Best Overall Cat Litter
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Is Flushable Cat Litter Actually Flushable
One of the purported benefits of some natural cat litter varieties is that they can be flushed in the toilet. But just because you can flush natural cat litter doesn’t mean you should, and not just because low-flush toilets and pipes made for human waste often can’t handle clumps without clogging.
Cat waste can contain Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes flu-like symptoms at best and, at worst, fetal development disorders, brain damage, and premature birth in babies. Water waste treatment plants are unable to filter out this harmful parasite and it can end up in treated water that’s released back into the environment, harming fish, killing native plants, and making recreation areas unsafe. Scientific studies have found that T. gondii especially poses a threat to marine mammals like sea otters.
How Many Times A Day Does A Cat Normally Use The Litter Box
On average, cats urinate two to four times a day, but according to Sueda, this can vary from cat to cat. Cleaning litter boxes at least once daily can help guardians determine if there’s a change in frequency, which may indicate a health problem.
Typically, cats defecate one to two times a day, but this, too, can vary from cat to cat. Like with urination, sudden changes in frequency may indicate a health problem.
Recommended Reading: Can You Give Cats Dog Food
Do Cats Prefer Open Or Closed Litter Boxes
Most cats prefer a clear view of their surroundings, so its best to opt for an open litter box. And since closed lids can trap smells, it may also make for an unpleasant environment for your pet. We like the open Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box because its cheap, it has a low entryway but high sides that contain messes, and a smooth, easy-to-clean interior. You can read more about it in our guide to the best cat litter box.
What Is Crystal Cat Litter Made Of
Crystal cat litter is a translucent ball-shaped or irregular particle made of silica gel. Some brands of crystal cat litter will add beads of different colors to achieve anti-mildew, antibacterial, deodorant, and other effects. The advantage of crystal cat litter is its strong absorption. The particles will change color after absorbing urine. When about 80% of it changes color, you can replace them all. Of course, the stool will not disappear, it still needs to be cleaned every day.
But many cats will be interested in the colorful beads in the crystal cat litter, and they often play with them. Some cats will also eat it, which is more dangerous. In addition, the dust of crystal sand is also very large, and some cats will cough when they smell the newly changed sand.
Recommended Reading: Can Cats Get Heartworms From Dogs
Understanding Clay Silica And Biodegradable Cat Litters
When trying to choose the best litter for your cat, you may find yourself wondering exactly what cat litter is made of. There are many different types of cat litters available, but essentially most of them fall into three distinct categories: clay-based, silica-based, and biodegradable. The best cat litter for your cat will depend on your expectations.
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 litter, monitor your kittens behavior and check in with your vet if something seems amiss.
Don’t Miss: How To Train A Kitten Not To Bite
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.
Overall Is Pretty Litter Cat Litter A Good Choice
In testing Pretty Litter with my own two cats, I found it lived up to its promises pretty well. Not only did it offer strong odor control, but the color-changing health monitoring system performed predictably in my experiment. When I was finished, my subscription was easy to cancel.
I did find that one bag of Pretty Litter didnt last a full 30 days, but I was using it in a multi-cat household.
The crystal litter did a great job of absorbing liquid and it made solids easy to scoop, so I am confident in saying that one bag would probably last a full month in a single-cat household.
Overall, Pretty Litter is a pricey product, but the health monitoring system makes it worth it. If budget is your primary concern, however, you might be better off with a cheaper crystal cat litter.
Recommended Reading: Why Are My Cats Eyes Goopy
Considerations To Keep In Mind
If you’re bringing home a new cat or thinking about trying a new type of litter for your current feline family member, speak with your vet beforehand to get their recommendations. Then, think about litter characteristics such as texture, absorbency and ease of use.
Texture is particularly important, noted the ASPCA, because cats are sensitive to what litter feels like on their paws. If they don’t like the feel of what’s in their litter box, they may find a different place to use as a cat bathroom .
The Discovery Of Absorbent Clay Cat Litter
Edward Lowe, whose family had a business selling ice, coal, sand, sawdust, and granulated, kiln-dried clay in Michigan, made the accidental discovery that the clay was as good for absorbing cat urine as it was for the grease spills they originally produced it for. One day in 1947, Lowe’s neighbor asked him for some sand for her litter box because she was tired of using ashes. The sand was frozen, so he gave her a bag of granulated clay to try. She reported that the clay did a great job of keeping odors down, and she and her friends began asking for it routinely for their boxes. Mr. Lowe named the product Kitty Litter and eventually sold it to pet stores. He later developed the Tidy Cat brand of litter.
You May Like: Why Do Cats Put Their Butt In Your Face
What Is Kitty Litter Made Of
To better understand these types of cat litters, it helps to understand what they are made out of. Clay litter generally comes in two formats, non-clumping and clumping. Conventional clay litter is made of Fullers earth, which is basically any clay material that can absorb its weight in liquid. Clay clumping litter, like Frisco Multi-Cat Clumping Litter, is made of natural bentonite clay granules that clump together when liquid is absorbed. Clumping litters may also contain quartz or diatomaceous earth, which has smaller, finer granules.
Silica gel crystal cat litter, like Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter, is made from sodium silicate sand that is processed with oxygen and water. The result is a bead with tiny pores that allows it to absorb around 40 times its weight in liquid. These beads are similar to the desiccant Do not eat packets you find in medications, shoes and other products that need to stay dry. But in silica crystal litters, they are specifically formulated to be safe for cats and do not contain crystalline silicate, which can be harmful to cats.
Origins Of Cat Litter
Before the creation of commercially used cat litter, people generally kept their cats and their litter trays outdoors. Rather than the store-bought litters we use today, ashes or dirt were often used in a litter box. These options werent nearly as effective and were quite messy which unfortunately forced most people to leave their furry little friend outdoors.
In the late 1940s, Edward Lowe was desperate to find an alternative and help bring our feline friend indoors. He toyed with different ideas and materials an eventually landed on the idea of clay as an indoor cat litter. He initially gave the litter away for free, attempting to woo customers and finally went from store-to-store across the country to market his product. And the rest is history!
Read Also: Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Safe For Cats
Is Pretty Litter Dust
Pretty Litter does produce a fairly significant amount of dust when poured into the box. Note that it is made from super-absorbent silica gel, which means that it produces amorphous, rather than crystalline, silica dust. While still irritating, amorphous silica dust dust does not appear to be carcinogenic and doesnt have the worrying reputation that crystalline silica dust does.
Positive Customer Reviews For Pretty Litter Cat Litter
I love it. Its light. Easy to use. Gato took to the change very easily. It let me kno in the middle of the month with a slight color change to blue that his urine was becoming more alkaline. Not good. We were able to take action and change his diet accordingly. Youve made believers out of us. Shelley V.
Its great, I have a small in-home Sphynx Cattery, with 4 large litter boxes, I transferred two over to pretty litter and the cats are using them instead of old litter, very little tracking and no smell, light weight so easy to clean boxes instead of heavy clumping. Beth C.
Read Also: How To Stop A Cat From Peeing In The House
What Is Tofu Cat Litter Made Of
Tofu cat litter is an environmentally-friendly cat litter made from natural fresh bean dregs or natural plant fibers. Generally, soybean fiber is used as the main raw material, supplemented by corn starch, guar gum, etc. Some high-end tofu cat litter uses pea fiber as the main raw material, and the finished product has a whiter color and stronger coagulation ability. There are many types of tofu cat litter on the market now, such as green tea cat litter, original cat litter, peach cat litter, etc. Although the fragrance is different, the effect is almost the same.
Since the tofu cat litter is made of natural materials, there is no big problem even if the cat accidentally eats it. Therefore, some cats with weak gastrointestinal function can choose to use tofu cat litter. Another advantage of tofu cat litter is that it is water-soluble, and the used cat litter can be thrown directly into the toilet or used as fertilizer. Tofu cat litter is not dusty and light in texture, it can keep the home environment clean, and it is not difficult to carry or replace cat litter, so tofu cat litter is a good choice for shoveling officers!
The Development Of Clumping Clay Cat Litter
In 1984, another accidental discovery resulted in clumping clay cat litter. Thomas Nelson, a biochemist, was studying clay microscopically and made the discovery that some types, like bentonite, prevented urine from breaking down, which means the resulting ammonia smell is avoided. He also learned when bentonite was dried rather than put in a kiln, it clumped together when wet.
You May Like: How To Know If You Are Allergic To Cats
Firstly What Is Cat Litter Made From
Clay cat litter is still the most popular litter on the market it is effective, cheap and easy to source. Generally, cat owners have just stuck with it over the years. However, they are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of all areas of their lives and this applies to their pets carbon pawprint too. As such, there is an increasing range of natural, plant-based varieties available. The most commonly available is pine pellet, but other alternatives include walnut shell, corn and even tofu! As you would expect, each bring their own sets of pros and cons but one thing they have in common is they have been derived from nature.
What Paper Cat Litter We Don’t Recommend
- We’d tested three different paper litters from Yesterday’s News, but they have since been have been discontinued by Purina.
- Frisco Paper Pellet Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Frisco’s paper litter contains baking soda for decent odor control and gives off minimal dust. However, its long, hard pellets made it one of the least conducive to a cat’s natural scratching and covering behaviors.
You May Like: What Age Can You Give Cats Catnip
Clay Vs Crystal Litter: Whats The Difference
When it comes to cat litter, there are so many different types to choose from. Many litter brands are made from two specific litter types: crystal and clay. Sure, many cat parents are familiar with clay litter, but how much do you really know about the advantages and disadvantages of it? How do you know which litter is best for your cat? Luckily, iHeartCats has partnered with PrettyLitter, who has helped share some of this beneficial information with you.
What Is Cat Litter Made Of The Different Types And How To Choose
If you own a cat, you need cat litter. That said, there are so many different types of cat litter, that choosing isnt always as simple as you might think.
Clumping, non-clumping, scented or unscented, eco-friendly or not. Then there are all the different materials to choose from clay, wood, corn, paper etc.
Thats before youve even considered whether your feline friend will even use it or not!
So, in this article, well cover
- The different types of litter
- Their pros and cons, and
- Help you decide which is the best litter for you and your cat
Find the Best Cat Litter For You and Your Cat
Weve used hundreds of cat litters since 2013 and product tested 72 this year. These are 9 of the best.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Manx Cats Live
Scented Vs Unscented Cat Litter
Your next decision is to decide whether to choose a scented or unscented litter.
There are lots of scents to choose from. These include lavender, fresh linen and baby powder, for example. Scented litters contain perfumes that are designed to mask the smell of urine and faeces. Some dont work very well though and instead of masking the smell, you end up with a mix of smells which is even worse.
Unscented litters have a faint smell of the materials theyre made from. They dont have any artificial smells which most cats prefer.
Remember though, a scented litter might smell nice to you but your cat might hate it. This could affect their willingness to use their litter box.
If you insist on using a scented litter, keep an eye on your cats behaviour in their litter box. If they dont like it, change it.
Is Cat Litter Biodegradable Is Cat Litter Bad For The Environment
According to chemical properties, cat litter can be divided into organic cat litter and inorganic cat litter. Tofu cat litter, paper cat litter, and wood cat litter are organic cat litter Bentonite cat litter, and crystal cat litter are inorganic cat litter.
Organic cat litter is biodegradable, while inorganic cat litter is non-biodegradable. But non-biodegradable is not mean bad for the environment. As a household item, cat litter does not pollute the environment. But that doesn’t mean that the used cat litter can be thrown around. We still have to deal with the cat litter in time that cannot be flushed in the toilet.
Read Also: Why Are My Two Cats Fighting All Of A Sudden