Kitty Litter Information
I have never been much of a cat person, but after doing a lot of business traveling my wife and I decided to rescue a little orange tabby kitten from a shelter. The very first decision along with kitten food and care is the kind of kitty litter you should be using for your brand new kitten. You can use whatever the latest cat litter coupon is for your guide to purchasing your first bag, but in my limited experience it does actually matter what brand you use.
Cats will give you a hard time about switching cat litters, so it is important to just pick something that works and stick with it unless you have a really good reason for making a significant change. Cats get used to the smell, texture and who knows what else and it apparently makes it hard to concentrate on the task at hand (or paw) for them.
$9.99 for 40 pounds of cat litter sounds awesome until you have to clean up little clay litter pieces that your kitty tracks all over the house. Also when the the cat urine still smells a lot like... well cat urine even far after it should have been absorbed is not always worth the savings.
The smell of cat urine is not pleasant and you do not necessarily want to be scraping and changing kitty litter every time your cat has decided to pee in the litter box. Our kitten (Hobbes) was already a couple months old when we rescued him so he was already litter box trained. Cats seem to have a natural knack for knowing where to use the bathroom, but it is up to you to keep the area smelling nice for yourself and clean for your kitten.
I have found that Everclean Cat Litter has been a consistent winner in the litter department for us with our cat. The urine smell is much less noticeable with the scented litter and it does not seem to effect our cat's participation in our "go in the litter box only" program. Of course, Everclean may not be there price point you are looking for or simply not in your area so here are some key factors that I have learned (unfortunately the hard way) on how to select cat litter.
Clumping cat litter basically means that when your cat urinates, the pee is soaked up into a clump of litter for easy removal. Other litters will just generally absorb the urine however it will not be left in a tidy clump. Most commercial kitty litter options do clump however if you are going to try a flushable cat litter then you will have minimal clumping, because most clumping litters are not biodegradable hence not flushable.
Litter odor, automatic litter trays, and high tech litter boxes are all great, but if your cat isn't comfortable, he will deviously make you pay for his discomfort. Cat litter brands will tell you the size of the litter pellets, the type and the texture. It's important to keep these factors consistent and find what works best for you and your cat. Personally I go for unscented, clay based, small pellet cat litter. According to this article that may not be technically the best combo, but it is what our cat seems to be the most happy with. The scented litter can be distracting, the clay is the most comfortable and the the small pellets are good for small kitty "presents".
In the end, give your kitty a pat for using litter in the first place. There aren't many animals that are as low maintenance as a cat, so think of spending money on cat litter as a fee for the wonderfully independent creatures cats can be when you can't be there for them constantly.