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Kitty Litters....?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
After reading many articles on the dangers of clumping cat litter, I'm thinking about changing. My cats have only ever known clumping and they've never had any trouble with it...oops, nope that's a lie, Roo went into the litter box immediately after I had just dumped clean sand in there once and the dust was extreme, even for me, but he went in there and not a minute later Darrell and I heard the distinct sound of a kitty choking. We ran into the laundry room and sure enough his tongue was sticking out and he was choking on the dust! So I ordered Darrell to grab him and follow me and I ran to the living room window and opened it and stuck Roo's head out the window so he could get some air. He calmed down and started playing within a few minutes as if nothing happened but that experience really affected us.

I heard that pearls are good. They soak up the urine and dry out the poo. So you just scoop out the poo and leave the pearls until they are all soaked up and then you put new stuff in. I'm not worried about my cats playing with them because we have a really deep litter box (an extra large tupperware storage container) and they cannot get the pearls out, although I'm sure they'll find a way.

I've seen stuff like cedar pellets and newspaper pellets. Do any of you have experience with this stuff? I was never concerned about odour before because I could always add baking soda to the sand, but if I change, I doubt I'll be able to do that.

We'll probably go in the next few days and pick up something so any advice would be great! Thanks guys! (and gals)
post #2 of 22
I will move this to care and grooming where they Kitty Litter is normally discussed.
post #3 of 22

All in all, I think it's a crap shoot. As we all know, cats are creatures of habit. Some will react to a change in their environment better than others. Someone I know started using the crystals. One of her cats was fine with the change; the other began peeing outside the box.

I have always used clumping. I have one cat who is non-liking of change and another who sometimes pees outside the box anyway. I am too scared to change and upset the apple cart in my house!
post #4 of 22
I have used clumping litter ever since it first came out. I have read only one article written about the dangers of clumping litter, and initially I had concerns, then Cornell University wrote a rebuttal to the claims that it causes "blockages" and intestinal problems etc..etc... They had apparently done a lot of testing of the product for the concerns of cat owners.

If you have a kitten who is actively eating kitty litter of any type, that kitten needs to be seen by a vet because chances are good it is suffering from a lack of something in its diet.

But there are a lot of litter products out there now, everything from litter made from wheat products, to recycled newspapers and pelletted litters. Lots more to choose from, and the bottom line is which one will work for you cat the best?
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
hmm, I was always comfortable with the clumping until Roo started choking on the air-born dust. but now I'm willing to try somthing different. I guess I'll keep a small supply of sand around just in case they don't like it.
post #6 of 22
Here's a couple of threads where litter has been discussed. Do a search for "litter", and you'll find a ton of others.


post #7 of 22
Tamme here you go

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hissy, thank-you so much for such an informative site!

Did you read the write up on Bobby? Many things about cats make me depressed but this actually made me cry! I don't cry that often but this was truly sad.

I think I'll stay with the litter since I don't have any trouble with it. There is hardly any odour and the cats like it. Only that one incident made me blink, but I think it's ok, it's just not ok for kittens, not until they're weaned.

Thanks again to everybody who responded so quickly! You're all 's
post #9 of 22
I have used all sorts of litters, but clumping is my litter of choice. If I don't use clumping I would be refilling a big box of litter 2x a day, and that gets really darn expensive.

I have used the Litter Pearls. They work pretty well I suppose. Less tracking. I've used Feline Pine (the cedar pellets) they work great for pee, but don't contain poo smells well at all. (So I would normally mix it with a bit of regular clumping litter.)
I have used the yesterdays News (paper) and sweatscoop, sweatscoop has the same problem, works great on pee, but doesn't hold in poo smells at all.

Have you thought about trying Papurr? It's a paper litter, and clumping. You can buy it at Target & Petsmart. It works really darn well for scents actually! And the smaller amount of it actually last longer then the clay based litters.

Tamme, about the dust, I had a similar scary problem with it once too! Some brands are down right horrible, others have very little dust to none at all, from different types. Personally, in the better brands it's only really bad when you first poor the litter in the box, I wait for it to settle and then I let my cats use it. After it's already in the box, they don't kick up too much dust.
post #10 of 22
I'm using the silica pearls type and I do quite like it. It's amazing at absorbing moisture. It also dries up poo nicely which helps reduce odours. One bag lasts approximately one month. My friend uses the same type for her 2 cats and they share a litter box. She was telling me a bag lasts slightly more than 3 weeks for her. Although it's a wee bit expensive, I'd rather use this type because it really helps keep the dampness non-existant and cuts down smells quite significantly. Pixie did not have any issues adjusting to it from clumping litter. Took her 2 days to get used to it though. Stray balls tend to land on the floor at times but they are easily swept up.

Everyday, I just have to clear out the poop, stir the balls around to 'refresh' and remove the sifter part from the box and empty out the grounded sand at the bottom of the pan.
post #11 of 22
Last month I bought Tidy cats Crystal Blend and was pretty impressed with it. It was not clumping, but that's ok with me...I don't like the clumping kind. Anyway, the Crystal Blend helped with the odors a lot and it seemed to absorb the pee quite well. I found that it was kind of pricey (I think almost $5 for a 10 pound bag) and with 5 litter boxes it adds up quickly. I usually use the regular Tidy Cats for Multiple cats and it works better than some brands I've tried. I might get some Crystals and mix the two together...it would be practically the same thing as the Crystal Blend.
Just my opinion...thoughts for you to chew on!LOL!
post #12 of 22
i've wondered about whether clumping was better than crystals and vice versa for awhile.

i've been using clumping litter for a long time too, and they seem to like it best.

though it does create way too much dust for me, i think i'm allergic. Cameron has been wanting to give the crystals another try.

he thinks it's cleaner and obviously, there's no dust - but i don't think it works as well.
there's always puddles of urine on the bottom of the cat box ... :confused2

we've been thinking of putting out 3 boxes with 3 seperate litters and just seeing which they like best.

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by blue
we've been thinking of putting out 3 boxes with 3 seperate litters and just seeing which they like best.
That sounds good, a lot of clean-up would be involved and it sounds a little expensive but I would really like to hear the results of that research!
post #14 of 22
My cats have used pretty much any litter I have put in front of them, and I've used just about every brand on the usa market lol.

That is true though, about the litter pearls, for my gang... it didn't seem to work wonders, it was just ok. And I did always find puddles or wetness at the bottom of the box, so the pearls obviously couldn't absorbe as much as I had hoped!

Tamme, if you get concered about the more 'natural' litters not doing their job to contain the poo smell, like so many other cat lovers. Then I would suggest your next step to be to buy Papurr. It is my second fav litter and I have tried at LEAST 20 litters on various cats.
Not every litter will work the same for every cat. Any of the Tidy Cats blends, my cats laugh at! Odors, pauh, you gotta wear a gas mask to go in there when I use that litter, lol.
So don't be surprised if you don't have the same exact result as the next person.

The box looks a bit different now (and with harder clumping action.) You can find it at Petsmart and Target (possibly other places.)
It comes in clumping and non clumping, though I have only tried clumping. It is made of 100% recyled paper!! It is fully biodegradable! And for the small box size, it really DOES last a long time. 10 pounds of this is compairable to like 15 or 20 pounds of clay. Also my Asim uses the box an excessive amount for a cat! So it would probably last longer for other users. And for any cat I have tested it on, it holds up #2 in line of smells for pee and poo.
post #15 of 22
Anyone using the LitterMaid? We are on our second one, like it except when it gets stuck.
post #16 of 22
If cats could decide, they would have a giant self cleaning sand box 6ft wide and 3 ft deep surrounded by a 6ft high cat nip hedge which is also home to a few sparrows and robins and some mice...
But unfortunately...
Not all of us can spoil our cats as much as we would like to.

For us the answer seems to be silica gel as opposed to clumping litter for these reasons.

1- Silica gel absorbs. It doesn't clump.
A) SO this means that when your cat pees, the moisture is absorbed by the balls but they don't clump up right? In the long run this means kitty has always got enough litter in the box because none of it has turned into a big solid wedge. Clumping litter does that. It sort of dissolves into a big clay lump when your cat pees so that as the day progresses your cat has less litter in his litter box. And this equivalent to you or me having to use an unflushed toilet.

B) As for cat poo... Because the gel absorbs the moisture present, it also deodorises. This will become evident when you start using silica gel because you don't need to hold your breath while cleaning out the kitty litter. For yor cat, this means their toilet never really smells bad.

2- Silica Gel needs less cleaning.
Clumping kitty litter needs a lot more attention.
WIth silica gel you only really need to shake it once a day and remove cat poo.

3- This may not be true for your cats but...
With our cats it was easier to get them to use one litter box with silica gel, than with clumping litter. I believe this is because of the smell factor.

4- Silica gel is slightly more expensive, but if you can afford it, it's worth it.
post #17 of 22
What about flushable litter? Any thoughts, anyone?
post #18 of 22
most silica gel based litters are flushable.
It is possible to flush an entire bag down your toilet in two or three flushes.
post #19 of 22
Originally posted by Prinny
What about flushable litter? Any thoughts, anyone?
I personally wouldn't flush anything other than toilet paper and "the usual" stuff. I know there are products that *say* they are flushable (like tampons, litter etc), but I've also heard plumbers say tampons are one of the most common reasons for clogged toilets, and imagine a few toilets have been clogged with litter as well.

Flushable litter is definitely not recommended if you have septic system.

I have a friend whose cats has used two different silica (I think) litters.. .the cats seem to use it just fine but it wasn't my favorite to clean. One type was a ball type, but when the urine was absorbed, I could see the urine sloshing around inside the balls. Then there was a rock - type litter that absorbed the urine without sloshing, but I didn't like the yellow color that the silica turns.

I prefer the clumping type. I just put them in bags and dump them in the garbage. It's clay, which is a natural substance.
post #20 of 22
I also never flush anything unless it's like toliet paper. Even if it says flushable I never do. Specially not litters.
post #21 of 22
I decided to try Papurr right away, and Willie has had no complaints, even when I have "Ooops, I was supposed to clean the box this morning" moments. He really likes to get in his box and dig (boy, am I glad I bought a covered box). The only real problem? He tracks it everywhere! I bought a little mat to put in front of his box, but it isn't big enough. Still, if that's my biggest problem, I think I'll stick with it.
post #22 of 22
Every single litter I have EVER used, tracks. I have used many different types I even used to have one of those stupid matts, it ALL tracks, hahaha.
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