5 min.

How to choose the best litter for your cat

Let's be honest, there's nothing glamorous about litter and that's probably what you dislike most about living with a cat. But it’s so essential and important to your cat that it deserves a close look to better understand how to choose the best product for your cat.

5 essential characteristics of good litter

Exceptional odour control
Cats have a particularly well-developed sense of smell that is far superior to that of humans. Remember that if you think the litter smells bad, your cat can smell it from the next room. If you use high-end litter, you won’t need to add any protective covers, deodorant powders, or fragrances. These solutions are more likely to disturb your cat than to solve the odour problem. Unpleasant odours come from ammonia, which is formed when the cat's urine comes into contact with oxygen. Ideally, choose a litter that blocks and neutralizes ammonia formation, and scoop waste from the litter box daily. 

Clay, like plant-based matter, is a brittle material. It is therefore normal to find a certain amount of dust in the litter, especially since it is essential for the formation of clumps in the case of clumping litters. This dust can be irritating to people or cats who suffer from dust allergies or who have asthma. Although no litter on the market can claim to be completely dust-free, choose a low-dust litter, like all of ours are. 

Clumping litter offers many advantages. Clay and other plant fibres, such as wheat and corn, quickly absorb liquids. In the case of sodium bentonite, the clay we use in our litters, it can absorb up to six times its weight in liquid! In addition, high-end litter will form small solid clumps that will remain on the surface: They facilitate daily cleaning and keep the plastic of the litter box from getting contaminated. Knowing that cats generally prefer clumping litters and that they make cleaning easier for you, choosing this type of litter is a no-brainer! 

Soft on paws
In the wild, cats prefer to relieve themselves in the fine sand, which is soft on their paws and easy to dig to bury their droppings. It is preferable to choose a material that is similar to this sandy texture, such as clay-based or fine-grained plant-based litters. On the other hand, paper or wood chip litters drastically depart from the soft texture of the sand and do not always allow good control of the odours emanating from the box. A cat that does not like the quality of the material offered could choose other softer materials, such as a carpet, a couch or even a bed. Avoid this risk!

Unscented or slightly scented
As mentioned above, cats' noses are very sensitive to odours and many smells are even repellent for them. It is therefore preferable not to add fragrances or other deodorants to the litter yourself. Instead, choose high-quality litter that controls odours. For all our scented litters, we carefully select ingredients that are free of allergens and volatile chemicals. All our fragrances are carefully selected to respect the cat: They are very mild, subtle, non-repellent and loved by cats. 

What if my cat eats litter?

If your cat swallows inedible materials, whether litter, yarn, fabric, plants or plastic, consult your veterinarian immediately. This behaviour may conceal an underlying health problem. If your cat only ingests a few grains of litter, for example by licking her paws when she leaves the bin, the risks are practically non-existent. Clumping litter is made of pure clay, which comes from petrified volcanic ash. Few cats will ingest clay litter. However, some cats may be attracted to wheat or corn grains. Normally, it will be more out of curiosity when litter is changed. If you change brands or litter types, do so gradually.

How to train your cat to use the litter box

A cat is an extremely clean animal by nature. It is therefore relatively easy to teach him to be clean. You usually only have to show him his box once to get him in the habit. However, your little kitten may still have an accident. In this case, avoid punishments that do not show him what to do and that very often cause the pet more stress, which can make the problem worse. Don't put it in the litter box after the fact either. He no longer wants to go and will not understand what you mean. And if you do it too often, your cat may develop an aversion to his litter box. Simply facilitate access or add litter boxes everywhere. If the problem persists, consult a behavioural specialist. Clean up minor damage quickly, making sure to eliminate odours to avoid future accidents.

Are there other possible uses for traditional litter?

Of course! Non-clumping litter is sometimes used in soil and compost for its drainage properties. You can also spread clay litter to absorb oil or gas stains left by your car on asphalt or pavement. In addition, non-clumping litter is very useful in winter on ice-covered surfaces (stoop, steps, under car wheels, etc.) to improve grip. Never use clumping litter for this purpose in winter.

Use our litter selector to find out which litter is right for you and your cat.