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.
Q How Often Should I Be Cleaning My Litter Box
A. This depends on a few factors. If you have one cat, you should be cleaning your litter box no less than once every other day. For more cats, your litter box should be cleaned daily, possibly even multiple times a day. Even if it doesnt stink, a dirty litter box can make your cat uncomfortable and have negative health consequences for you and your feline friend.
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.
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Which Petsmart Cat Litter Is Best
Cleaning out your litter box may be the least fun part of owning a cat, but that doesnt mean it has to be horrible. Many products come into play when it comes to streamlining the litter box cleaning process, with the most important being the litter. It affects you when youre doing clean-up and going about your day in your home. The right cat litter can be the difference between your litter box being in the background of your life to being on an offensive forefront. For a litter with superior odor control, check out Dr. Elseys Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter Unscented, Clumping, Multi-Cat Strength.
Scented Vs Unscented Cat Litter
Litter comes in both scented and unscented varieties. Scented litters are designed to mask litter box odors, but some cats dislike strong scents and prefer unscented litters.
Unscented cat litter brands rely on ingredients such as carbon and natural plant extracts to help absorb odors from urine and feces and reduce litter box smells, keeping both you and your cat happy.
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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.
How To Solve Common Litter Box Problems
If youre unhappy with your current cat litter setupits hard having a small animal crapping where you live!there are a couple of other solutions that you might try before or in addition to swapping litters.
Scoop your litter at least once a day. When we went to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe to test litters, we were braced for the place to smell like a farm. It didnt. Thats because the cafes volunteers were always scooping, often within minutes of a cat doing its business. Though Church & Dwights Brown told us that litter formulas are tested for their clump integrity and odor control for up to three days , you still need to try to scoop every day.
If youre having trouble with your cat scattering litter, you could try a partially enclosed litter box instead. Or try a mat that catches litter, like the Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat, which traps litter scatter better than any mat weve tested.
Several Wirecutter staffers have also found personal litter box happiness with a Litter Genie Plus Cat Litter Disposal System close-by. Its a trash can, of sorts, that allows you to scoop litter into a small vestibule and close the lid, and then send the litter into a larger compartment that way, your nose isnt bombarded with a weeks worth of dirty litter every time you go to add newly soiled litter.
The Best Pine Cat Litter And Cat Litter Tray System
Several Wirecutter staff members are into the Tidy Cats Breeze system, which makes getting rid of cat pee easy. Special pine pellets go in the box, and beneath them theres an absorbent pad that you can swap out, in addition to scooping. So you scoop daily, change the pad about once a week, and change all the pellets once a month. Its more expensive than a regular setupa little more than 2½ times as much as our top pick for litterbut Breeze advocates say the convenience is worth it . However, if your cat doesnt like it, youre out the expense of a new litter box as well as a bunch of special pads and pine cat litter pellets.
Do You Need To Switch Litters
If your cat is using the litter box, and the litter youre using right now is reasonably priced, clumps well, and doesnt smell terrible with regular scooping, keep using what youre using. Even our favorite litters can only do so much.
Its common for about 2 percent to 4 percent of cats to reject any given litter.
Cats have a reputation for being picky about litter, but if your litter leaves room for improvement, chances are good that your cat will go along with a change. Its common for about 2 percent to 4 percent of cats to reject any given litter, according to Ray Brown, of Arm & Hammers parent company, Church & Dwight. Ease the transition by mixing in some of the new litter with the old for a week.
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The Best Paper Cat Litter
Ãkocat’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 a good substrate solution for cats that suffer from respiratory problems. Of the five paper varieties we reviewed, Ãkocat’s Paper Pellet Litter performed best in my first round of testing. It absorbed liquid quickly and the paper pellets didn’t immediately fall apart.
Ãkocat’s pellets were also the softest and smallest of the paper litters we tested, making them more conducive to 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.
Can You Flush Cat Poop
Putting any cat litter down the drain can be harmful to local wildlife. 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 groundwater, rivers, and streams. Also, cat waste can cause toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection carried by cats that, in humans, can cause serious complications during pregnancy and for those with 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.
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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 litterI would!monitor your kittens behavior and check in with your vet if something seems amiss.
Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Free & Clean Cat Litter
This featherweight litter gives you the same volume as regular litter, but only about half the heft. Plus, it has an ammonia blocker and activated charcoal to keep urine smells at bay. JustAnswerveterinarian Dwight Alleyne is a fan. Ive been a cat owner for almost 20 years as well as a veterinarian and so far, my all-time favorite brand has been Tidy Cat because it seems to have the best odor control, he says.
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How Much Does Worlds Best Cat Litter Cost
Many cat litters made from natural materials are more expensive than traditional clay litters, but that is not the case with Worlds Best Cat Litter.
This brand is similarly priced to traditional litters, but you actually get more for your money due to the concentrated power of naturally absorbent corn materials. A small bag of Worlds Best Cat Litter lasts one cat 30 days or longer because it is low-waste and would normally cost between $1.1-$1.2 per pound.
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Cat Litter Buying Guide
In order to choose the best cat litter for you and your cator cats, its important to compare the different types of cat litter and their benefits.
The chart below will help you make a decision about which cat litter is right for your feline family member:
|– May be more expensive than other litters- Some cats may not like the feel of crystal litter on their paws
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Cats Pride Unscented Complete Care Litter
This is a super-fine clumping clay litter, both lightweight and easy for cats to dig in. A win-win! Christine Sellers, the veterinary advisor at Cat Person, agrees. My go-to litter for my five cats at home and my top recommendation for my clients is Cats Pride Complete Control. The clumps are not too sticky and dont adhere to the box when scooped daily. And its lightweight.
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. And while it did form solid clumps, it 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: Cat’s Pride Bacterial Odor Control Litter produced very little dust and clumped reasonably well, but it failed to capture all of the testing liquid, leaving wet clay stuck to the bottom of the pan. This litter 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 we tested, although that which it did absorb clumped solidly. A heavy litter perfumed with a light laundry scent, Cloud Control is, at the very least, dust-free.
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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.
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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What Do Customers Think Of Worlds Best Cat Litter
Pet owners are a picky bunch, to be sure. When it comes to products like cat litter, there are certain basic requirements that must be met in order to satisfy a cat owner. For the most part, Worlds Best Cat Litter meets or exceeds these requirements, and customers are largely satisfied with the brand.
This being said, every customers experience is unique, and there are both good and bad reviews for the brand online. Keep reading to see a positive and negative customer review for each of the three cat litter formulas featured above:
What Kinds Of Litter Does The Brand Offer
The Worlds Best Cat Litter brand currently offers seven different formulas.
The Original Series including three recipes, all made from 100% natural compressed corn. The Plus Series includes one formula formulated to attract cats to the litter box. The Advanced Series includes three formulas designed to solve specific problems.
The three formulas were reviewing here are the clumping formulas included in the Original Series.
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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.