There are a variety of cat litters on the market made from different materials and containing different additives. Let’s take a look at some of the common questions around cat litter to help you choose the best one for you and your cat.
What kind of litter should I use for my cat?
You should use a cat litter that’s natural, unscented, low-dust, and soft on your cat’s paws. This kind of cat litter will keep your cat healthy, happy, and using the litter box.
The most common cat litters were created to make humans happy and to make cleaning the litter box easier. But it’s important to keep our cats in mind when choosing a litter, as they have to use it multiple times a day.
If a litter is made with unnatural materials or ones that make it uncomfortable for your cat to use the litter box, it can impact their health and/or lead to litter box aversion.
Here are the important features to look for in litter and the benefits of each:
- Natural – there are a variety of litters on the market that use natural materials such as wood, wheat, corn, coconut, grass seed, cassava, etc. Although they’re not meant to be ingested by a cat, all-natural litters ensure when some is ingested or inhaled, it’s not toxic to your cat and won’t cause health complications.
- Unscented – cats have millions of more odor sensors in their noses than we do. We all know what it feels like to sit next to someone wearing strong perfume/cologne; that’s likely how our cats feel every time they use a litter box filled with fragranced litter. Synthetic fragrances aren’t healthy for you or your cat to breathe.
- Low-dust – you and your cat breathe in tiny litter particles each time the litter is disturbed by scooping, digging, or pouring it. Litter dust from crystal litters and clay litters contain silica dust, which is a known carcinogen when inhaled. No cat litter is entirely dust-free, but many are low-dust. And when the litter is natural, you can be sure that that small amount of dust is non-toxic.
- Soft material – your cat’s paws are sensitive, and when in nature, they would typically find softer soil or sand to use as their litter box. Some cats aren’t picky about the texture of their litter, but others don’t appreciate the coarser texture of pellet litters. If your cat doesn’t like walking on their litter, they’ll find someplace more comfortable in the house to eliminate.
What is the healthiest cat litter?
The healthiest cat litter is Sustainably Yours Cat Litter. It’s made from natural and consumable materials (corn and cassava), which ensures it won’t have a negative impact on your cat’s health when they inhale or ingest the litter’s particles. This is also important to your health as you inhale small particles of litter each time you scoop and change it.
Your cat eats a small amount of litter each time they clean their paws after walking through the litter box. So you want what they do ingest to be natural.
Sustainably Yours Cat Litter is also unscented. This is important when choosing a cat litter to keep everyone healthy. Many cat litter companies add artificial scents to make the room smell fresher. These are not only unhealthy to inhale regularly, but they’re also unpleasant for your cat.
Cats also put their noses much closer to the litter box than we do. Just imagine if an air freshener gave you a headache every time you used the bathroom. You’d probably stop using that bathroom.
Cats often only have one litter box (although they should have two or more) or one type of litter to choose from. So if they can’t stand the smell of a scented litter, they may decide to find a laundry basket full of clothes or a corner of the house to do their business.
Another beneficial quality of Sustainably Yours that makes it the healthiest litter is that it’s naturally clumping. Traditional clumping litters use sodium bentonite, which is a clay that expands up to 15 times its size when mixed with a liquid.
Litters containing sodium bentonite are bad for your cat’s health because when they clean their paws and ingest the clumping agent, those particles expand in their digestive tract. If they consume enough litter, it can cause an internal blockage. It’s rare, but is something to be aware of, especially if you have a kitten that’s still exploring what’s food and what isn’t, or if your cat has pica (a behavioral urge to eat non-food items).
Naturally clumping litters, such as Sustainably Yours, will form clumps that are more easily broken down, especially inside your cat’s body.
Which cat litter is most environmentally friendly?
Sustainably Yours Cat Litter is the most environmentally-friendly cat litter. It’s made with corn and cassava, which are sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable. They’re also committed to protecting the planet and donate a portion of each purchase to support the Rainforest Trust. They also partner with animal shelters and donate to programs that help support cat owners struggling with medical or financial issues.
Many other cat litter brands using renewable and biodegradable resources for their litter are also eco-friendly:
World’s Best Cat Litter – corn litter
Smart Cat All Natural Cat Litter – grass seed litter
sWheat Scoop – wheat-based litter
I Am Tofu – tofu litter
These types of ingredients renew quickly without requiring a lot of resources, which is what makes them more environmentally friendly than a wood pellet litter or a paper pellet litter. Wood litter also takes much longer to break down than corn, cassava, grass seed, wheat, or tofu.
Which cat litter is safest for cats?
Cat litter that is safest for cats is natural, non-scented, and non-clumping. Natural materials such as corn, cassava, coconut, or wheat ensure that when small amounts of litter are ingested when your cat cleans their paws, it doesn’t cause harm to their digestive system.
There are also several naturally clumping cat litters that are safe for your cat because natural starches and fibers are what cause the litter to clump; not sodium bentonite:
What cat litter is safest for kittens?
A natural, non-clumping, unscented cat litter is safest for kittens. A kitten is more likely to eat non-food items, such as litter, as they explore their new world. So it’s important they can digest any litter they do consume.
When kittens are very young, keep the size of litter in mind as well. Their mouths and digestive tracts are smaller and some of the bigger pellet litters could pose a choking risk.
What is the least toxic cat litter?
The least toxic cat litter is an unscented litter made from natural, consumable, and biodegradable materails. The best non-toxic litter is Sustainably Yours, which is made from corn and cassava; plants that are natural, renewable, and biodegradable. There are several other non-toxic cat litters on the market made from natural materials.
Although other natural litters may be considered non-toxic, such as wood pellet or paper pellet litters, wood and paper are not appropriate materials to ingest. Therefore, they’re not included in the least toxic list.
It’s also important to be aware of common allergies, which can also develop in cats. Although grass seed litter, walnut shell litter, and wheat litter are non-toxic to cats, if you or your cat has a sensitivity or allergy to them, it may cause an issue.
What is the best cat litter for odor control?
Naturally clumping and absorbent cat litters are the best for odor control. Not only are litters such as Sustainably Yours, World’s Best Cat Litter, Smart Cat All Natural Cat Litter, etc. made with natural ingredients, they naturally absorb urine and form hard clumps. Those clumps allow you to remove more urine from the box and keep odors down.
No matter what type of litter you use, it’s important to scoop and change the litter regularly. Each litter is different in terms of how frequently you must change the litter to keep it fresh and sanitary, but no matter what type of litter you use, it should be scooped at least once a day.
What is the best cat litter for indoor cats?
The best cat litter for indoor cats is World’s Best Cat Litter because it is highly absorbent, naturally clumping, and low-dust. Because your cat will be using the litter box more than an indoor/outdoor cat, you also want the litter to be economical, and World’s Best Cat Litter is one of the more affordable natural cat litters.
Being highly absorbent and clumping ensures the litter absorbs the urine smells and you’re able to scoop them out and place them into a Litter Genie (to trap odors once scooped) or take them right out to the trash. A low-dust formula is important to protect your indoor cat’s respiratory system.
What cat litter is bad for cats?
Unfortunately, the most common cat litter is clumping clay litter, which is bad for cats. It contains silica dust; a known carcinogen when inhaled.
Clumping clay litters also contain sodium bicarbonate, which is harmful when ingested. It expands to 15 times its size when it absorbs liquid and forms hard clumps. This feature makes it great for cleaning urine out of the litter box, but bad when your cat ingests their litter.
Without a doubt, our cats are ingesting their cat litter. I can’t tell you how many times my cat had a clump of clay litter stuck to the end of his nose after leaving the litter box. If I didn’t catch it first, of course, he would eat that litter when he licked his nose. This was part of the reason I switched from clay litter to a natural litter.
Clay litters also get stuck between a cat’s paws when they walk on it. Imagine having hard, coarse pieces of rock stuck between your toes; you’d want it out. Cats also don’t appreciate clay litter between the pads of their paws so they clean it out…with their tongue. Again, another way our cats ingest their litter.
Although there aren’t studies backing up the theory that clumping cat litters aren’t safe for our cats, we can use our common sense. Would you eat a teaspoon of clay litter each day? Would you want clay or sodium bentonite in your body? It would not be healthy for us, so it can’t be safe for our cats.
And let’s keep in mind, there isn’t scientific evidence showing that clay litter isn’t healthy for our cats because the studies simply don’t exist. I’m sure findings would show it’s not healthy for our cats to inhale and ingest clay litter if studies were thoroughly conducted on the subject.
Sustainably Yours is the cat litter I’ve chosen to use for our two cats. You may also be interested in learning more about the different versions of Sustainably Yours cat litter.