If you have read my article on the possible health hazards of using scoopable (clumping) clay kitty litter, be sure to also read my article on natural alternatives to clumping clay kitty litters. Meanwhile, while you are looking for a kitty litter to replace the clumping litter you've been using, or to start using from scratch (so to speak) if you haven't been using a kitty litter before, there are some things you might be interested in knowing:
- In regard to “deodorizing,” be aware that cat box odor shouldn't be a big problem unless your cat is sick or you're not cleaning the box a minimum of once a day or you are not feeding your cat a high-quality diet. Deodorizers are not something you want your cats to lick off their pads. If you're a real stickler on this issue, please note that alfalfa-based litters deodorize naturally, not through additives, and do a better job than any other kind of litter I tried.
- Don't use plain sand; like the clumping clay litters, it can also be the cause of respiratory problems.
- Cedar or pine shavings may seem like a good idea, but I have concerns about what they might do inside a cat.
- In a pinch, or if you really want to save money, Anitra Frazier recommends trying four thicknesses of old newspaper in a box with a few torn up strips on top. This works pretty well if you're willing to change the box two to four times per day, per cat.
- If you can't find a plant-based litter, don't panic. The old standby clay type has worked pretty well for years. With this litter, the individual pieces are large enough for a cat or kitten to spit out. Again, just be sure to avoid any product treated with a chemical deodorizer. However, be aware that all clay contains silica, which presents a respiratory hazard.
Unfortunately, my all-time favorite cat litter, Litter Green, is not on the list of natural alternatives to clumping clay kitty litters. Its producer, the Clorox Company, discontinued the product and sold the rights to Bio Plus in Florida. Litter Green was completely natural and naturally deodorizing (through the miracle of chlorophyll), small-pelleted, comfortable for cats, and it tracked very little. Bio Plus's version has peanut hulls in it and is not anywhere near as satisfactory.