Cat litter recommendations?

We have decided to provide a concierge service :joy:
Our cats loudly let us know when they need to go. If its at night we stagger to the door and let them out - or back in. Daytime, they appear at the kitchen window.
Not using the litterbox, no matter which kind of litter we tried or how many litterboxes we provide.

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Just bumping this back up, following Lilly’s post and whilst in France I grabbed 4 bags of pellets and the sifting tray from Amazon. This works like a charm. Just a quick sift and used wood pellets, now just dust fall through. The dust is just composted now. Thanks @Lily .

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We do the same, suggested by the cat rescue place we got our two (now one) from. Cheaper and easier than anything else we have tried.

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I just watched this, great idea. I love Mr lidded tray, have to see what I can buy or make!

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Conclusion at 2nd week of using pellets and sifting tray. Usually would require a fresh tray of clay/corn/granules etc each week. Partly due to odeur, partly soiling. Pellets that get wet are sifted through, solids removed as usual. Only just needing to top up remaining pellets to replace whats sifted and that is a scoop of pellets only. This works out very economic and a greener solution.

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I’m not a cat person and our dog just takes a dump wherever he pleases, but if we ever do get a cat then I’m definitely following the advice in this thread!

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I may have missed it but can you use the pee-soaked sawdust for anything? Does it go in the poêle perhaps ?

Composting, I would think it wouldnt burn unless dry and then its only saw dust. Not very much saw dust a couple of cupfulls at most.

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I just put it in the pile of things to rot down naturally under one of our trees - the tree hasn’t died so i assume its ok.

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Hi,
As a cat behaviorist, here are my recommandations as for the litter choice :
Litter is a big deal for cats because cats communicate with smells. The litter box isn’t only toilet, it is a marking place and it makes your cat feel at home. Weither your cats is going outside or not, a litterbox inside always is a good idea. A lot of the behavior issues (as peeing outside the litter box) takes roots in an inappropriate litterbox. There are a lot of rules about the litter box and I’ll give you the most important:

→ exit the perfumed (even slightly) litters or litter perfumes, they screw up the whole point of the smell messages! (Cats’ sense of smell is 70x better than ours). Exit also dusty and silica litter, they can cause respiratory issues : no point of saving on litter budget if you have to go to the vet.

→ go for the clumping litter: it will be easier to clean, and you will need to change the whole thing less frequently.

->It may seems counter-intuitive, but better fill the litterbox with at least 10 -15 cm. The pee will agglomerate before touching the bottom, and make easy to remove balls. Again, less frequent litter change= less litter waste! Plus cats usually prefer that.

→ Cats prefer soft substrats, they might have issues with big/sharpy clumps

→ the litterbox should be placed in a calm area in a room the family spends time (living room, kitchen, bedroom, not in the garage or the bathroom), otherwise, it is a strategical place to mark and chances are that your cats will pee somewhere else.

→ Go for a simple open litterbox. Covered litter box are a cat stress machines:
-they are deadends so you can be trapped in it (specially if you have another animal, frequent guests or children) ,

  • there is no way to look out while you are doing your business and being vulnerable (cats feel better if they can see 360° in the litterbox),
    -they are ususally too small (should be 1.5x the lengh of your cat without the tail) so you can’t really turn and scratch as you should and your hears might touch the selling (which is very annoying)
    -they prevent the normal smell spreading, and they often have a flap, which is scary and can create negative associations with the litterbox (and you really don’t want that, believe me!).
    → Cats have individual preferences: they are habbits creature and are usually attached to the type of litter they used when they were young (if you know)

I can go on forever, but to make it short: any mineral soft clumping litter with no dust and no perfume should do. Vegetal litter are waaay better for the environment, usually cheaper but they can be less absorbant, more likely to mold or/and stick to the cat’s paws.

In my work, I recommand the Golden Grey litter, which is expensive but a crowd pleaser and lasts longer. For a budget friendly and easy to find litter, you can also go for Catsan ultra plus.

Hope it helps!

I and more importantly the cat is really happy with the wood pellets and sifting tray. Only using a small saucepan of pellets per week with the used composted. Simply the best system I have used and cat seems very happy too.

Our cat, since installing a cat flap uses the litter tray once & only once for a N° 1 & 2 and then ignores it completely, so no more litter tray! Though it did adopt us & lived outside in the barn or under the toilet where the fosse is for at least 6-8 months before it came into the house.

Don’t get me wrong: if your cat can get used to an organic litter, it is jackpot: less expensive, more environment-friendly to produce, less waste. It should always be tried out on kittens, who are usually more adaptable. Mineral litters are just closer to the natural cat prefered substrats, and a cat that used to go outside, or is stressed by a recent big change (such as a moving) often will totaly ignore an organic litter. You can tell your cat doesn’t like something about the litterbox if your cat:

  • doesn’t cover after elimination
  • suddently leaves the litterbox, hurrying or running (often with flattened hears on the side or back)
  • doesn’t use it and goes somewhere else
    It can also be the sign of a medical issue, specially if it a change in the normal behavior of your cat.

Organic litter (wood pellets, corn or tofu based etc) can be composted but the process should be long enough (2 years) to prevent pathogens spreading and it can’t be vermicomposted. The compost shoudn’t be used for the vegetable garden to avoid toxoplasmosis transmission to humans (cats are healthy carriers) but it can be used it for your other plants.

Finally, a worthwhile use for tofu!

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Been using wood pellets for nearly three weeks now and my estimate is that a 6 Euro 15kg bag of wood pellets for chauffage will last our two cats 36 days compared to a 5 Euro bag of the mid-priced mineral cat litter we have been using, lasting about 10 days, so that means what we spend on the wood pellets lasts nearly three times longer. And of course we are composting the sawdust, which is good for the gardening.

We actually did use wood pellets (more expensive as they were marketed as cat litter) back in the day when we lived in the UK, but didn’t like it because we didn’t realise it needed to be sifted. The granules just got soggy in the tray and that meant chucking out perfectly good pellets.

So the secret is in the sifting. If there is a caveat, sifting requires a bit of work every 2 or 3 days. By work, I mean the physical action of shaking the tray, which may not be suitable for everyone. It may be easier with a purpose-designed sifting cat litter tray system, but I made my own sift out of a spare plastic storage box, some cable ties and some barbecue silicone mesh bought for next to nothing from Amazon.

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Well its a month since we started with pellets and sifter and the 15kg bag looks maybe a 1/3 used with our 1 cat. I might weigh the pellets later to check but its more economical than expected.

I just use a litter scoop similar to the one in the picture - as long as the gaps are smaller than the actual pellets it will work. I remove the whole bits into a seperate container, throw the sawdust like waste and then refill the tray.

About right as we have two cats and they use one large litter tray. I’m hoping they will spend more time outside now it’s warmer and we can keep windows open. We don’t have a cat flap for various reasons, though hopefully we’ll work out a way of installing one. We didn’t need a full time litter tray for them back in the UK.

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Just weighed the bag, 11kg left so 4kg used in a month.

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