Cat Litters: Fragrance-Free Alternatives

Cat Litters: Fragrance-Free Alternatives

Plain clay cat litters do a terrible job when it comes to odor control. Living in a small house with four cats using plain clay litter is not fun, unless you happen to like the smell of cat pee. I don’t.

Clumping clay litter is out of the question. Bentonite clay turns into concrete when it gets wet, thus the clumps. When cats lick bentonite from their paws or inhale the dust, it can cause fatal bowel and lung obstructions. Clumping cat litters have killed entire litters of kittens and cost many cats their health, and even their lives. Excavating clay from quarries for cat litter also causes a lot of environmental damage.

The problems with clay started me on a quest for the perfect cat litter. It had to be:

  1. Fragrance-free, because fragrance chemicals are toxic to people and pets
  2. Soft-clumping or non-clumping
  3. A texture my cats would like
  4. Long-lasting
  5. Relatively inexpensive

Note: All but one of the following litters are available at Petsmart:

I tried the alfalfa pellet litter. OK odor control. My cats disliked the feel of the pellets intensely and wouldn’t use it. Ditto for wood pellet litter.

Yesterday’s News: Absolutely terrible odor control, stayed wet and soggy, had to be changed after 2-3 days. It’s as bad as clay, except for its environmental impact.

ExquisiCat Crystals: (Plus) Silica beads provide great odor control. Long-lasting, stays dry, easy to clean the boxes, nice reusable plastic containers.

(Minus) Expensive, some cats aren’t wild about the texture, and the beads are hard to sweep up. For the rest of your life you’ll be stepping on hard little beads that hurt your bare feet.

Swheat Scoop: (Plus) Made from wheat bran, the cats loved the texture. Wonderful odor control, soft clumps that are flushable, very long lasting. Works great!

(Minus) Somewhat expensive. One of my cats developed allergic asthma attacks from it. As soon as I switched to a pine-based litter his asthma went away. Wheat has a lot of fungal mycotoxins which could have caused his allergy. If my cat hadn’t developed an allergy to it, I would never have thought of the mycotoxin issue.

Corn Litters e.g. World’s Best Cat Litter: Haven’t tried them, don’t want to. Corn has a lot of mycotoxins.

LuvLitters at Wood pellets that have been kiln-dried and don’t have any irritating pine or cedar oils. (Plus) Great odor control, very long lasting, easy scooping, stays dry. Reasonable price given how long it lasts.

(Minus) Not available locally, must be ordered online. Some cats don’t like the feel of the pellets at first, but once the pellets break down they’re OK with it.

ExquisiteCat Advanced Scoop Paper Formula: This one gets the gold star! It looks and feels like clay. Wonderful odor control, light-weight, very long-lasting. Soft clumps, easy scooping, very affordable. The cats love it; I love it. Highly recommended!