Having a pet cat can be wonderful for so many reasons. They keep themselves clean, they cuddle with you when they feel like it, and you don’t have to rush home to walk them to prevent accidents. That last one comes with a trade-off however: kitty litter.

Though generally dreaded, kitty litter is not the smelly pile of sand it once was. It seems like it’s just a mound of dirt, but there have been many advances made in the efficiency, odor control and environmental impact of litter. So there are several options so you and your cat are sure to find one that pleases you both.

A Litter of Options
There are so many types available, it can be overwhelming to decide which to choose. Ultimately, your cat will help make that decision. While some cats will use any type of litter, some are very picky—if she doesn’t like it, she won’t use it and there’s little you can do to change her mind.

Most cats can be convinced to use the litter you prefer, but transition slowly so it’s not a sudden change. Start by mixing in a tiny bit of the new litter with the old litter. With every litter change, gradually increase the amount of new litter added, until eventually there is only new litter being used.

The different types of litter are:

Clay

  • Original type of kitty litter, what most cats are comfortable using
  • Absorbent, cats like it because it’s good for digging
  • Easy cleanup and decent odor control
  • Produces a lot of waste, doesn’t decompose, can create dust

Pine/Corn/Wheat

  • Environmentally friendly—decomposes naturally and may even be flushable
  • Very absorbent, good odor control
  • More expensive than clay, but also lasts longer
  • Some cats never adjust to the texture and won’t use it

Newsprint

  • Made from pellets of recycled newspaper
  • Larger pellets won’t stick to cat’s feet
  • Good odor control
  • Size of pellets can be difficult for cats to adjust to

Silica

  • Low maintenance—pellets change color when litter needs changing
  • Lasts longer than other types of litter
  • Not environmentally friendly
  • Some cats don’t like the texture