Sued51's Blog











{January 26, 2013}   World’s Best Cat Litter — Is It?

World's Best Cat LitterI swear my husband and I have tried at least 5 different types and brands of cat litter for our two cats; this is less a review than an attempt to share the story of our quest with the intention of helping others make their own decision. There are so many features to consider: blocking odor, cleanliness and lack of dust, ease of use, economics, and ability to dispose of the litter. Our criteria for selecting the kitty litter has continued to evolve as our cats have aged. Thank goodness are cats are easy-going and have adapted to the many litter changes we have inflicted on them.

We adopted our cats as kittens from a display in a PetSmart store. One of our cats had been there off and on for weeks because she developed red eyes from an allergy to the cat litter they were using and that affected her adoptability. She had to be sent to a foster home to allow her allergy to subside and was then brought back with instructions. We were told it was the litter dust. So our first criteria was no litter dust. They had used paper litter to alleviate her problem; because of this, we originally used “Yesterday’s News.”

In our town we have to pay for trash collection, so I was also considering ease of disposing of the litter; I was looking for something I could dump outside. I thought because the litter was paper it would disintegrate over time in the rain outdoors. This did not prove to be the case. Every time I changed the box, I dumped the litter in a pile at the edge of our yard. After a couple of years of this, my husband went to discard some branches in the same area and saw my dumping ground: “You have a Mount Poopsuvius out there! You can’t keep doing that.”  So…now what? What wouldn’t be dusty and would break down better?

We initially switched to “Feline Pine” and then to a cheaper generic pine product. The cats were fine with the change and it broke down outside, but my husband couldn’t stand the odor. I could scoop the solid waste, but not the urine. The urine made the pine break down and there was no way to scoop it out. The box had to be changed too often. When you think about it, the odor of pine does have an acidic element; it seemed to magnify the ammonia smell and make it overpowering.

Pine cat litterCrystal cat litter

One week in a pinch I tried some sort of crystal product I found at a local discount store…dusty paw prints everywhere and the smell was still there. That experiment was over quickly.

My husband went to the Internet and read the reviews for “World’s Best Cat Litter.” We initially tried the “Multi-cat” in the red and black bag. Again, the cats were fine with it. I liked that it could still be dumped outside because it was corn-based, and that both types of waste could be scooped out because it was “clumping” litter. Unfortunately, despite my best scooping efforts, my husband still complained about the smell. The odor-control element was just not there. I managed to find a small bag of the “Multi-cat Scented” in the purple and black bag, a natural product scented with lavender. I thought we had found the answer. But it was hard to find the litter in stock, even at the pet specialty stores. And the odor was STILL an issue; the lavender smell was too delicate to mask the ammonia.

At this point you might be wondering whether I only have one litter box? No, I have multiple cat boxes in the house, but both cats insist on going only in the one box. (When they were kittens they would actually go into the box at the same time, which the vet said was very strange!) So in the end, odor control became the most important criteria for us in determining which cat litter to use. We are now using “Arm and Hammer” clumping litter with odor control. If I have to put the litter in the trash, I guess that is what will have to happen. My husband found it at the local warehouse store so the savings of buying in bulk probably cancels out the price for disposal. So far, my allergic cat has not developed red eyes, and my husband no longer complains about the smell. I guess we have finally arrived at the cat litter of choice for us and our cats.

Arm & Hammer Cat litter

 

So cat lovers…what’s your #1 criteria when it comes to cat litter?

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MindMindful says:

I’ve found that adding baking soda to the litter makes a big difference.

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sued51 says:

I’m sure it does…a lot of the litters include it in their ingredients.
I suppose we could have added it to the “World’s Best Cat Litter”, but that brand is rather expensive anyway.

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MindMindful says:

Well, good luck on your search! Whoever invents the truly odor-sucking cat litter will be one of my heroes:)

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Elaine says:

My sister’s cat died because of baking soda in their litter. Just a warning!

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Herman says:

I’m using ‘Extreme Classic Baby Powder Scented Cat Litter’. It’s a highly effective clumping litter with reduced odor absorber. I prefer the extra hard clumping effect of the litter.

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sued51 says:

Hmm…I haven’t seen that. I wonder if it is only sold in Europe?

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Herman says:

Don’t know, I see it’s sold in most countries of West Europe…

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sued51 says:

Mr. Bowie must smell very good!

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Herman says:

Oh yes he does… 🙂

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Peter S says:

Our 2 cats use Tidy Cats litter, probably the most common litter there is. The only problem we have is what to do with the huge plastic 35 or 40 pound size tubs once they are empty. There’s only so many toy bins our 3 year old can use! Luckily our town started to accept them at the recycle center a few months ago, but they won’t pick them up, so I wit until we have a few piled up them off to the dump we go.

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sued51 says:

Tidy Cat must have to go in the trash? I really wanted to be able to use biodegradable stuff. I think maybe I should have continued with the World’s Best and added extra baking soda…

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Peter S says:

We should try something else, since Tidy Cat just makes for a big heavy mess to take to the trash!

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I found your blog via a recent post by Summer. And what did I find? Helpful hints for cat lovers! I only have one cat left and she prefers to be outdoors in the back yard most of the time. All she needs is a clean potty box if she comes in occasionally. My daughter has three indoor cats so I will pass your reviews on to her. I like that you got your cats from PetSmart. Strays are the best! You have a fun blog. I’ll visit again.

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sued51 says:

Thanks for your visit and for commenting, CC! Always love to find another cat lover!
I look forward to further “conversations” with you! 🙂

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Hats off to you! Over the years, things change, cats change. They get picky or old and can’t manage steps. It seems I am always trying new things. The worst was Breeze. Good idea and great for urine. The concept is to use ceramic pellets and the urine goes through slots in the bottom of the top part and gets absorbed by a piddle pad which you change. Then you can scoop out the solids. It worked until my cat had diahrea and the mess was all over the slots. Back to regular boxes after that. My yard is too small to try to compost or degrade it so I have to put in the trash.

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sued51 says:

Kate,
Thanks for sharing your comment. That concept sounds good…but only for younger cats I guess.
My sympathies dealing with your old one. We have to do whatever makes their lives easier. I had a 20-year old cat that couldn’t climb over the side of her box without falling over near the end; we had to pick her up and put her in there…poor dear.
I have to say…I HATE putting the litter in the trash…I may go back to World’s Best Cat Litter and just add baking soda for the smell and see how that works.

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seeker says:

Hammer is what I am familiar with.

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Lindy Lee says:

Any kind of litter will do. The key– daily removal of waste along with frequent changing & cleaning the litter pan at least every 3 or 4 days…

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sued51 says:

I scoop every day, but it still gets stinky if I don’t have something to cover the odor…My cats are very smelly…must be the food…

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Lindy Lee says:

Must be Fancy Feast they eat?

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sued51 says:

They eat Science Diet dry food…I think it has a lot of protein…

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Nain says:

So surprised to hear negative comments on “World’s Best”. I have always had two or more [indoor] cats and when I happened upon the “World’s Best” several years ago, I was so surprised to find that it WAS. [In my experience over the past 30 years of indoor cats.] Clumps solidly, no odor, minimally dusty. Expensive to buy? Yes- but as many things- not expensive to USE. I found that much less was consistently used than any previous brands I had used. I do feed the cats the holistic brands of food. Again, more expensive to BUY, but no fillers so they eat less. [I actually monitored this years ago when I first switched over. The same weight bag did last much longer. As an added bonus: less solid waste and less stink.] I scoop out the boxes twice a day of course, but find that I have to remind myself to actually take them out and thoroughly clean them. I wipe the interior every week or so. I tried the Blue Buffalo brand litter when it came out and did not like it. There was a definite odor that permeated throughout the house. Family members commented on it. [You know your friends aren’t going to tell you “Oh, yuck! Your house stinks of a dirty litter box!” whereas your [adult] kids will waste no time letting you know.] Obviously not everyone had the same results but I couldn’t be happier.

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sued51 says:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and story Nain. If it were up to me, I would have stuck with “World’s Best”. I didn’t think the smell was that bad, but my husband did. I may go back to it and maybe just add some baking soda. I REALLY hate disposing of the litter in the trash.

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WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

Cat litter is quite the topic, actually, because I’m not satisfied with mine EXCEPT one brand which – yes, is expensive. So I tend to have a cheap week, an expensive week, cheap, expensive. My cat’s used to it, just as well, but we do both prefer the better brand.

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