What is natural cat litter?
Natural cat litter is made from renewable resources such as corn, wood, wheat and recycled paper.
Wheat based litters, such as Swheat Scoop, claim their litter clumps similarly to clay based litter, and that the enzymes in the wheat help control odor.
Ground corn cob and aspen wood based litters offer a pleasant scent.
Wood and paper based litters come in a variety of textures. From small shreds of paper strips, to soft absorbent dried wood pulp chunks or compressed paper pellets, these are also good options for a natural cat litter.
If the natural cat litter doesn’t provide enough odor absorbing properties for you or your cat’s liking, add a sprinkling of baking soda to the bottom and top of the litter pan.
Why is natural cat litter a good option?
Natural cat litters are a healthier option than clay-based litters. Clay litter is not digestible if accidentally ingested, and can cause blockages in the cat’s intestines. Dust from clay litter can also cause upper respiratory problems for small animals, including cats.
Natural cat litter is also made from renewable resources. Clay is mined, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Paper, corn and wheat based cat litters will be able to be manufactured forever.
When should I use natural cat litter?
You can use natural cat litter daily. However, is it often recommended after a cat has had surgery, including spaying, neutering and being de-clawed. Clay dust from traditional clay-based litters can irritate the healing wounds from surgery.
Starting a new kitten on natural litters is the best option. A cat established on clay litter can be converted, but may not transition quickly, since cats resist change. Start by sprinkling some of the new natural litter on top of the clay litter, so they can investigate. With each litter change, gradually add more of the new litter, until you have 100% converted to the new natural cat litter.
Drawbacks to natural cat litter
Natural cat litters do carry a larger price tag than the clay varieties. However, the monetary cost isn’t the only factor to consider with these litter products. The environmental gain, health of your pet and trainability of a new kitten should also be considered.
Natural cat litters are available at pet superstores such as Petco and PetSmart. Availability of these litters in grocery stores or discount stores is very rare, making them slightly more difficult to purchase.