal has millions of tiny pores that capture moisture.
Watch the video below for a closer look at how these types of litters work:
The Type Of Litter Most People Prefer
So, your cat is most likely to prefer an unscented, fine particle, clumping clay litter. Fortunately, there is no shortage of those to choose from. And now that youve got an idea for whats most likely to make your cat happy, you can consider the qualities in a litter that will keep you happy, too.;
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Can You Purchase Biodegradable Cat Litter
Yes. Nowadays, you can purchase biodegradable cat litter.;
However, you will probably have to remember that it is vastly more expensive than the alternative options.;
Although, you are going to be doing your bit for the environment!
Biodegradable cat litter is made from plant matter.
The cat litter should be produced from renewable sources.;
So, while the actual farming to make the cat litter will impact the environment, it will have nowhere near as much of an impact as the mining for clay or sand.
You cannot recycle biodegradable cat litter. It will still need to go into the landfill.;
However, if you bag it up in a biodegradable bag, both are going to disintegrate eventually.
Is Cat Litter Toxic To Cats
Whether your cat eats litter due to pica, boredom, or another reason entirelyyour first concern might be for your cats safety. Litter isnt meant to be eaten, but is it dangerous for cats?
Litter is not good for cats to eat, but some litter is more dangerous than others. Clumping litter contains sodium bentonite, and it is especially dangerous for cats. The sodium bentonite can clump inside of their intestines and cause a blockage. In extreme cases, it can even cause bentonite toxicosis when ingested.
Not all litter is created equal. If you are worried about the risk of sodium bentonite, consider looking into a different type of litter. For a litter that doesnt contain sodium bentonite, consider one made from food-based products such as wheat or corn.
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Alright What About Crystal Cat Litter Then
Well, its about the same. While the process for getting crystal cat litter isnt exactly the same as clay it is still quite extensive and is fairly harmful for the environment.
The crystals do come from strip mining, but is made from sodium silicate sand. This material is the same thing that can be found in those tiny packages that come in new products to absorb moisture, and often say Do Not Eat.
In summary, crystal cat litters are not a sustainable or environmentally friendly alternative to clay cat litters.
Is Clay Cat Litter Bad For The Environment
Most cat litter produced will be clay cat litter.;
This is because it is incredibly easy to produce, and this makes it cheap.;
Most of the cat litters that you see at your local pet store will be clay cat litter.;
However, clay cat litter is the absolute worst cat litter that you can buy if you care about the environment, and there are a few reasons for this:
- Clay cat litter is not biodegradable.
- It takes a huge amount of resources to produce clay cat litter.
- Clay mining has a massive impact on the environment.
Lets break this down a little bit.
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Does Chilli Powder Deter Cats
Cat repellents arent designed to last much longer than a day or two without degrading and losing their potency. Pepper you can make a simple animal repellent with black pepper and chilli pepper. Spread the powder on annuals and perennials to keep cats away. Citrus cats dont like citrus smells.
Our Pick: Dr Elseys Ultra
For your money, Dr. Elseys Ultra forms tough clumps and does an outstanding job of trapping odors. It also produces less dust and is significantly cheaper than many other cat litters we tested.
In tests with liquid waste, Dr. Elseys Ultra formed clumps that were in the middle of the pack in terms of hardness, and that were on the flat side, making them less prone to sticking to the bottom or side of the litter pan. Wirecutter staffers report that the clumps held up well during scooping, sometimes breaking into large chunks if they were being excavated from a corner or side. They never crumble into oblivion, said Wirecutter senior staff writer Kimber Streams, whose cats have used it for six years.
Our long-term testers said Dr. Elseys Ultra does a great job of masking waste odors. The litter itself smells neutral and isnt overwhelmingly fruity like the Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance. In our control tests, Dr. Elseys Ultra masked the odor from stinky ammonia and pungent hing so well that we could smell only the clay litter when the waste stand-ins were just partially covered by litter.
Though tracking was tough for us to test at the cat cafe, Dr. Elseys Ultra has grains that are on the larger side, meaning it should track less than some of the competition. Our staffers long-term experience experimenting with litter bears that out. It tracks a bit, but not as bad as other litters Ive used, Streams said.
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So Back To The Original Question
So back to the original question what are the benefits of natural litter? Well, just take a look at the hit list of clay litter nastiness above. Natural litter has none of that. Big benefit. In my experience, natural litters, while going through the fits and starts of any innovative product, has hit its stride in terms of the cats themselves. Early in my career, when I recommended a change to my cat guardian clients, the cost was prohibitive, they had to conduct a bit of a scavenger hunt to find it, and, sadly, the clumping and odor control was just not up to the standards they were used to.
Now, things are thankfully in a better place. Natural options are available in the same locations as conventional litter, we dont have to worry about the physical or environmental side effects of clay, and, the cats like it. Now thats a trifecta we can all be happy about. Whats not to like?
Is Cat Litter Toxic To Humans
After discussing the two common ingredients in litter above, its safe to say that cat litter can be potentially toxic to humans. With chemicals that are known carcinogens and the ability to cause potentially fatal toxicities, it only makes sense as to why so many organizations warn us about the dangers of cat litter.
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How To Choose A Healthy Litter And Cat Litter Box
Know Your Options and Explore What Might Work for Your Cat
Scooping litter is a chore enjoyed by no one. But finding the right cat litter box and accompanying litter can make that job a lot easier. While we encourage you to take your own households needs into consideration, the biggest stakeholder in your litter box choice will be your cat. Some cats are flexible about litter choices, while other cats refuse to deviate from their box and litter of choice.
Knowing your options allows you to explore what might work for your cat. And that right litter should work for you, toothe best litters provide odor control, reduced tracking and other fine qualities. Dont discount how choosing the right box fits into your overall litter solution, especially if your cat is particular about their habits.
Why Some Cat Owners Are Switching from Clumping Clay Litters
If you buy your litter from a big-box store or grocery store, typically youre buying clumping clay cat litter. Many cats love this litter, and your cat might refuse to use anything else. A worry with clumping clay cat litter is the dust created by the litter. All litters create some amounts of dust, but clay litters can create a lot of dust that can affect your cats lungs. So if your cat has a condition that affects her breathing, it makes sense to look for a low-dust option.
Choosing a Healthy, Renewable Litter for Your Cat
Picking a Cat Litter Box for Your Cat
What Type of Cat Litter Box Do You Need?
The Best Litter Scoop: Duranimals Durascoop Original Cat Litter Scoop
Out of five scoops we used to scoop litter at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe, the DurAnimals DuraScoop Original Cat Litter Scoop was the only one that didnt end up with a crust of pee and litter on the edge, or bits of litter stuck in the mesh.
This scoop is deeper and wider than the competition, making it simple to scoop up a large clump or to rake through the litter to pick up any bits youve missed. Its sturdy edge allows you to easily remove any clumps that may have gotten stuck to the pans edge or bottom.
The DuraScoops inventor, Chuck Firthaka the poop scoop guy, as he signs his emailssaid he invented this scoop in 2003 because he was tired of using plastic scoops that bent easily. The DuraScoop lives up to his intent, and its rubber handle is easy to grip and wont bend or dig into your hand.
Overall, the DuraScoop makes an unpleasant chore as simple as possible, a fact reflected by the scoops impressive, 4.8-star rating on Amazon. One reviewer says, 30 years, 4 cats, and countless plastic scoops later, I bought the metal DuraScoop. What a relief. Says another, I cant believe Im in love with a litter scoop! Its also a firm staff favorite at Wirecutter.
The DuraScoop is more expensive than the competition, though we think that about $13 is still a small price to pay for something that makes it easy to clean out your pets litter box.
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What Happens To Used Clay Litter
Perhaps you guessed it clay litter is non-biodegradable, which means it will end up in the landfill and take up unnecessary space.
Used kitty litter is often tied in a bag and then send to the garbage collector. Then, it is dumped into a landfill and unfortunately, it ends up staying there for a long time maybe even forever. Even if you untied it from the plastic bag, it will still stay there because clay isnt exactly a compostable material since the beginning of time.
Think of all those clay pots that weve seen in ruins and archeological sites. They are made from the same material and yet they survive thousands of years. Clay litter is going to end up like that but not in a pretty sight.
Cat Litter Is Cat Litter Whats The Big Deal
Sodium Bentonite and Crystalline Silica Dust thats the big deal!
Clumping cat litters hold great appeal for cat-lovers because they are so convenient. However many pet-owners dont realize these two ingredients in;most clumping cat litters have been implicated in diseases and even deaths in animals and humans.
Sodium bentonite is often added as a clumping agent to traditional cat litters to create scoopable clay litters like Tidy Cats.;Sodium bentonite acts like an expandable cement, which is why these litters should not be flushed they swell to 15 to 18 times their dry size. It is also used in grouting, sealing, and plugging materials.
Cats often lick themselves after using the litter box, ingesting pieces of the litter, which expands just as it does in the plumbing.; Also, the;dust from such litters can coat cats lungs, leading to respiratory problems. The HennepinCenter for Poison Control in Minnesota has reported instances of poisoning in humans from chronic ingestion of sodium bentonite, so just imagine what effect it can have on our kitties who breathe it multiple times a day!
Clumping clay kitty litters may be related to a wide variety of seemingly unrelated cat health problems, included;diarrhea, frothy yellow vomiting, mega-bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney problems, respiratory problems, general failure to thrive, anemia, lethargy, and even death.
How does clumping litter affect our pets?
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Why Clay Cat Litter Is Bad
If your cat is using a clay litter, those airborne particles can be inhaled and cause irritation, an allergic reaction, and even an asthma attack. According to vets at Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, repeat exposure to allergens like clay dust cause the immune system to go into hyperdrive.
What Is Kitty Litter Made Of And Is It Safe For Your Cat
Perhaps its not the most sophisticated topic of conversation, but have you ever wondered why household cats go to the bathroom using kitty litter? Turns out theyre just following the lead of their ancestors.
They originally came from a sort of dry desert environment, Jessica Romine, DVM, DACVIM, small animal internal medicine specialist at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Southfield, Mich. tells Yahoo Lifestyle. When would defecate in the wild, they would go into loose, dry soil with a sand-like component something they could scrape, hide and cover up, because theyre very hygienic animals.
Today, because not many pet owners are interested in filling their homes with desert sand, cats relieve themselves in store-bought kitty litter, which is meant to mimic the easily-digable material cats used in the wild, according to Romine.
And while there are plenty of types of cat litter available on the market, the most common types are either clumping or non-clumping litter, says Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart resident veterinarian and pet care expert. Traditional non-clumping litter can be made of any clay material that can absorb liquids, she explains. Clumping litter which makes waste removal a little easier on cat owners is made of granulated bentonite clay that clumps together when wet, adds Freeman.
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Why Do Cats Eat Litter
If your cat or kitten is eating litter, it could be either a health or behavior issue. If you suspect it’s a health issue, you should bring your cat to the veterinarian right away, especially if the behavior appears suddenly.
Some kittens may eat litter purely out of curiosity and will grow out of the behavior with close monitoring.
The Best Flushable Corn Cat Litterbut Use Caution
Again and again while working on this guide, we heard from people who swore by Worlds Best Cat Litter, which is made of corn. We ordered some to test, just to see what the fuss was about. It smells like a farm, and objectively, it forms soft mushy clumps. But those who love it mainly love it because the company claims that the litter is flushable .
However, putting your litter down the drain can do damage to local wildlife. As weve written in our guide to dog poop bags, the US Environmental Protection Agency classifies pet waste as a pollutant, which can introduce excess nutrients and harmful microorganisms like parasites and coliform bacteria into rivers, streams, and groundwater. An issue particular to cat waste is toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection carried by cats that in humans can cause serious complications during pregnancy and for those who have weakened immune systems. In California, evidence has linked toxoplasmosis from cat feces to increased mortality in sea otters, prompting legislation to attach anti-flushing notices on cat litter bags. As a sanitation operations manager told The New York Times about wet wipes, which are also supposedly flushable: I agree that theyre flushable. A golf ball is flushable, but its not a good idea.
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Pine Litter Dust & Tracking
Ah, the dust. If you or your furball has any respiratory illnesses or you have allergies, a dusty litter can be a big problem. Even if you dont suffer from anything, it can still coat your lungs and nose. Whats worse, dust that has silica in it can cause lung cancer.
When it comes to pine, however, there is little to no dust from the pellets. Another tough thing about dust, though, is it can track throughout your house and cause a mess. Litter is known to get stuck to your pets paws and track all over the place in its questionable sanitary condition. Pine has a lower track rate , but the wet sawdust can stick to your pets feet.
As we mentioned in the last section, it is important to sift the box which brings the clean pellets to the surface. When this is done, you are less likely to have paw prints on your furniture.