Cat Litter Tips

Disclaimer: The author of this blog post has not now, nor ever in the past, worked for a cat litter manufacturer. She has, however, owned cats with digestive problems and lived in a small one-bedroom apartment with two windows. Therefore, she has no qualms about referring to herself as a “self-proclaimed cat litter expert.”
Finding the right cat litter is important not just for the health of your pet, but also – let’s face it – for the smell of your apartment.
Small spaces and concentrated strong odors don’t mix. Before you choose a cat litter, I recommend experimenting with various brands and keeping the following key facts in mind:
1. There is no scientific evidence that clumping/scoopable cat litter is dangerous if ingested; however, the APSCA suggests that clumping litter not be introduced until after 3-4 months of age.

2. Granulated clay litter is sizable and rarely clings to a cat’s paws, which prevents tracking outside the litter box.

3. Not all cat litters are flushable. If flushability is a criterion for you, be sure to check the instructions and description on the box before buying.

4. Most cats prefer non-scented litter. This is important to keep in mind if using a covered litter box.

5. Litter box lapses in use may not be due to the cat litter itself, but rather behavioral and/or medical problems. Please consult the ASPCA for a list of possible causes to your cat’s accidents outside the litter box.

Considering the above, which brands/types/materials would work best for your small space and your cat’s health and preferences? Every cat (and owner’s purse string) is different, so experimenting is key.

Personally, over the past 10 years, I have tried over a dozen brands: World’s Best Cat Litter(R) Original cat litter; FreshStep® Odor Shield, Multi-Cat Unscented, and Crystals cat litters; Tidy Cat® Dual Power, Tough Odor Solutions, and Small Spaces cat litters; and Arm & Hammer ™ Multi-Cat Strength, Ultra Last, Double Duty and Super Scoop cat litters. Until spring of this year, I had essentially given up on finding something that would (1) control odor, (2) reduce tracking, and (3) be comfortable for my cats. It seemed that I had come to the frustrating conclusion that at best, I could get two out of the three criteria; my cats’ digestive problems and the lack of ventilation in my apartment couldn’t be overcome. But that all changed when a couple months ago I stumbled upon Arm & Hammer’s ™ Clump & Seal cat litter. I was shocked at how well it clumped and controlled odor and tracking. I never say this, but I was legit blown away by how well it worked. I’ve been highly recommending it to everyone I know who struggles with litter box odor.

Now, I know what works best for my pets and small space may not work best for you. When buying cat litter, experiment, experiment, experiment. Consult your veterinarian. Note your cat’s reactions to different litter materials. Note changes in litter and paw odors from day-to-day. Note tracking outside the litter box. And most importantly, never lose hope that you’ll find something that works for you as well as Clump & Seal works for me. Litter box odor shouldn’t be a factor that keeps you from adopting a cat or feeling comfortable with the odors in your home. Good luck in your search!

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