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Cat Litter 101: Think Like a Cat

Hershey

Cat Litter Options

I often get asked about the kind of cat litter I use.  In a cat household it goes without saying how important the litter box is!  Undoubtedly there are lots of cat litter brands that think they have the best cat litter, so what criteria should you use to before purchasing?

I realize there are lots of cat litter brands out there that provide numerous options in this area:  clay based, scoop-able, non-scoop-able, pine, wheat, crystals, bio-char, newspaper…there’s even litter that changes color and helps you monitor your pet’s health.  It’s amazing we are even able to make a decision!  Now consider for a minute how a cat thinks and behaves. 

By nature, cats like to cover their poop.  In the wild this is how they keep their scent away from predators.  When mothers teach their kittens how to take care of their “business” in the litter box the lesson is learned very quickly.  Most cats cover up the evidence but some house cats like my cat, Hershey, got lazy years ago and quit.  Perhaps he was thinking, “Where’s the threat?” or “Why bother?”  Now not only does he not cover his pee, he stands up while he pees!💩

Think Like a Cat

Let’s go back to “Think like a cat.”  You want a litter material that feels good under your cat’s feet, as well as something that feels like dirt or sand wood (in the wild).  Our cats’ ancestors didn’t have newspaper, crystals, shredded wheat or pine nuggets.  They had dirt, grass, and sand.  There weren’t any deodorizers, flower scents, or whatever manufacturers put in it to make it smell “good.”  In fact, cats don’t like strong scents, so I don’t recommend you buy scented litter.  Litter brands are marketing their products to cat owners, not cats!  Are you falling for their gimmicks?

The best cat litter is one that appeals the innate nature of cats.My Pick

My favorite pick is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter and Ultra Multi-Cat Litter.  It’s scoop-able, 99% dust free, and has no odor.  The clay granules are small and feel comfortable to dig around and walk on, too.  I love that it comes in small and large bags, so for large cat households like mine the forty pound bag is a great value.

If your cat’s litter box is getting a little smelly, here are a few tips:

  • scoop it twice a day
  • dump the litter and refill with new
  • wash the litter box with dish soap and a little bleach
  • sprinkle in some baking soda to control odor

Transitioning

Need to transition to a new type of litter?  Get two boxes; put the old litter in one, new litter in the second.  Your cat will get used to having the new litter box available.  If you’re using a similar type litter, try blending them by 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 until you can get 100% of the new kind.

Remember, cats can be finicky and creatures of habit!  If your cat decides he prefers the old kind of litter you gotta stick with it despite your best intentions!

If your local pet retailer doesn’t carry Dr. Elsey’s you can always get it in The Boutique for Cats!

Have a great cat litter story or testimonial?  Leave a comment below!

 

 

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