Kitty Litter

I've been on a quest lately to discover the ideal litter.

So far I've tried pretty much the whole range of clay litters, from super fine to non-clumping (ugh!), from deodorized to scentless.  I have decided that - I hate almost all clay litters.

There are a few that I love and my cats do, too, but I've sort of found that the finer litters absorb liquid the quickest - resulting in smaller, tighter clumps that are easier to scoop.  Unfortunately - this is the *worst* to get out of your carpet.  It's like confetti.  You're never getting it all up.  And it's a whole new world of suck if you spill water on it (thank you, cats).

Now I'm experimenting with non-clay litters.  I didn't think this was an affordable option until I tried one of my local grocery stores, which apparently has an absolutely stunning and affordable pet section.  We're talking better than the pet store.  Now I could choose from pine, cedar, recycled newspaper, wheat, silica sand, and even corn cob!

There's another reason I'm switching litters around, and it plays a part in why I chose to try the one I did next.  I have a Californian rabbit, named Peanut, and now that we've moved apartments his play areas intersect with cat boxes.  HIS litter is usually either carefresh or (now trying) recycled newspaper litter, since rabbits frequently eat in their litter boxes and anything clay or clumping can cause impaction.  Therefore...I'm a little wary of letting him play around the new and interesting cat box - that's filled with deadly clumping clay litter.

Because I have numerous small animals and am extremely aware of the risks of pine and cedar, that left me with recycled newspaper, silica sand, wheat, and corn.  Wheat was right out, since the package warned some animals love to eat it for the wheat smell and Sam, my tabby, loves anything he thinks is bread-related.  I decided to go with the silica sand because it's the only one I haven't witnessed make a strong odor after a couple of days of use, although I am completely willing to give the others a chance in the cat box if this one doesn't work out.

The interesting thing about it is the pieces are gigantic, like little crystals.  Most are clear-white, while some are an opaque blue.  It gives a toothpastey feel - very clean, very sterile, very bathroom-friendly.  I was worried my two cats wouldn't like the feel of standing on hard, possibly sharp crystals instead of fine clay particles, but they really don't seem to mind.  In fact, the younger one loves the noise it makes.  Ooh, that's another thing - it's a wake-you-up sort of loud noise when they dig in it.  Kind of a con.

So how is it on doing it's real job?  Well, so far the major difference has been that the crystals absorb liquid rather than clump together and get hard.  It's sort of like each one just soaks it all up and doesn't let go of it.  You're supposed to scoop it all around and blend it together each morning so no one area gets over-wetted.  It pretty much just dehydrates waste.  So far I'm not entirely sure how to scoop through such large particulates, but I have a feeling I'll find out in the morning!

Some quick litter tips:

- Keep a minimum of one box per cat, and if you have a spacious enough area, two each will make your life easier.  When a cat thinks the box is full they may go elsewhere, or simply try to hold it in - which can lead to bladder infections.

- Scoop the box once a day, topping off as needed, and change it at least once a month.  Leaving poo in there not only increases your chances of it filling up and the kitties going in your plants, but is just icky.  It's like not flushing your toilet for a few days - ew!

- Lower quality clay litter may clump on its own in humid weather and cause difficulty scooping.  If this is a problem for you, try switching brands or type.

- Higher priced litter is not always higher quality...but sometimes it is.

- If you have extra litter you didn't like, donating it to a local animal shelter is a wonderful idea.  They can always use supplies!  Same goes for when you upgrade boxes.

- Scooping daily will also help you keep an eye on any problems that might come up like worms or loose stools.  If you come across any issues in the box, bag a sample and take it into your vet to get it tested.  Letting diarrhea continue for more than a couple of days can cause serious problems and not a small amount of discomfort - for both of you.

-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

2 paw prints:

Melody said...

I use Fresh Step scoopable for multiple cats. I have two, Max and Murphy, and I scoop morning and evening and in-between if necessary. I've had two people tell me that usually they can identify a cat household simply by walking in the door, but that my apartment doesn't smell of cat. Yaaay!

Miss Mouse said...

That's wonderful! That's the ultimate cat-smell test - other people's noses, heh. I bet scooping twice a day or more really makes the difference! :D

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