What Cat Litter Has the Most Absorbency?

Odors offend Max's nose even more than yours.

Odors offend Max's nose even more than yours.

Having a litter box is a given when you have felines in your family. Even though Max's pan has to fit into your house somewhere, you shouldn't have to smell it. Opt for a highly absorbent type of kitty litter, like silica litter, to keep odors under control.

How It Works

Silica gel crystals are made of three distinct molecules: oxygen, water and silica dioxide sand. These highly porous crystals soak up as much as 40 times their weight from liquid, according to VetInfo. Each silica gel particle is virtually dry to the touch just seconds after Max uses his potty.


Although silica litter is one of the most absorbent litters on the market, it still needs a little daily maintenance work to keep it dry and odor free. Scoop out any solid waste each day. Some silica litters are perfectly safe for your plumbing, allowing you to flush any solid waste right down your toilet. If it's not designed for flushing you'll have to toss out waste with your trash. Because you're not throwing out clumps of litter, one bag of silica litter can often last for up to one month for a single kitty.

Additional Maintenance

You'll also have to stir the crystals once or twice a day. Mixing allows each silica particle to equally absorb liquid waste. Otherwise if Max always uses the same corner, some of the crystals become over-saturated, while others stay perfectly clean and dry. You'll see a pool of urine accumulate in the corner of the over-saturated crystals since they cannot possibly hold on to any more fluid.

Transitioning Litters

Some silica litters have particles with rough edges. While Max may appreciate his new dry potty area, it may take him some time to get adjusted. Rather than just switching to silica litter overnight, mix a handful of crystal in with his old litter. As long as he doesn't seem to mind, add even more silica litter in with his old litter the next time you clean out the box. Continue mixing his old and new litter until he grows accustomed to the change. It may take several days or weeks to completely transition.


Clumping litter is an alternative to silica that is also highly absorbent. When Max does his business, clumping litter particles swell to as much as 15 times their size, explains VetInfo. They stick together, forming one hard mass when moisture is present. All you have to do is come along a few minutes later and scoop out the clump, as well as any solid waste. Since you're throwing out clumps of the litter, you'll need to replace any amount lost with fresh litter every couple of days.

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About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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