Odor Control And Clumping Performance
Odor control is a major concern for any cat owner and is often directly linked to clumping performance. A clumping cat litter with rapid, firm clumping action tends to work best at reducing litter box odors simply because the litter traps moisture from urine and feces quickly, preventing it from spreading. Low absorbency and slow clumping can cause surrounding litter to become saturated before a scoopable ball is formed. Loose clumps, on the other hand, will easily break apart, making scooping a hassle and increasing the chances of small clumps getting left behind.
Tips For Using Cat Litter For Odor Control
No matter which brand of odor-ousting cat litter you choose, experts agree that theres plenty you can do to ensure you get the best results for a great-smelling home. Here are some proven tips for success:
- The absolute best way to control odors is to regularly maintain and clean your cats litter box. Scooping daily, especially in a multi-cat household, is key to controlling unseemly smells. As an added bonus, if you scoop daily, you really only need to replace clay litter every two to three weeks, which saves you money, too.
- No matter what schedule the cat litter manufacturer recommends for changing the litter in your box, always rely on your best judgment . There are a lot of variables that can affect how well litter performs, from your cats diet to climate and humidity. So dome boxes may need to be cleaned more frequently than others.
- If your cat will tolerate it, a litter box with a hood can help contain the stink . Automatic litter boxes that scoop and contain smelly waste are another odor-fighting option. Just be sure to choose a cat litter thats designed for self-scooping litter boxes, which often jam when traditional cat litter is used.
- If using a litter liner to make cleanup easier, be aware that kitty claws can easily get caught in the tough plastic lining, which could harm your cat.
Cat Litter For Kittens
Clumping cat litter, usually made from clay, has become the most popular cat litter on the market, for good reason. The litter forms tight clumps around both solid and liquid waste on contact. These lumps contain the smell and can easily be scooped up and disposed of, allowing you to freshen up the litter on a regular basis. This means less work, less lingering smells, and less wasted litter.
Unfortunately, this is the type of cat litter that is problematic for kittens, as it contains sodium bentonite to enable the clumping action. This clay can expand 15 to 18 times its original size when it gets wet. This is great when it is soaking up urine, but not so great when it does this inside of your kittens digestive system. At best this will cause them serious discomfort, at worst they can develop a cement-like blockage with catastrophic health implications.
There are a number of alternative options to the popular clumping clay litter.
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Best For Multiple Cats: Arm & Hammer Multi
Multi-cat households often struggle with odor control, so finding a litter that forms hard, odor-neutralizing clumps is your best defense. This Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter harnesses the odor-fighting power of Arm & Hammer baking soda and moisture-activated microgranules to seal in odor from feces, urine, and ammonia for an odor-free litter box for up to 7 days. It is also extremely low in dust, which minimizes tracking and mess.
The first thing we noticed about Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter is that it had a very sandy texture, which could cause some cats to avoid the box.
Despite that, we found that the power of Arm & Hammer baking soda did its work effectively in providing long-lasting odor control, even with three cats in the household sharing litter boxes.
Whats The Best Cat Litter Box For Large Cats
If you own a super-sized Maine Coon or massive Chausie, it can be a struggle to find an adequate litter box. Litter boxes are usually undersized for average cats, and the search is even more challenging for a large cat.
Covered litter boxes are out of the question for large cats. While even small uncovered litter boxes allow your cat to extend their head and tail over the edges, a covered litter box has restrictive side walls that make your cat feel cramped. Look for big, sturdy uncovered boxes.
Because huge litter boxes are rare, many large cat guardians choose to make their own litter boxes or use plastic storage containers instead.
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Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Pellets Premium Choice
If youre looking for one of the best litter systems out there, dont skip over Purina Tidy Cats Breeze pellets. Theyre extremely unique in terms of litter and how they work. Breeze pellets work like desiccantsbeing that they are super absorbent dehydration pellets.
These pellets dont clump up around solids or liquids. For solid waste, the pellets will dehydrate and soak up all the moisture within. This eliminates the smell associated with cat feces. And as far as urine goes, theres nothing to scoop. Thats because liquid passes through the pellets and gets absorbed by a specialty mat resting below.
This system isnt just clump-free desiccant, however. Its completely dust-free as well, making this the ideal litter for small living spaces and apartments. But while this is one of the best functional litters on the market, its way too expensive for most people to use. Not only do you have to buy expensive pellets, but you need to get the Breeze system absorbent pads and specialty litter box as well. Also, training your cat to make the transition from a standard litter to this one can be a chore.
- Training your cat may be difficult
Is There A Dust
Dusty natural and clay litters can be problematic for both cat and human. Dust may cause sensitive cats, particularly those with allergies or respiratory issues like asthma, to cough, sneeze, or wheeze during or after using their litter. It can produce the same effect in humans when filling or scooping the box. While no litter is completely dust-free, those that produce very little dust are less likely to have unintended respiratory effects.
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Best Cat Litter For Kittens: Breeder Celect Recycled Paper Cat Litter
Soft on little paws
This litter from Breeder Celect is made from 99% recycled paper, making it ideal for young or sensitive paws. Its also natural and non-toxic, making it a great choice for kittens.
This recycled paper litter is made to be highly absorbent with natural odour control, promising to keep your house smelling clean and fresh, and as its made from natural ingredients, it can be composted once the waste is removed.
Cat owner Becca really rates this litter, saying I have tried quite a few different sorts of litter for picky cats, this is definitely my favourite. This doesnt break up into tiny pieces that spread around everywhere. Its still going to get kicked out a bit but it doesnt get walked around the entire house.
Tidy Cats Scoop Glade Tough Odor Solutions Clumping Cat Litter
Glade has come together with Tidy Cats to bring you this odor-fighting cat litter solution. This clumping cat litter works hard to neutralize and eliminate odors through TidyLock technology. The litter is formulated for households with multiple cats via the clumping properties and odor control defenses. Tidy Cats Glad Tough Odor Solutions cat litter is cost-effective, easy to cleanup and will bring a hint of Glade freshness to your litter box area.
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The Best Cat Litters In Canada: Our Top 10 Recommendations
You and your cats have your own personal preferences, but every household needs a high-quality cat litter that delivers reliable performance. Weve put together a list of the 10 best cat litters available in Canada to help you find the one that best suits your needs and your cats preferences.
- Lightweight formula and sturdy jugs are easy to manage
- Contains activated carbon to help control odor
- Doesnt contain any artificial fragrance
Purina Yesterdays News Original Paper Cat Litter
Fluffballs, rejoice! Long-haired cats will appreciate the large pellets of this recycled paper litter, which wont catch their fur. Youll appreciate the noticeable lack of dust. Also, for cats who have recently undergone surgery, I recommend Yesterdays News, which wont stick into the surgical site, says Brian Evans, veterinarian and medical director at Dutch.
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Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Platinum Cat Litter
Curious kittens may decide to taste their litter. Clumping litter can cause intestinal blockages, explains Nicole Van Andel, cat behaviorist at Tuft + Paw. And geriatric cats have a more difficult time cleaning themselves. Theyll especially benefit from a litter that doesnt stick to their paws.
Litter made of pine has a naturally pleasant scent that blocks eau de feline toilet without the need of artificial fragrances. Pine litter doesnt clump, yet it still gets the enthusiastic vote of many cat parents and vets. Jeff Smith, veterinarian at Danville Family Vet in Danville, Virginia, especially likes Feline Pine, which he has found to be naturally odor absorbent and attractive to most cats.
How To Choose The Best Cat Litter
Lets be honest, mulling over the pros and cons of various cat litter products probably isnt at the top of your priority list, after all, its just a bag of dirt right?
As pet parents it can be easy to focus our attention on the choices we feel are most important, things like food, beds and toys, but theres a lot more to cat litter than meets the eye and finding the best fit for your kitty is key.
With that in mind, heres a few features youll want to be looking out for when selecting the best cat litter
If you want your home to smell more citrus fresh and less cat mess, then an odor eliminating litter is likely to be top of your list. You can choose from scented or unscented options, but keep in mind that many cats are sensitive to strong scents. In terms of ingredients, look for things like carbon, silica or naturally derived plant-extracts which do a great job of absorbing and neutralizing odors.
Consider whether you want a clumping or non-clumping formula. Clumping litter tends to be the most popular because it forms lumps when wet making it easy to scoop out your cats waste. If youre environmentally conscious, though, and want a flushable or compostable litter then non-clumping litters are a better choice.
Experiment with different types and textures to see what your cat prefers. Clay-based litters are great for scooping and generally the most affordable, but they can produce a lot of dust, which isnt great for cats with respiratory problems.
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Best Premium: Pretty Litter Ultra
This lightweight, silica crystal cat litter is dust-free and comes in a fine texture that wont irritate even the most sensitive cat paws.
Pretty Litter is available in a convenient monthly subscription, with a full bag lasting up to 30 days for a single cat. If you have multiple cats, simply add an extra litter box for each. The unique silica materials absorb odor and eliminate moisture while dehydrating solid waste, making it easy to keep the litter box clean and tidy.
The biggest downside to Pretty Litter is the cost, which can be an issue since you may find the bag doesnt last a full month if your cats share litter boxes. What makes it worth the money, however, is that it changes color at different urine pH levels which can help you catch certain health issues early while theyre still treatable.
Whats The Best Cat Litter Box For Small Apartments
Having a small home doesnt mean you need to cut back on litter box space. Instead of saving space by choosing a small box, choose one that can multitask.
Litter box furniture enclosures double as storage areas and shelving, allowing you to maximize your space. Because these pieces make functional decorative accents, they have more placement options than the average litter box.
While its usually a good idea to place your litter box in the bathroom, laundry room, or other discreet area, multifunctional boxes can go almost anywhere. Regardless of how limited your space is, try to place the litter box in a low-traffic area where your cat will have a stress-free elimination experience.
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Using Your Cat Litter
Once you have found a litter that works for both you and your cat, you need to use it properly to make sure it does its job.
If you are worried about smell, you probably already have a closed litter tray, which also affords your cat privacy, which most cats prefer when doing their business. This should not be tucked away in a corner of your home but placed in a well-ventilated area so that the odors that are created are dispersed quickly.
You should also clean your cats litter tray as often as is practical, just scooping out solids and clumps. Sometimes you might only be able to do this once or twice a day, other times you might be able to do this five times a day, depending on your schedule. But if it is not sitting there, its smell is not penetrating your home.
Some people recommend changing the litter completely twice a week, though I only change mine once a week, as twice a week is just too expensive. But dont just take out the old litter and fill it up with fresh stuff. Take the time to clean the box with soap and warm water.
When putting litter back in the tray, make sure you use enough. Cats like to bury their business, and they need enough depth to do that. Ideally, the litter should be 2-3 inches deep, though you may need to experiment with what your cat prefers.
Is Tidy Cats Litter Safe
In short, Tidy Cat litter is not a bad litter but may not suit your cats needs. It is acceptable for use with most cats but a lower-dust and perfume-free formula may be better.
Is crystal cat litter good?
Cat litter with silica crystal beads are typically dust-free, which helps keep the area around your pets litter box clean. Crystal-based litter is also effective when it comes to odour neutralizing and lasts much longer compared to other cat litter.
Can cat litter make cats sick?
Many mass market cat litters contain significant amounts of silica dust which has been linked to upper respiratory issues in cats and even humans. Likewise, the chemical fragrances in many cat litters can also be toxic to cats.
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Why Trust The Spruce
When looking into the best picks to include, we read dozens of product reviews from retailer sites and the Spruce Pets’ contributing reviewers. We also test top products.
This article was originally written by Madeleine Burry, who has covered how to care for pets for more than a decade. Additional research and editing was contributed by Lily Sperry, a lifestyle writer and commerce editor at the Spruce.
Keep The Litter Box Clean
Regardless of which type of litter you choose for your cat, focusing on litter box cleanlinessis a must.
Use a litter mat outside of the box to cut down on the litter and other stuff that gets tracked around your home.
Scoop the box at least twice a day , and empty it completely to wash with soap and water at least once a week.
Another way to ensure that the litter box stays nice and clean is to buy a self-cleaning model. Be sure to keep a regular box nearby at first, until you’re sure your cat is accepting and using the automatic one.
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What Clay Clumping Litters We Don’t Recommend
- Arm & Hammer Unscented Multi-Cat Litter: Although it is advertised as unscented, this litter has a light laundry detergent odor. It formed solid clumps but was the dustiest of all of the litters we tested.
- Pioneer Pet Smart Cat Lightweight Clumping Litter: This lightweight, unscented litter absorbs liquid and clumps well, but the moisture that escaped to mix with clay at the bottom of the pan was surprisingly challenging to remove.
- Cat’s Pride Scented Bacterial Odor Control Multi-Cat Litter: The litter produced very little dust and clumped reasonably well, but it didn’t capture all of the liquid, leaving wet clay stuck to the bottom of the pan. It also has a light soapy scent.
- Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Litter: Arm & Hammer’s Cloud Control was the least absorbent litter out of the nine clay varieties, although what liquid it absorbed clumped solidly. A heavy litter perfumed with a light laundry scent, Cloud Control is, at the very least, dust-free.
The Best Cat Litter Is Made Without Irritating Fragrances
Some people prefer litter made with added perfume, but these fragrances may irritate sensitive noses. The best cat litter doesnt lean on fragrances to disguise the smell of cat waste. Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM confirms this, encouraging cat owners to avoid highly-scented cat litters. She says that cats have a much better sense of smell than we do, so even if the litter smells good to us, cats can find it very irritating.
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