Cat Litter - What's the difference?
Clay (clumping & non-clumping or traditional)
Clay cat litters are the oldest type of commercial cat litter and are still widely available. Clay is used in cat litters because of its ability to absorb liquid. Traditional clay litter can absorb its weight in cat urine and, because it separates the urine effectively, has some natural odor control as well.
However, as clay litter becomes soiled and can no longer absorb liquid, odor can become a problem. Various ingredients such as baking soda and charcoal may be added to the cat litter to help with odor control.
Traditional clay litter must be cleaned and changed often. These litters do not form clumps that are easily removed with a scoop, so normally the entire litter box must be emptied, cleaned, and the cat litter replaced at least once a week.
The addition of a special type of clay, known as bentonite, does allow the litter to clump when it becomes wet. This type of clay-based litter has become known as clumping litter as opposed to the traditional non-clumping clay litter (which contains other forms of clay rather than bentonite).
With clumping cat litter, individual clumps of soiled litter can be easily removed with a scoop, along with the fecal matter deposited in the litter box. As a result, litter boxes filled with clumping litter can be replenished regularly to replace the soiled litter that is removed and do not need to be emptied and completely filled with fresh litter as frequently as non-clumping litters.
Crystallized cat litters are formed from a silica gel. This gel is absorbent and also provides odor control. The silica used in these products is similar to the beads that are found in the pouches packaged as a preservative with foods, medications, and other consumables that can be damaged by excess moisture.
Silica-based cat litters provide an option for those who prefer a non-clay litter. They also tend to produce less dust than clay litters. When using a silica-based litter, just like with clay, solid waste is removed with a scoop. However, due to the absorption properties of the silica, simply stirring the litter will allow it to absorb any urine in the box. Once the majority of the beads have yellowed, the box can be emptied and new litter can be added.
Biodegradable Litters (clumping & pellet options)
Biodegradable cat litters provide an alternative for those who prefer a more ecologically friendly “green” litter. These products still provide excellent odor control and most have clumping options.
When using a pellet-type litter, the feces tend to stay on top of the litter and therefore needs to be scooped more frequently. Once urine soaked, the pellets break down into a grainy texture, but does not clump. When most of the pellets have broken down, it is time to empty the box and refresh the litter. A wide slot scoop is recommended for these litters. Some sources suggest using the end product as mulch. Most people opt to either flush the feces down the toilet in small amounts, or in some areas where it is allowed, put it in their green bin for city pick up.
Options we have available in our store:
Corn (clumping or pellets)
Pine (clumping or pellets)
Walnuts (clumping or pellets)
Reference credit: https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/evr_ct_what_is_in_cat_litter