Buying cat litter is a bit like buying cat food in that it is an ongoing expense. To properly care for your cat’s litter box, you will need to change the litter on a regular basis. Failing to do so will not only result in a smelly box, but your cat may stop using the box altogether.
How often you need to change the litter depends on the type of litter, the size of the box and the number of cats that are using the box. Some cat owners who have several cats actually change the litter each day. Others do so far less often.
Types of Litter
Clumping cat litter is one of the most popular and easy to use types of litter. When the cat urinates in the litter, the moisture causes the litter to form a clump that quickly hardens. When it is time to clean the litter box, you simply scoop out the hard waste and the clumps. Then you add a bit more litter.
There is no need to pour out all of the litter each time you clean the box. You should, however, completely change the litter according to the directions on the package.
Non-clumping or clay litter is another popular type of cat litter. When buying cat litter on an especially tight budget, this is a logical choice as it is usually the least expensive.
Unlike clumping litter, this type of litter must be completely changed every time you clean the litter box. Some cat owners find that dumping the box and pouring in fresh litter is preferable to scooping out the waste as you must do with clumping litter.
It really comes down to a matter of preference.
Pearls are a type of litter that looks like small white balls. The claim is that the balls absorb all of the smell of cat urine. You can scoop out the used pearls with a specially made scooper and continue to use the other pearls until they become dirty.
Some pet owners report that their cats do not like this type of litter. One reason may be is that it does not mimic sand or dirt which is what cats in the wild would use to go to the bathroom and then cover their scent.
Another downside is that this type of litter is quite expensive compared with the other options.
When buying cat litter you will notice that there are some types of litter that are branded as being all natural. These are typically made from a type of wood. The litter may be in the form of pellets or may resemble wood shavings.
Some cat owners find that this type of litter is not well received by their cats, probably for the same reason as the pearls. It simply does not feel like sand or dirt the way that more traditional cat litters do.
Still, some pet owners have good luck with this type of litter. If an all natural product interests you, it is worth a try to see if your cat will respond properly.
For pet owners who are very much into recycling, there is a cat litter that is made from 100% recycled newspapers. The newspapers are formed into small pellets that absorb wetness and odor. Again, some cats will not like this type of litter, but if recycling is important to you, you can try it to see if your cat will use it.
Things to Consider When Buying Cat Litter
The cost factor should be weighed against other factors. Keep in mind that if you pay less but have to change the litter far more often, you are not really saving anything.
Obviously, when buying cat litter, the effectiveness of the product is going to be one of the top priorities for most people. You will want to find a litter that absorbs odors well. Also, if it is a clumping litter, you will want to find a brand that clumps well making cleanup easier.
If the type of litter that you choose does not appeal to your cat, it is not going to work. Each cat is different. There are some cats that will respond well to any type of litter. Others will only use a specific brand of clay or clumping litter.
There is really no way to predict where on the picky spectrum your cat will fall. The best thing that you can do is just try the litter that you want. If the cat will not use it, you may have to try another type or brand.
Finally, you should consider the longevity of the litter and that should be weight against other factors, such as cost. Remember, if you pay a bit more but get more use out of a certain brand of litter, that might be the way to go.
When Changing Types of Cat Litter
When buying cat litter that is a different brand or type then your cat is used to, you will want to slowly transition to the new type of litter. This will make the cat much more likely to respond well to the new litter than if you make a more sudden switch.
Start by adding just a little bit of the new type of litter to his existing type of litter. Then slowly increase the amount of the new litter while decreasing the amount of the old litter until you are using only the new type of litter.
This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it is worth it to ensure a smooth transition without any accidents taking place in your house.
There are several types and brands of cat litter to choose from. Unless you have a good reason, it is a good idea to stick to what the cat knows and uses. If you try to change and your cat rejects the new type of litter, you may have a bit of a challenge on your hands and you might even have to retrain your cat to use the box.
Sticking to what he knows will make things easier for your cat and for you.