Choosing the Right Kind of Cat Litter

Choosing the Right Kind of Cat Litter

There are a few odors in a home that just stand out over everything else. They can make an otherwise clean home feel and smell dirty. One of those odors is that of cat urine. Sometimes, it seems, no matter how often you change or clean the litter box, the smell lingers. Keep your home in tip top shape by following a few litter tips.

First Things’ First

First off, if you live with multiple indoor cats, sometimes, things are simply more prone to smelling like “cat”. In a pinch, you can often cover up smells temporarily. For household smells, try essential oil diffusers and plug in scents over candles for safety purposes. You don’t want your cats playing and accidentally catching anything on fire.

Choosing Cat Litter

When it comes to the nitty gritty, you don’t want to cover up the odors for a long period of time. Instead, if you can, you want to find a cat litter that your cat likes that also reduces odor. If you have a new kitten, the types of litters available on the market can be overwhelming. Try a few different kinds to see what your cat prefers, but change them out slowly.

Follow the directions on the box about switching litter types and the directions regarding cleaning, scooping, or changing litters. After trying a few different types of litters, you should be able to determine which is best for odor control and which is your cat’s favorite type of litter. Then everyone will be happy AND the house will smell much better.

Types of Cat Litter

Clumping Clay

This has been the most common kind on the shelf until recently. With clump litter, the bentonite clay absorbs liquid and forms it into clumps. You scoop the urine clumps and the solid waste every few days and add litter as needed. Every few weeks, you completely dump out the box, clean it, and replace with fresh litter. Clumping litters are easy to maintain, but tend to be very dusty which does aggravate some people’s allergies.

Non- Clumping Clay

In the past, this was the only option available. The clay absorbs liquid, but does not clump, meaning you can scoop, but it will not be as thorough as a clumping litter. Non-clumping litter is designed to be replaced completely more frequently that other kinds of litter. It is also the cheapest.

Silica Gel

This is a more recent option on the shelf. Like the silica packets you find in almost everything packaged, the silica in the litter is highly absorbent. It is also dust free and does well to control odor. This type of litter is generally much more expensive and many cats do not prefer the feel of the silica gel crystals on their paws.


Pine litter is a recycled litter that comes in granules or pellets. The pine scent helps to control odor. The litter has some clumping abilities, but generally has to be changed more frequently. Some cats really appear to enjoy the pine litter, while others will avoid it, so it is worth a try if you want something other than clay litters.


  • In general, cats prefer some form of clay litter. However, if you have a kitten, and prefer another kind, you may be able to accustom them to a different texture.
  • In general, cats prefer unscented litters. Cats have an aversion to floral and citrus smells, so especially avoid anything overly scented in or near your cat’s litter.
  • If you have a cat who is unwilling to use the litter box (and has no medical condition causing the aversion), one solution is to offer two or more litter boxes with different types of litters and see if they show a preference to type of litter.
  • Keep the boxes and litter clean, as some cats are far more picky about cleanliness than others. Some breeds simply will not use a dirty box, meaning you will likely find (and smell) cat urine elsewhere in the house. And THAT definitely will not make things cleaner!