The Best Litter Scoop: Duranimals Durascoop Original Cat Litter Scoop
*At the time of publishing, the price was $13.
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.
What’s The Best Cat Litter For Kittens
Before We Answer, Let’s Come to a Consensus on Clumping Litter. Since you now have a better idea as to why a little kitty would need special litter, the next question you’re probably asking is:
Which kitty litter should I choose?
It’s an important question that can seem difficult to answer. After all, there are tons of options out there. But before we get into the reviews of some of our top picks to help you narrow down the selection process, it’s worth discussing one crucial subject:
Yes, it’s amazingly convenient and tidy. But is it safe for young kitties?
As it turns out, there isn’t any hard proof that clumping litter isnt safe for them. BUT if we use some basic logic, we can see how it may pose a problem.
Clumping cat litter is designed to congeal when it comes in contact with moisture. Given that your little feline may be more likely to ingest litter than the older and more experienced cats in your family, this could put your feline at risk of obstruction in her digestive tract or urinary tract.
Yeah, me-ow is right!
Here’s what the ASPCA has to say about it: while there has been no proof to claims of problems in scientific literature, caretakers may wish to delay introducing kittens to clumping litter until 3 to 4 months of age.
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Is Pretty Litter Safe For Cats
Possibly, the dust and the clump-able clay particles can cause issues for cats if ingested.
Think about it:
. . . something able to block household plumbing must be wreaking havoc on the plumbing of our feline companions.
Below: Dr. Karen Becker gives some great insights into this and other preferences for cats:
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Litter Box : What Type Of Litter Is Best For Your Cat
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It seems like a new cat litter comes out every day. And while its good to have some choice in the type of litter you get for your cat, too much choice can easily feel overwhelming. And though every household is different and every cat can have their own needs and preferences, there are some general rules of thumb when it comes to the best litters for cats.
This article will help you cut through all the fancy packaging and marketing to find the right litter for your cat. Doing so wont just make them happier finding the right litter can also make it more likely that your cat will reliably use their litter boxes, which should also make you happier!
Grass Seed Cat Litter
Cleaning & the Environment
Grass seed cat litter is a fast clumping, easy scooping litter for single or multi-cat households. Noted for clumping as quickly and as hard as clay, it has the added benefit of being made from a 100% renewable resource and is flushable and biodegradable.
Plus, Only Natural Pet Grass Seed Cat Litter is Non-GMO Project Verified.
Grass litter is 99% dust free with no tracking, making it suitable for cats and cat parents with respiratory problems. It is allergy friendly compared to wheat and corn litters, and is safe for kittens, infection-prone cats, and cats recovering from surgery.
The fast clumping action of grass seed litter traps odors before theyre released into the air, preventing the need for chemicals or fragrances. Plus, the clean scoops allow for a long lasting litter.
Grass seed litter is slightly coarser than clay, pine, and wheat litter. The medium sized grains are most similar to many corn litters.
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Safer Cat Litter Alternatives
While traditional clay cat litter has been a mainstay in feline households since the late 1940s, it’s not the only option today. Many people feel that organic, biodegradable cat litter is the safest type of litter for cats, humans, and the environment. There are several cat litters of this type on the market made from various materials.
What Were Looking For
Clump or no clump: Most popular cat litters are made from liquid-absorbing materials that clump around waste. Some clumping litters are even flushable. For the majority of cats, all of our experts agree that clumping litter is most convenient. It allows for easy removal of urine and feces and you dont have to dump the whole box of litter just scoop up the part thats soiled and then replace as needed, says Carly Fox, a staff veterinarian at Animal Medical Center. She adds that studies have shown cats tend to prefer clumping litter when offered multiple options. There are some instances when you will want a non-clumping litter, though, like if your cat recently had surgery, as clumping litter can stick to incisions.
How it smells: Its tempting to choose a cat litter that promises to mask smells, but veterinarians advise against litter with added fragrance. Laura Pletz, a veterinarian and scientific services manager for Royal Canin, says these scents can deter cats from using the litter box. As an alternative to fragrances, look for ingredients like charcoal and baking soda that absorb odor instead of covering it up. Your best defense against odor, though, is actually frequent scooping. No one really enjoys using porta-potties, and if the litter box is not cleaned regularly, that is how it smells to a cat, explains Cathy Bosley, a certified feline training-and-behavior specialist and administrative assistant at the Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuarys Cat World.
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Dr Elseys Precious Cat Kitten Attract Training Cat Litter Review
A clumping clay litter for older kittens
If you have an older kitten and need some help with litter training, this litter can make life easier. Its a clumping clay litter, so its not appropriate for young kittens. The litter has a fine granule size and texture thats gentle on kitten paws and features a kitten-specific herbal attractant to encourage reluctant kittens to enter the box.
Reviewers seem to particularly appreciate the texture of the litter, which is perfect for cats with sensitive paws.
Besides all of its kitten-targeted features, this litter delivers great odor control, excellent clumping ability, and is 99% dust-free.
The litter comes with a free Litter Box Solutions booklet. Buy It
- A clumping clay litter not appropriate for kittens younger than 3-4 months old
Eliminate Cat Litter By Toilet Training
If you want to completely eliminate any risks associated with cat litter, you could consider toilet training your cat. The concept may sound laughable, but many cat owners have found success with this training. However, the process certainly takes time, dedication, and patience. If you’re up for the challenge, the end result could eliminate your need for cat litter altogether.
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Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
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.
Our Pick: Dr Elseys Ultra
May be out of stock
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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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.
What Type Of Cat Litter Is Best
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.
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Litter One All In One Litter Box Kit
This one deserved the first place in a list of natural cat litters for too many reasons not the least being that theres nothing like it to our knowledge.
Litter One arrives at your doorstep in a carton sourced from recycled material.
Each litter box contains 8.5 lbs of Pine litter pellets.
The box measures 19 x 14 x 9 with a front opening of 11 width and 4.5 height.
Every Litter One kit comes with disposable waste bags and a disposable scoop.
Dont know how it can get any better than that.
A lot of natural litters are good at disposing of poop it is the pee that sometimes pools below and creates a mess . The pine pellets used in Litter One are engineered to dissolve into sawdust once in contact with urine.
The litter box has a patented false floor, perforated to let the urine-soaked sawdust to fall to the bottom. Being highly absorbent, this dust simply contains the liquid waste and does not let it collect anywhere at the bottom.
In any case, you will not be scooping the dust because the entire box is disposable and biodegradable.
Once the life-cycle of a litter kit is over, you can close it with the disposable scoop thrown inside, pack the entire box in the disposable waste bag that came with the kit and, well, dispose of it, of course!
In case you are worried about adding to landfills, dont be: everything is biodegradable, as mentioned.
From Earth it comes, to Earth it returns!
Best Paper Cat Litter
Ökocat’s Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Litter is the most absorbent of all paper litters we tested and produces virtually no dust.
Pros: Made of sustainably sourced paper pellets, free of dyes and synthetic chemicals, very little dust, biodegradable, pellets are soft and less than 1 inch long, unscented
Cons: Expensive, some cats do not like using a pellet-style litter
Paper litters, most of which come in the form of small, firm pellets, can be good for cats with respiratory problems. Of the five paper varieties I evaluated, Ökocat’s Paper Pellet Litter performed best in my first round of testing. It absorbed liquid quickly and the paper pellets did not immediately fall apart.
The pellets were the softest and smallest of the paper litters, making them more compatible with a cat’s natural scratching, digging, and burying behaviors than brands with heavier, larger pellets. This litter does not clump. Instead, the paper pellets absorb as much liquid as they can before falling apart and turning into a sort of mulch. Scooping is only necessary for solids.
Neither of my cats were willing to use the paper litters, so I can’t speak to how well Ökocat controls odors or holds up over time. It is clear from the weight and shape of the litter that the pellets are very low tracking compared to smaller-grained clay and natural varieties. While the litter isn’t dust-free, it is close. The pellets are also biodegradable and unscented.
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Choose Clumping Or Non
There are several different types of litter but overall they can be split into clumping litter, such as clay and natural grain, and non-clumping litter, such as paper, pine and crystal.
Clumping litter will absorb moisture quickly and to clean your kittens box, you simply have to scoop and remove the urine clumps and faeces. The other litter in the box will remain clean and dry. When required, you will still have to do a thorough clean of the whole tray, but not as often as you would with non-clumping litter.
If your kitten is still very young, we do not recommend clumping litter as their curiosity may get the better of them and they may try to eat it which can cause gastrointestinal issues. However, clumping litter can be a great option for your kitten when they are older and understand the difference between litter and food.
Non-clumping litter typically absorbs the moisture slowly and has added ingredients to eliminate smell. While you can scoop out the faeces, the urine will be soaked up into the litter meaning that to clean it out of the box, you must change it all. Usually, you will have to entirely change the litter box approximately once a week.
Based on the simple overall styles of clumping and non-clumping litter, you may have a personal preference for which you think is the best cat litter for your kitten to use. This is a good starting point before moving ahead with more specific versions of the above.