Lets talk about cat litter!

pamghattenApril 9, 2013

I have 4 indoors cats, ages 5 to 16, and am fed up with the clay type clumping litter. I am currently trying the Tidy Cat True Nature litter in one of my litter pans ... it's only been 2 days.

My cats didn't go near that litter box until yesterday, and I think one of them used that box last night. I didn't want to disturb anything this morning, so will clean it tonite.

The woody smell is quite strong, but better than a perfumey smell, to me at least.

Anyone else using this? Any other non-clay types that you use that are available in your grocery store? I live in a rural area and am not going to drive far just for cat litter. :>)

Let me know you experiences ...

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The article below has the best info I've ever read on cat litter, what cats prefer, and the problems created by odor and grain size.

I've tried many brands and always return to Worlds Best (corn based, clumping).

Here is a link that might be useful: Litter

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:04PM
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The vet I worked for in the dark ages always said, one more litter pan than cat. No scented litter, ever. He was also against covered boxes. I've stuck by that & other than 1 cat who had health problems, all my cats have been mostly good about litter. (knock wood).

I have 2 pans in the basement, 1 w/clay, 1 w/clumping, and the same setup in a bedroom upstairs. Hadn't been down to scoop the basement boxes in a few days & was wondering why the upstairs pans were so full every day-turns out the drain had flooded in the basement right next to the boxes! The cats didn't want to get their paws all wet & mucky I guess & I can't blame them.

My cats use the clumping a LOT more than reg. clay, but I still keep it out for them, as they do occasionally use those pans.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:26PM
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My picky princess likes the Swheat Scoop brand. It is a very fine texture and almost no smell at all. It has a bit of dust but it is different than clay dust - it is heavier and not as fly-away. I tried unscented Scoopaway when I first got my cat but we both coughed and sneezed. We have been using the wheat for over 4 years with no problems.

It does need to be deeper than the clay litters so it clumps correctly, but you don't really use more - there is just more in the box at any one time. It tracks a bit but I have never seen a small-texture litter that doesn't. Paws are paws.

It might be a bit tricky to find in rural areas, but Target has it, along with Petsmart and Petco.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 6:36PM
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annz, I fill the litter box about 1/4 with Arm and Hammer and then top it off with World's Best. I began doing that because I started off with Arm and Hammer and since the WB is a little pricey I thought I wouldn't have to use as much of it if I just put it on top. I really like the WB and have never noticed urine or feces odor, nor does the litter itself have a scent. Well, maybe a slight ground corn cob scent. Since my cats are indoor/outdoor (only use the litter box in the house overnight and when I go away) they use it mostly for pee.

However, I do find that WB tracks alot. The company claims that it doesn't but seems as tho it clings to my cats' paws.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:56AM
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I use Tidy Cats clumping litter (no clay). It comes in big plastic containers. controls odor well. Also 2 big deep litter boxes with lids. They have enough room in there and it keeps litter from falling out of the box as much.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:37PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I use plain clay non-clumping litter. My cats typically only use the litter box when they are too old to go outdoors. In their early 20s their kidney function is next to null so they excrete large quantities of watered down urine, and clumping litter (which I tried one time and one time only) turns into a horrible cement mix, ie all the litter in the box becomes a single clump. I have no use for clumping litter.

As far as non clay litter material I haven't tried these. They tend to be more expensive than clay litter, and because I change the box often for my old cats, I think these types of litter might be cost prohibitive. Less dust would be a plus though, so I may try some other materials at some point in the future.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I can find the Arm & Hammer variety, so have now mixed that with the clay litter, to get them used to somehting different ... and they are using the litter boxes that are mixed, with no issues. So I'll see if I can gradually switch them over to the Arm & Hammer.

The grocery store (rural) I go to does not have the World's Best ...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:30PM
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I stopped using clay, dusty or clumping after I read that it's possible/likely that the cat will inhale it and have resulting health issues.

I've used Stove/wood pellets for years now. Depending on the time of year, they are called pet bedding or stove pellets, but they're the same thing. The pellet size is similar to Yesterdays News or Feline Pine. Natural, no clay, no dust, really great at absorbing odor, and MUCH cheaper than commercial cat litter -- about $4 for 40 lbs. When they go on sale, I buy 10 bags and I'm set for awhile. I buy mine at Menards. None of my 5 very different cats have a problem with them.

Here's a pic of one brand:

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:12AM
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We have had no problems using un-scented, clumping litter, but I do have some concern over the respiratory issue.

I can get Swheat Scoop, and the wood pellets look interesting, but we don't have a Menards. I'll investigate local sources.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Years ago, I tried Swheat Scoop, but I had problems with bugs in the litter.

I've also purchased the wood pellets at Farm & Fleet (or Fleet Farm), and at pet stores for not only dogs/cats, but also horses, etc. -- more rural pet/feed stores.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Long time cat owner here. Used clay litter exclusively until they started coming out with the clumping stuff. After a few years of that (Tidy Cat, WB etc), my male cat started having UT issues. No infection but just irritation. He was cleaning a lot and then started peeing a little bit outside the box, with a trace amount of blood in the urine. Took me WAY to long to figure out it was the litter.

If you know anything about how male cats urinate, they dig a hole and stick their butt down in the hole. Their penis comes out a bit and then they pee. They then cover up the hole. This is outside behavior but they replicate it indoors. It keeps their scent contained.

With clumping type litter, their urethra gets irritated by the dust and the clumping compound. This causes irritation and so on. Since that happened with my old man (been gone almost 2 years now), I discontinued using clumping litter for males. I only use clay based litter. It has to be cleaned more often but my cat's health is more important to me.

If I had a female cat, I would use WB or TC clumping. I actually used to mix the two to keep down the tracking of WB.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:25AM
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We just (this past weekend) switched to Dr. Elsey's Ultra Precious Cat litter for our two indoor-only cats. So far, so good.

We've been using, and swearing by, Everclean ES, fragrance-free since it came out back in the late 1980's (started out using the original version, but switched to the ES for its stronger/harder clump formation as I had two cats at that time as well). We were very satisfied with Everclean's odor-neutralizing and clumping properties. We tried switching litters a few times over the years, but always switched right back to the Everclean, as none of the other litters could match Everclean's ability to neutralize cat urine odor. We were quite spoiled--with Everclean, our home did not smell like a "cat box."

If we were so happy with Everclean, why even consider switching? Well, we were quite tired of (and more than a little annoyed with) the fact that their Unscented/Fragrance Free (both terms used on their packages) ES litter, was more often than not, heavily fragranced. Our cats would come out of the litter box, reeking of this fragrance (as if they had rolled in a bottle of cheap perfume). I called the company a number of times over the years to complain, and to ask them to please do something about this. According to Everclean, they looked into it, and the litter was in fact unscented/fragrance free when packaged in their facilities. If this was in fact true, then the only thing we (DH and I) could surmise, is that the (boxes of) Unscented ES litter must absorb the perfume-y scent from the boxes of their fragranced litter during storage or shipping. The boxes themselves have as a rule, had no scent at all, only the litter contained within (strange), so checking the boxes before bringing them home was of no help.

Fed up, I would often look at the different types of litter available at our local family-owned and operated pet supply store, but always stuck with Everclean, despite it not being fragrance-free. as advertised. Having battled carpenter ants in the past, and having two cats with possible food allergies, I was reluctant to try any of the corn or other "food"-based litters.

When I saw bags of the new-to-the-store Ultra Precious Cat Litter on the shelf (40 #'s for $14.99, good price), I asked one of the guys about it. He said a customer kept telling them to get in and sell it, so they finally did, more to humor her than anything. Since then, they've been selling out of it, and the feedback has all been positive (overwhelmingly so apparently). So we picked up a couple of bags over the weekend, and like I wrote at the beginning of my post, so far it seems pretty good. Urine odor appears to be neutralized well. Poop odor, maybe not quite as good, but still pretty good (slightly detectable while scooping the litter box??).

It's definitely more dust-free than Everclean (or some others we had tried over the years), and is truly fragrance-free as well.

If my opinion about it changes in the days (weeks, months) to come, I will report back to you all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ultra Precious Cat

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Reporting back after another week of using the Ultra Precious Cat litter: it's still working out very well. Seems to be neutralizing odors well, no dust, no perfume-y scent (no scent whatsoever!), and it doesn't seem to scatter/track as much as EverClean did (we also moved the litter box to another room, so that may or not be a factor in containing the litter scatter). Still some scatter, but not quite as much.

Will see how the litter does at controlling odors long-term (cumulative effect), and report back again at a later date.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:15AM
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And I have been successfully switching my cats over to the Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Cat litter. It's been going well and in a couple of weeks I will no longer have any clay litter in the house! That makes me happy.

Here is a link that might be useful: ARM & Hammer Essentials

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:25PM
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