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Selecting a Cat Litter


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Choosing a Cat Litter

When choosing a litter for your cat, remember this: the “right” litter will be the one your cat prefers. She will not use a litter that feels unpleasant on her feet, smells odd, or looks unappealing. Animal experts do not know why individual cats prefer one type of litter vs. another, but suspect that cats appreciate finer-textured litters resembling substrate(s) they would encounter in nature.

Litter characteristics important to your cat

  • Clumping vs. non-clumping
  • Many cats prefer clay litter that clumps when wet, such as SmartCat Lightweight Clumping Litter. Clumping litter results in a neater litter box and messes cats can easily avoid during subsequent visits. Plus, clumps are easy for you to remove from the box during cleaning.

  • Odor-control
  • Due to cats’ highly developed sense of smell and fastidious nature, most do not appreciate strongly fragranced litter, and will avoid it. Similarly, cats may avoid a litter box foul with waste odors. If you wish to use an odor-control litter, look for one labeled as such, with little to no added scent. So Phresh Advanced Odor Control Scoopable Cat Litter, and Blue Naturally Fresh Ultra Odor Control Multi-Cat Clumping Litter, are good choices.

  • Low-dust/low-tracking formulas
  • Cats tend to prefer finer-grained litters such as our Signature Series™ All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter . You can easily minimize litter tracking/scatter with a litter mat.

  • Man-made vs. natural ingredients
  • Some cats have no problems with synthetic litters such as Nature’s Miracle Easy Care Crystal Litter (made from silica crystals). However, some cats prefer natural litters such as our Signature Series™ All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter (USA-grown grasses), BLUE® Naturally Fresh® Clumping Cat Litters (walnut shells), or World’s Best Cat Litter (corn). Natural litters made of wheat, wood, or minerals are also popular. Natural litters are also biodegrade, making them environmentally friendly choices.

Thanks to the wide variety of available litters, you should be able to find one your cat accepts. Contact your veterinarian with questions about litter selection or avoidance. Explore our full selection of litter here.

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