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Generic Cat Litter vs. Brand Name

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok so I am a sucker for cute faces and recently adopted three brothers who needed a good home. They have joined my existing crew of three and we now have a happy cat family of pooping and peeing machines.

So when we took them in we decided we needed to make some changes to cut back on costs so we could afford to put more cash a month in our kitty care fund. Food we are still researching since we still want good quality but maybe find something a little cheaper that they will eat. So we decided on litter to start.

Currently we buy Fresh Step Clumping. Its about a 28lb plastic box and costs about $13. We can easily go through this in about a week. At Petsmart we can get a 40lb plastic box for about $18 and it might last two weeks. We want to switch to a generic brand that we can get in bulk or big bags that will cost us less per pound. Our plan is to get the generic and mix it with a box of baking soda.

Some criteria:
1. Our boxes get scooped once a day on the weekdays and twice a day on the weekends so pretty smelling stuff is not necessary.
2. It needs to clump good. It's a waste of money if the pee piles fall apart when you scoop them and just turn into pee flakes you can't get.
3. We don't have a Petco near us so we can't go with their bulk litter. We do have a Petsmart and a Pet Supplies Plus if anyone is familiar with their generic brands.

So if any of you out there use a generic brand that works great for you please share. I need to make a decision this weekend so that I can start mixing it with the Fresh Step for the switch over. I mainly shop at Walmart but would be more then willing to go to a pet store place if their generic is better.
post #2 of 21
I see you are in Ohio

I have used Meijer store brand--which I absolutely loved--however the last time I bought it, the bucket was different and I feared the product would be different, it was, it was like sand thin and a terrible cloud of dust. I don't know if I got a bad bunch or what but I haven't bought since b/c I wanted to wait until I thought that batch was off the shelf

I have used kroger brand--again loved it--would still use it, just happened to try walmart brand b/c I was there last time when I needed litter

I'm using walmart brand--special kitty, i can't say i love it yet, i may go back to kroger

oh yeah I tried sams club brand---dusty dusty dusty

leslie
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
The closest Mejiers is in Sandusky which is also were the Petco is. It's about a 45 minute plus drive. I have been considering the Special Kitty since it would be the most convenient for me.
post #4 of 21
I think the only way to know what might work is to try it. You'll also have to consider your kitties' preferences. Frankie will only use one very specific type of cat litter and heaven forbid I get the wrong stuff...she'll be peeing on the floor again in no time. I'd say keep a stock of what they use now on hand while you try others in case they completely reject something. Then keep trying what's convenient for you until you find one you all like.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
My plan is to buy one more bucket of the Fresh Step and a smaller bag of the new stuff and just sorta add more and more of the new stuff until it's all new stuff.

The only one I'm worried about not taking to the new litter is one of the new kittens. Jack doesn't even like it when I clean out the cat boxes. He literally gets in the box and tries to stop me from cleaning it. Then again he also does not like it when I fold clothes. My SO thinks he has OCD.
post #6 of 21
Bless you for taking on the new crew, but I agree the kitties will tell you what litter is acceptable. You're lucky in getting away scooping once a day - my guys demand twice a day, and my boy needs his Cat Attract litter - or else!
post #7 of 21
i dont know if you have wegmans where you are but for 7.99 you get a 44lb box of it, and its very good IMO.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've never heard of Wegman's before but boy if I could get that amount of litter at that price I would certainly try that
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
I've never heard of Wegman's before but boy if I could get that amount of litter at that price I would certainly try that
yes its a great price for that much litter, i just stumbled upon it recently too.
post #10 of 21
You might try new litter in just one box rather than mixing all of it to change over. Then you can tell if your kitties will actually use the new stuff.

I recently started using the Walmart Special Kitty clumping litter. My cats show a definite preference for the heavier sand texture (over the TidyCats beads) and it doesn't scatter as much. It's unscented, not dusty, and odor control is pretty good. My only complaint is that the clumps are more like gumballs. They stick really tight to the bottom of the box and I can't loosen them by tapping on the side or bottom. I've been mixing some TidyCats in with the Special Kitty. That keeps the clumps suspended without losing all the advantages of Special Kitty.
post #11 of 21
I'm in Ohio also. I use a cheap "Value Time" Litter they sell at Giant Eagle stores. It works. My boy seems to like it because he has never went outside the box. It's only dusty when you pour it into the box.
post #12 of 21
My cats like Special Kitty Scoop. I buy either the green box or the bag that is "Special Kitty Scoop with Crystals". The bag has 2 Siamese cats on it. I only buy name brand (Tidy Cats) when I have coupons I can combine with a sale.
post #13 of 21
Last time I checked, Sam's Club had 40 pound buckets of Fresh Step clumping for $14. That's a pretty good price.

Watch for sales. Our grocery had a sale on the 21 pound box for $6.99.

I did a side by side test on the Special Kitty and Fresh Step with a tablespoon of water dumped in each. The Special Kitty definitely made wetter, stickier clumps compared to the Fresh Step which clumped hard and dry fast.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well we are trying the Special Kitty green box first since it is the most convenient for me.

I mixed it with 2/3rds Fresh Step and 1/3 Special Kitty. So far so good. They all are using it.

I cleaned the boxes this morning and I didn't have any problems. The boxes didn't smell out of the ordinary.

GoldyCat: I am concerned about it being too gummy on the bottom. My boys are real diggers and a few of them will dig until they see the bare box and then pee. The Fresh Step was always a tad gummy and I had to scrape it off. I hope the Special Kitty isn't worse

We have considered getting a Sam's Club membership since they do have great bargains. We just need to be sure we would use it on other stuff as well
post #15 of 21
I forgot to mention in my other post that I think the Special Kitty Scoop in the bag clumps harder than the stuff in the green box. Sometimes our Wal-Mart has only ripped bags so then I have to buy the stuff in the green box. Both have gone up in price in the last few months, but it's still about the cheapest litter I can find in my area.
post #16 of 21
Do you have a Costco Membership? I get 30 pounds of good clumping litter for $6.99. It's called Litter Purrfect
post #17 of 21
The best I have found so far is Tity Cat multiple cats. You can get at Walmart and a 30lb bag is 5.64!! Not too dusty and it controls odor really well. It's not near as fine as Fresh step and I have noticed my cat doesn't track it as much either. Nowhere near the dust as Fresh Step, I couldn't ever refill his box without choking!!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I love Costco... unfortunately we don't have one near us anymore. The closest we have is a Sam's Club.

I'm assuming you can't find the Litter Purrfect anywhere else? I looked it up online and it looks like a good litter to try.
post #19 of 21
In New Zealand I wouldn't touch the clumping litter because so many kittens have died from eating it - Is it safer in the US?

I personally wouldn't touch any of the generic cat litter in NZ either because it makes my Persian sneeze. It costs me $11 for 15 litres of kitty litter.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
I love Costco... unfortunately we don't have one near us anymore. The closest we have is a Sam's Club.

I'm assuming you can't find the Litter Purrfect anywhere else? I looked it up online and it looks like a good litter to try.

Sam's carries one that is similar, but I'm not sure of the name.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by hwc View Post
Last time I checked, Sam's Club had 40 pound buckets of Fresh Step clumping for $14. That's a pretty good price.

Watch for sales. Our grocery had a sale on the 21 pound box for $6.99.

I did a side by side test on the Special Kitty and Fresh Step with a tablespoon of water dumped in each. The Special Kitty definitely made wetter, stickier clumps compared to the Fresh Step which clumped hard and dry fast.
I used to always get the 40 pound Fresh Step from Sams, but I believe it has gone up from the 14. Since it was such a chore to carry and not very user friendly imo I get the 28 pound multi-cat fresh step from walmart for like 13 bucks. Way cheaper than Petco's 18 bucks for the same...
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