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Narrowing Down Litter Choices - Help?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I used to use Fresh Step, but it got too dusty for us, and I didn't want Mango inhaling that stuff all the time, so I switched to Feline Pine scoopable. That litter tracked like mad and I found litter everywhere, so I decided to try WBCL.

It doesn't smell the greatest once soiled, but I like it a lot so far - minimal tracking and clumps well. Unfortunately, whatever IS tracked onto the floor is being eaten up by my dog, who is allergic to corn.

I try to sweep twice a day, but I see her still licking the ground often.

So I'm looking for help in picking a new litter. It has to clump, hide odor reasonably well, and not contain any "food" ingredients that might entice my dog to eat it.

I've been eyeing Yesterday's News, but from what I remember about using it for rabbits in the past, it doesn't clump, right? It just absorbs and the paper pellets swell up? How is the odor? How often does the entire litter box need to be dumped out and completely new litter put in?

Thanks for any comments in advance!
post #2 of 20
I'm using the regular FP - not the scoopable. FP on the bottom, Swheat scoop on the top/surface. IMO, regular FP is pretty good on hiding odor.

I also started using Swheat scoop multicats, just to see how different it is to the regular. I don't really notice any difference, though...
post #3 of 20
i use 1 of 2 [depending on what's available when i need litter ] - 1st choice is ScoopAway - clumps REALLY hard, does ok on odor [i get unscented]. 2nd choice [when they either don't have the ScoopAway, or, at least, don't have the unscented] is Petsmart's Exquisicat. doesn't clump as hard as the ScoopAway, & is a bit more dusty, but it's acceptable.
both are clays, btw.
post #4 of 20
I like the wood stove pellets.
post #5 of 20
Yes, you are correct; Yesterday's News is not a clumping litter. I used it for about two months and I really liked it. It needs to be entirely changed about once a week, although I think I was able to stretch it to more like 10 days. If you use a fairly thin layer, it dries out pretty well. As long as you scoop any litter that looks wet, it doesn't smell too bad. Because it's big pellets, it takes some amount of shoveling to find the feces and urine-soaked sections to be scooped out. It really is, and acts like, a non-clumping litter where the urine sticks around. It simply doesn't smell as nice as clumping litter, although frequent changes can make it nearly as odorless.

As far as I know, you've tried all of the types of clumping litters
1) clay clumping litter
2) Feline Pine scoopable
3) corn litter (World's Best Cat litter)
4) Sweat Scoop (okay, maybe you haven't tried this, but it's made of wheat, so it doesn't fit your criteria of something that isn't made of a food product)

Of course, there are many, many different clay clumping litters, and some of them are dustier than others. If you need a clumping litter, it sounds like you should just look for a clay clumping litter that is less dusty.

Why do you need a clumping litter, though? If you want a litter that doesn't have puddles of urine in the bottom, there are actually many choices in the non-clumping universe.

You can use Feline Pine (pellets, not scoopable) with sifting box. The urine breaks the pellets into saw dust, which then filter to the bottom of the box where you can remove them. Now, I've never used FP (because my doctor said that pine was a bad thing to switch to since I was trying to avoid respiratory problems with dust, just because pine can be an allergen), but other people here have had lots of luck with it.

You can probably do the same sort of thing with Yesterday's News (which I used with a regular box), but it actually doesn't break up very quickly from urine, so maybe not.

Have you tried silica gel litter, which is usually called crystal litter? It absorbs the urine until its completely saturated, at which point you should replace it (or the urine will pool in the bottom of the litter pan). This is another litter I haven't used, but it's also pretty popular.

I have just recently switched to Tidy Cat's Breeze system. It's inert pellets on top, a grid, and an absorptive pad at the bottom. The pad absorbs urine, and you just replace the pad about once a week. I really, really like it; no dust, and the urine stays out of the way.
post #6 of 20
As far as traditional clumping litter I liked arm & hammer the best. But I too recently switched to the Tidy Cat Breeze system and I totally recommend that over anything else!
post #7 of 20
I have a couple of suggestions:
1. For clay, I recently tried dr. elsleys precious cat litter (blue bag) clumps GREAT, does a good job on odor and did not send up a cloud of dust at all when I poured it in the box. It is also scent-free, so no perfumes to turn you or your cat off it. I was really pleased on how well it clumped and how well it contained the urine odor. Still some poo odor, but, when your cats don't cover completely that will happen with any litter. Of all the clay litters I've tried, this is hands down the best. But, it ain't cheap.

2. FP pellets (original). Getting your cats to use it is the tricky part...slowly add some pellets into their normal litter and leave a box w/ just the FP in it so that they will eventually switch over. This litter does a good job on odor as long as the dust has a chance to dry and you clean the box regularly. Does not do very well w/ poo odor, but again, I've found that my cats are less likely to cover their poo completely w/ the larger pellet litter. I LOVE the fact that you can dump the dust (dissolved pellets from pee) into a compost pile.

If you choose to try the FP and decide to switch to it, I'd definately suggest either getting the FP sifting box or making one...it really cuts down on the work involved in cleaning a FP litter box. All I do is "shake" the box once a day and scoop out any poo using the FP wide-slot scoop.

HTH,
Art
post #8 of 20
I use the original Feline Pine pellets with a Feline Pine box (need to get another one now that those babies are bigger!) and it is very easy. I have to empty the sawdust all the time though, so I am thinking about getting some small covered trash cans with heavy bottoms and keeping them near the boxes for both poop and dumping sawdust regularly.

Otherwise, it is very easy and there is no pee smell at all! Bamf almost never covers his poo so that smells, but otherwise it is great. I was lucky, my kittens were very easy to transition.
post #9 of 20
I use the Yesterdays Mews because its better for Cocos Asthma.
Your are right it dosent Clump.
We tried Sweat Scoop and Wbcl but my Husband didnt like it because it would stick to the Pans when we cleaned them. I am not sure what to sugest for you.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I use the Yesterdays Mews because its better for Cocos Asthma.
Your are right it dosent Clump.
How are you liking the litter so far? In comparison to others you've tried?

Smell is a bit of concern for me because I live in a very small suite and have a very sensitive nose...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your suggestions! I thought about using FP pellets, but as I'm dealing with BIG time allergies with my dog right now and been trying to figure out what's causing her itch since 10 months ago, I'm afraid pine could make her react, too. Sigh. Seems the best thing for her would be clay, yet I don't want Mango inhaling the dust.
post #12 of 20
I use this self made cat litter out of old newspaper. It safe on small kittens, fluashable, keep the litter box dry, dust free. Most important, it keep the cat's paws dry and clean and the cat dont have to lick and clean their paw from normal litter dust after each visit to the box. But it not clumping and may take time to dispose the wet dark in color scrub/pieces out of the box.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bareen31 View Post
I use this self made cat litter out of old newspaper. It safe on small kittens, fluashable, keep the litter box dry, dust free. Most important, it keep the cat's paws dry and clean and the cat dont have to lick and clean their paw from normal litter dust after each visit to the box. But it not clumping and may take time to dispose the wet dark in color scrub/pieces out of the box.
When I first looked at it, I thought it was Carefresh! Self-made as in...you made it yourself? How's the odor?
post #14 of 20
It almost odourless with daily disposal of poo and urine sock granules which turn to dark color. If odour exist, probably due to urine stain on the litterbox which can be minimise using bicarbonate soda but regular cleaning will do the trick.

Yup, process it myself from old newspaper. To be honest, the process is a bit time consuming but it worth all the effort. Sock the newspaper in water and leave it for a night or two. The longer the easier to break the paper into fibre. Then by hand mash it off in the water to separate the paper fibre. Use rubber glove else your hand will turn black due to paper ink. Pour this into pillow case and spin with washing machine. Then break the damp fibre block into rough pieces and dry under the sun. Once dry, the color is grey or white and would become dark in contact with water. This granules is flushable.

Initially, it was made for my new born kittens to prevent them from eating the litter sand. Seem that it turn out to be my other cats love it too. And best is it dust free and my flu and cough stop since using it. My kittens like to hang around me and would jump on my bed if they follow me to the bed room, due to this, it really an issue for me to ensure those paws are dry and clean.

The only drawback is time consume separating the dark and the llight color granules during disposal.

Here's one of my home-made cat's litter initial user.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bareen, this sounds like a really good idea and since I'm trying to limit my expenses, this might work really well. That's IF I can do it right. I'm unclear on some of the instructions - I'm clueless when it comes to making my own stuff.


1. Do you shred the newspaper up first before soaking it in water? Or do you just soak the whole thing?

2. Could you explain a little more on how to "mash it off the water to separate the paper fiber"? I haven't soaked newspaper before, so I don't know what to look for, etc.

3. So I put the newspaper into a pillow case and then put it in the washing machine JUST to SPIN excess water out of it, right? What if I break the damp paper into the rough crumpled pieces and then put it into the dryer? Would that work or would it stick together again?

4. How many newspapers is needed for, say, one month? I'd rather do it all at once than make some every week.


Sorry for the many questions and thank you for explaining this to me!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Bareen, this sounds like a really good idea and since I'm trying to limit my expenses, this might work really well. That's IF I can do it right. I'm unclear on some of the instructions - I'm clueless when it comes to making my own stuff.


1. Do you shred the newspaper up first before soaking it in water? Or do you just soak the whole thing?

Shredding will help breaking the paper into fine fibre when soak in water.

2. Could you explain a little more on how to "mash it off the water to separate the paper fiber"? I haven't soaked newspaper before, so I don't know what to look for, etc.

You just mash, squeeze, pull, tear, to make the paper into smaller pieces. The more you squeeze the finer it get. Or you can use blender.

3. So I put the newspaper into a pillow case and then put it in the washing machine JUST to SPIN excess water out of it, right? What if I break the damp paper into the rough crumpled pieces and then put it into the dryer? Would that work or would it stick together again?

I dont have a dryer and I am not sure how the result but I believe it wont stuck back together again. But will it be completely dry?

4. How many newspapers is needed for, say, one month? I'd rather do it all at once than make some every week.

For a month supply, you probably need 3 month daily issue of newspaper! Just do it on your free time. If you use blender, it more faster to process. Soak, blend, spin, break and dry. The "breaking" part of it may take time but you can do it while watching TV.



Sorry for the many questions and thank you for explaining this to me!
I suggest you do some testing on the paper you intent to use, use lower grade recycle paper as it easier to handle. To give you the idea of the whole process, use normal facial tissue paper. Soak it in a glass of water, then you rub it with your finger to break into fibre. Do this till you made yourself a glass of tissue paper juice. Filter the access water out. Squeez to rid more water. Then just break it into pieces. Once dried, you have the final product. With newspaper you need more hard work and time to get to the end.

If you need instant help, email me at bareen31@gmail.com or YM zxcq3108yho or Windows Live thru bareen31@hotmail.com
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I have newspaper soaking now - hopefully I don't screw this up somehow, knowing myself..

When you put it in the washer to spin, do you have problems with ink leaking out into the washer? Just wondering in case someone does the white laundry after me!

Thanks again!
post #18 of 20
Dont worry about the ink. It wont stain the washing machine. It only stain the basin during soaking and your hand during breaking the paper into fibre and the block into pieces.

After a few attemps, you can adjust your process to get the right final product for your need. This why you need to try with small quantity first and gradually increase the volume once you're confident with what you're doing.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, I let the newspaper soak for one whole day plus a few hours and I "made" a small batch today. My washing machine sounded like it was breaking with all the mashed up newspaper in the pillow case, lol. Is it the same with you or did I pack too much in one case?

The litter is now drying in my spare room with a heater on.

I want to say thank you again for all your help. I scoop daily, sometimes twice a day, and prefer to change the entire box of litter out weekly or every other week, so was using a LOT of litter even for just one cat. It gets costly because I'm using WBCL.

This method IS time consuming, but if it works well for my situation, it's worth it.

Oh yeah, I found this link on the web: http://alliesanswers.com/tip-of-the-...ty-litter/1044

I used your method, but before putting the pillow case into the washer, I did knead baking soda into the newspaper. I don't know if it'll work any better, but I guess it won't hurt.
post #20 of 20
My washing machine is a top loader and I usually pack the heavy pillow case evenly to the bottom so that it spin without knocking the sides.

By exprerience you can perfect your recipe to suit your need. Maybe you could find a way to make clumping paper litter by mixing with corn meal! Never try this before myself.

You're lucky with just a single cat. I got 8 with 4 litter box.
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