Cat Litter – A Look At The Different Options Available

There are numerous reasons why many people consider the cat to be an ideal family pet. One of those reasons is simply that there is very little potty training involved. Get some cat litter and a litter box, and you now have a pet you can keep inside with you all day.

Many kittens are already litter trained by their mother, so there’s not much for you to do. Once you are sure he knows where the box is, you rarely need to worry about him going someplace else. But you will have to make a decision, and that is deciding what type of litter will work best.

There is an increasing number of options available, so it’s good to know a bit about each type before you run out and buy a bag.

Cat Litter – A Look At The Different Options Available

Clay Litter – The cheapest!

The cost will always come into play, and clay litter is probably the cheapest you can buy. It’s also been around a very long time. But clay does present some problems. It absorbs liquids and odors, which is good, but it will need to be changed more often than most litters. Surely you don’t want your home to have that foul cat waste odor. Clay can also cause problems if your kitten has allergies. When your cat scratches in his box, the dust will fly everywhere.

Clumping Cat Litter

Clumping cat litter has replaced basic clay as the litter of choice for most pet owners. As soon as your cat goes, the litter works with the moisture in the waste and forms large clumps. That means all you need to do is scoop out the clumps; there’s no need to change the entire box. Then just put in more litter to replace what you just scooped. Clumping litter also comes with various scents to help hide the smell. So what are the drawbacks? Well, some cats will eat the clumped waste. Watch your kitten make certain this is not a problem.

Silica Litters

Silica litters are some of the newest on the market. Silica has been used for years in the small packets you see in pill bottles or your new pair of shoes. It’s used because it is an excellent moisture absorber, and silica crystals in your cat litter work much the same way. They are mixed with sand and water to absorb any liquids in your cat’s waste quickly. You still have to scoop out the solid waste, and because it does not clump, it can be a bit messy. Another plus is that this litter is biodegradable, and returns to a sandy base when it decomposes.

Paper Litter

Paper litter is also becoming more popular, especially among those concerned with the environment. It is made from recycled paper or pellets. The material is very absorbent and weighs very little, and of course, is also biodegradable.

Wood Litter

Another litter that is generally biodegradable is made from wood. Pine is the preferred choice because of it’s natural odor absorbency, but other woods are used as well. All softwood litters are absorbent with natural odor control capabilities. That means no chemicals need to be added, giving you a more natural product.

But once you decide on the type of litter you want, it’s always wise to consult with your cat. They will surely let you know if they disagree with your choice by merely not using the litter box. Some cats, for example, don’t like silica because the crystals hurt their paws. Others avoid pine because they don’t like the smell. Even though your cat can’t speak, he will let you know if he doesn’t like what you have selected.

The key is to become as informed as possible about all the different options. Then you can make an intelligent selection. Of course, you’ll still have to run it by your cat to see if he approves.

For additional details on these and other cat, litter choices go to You’ll also read about different litter boxes, including the automatic cat litter box that makes clean up a breeze. Here’s a nice article on cats.