Just a Thought: What is the BEST Litter for Your Cat?

The BEST Litter for Your Cat

When I talk with people about what type of litter their cats like, I often get these types of answers:  “I like this brand because it smells good,” or “I like this brand because it clumps well,” or “I like this brand because it doesn’t track as much.”  These are all fine answers to the question what do YOU like about your cat’s litter.  But the question is, what kind of litter does YOUR CAT like?  And how do you know?  What is the best litter for your cat?

If your cat is going outside of the litterbox, one of the first things I look at is the kind of litter your cat is using, and whether you’ve tried other litters.  There are all sorts of different types of litters out there, made of different materials and having different grain sizes.  You can find litter made of natural, sustainable materials such as corn, wheat grass, pine, and coconut husks.  There are all sorts of clay litters with various scents, additives (or not), clumping ability, and texture.  There are even silica crystal litters that change color. Litter comes in grains, shreds, and pellets.  There are so many options out there – how do you know which one your cat likes best?

Here are a few indicators that your cat likes her litter (although not all cats do these things, even if they are perfectly content with their litter):

  • Your cat spends time before using the box digging around in the litter
  • Your cat buries her waste with litter
  • Your cat doesn’t shoot out of the litterbox, spending as little time as possible in it
  • Your cat doesn’t perch on the edge of the box, as if she doesn’t want to touch the litter with her paws

So what’s the answer – what is the best litter for your cat?  The one that she will use consistently.  The one that SHE likes.  You may have to go with a litter that is not your favorite – maybe it wasn’t grown on an organic coconut plantation or is a little dustier than you’d prefer.  But will your cat use it regularly?  Does SHE like it?  Of course, if you can find something that you both like, that’s ideal.  But your cat likes what she likes.  And as long as she uses the litterbox on a regular basis, YOU are going to like it, too!

I will say that scientific studies have shown that cats prefer fine-grained clumping cat litter the best.  This is probably because the clumps can be easily removed (by humans) or avoided by kitty paws, and the fine grains are gentlest on sensitive toes.  But if you are having success with other litter types, GREAT!!!  You don’t need to fix what isn’t broken…cats have wide and varied preferences.  However, if your cat does start to go outside the litterbox, consider changing the litter your cat is using.  Is there an alternative your cat can try?  You bet…lots of them!

PS – There’s also the NO LITTER option of toilet-training your cat.  DON’T DO THIS.  Find out why you don’t want to toilet-train your cat HERE.

PPS – There are many other components to your cat’s litterbox setup that are important.  To find out more about these components and give your kitty the best litterbox setup imaginable, check out THIS ARTICLE.

Just a Thought

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Email: hello@felinebehaviorsolutions.com
Phone: 503-927-1107
Fax: 360-989-1144
Marci and Abbey

Dr. Marci L. Koski, CFTBS, CFTPB

Certified Feline Behavior & Training Consultant


LeeAnna Buis, CFTBS

Certified Feline Behavior & Training Consultant

Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer

Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer

Winner of the Women in the Pet Industry's 2017 Advocate of the Year Award

Marci Koski

Dr. Marci is a certified feline behavior and training consultant, with specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior. She started Feline Behavior Solutions to keep cats in homes and out of shelters as the result of treatable behavior issues. She believes that the number of cats in shelters can be greatly reduced if guardians better understand cat behavior, and learn how to work with their cats to encourage desired behaviors instead of unwanted ones. Dr. Marci’s family includes her four feline companions and her very patient, understanding, and supportive husband.