Cat Litter - A Journey

Lumos & Noxie with their cat litter

Lumos & Noxie with their cat litter

Cat Litter – it’s a topic that I find cat owners can always talk about.

It’s funny as a society, we tend to think it is polite not to mention our own toilet habits, but when it comes to our feline babies, we’re happy to talk about their toilet behaviour – even to complete strangers.

And I have to admit, I definitely fall in that category. Lumos has had his share of challenges in the kitty litter tray, and this has led us on a journey in which we have of changes the kitty litter we use, our cat litter routine and Lumos has finally learnt how to use the litter tray properly.

Challenges with Kitty Litter

Poor little Lumos loves his food, but he also has a relatively sensitive stomach. This means that every time we rush to change his food – the poor little guy has an explosion in the kitty litter.

This is challenging enough, given that Lumos sometimes struggles with his kitty litter habits. He isn’t the best at covering up his business and may spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom trying to cover it up (but is not successful). It’s common for Noxie to go in after him to clean up for him.

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Our Old System

When we adopted Lumos & Noxie, they had been using a crystal litter, in a litter tray with a litter liner. And we continued this system for more than a year.

Lumos continued to struggle in the kitty litter tray. In addition to struggling to cover his business, he shredded the litter liner to pieces. This then resulted in a mess and we found that we were replacing all the litter every day. Resulting in us easily using 12kg (26lb) of litter a week! Not only was this expensive, this was time consuming and messy.

Surely there was another option?

So we went back to the drawing board.

Choosing a Cat Litter

We started researching on the types of kitty litter on the market and gosh it is overwhelming!

There are crystal, corn, clay, paper, pine, and the list just goes on. Some are scented, some insist that they don’t track all around your house, while other say that they control the odour.

Clumping vs Non Clumping Cat Litter

Non-Clumping Kitty Litter

Non-clumping kitty litter include crystal, clay and pine litter.

Typically these litters are really good at removing unpleasant odours as they are super absorbent.

However, as these litters become saturated, it may result in cat urine pooling at the bottom of your cat’s litter box.

Usually non-clumping litter is cheaper and are considered convenient as you dump the whole box whenever it is used.

Clumping Kitty Litter

Prior to conducting this exercise, we did not realise how popular clumping litter is now.

And it makes sense – it is easier to remove our kitty’s business from the litter box and we can leave the rest of the clean cat litter behind – meaning that we use less litter.

But this doesn’t mean that the cat litter box does not need to be cleaned – it just needs to happen less frequently when using clumping litter.

Typically this litter also doesn’t track after your cat leaves their cat litter tray.

As clumping litter appeared to be more convenient, we leaned towards this option.

Odour Control

We live in an apartment and odour control is fairly important to us, particularly with Lumos’ explosions!

Some cat litters have fragrances added to them. However, most cats do not like this so we decided early on that we would not pick a scented cat litter.

Environmentally Friendly

I won’t lie, I’m not proud of using crystal litter due to its impact on the environment. And this encouraged me to not consider clay litter too.

I found that natural cat litters like corn, pine, wood litter are more likely to be environmentally friendly and also non-toxic to our kitties.

The Cat Litter We Choose

We settled on the Rufus & Coco Wee Kitty Litter.

It is a corn litter, that it clumping, has odour control and is considered to be environmentally friendly.

We purchase one 9 kg (20lb) bag a month and it actually lasts!

We no longer have to find storage for 12kg (26lb) of litter every week in our tiny apartment.

And we have realised that we are now spending 8.5 times LESS a month on kitty litter. On the surface the Wee Kitty Litter may seem more expensive, but it is saving us so much!

Choosing a Kitty Litter Tray

The cat litter tray market feels like it has expanded significantly in the last few years.

Gone are the days when a simple tray was enough. There are now self-cleaning litter boxes and rotating Litter Robot. Some litter trays are simpler where they are covered or hooded.

Some cats don’t feel comfortable using a covered or hooded tray as they feel vulnerable in a confined space, particularly in multi cat households (which we are).

It is also possible that cats may be scared for the noises and movements that the fancy self-cleaning and robotic litter boxes/trays make. Noxie can get nervous easily while on the toilet so we decided against this.

We had a spare normal litter tray that we purchased from the bargain store for my old cat. Noxie loves making litter mounds in the litter tray and we found that the litter usually ends up on the outside of the tray. This could be because the tray was too small too. Many cats only like litter trays where they can fit and move around in easily.

Multi cat households should also at least have the same number of litter trays as cats. Ideally there will also be a spare litter box.

The Cat Litter Tray We Choose

We decided on a litter tray with a rim was the best option for us. Initially we choose this as it was the best for use with litter liners. However, we also found the rim stopped the kitty litter overflowing onto the floor.

The rim ensured that the litter tray was slightly enclosed without being too confining.

Litter Liner or No Litter Liner

On the surface, litter liners are super convenient for us humans – it’s an easy way to get rid of the dirty litter.

But as we learnt, they were a huge annoyance to Lumos. Each time he went in the cat litter tray, he would shred the liner and at times, use the shredded liner to cover his business instead of the litter. This would result in the liner leaking the litter and undesirable liquid into the tray and we would need to clean the whole tray.

So we decided to go with not using a litter liner.

Cleaning Routine

As we used the litter liners and crystal litter, we would remove all the litter and litter liner every night – this is how we ended up using 12 kgs of litter a week!

We were even trying to use less litter, but this resulted in Lumos ripping the litter liner even more.

Now we only remove the dirty bits twice a day and top up the litter. We actually have more litter in the tray and this gives Lumos extra litter to dig into.

We clean out all the litter and wash the tray once every week or every 2 weeks.

We’re finding this process so much easier to manage, cheaper and less stressful!

Changing Litter Systems

Everything you decide on really depends on your cat’s preferences from the type of litter, the litter tray, whether to use a litter liner and your cleaning routine.

Bear in mind that kitties don’t like sudden changes. When we introduced the new Wee Kitty Litter, we started introducing it into the crystal litter slowly. The whole transition took a couple of weeks.

Have you had challenges with your kitty litter system or have you made a change?