Think outside the litter box

For those of you who have recently adopted a kitten or a cat, among the list of items to buy is a litter box and cat litter. Our Pet Care Specialists can assist you with choosing a litter that is the best option for your furry friend – one that does the best job and reduces “litter box odour” in your home.

There are many litter options for cats and we urge you to look for the best option. Choose a litter that works and that your cat likes. Quite frankly, your cat will be the one who will determine which litter will suit their needs, and you may have to try a couple of different options before you find the one!

Cat litter comes in various textures and scents. There are a number of different varieties of litter that are available on the market and you’ll find many of them on the shelves at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods.

Types of Cat Litter

Clay
Clay litter is typically the cheapest type of litter. There’s no question that cats like the texture of clay; it’s absorbent, they can dig in it, and the clean-up is easy. Some people may not like using clay litter because they find some brands dusty and irritating. It produces a lot of waste, and clay does not decompose which means it’s not environmentally-friendly.

Many companies have developed premium clumping cat litter that is 100% natural, organic, and 100% chemical free. These companies have also found ways to ensure the litter stays odour-free for a lot longer than non-premium litter.

Silica
Litter made up of silica crystals is a low-maintenance solution because the bag usually lasts longer (based on one cat using it). Silica pellets absorb urine and change color when they’ve absorbed all that they can. This makes it easy to know when you have to change the litter. The heavy silica crystals will stay in the box although some cats don’t like the larger pieces or the texture.

Natural & Biodegradable Litter
Pine, Corn, Wheat, Walnut, & more! These litters are considered more natural than clay. They’re usually non-toxic, they decompose naturally, and some are flushable. They’re quite absorbent, and they provide great odour control – many better than the average clay litter. While natural litter is generally more expensive than clay, they tend to last much longer due to their absorbency. For those who are contemplating switching to an alternative litter, most cats will transition fairly easily to an alternative litter such as pine, corn or wheat.

Newspaper-based Litter
Recycled newsprint litter is a great eco-friendly option. This type of litter is made up of pellets of recycled newspaper. The pellets are larger, so it won’t stick to your cat’s feet. Newsprint litter works like a sponge to absorb odours, and a scoop with larger holes will let you remove waste easily. Unfortunately, the size of the litter makes it a more difficult transition from clay, but if you take your time your cat will likely adjust to it.

TIP: When choosing a litter for a kitten, we recommend that you select a basic, unscented litter. Some kittens dislike scented litters and may refuse to use them.

scoop-in-cat-litter

Litter Pans

Litter pans come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. When selecting one for your cat or kitten, look for one that is:

  1. Easy to clean. Plastic is the most practical material, as it’s easy to clean. A simple design will also make clean-up quick and easy.
  2. A good fit. The box should be big enough to allow your cat to turn around easily, while the sides should be low enough for a small kitten or an older cat to climb in and out.

Hooded Boxes

These can keep litter from ending up all over the floor, especially if your cat’s an aggressive digger. Not all cats like being enclosed, but some seem to like the privacy a covered litter box provides.

NOTE: If you’re thinking about transitioning to a different litter, ie. one that’s more eco-friendly, you may have to make the transition slowly. Start with the old litter mixed with some of the new litter. Gradually increase the amount of the new litter over the next couple of weeks until you’re only using the new litter.

More Tips

  • If you’re thinking about transitioning to a different litter, you may have to make the transition slowly. Start with the old litter mixed with some of the new litter. Gradually increase the amount of the new litter over the next couple of weeks until you’re only using the new litter.
  • The litter box should be cleaned at least twice weekly. Discard the old litter and replace with about 1 inch of fresh litter. We also recommend that you wash the litter box thoroughly with hot water & soap once each month.
  • Cats like to do their business in a place that provides privacy. Select a spot that’s out of the flow of household traffic. The litter box should also be placed away from your cat’s food and water dishes, and from where your cat sleeps.
  • Once you find the ideal spot, stick with it. Moving the litter box from place to place might confuse your kitten or cat.
  • Finally, if your cat is avoiding the litter box or you find that they’re urinating outside of the litter box, this can be a sign of stress or a sign of a physical problem such as a bladder infection or something more serious. If this happens for more than a few days, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a licensed veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns.

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