Advantages and disadvantages of most common cat litter types

How to know which type of cat litter is the best? Actually, you can’t. There is no such best cat litter, as they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Some are easier to use, some fight odor better and some may not be preferred by your cat. Best choice is to try some of most popular types yourself and make a decision which to use by your own (and your cat’s) experience.

I have already tried some of them and can share advantages and disadvantages of most common types of cat litter, based my own experience.

Clumping clay cat litter

advantages:

  • Easy scooping – When contacting with liquid it turns to solid clumps that are easy to remove and throw out.
  • Economical – You can remove only solid clumps and rest of litter will remain in litter box.

disadvantages:

  • Dusty – Smaller particles of litter creates large dust that is uncomfortable and unhealthy not only for cats, but to humans as well.
  • Sticky – They can stick to cat’s feet. It becomes dangerous as cats are licking their claws often, so they may swallow small particles.
  • Not flushable – as clay particles of this litter tend to expand when getting moisturized, this is not a good idea to flush it unless if you want to deal with clogs.
  • Messy – some cats may throw some litter out of a box. They stick to their paws and may drop of them all over the place.
  • Health problems – it contains sodium bentonite which expands a lot when moisturized. Cat may have some health related problems by swallowing or inhaling some particles.

Silica cat litter

advantages:

  • Less dust – silica cat litter mostly contains of large solid particles.
  • Absorbs a lot and quick – large quantity of urine may be absorbed even before it starts to smell.
  • Clean rarely – you have to remove only solid wastes , but you can change litter only once in a while.
  • Best choice for automatic cat litter box – silica granules do not stick to solid wastes, so automatic cleaning will sweep solid wastes only, but not still usable litter.

disadvantages:

  • Pricier
  • Can absorb moisture from room – as silica cat litter can absorb a lot it can also absorb moisture from room if humidity is large.
  • Some cats may not like them – Granules have sharp edges and they make a crunchy sound when they are rubbing against each other that some cats may feel uncomfortable with.
  • Hygiene problems – As you only change whole litter only once in a while, silica granules that have absorbed urine may remain in litter box for quite a long time. You may change them more often but this will sure rise expenses that are not so low already for silica cat litter.

Pine cat litter

advantages:

  • Very good odor fighting – pine cat litter has very strong natural smell that overwhelm smell of feces and urine.
  • Ecological – it is made of pressed sawdust that is all natural product and can be composted and do not make harm to environment.
  • Flushable

disadvantages:

  • Have to clean more often than other cat litter.
  • Messy – some cats may throw some of particles out of a box.
  • Some cats may not like the pine smell – If your cat does not like it, you may try to mix it with his regular litter at first.

So those are pros and cons for most common types of cat litter. I’m sure there are some more as I discover them time after time. You may find that some of them are important to you and some may not bother you at all. In example, I used clumping litter for quite a long time and it did not bother me that small clay particles were all over my house, but now, I have a baby who starts to crawl and it scares me that my child may swallow some of them. So it is up to you to judge which type of cat litter is the best.