6 Tips For Choosing Cat Litter

6 Tips For Choosing Cat Litter

Choosing A Cat Litter

There you are standing in the cat litter aisle of the pet store and it seems that the rows have multiplied since the last time you were there. How do you choose? What is the best litter for your cat now? Pellets, crystals, walnuts, clumping and not clumping – what do you do? Fear not, as here are the 6 tips for choosing cat litter for you and your kitty!

6 Tips For Choosing Cat Litter
Kali-Ma In Litter Box

1. Use What Your Cat Likes

The most important thing to remember is that cats like consistency.  What your cat likes is most important, especially when it comes to their litter box! So, although I have many tips for choosing cat litter it is critical that you choose what your cat likes the best. If after reading this you decide to make a change do it slowly. Add about 10% of the new litter mixed with your cats’ current litter and see how it goes. Then add a little more each day. Eventually making a complete change, only if your cat likes it. As in all things, your cat comes first! 🙂

*Please note that the opinions expressed here are my opinions based on my experiences. 

2. Pellets & Pads – What A Mess!

I have been a cat owner for over thirty years now, so if there is anything new I have tried it. One of the latest developments in the litter box world of a few years ago was a litter box with pellets a urine pad tray underneath. The cat urine passed through the pellets to a tray underneath where urine absorption pads consumed the cat urine that you changed weekly. Cat poop could be removed daily.

It ended up being an expensive mess! The urine spilled over the pads of the trays and had to be changed daily, not weekly, to contain the odor! The pads and pellets were extremely expensive. My cat didn’t like walking on the pellets too much either.  I ended up tossing the whole thing out and going back to clumping litter which made my cat happier.

3. Silicone Litter – No Scooping Here!

Silicone crystal litter. This litter works by absorbing cat urine. The idea is that your cat urinates in the box and the silicone absorbs the urine. Then you spread the urinated absorbed crystals around with the un-urinated crystals until all the crystals are urinated on. Of course the cat poop you have to scoop. I have tried it briefly, however, I did not like my cat walking in her own urine – whether it’s absorbed or not.

Recently some manufacturers have claimed to come out with a scoopable silicone litter. I have yet to find a silicone litter that “scoops” easily. Silicone either breaks apart like sand or clumps like cement. It is also not the closest thing to what a cat is used to in nature, which is dirt. Silicone litters may be scoopable but they will never be “clumping”, so be aware of the verbiage they use in their claims.

4. Walnuts, Corn & All Other Food Forms Of Litter – Food Is Not For Litter!

Once I had a guest stay with me that insisted her cat use a walnut litter she brought with her. She claimed it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well everywhere her cat walked after it used the litter box it left litter brown paw prints. She may have loved the litter, however, I didn’t love the little brown spots it left on my chair, bedspreads, windowsill, etc. As it turns out, walnut stains are not easy to get out either. I decided that day the only place I wanted my walnuts was in my food!

Then one day I heard about this litter claiming to be the best in the world. I bought a bag and decided to give it a try. The woman at the pet store sold me the unscented version and told me it was corn-based. It all sounded like it would be good.  I got home, mixed a small amount with my clay litter and gave it a try – WRONG! The scent was so bad that after several attempts at washing the box, I had to throw the litter box away and buy a new one. I also got bugs from the corn.  I ended up washing the walls, carpets and getting the exterminator with that one. A $10 bag of litter ended up costing me over $150! 

5. Clumping Clay Litter – The Cats Choice

After trying everything under the sun over the years, I do believe my cat looks at me and wonders “Are we done now? Can we just go back to what I like?”.

Clumping clay cat litter is the closest thing to what a cat is accustomed to using in its natural habitat. I emphasize “clumping” as I cannot imagine any reason to use non-clumping. I clean my cats’ litter box first thing every morning and once every evening. A clean box means a happy cat. Would you want to go to the bathroom in a dirty toilet?

There is another reason I keep the box clean – so I can monitor my cats’ health. It is estimated that 30% of all cats older than 15 years of age will have Feline Chronic Kidney Disease. I take my cat twice a year for a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and health check, however, I also monitor the size of her urine clumps. My veterinarian told me they should look like a small golf ball (see the photo referenced here). I know she urinates three to four times a day and poops once.

6 Tips For Choosing Cat Litter
Perfect Cat Urine Clump Size

If I see that her urine clump sizes are increasing or that there is any major variation in her litter habits, then off to the vet we go! Prevention is most important, especially at her tender age of seven years. She is now a senior cat.

This is why I choose a clumping clay litter that I scoop so that I can see what is going on daily with my cat. Crystals and pellets cannot tell me this. Only a clumping clay litter can give me the visual I need to protect my cat.

6. My Personal Litter Choice – BOXIECAT

Of all the clumping clay litters out there, and there are many, there is only one for me; BOXIECAT.  It is veterinarian recommended and the Cat Fancy Magazine Editor’s Choice.  I have a video demonstration of the many reasons it so wonderful here:  Kali-Ma BOXIECAT Video.

I have been using it now for over four months now and both Kali-Ma and I love it! We use the unscented and literally have no odor in the house. In my opinion, all litter should be unscented as the scent is only for humans. Cats do not prefer scented litter – just being honest.  Think about it…they use to go outside in the dirt. It wasn’t scented with Febreeze! If you clean the litter box regularly it doesn’t need to be masked with fields of flowers.

My favorite thing about this litter is that all the clumps stay on top. You can see this in the demonstration video. There is no more deep dive scooping in the corners of the litter box! Everything is on the top layer. One or two scoops across the top and I am done!  It’s the closest thing to dust free I have ever had in a litter and it tracks very litter.  For less than $.50 / day it is worth it to have this cat litter for me and my cat.

Final Thoughts

6 Tips For Choosing Cat Litter
Kali-Ma Photo Quote

Whatever cat litter you choose, make sure your cat is happy and their litter box is kept clean. Also, remember that regular visits to your veterinarian are critical to your cats’ health care. Your cat is the most beautiful expression of unconditional love. They give you so much. They deserve the very best.

Happy Tails to you…until next time.

About Author

Gloria Tripp

Owner of Tails of Kali-Ma LLC where I blog about the tales of Kali-Ma the therapy cat. These tales include cat care tips, cat stories, and cat life lessons based on my life with Kali-Ma as part of a cat therapy team. I am a registered therapy animal owner, freelance copywriter, aspiring author, and lover of everything cats!

1 Comment

  1. Lyla Peterson

    That’s a good idea to simply stay consistent with what your cat likes. I have been thinking about adopting a cat from the shelter to keep me company. I will keep your tips in mind to make sure that I provide a litter situation that works for both of us.

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