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The best cat litter

27 Oct 2020.


There are so many products on the market for cats’ litter trays. From clumping to deodourising, crystals to wood, it can be tough to choose which litter to use. To help, Cat in a Flat surveyed our community of cat lovers to see what they would recommend. 

Cat litter: to clump or not to clump

Cat litter is a matter of personal preference. Of all the aspects of caring for a cat, cleaning a litter tray is one of the least pleasant, but most important. With a bit of research and consideration, however, you can make it as easy as possible by picking a litter you find easy to manage. Companies producing cat litter have also innovated in dozens of fascinating ways to make kitty lovers’ options varied and appealing. Are you looking for a kitty litter that masks scent and isn’t terrible for the environment? You’ve got it! 

Below, we look at the varieties of cat litter available, including those recommended by our community of cat lovers on Instagram. 

Top tip: before going away, always brief your cat sitter on how to maintain your cat’s litter tray. There are so many different types of litter and trays out there don’t assume they will be familiar with yours! 

Silica crystals are a popular cat litter choice for kitty lovers
Silica crystals are a popular cat litter choice for kitty lovers

Clumping vs non-clumping cat litter

When they come in contact with liquids, clumping litters form solid lumps that are easy to scoop. Removing clumps leaves the rest of the litter clean and ready to be used, so it’s a convenient option. Non-clumping litter completely absorbs liquids and has to be replaced more often than its clumping cousin. 

1. Clay cat litter

Bentonite or Fuller’s Earth are usually what clay cat litters are made from. Clay provides a soil-like feeling that cats like and is excellent at absorbing odours and liquids in easy-to-remove clumps. These litters can, however, be heavy to carry, produce dust, and mining clay damages the environment. 

The Cat in a Flat community’s favourite clay cat litters

According to our poll, these are our community’s favourite clay cat litters:

2. Crystal cat litter

Silica is the main ingredient of crystal cat litters, one of the newer options on the market. Crystal litters tend to be light and incredibly absorbent – they can soak up 40 times their weight in liquid. Many cat owners like crystal versions as they don’t need to be changed as often as other litters. 

The Cat in a Flat community’s favourite crystal cat litter

The results of our poll revealed that our followers’ favourite crystal kitty litter is:

3. Paper cat litter

Recycled paper is the main ingredient for this kind of litter, safely de-inked and formed into pellets or shredded material. Paper litter tends not to clump and doesn’t protect against odours as well as some other litters. But it is one of the most eco-friendly options and is usually dust-free, flushable and biodegradable. 

The Cat in a Flat community’s favourite paper cat litters

According to our Instagram poll, our community’s favoured paper cat litters include:

4. Natural fibres like wood chips, corn or wheat

Dozens of cat litters made from natural, renewable sources exist. Some of the most popular are corn husks, wood chips and wheat. Natural litters like these have the advantage of being dust-free. This means no unpleasant and possibly harmful clouds of particles flying up when changing the litter box. They are also biodegradable, usually compostable and are often flushable. Litters such as these have the advantage of coming from renewable sources, so are some of the most eco-friendly options on the market. 

Wood chips or shavings can provide an eco-friendly cat litter
Wood chips or shavings can provide an eco-friendly cat litter

The Cat in a Flat community’s favourite natural fibre cat litters

The preferred natural fibre cat litters favoured by our friends include:

5. Outdoors

The great outdoors is the location of many cats’ favourite toilet. Most outdoor cats will use the facilities while they are roaming around outside and will bury their waste in loose soil. If you have a garden, it’s a good idea to reserve a secluded area for your cat’s toilet. You could encourage your cat to use the designated lavatory by covering it in a loose material such as sand or wood chip. A dedicated toilet area will hopefully prevent Mr Whiskers from using your neighbours’ gardens as their bathroom too. 

Top tip: If your cat is having toilet accidents outside of their box, try reading Cat in a Flat’s blog on why litter tray mishaps happen. 

One more option…

Cat in a Flat’s community of cat lovers mentioned one final cat litter that didn’t fit into any other category! There are so many different litters available it is worth exploring a lot of different options to find out what is right for you and your kitty. The final selection from our Instagram poll of our follower’s favourite litters was:

To find out more fascinating facts and opinions from our cat-loving community, try reading these articles on the best cat films and books, and these fun facts for International Cat Day.

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