Types of cat litter

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The sand or sanitary stones to relieve themselves is one of the essential elements if we are going to live with a cat at home. For sale we find a lot of brands and different varieties that differ in their absorption capacity, odor control, waste generation and environmental impact.

However, ¿What are the best litters for cats? Next, we review the types of cat litter available and we give advice to choose the best one for our cat.

You may also be interested in: How to make homemade cat litter? Index
  1. Absorbent mineral litter for cats
  2. Clumping mineral litter for cats
  3. Silica Cat Litter
  4. Biodegradable cat litter
  5. Tips for choosing the best type of cat litter

Absorbent mineral litter for cats

This type of cat litter, usually sepiolite, is one of the most widespread. It can be found in any supermarket and is the cheapest. This is a great advantage for homes or protective associations in which many cats are housed, but not very efficient at controlling odors and it does not form balls, so although it absorbs urine, it is difficult to separate dirty sand from clean. This means that the sandbox is going to get very dirty and the sand will have to be removed and replaced almost every day..

For all the above, although economical, it is dirtier, less durable and generates bad odors. In addition, it raises dust, hence its use is reduced to those cats that do not accept another or for economic reasons. As a curious fact, we can say that it was the first litter marketed for cats.

Clumping mineral litter for cats

This option, based on bentonite, offers important advantages, since, as its name suggests, agglomerates urine into balls. This separates the clean sand from the dirty one, reduces odors and the sandbox can be cleaned much more easily, since you only have to remove the balls with the shovel. Of course, it is recommended that this cleaning be done daily so that the sand lasts longer. Likewise, the sandbox must be filled with a good layer, about 5 cm, to achieve a correct clumping effect..

This kitty litter is more expensive than absorbent, but yields more and offers better hygiene, which can be especially interesting in homes with more than one cat or those small houses in which you want to avoid the bad odors generated by the stools. In addition, it raises less dust, although some are very fine and, consequently, they can stick to the cat's feet and leave a trace when leaving the litter box. We can choose between different grain sizes and options, such as the one that includes charcoal or different fragrances.

Silica Cat Litter

It's about a synthetic gel with great moisture absorption power, so it is also a good option if we want to keep the sand clean for longer. It does not compact, but by removing moisture, the sand remains dry, so it can continue to be used for up to four weeks without being changed, removing the faeces daily. In addition, it is especially effective in controlling bad odors. For households with a single cat there is a lot.

This sand is made up of white granules that will turn yellow with the urine. This change in tone helps us to know when to remove it and put a new bag. The downside is that the granules are big and hard, which makes some cats reject them. On the other hand, it does not raise any dust.

Currently there is a silica sand that is known as "diagnostic" because its grains change color depending on the pH of the cat's urine. In reality, it does not diagnose what disease our feline has, but it does alert us to a potential problem in the urine, which allows us to contact the veterinarian early, who will be the one who reaches the diagnosis..

Check out this other article about the most common diseases in cats.

Biodegradable cat litter

Without a doubt, this type of sand is the option more respectful with the environment. It is a sand made with different plant materials, such as pea shells or wood remains, which form pellets or granules with great absorbent power, thereby achieving a high clumping of urine, keeping the litter box clean for longer and with surprising control of bad odors. Thus, it is biodegradable, but also a binder. In addition, many of these sands can be disposed of by flushing them down the toilet, since they are disposed of, or they can be composted, thus avoiding contamination, reusing them to compost orchards, trees and plants (inedible).

Given the different options available, it is necessary to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully to check the agglomeration capacity or the most suitable form of elimination. We highlight within this group the Catit Go Natural sand, which offers two varieties with the following characteristics:

  • Made with pea shells, They are 1.5 mm pellets that offer a great absorption capacity, up to three times their weight, forming compact balls that are easily removed, since they do not stick to the sandbox or the shovel. In addition, they do not give off dust, do not adhere to the cat's paws and suppress bad odors. Its production process is 100% sustainable (from the beginning to the method of disposing of the sand). It is available in two soft fragrances of vanilla and lavender..
  • Made with wood scraps from certified forests, Produced in a 100% sustainable way and packaged in a recycled paper bag, it stands out for its 300% absorption power, which facilitates the cleaning of the sandbox, by forming very compact balls, and the control of odors and bacteria. It hardly gives off dust, as it has undergone a double sieving process, and does not leave a trace. Contains no chemicals or perfumes.

Tips for choosing the best type of cat litter

After reviewing the different types that exist, ¿what is the best litter for cats? The truth is that really it is the cat himself who will choose his litter favorite, so he will be the one to decide which one is the best for himself. Felines usually show marked preferences, although there are also those that accept all of them without any problem. In any case, it is recommended that the change be made gradually, so that you get used to it, and you also have to take into account the characteristics of the sandbox and its location.

Returning to the arena, in principle we can be guided by our personal preferences. In case the cat does not accept the chosen one, it would be time to consider other options. These are the basic tips to take into account to choose the best type of litter for cats:

  • If you do not want or cannot spend a lot, opt for the cheapest sand, which is absorbent, but do not forget that you will have to spend more time cleaning, because you will have to remove a lot of it every day, and it will not be able to eliminate the Bad smell. In addition, having to change it frequently may pay off investing in a more durable sand..
  • Agglomerating, Silica or Biodegradable Sand makes cleaning tasks much faster from the sandbox. Find a great crowd if you're short on time. Put enough layer on so that it can agglomerate and allow the cat to burrow and cover its stools, as that is its natural behavior. We explain it to you in this article: "¿Why do cats bury their feces? ".
  • In principle it is recommended to choose unscented litter, since some cats find it unpleasant.
  • If you follow a ecological lifestyle and where possible respectful with the environment, choose a biodegradable sand.
  • In homes with more than one cat or a few square meters, it is advisable to opt for those litters that offer greater absorption and elimination of odors for obvious reasons.
  • Finally, if you have a self-cleaning litter box, you have to use clumping sand.

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