Choosing the right litter for your cat can seem like a formidable task. With so many types of litter out there, which one is the best for you and your Kitty? Clumping or non-clumping? Scented? Silica or clay? Flushable? Wheat, walnuts, corn or maybe recycled newspaper?
The most important thing to remember when choosing cat litter is that your cat’s needs come first. You need to choose the litter that your cat prefers and in some cases, there may be some trial and error to go through.
What Kind of Litter Does Your Cat Like?
Cats have their own personal preferences when it comes to litter. These can be the result of sensitive paws, habits created during kittenhood, or simply a whim.
Why your cat prefers one kind of litter and not another may forever be a riddle shrouded in mystery.
What matters is that you provide your cat with the kind of litter he or she feels comfortable with. Otherwise, they may reject the litter box altogether. Elimination problems are easier to prevent than to fix, so make sure you read through this guide with your cat’s preference in mind.
Why even consider the type of litter?
Thinking of changing the type of litter your cat is using faithfully?
The old adage of “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” works well here.
If your cat is using the box regularly and seems to be ok with your current type of litter, you should probably count your blessings and let it go. You need a VERY good reason to start messing with a cat’s litter preference.
Remember – this is about what the cat prefers. For some cats, the type of litter doesn’t make much of a difference. For others, it can be crucial enough to make them avoid the litter box following a litter box.
That said, there are situations where choosing a new type of cat litter makes sense.
Adopting a new cat without knowing his or her previous litter preference.
Bringing a formerly outdoor-cat indoors.
A serious issue with the current type of litter used
Dealing with litter box avoidance which may be related to the type of litter used.
If you’re dealing with a litter box avoidance problem, then take a minute to read our guide about litter box problems. It will help you figure out what’s wrong and help Kitty get back to using the box.
So, how to find the best litter for your cat? What considerations play a part in choosing the purrfect cat litter?
After considering your cat’s needed, here is 3 steps to choose cat’s litter:
Choosing the right materials
Traditional litter: clay-based. Clay is one of the most popular kinds of litter on the market and is a simple choice that works for most cats. It absorbs water quickly, making cleaning out urine easy, and is easy to find at most grocery stores
Look into plant-based or recycled litters. If you’re environmentally conscious, or if your cat does not take to clay-based litter, look for more natural options. Many litters are made from plant-based or recycled materials. Try something like wood pellets, wheat, corn cobs, or litter made from recycled materials.
Try silica crystal litter if you live in a small space. Silica crystal litters are litters made of synthetic materials. They’re good at soaking up urine and dehydrating feces so it’s easier to clean. Silica crystal litters make most sense if you’re living in a smaller space as they absorb odor very easily.
Pay attention to how your cat responds to different materials. Trial and error may be necessary to pick a litter that works for your cat. Cats have preferences about their litter and may dislike the texture or feel of a particular brand of litter. If your cat stops using their litter box after you purchase a litter, try a different brand. With some experimentation and patience, you should be able to find a litter your cat will use.
Choose a lightweight litter. A lightweight litter may produce less dust. It can also be easier to carry back from the grocery store if you have a long walk. Some litters are specifically labeled as “lightweight”, but some materials are naturally light weight. Corn and grass-based litters tend to be naturally lighter than other varieties.
Look for multi-cat variations of common litters. Most common litters have special blends made for multi-cat households. If you have multiple cats living in the same house, opt for multi-cat litter. These often help better suppress odor. If your cats are having litter box issues due to sharing a litter box, opt for a multi-cat variety of your chosen litter.
Dealing with Odor and Cleaning
Look for an odor-absorbing litter. Whichever material you choose, look for a litter that’s odor-absorbing. This will prevent the smell of a litter box from seeping into your home. If a litter is odor-absorbing, it should say somewhere on the label.
Decide between clumping and non-clumping litters. The question of clumping and non-clumping litter depends on your personal preference and which litters your cats take to. Clumping litter can make cleanup easier, as it absorbs urine. With clumping litter, you can scoop out the litter box rather than replacing all the litter each time you clean it.
Avoid scented litters. Odor-absorbing litters are fine, as they keep odor away. However, scented litters are not recommended. They can cause irritation for cats and many cats are repelled by the smell of scented litter. A cat is more likely to eliminate outside the box if you use scented litter.
Clean the litterbox often. Even if you purchase a litter that is very good at absorbing odors, it is important to keep the litter box very clean to ensure that your cat will still use it. Some cats are pickier about cleanliness than others, so you should keep this in mind. You should scoop the litterbox every day or every couple of days in order to cut down on odors in your home and keep your cat comfortable.