There are different types of cat litter on the market. How to choose suitable litter is an annoyance for parents, do you have same problem ? Follow my paws. Let's dive into the cat litter world!
What is cat litter ?
In the wild, cats naturally excrete in soft or sandy soil for easy burial. They use their paws in a backward sweeping motion to cover their feces. People kept their cats outside, using ashes, dirt or sand as cat litter before it was invented. In 1947, an American named Edward Lowe, his neighbor asked some sand as cat litter due to her sand pile was frozen. Edward gave her some clay called Fuller's earth, a set of clay minerals capable of absorbing their weight in water. She found it worked better than sand or ashes. Since then, Lowe decided to sell the clay, and called it "Kitty Litter", later he founded Edward Lowe Industries and created Tidy Cat cat box filler in 1964.
In the US, cat litter is a $2 billion industry consuming five billion pounds of mined clay annually.
DANIEL A. GROSS
Types of litter
Clay litter was first used commercially in 1947, it is much more absorbent than sand and is manufactured into large grains or clumps of clay, making it less likely to be track from the litter box. And it's often made of zeolite, diatomite and sepiolite.
Calcium bentonite clay litter
Clumping bentonite was developed in 1984 by biochemist Thomas Nelson. Most are made from granulated bentonite clay, which clumps together when wet and forms a solid mass separate from the other litter in the box.
This solid clumped material can be scooped out and disposed of without changing the entire litters. Because of the clumping effect, the manufacturers usually instruct not to flush clumping litters down the toilet, because it could clog it.
Clumping clay cat litters are natural products. Some may also contain naturally occurring crystalline silica, or silica dust, which in California is treated as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65.
Biodegradable litters are made from various plant resources, including pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, clumping sawdust, Brazilian cassava, corn, wheat, walnuts, barley, soy pulp and dried orange peel.
Each year, more than two million tons of cat litter, or approximately 100,000 truckloads, ends up in landfills in the U.S. alone. Primarily this is not biodegradable or renewable and adds to the waste burden. Some pet owners prefer biodegradable litters due to its friendliness to the environment.
Biodegradable cat litter can also be eliminated completely by safely composting the used litter at home. Other cat owners can be attracted to the biodegradable litters because of their flush ability or deodorizing properties. Most biodegradable litters last longer than the equivalent size of clay or clumping clay litters.
Silica gel litter
It's often referred to as "crystal litter", is a porous granular form of silicon dioxide, has the highest absorbency of any litter, and has excellent moisture control and complete odor elimination for an extended period compared to other litters. Some owners praise its absorbency because 4–5 pounds (1.8–2.3 kg) can absorb liquid and odor for up to 30 days for one healthy normal weight cat.
It is important to lightly stir the crystals daily while scooping the solid waste, otherwise urine can pool in the box. When crystal litter is saturated, at the end of 30 days or so, it begins to smell and is visibly saturated. In comparison, over the same time period it may take 20–30 lb or more of clay or clumping litter, because it is necessary to replenish the litter that is removed when the clumped urine is scooped out.
How to choose your cat litter ?
Clean, dust free, scent, clumping, non-clumping, biodegradable, easy-cleaning....there are so many classification on the litter bags. Let me as a "toilet expert" to share some tips!
First, you can consider about clumping or non-clumping litter. If you would like to use self-cleaning litter box, it's better go with clumping litter. Only few of self-cleaning litter boxes are capable with crystal litter (non-clumping). If you would rather use the traditional litter box, it's easier to scoopable litter than non-clumping one. Otherwise, you'll need to dump all the litter every week.
Secondly, if you would like make a contribution for the Earth, you may go an ecological way to choose biodegradable litters. It might be a little be expensive, but you can flush it in to the toilet. You can say goodbye to the heavy trash bag.
Last, it's the most important thing that your cats love that kind of litter and they can have a joyful toilet experience. You'll need to find a sweet point that your cat loves it and it's suitable for your life habits. Clean, dust free, scent, ...you know how to choose it now!
Nowadays, people are busy like bees, after working 9-5, they just want to take a breath. As a parent, how much time would you like to contribute to your cats' bathroom? Or are you willing to accompany your cats rather than spend your time on their restroom ?
If you would like to get rid of toilet stuffs, I highly recommend to invest on self-cleaning litter box. Pay to that robot, and he'll help you clean your cats' toilet. You don't need to scoop anymore, and your cats will have clean litter every time they use. It's "win-win" situation. In this case, you just need to choose applicable litter. If you enjoy cat litter time, you might consider which type of cat litter is more efficiency and easy-cleaning. Don't forget to try with your cat, if he/she loves it or not!
Type of Litter
Price (Low to High)
Calcium bentonite clay litter
Silica gel litter