As a cat lover, you do your best to give your cats what they need to live a healthy, happy life–both indoors and outdoors. Their food keeps them nourished, their scratching posts and toys keep them entertained and engaged, and you, of course, keep them loved.
But even the best cat owners need a hand keeping their cat’s business time, private. Absorption, odor control, clumping, dust, and longevity are all important factors cat owners consider when shopping for the perfect litter. With all the cat litter choices out there, how do you find one just as stealthy as your cats?
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide to help you better understand common cat litter ingredients, the types of litter out there, and which one is right for your cat.
How to Choose the Right Cat Litter
Cat Litter Ingredients:
Cat litter ingredients are the building blocks of how your cat litter performs and how long it lasts. Some ingredients are naturally-occurring, some are synthetic, and others are eco-friendly alternatives. Here are common cat litter ingredients, along with their benefits and drawbacks:
- Clay: Clay cat litter is possibly the most common type available. It clumps quickly, is very dusty, and is not biodegradable. Clay dust from cat litter has been known to irritate existing allergy and respiratory problems. Clay dust also expands with moisture, and can get lodged in your cat’s respiratory and digestive tracts.
- Wood pellets: Wood pellet cat litter is an eco-friendly alternative to common clay-based litters. While it’s biodegradable and not dusty, wood pellets can get soggy quickly and don’t last a long time.
- Silica: Silica cat litter usually comes in crystal form. It’s highly absorbent, light weight, and naturally-occurring. However, certain common forms of silica still produce dust that is harmful to inhale.
- Diatomaceous Earth Powder: Diatomaceous earth is a popular cat litter additive that helps extend the life of clay and silica litters. In powder form, diatomaceous earth can pose serious health problems due to unsafe crystalline silica levels like crystoballite and tridymite.
- Diatomaceous Earth from Patagonia: When processed and sourced appropriately, diatomaceous earth is an extremely safe, effective ingredient in cat litter. Diatomaceous earth sourced from Patagonia comes in unique, rock-like pebbles that cannot be inhaled. When this type of DE is processed to remove harmful silicas like crystoballite and tridymite, it becomes a perfectly safe ingredient that makes highly absorbent, odor-controlling cat litter.
Cat Litter Longevity:
Cat litter containing clay and wood pellets needs to be changed out every 1-2 weeks with consistent scooping due to how they clump. And, while these litters do absorb moisture, they aren’t the most effective at odor control. Silica and diatomaceous earth are extremely porous, absorbent materials that trap and control odor and moisture. This means less clumping, less scooping, and longer-lasting cat litter. Investing in higher quality, long-lasting ingredients like DE from Patagonia keeps you from replacing cat litter as often, and saves you money. Which can only mean one thing…a bigger budget for treats and toys.
Cat Litter Cost:
Investing in higher quality, long-lasting cat litter ingredients like DE from Patagonia keeps you from replacing cat litter as often, and saves you money. Which can only mean one thing…a bigger budget for treats and toys.
Generic clay cat litter retails anywhere form $12-$14 for 8 pounds. Clay cat litter in your cat’s litter box needs to be replaced once per week. Cat owners who use clay cat litter not only have to scoop the litter box more often, but end up using all 8 pounds of cat litter each month.
Cat litter containing processed diatomaceous earth from Patagonia retails for $24 for an 8-pound box. But because of the maximum absorption of DE, and superior odor control this type of litter lasts an entire month in the litter box. Meaning the litter in the box can be replaced less often, and an entire box of DE cat litter for $24 can last anywhere from 2-3 months. At the same time, this litter keeps you and your cat’s respiratory system healthy and free of dust.
Another considerations when deciding what cat litter to purchase is convenience. While most choose to purchase cat litter at their local pet store, litters with high-end ingredients can be purchased online as a one-time purchase, or as a monthly subscription. This means you can simply click a button and have high-quality cat litter delivered straight to your door.
Next time you shop for cat litter, or if you’re looking to make a change for your cat’s health–and for the sake of keeping your home smelling fresh–consider the ingredients, absorption, and cost.