Q&A: What’s the best kind of cat litter to get?

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cat in litter box photo

Chanel is available for adoption at Northwest Animal Companions in Portland, OR.

Dr. Lauren Brickman writes a pet health and care column for Petside.com. Read all the Q&As she’s shared
with Petfinder

Q: I just got a kitten but I’m confused about the cat litter. Is there one type that is better than the rest? I would like something that doesn’t smell and is good for the environment. Can you recommend anything?

A: Cat litter comes in many different forms. An ideal cat litter is highly absorbent, has a pleasant odor, and easy to clean. It is important that not only you like your cat litter but that your cat likes it too.

When cats disapprove of their litter they may avoid the litter box
altogether. This leads to accidents in your home. Many cats do not like
highly scented litters and find it offensive. This too can cause them to
eliminate out of their box.

Cats usually prefer litter that has the texture of sand. This most
resembles their natural habitat and is also gentle on their paw pads.
Remember that cats are very clean animals who pride themselves on
personal hygiene. For this reason, they like to have their boxes cleaned
out regularly. A good clumping litter is best and makes scooping a much
simpler task. Should you decide you want to change your cat’s litter,
do not do it abruptly. Put down a new box with the new litter until you
see that he likes it.

As a side note, remember that if your cat has recently undergone any
type of surgery and has stitches, regular litter can get stuck in his
incision site and cause a problem. Be sure to use either shredded
newspaper or a newspaper-based litter until your cat’s stitches are

If you have questions about your pet’s health, you can submit them to
Dr. Lauren at drlauren@petside.com.

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