Ever since people have been keeping pet cats indoors, cat litter has been something that’s necessary. Years ago, people used to bring in garden dirt, sand or even ashes in a box, to provide their cats some place for peeing and pooping. In the late forties, commercial cat litters were created.

There’s a whole variety of different cat litters and litter boxes that are available in the market now that try to eliminate odors in the box and provide dust free solutions. With so many variants, it’s difficult to decide what litter would be best for both you and your kitty. When considering which litter to use, look for one that is highly absorbent, masks odors, is easy to clean and has low tracking so it won’t stick to your cat’s feet.

Types of Cat Litters

Paper Litter

Paper litter is one of the most widely available forms of litter and can range from torn up paper to pellet forms. Instead of being able to top this type of litter up, it has to be completely replaced every couple of days. It typically has less odor control than other forms of litter.

Crystal Litter

Crystal litter can be dusty as it’s made from silica crystals. This type of litter visibly changes to yellow when used.

Non-Clumping Clay Litter

This type of litter is far more absorbent than paper and crystal to absorb odors and liquids. It comes in a variety of different formats. The urine just soaks into it and the feces stay on top of it. Therefore, you have to scoop thoroughly to get all the urine soaked litter out.

Clumping Clay Litter

Clumping clay litters contain a product called Bentonite, which enable the litter to form a clump when exposed to liquid. This type of litter makes it easy to remove waste and the litter tray can stay cleaner for longer. Clumping litter is great if you have multiple cats because the clumps are very easy to remove from the litter box.

Corn Cob Litter

This is a relatively new kind of cat litter which does not clump. It works the same way as the clay type litter and it resembles sand or dirt outdoors. Some cats like this because it’s softer on their feet and its a little bit finer grade.

Most Popular Commercial Cat Litter

Finding the perfect cat litter is every cat owners dream and luckily Dr. Elsey’s makes litter for practically every cat in your home. If you’re looking for a clumping litter that does it all, their low tracking ‘Classic Litter’ is 99.9 percent dust free and hypoallergenic. Plus it clumps hard for easy cleanup.

If you have more than one cat, try their ‘Multi Cat Ultra Litter’. Their Ultra Scented Litter releases a fragrance when it comes in contact with moisture.

Have your kitties stopped using their litter box? Bring them back with Dr. Elsey’s ‘Cat and Kitten Attract Litter’. It’s a scoopable litter infused with a natural herb attractant that encourages cats to use the litter box.  If you don’t want to switch litters completely, their cat attractant litter additive can be sprinkled over unscented litter to get the same benefit.

Does your kitty enjoy the great outdoors? You can bring the outdoor experience inside, with ‘Touch of Outdoors’. It’s made with all-natural chemical free Prairie grasses to help enrich your indoor kitty’s environment.

Is your cat experiencing respiratory issues? ‘R&R Respiratory Relief’ can help control feline respiratory disease. It’s hypoallergenic, low in dust and comes in clumping clay and silica gel.

Now if you’ve got an older kitty with mobility issues or a kitty who’s post-surgery, keeping them clean while they use the litter box can be tricky. But ‘Dr. Elsey’s Senior Formula’ contains silica crystals that trap odor and bacteria on contact. This keeps the soiled litter away from your cats behind and helps prevent kidney failure and urinary tract infections in the process. Their ‘Long-Haired Cat Formula’ also has similar benefits as the fine silica gel particles won’t stick to your cats long and luscious hair or discolor it.

If you’re looking for a way to monitor your cat’s urinary health, Dr. Elsey’s ‘Health Monitor Everyday Litter’ allows you to check your cat’s urine in the comfort of their own home. And just in case your kitty had a little accident, Dr. Elsey’s have got a solution. It’s called Urine Removal Program with aromatherapy. It’s used to remove urine odor no matter how long it’s been around.

Does Your Cat Avoid the Litter Box?

There may be many reasons why cats have house soiling problems or use the litter box inappropriately. Firstly, your cat may have a medical condition. If your cat is peeing or pooping outside the box, you have to first rule out urinary tract infections, cystitis or a feline lower urinary tract disease.

The second main reason is that they have litter box aversion and they don’t like their type of box or their litter. Also they may not like the location or size of their litter box. Inter cat aggression or behavior problems amongst your cat pack are other reasons why cats will urinate inappropriately.

A study in the early 1990s which evaluated which preferences cats had when it came to what type of litter you provided, clearly demonstrated that most cats hands-down preferred clumpable clay litter. The smaller substrate size, which means the small granular material that, would be like sand was much more preferred over larger particle size.

Most of the cat owners would be more interested in providing a litter that is non-toxic to the cat. The problem with traditional clumping litters is that if cats consume them, they can have gastrointestinal foreign body issues. Clumping litter often times get stuck in the cat’s pads and many cat litters on the market contain silica dust that can cause respiratory problems with cats.

Apart from this, many cat litters have a scent included. Cat litter manufacturers recognize that you’re providing a smell or scent control in the toilet area. Those scents can either be luring to your cat or they can be a problem. Research done in the past few years shows that cats have an aversion to scented litters that are floral or citrus scented.

Cats don’t like a dirty box. Therefore even if you’re lifting up the fecal material, the urine scent that remains in the box can actually provide enough of a deterrent that your cat will not use that box again. If you are using an unscented litter, you have to be very particular about scooping the box twice a day and removing the urine on a daily basis. You may disinfect the entire litter pan at least weekly.

Litter box size also affects your cat’s behavior. Cats usually prefer large litter boxes and use them more frequently than the smaller litter boxes. The number of cats you have in your house also affects your cat’s tendency to urinate outside the litter box. You need to make sure that you have at least one box per cat and that those boxes are kept very clean.

You have to remember that your cat is an individual and that his or her preferences for the size of the litter box, the odor control, the texture or the granular substrate, what the litter smells like, how it feels on their paws as well as the location of the litter box, can all play into how effectively your cat chooses to use his or her litter box.

cat litter box cleaning and maintenance

Best Hidden Cat Litter Box

Hidden Litter Box from Good Pet Stuff is a popular multi cat litter box that is disguised as a planter. The goal of this litter box is to be able to have your litter box somewhere out in the open and not look like a litter box.

It comes with an artificial plant with wires embedded inside. You can twist and turn the plant to change the direction of the leaves to suit your preference. You also get some fake moss to kind of cover up the top. You do not need to use a liner because the bottom is generously sized and is very flexible. It will be easier to scoop any clumps that stick to the sides by bending or flexing the sides. The assembly is super easy and the instruction sheet is provided.

Setting up and Cleaning Your Kitty’s Litter Box

Litter box issues are common problems for cat owners. Here are a few steps and helpful tips to prevent another catastrophe.

  • First you have to pick the right type of pan. These are of three types – the simple tray pan, the hooded box and the self-cleaning box. Pans are the simplest of litter boxes but they can get a little bit messy if your cat tracks litter after doing its business. The open top leaves easy access for cleaning but it also doesn’t do anything to prevent the odors from spreading.
  • The hooded box on the other hand traps the smells inside but that means it’ll need to be changed more often. So if you’re really busy during the week, you might want to consider one of the other two.
  • The self cleaning box is the premium type of box. If your cats get scared easily, this might not be the right box for it because of the automatic motion and noise.
  • Choose a location that’s easily accessible for your kitty. Try to keep it away from washing machines, air conditioning units anything that might scare away your furry friends from using the box. Also try to keep it away from your pet’s food and water bowls. Finally fill your box with litter no more than two inches.
  • Once you find a litter that works for your cat try not to switch it up because they might get confused and stop using the litter box. You should skip out solid waste daily, which means you’ll have to change the entire litter and clean out the box, less often. You should change out the litter completely when the smell gets too bad or you notice a lot of clumping. Some litters need to be changed once a week while others only once every two to three weeks if it’s well maintained.
  • Make sure you fully clean up all accidents left by your cat or the smell might attract him to the wrong spot again. For the best results, we recommend you clean up any mess with an enzymatic cleaner.
  • Also ensure that the litter box is in a convenient place for your feline friend, someplace out of the way and quiet, but accessible.
  • The litter box should be one and a half times the size of the cat, so he’s comfortable using it. In addition, most cats prefer unscented litter and no liners in their box.