Finding the right litter for your kitty is a tough decision. You’ll want to find a litter that is easy to clean, while covering up those pesky odors. Since litter varieties are endless, you may have to try several kinds before finding just the right one to appease your felines.
To Clump or Not to Clump
The decision of non-clumping versus clumping litter generally is up to your personal lifestyle. Traditional clay litter is very absorbent, pulling in much of Max’s liquid waste, but you have to change it as often as a couple times a week if you have several kitties. The benefit is that you typically don’t have to worry about the kitty toilet until it comes time to change the box completely. If you choose clumping litter, you’ll have to remove waste daily in addition to swapping out the litter every few weeks. However, since you’re getting rid of stinky droppings on a daily basis, you’ll be less likely to have to deal with unpleasant smells.
Considering Eco-Friendly Litters
Not all litters are made from some type of clay that you have to toss in the trash. At the very end of the litter aisle you’ll see all kinds of alternative litters. Newspaper pellets are made from compressed recycled newspaper. This type of litter often is recommended after your furry friend goes through a surgical procedure or if he has allergies. You’ll even see pellets made from ground pine, peanut shells, corn cobs, wheat and orange peels. These alternative litters often are all-natural and eco-friendly so you can dispose of the dirty litter in the back corner of your yard, instead of your garbage barrel. Much like regular clay litter though, you’ll have to change out these types of litters frequently.
Scented or Unscented?
Most cat litters come in scented and unscented varieties. Which one you decide on really depends on Max’s preference, before your own. Some felines are extremely finicky and won’t go anywhere near the litter box if it has a strong floral scent. If Max is going potty frequently next to the litter box or even worse, on your bed, it could be a sign that he despises his smelly litter. Switch to an unscented variety instead to see if that cures the problem. If you are concerned about odor control, but Max won’t use a scented litter, simply sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the pan to absorb the odors.
Don’t be in a hurry to swap litters overnight. Going from a fine-grain clumping litter to a chunky pellet litter can be aggravating for Max’s sensitive little paws. Mix them together for several days or weeks to give him plenty of time to adjust. As an example, when you first bring home the new litter, sprinkle a few handfuls over the top of his litter box. The next time you change the litter, mix one part new litter with three parts of old litter. As long as he doesn't mind, the next time around, make a mixture of half and half of each litter. Continue slowly mixing the litters until Max is completely satisfied with his new potty.
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.