Dealing with the litter box might not be the most fun part of your relationship with your cat. But when it comes to what goes in and what comes out, more is in your control than you might think. A wide spectrum of different litter products exists, and each offers its own advantages. Finding the right kind of litter is important for making life as comfortable for your cat and as easy for you as it can be.
Synthetic litter is what many cats are used to, and often the easiest litter to find. Once you’ve decided on this type of litter, you’ll find that there is still a wealth of varieties to choose from. These litters are designed to make cleaning the litter box as simple, painless, and odorless as possible. Synthetic litters options include scented and unscented, clay, and crystals.
Each of these varieties comes with some different features, but the basic advantages of synthetic litter are the ease of use and the relatively low cost. If you’re a new cat owner, this is likely where you’ll start.
Some cat owners find that they prefer natural kinds of litter. Natural litters are made of plant-based materials, such as pine, wheat, corn, walnut shells, and recycled paper. Some natural litters clump better than others, depending on the type. These litters are typically a little pricier, but they offer a soft, gentle environment for your cat to do its business. Some cat owners favor natural litters for kittens, who may attempt to eat their littler when they are initially introduced to it.
If you’ve had a cat for a while and are considering switching from one kind of litter to another, it can be helpful to make the switch gradually. Changing from clay to crystals to natural—or vice versa—can be jarring for your kitty, so it’s good to start by filling part of the box with the new litter and part with the old. Gradually, you can increase the amount of the new litter.