How to find the best cat litter type for your cat

Cat using litter boxWhat is the best cat litter to use? Which fights odor the best? Which one prevents litter tracking? Which is preferred by most cats? With so many options on the market it is easy to get confused and even worse, there isn’t a single answer to this, because each cat litter type has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, in this article you are going to find what the best cat litter is for you and your cat.

All the tests were done ourselves trying to find a perfect match for our cats. However, we still recommend you to try most of the common types yourself, because that’s the only way to deeply understand what works best for you.

Clumping clay cat litter

Advantages of clumping clay litter:

Clumping litter is easy to use because you only have to scoop solids and clumps out. Because it’s so easy, it is the best cat litter for odor control since cleaning twice a day is the main thing that will help you to stop the litter box from smelling. Urine combines with small cement-like granules to form solid clumps, making it easy to remove from the litter box. After removing clumps and solid feces, unused litter remains in the box for later use. A small amount of new litter should be added occasionally, and on the rare occasion you will have to replace all of the litter box contents. So, a large box may last for several months. Because so little is used, clumping litter, depending on the brand, is the most economical litter type out there.

Disadvantages of clumping cat litter:
While we fully appreciate how easy it is to use clumping clay litter, the fact that it’s everywhere started to bother us quite soon. The first thing we noticed is that the cat tossed some of it out of the box quite often when trying to clean up after its business. Clumping litter definitely is the worst litter to prevent tracking. But, the most annoying thing was that cat litter particles were sticking to our cat’s feet and dropping off in random places. It started to bother us more when our baby girl started crawling and tasting everything she found on the floor. Sometimes it’s cat food but that’s still food. But piece of cement and urine mixture? No, thanks! Last, but not least, clumping litter is very dusty. At least most of the brands are and if the dust is what bothers you, we recommend using other litter types.

You can find more detailed review of clumping cat litter here.

Natural clumping cat litter

Advantages of natural clumping cat litter:

Unlike clumping litter which is made of clay, natural litter is made of plant fiber. That is good because it is less dusty and it smells better. And, similar to clumping clay litter, this one is also easy to use and therefore fights odor very well.

Disadvantages of natural clumping litter:
It’s actually very hard to think of them because there aren’t very many. The few obvious things are that the box contents must be dumped more often, and it costs more than regular clumping litter, with few brands being unreasonably over-priced, if you ask us.

Silica gel cat litter review

Advantages of silica cat litter:
At first we did not appreciate this type of litter (oh, it sounded like a toothpaste advertisement), but mostly it is because we did not understand how to use it correctly. It’s even easier than clumping litter. The right way is to scoop out all the solid feces, and stir the cat litter with a scoop so the urine does not concentrate in one spot. After some time, when most of the granules have turned yellow (it’s the color of urine if you’re wondering), you change the whole box contents. This makes silica cat litter the easiest litter type of those we reviewed.

Disadvantages of silica cat litter:
Most silica litter bags state they are sufficient for one month in a single cat household. Well that’s a lie. If you want to stop odor, you have to replace it frequently, and the price of the silica cat litter is somewhat high. You may not mind that much if you have one cat, but for multiple cat households silica litter is a wallet ripper. The dust of the silica litter is unpleasant. While this type of litter is less dusty than clumping, it smells more like chemicals and may be a bad choice if you have a sensitive nose.

You can find more about silica litter here.

Pine cat litter

Advantages of pine pellet cat litter:

Pine litter is so good. It’s compostable, flushable and environmentally friendly. It fights odor very well, and its natural scent is a lot better than the smell of other litter types. When the cat uses its litter box, pine pellets absorb urine and turns to sawdust. Unlike silica cat litter, which absorbs cat urine and remains in the box up to a month, moisturized sawdust should be removed in every scooping. It’s one of the best cat litters to prevent litter tracking.

Disadvantages of pine pellet cat litter:
The cleaning part is probably the worst thing about pine cat litter. Scooping takes some practice and needs to be done up to several times per day. Scooping also takes more time than just removing clumps or solid feces. Also, a huge drawback is that many cats don’t like pine pellet litter because of the strong pine odor and the pellet texture. However, if your cat does not accept it, trying to switch from the old litter type gradually is recommended. While it may take some time, it’s still worth a try.

See our review of pine pellet litter here.

Non-clumping clay cat litter review

Advantages of non-clumping clay litter:
Non-clumping litter is usually less dusty than clumping litter. It still has some dust, but the difference is noticeable. Another thing is that, among the most common “modern” cat litters out there, non-clumping clay litter resembles natural dirt, which makes it an easy go for cats with litter aversion.

Disadvantages of non-clumping litter:
The bad thing is that non-clumping litter is old. Its urine absorption capabilities are mediocre despite the fact it used to be considered the best in the middle of 20th century. We can say the same thing about how easy it was to use. It was certainly a lot easier than sawdust and sand, which were used before clay litter was invented, but since then it has fallen way behind clumping and silica litters.

Find more information about absorbing cat litter here.

What type of cat litter are you using? How did you come to this choice? Was it the only litter type available in a pet store around the corner? Did you try most of the litter types available and finally chose to stick to one particular type?