There are so many types of cat litter on the market. Where do you begin in choosing the best cat litter for your household?
Some things to consider when trying to choose the best cat litter include ease of use, odor control, health risks, and environmental impacts.
Some cat litters aren’t as good for cats prone to cat health problems like feline urinary tract infections.
The most common litter still seems to be clay-based cat litter. There are 2 types of clay cat litter, the fine clumping cat litter and the non-clumping cat litter. The finer clumping cat litter has the advantage of being easier to clean and maintain because it’s scoopable, but the fine powder can be a lung irritant to both humans and cats. These also aren’t as good for infection prone cats or cat parents with sensitive lungs.
Neither of the clay litters are biodegradable and they both have the environmental impact of coming from strip mines.
Silica cat litter is also mined so it’s not the best environmental choice but it does have some other advantages. These cat litter crystals absorb and trap moisture and bacteria. This isn’t a clumping cat litter, but because of the way it works you only need to change the litter about once a month in a one cat household. Of course you’ll still need to scoop out the poop regularly.
The most common choices for natural cat litters include wheat, corn, pine and walnut shells. These all come from renewable resources and are biodegradable. Pine is made from a by-product of lumber manufacturing that would otherwise be thrown away.
These natural cat litters all include clumping varieties, they are low or no dust, odor absorbing, and they are good for cats prone to infection or cats who’ve just had surgery.
Another option is a cat litter made from recycled newspapers. It’s similar to many natural cat litters in that it is biodegradable, low dust (well actually no dust) and it’s a scoopable cat litter.