Wondering which cat litter you should use for filling your cat’s litter box? Here’s a brief primer on choosing the best cat litter for your pet in Australia.
Rule #1: Catto Is Boss When It Comes to Choosing the Best Cat Litter
First and foremost, the best cat litter is the litter your cat will actually use. Cats can be frustratingly finicky about their kitty litter. Once your cat has established a strong preference for a certain type of litter, it may be extremely difficult to change brands; it is possible – likely – that your cat will steadfastly refuse to use a new type of litter if you attempt a change.
Presenting kitty with the wrong litter will almost certainly result in disaster. If the cat doesn’t approve of the litter you’ve chosen, don’t be surprised if you find him digging around in your container plants or squatting in the bathtub instead of the litter box.
So, if you’re introducing a new kitten to the litter box for the first time, choose your litter carefully. You might get stuck buying that same brand for the long term, even if you later discover a brand that would work better.
If you’re adopting an older cat, it’s wise to make an effort to determine the brand of cat litter that the cat is accustomed to. The transition will likely be easiest for the cat if you continue using the brand he already likes.
If you need to make a change, you can attempt to transition by mixing the old litter and the new litter for a few weeks before switching completely. However, don’t be too disappointed if such a change does not work. The cat might not go for it.
Types of Litter Currently Available in Australia
Before we get into recommendations for specific brands of cat litter, let’s review some information about the types of cat litter that are currently available in Australia:
Clumping vs Non-Clumping Cat Litter
Some cat litter is formulated to create clumps after a cat has used it. This allows you to easily scoop out the soiled clumps, leaving the unused litter in the box for kitty to use later.
With the non-clumping variety of cat litter, there is no easy way to separate the used litter from the clean litter – which means that, if you hope to keep the cat litter box sanitary, you must discard all the litter after the cat has used the litter box.
The non-clumping variety tends to be slightly cheaper upfront, but that doesn’t mean it is the best value for the money. Overall, you waste less litter when you choose the clumping variety. So, in our opinion, clumping cat litter is superior to non-clumping in every way. It’s better for the environment; and it’s likely to be better for your wallet, too, because less of the litter is consumed each time your cat uses the litter box. This results in far less wasted cat litter over time.
Odour Control Cat Litter
“Odour control cat litter” can sometimes be a deceptive term. In some cases, it should really be called “odour masking cat litter”, because the odour isn’t really controlled; it’s simply camouflaged. And that camouflage can sometimes come in the form of dodgy chemicals.
However, it is true that some cat litters do an excellent job of absorbing odours. It’s ideal to find one of these rather than settling for a litter that simply masks the smell with a chemical fragrance. Some kitty litters include baking soda, which tends to be fairly effective at controlling odours.
Flushable Cat Litter
Some cat litter products can safely be tossed in the loo and flushed. This feature makes the task of cleaning the litter box ultra-convenient.
What’s Cat Litter Made Of?
Cat litter can be made from many different materials. Possibilities include bentonite clay, other types of clay, wood pellets, corn litter, walnut shells and plant fibres. There is also a type of litter known as crystal litter that is typically made from silica.
Cat litters may also contain some additional ingredients. Guar gum or similar alternatives are sometimes used for enhancing a litter’s clumping capabilities. Fragrances may be included. Baking soda is another frequently included ingredient in cat litter.
Do Cats Have a Preference on What Material Makes the Best Cat Litter?
Clinical research published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour sheds some light on which cat litter material cats are likeliest to use. The researchers conducted a test designed to determine which cat litter substrate cats prefer. The materials included in their testing were clay granules, wood pellets, silica microgranules and silica granules. They determined that cats favoured the clay substrate for doing their business. So, if you aren’t sure which type of cat litter to choose, clay litter is a good starting point.
However, it’s worth noting a couple of important points. Their trial didn’t include corn litter or other plant-based fibres other than wood chips. Also, their trial was a relatively small one involving groups of only 12 and 18 cats – and it is possible that your kitty might have different preferences than those of the small number of kitties involved with that research.
Our Top Picks for the Best Cat Litter Australia
This eco-friendly kitty litter is derived from organic plant fibres that are softer on cat’s paws than many other brands. This cat litter can be composted and is 100 per cent biodegradable. It readily forms clumps, making it easily scoopable for quick and convenient cleaning. It incorporates a chemical-free method of odour control.
This is a clumping litter made from Australian bentonite clay. The clay’s naturally absorbent properties help to control odours, leaving the litter tray fresh and sanitary.
This is a natural clay cat litter that also includes herbs designed to attract kitties to the litter box. The litter is manufactured on behalf of a veterinarian who wanted a solution for helping cats who were refusing to use the litter box. Fans of this brand have reported many success stories.
This is an eco-friendly cat litter derived from whole kernels of corn. Fans of this brand appreciate that it is a low-dust cat litter and that it can easily be flushed. Cats have a tendency to track litter all over the house, but this brand tracks less than many others do. Some critics point out that this particular brand of cat litter doesn’t do much to mask odours, but fans say that it is preferable to the chemically-scented options.
This absorbent cat litter is made from biodegradable corn pellets. It can be flushed down the loo, but only in small amounts. It clumps up well, and it doesn’t track around the house as much as some other types of litter do. This litter does tend to be a bit dusty; but if you can get beyond that, many cat owners find its other features to be totally satisfactory.
Those are our top picks for the best cat litter in Australia. We wish you success with finding the ideal cat litter for your pet.