Which litter to choose? Here is a question that comes up often! Having 3 cats at home (not counting the cats of my neighbors and my family) I had the opportunity to test and observe a lot of things in this area.
Of course there is no good or bad litter. There is one that suits you, and especially that suits your cat! Well it’s nice, but other than that … what is usually expected of a good litter? What is practical, do not come back too expensive, but especially that it absorbs well because we admit that it is not very pleasant this small smell of big cats in the house!
So let’s take a look at the different substrates:
The mineral litter
This is the most known litter, the most “traditional” for cats; it is made of natural clay granules that will absorb the liquids.
This is the cheapest litter but there are several brands, several ranges, which do not have the same performance. Generally the litter first price offers a first service … That is to say, well … here we have a litter. So that does not mean it’s bad! If you have a single cat, change it once a week, have two bins installed, or the cat goes outside too, in short it is not used too much, why not! The thing is that it gets complicated when you have several cats and a single tank: the smells quickly become terrible. Result: we change the litter more often, and it is neither the ideal for the cat, nor for the wallet.
However, do not neglect, mineral litters do a lot of dust, and if your cat has respiratory problems, it is better to avoid it (ditto if you have young sensitive children).
For lovers of the environment, you should also know that the mineral litter is not biodegradable.
Silica litter, also called “crystal” or “pearl”, is composed of a mixture of zeolites. It is a natural or synthetic mineral, micro porous, which has a very strong absorption of liquids, and therefore, odors. Zeolites are also used, for example, for purifying or softening water, or they can be used as a substrate to grow bonsai (surprising, no?).
Silica litter is in the form of translucent granules, sometimes with small dots of blue color. Its big advantage is that it can absorb large amounts of urine and odors by draining liquids into the grains. Its effectiveness in this area is impressive when compared with a mineral litter (for once I know something, today I use only that!).
As you use them, the granules are tinged with yellow because of the urine, which makes the litter visually less “beautiful”. Nevertheless it will be able to keep it still several days in spite of this color, because the pellets will still capture the smells. The litter can therefore make several weeks of use (up to a month depending on the number of cats and their “needs”).
The advantage for us is that we do not smell (or very little) smells, while our twinks, they still feel their comforting urine! (Eh yes…!).Well for sure, silica litter is more expensive per kilo, but it also lasts longer.
Unlike the mineral it is dust free cat litter (or less), but like the mineral, it is also not biodegradable: ‘(
In my experience it is really the most effective litter against odors. And yet at first I was a bit offended by the yellowish color that took the litter after 4-5 days … As it lasts longer the final overcast is low. But above all the quality of life with my cats is better: they still smell, and me: no more!
I specify that I use it with an open tray (more comfortable for the cat).
Plant or natural litter
As we have seen, the major disadvantage of silica or mineral litter is their ecological impact. Indeed they cannot degrade in landfills (they are pebbles in clear) and they cannot be treated or recycled either.
To answer this, there are litter presented as 100% ecological and environmentally friendly because much more biodegradable than silica or mineral. We find straw, chips, granules or sawdust, corn stalks, or recycled paper.