The Cat Litter Debate

The Cat Litter Debate

Gregory Han
Jul 14, 2009

As the owner of two cats in a small apartment, the issue of the litter box is actually an important issue to consider in our household for sanitary and odor issues. We've been using silica gel litter (aka crystals) for several years now after trying a wide assortment of environmentally friendly options made out of corn, pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, clumping sawdust, barley, and even dried orange peel (how about Soylent Green litter?). Some worked better than others, none worked better at absorbing odors (guests have remarked our apartment does not smell like the usual small space, multi-pet abode), and most importantly the cats seem to like the sodium silicate best...

Our two cat panel agrees in unison of their preference for crystals over other litters

We've always wanted to switch over to a more environmentally friendly option, so we gave yet another new brand of corn and dried orange peel litter box a try recently, noting the savings switching over to this form of litter would make (about half the price of crystals). But after just a few days, we knew this switch wasn't going to work yet again for the most common issue we've run into with alternative litter: tracking.

It doesn't matter if it's pine pellets, clumping or paper derived litter, one of our particular (aren't they all?) cats finds himself often obsessively digging though any litter except the crystals, often leaving small piles of the litter just outside the Boodah Dome, alongside a trail of litter throughout the house that makes maintenance a pain in the backside. And odor control is always notably inferior no matter how much we clean. So today we switched back, bummed at the failure of the experiment, but happy our cats Eames and Eero seem content with the return of the expensive good stuff.

Fellow cat owners, which litter do you use in your household? And any good tips for keeping odor and tracking to a minimum around the house?

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