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How to Choose a Kitty Litter That’s Right for You – AND Your Cat 
 
by Katharine Swan June 07, 2005

Non-Clumping Litter

Using non-clumping litter has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Because it is designed to absorb instead of hardening into clumps, the rare medical problems caused by clumping litters are circumvented. Because the litter is larger and heavier, using the non-clumping type reduces the amount of litter tracked from the box. The larger granules also mean that the amount of litter dust released into the air is significantly lessened. However, changing the litter box becomes quite a chore with non-clumping litter. Feces still has to be scooped daily, but urine sits in the litter until it begins to smell, and the only way to clean the box is to dump it all out and replace it with fresh litter. If you wish to avoid juggling trash bags and heavy, smelly litter boxes, non-clumping litter may not be the right choice for you – or your cat, as you will inevitably put off changing the litter box.

Alternative Kitty Litters

Alternative kitty litters offer many advantages that the traditional types can’t. However, for cats unused to the vastly different look and feel of most alternative litters, the switch can be traumatic. If you decide to go with an alternative litter, be sure to ease your pet into the transition by mixing the old and new litters for a few weeks or a month before switching over entirely. If your pet still is not comfortable with the change, it may be necessary to return to the tried-and-true in order to circumvent litter box-training issues.

Absorbent Crystals

One of the first alternative litters available, absorbent crystals changed the way we look at litter. The crystals are chemically engineered to reduce litter box dust, neutralize odors, and last longer than normal non-clumping litters. However, some cats just can’t be convinced that crystals are cool. The dramatically different look and feel of the litter can make picky cats hesitate to use the litter box, even point of risking your wrath to leave their little “presents” elsewhere. If your heart is set on crystal, but your cat is holding out for something better, never fear – there is help for your relationship, in the form of crystal “blends,” litter that is half-crystal, half-traditional.

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