There are two types of cat litter made from clay: non-clumping and clumping. Clay-based non-clumping cat litter was introduced to the market in 1947, and in the 1980s, clumping cat litter was discovered.
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Non-clumping absorbs more of the waste, while the clumping litter traps more of the odor. Non-clumping usually requires changing out the litter at least once a week, while clumping requires less changing.
Use Clumping Litter
Should you go for crystal, wheat, or clay? If you want your kitty litter to last longer, opt for the kind that clumps and is scoop-able. Clumping litter is not recommended for kittens that are younger than seven weeks, so if you have a young cat you’ll have to wait until she’s a little older.
10 Clever Alternatives to Cat Litter- Newspapers and Junk Mail. Instead of letting your old newspapers and junk mail pile up before taking it to the recycling center, you can use it to make some cat litter.
Corn, wheat, and pine.
An exception to the non-clumping nature of most of these types of litter is World’s Best Cat Litter , which is made from corn meal. It is naturally good smelling without being scented, doesn’t create dust, and is biodegradable.
Twice a week is a general guideline for replacing clay litter, but depending on your circumstances, you may need to replace it every other day or only once a week. If you clean the litter box daily, you might only need to change clumping litter every two to three weeks.
But can you mix cat litter? It is perfectly safe to mix cat litter, but when you mix two different brands or types of litter, you end up reducing the efficiency of both kinds. It’s better for you to select and stick to the one that your cat likes the best.
Clumping litters are linked to a wide range of cat health problems including diarrhea, vomiting, kidney and respiratory problems, lethargy, etc. Clumping litter forms a hard, insoluble mass when it gets wet. It also produces a fine dust. When cats use the litter box, they lick themselves clean and ingest the dust.
Some of the more popular natural litter materials include cedar, sawdust, pine, corn, beet pulp, soybean, wheat, and recycled paper products. There are even a few natural litters that can be incinerated, composted, and/or used as mulch (so long as it’s not used on food plant beds).
Wood pellets are cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but clumping litter tends to do a better job at controlling odors in addition to being more convenient to clean. However, it also produces dust and is more expensive.
How Often Should You Change the Cat Litter? If you use a clumping litter, it’s best to scoop the box daily and change it out completely at least monthly. If you have more than one cat, it may be best to change the cat litter more often, every 2-3 weeks.
Some people prefer non-clumping litter because it is often less expensive than clumping litter, and others choose it because their cats prefer it.
Why choose non-clumping cat litter. The tradeoff for most “natural” non-clumping cat litters is that you get a better smelling litter for the environment. Non-clumping litter is also more lightweight, has less dust, and avoids tracking out of the box.
The majority of cats, when they have used a litter tray, will throw litter around the litter tray (and even sometimes outside it!). That means, that if a non-clumping litter is used, all the urine-soaked particles of litter are mixed up with the clean particles of litter.
Most cat litter manufacturers recommend using two to three inches of litter. You may want to use three to four inches if your cats are deep scratchers who will dig to the bottom of the litter box if you use less. Start with two inches and experiment until you find the ideal depth for your cat.
If you have rice on hand, it’s a much better idea to eat it rather than using it in your cat litter box. But, rice will absorb urine in a way that paper and wood shavings will not. It won’t do anything to hide the smell of ammonia. And, remember not to overfill the cat box since rice expands.
Can You Use Oats as Cat Litter? Yes, you can use oatmeal as cat litter. However, you should grind it into powder first and add a layer or two of baking soda to control bad odors.
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Best Clumping Litter for Odor Control: SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter.
Best Non-Clumping Litter for Odor Control: Pretty Litter.
Best Non-Tracking Cat Litter for Odor Control: Skoon All Natural Cat Litter.
Pine litter is safe for cats, as long as the pellets or shavings are kiln dried to remove a majority of phenol and contain no potentially harmful additives. Because pine litter is made from natural wood fiber, pine pellets and pine shavings are also safe for kittens and cats who are prone to infection.
Breathe Better: Dust and Air Quality
Both corn and wheat litters produce less dust than clay litter. Most quality corn cat litters are 99% dust-free. This means that there are fewer irritants floating around your home’s air to bug your respiratory system.
Add baking soda to the litter: Surprisingly, baking soda is a great all-natural deodorizer that is both safe for cats and can help manage the litter box smell. By mixing a little bit of baking soda with the litter, you can help absorb any urine odors also.