Various

Types of cat litter + home made recipe

There are four major types of cat litter available to pet owners. In this section of our website we will explore which cat litter products are best for your cat and your lifestyle. While we will cover basic considerations for choosing cat litter on this page, it is recommended that you visit our cat store for additional information on product specific cat litter details. In addition to more detailed information, you can also view reviews from other cat owners to help you decide which cat litter is best for your pet. If you are in doubt, please contact your veterinarian for professional advice.

 

Types of cat litter

Clay litter

When it comes to cat litter, the most common type of cat litter known is clay or un-clumping cat litter. When the cat soils the litter box, the cat litter must be promptly discarded. Clay cat litter will absorb cat urine to some degree and some pet owners do use a scoop for minor soiling. However, its lack of clumping makes it more difficult to scoop and poses significant odor problems unless the entire litter box is cleaned and used litter discarded. Because of its high maintenance, clay cat litter is not recommended for cat owners with a busy lifestyle.

Pros:

  • Clumping into nuggets- convenient cleaning.
  • Attractive price
  • Clay litter is available in almost every store.
  • Clay litter absorbs odours.

Cons:

  • It can’t be removed from the toilet.
  • If your cat eats concrete gravel, she may have digestive problems.

Crystals litter

Crystals cat litter is a revolutionary product which offers exceptional absorbency and extends the time needed for full litter changes. Typically, a litter box for a single cat only needs to be changed once monthly. The crystal compounds are made up of sodium silicate, which is the super absorbent product found in pill bottles and other product packaging to control moisture. Just as with clumping cat litter, crystals can be ingested by a cat during self grooming. Some brands of crystals cat litter also are very jagged and can be uncomfortable for some cats to step on. However, many cat owners that use this type of litter are impressed with its quality and as a low track litter product.

Pros:

  • Cat urine is absorbed – you don’t have to pick it from the litter tray.
  • The litter is quite heavy, with less spillage.
  • It may have additional smell particles.
  • It absorbs odours.

Cons:

  • After some time, the litter changes colour and does not look aesthetically pleasing.
  • It’s heavier, some cats don’t accept it.
  • It is quite expensive.

Organic litter

Organic cat litter products offer the most natural and safest environment for your cat. While the cost of organic cat litter is much higher, kittens and cats using the litter box are not exposed to the super absorbency chemicals found in today’s most widely used cat litter products. However, some organic cat litter products can be jagged and rough on the paws and pads of cats.

Pros:

  • Clumping into nuggets- convenient cleaning.
  • Attractive price.
  • It is ecological and biodegradable.
  • Can be removed in the toilet.

Cons:

  • It’s sometimes more expensive than clay litter.
  • It is light, spreads on the floor.
 
PetSafe Deluxe
Crystal Cat Litter
Box System
PetSafe ScoopFree
Ultra Self-Cleaning
Cat Litter Box
Omega Paw Elite
Self Cleaning
Petmate Top Entry
Litter Pan Cat
Litter Box Brushed
Length18 in.28.5 in. 21.5 in.20.3 in.
Width14 in.20.5 in.20 in.15.1 in.
Height9.5 in.11.5 in.18.5 in.15.2 in.
Rating3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
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Budget cat litter

This is a list of all the low-priced cat litters we analyzed and rated. This is our most competitive price level, many of which are accessible for less than a dollar per pound. Most of these litters will be produced of standard clay and some will not be able to clump. Despite not having some of the more exotic materials and all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive offers, many are still performing extremely well and should check all the essential boxes you are looking for in a quality cat litter.

 
Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Litter, Fresh Scent Dr Elseys Ultra Premium Clumping Cat LitterDr. Elsey's Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat LitterFresh Step Non Clumping Clay Cat Litter
TypeClayClayClayClay
Weight14 lbs40 lbs40 lbs14 lbs
Rating3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
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Clumping cat litter vs non clumping

Clumping litter

Domestic sales of cat litter are dominated by various brands of clumping cat litter. This type of litter is generally good at containing cat urine in clumps and is extremely easy to scoop. However, cats that may enter the litter box with moist paws may find that when they exit they are also taking out clumps on their paws as well. This can be a health hazard to cats because the clumping nature of this litter will do the same thing inside the cat if ingested. And since kittens and cats frequently clean their paws, the possibility of ingesting some clumping cat litter is greater then what most pet owners are typically aware of. Another health issue related to clumping cat litter is dust. This type of cat litter does generate an excessive amount of dust and some reports indicate that this dust can be harmful.

This kind of litter can be considered the prototype of all others. In 1947 this type of litter replaced the sand used so far. Non-caking grit is distinguished by the fact that it easily absorbs moisture. Urine, however, remains with the balls of gravel in the litter tray, only the stool can be removed from the litter tray without any problems. In the case of non-chipping litter, the entire contents of the litter tray should therefore be replaced frequently. Unfortunately, it is also often the case that dust from this type of litter tray floats during burial and this leads to respiratory problems in sensitive cats.

Pros:

  • Sand or earth-like material
  • High fluid absorbency
  • Building nuggets in contact with cat’s urine
  • Bad odour binding
  • Economical to use
  • Available everywhere

Cons:

  • Tendency to dust
  • Depending on the quality, it can stick to the bottom of the litter tray.

 

Non clumping litter

No matter what material the litter is made of, it should be clumping. Of course, this condition does not apply to silicone litters. If bentonite is used in its production, the litter in contact with the liquid will immediately clump together. In this way, it closes the cat’s urine, which in this form can later be removed with a spatula without having to replace the remaining litter. A cat’s litter tray will still stay fresh for a long time. There are a variety of clumping litter- with different textures, grain sizes, active carbon or fragrances. When buying clumping litter, you should also make sure that it is a product with as little dust as possible.

Pros:

  • Sand or earth-like material
  • High fluid absorbency
  • Available everywhere

Cons:

  • Tendency to dust
  • Frequent replacement of all gravel

 

Cat litter that doesn’t track

Hygiene in the cat’s toilet is just one of the aspects that we pay attention to when choosing a litter. What also counts is the comfort of the household members. Litter that crunches under shoes or sticks in your feet is not only unpleasant but also unhygienic, especially when there are small children at home.

Most litter can more or less be carried around the house. Heavier litter with a thicker fraction does not attach so easily to cat’s paws and does not spill so intensively. Lightweight wood litter and sawdust spread with exceptional ease.

The way to eliminate spillage is to choose a good litter tray – high sided or covered – and to buy a special rubber mat for the litter tray. The mat has a system of grooves that take the litter from the cat’s paws and make it stay in place and not be spread around the house.

 

Premium cat litters

Below you can see a list of all the premium cat litters we analyzed and ranked. We describe “premium” as a litter that is typically cost more than item in the budget and mid-level litter. These products can often cost more than a dollar per pound and beyond. This category includes many of the more modern materials such as crystals, silica gel, and many of the environment-friendly and recycled materials.

These distinctive products have special benefits (and sometimes disadvantages), so it’s up to you to decide if the additional cash is worth it. Furthermore, this level will include some of the specialty litters.

It is important to note that specialty litters that are intended for cats with medical issues or that have unique circumstances and have to stick with a specific type of product do not weight into the ratings. We inspire you to look through our comparision and try some of these higher-end litters if your budget enables, and see if their distinctive characteristics are something you see with the additional cash.

 
Northeastern Products
Cedarific Natural
Cedar Chips Cat Litter
Purina Tidy Cats
24/7 Performance
Clumping Cat Litter
Fresh Step CrystalsSmartCat All Natural
Clumping Litter
TypeOrganicClayCrystalsOrganic
Weight15.65 lbs (50 liter bag)40 lbs8 lbs x220 lbs
Rating3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
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How to make home made cat litter?

Making a litter of your own could be a good idea, especially if you are trying to save money or if you have a tricky cat that defies the texture or smell of commercial cat litter. While a little experimenting is okay, keep in mind that many cats fear changes in their bedding material and could therefore avoid using the cat litter box.

 

Cat Litter Materials

They can replace commercial cat litter with various everyday items. Sand, soil or dirt and natural wood fibres – available in pet stores as horse litter – are simple options that can be pipetted into the litter tray as you would with cat litter. You can also use Chicken Scratch, which is also available in stores.

 

Scoopable litter

Shredded newspaper

Shredded paper

While DIY clump litter is not easy to produce with conventional materials, you can turn shredded newspapers into scoopable waste – either tearing newspaper into small strips or guiding it through a shredder. Soak the shredded newspaper in water to allow some ink to wash off, then rinse: Take a handful of the wet shredders and crush them with your hands under running water. Place the rinsed and squeeze-dried newspaper in a dry tub, separate lumps and knead baking powder into the paper until you end up with a crumbly mixture. Let it dry in the air before putting it in the litter tray.

 

Disadvantages of home made cat litter

While creating your own litter is a good idea, homemade waste has some disadvantages. Materials such as sand and soil can lead to disorder in the house. Some options, like the idea of the tattered newspaper, are simply too time-consuming. Commercial cat litter often contains deodorants or odor absorbers such as baking powder. Without these additives, your self-burned garbage may not be strong enough to prevent odors from taking over the house.

 

Plain wood chips

Plain wood chips

Deodorize your homemade litter

If you have a multi-cat household, homemade waste may not be strong enough to combat odors. Adding baking powder, carpet deodorant or bedding specific odor control powders can help. You can also try cedar wood chips. Commercial cedar chip cat litter is commercially available, but it is expensive. Instead, try adding a handful of wood chips to your homemade litter to absorb the smell.

 

Home made cat litter recipe

  1. Tear newspaper in paper shredder. In an unused cat box, retrieve the shredded paper.
  2. Soak the paper with few squirts of soft, environmentally friendly dish soap (like Ecover) in hot water. The shredded paper assumes consistency of cooked oatmeal. The paper is not going to be totally smooth, but the water is going to turn gray.
  3. Drain the water (wonders worked by an old colander) and repeat the soaking process without soap. 
  4. Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the moist paper. Knead it into the blend (to prevent getting ink on your hands you might want to wear gloves).
  5. Squeeze out the left moisture until it becomes as dry as you can. 
  6. Crumble over screen and drown (it takes couple of days)

 

Something to keep in mind

A little warning: cats are tricky by nature. This means that finding the right formulation for your homemade waste requires patience. You may need to try several options before you find one that works for your cat lover. To speed up the process, provide several waste bins with different formulations. Kitty will show you which one he prefers.

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