Choosing cat litter may seem like an easy task, but there are many factors that may influence the health and happiness of cats and their humans. Litters made of clay, cedar wood, corn, paper, pine, silica gel, and wheat are all available at chain stores. How should you decide which litter is right for your family?
A big priority for a lot of cat owners is convenience. Some litters can be easier to clean than others. Clumping litters allow you to scoop out the waste daily, leaving fresh litter behind. Keep in mind that clumping litters are not created equally, and if you try a brand that leaves too much waste behind, consider trying a different brand.
Another important factor is health of your cats and your human family members. Dust-less or low-dust cat litters will make you a lot happier in the long run. Imagine dust from the cat litter puffing up into the air when you fill your litter box. That dust is kicked up into the air every time your cat uses the litter box, and each time you scoop. I have a family member who has severe allergies, and our dusty cat litter was causing him a lot of grief. I hadn’t even considered the amount of dust when initially choosing a cat litter. Once it started affecting a human member of my family, I realized that my young kittens were also breathing in this dust each time they used the litter. I did my research and found that there are many virtually dust-free clay litters available, as well as litters made of alternative products such as corn, wheat, paper, and pine, which do not produce dust.
With the pine, wheat, and corn litters it is also important to keep allergies in mind, as these are made of organic materials, which members of your family may be sensitive to! Some cats, especially if they are accustomed to traditional clay litter, may also have a difficult time adjusting to the consistency or feeling of these plant based litters. It is recommended that a new type of litter be introduced slowly, by mixing a few cups of the new litter into the current litter.
Prices vary a lot between different litters on the market, so please do your research, compare brands, and make sure that the cat litter you decide on is locally available in your area (and easy to find!) Remember, it’s not a one and done deal – if you don’t like the first litter you try – try again! Finding a cat litter that makes humans and cats happy and healthy can go a long way to improving your household!
I personally recommend Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Scoopable litter, which is a 99.9% dust-free, hypo-allergenic, clay litter which is very reasonable priced. There are lots of great cat litters out there that can make your home fresher, healthier, and happier!
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!