I’ve researched this topic to the best of my ability and continue to find differing opinions by cat litter manufacturers and veterinarians as to what is the best cat litter. I have to say, though, that PrettyLitter may be what I end up going with. I’ve seen their commercials on TV and I’m intrigued by the promises they make. They also address important safety issues quite convincingly on their website with the following statements:
“It Doesn’t Contain Harmful Sealants: Traditional litter often contains sodium bentonite, a sealant that expands when it comes into contact with moisture. It’s easy to get onto your cat’s paws, and once she steps out of the litter box to lick them, that clay can expand within her digestive tract.”
“It Won’t Cause Breathing Problems: PrettyLitter uses naturally occurring ingredients that are safe for cats, even when they breathe or ingest it. What’s more, if you or your cat have asthma or a similar condition, you’ll appreciate the fact that crystal litter produces virtually zero dust.”
“It’s Formulated for Felines: Despite what you may have heard, the silica gels found in many crystal litters are not poisonous. They’re actually made from sodium silicate, a naturally occurring mineral that soaks up moisture like a sponge.”
The price of PrettyLitter is $22 per month (it looks like they offer 15% off your first order). I’m currently paying about $9 per month for Tidy Cat. That’s a difference of $13 per month for cat litter. I’m thinking it’s worth it for the dust issue alone. The dust covers everything in my house and I’m convinced, no matter what the experts say, that it can’t possibly be good for me and Whiskers to be inhaling it. So I’m loving that PrettyLitter is a dust free cat litter.
What are your thoughts? What features would be important to you when deciding on the best kitty litter? Please comment below!
Can Certain Cat Litters Be Dangerous for Cats and Humans?
Some cat owners prefer not to use certain types of cat litter because of the possibility that they can be dangerous if the cat ingests the litter. I personally haven’t witnessed any of my adult cats eating cat litter, but kittens certainly will. Cats licking their feet after being in the litter box results in a certain amount of ingestion of cat litter. Some cat owners are also concerned with the dust from cat litter and whether it’s dangerous for cats or humans to inhale.
From what I’ve learned thus far, it’s my understanding that a large amount of cat litter would have to be consumed for it to be dangerous (the same is true of clay-based litter as well as silica-based litter). I also researched whether breathing dust from cat litter is dangerous for cats. I came up with completely opposite reports and opinions, even by various veterinarians. So unfortunately, I cannot make an educated statement either way, regarding ingesting cat litter or inhaling the dust from it.
I personally like to err on the side of caution, so I tried a cat litter for my new kitten, Whiskers, that was all-natural. He refused to use it. I mean outright refused, choosing to pee in one of my potted house plants instead! (I saw it…ugh!)
What is in Kitty Litter?
There are several different types of cat litters available, but most of them fall into three categories: clay-based litter, silica-based litter and biodegradable litter. What’s in kitty litter depends on which category the litter falls into.
The granulated clay used in traditional clay-based litters can absorb its weight in cat urine. But the downside is that once the clay is wet, it can’t absorb any more urine, and it doesn’t clump, so the litter has to be changed often. Some contain bentonite clay, which can be scooped, but it’s a bit more expensive. You can see a selection of clay-based kitty litter on Amazon, here.
Silica-based cat litter contains silica gel, which is absorbent and helps control odor, so much so that it can be used for up to a month at a time. This type of kitty litter also tends to be less dusty than clay cat litters. You can see a variety of silica-based kitty litters on Amazon, here.
Kitty litters that are biodegradable can be an eco-friendly alternative to clay and silica-based cat litters. These are commonly made from recycled paper products and materials derived from plants. You can see a selection of biodegradable cat litter on Amazon, here.
How to Clean a Cat’s Litter Box
I’m not necessarily an expert, but I have had cats all of my adult life and I’ve often been told by house guests that they would’ve had no idea I had cats because there’s no kitty litter box smell in my house at all. So I’ll quickly share with you my tips on how to clean the litter box.
I scoop the box daily. I keep a scoop and a tie-able plastic bag near the litter box. I put the poop in the bag and tie it up each day, then at the end of the week I throw the bag away. You can also get one of those small garbage cans with a lid. You could also consider using poop bags so you can throw it away every day instead of accumulating it in a bag all week.
How to Clean the Litter Box
You should throw away any cat litter in the box and wash the box with soap and water at least monthly. Dish soap is good. Don’t use bleach or any strong-smelling cleaners. Cats are extremely sensitive to smells and some may refuse to use the litter box if there’s some kind of smell. Dish soap and warm water is sufficient. Dry the box completely, then sprinkle some baking soda in the box (my secret ingredient). Refill with clean cat litter.
By the way, that’s my boy, Whiskers, in the pics in this article. In this one, he’s Mr. Long Arms LOL.
How Often Should You Clean the Litter Box?
For years I had more than one cat, so I would scoop daily, then actually clean the litter box weekly. Right now I only have one cat, Whiskers, so I don’t feel it’s necessary to clean the box weekly. I scoop it every day, then clean it once a month or so.
For several years I had the plant litter box shown in the picture. It sat in the corner of my dining room and seriously, no one ever knew it was a litter box! You can purchase it here. Make sure this box is big enough for your cat to easily move around in, and if you have two cats, make sure they’re both ok with using it (some cats don’t like to share a litter box).
I once purchased a self-cleaning cat litter box and I don’t recommend it. First, it scared the crap out of my cat and second, it did a lousy job of “self-cleaning!” But if you want to check into those, you can find some here.
Now I’m loving the “furniture” hidden litter boxes you see in the picture. They’re so pretty and they double as a beautiful table to hold a lamp or other decor items. You can find those here.
And of course just a regular litter box is inexpensive and probably a cat’s favorite as it’s not covered and is easily to move around in. You can find a nice selection of all types of litter boxes here.
For Help with Litter Box Training
If you’re having any difficulties with your cat not using the litter box, read my articles:
How to Stop a Cat from Urinating in the House (includes a video). This one goes over 10 common reasons why cats won’t use the litter box.
How to Get Your Cat to Use the Litter Box (contains video)
How to Stop a Cat from Urinating on the Bed (contains video)
Complete Cat Training Guide
My #1 recommendation for cat training is an Ebook created by the folks at Kingdom of Pets. It covers 25 real-life cat behavior issues and how to solve them fast. It also provides a ton of information about cat care in general. It’s a fantastic resource for cat owners. Click here for my complete review (includes video).
I Donate to Animal Charities
Thank you for visiting my website! If you make a purchase of any of the items linked in this post (PrettyLitter or the items on Amazon), I will receive a small commission. I donate 10% of all of my earnings on this website to animal charities. You can see a list of the charities I donate to here. If you like this website, please share it with your friends. Every article and every purchase helps animals! Debra 🙂