Choosing the right litter for your cat


It can be difficult to find the best cat litter to suit your cat and your home.

Tortoiseshell cat lying on a lounge
If you’re thinking about adopting a cat or kitten, it’s important when setting up to spend time finding the perfect litter for you and your pet.

Cat’s preference

Your cat may already be accustomed to a certain type of litter, so discuss with the previous owner or donation shelter what type they use and your cat’s toileting behaviour. This is a great starting point, even if you end up trying a different kind of litter at a later date. Cats are clean and tidy animals. Although new kittens may be unfamiliar with how a litter tray works, it won’t take them long to learn. If you notice your kitten struggling, it may be time to try a new type of litter. Your cat’s preference may revolve around how sensitive their paws are, or they may just prefer one type of litter more than another.

Choosing litter

There are many different types of litter, but generally they can be split into two categories – clumping and non-clumping. Clumping litter absorbs moisture more quickly so you can scoop and remove the clumps when they form. The box will still need a thorough clean at times though. Non-clumping litter absorbs moisture more slowly and has ingredients that eliminate unpleasant smells. This type of litter needs changing and cleaning at least once a week. Choosing between a clumping or non-clumping litter is a great place to start. Pick something you know you would prefer to use before choosing a specific version.

Specific types

When choosing cat litter, consider the smell, ingredients, biodegradability and suitability for composting.

  • Clay litter is available in both clumping and non-clumping varieties and is one of quickest absorbing litters on the market. It’s also economical – you can incorporate old clumped clay litter into your garden. The non-clumping variety can also reduce litter tracking throughout the house.
  • Natural litter is typically made from corn, wheat and pine. Natural grain litter is fully biodegradable and can help control odours. Pine litter uses only sustainable wood sources such as shavings. This litter is absorbent, biodegradable and has great odour control.
  • Crystal litter is made from silica crystals and is non-clumping. There are many advantages to using this litter, as it is long-lasting, lightweight, non-toxic and has a high absorbency rate.
  • Paper litter is made purely out of recycled paper, chemical-free and super-absorbent. A great feature of this litter is its suitability for composting.

Transitioning litter

When changing to a new litter type, it is important you maintain a slow transition. A great technique is to leave the new litter box with the older litter. Do this until your cat is more comfortable using the new type.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.