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Best cat litter?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am really puzzled about which cat litter is the safest and healthiest to use. For over a year I used Fresh Step regular clay litter and I recently switched to a combination of Yesterday's News/Feline Pine.

I was determined to never again use clay litter because of silica dust (health concerns for the family) and the fact that this nonbiodegradeable clay litter just sits in a landfill.

Feline Pine breaks down from pine pellets into sawdust (more dust problems!) and the Yesterday's News/Feline Pine combination that I've been using doesn't smell very good. It starts out as a piney/raunchy kind of smell, then after a week, the ammonia urine smell really starts to reek! My cats have adjusted to this new litter combination, but they don't bury their poop like they did with the clay litter. Also, as my cats are sometimes confined to a laundry room lacking a lot of ventilation and with a large litter box, I am worried about the litter odor and breathing in the newspaper/pine.

On the plus side, it's easier to clean their litter boxes and the used litter is definitely lighter.

Does anybody recommend a particular type of litter? Do you have any health concerns with the litter that you are using? All comments are appreciated! Thanks.
post #2 of 21
I tried probably at least half a dozen litters before finding the one I currently use (Daily Scoops [pretty much the same as Yesterday's News], Swheat Scoop, Arm and Hammer and World's Best, to name a few), and I wasn't happy with any of them, for various reasons. Then I came across my current litter, President's Choice Green http://www.presidentschoice.ca/Pets/...itter/catid/41 , which is actually sold in the grocery store and quite cheap, and I LOVE it - it's biodegradable and made from a renewable resource, clumping (and it clumps very well, the clumps don't break apart or stick to the box), doesn't have a gross perfumey smell (I guess some people like this, but I hate it), it's flushable and it really keeps the smell down - as long as I scoop twice a day and wash the boxes/put in fresh litter once a week, it doesn't smell at all. And as I said, it's very inexpensive compared with something like World's Best, which is a huge plus, too. I definitely hugely recommend it - and like I said, I'm fairly picky about litters and wasn't happy with many of them, so that probably says something. Good luck finding a litter that you're happy with!
post #3 of 21
May I ask what evidence you have that silica dust from litter is a health concern? I found a study done by the state of California and they determined it isn't. This is a very long and hard to read article, but here is their conclusion:
Quote:
With the assumption that a consumer uses a single product throughout his/her lifetime, the highest estimate produced is an annual time weighted average exposure of 0.06 µg/m3 quartz dust for a scoopable litter product. This exposure level is approximately nine-fold lower than the lowest concentration (0.54 µg/m3) associated with one in 100,000 persons exposed derived from occupational epidemiological studies. Thus, the estimated exposure of the average user of either conventional or scoopable pet litter to crystalline silica under the conditions used to produce this assessment corresponds to an excess cancer risk of less than one in 100,000, and would not trigger the Proposition 65 warning requirement.
from this website:http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_..._use/sud1.html
With regard to silicosis and your cats, their lifespan isn't long enough for it to develop.

As far as the landfill concern: I buy litter in paper bags and dispose of the used litter in the same bag. If this isn't biodegradable, I don't know what is.

I really think you can go back to using clay litter if it works better for you and your cats and you don't need to be worried about it.
post #4 of 21
My vet also told me what Coaster just said about the silica, so if it worked for your cats I would probably go back to it as well. If your cats aren't picky like mine then it just probably takes some time and experimenting to find the one you all like. I have also tried the PC Green litter, and some other types from the pet store, but my cat wouldn't even go into her litter box she would just pee next to it. Also she doesn't like the non clumping litter, which I have also tried and the same thing happened. In the end I just went back to the clumping clay one that worked, because cleaning up pee was getting a bit too much, and also I noticed she would not go to poop at all.So if you are not having problems like these, then just experiment with different types perhaps.

Since I asked my vet about the silica as well and she said that I shouldn't be concerned I am not. I hope you find one that both you and your cats like
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your comments. The problem with having so many different types of litter available is that you don't want to subject your cats to that many litter changes. I initially thought about using Swheat scoop, but I don't want to start buying liners for the litter box, another expense.

Oddly enough, our Punky cat, a rescued feral kitten, has taken best to the Yesterday's News/Feline Pine combo. She really digs into the litter, unlike Cindy and Lucy, and mounds it up like the clay litter.

I swear that I've seen President's Choice somewhere! The Pet Supplies Plus store also sells some plain gray bulk litter.

As for Fresh Step, every time I poured the litter out of the bag, I'd get huge clouds of dust. The clay is also very heavy when you dispose of it. Silica dust may be safe for cats who live at most 15 or so years, but not so for humans who can live up to 75+ years!

I've never used the scoopable clay litter because we got Cindy and Lucy as young kittens and the shelter only recommended regular clay.
post #6 of 21
I use full Yesterdays News with my kits and have no problems at all.
post #7 of 21
We switch litters a lot, since we can never find the same one twice.
post #8 of 21
I can tell you that tidy cat is one that i will never use again, it is the worst for dust and for lack of odor absorbsation,
Nyzki
post #9 of 21
I usually stick with Fresh Step or Scoop Away. I hate the dust it gives when you first pour it in.. but I think they smell pretty good and I love the paw points. I tried the Feline Pine and they wanted nothing to do with it. I even tried mixing it in slowly.. they are just way to smart!
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by caterpillar
Silica dust may be safe for cats who live at most 15 or so years, but not so for humans who can live up to 75+ years!

As coaster already explained, silica dust from cat litter is not a human health concern. Wink or no wink, comments like "the silica dust is bad for my family's health" are not based in reality.

It is your perogative to pick whatever cat litter you want using whatever logic you want, but I am just clarifying the facts for anyone who might be reading.
post #11 of 21
The one i use, beauticat cat litter, is BRILLIANT!! nice pine smell, and breaks down and absorbs absolutely everything. I dont know if you can get this one in the US?

post #12 of 21
I use and love Feline Pine. It's amazing.

I stated using regular clumping litter, and Miss Kitty was fine with it. However, the chemical smell was all over her, and I'm someone that appriciates the need for chemicals but doesn't use them when not necessary. I didn't like smelling that stuff when I picked her up.

Feline Pine isn't only all-natural, but it also seems to make her very happy. She never used to bury her pooh in the chemical litter, but she digs deep in the feline pine (once it starts to turn into sawdust). I have zero odor problems - the feline pine smells as fresh the day I change it as the day I put it down. I find that as long as I keep the pooh cleaned out it lasts for about three weeks - much longer than the clumping chemical litter.

I can't speak highly enough of it. I have a friend who's kitty had a hard time growing accustomed to it, but mellow Miss Kitty took to it right away.

MKD
post #13 of 21
We use Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fragrance Free and feel it's the best litter ever!
post #14 of 21
I have 4 cats and have tried every litter out there and even though it's expensive, Worlds Best is the best I've ever tried. It's made of corn and there is very little dust and the cats don't track it all over the house like they did with other litters. It also covers both urine and poop smells wonderfully.
post #15 of 21
I use chn layer feed.... 50lbs for about 10 bucks and lasts a month with two cats... covers two giant box changes and fill ins between ... I have used all the clay based and settled for a while on tidy cat with crystals good odor control but clay and crystals wasnt for me... chn feed is wheat corn barely type stuff and it clumps and has good odor control
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I use chn layer feed.... 50lbs for about 10 bucks and lasts a month with two cats... covers two giant box changes and fill ins between ... I have used all the clay based and settled for a while on tidy cat with crystals good odor control but clay and crystals wasnt for me... chn feed is wheat corn barely type stuff and it clumps and has good odor control
I just wanted to add that you need to explore the chicken feed in your area. It turns out that chicken feed in Ontario (or at least in our area) is basically dried corn which isn't ground up at all. I tried a couple of feed places and they were all the same, you just can't get ground corn...only cracked. If anyone is thinking about this (and man I wish it had worked for me), just look before you buy. I ended up with a 50lbs bag which I gave away to the local marsh conservitory.
post #17 of 21
Wow I never thought of clay and/or silica as a health hazzard. But when I searched Google I did come up with some articles right away that say it is a carcinogen. I guess it's just something to think about and look into further. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront!

http://www.stuffweuse.com/Lungwash.html

And here's some tips on selecting litter and what all it has in it: http://www.worldwise.com/catboxlitter.html
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra
We use Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fragrance Free and feel it's the best litter ever!

Yes
post #19 of 21
Since we're on the topic of cat litter. Anyone who uses Feline Pine or would like to try feline pine, you can get a FREE 7lb bag now. Well, free AFTER REBATE.
Just fill in the rebate form and send it in.
post #20 of 21
I recently switched to Citra-Max Fresh and must say it's the best natural litter I've found so far. The odor control is fantastic, it's not dusty, and it has a mulch-like lightweight texture that all my cats like.

We've been through quite the litter saga lately - I've used Feline Pine for years (except for Felixia, my clumping-litter-only cat) with good results, but Oreo developed an aversion to it after some urinary trouble. Then we switched to Swheat Scoop, but it became a bit expensive for us to use, plus I had trouble with it sticking to the bottom of the box, unless I emptied the box completely & resprayed it with nonstick coating every day, which pretty much cancels out any convenience benefit from scoopable litter. I bought a sample of chicken feed to try, but Mr. Underfoot decided it was good to eat. So we switched back to clumping clay litter, but that wasn't a good long-term solution for us because Mr likes to roll in it. Besides the ick factor, I worried about him licking it off his fur. He won't roll in a covered box, but Oreo won't use a covered box.

So when I found the Citra-Max to try, I put it in only one box to give the cats a choice - I've heard that cats dislike citrus, so I was a little skeptical about it. They all love it, though, and I'm really happy with it. The search for the perfect litter for my crew may finally be over.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbester
Since we're on the topic of cat litter. Anyone who uses Feline Pine or would like to try feline pine, you can get a FREE 7lb bag now. Well, free AFTER REBATE.
Just fill in the rebate form and send it in.
Thank you!
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