What cat litter is and how to use it
Let us begin by defining what cat litter is. This is an absorbent material placed inside a box (litter box) for a cat to urinate and defecate when indoors. Cat litter is essential when cats are allowed to roam inside the house or not allowed to go outdoors to relieve themselves.
Conventional cat litter
Before clay, people used sand in litter boxes. Conventional cat litter in the form of clay has been used for years. This clay litter is far more absorbent than sand and is elaborated into large clumps of clay.
There is a less expensive substitute for clay, which is a clay-based oil absorbent. It is basically indistinguishable from the other one. This conventional clay is usually made of diatomite, sepiolite and zeolite.
Clumping cat litter
This clumping cat litter started to be used in the UK in the 1950s. This litter forms a clump when wet. This clump separates from the rest of the litter and can be easily scooped out. Fuller´s Earth Union (FEU) developed this calcium bentonite, which was more effective than American bentonite.
Most of the clumping cat litter we know today is made from granulated bentonite clay. This litter may also contain quartz and diatomaceous earth.
Silica gel cat litter
This litter absorbs better than any other. This “crystal litter” is a granular form of silicon dioxide. Besides its excellent absorbent abilities, it also has great moisture control and odor elimination.
Users of silica gel state that it only takes 4 to 5 pounds of the litter to absorb the contents of a normal weight cat during 30 days. Once the silica starts to turn yellow, it means it is saturated.
There are tons of litter that usually end up in dumpsters and this does not contribute to the environment. Biodegradable litter is a greener answer. It is composed of several plant resources, recycled newspaper, sawdust, pine wood pellets, walnuts, corn, wheat, barley, and dried orange peel.
On the downside, this product is usually more expensive than clay which makes it not too cost-effective. However, some components can be bought at a much cheaper price.
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