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Does Anyone Know About Natural Litters? Need Help Choosing...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm new to this site and thought I would ask a question that has been haunting me for weeks now. My husband and I have four cats, two of them are large breeds (male Maine Coons, 20 and 17lbs) and we're having soooo much trouble finding a cat litter we are comfortable with. We've been trying feline pine, but the cats all seem to hate it and I have not yet been able to transition them over completely. I'm also having other problems out of the FP and would like to try something else. I want to stay away from clay based, clumping litters due to the fact that my cats LOVE water and they are constantly getting themselves wet and then climbing into the litter box where their feet are immediately covered in clumps that are ridiculously impossible to remove. Not to mention the fact that clay litter can be extremely unhealthy if digested, and if I don't get EVERY little clump off their feet, it will eventually wind up in their tummies during self-grooming. I wouldn't mind using natural clumping litters, but none of them seem to be what we're looking for. I'm adamantly opposed to using FOOD as litter and will not consider using corn or wheat based litter. I wouldn't mind using Natures Miracle which is derived from corn cob, but one of the ingredients in NM is pine oil which can be toxic to cats! So... I'm at a loss. Can anyone suggest a type of natural litter that is either:

A. Non-clumpable but NOT smelly (I liked the idea that we could leave the PF in the box until most of the pellets were dissolved and sift the used material out. I don't want to have to empty the box each day, I would feel incredibly wasteful) or...
B. Clumpable but not toxic if ingested

Thanks in advance!

Rina

PS. How do you all get pictures of your cats on this site? They're all beautiful!
post #2 of 28
I use Nature's Miracle, which is corncob based. It answers to all your specifications.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Natures Miracle has pine oil as an ingredient. I've heard that pine oil is toxic to cats... does anyone else know anything about that?
post #4 of 28
Pine oil is if concentrated My guess is it is synthetic in the natures mircle ( but I dont know for sure)

I use egg layer crumbles ie chn feed ... if you can get past the corny smell it works great ...
post #5 of 28
There is no pine oil in Nature's Miracle.
They use a kind of citrus. It doesn't smell much at all; Gizmo likes it, and she's asthmatic and has allergies. There are no synthetics in the litter that I know of.

I don't recommend using corn since it's a food. It will attract bugs and mice and tracks badly, from my experience with it.

There is another organic litter called Feline Pine. I suspect it's Pine-Sol that is toxic to cats, not pine smell.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
<<There is no pine oil in Nature's Miracle.
They use a kind of citrus. It doesn't smell much at all; Gizmo likes it, and she's asthmatic and has allergies. There are no synthetics in the litter that I know of.>>

I spoke with the company two or three days ago, they are the ones who told me there was pure pine oil in it (non-synthetic.) Perhaps it's just not listed as an ingredient on the label? They *say* that it isn't harmful, but everything I've heard suggests otherwise. :o(

<<There is another organic litter called Feline Pine.>>

Feline Pine is what we've been using (supposedly the process used to make the pellets eliminates the toxins found in pine oil.) I'm having some problems with the FP, though. One of my cats wont use it at all, and the other one has runny stool pretty frequently (we have yet to figure out why) and FP is horrible at masking the smell. The cats also have a hard time completely covering solid waste with FP. I'm always worried someone is going to step in it!

Anyway, we're still searching for the "perfect" litter. :o)
post #7 of 28
My cat is asthmatic and has allergies. She does fine with Nature's Miracle, piney or no. She was delivered to me with an incredibly dusty clay litter that made us both choke. This stuff is better.

I've heard that one should avoid using cedar and citrus in cat products, but nothing about pine.
post #8 of 28
I havent had bug issues other than when I left the bag in the garage ( but I do live in a sub rural area

Pine , citrus and most aromatic oils should be used with extreme caution around cats ...
post #9 of 28
I've used Chicken Feed for over a year and have never had any problem with bugs or rodents and I do live in a rural area. I'm sure the cats wouldn't mind if I did because they would deem it "extra entertainment".


I also use Natures Miracle in an upstairs box and no one seems to have any problems with it. It does seem like it would track pretty easy, but I use it in a Booda Clean Step so it's mostly caught on the steps.
post #10 of 28
I did not like the chicken feed based litter (forget the brand, but it was pure chicken feed corn) because it tracked literally all over the house; poor Gizmo could not get it off her feet. I lost it when I saw little yellow paw prints on my pillow and dumped it the next day.

Some people have also written about meal moths in the wheat based litter. Granted, Gizmo might eat the moths if she found any; but I just find it easier to just use the corncob based stuff.
post #11 of 28
I've been using SWeatscoop for the past few months. Clumps up nicely, masks odors pretty well and easy to clean up. I had tried clay and reg. clumping litters which I didn't care for (Iris thought the smell was heavenly and wanted to eat it). Switched to the wheat and no problems. I scoop 2x/day and change out every wk or so.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rina_Marie View Post
Hello, I'm new to this site and thought I would ask a question that has been haunting me for weeks now. My husband and I have four cats, two of them are large breeds (male Maine Coons, 20 and 17lbs) and we're having soooo much trouble finding a cat litter we are comfortable with. We've been trying feline pine, but the cats all seem to hate it and I have not yet been able to transition them over completely. I'm also having other problems out of the FP and would like to try something else. I want to stay away from clay based, clumping litters due to the fact that my cats LOVE water and they are constantly getting themselves wet and then climbing into the litter box where their feet are immediately covered in clumps that are ridiculously impossible to remove. Not to mention the fact that clay litter can be extremely unhealthy if digested, and if I don't get EVERY little clump off their feet, it will eventually wind up in their tummies during self-grooming. I wouldn't mind using natural clumping litters, but none of them seem to be what we're looking for. I'm adamantly opposed to using FOOD as litter and will not consider using corn or wheat based litter. I wouldn't mind using Natures Miracle which is derived from corn cob, but one of the ingredients in NM is pine oil which can be toxic to cats! So... I'm at a loss. Can anyone suggest a type of natural litter that is either:

A. Non-clumpable but NOT smelly (I liked the idea that we could leave the PF in the box until most of the pellets were dissolved and sift the used material out. I don't want to have to empty the box each day, I would feel incredibly wasteful) or...
B. Clumpable but not toxic if ingested

Thanks in advance!

Rina

PS. How do you all get pictures of your cats on this site? They're all beautiful!
Have you tried the Feline Pine Scoopable in the purple bag? It is pine sawdust. It does clump and is flushable.
post #13 of 28
Nature's Miracle:

scoop several times a day (twice, minimum)

change box once every three weeks

It's much more practical than the other organic litters I've tried. I would be interested in the Feline Pine sawdust but why change if the cat and I have stuff we like?

And it's obvious that pine has no serious effect on cats. I was told it was cedar that was bad for them.
post #14 of 28
I change boxes every two or three weeks and a daily scooping ( okay sometimes twice)
post #15 of 28
I live in BC, Canada. Does anyone know where I might be able to find Nature's Miracle? I don't remember seeing it at PetSmart, where I often go.

I'm in the process of trying to switch from clumping clay litter to Feline Pine, but the cats hate it, even with changing the litter VERY slowly. However, I'll keep FP around because that's what the new cat I'm adopting is used to....Ah, the joys of a multi-cat household
post #16 of 28
I'm from Ontario, and I'm pretty sure I saw it at the Pet Value. If they don't have it in stock, you might want to try asking too...they've ordered stuff in for us without problem before.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
<<Have you tried the Feline Pine Scoopable in the purple bag? It is pine sawdust. It does clump and is flushable.>>

No, I haven't even seen the scoopable. Is it good about not tracking?

On a positive note, I think my cats are doing better with the regular Feline Pine! Two of my cats have now switched over completely, and the other is using about half FP and half regular right now. Hopefully I'll be able to transition him fully soon. I made a self-cleaning FP box last night by taking two tupperware containers and putting one inside the other. The one on top has holes in it (I made them using a drill) and it's catching ALL the sawdust that is left from the used pellets, so all I have to do is clean out the solids! So far, it's working just great! YAY! Now just pray with me that I'll be able to get Arek to use the FP with the other two, and everything will be perfect!
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
<<I live in BC, Canada. Does anyone know where I might be able to find Nature's Miracle? I don't remember seeing it at PetSmart, where I often go.>>

I know you can buy it at petco, but if you don't have a petco close to you, you can give them (petco) a call and have them tell you the 1-800 number for Natures Miracle (it's on the bag.) Then you can call the company and find out who the distributors are near you. I used to have the number, but I lost it. If you have a hard time finding it, let me know, and I'll get it for you.
post #19 of 28
I use chicken feed for litter. It is great and inexpensive and no tracking, BUT, I think in the summer it sours in the box quickly. I think I will switch to swheat this summer. I need to have an organic litter, because I can't stand the dust of the commercial brands. I just about die filling and scooping. It can't be very good for the cats either. that is why I am not opposed to a food based litter. I mean if it is natural, it would have to be edible wouldn't it. If it is made from a plant material, oh well I guess pine is not edible, but pine nuts are. Has anyone used the yesterdays news? I am curious about that, but when I squeeze it thru the bag, it seems really hard.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rina_Marie View Post
<<Have you tried the Feline Pine Scoopable in the purple bag? It is pine sawdust. It does clump and is flushable.>>

No, I haven't even seen the scoopable. Is it good about not tracking?
To be completely honest, it does track. Prego and Polly left little sawdust footprints on my couch when we tried it, but the sawdust wipes off easily with just your hand.
post #21 of 28
Nature's Miracle is available through amazon.com, but I'd check some Canadian stores to see if it's distributed locally to save taxes and shipping.

Gizmo knocks some of this out of her box but I never see the litter anywhere but in the bathroom. I got some squares of carpet remnant and put them under the litterbox (I have an oddly shaped sink with one leg in front that necessitates using more than one piece.) The best idea was putting a Welcome doormat inside the bathroom door! When Gizmo comes out of the room, the last bits of litter are left on the mat.

She wipes her front paws thoroughly when exiting the box, but sometimes the rear paws have a little bit left.
I keep a broom in the bathroom and sweep up the little crumbs, then vacuum.

Here's a shot of Gizmo lying on the doormat:



The mat is a sort of plastic substance, so that it's thin enough to stay flat when the door is closed.
post #22 of 28
I recently added two kittens to my household, making 3 cats altogether. They are from a litter of 4 from a stray we adotped. So at one point, we had 6 cats to take care of - which means constant litterbox scooping. I tried every natural litter I could find and finally discovered a brand called "World's Best Cat Litter". I almost didn't buy it because the name annoyed me, but have been very impressed with it's performance. It's made from whole-kernel corn, environmentally safe, and "99% dust free, containing no clays, silica, synthetic binding or dust reducing agents". It's also very easy to scoop...I'm sold!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
I use chicken feed for litter. It is great and inexpensive and no tracking, BUT, I think in the summer it sours in the box quickly. I think I will switch to swheat this summer. I need to have an organic litter, because I can't stand the dust of the commercial brands. I just about die filling and scooping. It can't be very good for the cats either. that is why I am not opposed to a food based litter. I mean if it is natural, it would have to be edible wouldn't it. If it is made from a plant material, oh well I guess pine is not edible, but pine nuts are. Has anyone used the yesterdays news? I am curious about that, but when I squeeze it thru the bag, it seems really hard.
yesturdays news the odor control didnt work for me .. it is recylded newpaper...
post #24 of 28
I second that Sharky!
We used it for the kittens when they were itty-bitty and the odour control is almost nill.
post #25 of 28
For a time when my cat Max had to be declawed,(It was that or wake up to find the other cat dead in the morning if she slipped out of the bedroom. Other cat WOULD NOT defend herself, and Max is a ruthless attacker.x.x) We had to use Oatmeal so her paws wouldn't get infected. It doesn't clump that well, but it is non-toxic to cats (as far as I know. I saw a post of someone's cat EATING oatmeal...), very little dust, and it doesn't smell as long as you clean it once in the morning and once at night. You can probably get oatmeal cheap if you buy in bulk or in large containers, probably at a store like Aldi. My mom said she actually spent less on the oatmeal then the normal brand we bought. odd. Replacing the whole thing once a week is good,too.
post #26 of 28
I use swheat scoop, couldn't really be any more happy with it
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
I second that Sharky!
We used it for the kittens when they were itty-bitty and the odour control is almost nill.
I third that with yesterday's news. It was horrible!!! We bought a big bag thinking it would do really well but it went to waste. I don't even know what to do with the rest of the bag. Tt doesn't even control urine odor so forget controlling poop smell. It doesn't clump at all so it's horrible and I think my cats hated it.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rina_Marie View Post
<<Have you tried the Feline Pine Scoopable in the purple bag? It is pine sawdust. It does clump and is flushable.>>

No, I haven't even seen the scoopable. Is it good about not tracking?

On a positive note, I think my cats are doing better with the regular Feline Pine! Two of my cats have now switched over completely, and the other is using about half FP and half regular right now. Hopefully I'll be able to transition him fully soon. I made a self-cleaning FP box last night by taking two tupperware containers and putting one inside the other. The one on top has holes in it (I made them using a drill) and it's catching ALL the sawdust that is left from the used pellets, so all I have to do is clean out the solids! So far, it's working just great! YAY! Now just pray with me that I'll be able to get Arek to use the FP with the other two, and everything will be perfect!
I just use a regular litter box without a sifter and it's just as good. The poop gets covered up better once the pellets breaks down to saw dust so I just change the whole entire litter box once a week. I haven't tried the FP scoop but the instruction does state you will need to put more in the box. It's in a shaved form than the pellet form. The only problem I have with FP is it doesn't do well in covering up the poop so the first 2 days of new litter really stinks up the bathroom.
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