By Karin Krisher
Perhaps you’re concerned about the environment. Or your indoor environment. Perhaps the odors are unbearable, or the scooping part really sucks. Perhaps your cat has a respiratory issue irritated by common litters.
Whatever your reason for seeking out a better bathroom situation, we’ve got your guide to natural cat litter and alternative options here.
Some cat litters contain silica dust, a potential cause of respiratory issues. Chemical fragrances that attempt to conceal odors can also exhibit some toxicity. Bentonite clay, which allows for clumping of waste material in litter, has been known to cause gastrointestinal stress in some cats. Sometimes, this clay is also a product of environmental choices you might otherwise leave out of the box.
For clumping, Yesterday’s News litter works nearly three times as well as clay. It’s also made from recycled materials and is 99.7 percent dust free. This non-toxic option even comes in recyclable packaging.
Natural cat litter options that don’t involve a large purchase include sawdust and wood shavings. They’re easy to handle, biodegradable and smell kind of like the great outdoors. Check out Feline Pine from dust-free pine chips, Better Way Cat Litter from clay and cedar chips (for odors), or NEPCO’s Cedarific Natural Cat Litter, which has no clay or silica.
Other biodegradable litters include ShweatScoop Natural Wheat Litter and Benevo, both of which boast the power of natural ingredients like enzymes.
If you’re looking for something cheap, plain sawdust is a perfect option, though it won’t absorb or control odors like a cedar option. You can also recycle newspapers and turn them into cat litter on your own if you’re willing to put in the work. (Check this site for tips.) If you are concerned about odors and still want to use this idea, check out Smelly Cat chews from Pet Naturals, which include champignon mushroom extract to support the suppression of odor-causing chemicals in the intestines.
Natural cat littler options are everywhere you look. Find one that suits your environmental, health and olfactory needs. Don’t just settle for the thick carton on the bottom shelf because it has a handle. Think about your cats’ health needs and your own, and dive into research if you’re still serious about making the switch.
Have you made the switch to using natural cat litter? What happened? Tell us in a comment!