In choosing the right cat litter for your cat, there are a few parameters you need to compare each type of cat litter to, to determine which one will be the most beneficial to yours and your cat’s needs.
I will expound on the different kinds of cat litter available in the Singapore market based on the parameters of:
- Ease of clearing
- Household cleanliness
- Safety of your cat
Just a note that some cat litter comparison charts compare how heavy the bag of litter is for you to carry, but we feel that to be a moot point – every bag of cat litter in bulk is heavy. So we will discuss the various types of cat litter based on the above parameters only.
This litter comes in the form of sand, made from clay. It is easy to clear because it clumps around pee and poo is covered in it when your cat digs the litter box, which makes it clean to scoop and dispose of in a trash bag. Unfortunately, it is not biodegradable, and cat sand cannot be flushed down the toilet. Also, clay is strip-mined, which means it is a depletion of natural resources. However, it is a cheap start-up form of litter, one bag which will last you for about a month per cat, is under $10. If you have one or two cats, stray litter out of the box is still manageable and easy to sweep up. More than 2 cats usually creates a mess around the the litter box which means sweeping or washing the area at least twice a day. Cat sand that has fragrances, while it makes for great household smell management, is derived from chemicals that may be harmful for your cat. Also, as the sand tends to clump around your cat’s paws and ingested when they clean themselves, it is poisonous to your cat.
Conclusion: Great for a single-cat household, harmful to the environment, cheap, harmful for your cat.
Silica cat litter
Silica is made from cut glass and is meant for superb odour and moisture absorption. Depending on the brand – some may be mixed with clay – it may or may not be clumping litter, so ease of scooping will depend on that factor. It is non-biodegradable and cannot be flushed down the toilet. It is slightly more expensive than clay. Likewise it is easy to clear up around the litter box, and there is no tracking. It is rather harmful to your cat as it is made of cut glass, meaning glass shards will get caught in your cat’s paws when they use it.
Conclusion: Good odour and moisture control, harmful to your cat.
Recycled paper pellets
Made from recycled paper, absorbs moisture. It does not clump and clearing it is more troublesome, usually all the litter needs to be thrown out and replaced. It is biodegradable and can be flushed down the toilet. It is more expensive than sand-based litter but it is light to carry in bulk sizes, which makes it still cost-effective. It has no tracking, seldom gets kicked out of the box, but is poor in odour management. It is totally safe for your cat even if ingested.
Conclusion: No mess, poor odour control, difficult to scoop, environmentally friendly, safe for your cat.
Clumping paper pellets
This kind of cat litter is only available in Pet Lovers Centre. Those with carbon centres in the pellets have superb odour control. The pellets swell and clump together upon contact with moisture, making it very easy to clear. It is biodegradable, and can be flushed down the toilet. It is however significantly more expensive than cat sand, about twice the price. Mess outside the box is easier to clean up than sand, however if the floor is wet, the pellets turn sticky and get stuck to the floor. It is safe for your cat as it is made of organic material.
Conclusion: Safer clumping option to cat sand, environmentally friendly, expensive.
Made from recycled wood, it has superb odour control as pine is a natural deodoriser. Upon contact with moisture, the pine pellets turn to dust, which means your litter box needs to have a sieve at the bottom so that the dust will remain covered and not exposed to the air. It is easy to clear pee deposits – they turn the pellets to dust at the bottom of the sieve portion of the box which need only be cleared once a week per cat. Only poo needs to be cleared daily; however the litter does not clump around the poo. It is biodegradable and can be flushed down the toilet. It costs slightly more than cat sand, but can last for a much longer time than sand as there is less wastage of litter being thrown out during scooping. The mess around the box is easy to sweep up, and is only dusty if your litter box does not have a sieve-bottom for the dust to percolate downwards when your cat digs the litter. It is safe for your cat as it is made of organic material.
Conclusion: Requires a litter box with a sieve bottom, superb odour control, cost-effective, safe for your cat.