With so many types of cat litter on the market today, you may not know which one to choose for your cat or kitten. If you have been using a certain type of litter for years and years, you might not even know about some of the newest litter varieties. Here are some pluses and minuses with various litter options.
Old-School Clay litter: PLUS: It’s dirt cheap! Cats and kittens will go right to it. It is rare that a cat will not use it. MINUS: It can be dusty. It doesn’t clump. It’s not flushable. And, it must be changed more often.
Clay based clumping litter: PLUS: It clumps. It is okay for kittens. MINUS: It is expensive. Dusty, so some cats don’t like it.
Pine: PLUS: Has a natural pine scent because it is made from wood. It is flushable, biodegradable or can be used in gardens. It is fine for kittens. MINUS: Some cats do not like it. Does not clump like some litter.
Recycled paper litter: PLUS: A big plus – it is made from recycled paper! This litter absorbs odors and liquids well. It is not dusty. Many vets recommended it for post-op care. MINUS: Some cats don’t like the bulkiness of the paper wads. The paper melts or disintegrates when there is urine on it, making it a little harder to clean.
Corn-based litter: PLUS: Corn litter is environmentally friendly, clumps well, safe for kittens. When it is wet, it doesn’t stick to the sides of the box. Most cats will use it. Not very dusty. MINUS: Some people think it has a bad odor. Cats can be allergic to it.
Wheat-based litter (similar to the corn based litter): PLUS This litter is environmentally friendly, clumps well, safe for kittens. Generally, it’s not dusty. MINUS: Cats can be allergic to it and will scratch at their skin if there is a problem.
Crystal litter: PLUS: This litter is absorbant for odors and liquid. It clumps. MINUS: Felines tend to kick it all over the place. Some cats don’t like it. It can be expensive.
Walnut shell litter (made from regular not toxic black walnuts): PLUS: This littler is not dusty, and doesn’t get stuck in cats’ feet. Cats won’t track litter through the house. MINUS: It is expensive, and doesn’t cover the smell very well. Sometimes the color camouflages feces that you might miss when cleaning the litter.
A lot of cat litters have fragrance added to them. Other brands are supposed to be for households with multiple cats. There are so many varieties that it can be difficult to choose from all of the options.
If you decide to change your cat’s litter, you should try to switch it gradually. If you abruptly change litters, you could end up with a very bad situation where kitty goes outside of the litterbox. If you have ever had a cat that stopped going in the litter box (which they will also do if the box is filthy all of the time), it is really hard to get them to start using it again. It’s a very bad thing when cats go outside the box. Avoid it at all costs! If you don’t want to switch gradually, try offering an extra box with the new litter.
Sometimes moving the box can also be a bit confusing for the cat. Your cat might start digging around potted plants in the house and going there. It can get really ugly. Be extremely careful when messing around with the litter.