Everyone is always asking us about the best litter for cats. While there are some types of litter that we prefer, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. When choosing the best litter for our cat there are several things we want to take into consideration.
When our kitties have to “go” they don’t walk into a lovely water closet and sit on a porcelain throne. No, they literally have to climb into their toilet to relieve themselves. Their cute little paws that have no socks or shoes on are directly in their toilet! Really, think about that for a minute.
A cat’s paws are like little sponges. Cat paws can pick up toxins and absorb them into the cat’s body. So if we have a litter that has toxic chemicals or fragrances in them, this can be cause for concern.
Speaking of paws, since a cat has to climb into his box/toilet we also want to make sure that the litter is pleasing to his or her paws. Some cats do great with litters such as pine pellets or more coarse litters but other cats might hate how that feels on their paws. We want to watch out for this. Most cats will like a litter that is softer on their paws especially as they get older.
Once our kitties get in the box what do they do? They smell the litter and start to dig to find the perfect place to go. If you have a litter that stirs up a lot of dust obviously that isn’t going to be good. A lot of mass produced litters contain silica dust which we really don’t want our cats breathing in. Silica dust has been linked to upper respiratory issues in cats as well as humans. Also, I am not a fan of litter that has fragrances as these can be toxic to our cats!
Clumping litter usually uses a natural substance called sodium bentonite. Though it’s safe as far as our cats breathing it in or walking in it, the concern comes in if they ingest it. How it makes the litter clump is it swells up to 15 times in volume which makes a great litter substrate for scooping those urine clumps out. However, if ingested it can cause gastrointestinal distress and even death.
So what is the best litter for our cats? We suggest using non toxic natural litters. There are plenty out there to choose from. There is grass, walnut shells, recycled paper, wood or coconut fibers (my favorite) just to name a few. Of course, I don’t suggest ever using a corn or soy based litter because of the mycotoxins and GMOs.
To find out what the best natural and safe litter is for your feline friend, just try one you think you like best and see how your cat likes it. The very best litter is a safe litter that your cat will use.