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.
Litters For Cats With Special Needs
Some cats, and even their people, will require special litters. This is particularly true if your cat or anyone in your home has a breathing condition like asthma, but there are other conditions and living situations that will necessitate special litters. Below are three common conditions/scenarios where special litters might be needed.
Choose A Litter With Ingredients You And Your Cat Prefer
There are many types of cat litter available, but the basic ingredients are either clays, silica, or plant shavings of some sort. While clay litters still dominate the market due to their liquid-absorbing properties, alternative kitty litters made from paper, wood, wheat, corn, and other natural ingredients are also available.
As a cat parent, pay attention to the ingredients in your kitty litter to be sure youre choosing a litter that fits with your and your cats preferences. If you do choose to change your current cat litter for another, remember that your cats dont typically like change. Be sure to slowly add the new litter to previous one, gradually phasing out the old, or if the litters do not mix well, put out an additional litter box with the new litter so kitty can investigate. Gradually remove litter from the previous box and then take it away entirely once youre sure kitty is using the new litter.
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Examples Of Scented Litter
A favorite scented litter is Scoop Aways. The carbon in the formula will all but eliminate those unwanted odors. The Scoop Away Ammonia Shield prevents bacteria from growing while controlling current odors. All that and the litter clumps!
You can also use the Fresh Steps Odor Shield clumping litter we linked to earlier in this article for a nice scented option.
Chemical Compounds Vs Natural Ingredients
When you are trying to fight odors, you can get scent boosters in the litter that eliminates smells at the source. Many companies pair with products like Febreze and baking soda, or odor blasters to reduce litter box smells, keeping things fresh.
However, these chemicals can be a tad harshand some cats might be very sensitive to it. Because of this, many owners want more natural litter to deal with at potty time.
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Different Types Of Cat Litter Boxes: Which Ones Best For Your Cat
Cats evolved to use the bathroom whenever and wherever they pleased. It didnt matter if that was the middle of the jungle floor or right out in the open on the Serengeti if they wanted to go, they did, right then and there.
So why is it, then, that modern cats seem to need special containers in which to do their business?
Well, the short answer is that cats have realized well give them whatever they want as long as they promise to stop peeing on the couch. That doesnt mean that all litter boxes are the same, however, and on the list below, well take you on a deep dive through some of the most popular options on the market today.
Can You Mix Clumping And Non
While its perfectly safe to mix clumping and non-clumping litter, its usually not a very good idea. When mixed, clumping litters dont clump as intended, creating additional waste and making cleanup difficult. Mixing while transitioning a cat to a new litter or to avoid wasting excess litter is okay.
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So What Is The Best Cat Litter
There really is no clear answer to which type of cat litter is the best. The choice between clumping and non-clumping litter is a personal decision that will depend on what you want in a cat litter and what your cat prefers. Many cats appear to prefer clumping litter because it is easier for them to push aside, but some cats prefer non-clumping clay.
Both clumping and non-clumping cat litters do produce some dust, although there are formulations of both types that are designed to decrease the amount of dust in the litter. Litters can also be a concern for pet owners if the litter is ingested. This will depend on the litter material and the amount of litter ingested. Generally, it takes a lot of ingested litter to cause a problem and it is often more of a concern for dogs that like to raid the cat litter box than it is for the cat.
Choosing the litter that your cat prefers makes it less likely that litter box avoidance issues and inappropriate elimination will become a problem for you. Your preferences combined with your cats preferences will determine what the best cat litter is for youand which litter you will want to stick with.
Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Cat Litter
When deciding which products to use for your cat, there are so many choices. This goes for the leashes, collars, supplements, food, cat litter, and other cat products that are needed. Today, as a cat care company, we want to help you learn more about the different types of cat litter. There are pros and cons to each kind. Sometimes, it comes down to the preferences of your cat, as well. No matter what type of cat litter you use, if you need someone to clean it while you are away, you can count on our litter box overhaul services. Keep reading here to find out more about the pros and cons of the different types of cat litter and how our cat care experts can help you.
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Mixing Clumping And Non
Clumping cat litters, usually made of small granules of bentonite clay, work by absorbing moisture, expanding and sticking together. These solid clumps can be scooped out and trashed, keeping the litter box urine-free.
When wet, non-clumping pellet litters break apart into a sawdust-like material that traps moisture. The pellets are sifted and the sawdust is dumped. Non-clumping, non-pellet litters , absorb some urine, but tend to allow some to pool at the bottom of the litter box. Changing non-clumping, non-pellet litter frequently is important, to keep the litter box fresh and hygienic.
When you mix clumping and non-clumping litter, you might think that youre creating a super-litter with the benefits of each type. But it doesnt quite work that way. In reality, the non-clumping litter prevents the clumping litter from clumping. And the clumping litter makes cleaning or sifting the non-clumping litter difficult.
Grass Seed Cat Litters
This type of biodegradable cat litter is made from grass seeds. As the seeds are processed, the moisture is removed, and only the starchy parts remain. This leaves your cat with a clay-like consistency that makes it easy for them to switch to.
It also means the litter clumps as it gets wet, so it’s easy for you to clean as well. All you need to do to clean this litter is scoop out the clumps at least once a day. This keeps the litter box free from waste so your cat will always have a clean place to go. Even if you did leave it uncleaned for a day or two, you wouldn’t have to worry about smelling it because the plant fibers keep odors to a minimum.
Because grass is easy to grow, this is another sustainable option that helps the environment. The production process itself has a limited impact on the environment, and when your cat is done with it, it will break down quickly rather than taking up space in landfills.
Although it is a bit more expensive compared to other litters on our list, it’s lightweight. That means a little bit goes a long way to filling your litterbox. Plus, because it’s clumping, you don’t have to dump your litter box as often which helps you save money by avoiding tossing too much clean litter.
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Pros And Cons Of Scented Litter
- May cause litter box aversion
Scented litters aren’t usually more expensive than their non-scented counterparts. However, you may find the smell overbearing rather than pleasant. What’s worse, your cat may as well. This study suggests that at least some cats prefer non-scented over scented litter.
You also must read the ingredients list carefully. Some cats might get irritated by ingredients in scented litters. Overall, unless your cat is already used to scented litter, it’s best to offer non-scented.
Clumping Lightweight Clay Cat Litter
Another cat litter option that you could get is the clumping lightweight clay cat litter. This type of litter is made from clay. There are numerous benefits of using this cat litter. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Very lightweight
- Great for those who cant lift heavy things
While these benefits are great, it does cost a lot more than the other traditional non-clumping and clumping cat litters. However, if you cant lift heavy things, this might be worth it for you.
If you have any of these types of cat litters and need someone to change them for you, you can have one of our cat sitter professionals do it for you with our litter box overhaul services.
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Your Cat May Not Appreciate It
Cats are creatures of habit they thrive on consistency. Most want the things theyre familiar with, the way theyre familiar with, every single time. Even if you find a combination of litter that works, its difficult to mix it in the same proportion every time. Your cat will need to adjust to the small differences after each change.
Unless you have a very good reason to mix two specific litters, youre better off avoiding it. Your cat will thank you.
Different Types Of Cat Litter: Whats Best For Your Cat
Buying cat litter would seem to be the most brain-dead decision youll ever need to make. After all, the stuff is designed for your cat to poop in, so how hard could it be to find something capable of performing that job?
Ask any cat owner, though, and youll discover that finding the right litter is both critical and surprisingly difficult. A bad litter can allow smells and germs to proliferate, cause dust to get all over your home, and make cleaning up after your pet even more of a chore than it already is.
This guide is intended to serve as an introduction to the most commonly used types of litter, including the positives and negatives associated with each one, so you can find an option that suits your needs perfectly.
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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.
Different Types Of Cat Litter And Their Pros & Cons
If you are new to owning a cat, you are probably amazed at all of the different types of litter and might be struggling to find the best one for your cat. Many people also want to learn about the different options available to stop using dusty clay litter. If this sounds like your situation and you need help understanding the different types of litter, youve come to the right place. Weve made a list of all the best types you can find, and we are going to tell you more about them to help you make an informed decision.
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Pros And Cons Of Biodegradable Litter
- Not all types are effective
- Can trigger allergies
Most biodegradable cat litters plenty of absorption. While you cant get every single litter subtype above for super cheap, some arent very pricy . You can even get clumping biodegradable litter, like wheat-based, corn-based, walnut-based, and crumbled wood. The biggest benefit of using biodegradable litter? The natural ingredients break down with time!
Now, you should know about the cons, too. Some biodegradable litters make messes, others can trigger allergies , and more still can bring insects into the house. Also, not every biodegradable litter absorbs urine especially well.
Cats Best Oko Plus Cat Litter Comparison Vs Other Types
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What Is Cat Litter Made Of
Cat litter can be made from a variety of ingredients with different properties and uses. Some of the most common cat litters are made from the following:
- Clay. Clay is one of the most popular cat litter materials on the market. Many clay litter brands rely on ingredients such as carbon and plant extracts to absorb odors.
- Corn. Litter made from corn is biodegradable and earth-conscious. It is available in natural and scented formulas.
- Coconut husks. This litter, made from the husks of coconuts,can be recycled as part of garden compost.
- Wheat. The starch inside wheat kernels gives wheat cat litter its clumping capability and exposes natural enzymes that neutralize odors.
- Wood. This type of litter comes in pellet form and is a natural pinewood by-product. The pine scent acts as a natural deodorizer.
- Walnut shells. This cat litter is made from walnut shells and is available in quick-clumping and non-clumping formulas.
- Recycled newspaper. Available in pellet form, this eco-friendly litter is made from recycled newspapers.
- Silica-based gel crystals. Silica is a natural mineral that is highly absorbent and can be reused by one cat over a period of one month.
Sifting Pan Litter Boxes
Just because it doesnt clean itself doesnt mean it has to be hard to clean. Sifting pan litter boxes basically two boxes in one make cleanup simple.
One box with a grate on the bottom fits inside another. When the time comes for cleaning, lift the first box and let the litter sift through the holes in the grate, leaving behind only the waste.
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Is Your Cat A Digger Sitter Or Pusher
Just like us cats have habits, especially when it comes to their toilet routine. No matter which litter you prefer, we all know its your cat that gets the final say, so here are some handy hints and tips to help you get the most out of their favourite litter and keep your cat purring!
Sitter Does your cat just sits on the litter with minimal fuss? Then they may be a Sitter. Both clumping and non clumping litters are fine for a Sitter, however you may consider using a litter mat around the tray to ensure they dont leave a trail if the litter is a little dusty.
Pusher If your cat tends to make quite a mess, often ending up outside of the tray, you may have a Pusher! A clumping litter may suit Pushers better as you can maintain the tray on a daily basis. It also might be worth considering a tray liner just in case the depth of the litter runs too low. This will stop the bottom of the tray from getting wet and prevent the litter from sticking.
Digger Does your cat dig and dig to the bottom of the tray? You have a Digger! As your cat is digging you may need to fill the tray with more litter. Either clumping or non-clumping is fine to use for a Digger, and a litter liner is definitely recommended just in case they dig too far.