Let’s Talk Litter!
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The “box”…all cat owners know which one I’m referring to. Cleaning it is one of my least favorite household tasks and I’m constantly trying to come up with a better litter to make this process more “enjoyable”. Maybe less disgusting is a better term for this. I have tried several different brands to see if there is one we like best, and I must say, it’s been an exhausting task…between the litter being too “trackable” and getting all over our small apartment to the smell being unbearable, it’s been an interesting process!
Before Malloy came home I wanted to be ready and purchased some litter in preparation for his arrival. I’m pretty sure it was Fresh Step Multi-Cat Clumping Litter with Febreeze. (I know for a fact it was Fresh Step, a brand I was familiar with, but can’t remember the exact variety.) I wasn’t too opinionated with this brand, the smell was contained quite nicely and while the litter was trackable, I had been expecting that with getting a cat. I was however, concerned with the dustiness of this particular brand and wondered if there would be any negative health effects for Malloy. I also suffer from asthma and was concerned that the dustiness of the litter would have negative effects on me as well. Ultimately, I decided to do some research, just to see what others were using (and liking) in the litter box, and to hopefully get some answers about the health effects.
During my research on cat litter, I came across Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter and decided to give it a shot. The reviews were all pretty positive regarding both smell containment and trackability. The smell was contained the most with this litter, and while I did find specs around the house, they were mostly contained to the bathroom and den (the bathroom is attached to the den so naturally, the excess litter comes off in this room). While this litter is still relatively trackable, it is significantly less than the previous brand which is a step in the right direction. I especially liked that the smell was contained – there were times before switching litter that I would walk into the den and be inundated with the smell of cat poop – gross! I was also pleasantly surprised with the dust factor.
While we were in New Hampshire for Christmas I had to pick up some litter and grabbed whatever I could find (and afford from all the holiday shopping). I ended up with Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Multi-Cat and to be honest, didn’t hate it. It helped cover the smell pretty decently, especially considering Dan & I had to sleep in the same room as the litter box. It definitely tracked all over the room but not as much as I was expecting. My biggest issue was the dustiness. Malloy tends to go a bit crazy with the digging and is very particular about making sure everything is covered very well. While this is not an issue for me (I’d rather it be covered than not), Malloy’s box is in the bathroom cabinet (with the door open and a deodorizer) so too much dust is a concern of mine with it being a contained area.
When we got home from our holiday trip I decided to try the Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Light Weight Multi-Cat to see how it would stand up to the others. I was expecting dustiness based on our experiences with the previous Arm & Hammer brand we tried, but I was drawn to this particular variety because it was so much lighter. I loved the idea of being able to carry the litter easier along with our other groceries especially being in an apartment complex, the less trips to the car the better! But much to my dismay, I found this litter ALL over the house! Not to mention, it was a darker grey/charcoal color which was far more visible on our light-colored carpets. The smell was contained which I loved, but I knew I couldn’t buy it again due to its trackablity.
In doing some more research, I read incredible reviews (well, as incredible as a review on cat litter can be) on World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula, so I decided to give it a shot. While it did clump nicely, I HATED the smell. The first time Malloy used his box after adding the World’s Best, I was nauseated and wanted to put it outside on the deck. Dramatic? Maybe a little… But I can assure you, I will not be buying again because I couldn’t stomach the smell. The trackability for World’s Best is probably in the middle of the other brands I have tried, and while cleanup is easy due to the clumping formula, I dreaded going into the bathroom (and sometimes den) because the smell was so unbearable. I will say, Dan did not experience the same smell issues I did and thought I was a bit crazy, so it could have to do with the insane allergies I dealt with this year, but it was enough to get me to never buy it again. I’m guessing the smell came from the fact that the litter was corn based, something I am clearly not used to, but this concept may come in handy for some who want to flush their litter instead of tossing it.
We have been using Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter for quite some time now and overall are very happy with it. Because we like this brand so much I have been considering trying out Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Touch of Outdoors Litter. I have the goal of training Malloy to become an “adventure cat” of sorts, and become familiar with traveling & the outdoors, so what better way to introduce outdoor smells than in the bathroom? I am still up in the air about trying out something new – why fix what’s not broken, right? – but my curiosity will probably get the best of me one of these days and I’ll have a review when the time comes.
So fellow cat owners, what’s in your cats box? Have you found a litter (or system overall) that you love? Please share your thoughts, I am always looking for ways to improve Malloy’s bathroom experiences!