Saturday, July 2, 2011

Newer, Better?

Last week, we talked about thinking of our cats when we buy a litter box.  Now, let’s talk about the litter in the box.  Just as with litter boxes, you have many choices.  We have sandy litter, scoopable litter, crystal litter, and fresh-scented litter.  We have litter made from wheat, clay, and recycled newspaper.  How are we ever supposed to choose?  Newer is better, right?  Well, not always.  As with all things, cats are often traditionalists when it comes to their litter.  They often prefer a soft, sand-like substance such as a clumping litter.  They often seem to like a litter depth of about two to three inches, and it’s nice to give them a large, shallow box so they can dig and cover without flinging litter all over your room.  That being said, if your cat is fine with a newfangled litter, this is great.  We send home Yesterday’s News litter (made from recycled newspaper) with our declawed cats after surgery, and most cats have no problem with it. 

 Just remember to look at the litter with a cat perspective.  A flowery scent designed to make things smell better to us may be overpowering to a cat.  (I think of the look on my dad’s face when he walks into a Bath and Body Works store.)  Avoid lemon scented cat products since citrus is a cat deterrent.  If you want to try a new litter, remember that cats don’t like quick changes.  If a new cat litter catches your eye, invest in a new litter box.  Fill the new box with the new litter and place it next to the old litter box with your old litter.  If your cats are intrigued, they’ll try it.  If they like it, they’ll use it and you can transition to the new litter.  If you find a new kind that works, let us know.  We love the feedback, and we’ll pass it on to other clients.

Kelley Wagner, CVT

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