Over the past year we've had the opportunity to try out a few different cat litters. The kitty litter market is ever-expanding, with litters made from a wide variety of materials such as clay, corn, silica gel crystals, recycled paper, wheat, and walnut shells. One thing I'm asked on a regular basis is why I always choose scoopable cat litter.
Growing up my mother always used non-clumping litter, and when our cat Sebastian was diagnosed with kidney disease he was urinating so much it was nearly impossible to keep his litter box clean without completely changing it on a daily basis. Once we made the switch to clumping litter I never looked back.
While everyone has their own personal opinion as to which brand makes the best scoopable cat litter, here are 4 reasons why clumping litter (regardless of the brand) is the only choice for me when I go to the pet store...
1) Ease: A quick clumping cat litter makes scooping much easier because urine is trapped in firm, tight, odor-sealing clumps that are easy to scoop. Clumping litters trap liquids before they seep to the bottom of the box, eliminating wasted time spent chiseling and scraping.
2) Cleanliness: The ability to scoop and remove soiled litter from the box means that the box stays cleaner longer. As soiled litter is removed from the box, it can simply be replenished by adding an equal amount of fresh litter. Cleaning the entire box must still be done at least once a month, but still less often than with a non-clumping litter (usually at least once a week).
3) Economical: While non-clumping litters are much less expensive on store shelves, you still end up going through more litter because during the cleaning process the entire litter pan will need to be dumped. Cats scratch to cover up their business, causing urine-soaked particles of litter to mix with the clean particles of litter, and there's no way to separate the soiled particles from the clean without starting from scratch. Our fastidious felines know there is still urine present, causing "accidents" that aren't really accidents at all...
4) Health Monitoring: So much of what's going on with our cat's health can be observed in their litter pan. Changes to urine output will be picked up on more quickly with clumping litter. For instance, frequent itty bitty clumps can indicate a UTI, larger and more numerous clumps can be an indication of illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease and thyroid issues. Having gone through all three of these diseases with my previous cats I'm hyper-sensitive about monitoring the quality and quantity of Mudpie's clumps.
Of course as with anything, the #1 determining factor as to which litter you use depends on which one your cat prefers. They do have the final say because it's their potty! Speaking from personal experience, my cats have always preferred non-scented clumping litter, and 95% of the time I'm able to scoop immediately (which they really appreciate). You would never accept using a dirty bathroom, and your cat shouldn't have to either!
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