Choosing a litter on your cat is extra concerned than it was. Gone are the times when clay was about the one choice — now, you will discover litters created from a variety of supplies, from wheat to wooden. Here’s find out how to decide the precise product on your cat.
Cats are notoriously choosy, and it doesn’t cease at their meals. They will also be very fussy in regards to the form of litter they like to make use of. Finding the precise litter to fit your personal kitty could imply some trial and error, however realizing one thing in regards to the numerous litter types accessible in the present day may help make the method simpler.
A SHORT HISTORY OF CAT LITTER
Prior to the late Nineteen Forties, individuals used wooden ashes for cat litter. But in 1947, Edward Lowe created an alternate utilizing repurposed absorbent clay. The new clay litter was offered by a skeptical pet retailer proprietor for 65 cents for a five-pound bag. Lowe additionally hawked his invention from the trunk of his automotive, and demonstrated it at cat exhibits. At the time, he had no thought how standard clay litter would finally change into.
While clay clumping litters are nonetheless extensively in use in the present day, partly as a result of they’re among the many least costly litter decisions, they’ve their drawbacks, relying on the product. Some may be very dusty, which isn’t good for a kitty’s lungs (or the lungs of those that clear out the litterbox). As properly, the particles have a tendency to stay to the cat’s ft and get tracked round the home.
AN EXPLOSION OF LITTER MATERIALS
Nowadays, there are such a lot of different cat litter supplies to select from that clay is not the go-to product. Pet retailer cabinets are lined with a wide range of plant-based litters created from wheat, grass, corn, walnut shells, pine pellets, delicate wooden, and paper. Other litters are created from silica sand, crystals or gel — and, imagine it or not, even tofu (additionally known as soy). Many of those litters are created from recycled supplies, a bonus for individuals who prefer to be eco-friendly.
Boxiecat, for instance, gives a line of plant-based, sustainable clumping litters that function pure contemporary plant aromas. These light-weight dust-free litters function AirTight™ know-how that traps bacterial and ammonia odors. If you favor clay, the corporate additionally has a choice of dust-free premium clay litters.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING KITTY LITTER
Which litter you select will rely largely on what your cat likes and can use, but it surely’s additionally essential to think about the next components as properly:
- Does the litter have clumping capabilities? They make cleansing the litterbox simpler.
- Does it management odor? Chlorophyll from crops helps management odor naturally. Avoid litters that embody artificial fragrances — cats have very delicate noses and the litter will likely be ineffective in case your kitty is delay by the scent. Nor will a scented litter cut back the necessity for commonly scooping and cleansing the field.
- Are mud ranges low? Consider a low-dust litter if you happen to or your cat have allergic reactions or respiratory points. Keep in thoughts that whereas many litters are marketed as dust-free, they might nonetheless launch mud if you’re pouring it into the litterbox. If your cat sneezes whereas utilizing it, it’s too dusty.
- How a lot does it observe? Litters that don’t stick with your cat’s ft imply much less clean-up for you.
- How a lot does it weigh? Some litters, particularly clay, are heavy, so if you happen to can’t carry a 40-pound bag search for one other materials that’s lighter.
- Is the litter flushable? Some merchandise declare to be, however do your homework earlier than shopping for, particularly if you happen to’re on a septic system.
TAKE IT SLOW WHEN SWITCHING LITTERS
When transitioning your kitty to a brand new litter, combine the previous litter with the brand new (this works finest if the textures are comparable). Alternatively, you possibly can provide a cafeteria-style choice — two or three completely different sorts of litter in several containers on your cat select from. The “finish outcome” will assist decide what your cat prefers.
LITTERS FOR DIFFERENT LIFE STAGES AND NEEDS
Kittens studying to make use of the litter field tend to step within the dampness, then ingest the litter when licking their paws. Depending on the kind of litter, this may increasingly trigger an intestinal blockage, so a paper-based non-clumping litter is really helpful. This sort of litter is often manufactured from recycled paper merchandise and is billed as being environmentally-friendly, absorbent, and good at odor and dirt management, with much less monitoring.
2. Cats vulnerable to UTIs
Silica gel litter is touted for its means to find out the pH of the cat’s urine and modifications coloration to point an issue. Look for merchandise which are labeled “with well being indicator” or “alert.”
3. Cats with litterbox avoidance
If your cat all of a sudden stops utilizing the litterbox, step one is to take him to the vet to ensure he doesn’t have a well being concern. Other issues corresponding to a unclean litterbox, excessive visitors placement, or ambushing habits from one other cat within the family also can trigger a kitty to keep away from the litterbox. Once these points have been addressed, a litter with a natural attractant corresponding to catnip or chamomile may help draw cats with avoidance points again to the litterbox.
4. Senior kitties
Along with a litter field that provides snug entry within the type of a decrease entrance and sides, a softer litter that’s simpler on delicate paws is an effective alternative for older cats. A product that’s much less more likely to stick with the genital space can be useful for cats with mobility points who can’t groom themselves like they used to.
5. Multi-cat households
It may be simple to let housekeeping get uncontrolled when you’ve got a number of cats. Since so many litters are geared towards odor management, the “a number of cat” billing could also be extra of a advertising and marketing technique, because it’s nonetheless essential to scoop, scoop, scoop. It also needs to go with out saying that having sufficient litterboxes for the cats is vital — the rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one.
WHAT CAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT KITTY LITTERS
An casual ballot of cat individuals on Facebook exhibits preferences as assorted because the completely different sorts of litter presently accessible.
- Clay clumping litter: “I’ve used it perpetually… there’s the worry that if I modify, the cat received’t like the brand new stuff and cease utilizing the litter field.”
- Red wheat litter: “It clumps very well and has wonderful odor management.”
- Corn-based litter: “Clumps fantastically, scrapes up off the pans fantastically, not tremendous dusty.” Poll respondents expressed combined emotions about flushability.
- Pine pellets: “Easy, not sticky just like the clay, and it breaks down simply…”
- Grass litter: “The odor management is nice, it clumps very well, and it’s mild as a result of it’s manufactured from grass.” Another remark: “Grass wasn’t horrid but it surely glued itself to the ground when it received moist.”
- Silica sand (not crystals): “With one tray accessible per cat, the litter lasts over a month. It binds all moisture, which implies completely no smells, even on underfloor heating, and a troublesome surroundings for pathogens and parasites. It’s additionally tremendous light-weight, but tracks little or no.”
- Tofu: “The cats love the odor; they’ve all been sniffing and utilizing it, and it clumps so rapidly.”
Sally E. Bahner focuses on cat-related points, particularly vitamin, holistic care and habits. She has provided her providers as a feline habits and care guide and provides courses on cat care. Sally is the resident cat habits skilled on Tracie Hotchner’s Cat Chat radio program, and a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.