Subject: Which cat litter is right for you?
Often, I am asked my opinion of various types of cat litter so I thought kitty litter would be a good topic for this newsletter.
It seems that there is almost a bewildering array of choices when it comes to cat litter. There is traditional clay, scoopable clay litter, litter made from corn/wheat/paper, and even litter made from crystals. Most of my experience is with scoopable litters of various types so I would like to focus on them.
Most people are pretty familiar with the traditional clay litters that have been around since the 1950s. It's relatively inexpensive and the only real scooping involved is the solid waste. An inexpensive source of non-clumping clay litter is the local auto parts store.
Clumping clay litters have been around since the 1980s. They quickly gained popularity as easy to use and having good odor control. One major drawback is scooping liquid waste into the toilet. It can gum up the inside of the plumbing and lead to costly plumbing repairs.
I've tried a few different brands of clumping litter for this article just to compare. We tried Petco generic, Tidy Cat Scoopable and Cat's Pride. My opinions are based on how well the product worked and what the kitties thought of it.
The generic Petco litter was the least favorite of the cats. I found that is is inexpensive and clumps fairly well. Odor control is so-so but adequate. It did tend to track a lot which means a lot of extra sweeping up. As far as the cats, they did not seem to like the texture. One would step in the box and keep lifting each paw up like. She gave me the impression that the litter was uncomfortable to stand in.
Tidy Cat Multicat Scoopable was the most popular choice in the comparison test for the cats. On sale, Tidy Cat is comparable to the generic litters. Of the three scoopable litters, it clumped the best and had the best odor control without using perfumes. It is reasonably dust free and the cats didn't track much around the house.
The cats seemed to also like Cat's Pride but the human wasn't happy with it. The human was happy about the price but unhappy with how dusty it was and how much it tracked. It also had a bit of a perfume smell that definitely made odors smell worse.
Our final group of cat litter includes litter based on corn & wheat. Swheat Scoop is a wheat based clumping cat litter and Worlds Best is a corn based litter. The cats were okay with these litters but they weren't real popular. Clumping is adequate and neither litter had a perfume smell. They aren't very dusty but did have a tendency to track. The largest drawback for me was a urine smell. I live in a high humidity area and both WB and Swheat Scoop developed strong odors within 2 or 3 days necessitating a full litter change.
To summarize, non-clumping litter is great for kittens or people that routinely dump and scrub the litter box every few dayys. The corn/wheat litters are good for kittens or for people in drier climates. Clumping clay litters are cost effective for the budget minded cat owner and work well for the majority of cats.
I would also like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that we have a new forum devoted to General Cat Care.