Kittens – Litter training 3 – Litter training Q&A19 August, 2006
(what does a box of chocolates and cat litter have in common? hmmm …)
Join any cat breeders’ forum and one of the hottest recurring topics is Litter Training and Cat Litter.
For breeders succesful litter training means an end to washing bedding that has been used to pee in, or finding little pungent deposits in shoes, on carpets, under the bed, behind the sofas etc.
And good litter is a must in the quest for easy litter training.
Good litter must fulfil the following criteria (not in order of importance):
1. Encourage cats/kittens to use it – something sandy and crunchy is very attractive
2. Good odour absorbing ability
3. Safe even when eaten (yes – kittens will sample anything)
4. Easy to clean – clumping litter
It’s rare to find a litter that fulfils the first four criteria and meets the fifth.
In ideal circumstances, all litter should be changed totally everyday. But in a multi-cat household, this can add up to £££.
Using a clumping cat litter can help some, but it still isn’t 100% safe at eliminating all the bits that carry germs.
So what cat litter do I use for my kittens and cats?
— a mix. For kittens, to start off, I line the trays with kitchen towels. For the larger trays I use Yesterday’s News (which is recycled paper formed into pellets) because it’s cheap and relatively good at absorbing smells. It means I can totally dump the contents of the trays everyday and not feel my wallet wince.
For the adult trays I use World’s Best Cat Litter because it’s amazing, and sometimes Shweat Scoop – they’re made from corn and wheat respectively and biodegradable, have a cunchy texture that cats love and absorb smells wonderfully. It’s also safe – cats and kittens can eat it and it won’t harm them. But I’ll probably have to switch to something cheaper because World’s Best is also World’s Most Expensive – almost £1 per pound!
OKO Plus make a litter that is from wood pulp that is also clumping – it does clump, but not as well as Shweatscoop or World’s Best. And in terms of odour absorbability, isn’t as good either. But it’s cheaper.
There is a class of cat litters made from Bentonite Clay which has excellent clumpability and one brand made by Everclean has even been proven to control coronvirus. But I don’t use litters made with Bentonite Clay in case kittens eat it and it clumps in their guts. For adult cats, if Bentonite Clay gets stuck to their fur, they might lick it off and again, it could obstruct their bowels.
What kind of litter trays do I use?
— a mix. For kittens I start off with small triangular corner litter trays that are meant for rabbits and ferrets. I also use the trays off Ferrero Roche chocolate boxes – the large flat boxes.
For the adult cats I have hooded litter trays which they like for the privacy it gives them. And if you have a cat that likes scraping and then flinging the litter about, they’re great.
My neuter boy, Teddy, prefers to use the garden which is both good and bad. Good because it means less mess to dig up in the litter tray. Bad if you’re trying to grow veg in a gro-bag, and after weeks, you’re puzzled as to why the seeds haven’t germinated and then one day Teddy walks away, looking relieved … . My one surviving gro-bag looks like Fort Knox – it’s got a dome of plastic netting, and wooden skewers stuck in every 2 inches. The roquette I’m growing in it looks particularly lush. Hmm … I wonder why?