Choosing the Best Natural Cat Litter

Written by: Aaron I

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Not so long ago, people filled their cat boxes with sand, sawdust, or even ashes from the fireplace. Today, cat parents have a multitude of commercial litters to choose from, but many contain toxic chemicals and respiratory irritants, as well as cause harm to the environment. When it comes to pleasing our finicky felines, every cat parent knows that it is essential to have many options available. Cat litter manufacturers know this too, and this is why cat owners can now select cat litters made with a wide variety of granule sizes, scents, materials and potencies. The number of options can feel overwhelming. To make this choice easier for you, Only Natural Pet Store has selected the best natural litters. We’ve highlighted the benefits of each type of kitty litter to help you determine which one is best for your kitty, your household, and the environment.

Natural Cat Litters

Corn Cat Litter

Cleaning & the Environment

Made from whole kernel corn, a renewable and biodegradable material, corn cat litter is a better choice for the environment compared to traditional clay. Corn is septic and sewer safe, so you can flush cat litter down the toilet for easy cleaning, plus it won’t stick to the bottom of the litter box or gunk up mechanical litter box cleaners.

One environmental consideration for corn is 92% of corn in the USA is genetically modified, so if GMOs are of concern, look for Non-GMO project certified products.

Safety

Corn is edible, so it will not cause harm if ingested by your pet, however, this can encourage unintended eating (especially if there are dogs in the house). Corn based litters are safe for kittens, infection-prone cats, and cats recovering from surgery. And it’s 99% dust free so it won't cause the respiratory problems for cats and owners often associated with clay and silica litters

Performance

Corn cat litter contains a micro-porous structure that quickly absorbs ammonia and urine odor without needing perfumes or chemicals. Moisture combines with natural starches in the corn to solidify and quickly clump, making it scoopable almost immediately after your cat leaves the box.

Consistency

Corn based cat litters have a granular size that can fluctuate from too fine to too course. Brands like World’s Best Cat Litter seek a medium granular balance for softness and dig-ability without dust and tracking.

Wheat Cat Litter

Cleaning & the Environment

A grain-based litter like corn, wheat litter is made from naturally processed secondary (non-food grade) wheat, a renewable and biodegradable material. Also like corn, wheat litter is septic and sewer safe, but requires some added litter flushing instructions to make sure you do it safely.

Safety

Just like corn, wheat is edible, so it will not cause harm if ingested by your pet, however, but unintended eating can be an issue. It is safe for kittens, infection-prone cats, and cats recovering from surgery.

Performance

Natural wheat enzymes work to eliminate odors without needing perfumes or chemicals and moisture combines with natural starches in the wheat to solidify and clump, making for easy scooping.

Consistency

Wheat litter has a consistency similar to clay litters, making it ideal for an easy transition from clay litter.

Pine Cat Litter

Cleaning & the Environment

Like the name implies, these litters are made from pine trees; specifically the used materials from lumber processing that would otherwise go to waste. Pine litters clumps differently from clay litter by clumping from the bottom up, creating a soft, pancake-like clump that is easy to scoop that is easily flushable.

Made from a renewable resource and for some varieties (like Only Natural Pet Shaved Pine Litter) is USDA Certified Biobased Product.

Safety

Pine is low dust, so it will not cause the respiratory problems for cats and cat parents that are associated with clay and silica litters. And since it’s made without ingredients like corn, soy, or wheat, meaning it’s allergy friendly for cats with common grain allergies. Plus, pine is safe for kittens, infection-prone cats, and cats recovering from surgery.

Performance

Pine cat litter traps urine and ammonia odors underneath the surface, and with higher absorbency, it dehydrates solid waste, reducing immediate and long term odors.

Consistency

Pine cat litter comes in a variety of formats, most commonly in shaved format that is soft and increases absorbency. Pelleted pine cat litter is also available.

Grass Seed Cat Litter

Cleaning & the Environment

Grass seed cat litter is a fast clumping, easy scooping litter for single or multi-cat households. Noted for clumping as quickly and as hard as clay, it has the added benefit of being made from a 100% renewable resource and is flushable and biodegradable.

Plus, Only Natural Pet Grass Seed Cat Litter is Non-GMO Project Verified.

Safety

Grass litter is 99% dust free with no tracking, making it suitable for cats and cat parents with respiratory problems. It is allergy friendly compared to wheat and corn litters, and is safe for kittens, infection-prone cats, and cats recovering from surgery.

Performance

The fast clumping action of grass seed litter traps odors before they’re released into the air, preventing the need for chemicals or fragrances. Plus, the clean scoops allow for a long lasting litter.

Consistency

Grass seed litter is slightly coarser than clay, pine, and wheat litter. The medium sized grains are most similar to many corn litters.

Traditional (Clay and Silica) Cat Litter

Clay and silica cat litter is not nearly as environmentally friendly as their natural counterparts, and sensitive cats (especially those with respiratory issues) can sometimes not tolerate them. But studies have shown litterbox aversion accounts for 50% of all cat behavioral issues and is the number one reason for surrender of cats to shelters. With these staggering statistics in mind, getting your cat to use the litterbox, no matter the type of litter, is paramount, and clay litter and silica litter can help.

Clay Cat Litter

Some varieties, like Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract uses a natural herbal blend that appeals to cats, attracting them to the litterbox. It is also 99% dust free to reduce respiratory irritation and clumps hard and fast, which many cat parents like.

Silica Cat Litter

Silica litter prevents bacteria with crystals that absorb urine and help dehydrate feces, making your cat’s litter box too dry to sustain any growth. This helps prevent kidney problems and UTIs in cats. Environmentally, silica litters will biodegrade and are non-toxic, making them a better choice than clay.

Sources
Corn Cat Litter

Only Natural Pet

Corn Cat Litter

Corn cat litters available from Only Natural Pet.

Wheat Cat Litter

Only Natural Pet

Wheat Cat Litter

Wheat cat litters available from Only Natural Pet.

Pine Cat Litters

Only Natural Pet

Pine Cat Litters

Pine cat litters available from Only Natural Pet.

Grass Seed Cat Litter

Only Natural Pet

Grass Seed Cat Litter

Grass seed cat litters available from Only Natural Pet

Clay Cat Litter

Only Natural Pet

Clay Cat Litter

Clay cat litters available from Only Natural Pet

Silica Cat Litter

Only Natural Pet

Silica Cat Litter

Silica cat litters available from Only Natural Pet