In recent years, there has been a considerable expansion in the different types of litter products available to cat owners. New cat owners as well as veteran owners are a little overwhelmed by the different choices available.
There are basically four different categories of cat litter:
- Crystals & Crystal Blends
Clay is the old original. This is the most economical decision. This is basically absorbent clay dirt.
Primary benefit: Economy
Drawbacks: Lack of Odor control, Dusty, tracking, frequent changing, weight used per month high.
Clumping (scoopable) is specially processed clay that forms clumps when liquid is added to it. The clumps and droppings are scooped and discarded leaving behind mostly fresh litter. Clumping accounts for over 60% of all litter usage.
Primary benefits: More odor control than clay, less lbs per month, change less.
Drawbacks: Some tracking, some dust.
Crystals are a relatively new product whose primary benefit is super odor control. These crystals contain millions of microscopic pores, which exhale moisture from cat urine. Crystals are essentially processed sand and are environment and pet friendly.
Primary Benefit: Best odor control of all litter, less landfill waste, biodegradeable.
*Crystal blends are crystals blended in with clay litter. The proportion is usually about 5 to 8% crystals and the balance clay litter. This may sound good to the consumer, but because of the very small percentage of crystals, this type litter functions about the same as clay litter.
Alternative litters. There are many choices here. Alternative litters are made from various products, such as wheat, corn, pine shavings, charcoal, recycled newspapers and various other substances. A few of these litters have some clumping properties.
Because there is such a variety, you are urged to investigate further any products that appeal to you. Most have a website.
Primary benefits: Ecology and economy