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need help choosing litter...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here are my criteria for a good litter:
tight clumping
no tracking
good odor control

As far as tight clumping, Scoop Away is very good. But it doesn't have good odor control ..As far as the tracking is not number 1 on the list because I have an enclosed litter box so that helps with tracking. I discovered that Fresh Step doesn't clump tightly at all!! All of the pee soaked litter is in the bottom of the litter box ... Any suggestions?
post #2 of 19
If you could invent a litter that does all those things you'd be a gazillionaire.

You'll get a lot of opinions, some of them exactly opposite about the same litter. There's another thread here that covers the same topic.

I like TidyCats multiple cats immediate odor control (turquoise lid) for clumping and odor control, but those little beads do scatter a lot. I'm currently using a combination of TidyCats and Special Kitty (Walmart brand in the green box). Special Kitty is a heavier sand texture and doesn't scatter as
much and the odor control is good. The clumps don't fall apart, but they are kind of gummy and stick to the bottom of the box. That's why I add TidyCats, to keep it from sticking. My kitties really prefer the sand texture and I've found that if I keep at least 4" of litter in the box, the pee usually doesn't sink all the way to the bottom before it clumps. Once I've finished the TidyCats I have on hand I may go back to using just Special Kitty.

I've tried a lot of different litters, keep changing around to find the perfect one. These are some of the ones I've tried and rejected.

Fresh Step: strong scent, extremely dusty. Don't know about clumping or odor control because I threw it out after one day. You'll find others who love it. I tried several others that had to strong a scent. Mostly I won't even buy it any more unless it says unscented on it.

Petco refillable litter: poor odor control, had to add baking soda. Kind of defeated the purpose of getting cheaper litter.

World's Best: kitty refused to use it, she held it in for over 5 hours until I dug the old litter out of the dumpster.

Feline Pine: kitties didn't use it. I left the litter out for two weeks, usual litter box, usual place. Kitties used all the other litter boxes, but in two weeks six cats made a grand total of 2 deposits in the new litter.

Arm & Hammer: I actually like this one almost as well as Special Kitty, but can rarely find the unscented kind.

You'll probably just have to keep experimenting until you find one that works for you.
post #3 of 19
I use Tidy Cats Scoop Immediate odor control.

I really like Tidy Cats.. I have tried several different kinds of litter, Fresh Step, Arm & Hammer, Special Kitty( I really really didn't like it at all), Scoop Away. Tidy Cats is my favorite. My cats aren't picky about what kind of litter I get. There have been times when I couldn't get to a major store to buy the kind of litter I normally get, and had to get non-clumping. They don't mind, but I sure do. The only time I get anything besides Tidy Cats is when the store doesn't have it and I have to get something else.

To me, Tidy Cats is perfect. It clumps wonderfully and the odor control is great. I've noticed that when the litter gets low then the pee tends to clump on the bottom of the box, and can be really hard to get out. However, if I keep 4-5 inches constantly, then there is no problem.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
That's weird but I didn't notice that Fresh Step had any scent to it lol. I guess my sense of smell must be terrible!! I did try to get away from it though because I didn't want to breathe in the dust so that maybe why I didn't sense the smell...I will try Tidy Cats next and Arm and Hammer. I think I can sacrifice tracking for the other two. The most important thing to me is the clumping. When Jake got neutered last week, he had to use paper litter like Yesterday's news and he didn't like it. The first two days he was fine but then he pooped outside of the box but right next to it...Soo weird!! I hope it doesn't happen when I switch to Tidy Cats too..
post #5 of 19
Try finding a couple that you like and mix them?

I use WBCL for the tight clumping and mix in a little Fresh Step for odor control. I like them together alot better than I liked either seperately
post #6 of 19
There are a couple of different ways you can make a change. Mix small amounts of the new litter in with the old, gradually adding more and more. (Don't mix clumping and non-clumping---believe me, it doesn't work ). Or if you have several boxes, put the new litter in one box only. If the cats, and you, like it you can change over the other boxes, one every few days.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is Fresh Step considered clumping? I think it is...but it doesn't clump for me.
post #8 of 19
I hated Fresh Step because of the strong scent... Kitties also always sneeze when they use it. I like PetCo refillable... Cheap and great clumping. The next one I will try is Precious Cat Dr. Elsey's - I hear great things about it.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmm I have two boxes. One is enclosed and I'm not sure Jake is used to that yet and he hasn't used it. I'm putting them right next to each other to make the switch easier..and not cleaning the old one. Unfortunately there is no petco near me ..There is a petsmart and pet supermarket...
post #10 of 19
I use Tidy Cats Multiple Cats Scoop Away (picked that up by accident as I only have one kitten but didn't want to return it) but it works well.
post #11 of 19
We have been using Walmart's Special Kitty and it works pretty good. And at $6.23 for a 28lb box its very economical.

As for odor control I never really notice any and I only clean the boxes once per day with 6 cats using them. I really only notice a bad odor right after one of my little toxic butts poops

Like Goldycat said it does have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan but I invested in a really good stainless steel large litter scooper that makes quick work of stuck pee balls. I found that the flimsy plastic ones make the situation worse and the harder plastic ones worked until I break the handle.
post #12 of 19
We've been using Wal-Mart Special Kitty scoop in the green box for a while too. It works great for us. The cats actually prefer it over the expensive stuff. With money being tight, the price sure helps.
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
I invested in a really good stainless steel large litter scooper that makes quick work of stuck pee balls.
definitely worth the money, imo.
i've used ScoopAway, Arm & Hammer, Petsmart's Exquisicat, Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat & World's Best Cat Litter. of those, my preference is for ScoopAway - i love the tight clumps. however, i prefer unscented litter above clumping - so i'll get one of the others if i can't find the unscented ScoopAway. currently, i'm using Arm & Hammer unscented.
i have scent issues, anyway - plus, i often add the CatAttract additive to the litter, & it works best w/unscented litters.
WBCL - i didn't like it - i felt the odor control was terrible. i'd gotten it because Firefox was so small, & i was afraid of ingestion. i ended up w/KittenAttract, because she wasn't peeing in the box w/WBCL.
post #14 of 19
I actually like fresh step. I was using tidy cats but the pee balls would fall apart and it also quickly started to smell because of that. I find fresh step clumps really well and it stays clumped resulting in less odor. Having 14 cats this becomes very important!! I might start mixing it with the special kitty though to make it more economical.
Good luck,
post #15 of 19
The Arm and Hammer brand does all those things, but it is pretty dusty when you pour it. Otherwise it is great. I don't have a problem with odor, it clumps really well (better than the Tidy Cats I've always used) and doesn't track nearly as much (but I use high side rubbermaid containers rather than actual litter boxes. I haven't found anything that doesn't track at all, even though they claim to.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I see that it's such a hard compromise. I might give ScoopAway another try also. I need something refillable tho, I don't like buying buckets each time. Now i am trying to get Jake to use an enclosed box and he isn't so far
post #17 of 19
Fresh Step makes both regular and clumping litter. Sounds like you must have bought the regular because their clumping litter clumps very fast and very solid.

If you are getting wet litter in the bottom of the box, you may not be filling the box deep enough. You really want a good three inches of litter.
post #18 of 19
I've been using Swheat Scoop & Feline Pine(original).
Usually Swheat Scoop on the top, feline pine on the bottom, so the "sandy part" is where my kitty sees and sits(although she usually stirs all up, lol).
Feline Pine, IMO, is pretty good on odor.

I've used pretty much most of the conventional items but since ingestion is the biggest concern for my kitty, I switched it to plant based kinds.
I've used WBCL when I first moved to my current location after used up a box of Swheat Scoop I brought with me. I live in an Island, certain items from the Mainland are not easily available Unfortunately, my kitty completely hated WBCL, I didn't like the smell either.
Although my kitty didn't hold it in, she kinda demanded me to clean the litter box more often... I used both kind of WBCL(original & multiple) to see if any difference or if my kitty likes it but we didn't like it at all.

I recently found a box of Swheat Scoop at Whole Food and started to use it again but seem they're completely out now. I purchased a "Greentea leaves" litter from local store instead. Haven't used it yet, though...
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
I filled the box with more litter- and it does clump a little better. But still when I try to scoop it up the pee clumps fall apart. So in order to avoid that, I don't sift the clean litter from the dry with the scoop. I just throw away the dirty pee clumps plus whatever more I get of clean litter. I am getting rid of that so i am perfectly okay with wasting it...I'm thinking of trying the tidy cats but I really hope it clumps tight...If not I will stick with Scoop Away. are there any generic brands close to scoop away, like exquisicat, or anything that come in bags?I hate buying buckets..
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