Choosing the Right Litter for Your Cat

cat litter box

Cat litter is an object used by the owner to bury feces and urine for their cats. It has good water absorption. It is generally used together with the litter box (or cat toilet). Pour an appropriate amount of cat litter in the litter box, a trained cat will walk into the litter box and place cat feces on it when it needs to be excreted.

The most important advancement in cat culture is the use of cat litter. In the early days, cat litter was mainly non-clumping cat litter and was mainly for storing cat poop. However, with the continuous advancement of cat litter technology, people are not limited to such simple storage, so clumping litter, wood pellet litter, crystal litter, bentonite litter, etc. continues to appear.

Generally, cat litter is made of paper pulp into small particles to simulate sand and provide water absorption, and there are also particles that use physical desiccants such as silica gel. Usually, chemical products such as antibacterial agents, deodorizers, preservatives are added. Cat litter will form into clumps when exposed to water. Although it is easy to clean, it is recommended to use a special litter scoop. Most litter cats will get on their feet and take them to other places after stepping on them, so please pay attention to cleaning them frequently.

Product Categories

A. According to the characteristics of use, cat litter can be divided into two categories:

1. Clumping cat litter: The main ingredient is bentonite, which forms clumps after absorbing urine or feces, and can be easily cleaned with a cat litter scoop.

2. Non-clumping cat litter: Itwill not coagulatewhen encountering urine. You can scoop it out after the cat has a bowel movement, and needs to be replaced as a whole after use.

B. According to chemical properties and raw materials, it is divided into:

1. Organic cat litter: wood pellet litter, paper litter, bamboo litter, grass litter, grain litter;

2. Inorganic cat litter: bentonite cat litter, crystal cat litter, zeolite cat litter.

Silicone Cat Litter

Silicone cat litter is made of silica gel, which is a refined and processed material. The main component of silicone cat litter is silica, which is non-toxic and non-polluting. It is a green product for household use. Just dig a hole and bury the used litter. The appearance of silicone cat litter is white granular, lightweight, and low breakage, which can inhibit the growth of bacteria. It also can be called Crystal Cat Litter.

Crystal Cat litter is translucent beads or some irregular particles. Some brands will be mixed with beads of different colors to prevent mildew, antibacterial, deodorant, etc.

The advantage of crystal cat litter is that it has strong absorption power. After the beads absorb urine, they will change color, and they can be replaced with new ones when about 80% of the whole pot changes color. Of course, the stool will not disappear, so it should be cleaned every day.

Advantages of Crystal Cat Litter

  1. Powerful deodorizer. It can hold the odor of urine or feces tightly without emitting, keeping the air in your room fresh and odor-free.
  2. Superfast moisture absorption. It can quickly absorb the water in your pet’s urine and feces in a very short time; it can absorb up to 80% of its weight and still maintain a dry appearance.
  3. Long-lasting effectiveness: 4 lbs/bag of litter can be used by a cat for more than one month.
  4. Powerful anti-bacterial. Because the litter box is dry inside, it reduces the growth of bacteria. If you usethe antimicrobial litter, it also has an antiseptic effect.
  5. Easy to handle. The silica gel cat litter is non-clumping, non-marking, non-dusty, light in weight, anda small amount of garbage. Itcan be disposed of as ordinary garbage. It is convenient and safe to use at home.

Particle size: 1-8mm or customer request

Stacking Density: 450g/L-500g/L

Water content: 5%

Disadvantages of Crystal Cat Litter

  1. The beads are light and round and can easily be plucked out; many cats are interested in the beads and often play with them. Some cats even eat crystal litter, which is quite dangerous.
  2. When the litter is almost fully absorbed but still usable, the smell of ammonia is very strong, the deodorizing effect fails, and the owner will struggle internally whether to replacethe litter or not. You have to hold your breath for a long time every time you change the crystal litter.
  3. It is very painful to step on crystal litter with bare feet.
  4. Do not throw it into the toiletto flush.

Suggestions: Some people use double-layer cat litter boxes, with crystal cat litter on the upper layer, and clumping litter or cat diapers on the bottom layer to absorb urine flowing down to reduce wear and tear.

Wood Pellet Cat Litter

Main Ingredients

This cat litter product is an environmentally-friendly cat litter product based on recycled pine wood, pulp, or wheat by-products.

The basic effect of wood pellet cat litter is similar to that of crystal cat litter. This kind of cat litter is made from sawdust as the main raw material, supplemented by a small amount of natural binder granulation. There is no dust or very little dust, which will not cause air pollution and is anti-permeable. The ability is very strong, with better clumping and flavor absorption function. It absorbs urine directly and can be disposed of directly in the toilet bowl for flushing, without excessive cleaning. However, after absorbing urine, the wood pellet litter will turn into powder and can be discarded when the whole bowl is almost powdered. It has a long service life. Wood pellet cat litter is not smelly, but the smell of wood will be there, so if you don’t like the smell of pine or other sawdust, you should consider whether to buy it. It is slightly more expensive than clumping litter or crystal cat litter.

Compressive strength: ≥900g

Particle Diameter: ¢5mm-6mm

Particle Length: 6-15mm

Moisture: 8% of the total

Particle Density: 1.1g/cm3

Advantages

(1) Good water absorption effect.

(2) Low odor.

(3) Low wear and tear, long service life.

(4) Easy to use, can be discarded after turning into powder or flushed down the toilet.

Disadvantages

(1) Sawdust is susceptible to moisture and fleas.

(2) Some cats do not like the smell of wood, do not adapt to the touch, and even refuse to use it.

(3) It is slightly more expensive than clumping cat litter.

(4) Sawdust powder can easily be carried out of the litter box and contaminate the home.

Environmental Issues

There is no need to cut down trees to make wood pellet cat litter when other types of cat litter are available. Therefore, when purchasing litter, be sure to choose litter marked as environmentally friendly and recycled.

1. Standard wood litter:

Made of pine wood, 6 mm in diameter and 1 cm in length. It expands rapidly when exposed to water and dries within a few seconds. The saturated particles are crushed into small particles about 1 mm in diameter, according to the principle of upward and downward convection of large and small particles. Just pick up the feces every day, and replace the whole pot with new litter after the particles are Don’t worry about the smell of urine in the wood chips. The high-tech treatment of the wood can effectively lock the water, and the sterilizing effect of rosin can inhibit the growth of bacteria, so it will not stink. It is similar to the method and steps of using crystal litter.

Safety: Made of pure natural pine wood, sterilized under high pressure without any additives or chemicals, non-toxic, no side effects, no harm to cats or family members even if they accidentally eat it.

Deodorization: The pinewood itself has strong deodorization properties, and after compression, it has better deodorization properties. The rosin in pinewood is a natural antiseptic substance, which is the key to retaining the ancient architecture today.

Water Absorption: Because of the compression of pine shavings, the water absorption is stronger, and the experiments have proved that the water absorption is 2.3 times stronger than traditional cat litter.

Easy to clean up: The fecal matter is dug up with a litter scoop and can be flushed away through the toilet. The granular sawdust becomes powder after absorbing water and are filtered through a mesh sieve. Without a mesh sieve, the unused coarse particles can rise, and the powder sink by wobbling or shaking the litter box.

Environmental Protection: The raw material is pure natural pine wood, which can be flushed directly into the toilet or used as fertilizer, and can be decomposed in the natural environment. No mineral soil, no ash, keep the room clean.

Easy to clean: The product has been sterilized under high pressure to remove pine oil stains, and it is slippery after absorbing water, not staining feet or body, and easy to rinse.

2. Clumping type:

In addition to standard features, it is more like bentonite cat litter in the water. (Contains rosin sterilizing ingredients)

3. Enhanced activated carbon type:

In addition to the standard features, the activated carbon componentshavebeen added. As we all know, activated carbon can even resist poisonous gases, so the smell of urine is not a (Contains rosin sterilizing ingredients)

4. Grain extraction type:

Corn, wheat, rice,and other grains are processed and refined to produce special yeast, enzymes, which can decompose organic molecules in urine and feces that cause odor, thereby destroying the generation of odor in molecular structure. These yeasts and enzymes have no special taste and will not be detected by humans or cats, thus perfectly realizing biological deodorization. After deodorization, cat litter can be used for a longer time in the litter box, generally doubled. (Contains rosin sterilizing ingredients)

Paper Cat Litter

Main Ingredients

A portion of paper kitty litter contains activated carbon, some of which is made from recycled newsprint.

Advantages

Paper cat litter is a soft litter, about the size of rice grains. In terms of deodorization, paper litter does not easily give off odors due to its particle size and hardness, which are similar to ordinary mineral litter. Generally, the paper litter sold in the market contains activated carbon, which is also helpful in deodorizing. Although there is no coagulation, the litter will turn gray when wet, so it is easy to identify and remove. It can also be poured into the toilet and flushed, which is relatively simple.

Disadvantages

Paper kitty litter is a little weaker in terms of coagulation, and some paper litter can coagulate when used but will turn into a mushy mess.

Clumping Cat Litter

Main ingredient: Bentonite.

Appearance: White or grayish-white, spherical or irregularly shaped granules.

It is the most commonly used cat litter. It is highly hygroscopic and can quickly absorb the moisture in the feces, forming a large hard mass. Clumping litter solves the problem of urine. It can condense the urine into blocks and remove them together, which is hygienic and convenient. If your pet encounters diarrhea, it will successfully be absorbed into a ball. So there are no longer the troubles that ordinary cat litter can’t hold. When the clumping litter is gradually consumed, you can add new litter to the cat litter at any time, and there is no need to give up the whole pot.

Some also add perfume or perfume beads or fresh mint flavor to reduce the number of temporarily stopping breathing when cleaning the litter. Even more advanced ones have antiseptic ingredients or coloring of the litter to make it more visually appealing. Ordinary litter and clumping litter are made from natural gravel, and excrement is quickly returned to nature.

Appearance: White, yellow, gray spherical or lumpy

Water Absorbency: ≥260%

Loose Density: 850-950g/L

Granularity: 0.5-3.5mm, 1-4mm

Moisture: 5%.

Advantages:

For cats, this kind of litter is lighter and has a better foot feel, which is suitable for cats that naturally like to bury. It is more convenient to clean up. Some brands of cat litter are better at absorbing odor. If there are not many cats in the house, you can clean the litter every day and it will be odorless.

Disadvantages:

Dusty, if the litter box is placed in the room, the surface of the furniture will gradually adhere to a fine layer of white powder, and the cat will have a smell of dirt. Because the cat litter particles are very small, it is easy to get stuck in the toes of the cat, and the cat will lick up the small grains of litter left in the toes after pooping.

Note:

Bentonite cat litter is ideal for home use. You can clean the cat’s feces at any time, but the dust is quite large, so it is best to place the cat litter box in a well-ventilated place. Special attention should be paid to bentonite litter as it can damage your cat’s respiratory and digestive systems if it is accidentally ingested.

Tofu Cat Litter

Tofu cat litter can be divided into two types: Clumping type and Non-Clumping type (ordinary tofu cat litter, tofu traditional Chinese medicine litter, tofu discolored litter, tofu pine core litter, and tofu corn cob litter. Clumping type is a popular type.

Material: as the name suggests, tofu litter is made from tofu residue.

Advantages:

Environmentally friendly, waste utilization, can be flushed directly to the toilet. No dust, non-toxic, harmless to cats and people. It is coagulable and easy to clean up. Natural ingredients, bean flavor, a wide variety of derivatives (including tofu traditional Chinese medicine litter, tofu discolored litter, tofu pine core litter, tofu corn cob litter), flavored, dyed, charcoal added, and dust-free. It can be flushed directly from the toilet and is easy to take out for cleaning. According to the size of the cat, it can be replaced by 12 days, 7 days, 5 days. It is recommended that if you have purebred cats with weak stomachs (easy to diarrhea) you must use the clumping type, which is absolutely fine for cats to eat. Soybean residue is edible (but choose a manufacturer without industrial additives). And it is extremely suitable for cats after surgery, postpartum, and kittens up to half a year old.

Disadvantages:

In summer, or in humid environments where worms tend to grow. Some people said that it had a beany flavor and cats refused to use it. The agglomeration is not as good as clay litter, and more expensive than clay or crystal litter.

How to use: It is best to use a double-layer litter box, because some particles will be deposited on the bottom layer. Clean the bottom layer regularly to prevent excessive urine smell. Usually, like using clumping cat litter, clean up urine, and feces every day.

Ordinary Clay

Advantages:

Rapid liquid absorption, economical odor control. Some have antibacterial formulas, and some have additives that absorb, neutralize, and cover odors.

Disadvantages:

The clay is generally very heavy, and if you can’t remove the poop or replace the litter thoroughly, the poor odor control may cause your cat to look for a new litter box, especially if you have multiple cats. The added fragrance can sometimes make cats withdraw from the litter box. Dust and adhesion problems, the finer the particles, the more serious the problem. It will soon form a cat-made beach, dust-free dispensing is better, but can not be eliminated. People and cats with asthma and other breathing problems need to consult a doctor.

Ordinary Cat Litter

Sand that has undergone several treatment processes, mostly made from crushed stone, is similar to ordinary sand.

The sand is relatively clean, dry, and odorless compared to ordinary sand (such as construction sand and roadside sand). The only difference between the different brands is the type of sand and the thickness of the particles. The advanced ones are equipped with a deodorizing function. They are all cheap.

Ordinary cat litter is enough to cover the feces, but the biggest problem is that it cannot absorb the urine, which will flow directly to the bottom of the litter box as if it is composting. After a week or two, the whole litter is useless and must be replaced, otherwise, it will be smelly.

Bamboo Litter, Grass Litter

Bamboo litter is moderately absorbent, with many particles and powders.

Grass litter also called plant cat litter: the most detestable design, looks like wood litter, but is too light and is often taken out of the litter box by cats. There is no deodorization and odor absorption function, and it may become smelly if not replaced in time. This product was originally manufactured as a “fuel pellet” to solve the problem of fires in remote areas, and it has nothing to do with cat litter.

Advantages:

Plants and their by-products are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. They are made from various plants such as wheat, corn, grass, alfalfa, peanut shells, and orange peels, dried and pulverized into crumbs or powder. It may be safer for cats with health problems as they are very low or virtually dust-free. Most of them are very light, with a delicate smell and good odor suppression without chemical additives. Although it does not form hard lumps like bentonite litter, it may still form soft lumps. And although it crumbles easily, it is still easy to remove and can be emptied into the toilet in small amounts at a time.

Disadvantages:

Adhesion, of which the lighter type has more serious adhesion problems, and it is easy to be taken out of the litter box. It is not easy to buy and the price is too expensive. Some manufacturers claim that used cat litter can be used as fertilizer, but they do not consider it to prevent the spread of problems such as toxoplasmosis.

Paper litter is biodegradable from recycled paper, newspaper, or paper mill by-products. It comes in two basic forms: hard granules and fluffy crumbs, which absorb moisture and suppress odors. It is more protective of kittens’ soft forehead paws. Some can form soft lumps that are easy to scoop out, while others can be scooped out because of their good water absorption and direct formation of “soil”, which better solves the problem of adhesion. Some people are concerned that the ink on the scraps of paper may cause poisoning. At least buying those products made from paper mills should be able to avoid this problem.

Selection Tips

Many brands of cat litter are available in small packages. Pick a few well-known brands of cat litter and try it out one by one, see which one your cat likes, and then decide. It’s not a blind choice when choosing. You need to pay attention to several points: First, choose a cat litter that can be coagulated and easy to remove. This kind of cat litter is easy to clean and can absorb odors; Secondly, cats prefer tasteless litter, so try not to choose those with a strong aroma, but owners often prefer scented cat litter, so the cats’ feelings are not considered when choosing. Therefore, the cat litter bought back does not like to be used. It is important to remember that cat litter is for cats, and only the litter they like is appropriate for them. If your cat doesn’t like the litter you choose for it, it usually has the following behaviors: scratching the litter tray, standing outside the litter tray or jumping out soon after entering, or “pooing” directly next to the litter tray. Therefore, when you find that your cat has the above behaviors, please change to another cat litter. And please do not change to another brand after confirming it.

Selection Criteria

1.Coagulation

2.Water Absorbency

3.Odor masking power

4.Dust amount

Instructions

Spread a layer of cat litter about 1.5 inches thick in a clean litter box.

Periodically remove the garbage generated after use to keep it clean.

If there are multiple cats, you can shorten the litter replacement cycle proportionally instead of putting too much litter in the litter box. It is recommended to use a bag of 3.6L cat litter: one cat, one month, two cats, about 15 days, and three cats, about 10 days.

The saturated cat litter should be removed from the box with a scoop in time.

Keep the box or litter in a clean, moisture-free place to extend its service life.

Above all, make sure you buy cat litter that absorbs odors to avoid unpleasant smells in your home. And choose a safe litter. If your cat has an adverse reaction to a litter you use, please change the brand. A quality cat litter is important to your cat’s well-being.

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