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crystal vs flushable Biodegradable vs clay litter

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Which one do you prefer? And why? Please let me know if your cats are long haired or short haired or both


I will get to the bttm of this lol
post #2 of 17
First off here are the kitties: ~4yr old male DSH, 2,~8 month old DSH kittens

Box: large regular covered box, and large Omega Paw roll-away box

Litters I've tried:
Clay litters
petsmart Exquisicat clumping clay unscented
petco brand clumping clay litter
Scoopaway (scented) clumping clay litter (for brother's cats)
Arm & Hammer extra strength (scented) clumping clay litter (for brother's cats)

"natural"/flushable litters
world's best cat litter regular and extra strength
"fresh idea" (or similar name) corn-based pine scented litter from wal-mart
Feline Pine Scoop (clumping from pine)
Papurr scoop (clumping from paper)
Chicken layer granules (corn and other grain chicken feed used as litter)

Of these here are the advantages and disadvantages I've noticed...

Clay Clumping litters:
Very good clumping usually (the scoop away was top on that mark)
Very good at odor control (varies by brand)
Relatively cheap (depends on brand)
Readily available in most locations

Very heavy, so not easy to haul, scoop, and less area coverage per weight (same weight box as the pine or corn litter covers less area in the litter pan)
Can be very dusty- silica dust is very harmful for humans and animals to breath in
Scented litters can be offensive to you and the cats
Harmful if swallowed (esp. for kittens..turns to basically cement in their intestines)

Natural litters-(note this is "across the board, my overall favorite is WBCL)
Flushable!- although some suggest not doing so, especially if you have a septic tank
Light weight- same weight as clay covers more area, easier to lift and scoop
Not dusty- MOST types are not nearly as dusty as clay, in any case it isn't silica dust so not as harmful if it is inhaled (WBCL has virtually no dust at all while feline pine scoop is VERY dusty IMO)
Good for the environment- renewable resources
Not harmful if swallowed

Generally not as good clumping as the clay
Generally more expensive (per weight) than clay (except the chicken feed)
Can be harder to come by, not sold everywhere
Some types can be lousy on odor control

So, overall, If I had to pick one of each, (best all-around)
I'd say look at scoop away (as unscented as possible) and WBCL...

Also note, that you can email the companies and they might give you coupons to try their product (this worked for me and WBCL)

You can also get non-clumping natural litters like yesterday's news, feline pine, swheat scoop, and even wood-stove pellets. With those, you scoop the poo and leave the urine to break down the litter in the bottom of the tray. I have not tried any of those before, so can't give feedback on them.

I am currently using a mix of WBCL and papurr scoop. When I am out of the papurr scoop I will be trying a mix of WBCL and feline pine scoop.

When I flushed mine down the toilet (I just throw it out now) it is important to note that you can only dump the clumps and poo down the toilet, not a whole box full... I usually let mine sit for a while to degrade, then flushed it down. Didn't have any problems with any of the ones I listed.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
WBCL is that worlds best cat litter that you buy from pet smart?

Do you get the sented one? You find it is best for oder control?
post #4 of 17
We've used clay most of our lives. It does suck up the odour (as long as someone makes sure the poo is covered over lol), but if you have darker floors it can get a bit messy like you have a kid with chalksticks. The bags are extremely heavy to move around. But very cheap. Not biodegradable.

I tried the crystal one once, Charlie hated the noise it made under his feet and the way it sunk down. It was also dangerous for anyone to walk barefoot into the laundry as they pieces are extremely hard and sharp. Lighter packaging.

Atm we're now trying recycled paper pellets on Charlie, but Cleo has been using them since we adopted her, she poos outside in her enclosure, but pees inside at night. They are soft, biodegradable, and so far, my baby seems to like them. Also as they are extremely absorbant, i can't smell any urine. You could pick up a 15ltr bag and it will weigh 1/5th the weight of a 15ltr clay bag or less. Very good to move around and store. Also has the advantage of not being noisy when the babies are digging.

We also once tried recycled paper flake type things, but Charlie couldn't really dig into them and it was just weird.

Chuckie is short-medium hair, Cleo is short haired.
post #5 of 17
HATE crystals. My cats refuse to poop on Feline Pine. I like Scoop Away clumping litter. All short hair.
post #6 of 17
I like the regular clumping litter, no crystals added. I personally found the crystals didn't help odor one bit but my mom swears by it. I like the clumping litter b/c its so much easier to scoop 1-2 times a day rather than do a complete renewal like you would with clay litter every 3-4 days.

I personally combine Tidy Cat's Immediate Odor Control Clumping (blue) with the Special Kitty clumping (green) from Walmart. TC controls odor well and the SK clumps great. My girls are both shorthairs.
post #7 of 17
Yes, World's best cat litter...and petsmart has a good price on it (compared to petco) if you get coupons from WBCL then you can really get a deal if it's on sale at petsmart

There are two types, the regular and the "extra strength"... I wouldn't call either "scented"... the extra strength smells less "corny", so probably more processed. The regular smells like sweet feed, but it's not unpleasent. I tend to avoid scented litters as I don't like strong odors and once had a cat that was allergic to scented clay litter.

I don't see much of a difference between the two WBCL. If one is on sale, get it verses the other... usually the extra strength goes for about $1 more a bag here (7lb) and it IS cheaper to get it in the large bag, unless the smaller one is on sale.

If you try the WBCL and like it, but can't handle the price, chicken feed is a viable alternative... I have heard that purina layena (un medicated) is the best... The only problem with the chicken feed that I found was that it didn't clump as well and it has NO odor controling agents.

post #8 of 17
When I had a cat years ago, I used clay litter and hated the dust. It's just awful to deal with.

I recently (Dec) adopted 2 kitties who were using clay litter in their foster home. But I really wanted to avoid clay so I got Swheat Scoop and have been using that. Both cats have used it without protest. One downside is that the fresher clumps tend to fall apart more easily so I'm more careful when scooping to try to keep the clumps intact. Not much of an issue. The major downside is that the clumps cement to litter box. And liners don't help me much because one of my cats digs like crazy and scratches the liner to shreds.

I have decided to try WBCL and just picked up a bag yesterday. I got the Extra Strength only because it was slightly cheaper. A couple questions I have for WBCL users is does it stick to the litter box like SS and does it track as much? The sticking to the litter box thing is a big issue because I'm having to wash it out every couple of weeks to keep it clean with SS.
post #9 of 17
Of the litters I've tried, WBCL sticks to the litter box the least... The only organic (of the 3 I've tried) that really sticks to the box is the papurr scoop. I am currently mixing it 50/50 with WBCL and it's doing ok.

Tracking is not so much an issue... I haven't noticed much tracking with the WBCL it is "heavier" and "coarser" than, say feline pine scoop, so it doesn't track and stick to their feet at all, IME.
post #10 of 17
Oh i have to add about the clumping. I think it's such a waste. The whole bottom of the tray was one solid piece that has to be dug up, then the tray was half empty. I didn't like it at all
post #11 of 17
Hey, artgecko,

Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
"fresh idea" (or similar name) corn-based pine scented litter from wal-mart
Is this like WBCL??
How did it compare with WBCL? Did it work the same? Was it cheaper?

Thanks for your help,
post #12 of 17
Sorry, been busy this week...

It comes in a plastic bag (similar looking to the natures miracle bag in shape but with purple and green and a cat on the front).

It is a good bit cheaper, but sold in smaller bags, so about $4 for a 6lb bag (if I remember correctly).

It clumps ok, about the same as WBCL, maybe a little less well.

Odor control is hard to say, as it has SUCH a strong fake-PINE scent to it... I am biased against strongly odored litters (and anything for that matter) so if you don't mind that sort of thing you might like it. All I know is that every time I opened the container the pine hit me in the face, lol.

It is worth a try and definately comparable to WBCL with a more reasonable price tag. I didn't see it at my wal-mart the last time I went.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
what do you think of natures miracle litter? It seems amazing so far I mixed it with the WBCL
post #14 of 17
I have seen it, but haven't tried it as I have heard that it is very smelly (perfumy)... Is that so? I have heard that it clumps well, but doesn't do a good job on odor tong-term, but again, just word of mouth as I haven't tried it.

I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on the smelliness and clumpage of it, as I've thought about getting it (because it is cheaper than WBCL) but have stayed away due to those issues.

post #15 of 17
I've tried all three.

Clay I don't like at all. It's dusty and gets stuck on things. Our old cat, Patches, got clay litter stuck between her toes, and it basically cemented in there. We had to cut it out, which was not much fun for any involved.

Crystals were great for our digger. Pups tends to throw litter everywhere, and the crystals are too heavy for him to fling out of the box. However, they aren't flushable, and they're expensive.

We use corn-based. However, I tried WBCL, and I hated it. I still have a bag downstairs. I've been using Arm & Hammer High Performance cat litter. Flushable and looks corn-based. It does a much better job with odor control (as good as the clay litters), and it clumps pretty well. The only bad thing is that it's so light that Pups does make a little litter-pile.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
yeah the NM litter is MUCH Better than WBCL I find, I have not smelled anything it days...
post #17 of 17
I've only had the crystal (I've used Fresh Step and Litter Pearls). Works well, imo. Only complaint is that the bottom of the bag/jug has a lot of dust in it when pouring new stuff in the box.
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