How to find the right cat litter for your cat

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A cat looking out from a litter box.

When you go to a pet store it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of cat litter available. All of these options make it difficult to know which junk is best. How to choose the right cat litter for your cat.

What are the common cat litter options?

The most common type of waste is clay lump waste, although other types of waste are becoming increasingly popular. Options beyond clay are wood chips, quartz glass, wheat, corn, or recycled paper.

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“The choice of material mainly depends on your cat’s personal preferences. Some cats just prefer certain types of litter to others, ”says Dr. Jamie Richardson, chief medical officer of Small door veterinary.

Are there any safety concerns?

Although cats do not consume their cat litter, they do come in close contact with it. They end up breathing in dust and other particles that come out of the waste, which can lead to health problems. Unfortunately, some litter additives, such as fragrances designed to make cat litter more attractive to humans, can be harmful to cats.

“Regardless of which material you choose, we recommend choosing a litter that is odorless and dust-free, as cats can have very sensitive airways that can be easily irritated,” says Dr. Richardson.

What you find in the litter box can indicate whether it’s healthy – or not. Photography by Absolutimages / istock.

What should I watch out for?

While cats’ personal preferences are often the number one consideration in the litter you choose, you may need to take them into account if your cat has any health issues.

Especially for cats recovering from surgery, Dr. Richardson refrained from using clump litter because “it can get stuck in the wound and risk infection”.

In cats with allergies or breathing problems, the litter you use must be odorless and dust-free to avoid triggering symptoms. Dr. For example, Richardson notes that if your cat is allergic to pollen, grain, dust, or mold, make sure that the litter you choose does not cause an allergic reaction.

“Pine litter can be good for cats with grain or household allergies, or grass seed litter is 99% dust-free for cats with dust allergies,” says Dr. Richardson.

Here are symptoms to look for if you think your cat litter is making your cat sick

Cats may dislike certain types of trash, and some trash can even make them sick. Cats who don’t like the trash in their crate will generally make this clear by urinating or pooping in other areas of the house or outside the crate. Dr. Richardson also pointed out that while this behavior could be your cat’s publicizing its displeasure, it is also a common symptom of “anxiety problems or health problems such as urinary tract infections.” It is therefore also important to have them examined by a veterinarian.

Aside from the fact that cat litter doesn’t like certain types of litter, cat litter can actually make your cat sick. Dr. Richardson advises the signs to look out for

  • “Runny” nose (discharge from the nose or nasal congestion)
  • Red, irritated, itchy, or watery eyes
  • Itchy skin and / or excessive scratching or grooming
  • Facial swelling
  • Wheezing, sneezing, or coughing

All of these could be signs that your cat is allergic to the litter you are using. If your cat is experiencing these symptoms, it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian and make changes.

A cat in a litter box.

Some cats are very picky about the type of texture they walk on and prefer, and you may have your own preferences like cost, easy access to purchase, or how biodegradable the litter is. Photography © St_Aurora72 | Getty Images.

Why may you need to try a few types of cat litter?

Some cats are very picky about the type of texture they walk on and which they prefer, and you may have your own preferences like cost, easy access to purchase, or how biodegradable the litter is. I would love to use a different and more environmentally friendly litter than me, but I have a 21 year old cat who made it very clear that there is one litter mark and only one litter mark that she will use and so let’s buy it. Finding the right litter that you and your cat can agree on may require a little experimentation.

“You may have to try a few types to find your cat’s favorite. We therefore recommend buying small quantities first. If they don’t seem to like their existing litter, you can try leaving two or three litter boxes with different litter types so they can choose, ”says Dr. Richardson.

When adding a new cat to your home

When bringing home a new cat, Dr. Richardson for continuing to use the type of litter they are initially familiar with. This will make it easier for your new cat or kitten to adapt to your home and family. Once your new cat is used to your home and family, in the long run you will want to use a different litter. Dr. Richardson recommends that you make the change gradually by “introducing small amounts of the new litter with the old litter”. It is important to avoid changing your cat’s litter quickly, as this can create stress for your cats and also lead to behavioral problems, including your cat’s refusal to use the litter box.

Considerations for Homes with Multiple Cats

The choice of litter box is crucial when you live in a home with multiple cats. In addition to the need to have multiple litter boxes so each cat has access to their own, different cats can have different preferences. Dr. Notes Richardson, “You may need to purchase different types of litter for each cat. (It is recommended that you have at least one litter box for every cat in the house anyway so that they are comfortable in their own space.)

Connected: How to introduce a new cat to your cat

Litter box best practices

The amount of litter in each box is also important and can help your cat’s willingness to use the litter. “It’s important not to overfill or underfill the litter box. Cats like having enough litter to cover their droppings, but too much can leak out of the crate. A good rule of thumb is about two inches of waste to make sure there is enough space on top of the tray so it doesn’t overflow if your cat steps over it, ”suggests Dr. Richardson in front.

Litter boxes should be kept in quiet areas of the house so your cat is comfortable when you use them. Whichever litter you and your cat choose to purchase, it is important to have a clean box. Dr. Richardson notes that daily cleaning of a litter box should be considered a minimum. Ideally, feces will be removed after each bowel movement and waste soaked in urine will be removed daily, with the entire box emptied and scrubbed with hot water weekly.

Selected photo: © Lightspruch | Getty Images.

Continue reading: 10 weird litter box habits