Cats are very clean animals. One advantage they have is that you do not have to take them outside to “do their duty.” But even if they do their duty inside the house, they need a clean and comfortable space to do so. At the same time, for you and your family, a cat box can be a source of unpleasant odors. You need the proper tools to help you avoid this situation.
There are many different types of cat litter on the market that can help you avoid these unpleasant odors coming into your home. As cats have become very popular as pets, the market for their supplies and accessories has increased, and there is a wide range of products available in this sector. In the following paragraphs you will discover what we are talking about. Let’s go!
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The Best Cat Litter on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Cat Litter
- 3.1 What is the purpose of cat litter?
- 3.2 How much cat litter do I need put in the cat litter box for it to work correctly?
- 3.3 How frequently do I need to change the cat litter box?
- 3.4 Where should I throw out dirty cat litter?
- 3.5 How do I get a kitten to do his duty in the cat litter box?
- 3.6 Should I clean the cat box in addition to changing the litter?
- 3.7 Why doesn’t my cat like the litter box?
- 3.8 Are all things equal when we talk about cat litter?
- 3.9 Can my cat’s dirty litter be harmful to anyone’s health?
- 3.10 Are there tricks I can do so the cat litter box doesn’t smell bad?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- There are several types of cat litter available today with very different characteristics among them. The choice will not depend solely on you, since cats can be very particular and you will need to find out how your pet reacts to the product you put in their cat litter box.
- The market offers four main types of cat litter (each of them with different features), which you should choose according to your buying habits and needs, and according to your pet’s preferences: basic or sepiolite litter, clumping clay, ecological or silica gel.
- Cats are very smart, so you probably won’t have much trouble with them getting used to using their cat litter box to do their business.
Ranking: The Best Cat Litter on the U.S. Market
In this section you will see a compilation of the five most popular cat litters that you can buy on the market today. In addition, we have summarized and highlighted their main features to make it easier for you to get to know each of the products. Thus, you can choose which type of litter will be best for your cat’s litterbox.
No. 1: ARM & HAMMER Multi-Cat Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
This revolutionary clumping cat litter is specially formulated to seal and destroy odors before they leave the cat litter box. Plant-derived particles help create rock solid clumps for easy scooping. And moisture-activated Micro-Granules form a tight seal around cat waste, while heavy-duty odor eliminators and ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda destroy sealed-in odors on contact.
Plus, it’s 100% dust-free, so there’s no dust cloud when you use it. See why millions have switched. Get the confidence of a 7-day odor-free home, guaranteed with ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Litter.
No. 2: Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
With over 15,000 reviews of which 77% are 4 or 5 stars, Ultra Litter is a unique formulation that combines the heavy non tracking granules of the Classic Litter with a medium grain clay. The result is an excellent clumping litter that prevents moisture from reaching the bottom of the tray, while providing a clump that will not break down.
This product is an excellent clumping litter that prevents moisture from reaching the bottom of the litter box, while providing a clump that will not break apart. Ultra is perfect for multi-cat families and cat owners with sifting or mechanical litter boxes and it controls odor naturally without perfume, deodorants or chemicals.
No. 3: Feline Pine Cat Litter
Feline Pine Platinum is the Natural Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter you love, with the added benefit of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda! Natural Odor Control without added fragrances. Plus, it is lightweight and long lasting- 40 lbs. of Feline Pine Platinum is equal to 114 lbs of Clay Cat Litter.
No harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances in your home! Feline Pine Platinum fights odor with natural pine. Though the pine pellets are made from natural pine, no new trees are cut in the production of Feline Pine Platinum. They use reclaimed lumber shavings that are compressed into highly absorbent pellets.
No. 4: ScoopFree Litter Tray Refills, 3 Pack
The automatic self-cleaning cycle can be set to begin 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat leaves the litter box. The Health Counter keeps track of how often your cat uses the box. Each tray comes with one perfectly measured package of ScoopFree Crystal Litter for weeks of odor and moisture control. Install the hood, plug the box in and it’s ready to work.
When you’re ready to replace your litter tray, simply cover the old tray with the provided lid and throw it away. The tray lid conveniently fits beneath the tray so it’s out of the way until you’re ready for disposal. This product is a little more expensive than some of the others, but it is worth it in convenience and has great reviews.
No. 5: Purina Tidy Cats Pure Nature Clumping Cat Litter
Bring a natural, Earth – friendly solution to your cat litter box, with Purina Tidy Cats Pure Nature Cedar, Pine & Corn clumping litter for multiple cats. The highly absorbent formulation of this clumping cat litter helps to keep your cats feeling comfortable, and the lightweight clumps allow for easy cleanup of your cat litter box.
This natural cat litter features a combination of cedar, pine and corn, so you can feel good about the products you use when caring for your cats. Formulated to fight even the toughest odors, this Tidy clumping litter keeps your house smelling fresh and clean, so you are always ready to welcome guests, both human and feline. Natural, fresh scents make this an inviting option for your cats’ litter boxes, keeping them happy in their corners of your home.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Cat Litter
Now we will provide you with the opportunity to learn some more facts about the different products on the current cat litter market. In addition, we will do everything possible to help you discover the secrets of your cat’s behavior that can make your life even easier. Stay tuned for what is coming up, because we will provide the information you need to make the right kitty litter choice for your home and your cat.
What is the purpose of cat litter?
Cat litter is a practical product for your not only pet but also for you and your family. It helps keep your home clean. At the same time, cats are very neat, clean animals and will not be willing to do their business in dirty places. Therefore, if you want your pet to be happy and to do their business in the same place place, every time, you must provide a clean space specifically for that purpose and it must include cat litter or “kitty litter.”
There are products for the litter box beyond cat litter, such as newspaper, but they are not really efficient. Cat litter absorbs the smell left by urine and feces much better. Litter also helps your pet to bury his feces, something that cats do on instinct. There are also many types of litters that compact or “clump” these liquid and solid wastes, making cleaning up much easier.
How much cat litter do I need put in the cat litter box for it to work correctly?
It is recommended that you put between 3 and 4 inches of litter in the box. The amount you put in the litter box must provide the cat with the ability to bury their feces, because a cat does not feel comfortable leaving these solid wastes in sight. If there is not enough litter, the cat will probably scratch the box itself on the bottom and that can lead to tearing or breaking.
At the same time, do not overfill the box, since the cat will get more of the litter dirty and that will lead you to use more and, therefore, to spend more money on this product. Also, if there is too much litter, it can easily end up being kicked and flung outside of the box when your pet digs to bury it’s feces. It is a good idea to gradually replenish the product with clean litter when removing the dirty litter and clumps each day.
How frequently do I need to change the cat litter box?
It depends a lot upon the type of litter you choose and the smells that remain in the room where the litter box is located. Solid waste should be removed daily and the dirty litter that you remove can be replaced by clean litter in small quantities. But in addition, it must be changed with different frequencies, depending on whether it is “clumping” or not.
Absorbent or clumping litters that do not prevent odors should be changed completely between 1 and 3 times per week. Silica litter can be changed in its entirety much less frequently, around every 4 weeks, depending on the number of cats that are using that “bathroom” and if you notice that the smell is unpleasant before that time.
Where should I throw out dirty cat litter?
Given that the litter that is discarded smells bad, it would be best not to keep it inside the house. That is why many people throw the used litter down the toilet so that the water takes flushes it away, but that should only be done if you have a product of biodegradable material. If not, what you are doing is contaminating rivers and seas, which is where the material from the toilet is going to end up.
Also, if you throw non-biodegradable, flushable litter into the toilet, it can easily get stuck. Litters that are not biodegradable, such as silica gel, should go into the trash. If you dislike having it at home because of the smell it gives off, you can put it in a sealed container where you can deposit litter box waste until trash day.
How do I get a kitten to do his duty in the cat litter box?
Cats are intuitive animals and are likely to learn very quickly that the cat box is theirs. If you see that he does not recognize it as the place to do his business, scratch and stir the litter in front of the cat. Also, if you see him urinating outside, of it you can take your kitten with your hand and put him into on the right place. If the kitten defecates outside the box, take his feces with a scoop to the box.
The box must have a suitable height so that the kitten can access it and enough litter so that it can bury its waste fully. When positioning the litter box in your home, look for a place that your pet likes. If the cat is not comfortable, they will refuse to urinate in their litter box. Another trick is to play with the cat near its litter box to associate it with positive feelings.
Should I clean the cat box in addition to changing the litter?
In addition to the need to change the cat litter to keep the space clean, it is necessary to clean the box, periodically–even more often when you don’t use clumping litter, since urine can create puddles on the bottom of the box. For proper cleaning, do it when you are going to change the litter and the container is empty. Use plenty of soap and water.
It is better that the chemical you use to clean the box does not give off any strong odors so as not to disturb your pet, but if you feel that the smell of urine has not been removed, you can use bleach for cleaning. If the cat box has scratches that create small cracks, you should clean them very well, since they can harbor bacteria inside them.
Why doesn’t my cat like the litter box?
It may happen that, although the animal knows where the right place to do its business is, the cat may yet avoid it. There are several possible reasons for this. The box and the litter may not be clean enough for the cat. Cats also like neat spaces so make sure the area is not cluttered with litter supplies. They may also dislike the type of litter you are using, or the smell of the product you have chosen.
Most cats do not have a hard time getting used to a new litter. If they do, simply try another brand or other type of litter until you find one they seem to feel comfortable with. If the litter has a scent that your pet rejects, buy one that does not have a strong scent, or any scent. There are cats that do not like artificial odors. Keep changing until you find the product you both like.
Are all things equal when we talk about cat litter?
It is not. Therefore, when you shop for cat litter and want to make a comparison between several different products, notice that you look at the same features. In case the quantities in pounds are given, not the unit price per pound, as some lighter packages are large than heavier ones.
At the same time, it should be noted that ten lbs. of one type of litter will not last for the same amount of time as another type. That will depend on the absorption capacity and the ability of each of the products o absorb odors. Normally, manufacturers usually indicate these specifications on the product labels.
Can my cat’s dirty litter be harmful to anyone’s health?
Obviously, it is necessary to keep the litter clean because the feces and urine of a cat can cause infections. It is very important to know that pregnant women should not clean the litter box, or even go near it, since they can run the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is transmitted through the feces of cats.
If you have a dog, keep the litter in a closed container. It is very bad for the health of the dog to eat your cat’s poop and some do. For your cat, keep his waste area away from his food. Do not put his bowl near the litter box. Clumping litter, which uses chemicals for this conglomeration, can harm you and your animal’s health, according to scientific studies.
Are there tricks I can do so the cat litter box doesn’t smell bad?
No matter how deep the litter is, cat urine may have very strong odors that can be noticed outside the room where the litter box is stored. That can be very annoying for both you and your cat. And it can give a bad impression to the visitors that come to your house. Here are some basic tips to avoid those bad smells:
- Change the litter frequently. As recommended, and remove dirty clumps and solid pieces daily.
- Use scented litter that has a smell that is pleasant to you and your pet.
- Use closed boxes. There are many types of litter boxes, but some have a lid, which avoids the smell, well.
- Clean the box often. About once a week empty the box where the litter is and clean it with water and chemicals indicated.
- Use in a location with ventilation. If possible, store the litter box somewhere in your house that has a window or is open to the outdoors to prevent the smell from concentrating in an enclosed space.
- Use air freshener or deodorant for litter. There are products intended to hide the smell. But you must be careful because many cats find these chemicals very annoying.
You have already seen that the cat litter market is not as simple as it might have seemed. You must attend to a number of important factors before deciding on a brand or style–always according to your tastes and those of your pet so that you are both comfortable. To facilitate your purchase, we remind you which criteria are the most important:
- Your Priorities
It is very important to choose the type of litter that your cat likes so that he will not reject it. You must also choose a litter box which is place in a clean area space, where you prefer to attend to it and what you want to spend on it. In the market there are many different brands and types. In this table we will see the positive and negative points of each material and its characteristics:
|Sepiolita litter||Sepiolita is a mineral.
They were the first litters on the market.
They are light pebbles.
| Is the cheapest litter by a large margin.
It can come scented, so it helps hide odors in the home.
It produces a lot of dust.
It absorbs less than other materials, so liquids accumulate at the base of the litter box.
It is not compatible with the environment and you cannot dispose of it into the sewer or septic system.
|Ecological||Made from pine chips, corn cobs or other wood or vegetable fibers.|| Biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
You can dispose of it in the toilet (in small quantities) so you don’t have to deal with the smells in your trash.
It gives a natural smell to the room. Is absorbent.
It has good absorbing power.
| As they are light shavings, it is easy for the cat to move them with their paws and dig the litter.
Some of them require the felling of trees for their creation. Pine trees grow fast, but they also negatively affect ecosystems.
|Silica Gel|| It is a synthetic, artificial product, created from sodium silicate.
It comes in the form of small semi-transparent pebbles.
It has great odor absorbing power.
It does not produce dust.
Neutralizes odors well.
The pebbles turn yellow when they are dirty, so it is easy to know which dirty part should be removed with the scoop.
Not ecological. Keep in mind that it is artificial, so the waste is not biodegradable and it generates more waste.
Larger gel pebbles sometimes bother cats on their paws.
|Clumping Litter||It is made from of a clay called bentonite.|| Waste, both solid and liquid, is compacted in small clumps and it is easy to remove them with the scoop.
Able to disguise the smell.
|Gives off powder.
Sodium bentonite, which helps clump the waste, may be harmful to human health, according to some scientific studies.
Clay materials are relatively heavy, therefore the clumping litter is the heaviest. An advantage of silica litter is its lightness. The same weight will bring many more stones than if you buy another type of litter. It should be remembered, as we mentioned earlier, that mass and weight are two different measures when we buy kitty litter.
It is common for litter packages to indicate on the labels of the container how much it is estimated that the litter inside will last. You should also look at the ratings of the buyers on various Internet portals about it. And, depending on those ratings, think about your particular case: the age of your pet, its weight or if you have more than one cat at home.
Keep in mind that in general, silica gel litters and binders last longer than absorbent and ecological ones, in general terms. This is not an absolute truth, however, as it varies by brand. The reason is because it requires changing the entire contents of the litter box less frequently than when you use the first ones mentioned.
Cat litter not only should fit the tastes of your pet, but also the variety depends on what your own priorities are. Maybe you prefer a clean house over taking care of the environment. Maybe you prefer to save money or maybe what matters most to you is that the litter box requires little maintenance. In this table we give you a summary so that you will know which cat litter suits you.
|If your priority is:||Buy:||Because:|
|Saving Money||Sepiolita litter.||It is true that you will have to buy it more often, because it absorbs less than others, but it is still saving money with its low price.|
|The Environment|| Ecology.
To a lesser extent, bentonite clay.
| When you choose an ecological and biodegradable litter, you must also take into account the origin of the materials. There are some that are more environmentally friendly than others.
For example, litter that comes from debris like corn cobs are better.
Bentonite clay is also biodegradable.
|Comfort||Absorbencies.||Look carefully to verify it is absorbent because that will mean that you need to change the litter and clean the container less frequently (if it does not absorb, urine puddles are created at the bottom).|
|Avoids odor||Scented or odor control.||The urine of cats smells very strong. This type of litter controls that smell so it does not reach other parts of the house. Now, many cats do not like the aroma of scented litter, although you can try several types.|
|Cleaning around the litter box||Those made of silica gel.||Clumping litter can get caught in your cat’s feet and be taken out of the litter box. Silica gel pebbles, being larger, are less “sticky” and, if scattered outside the litter box, also because of their size, they are easier to collect.|
A litter box is a center of strong and obviously unpleasant odors. Yet it is a place where cat wastes are stored. Depending on the type of litter, these will be stronger or more controlled. We will analyze this purchasing criteria according to the litter styles that we have previously mentioned:
- Ecological litters are positive and give a natural aroma to the room, but do not hide the smell of your pet’s urine well. The good thing about it is that you don’t have to leave the dirty litter in the trash of your house. You can easily throw it down the toilet and the water will take it away safely.
- Silica gel litters, in many cases, in addition to absorbing urine, usually neutralize the smell. The so-called tetrahedron structure, which is a silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms, helps neutralize odors. As a negative point, you can’t dump this waste through the toilet, so used must go to your trash bin.
- Sepiolite usually comes with some artificial scent. This will be indicated on the package. Normally it masks the smell of urine.
- Clumping. Clumping litter can also come with added scents. Its level of clumping of liquids leads to easier collection, but not necessarily to avoid odor.
A cat comes with several additional expenses necessary for its well-being and for the best possible coexistence in the home. Fortunately, as these felines they have increased their popularity as pets they have also increased the chances of finding innovative products in the market that suit our tastes.
There is a wide variety of cat litter to choose from. It is necessary for something as everyday for cats as all living beings urinate and defecate. Therefore we have no choice but to buy litter if we have a cat. The good thing is that you can choose your product according to the tastes of your little friend and according to your preferences and lifestyle.
We hope we have resolved many or all of your questions from before reading this article and that your life together with your cat is better from now on. If you liked this article, share it on social media.
(Source of Featured Image: Serezniy: 14955328/ 123rf.com)