Of course, if your cat is living indoors then they will need a litter tray in which to do their business. Not only does this need to be suitable for our cats, but this also needs to be suitable for their owners and their home too. Part of this comes down to choosing the correct cat litter, but with so many brands and types available how do you pick the best brand for your cat?
Why do you need to use cat litter?
Cats are clean animals, and as such when they defecate or urinate they normally like to dig a hole and then cover it up again after them. This is why it is important to use a substrate in the litter tray; so that they can perform this behavior. By covering it up, they also reduce the smell. Handy when you have a house cat! Finally using a substrate also makes it much easier to clean up after them too.
Best for your cat
There is a surprisingly large choice of cat litters on the market, and there have been many developments over the years. Old varieties using sand are long outdated, with granulated, clumping, scented, non-scented and even environmentally friendly varieties now being available.
From your cat’s perspective, a fine grained clumping litter has often proved the most favored during trials. Due to the fact that cats like to dig first and then cover up their urine and feces, this sort of litter best suits their requirements. In addition, most cats prefer an unscented litter as they are very sensitive to smells. Remember though that all cats are individuals, and you should take this into consideration. Their favorite substrate may also be influenced by whatever they used as a young kitten.
If you believe you cat has an allergy for any reason, bear this in mind when choosing a cat litter. Rough or abrasive cat litter can also be uncomfortable on their paws and they may prefer a softer substrate.
Best for you
Not only does the cat litter need to be suitable for your cat, but it also needs to work for you in your home and price bracket.
Cat litter that clumps is often preferred as when your cat urinates, it simply sticks together making cleaning the box a simple business. Of course this does make it more expensive than non-clumping varieties. One downside of clumping litter however is that it may stick to the coat of long haired cats, meaning that they then require extra grooming.
Scented cat litter can help mask the smell of the litter box, yet while popular with owners they often discourage cats from using the box. Scented cat litter should not be used as an excuse to clean out their box less frequently, your cat will notice and be reluctant to use a dirty tray!
If you are worried about the environmental impact of using cat litter, there are now many varieties available that are biodegradable. Although more expensive, they are able to break down and it is certainly a greener option.
Be careful when using clumping cat litter with very young kittens if they seem keen to ingest it. The litter contains chemicals to make it clump, which can be dangerous if ingested in large enough quantities.
Choosing a cat litter can be a little confusing, but it needn’t be a daunting task. Pick one that works best for you and your cat, you can always change it at a later date if you need to.