Another reason that cats dislike their litter boxes is that the box itself is fine but they actually dislike the litter. The average cat is happiest with fine, unscented clumping cat litter. Cats are typically not big fans of the scented varieties that many people tend to prefer. They often dislike the crystal-type litters as well — most sizzle when they get wet, so you can imagine why that would be unpleasant for a cat! The average cat hates the plastic litter liners as well, so it’s probably best to stay away from those. Having said all this, each cat is an individual and what one doesn’t like, another might love.
The best way to determine your cat’s litter preference is to set up a “litter cafeteria.” This allows the cat to make his selection from a number of different choices. To do this, you need at least a few uncovered litter boxes that are the same other than the type of litter that they contain.
Cats will preferentially eliminate in the box that is most pleasing to them, and this will allow you to select the most appropriate litter for your cat. You may need to change litters one or two at a time in a kind of challenge style where the winning litter goes up against the challenging litter until you’ve been through all the options.
Table of Contents
- 1 Which Litter is Best For Your Cat?
- 2 Best Cat Litter: The Ultimate Guide on Odor Control
- 3 What to Look For! Best Cat Litter For Odor Control
- 4 Let Your Cat Enjoy Doing Their Business! The Types of Litter for Cats
- 5 Bad Smell? 6 Facts to Know Before Buying
- 6 Top 5 Top Rated Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
- 7 Your Kitty’s Private Space! Best Litter Box for Cats
- 8 Covered Litter Box Vs Uncovered Litter Box
- 9 6 Tips On How to Clean a Litter Box
- 10 Odor Control = Happy Pet Parent
Which Litter is Best For Your Cat?
Since Edward Lowe first placed granulated clay in a bag and called it Kitty litter, the multimillion-dollar cat litter industry has produced an astounding array of litter substrates. While most of the litters on the market were clay-based, there is a growing interest in “alternative” litters. These litters are made of a variety of unlitter-like compounds, such as: paper, corncob, orange peel, wheat, wood, grass, silica, walnuts and peanut shells. All cat litter manufacturers claim that their products are highly absorbent and great at controlling odor, so how is it possible to choose one among so many?
First of all, look at the choices from your cat’s point of view. Too many cat owners select products for their cats based on human, rather than feline, preferences. This approach often backfires as the cat may find that the new purchase offends his natural instincts and refuses to use it. We know that cats have an inborn drive to seek out an easily-raked substrate in which to eliminate. Our domestic cat’s ancestors used sand and a soft soil. Studies show that 9 out of 10 cats prefer the sand-like texture of the clumping litters. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the paw pads of an indoor cat are sensitive and tender. (Would you rather walk barefoot on a gravel driveway or on a sandy beach?) See “The Truth About Declawing“. Declawed cats especially require the comfort afforded by a clumping litter as more of their weight rests on their heels than on their shortened toes. (The declaw surgery involves severing, not just nails, but whole phalanges–up to the first joint–including bone, ligaments, and tendons.)
We also know that cats want their indoor bathrooms to meet the same requirements of outdoor toileting areas, even though their little paws may have never touched the good earth. Observations of outdoor cats show that each time they eliminate, they look for a clean area (unlike dogs which like to use the same locations). Dirty litter boxes are a main reason for cats to eliminate outside the litter box. Perfumed litters do not add to the cat’s enjoyment of the litter box, nor do they fool the cat into thinking that the box is acceptably clean (although they may fool the owner). Perfume is actually a repellent for cats, this will keep them from using the box.
All clumping litters are not created equal–some clump better than others. Usually, the better litters are also somewhat more expensive than the others. The cheap clumping litters that break up easily should be scooped daily and dumped out entirely twice a week. The best clumping litter sold on the market, such as SmartCat® Natural Litter makes the job of litter box cleaning quick and simple. If scooped out daily, the cat can enjoy a clean, dust free fresh-smelling litterbox every day, so can you.
Tips on the proper use of Litter.
Clay is still being used with people thinking it absorbs most of its weight in moisture, it doesn’t clump at all. Cats do not like stepping on wet litter and wet litter has an offensive smell to cats as well as to humans. Keep this in mind if you are considering an alternative box filler. The strange texture and smell of the new substrate may also put off your cat. If they don’t recognize it as being an appropriate substance in which to eliminate, they will either try to hold their urine (which may precipitate a health problem), or they may find the living room carpet more to their liking. This choice will create another whole set of problems.
If you decide to introduce a new litter to your cat, put it in a new litterbox. We recommend one of SmartCat litter boxes for a change in shapes The Ultimate Litter Box™ or the Corner Litter Box™. Keep the old boxes the same until you see that the cat is using and liking the new litter. Let the cat discover it for themselves–don’t force them to go into it. You may take some urine or stool from another box and put it in the new box to give them the idea that this is for them. Once you decide on a litter you both like, don’t change it, even if another litter is on sale (that is, unless you really like cleaning the carpeting!) Cats just don’t like change, being especially sensitive to their litter box.
Best Cat Litter: The Ultimate Guide on Odor Control
The Ultimate Guide To The Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
The litter box.
It is one of the best inventions ever made for cat owners as it allows your cat to easily go to the bathroom on their own without needing to go outside or bother you for help.
However, while the litter box itself can be great, finding the right litter for that litter box can be more of a challenge. You want a litter that is affordable, easily clumps waste and one that your cat will actually use.
Yet, the most important thing for most pet owners is to find the best cat litter for odor control.
But, with so many brands and types of litter out there, narrowing down your options can be confusing the say the least.
The good news is, the more you know about litter, how it works and why it works, the easier it will be to find a product that fits you and your cat’s needs.
What to Look For! Best Cat Litter For Odor Control
While we all love our feline friends, their litter boxes can be quite smelly, which is why for many cat owners, odor control is the most important feature to look for in any product. As cat litters continue to advance, new odor control features are now being introduced to help keep the smell at bay.
You should always be looking for the best cat litter for odor control, not just litter that will mask up smells.
Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and will notice if their litter box is dirty and may stop using it if it isn’t clean enough.
Clumping vs. Non-Clumping Litter
In addition to odor controlling elements, most cat litters are distinguished by whether or not they “clump” when they are wet.
Both clumping and non-clumping formulas do have their benefits. While neither is better than the other, most cat owners have a preference when it comes to their cat litter.
Clumping litter absorbs urine and wetness and clumps it together in a solid form for easy scooping, while non-clumping litter does not.
However, many cats prefer non-clumping and it is actually typically better with odor control.
Scented vs. Unscented Litter
Most cat litters are able to control odor in one way or another, but there are also scented and unscented options as well. The obvious benefit of a scented litter is to further cover up the smell of the litter and of your cat’s messes.
Although, not everyone enjoys the smells of these products, so it is really up to personal preference when it comes to choosing a scented product or not.
Let Your Cat Enjoy Doing Their Business! The Types of Litter for Cats
One of the best things about shopping for cat litter in today’s market is that there continues to be newer, more advanced types of cat litter hitting the shelves.
Every cat is different, and there is no way to tell why certain cats seem to enjoy certain types of litter over others. The key is to find one that works for you and that your cat enjoys using.
As you search for the best cat litter for odor control types, here are some you will likely encounter.
- Clumping Clay Litter– Litters made with a clumping formula usually have a substance known as bentonite in them. This substance absorbs urine and clumps together, creating a solid lump or ball, while leaving the rest of the litter surrounding the clump clean and dry. This keeps the unaffected litter cleaner and makes it simple to remove urine-soaked litter.This type of litter is typically made from bentonite, it can be dusty and heavy and isn’t biodegradable.
- Non-Clumping Clay Litter– Non-clumping clay formulas may be more difficult to scoop and clean, but they do have an odor-control benefit, as they allow the urine to sift through all of the litter and absorb the odor. Since litters are often made with charcoal or baking soda, these products will soak up the smell of the urine. However, you will likely need to change the litter more often, typically once per week.
- Recycled Paper Litter– Green cat owners will enjoy this biodegradable litter solution. Recycled paper litter is very absorbent and dust free. It is made by taking paper and turning it into small pellets or granules. If you choose the pellet option it won’t clump, but the granule form of this litter will.
- Crystal Litter– Litter made with crystals is actually formed out of small silica gel beads, similar to those used to preserve products like medication. This type of litter is very absorbent and controls odor, plus it is dust-free. While this type of crystal is more expensive and can be irritating to some cats’ paws, it is becoming a very popular solution for pet owners.
- Pine Litter– This type of litter is recycled and made with old lumber scraps that have been treated so they don’t contain any toxins and formed into small pellets. You can buy this litter in crushed, pellet or granular form. It needs to be replaced regularly, but many cats seem to enjoy it.
Bad Smell? 6 Facts to Know Before Buying
If you are in the market for the best cat litter for odor control because of the smelly litter box odors, here are a few facts you should know first.
- Some cats don’t like a change in their litter. Even if you are changing the litter to benefit your cat, some felines are stubborn (which shouldn’t be surprising) and resistant to change, so they may not like the new litter.
- Cats are very sensitive to smell, which is why many cats won’t use their litter box when it is dirty. However, cats may also be sensitive to scented litters as well.
- If your cat is notably stubborn and you are looking to change their litter, start by mixing your old litter with your new litter so their box is half and half. After a few weeks, transition to all new litter. It can help with the change.
- A scented litter won’t necessarily fight odor from cat waste any better, it may just have a scent and nothing else.
- Most cats prefer fine-grain litters, but if you have small kittens in the home, this type of litter can be dangerous, as young cats may accidentally swallow this type of litter.
- If your cat tends to play in his litter box or you are worried about pellets and granules in your home that make odor worse, consider non-tracking cat litter that won’t stick on their paws.
Top 5 Top Rated Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
Looking for some of the top-rated cat litters on the market? We have the cat litter review you have been looking for. Here are some of the best cat litter for odor control products for those worried about those smells with their precious cat.
1. Feline Pine Original– If you prefer natural cat litter made from recycled pine, then this is the absorbent option for you. It is made without harmful chemicals but formulated to neutralize strong odors.
Estimated Cost: $19 for 20 lb. bag
2. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter– Most people don’t know this organic brand also makes an absorbent kitty litter. This dust-free clay litter formula is eco-friendly, natural and is so absorbent with its odor-blocking design, one bag is equal to three bags of standard clay litter.
Estimated Cost: $18.50 for 14 lb. bag
3. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter– This cat litter is designed with multi-cat households in mind and is all natural with superior odor control. This dust-free formula was created to help bring problem cats back to the litter box and eliminate the excess odor that may be distracting to some pets.
Estimated Cost: $18 for 20 lb. bag
4. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Cat Litter– This cat litter is made with TidyLock Protection which locks away those strong ammonia, urine, and fecal smells. This Tidy Cats litter also has 24/7 odor control so your home always smells fresh.
Estimated Cost: $28 for 27 lb. bag
5. So Phresh Odor Control Paper Pellet Cat Litter– This recycled paper pellet cat litter is lightweight and made with 95% recycled paper along with baking soda and zeolite for extra odor control.
Estimated Cost: $23 for 25 lb. bag
Your Kitty’s Private Space! Best Litter Box for Cats
As you search for the best litter box for cats, remember this is a private space for your pet so it shouldn’t only be comfortable for your cat, but it should be in a convenient, quiet place away from all of the commotion of your household.
From self-cleaning litter boxes and fully automatic litter boxes to owner-cleaning litter boxes (aka your hard-working hands), there really isn’t one best litter box for cats.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when on the lookout for one.
The litter box should be big enough for your cat to stand and turn around in. You will also need to decide between a covered and uncovered box for your pet.
Ultimate when it comes to finding the best litter box for cats of any type, it just means finding a box that your cat prefers, and it may take some trial and error.
Covered Litter Box Vs Uncovered Litter Box
There are two main types of cat litter boxes available—covered litter boxes and uncovered litter boxes.
The covered cat litter boxes provide more privacy for your pet, while the uncovered is more open.
Self-cleaning litter boxes and fully automatic litter boxes come in either covered litter boxes and uncovered if you are looking to pay a little more.
Some cats prefer covered, and others feel it is too enclosed or may feel claustrophobic inside and may refuse to go in at all. This is all up to your cat’s preference.
6 Tips On How to Clean a Litter Box
Now that you have your kitty litter box all set up and ready, you need to know how to keep that litter box clean. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Always clean your cat’s litter box with a mask and rubber gloves. Cat urine and feces can be dangerous to humans.
- Feces and urine clumps should be scooped out of the kitty litter daily.
- Replace your cat’s entire litter box at least once per week.
- Removing the liner or litter tray alone isn’t the same as cleaning the box. Make sure to scrub the actual litter box regularly, as even the best litter pans and tray can accidentally allow spills, urine, feces, and viruses to end up on the box.
- After cleaning the litter box, always put it back in a familiar place so your cat can find it. If you are planning on moving your cat’s litter box, do not do it the same day you clean, as they may get confused.
- There is such a thing as an automatic self-cleaning cat litter box. However, this doesn’t mean the box never has to be hand cleaned. They still need to be cleaned regularly to keep your cat’s environment healthy and sanitary.
Odor Control = Happy Pet Parent
As a pet parent, you always first and foremost want to make sure that your cats are happy and healthy, but keeping their litter box odor under control likely comes in a close second.
These tips on finding the best cat litter for odor control are a great place to start, and you can always add an additional cat litter deodorizer product to your litter as well if odors continue to be a concern.
Without disruptive kitty litter odor, you can rest assured that your pet’s litter box isn’t interfering with your home and that your precious cat has a safe and sanitary place to use the bathroom.