Does the kitty litter type actually have an importance for cats?

Meow everyone, One question that has always been on my mind is this one, are there some types of litters to be avoided for us kitties to use? Or are the diferent types more about what is most convenient for our humans? At home our humans buy cheap super market clay litter, because our litter boxes our outside on the terrace (we have one inside but we rarely go) so smell retention does not matter much. But is clay litter maybe unhealthy for us cats or does it not matter?

Comments

  • Amy BlickhahnAmy Blickhahn Chicago
    edited 19 November, 2013
    There are some theories that one should not use clay clumping litter because when your cat grooms off the litter from their paws it could get stuck in their intestinal track and clump there. HOWEVER, I had to switch from World's Best Cat litter to Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat litter because my new guy wouldn't go in corn clumping litter. You may have to try a few to see what your cat likes. Buy two different types a litter and put into two separate boxes. See which one yours goes for. Also you might want to avoid litter that has silica gel in it. I hope that helps.
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lot
    edited 19 November, 2013
    Clay litter is awful :-O It just soaks up liquids like a sponge and gets gross and stinky really fast :-/ No cat wants to use a dirty smelly litter box. Clumping litter is best because you can scoop the pee clumps away. Here is more info about litter and litter boxes: http://catinfo.org/?link=litterbox There must be clumping litter available in Spain :-k
  • edited 19 November, 2013
    Yes there is many types of litter. :) Problem is mainly for good food but we have many available litters. Humans just buy this one because it is cheap and we use it, they did not think there was any problems with it.
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K Chicago
    edited 20 November, 2013
    I think you should use what works for your cats. My cats have allergies so we can't use anything dusty, with fragrances, and avoid litter made out of grains. I also have tried several litters that ended up causing swollen feet/infections due to contact dermatitis because of their allergies. So for my cats, it is very important what litter we use.
  • edited 22 November, 2013
    If you pay close attention, you will be able to tell what kinds of litter your cat likes, and those it does not like. Two types that every cat I have ever seen seems to love are: Cedar shavings And, Mulched/chopped dry leaves ( and this one is FREE ): I run dry leaves through the mulcher/leaf vacuum, a few times, to get them finely chopped; then store them in a large trash can. My cats simply adore this kind of litter. I sometimes use it straight, and sometimes mix it with Cedar Chips, Feline Pine, or Corn Powdered Litter. The Dry Leaf Litter is a great savings; but it must be changed more often because it is not absorbent. It is best to mix with something which does have some absorbency. One that has never been too popular with any cat I have seen, is that one that is little round balls of varying shades of blue; I cannot remember the name of it. It feels like stones, a new product.
  • Amy BlickhahnAmy Blickhahn Chicago
    edited 22 November, 2013
    Yeah the round blue particles are silica gel balls. Just avoid litter that has that. They're not really that good. They are supposed to keep the odor down but as long as you clean the box daily, you won't have that problem to begin with.
  • edited 9 December, 2013
    I recently rescued a cat that just showed up on my doorstep hungry. I haven't had a cat in more than 25 years and the last ones I had were indoor/outdoor cats who came and went as they pleased, so I started off pretty much as a rookie. When I went to buy a litter box I was overwhelmed at the number of styles of boxes and types of litter that were available. It was almost as bad as shopping for baby gear with a full aisle of litter and related products at PetSmart. After my initial deer in the headlights feeling, I did a little research and ended up taking home the Tidy Cats Breeze system. It's a bit unconventional - it's not sand-like at all. It has these coarse cylindrical pellets so it's more like fine gravel. The concept is that the liquids pass straight through the pellets and collect in an absorbant pad at the bottom of the box. The pad is kind of like a diaper and lasts about a week. Solid waste stays in the top and you scoop that out as needed. I'm happy to report that the system is working quite well for our cat. She took to using it right away without any prompting. There is no smell, except of course the once or sometimes twice a day when she makes a solid deposit. That can be quite noticeable but we just go scoop that and toss it into a litter genie and everything's good to go. I've actually been quite impressed by how well it's been doing the job. Like anything else it has its pros and cons. Pros are no tracking of litter, no dust, no cat urine smells. Cons are it's perhaps a little bit more expensive than some other types of litter (about $10 for a bag of pellets that lasts a month, and $8 for a 4-pack of pads, so once you own the system you have a maintenance cost of about $4.50 per week). I've also read that some cats who are accustomed to more conventional litter may have trouble switching over to Breeze. To me though, the pros outweigh the cons. Paying $4.50 a week to not have cat urine smells in my home is a small price.
  • Lisa FLisa F Forest Hills
    edited 27 December, 2013
    The whole time I had Edison, I used Fresh Step clumping litter. It was okay, but it didn't really hold down the smell, and I had a LOT of clean up, because it was very dusty. Other than the fact that it clumped, it wasn't any better than messy clay litter. After Edison left us to cross The Bridge, I came here to surf around the forums and prepare for adopting a new kitten, which was when I heard about Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat litter. I got my first bag when I got Violet, and I would never use anything else. It's more money, yes, but it really holds down the smell, and there's hardly any dust from it! My dust clean up with Violet and the Dr. Elsey is much much less than it was with Edison and the Fresh Step.
  • edited 15 January, 2014
    I currently use a combination of plain ole generic clumping litter mixed with Arm and Hammer's Essentials litter (it's made of crushed up walnut shells and smells like flowers). The Essentials is nice, keeps the smell issue down naturally (except when I wonder what on earth got in his food), and is SUPER light, so I don't break my back hauling the bags up the stairs to my apartment.... But with Cricket's healthy urinary tract, it doesn't really clump up enough. The clumps just kind of go limp and crumble or paste to the bottom of the box,and make it nearly impossible to clean without doing a full litter change. It also tracks a lot, and if your cat likes to dig to China, due to how light it is, litter will fly. But, when mixed (about 75% walnut, 25% plain), the clumping issues go away. Tracking I deal with with ginormo mats that slip under his boxes to try to catch the stray bits. Mixing also helps with the cost. At my grocery store (which recently discontinued Essentials), it was about $13 for a 10lbs bag. The big honking cheapo stuff I mix it with was like, $4. Mixing stretches out the supply and lessens how often I have to do a full dump of the boxes, since I can clean them out with a scoop more efficiently. I wish I could use some of the popular other alternates, like FelinePine or Yesterday's News, but I'm allergic to pine and Cricket already has issues with being attracted to paper to do his business (worst case: He dragged my W-2 off of my desk and dragged it to his litter box, shredded it a bit, then marked it. Thankfully, my taxes were complete by then, but :-O).
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox Carbondale
    edited 16 January, 2014
    It's Stella. Boy, Cricket, I would hate to have to explain that to the IRS!. :r Teachers never believe that the dog ate my homework, but this is just out of this world. Purrs to you, but stay off your person's desk. :-h
  • edited 18 March, 2014
    I like the clumping variety but one of my kitties has decided that was not for him. He would rather have the cheap clay litter.
  • edited 11 July, 2015
    Haha Stella what a funny cat. Some cats just love a bit of paper for the bum (^^ I used clumping litter until one of my cats got some of it stuck up their nose and had to see the vet to remove it. Apparently this happens as the clumping litter is very fine and when they inhale it, it gets moist inside the nasal cavity and swells. Since then I've been using the perfumed crystals. We have four cats so it sees heavy use and it does a decent enough job. You just need to pour in a decent amount and not skimp on it. We scoop daily and replace once a week generally, twice if things start looking hairy. It's not the best for tracking, you end up with lots of crystals underfoot, but we've placed their litter tray inside a huge plastic tub with a lid (much bigger than the litter tray) and cut an opening into the front for them to use. That keeps the litter inside, cuts down on the smell and keeps the dogs out of the kitty litter. I've lined the inside of the plastic tub with rubber matting which I glued to the walls and floor (the type with the little prongs http://www.cocomatsupply.com/content/product/large/Rubber Prong Mats closeup 600.JPG) as one of our cats rubs the crystals off his feet by wiping against the walls of the tub, whilst the others just leave the crystals behind as they walk out. Yup, the rug needs cleaning when I clean the tray, but that's easier than constantly sweeping the floor.
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