Not all pet litters are the same…
PAWS Pet Litter is a light weight, highly porous pellet made from recycled newsprint, zeolite and some binding ingredients. Its’ texture allows rapid and complete absorption of urine, and also makes it semi-clumping which enables easy removal of wet and solid waste for tray top up replenishment. This means fewer whole tray clean ups, and more economical use of each bag of litter.
A lighter, more porous texture enables PAWS Pet Litter to be flushable, and disperse completely in lots of water, so it is even safe for septic tanks use. The mineral zeolite adds excellent odour control, and this, along with natural lavender oil, adds to the antibacterial properties that work together resulting in a longer lasting, and fresher smelling litter tray.
Low dust, soft pellets and the lack of any toxic ingredients make PAWS Pet Litter ideal for kittens, convalescing, post surgery and sensitive pets too. These ingredients also mean that waste litter can be composted and it biodegrades naturally in land fill which is better for the environment. The mix of recycled newsprint and raw paper-mill fibres makes a lighter coloured pellet that does not stain white paws.
Other Paper Based Litters can be very compressed and show signs of over-heating during manufacture leading to a shiny surface that can initially repel liquids. This can lead to pooling of urine for a short while that may result in wet paws. The lack of odour control and antibacterial properties of other paper based litters lead to the need to change the tray more often. Paper based litters are usually made from recycled newsprint, and are biodegradable and compostable. These type of litters are light weight to handle, and safe to be used with kittens and sensitive animals.
Sawdust Based Litters are very heavy to carry, and show signs of over-heating during manufacture compression leading to a shiny surface that can initially repel liquids like some paper litters. This can lead to pooling of urine for a short while, but given time they do absorb liquid well. Once wet though, this litter type breaks back down to sawdust that can stick to fur and track from the tray. Therefore clean up can be messy with difficult sawdust particles to manage, and replenishment is not really possible, meaning full tray clean up more often.
When mixed with urine, harmful turpenes (like found in turpentine) can be released, that is irritant to eyes or can be more harmful. Whilst some people find the pine scent pleasant, some cats do not, which could lead to refusal to use a litter tray and toileting in other areas. Sawdust based litters are compostable and biodegradable, and made from recycled waste products, so they are better from the environment than clay based litters.
Silica Gel type litters (Crystal litters) are made from a silica similar to the desiccant that is found in pouches packaged as a preservative and moisture absorbent with medications and other consumables. This litter has an audible crunching when being used that can be off-putting to both cats and their owners. It is toxic if ingested, is sharp on paws, and tends to track from the tray. It gives off a vapour when hit with moisture which can contain fine silica dust particles that are toxic and can lead to lung inflammation in both animals and humans. It has medium level absorbency, and often yellows with urine absorption that some find an unpleasant feature. Urine can pool at the base of the tray leading to odour if not regularly stirred, and complete tray replacement is required when cleaning. Mining for silica has heavy environmental costs, and this litter is not compostable or biodegradable; crystal litter remains unchanged in our land fills.
Clay based litters are the least absorbent in our testing. These litters are very common and inexpensive to purchase, but their strip mining and lack of biodegrading are costly to the environment and our landfills are becoming congested with soiled litter waste.
Clay litters are very heavy to manage, are poor at odour control, hard on paws, and scatter easily from the tray. Their high dust can be irritant – especially to cats with asthma, and also makes tray clean up messy too. Poor absorbency leads to pooling of urine in the base of the tray which becomes smelly sooner rather than later . Soiled litter can not be easily removed, and therefore more frequent complete tray changes are required.
Clumping Clay based litters are designed to form a hard insoluble mass when wet which allows easier clean up of solid and liquid waste, and tray top ups are possible. However, this design function has led to debate over its safety as particles that stick to paws, are licked and ingested, could possibly lead to dehydration or even intestinal blockage. This litter is very heavy to handle, and is more expensive than regular clay based products. As with other clay based litters, clumping litter does not biodegrade, and has a high environmental cost from both source mining and inability to break down in our landfills.
Tofu Based Litters are a mid weight product to carry, and tend to be expensive to purchase. Whilst it has good liquid absorption, urine clumps become gelatinous and can stick to the base of the tray which not only can make clean up difficult, but usually requires a complete tray change so replenishment is not really possible. Odour control is not high, and this too means more frequent tray changes and less value per bag used. Tofu based litters are a natural product made from soy, that is biodegradable and compostable, so they are better for the environment than clay based litters.