Is Clumping Cat Litter Safe?

If you’re wondering is clumping cat litter safe, I’ll help you decide by sharing what I’ve found. Buying litter is an essential part of being a cat parent.

Whether you’re cat spends time outside or not, you will need to provide litter. There are so many brands on the market it can be confusing.

It’s not just about what you consider to be the best, but your kitty has to like it too. There is no right or wrong type, but in this post we’ll be looking at clumping cat litter

You’ll discover what it’s made of, the pros and cons of using this type of litter, and if it’s really safe to use. You’ll also discover the amount you need to fill the box, plus tips on cleaning.

What is clumping cat litter?

clumping cat litter

There are two main types of litter, clumping and non clumping. You may prefer clumping if you don’t mind breathing in dust, and prefer a product that lasts longer.

Clumping cat litter is typically made from bentonite clay. The particles are very fine and bind together well when wet. You’ll also find alternative clumping litter made from corn, wood pellets, and paper.

The pros of using this type of litter include cheaper price and less frequent cleaning. As you’re only removing solid clumps, there’s less need to empty the entire box.

You can simply top up with fresh litter and rake over. The cons though include the weight. Clumping litter is usually much heavier than non clumping. Lifting a large bag of the stuff could seriously hurt your back.

Is clumping cat litter bad for the environment?

Bentonite is found in most clumping cat litters, and surface mined. If you’re considering this type of litter bear in mind it means stripping vast acres of land to access it.

So yes, in this sense it’s bad for the environment as it’s destroying wildlife habbitat. Most supplies of bentonite found in your clumping kitty litter are mined in Wyoming.

You should also bear in mind that it’s not biodegradable and is non compostable. You can also buy silica based clumping cat litter which has superior absorption.

You’ll find silica clumping litter lasts longer as you won’t need to empty the box as often. As a result you’ll be dumping less into landfill, making it slightly more environmentally friendly.

Ultra micro clumping litter is highly absorbent and claims to be eco-friendly. If you don’t mind paying a bit more, you may find this product is a good choice.

Is clumping litter flushable?

If you try to flush clumping litter down your toilet you’ll almost certainly cause blockages. Even small clumps can damage your plumbing. This type of litter is designed to form hard clumps making scooping easier.

If your drainage system becomes blocked your home will smell disgusting and you’ll be presented with a large plumbing bill. Your best solution is to dispose of soiled litter in compostable bags and dump them in your bin.

Having said that, there is a brand of cat litter made from corn kernals that is flushable. It’s called The World’s Best cat litter, and you can read more about it here.

How much litter do you need in the box

Your cat likes to dig and scratch around in the earth, so ensure you fill the box deep enough. Usually about 3-4 inches is plenty.

To much can result in scattered litter outside the box. You may also end up wasting a lot. All cats are different, with some needing more litter for burying their business than others.

If you’re adopting a young kitten, you’ll need to spend a bit of time encouraging her to use the box. This should be easy as it comes naturally to most cats. For handy tips, read my post on how to train your cat to use a litter box easily .

Clumping litter lasts longer, but you still need to remove soiled clumps daily. Though many suggest cleaning the box every few weeks, I don’t!

I always clean a soiled litter box twice a week. Your cat has a keen sense of smell and may decide to go elsewhere in your home if the box is dirty.

Does clumping cat litter stop odour?

does clumping cat cat litter stop odour

Many brands of clumping litter claim to stop odour, but unless you clean the box frequently, it will still smell. Even if you can’t detect any odour, your cat will.

Her sense of smell is 14 times stronger than yours! If you don’t like using a bathroom that’s never cleaned I’m sure your cat won’t!

Fresh Step clumping cat litter comes with a 10 day odour control guarantee. It has a scent that smells like Febreze, but there’s no way of knowing if your cat is ok with it until you try it out.

Always introduce new cat litter gradually. This is because your cat may find a sudden change stressful. Simply mix in a little of the new litter in with the regular to start with, and gradually increase the amounts over the next few days until your kitty is used to it.

Get the right cat litter and you and your kitty will enjoy a fresh, clean smelling home

Buying cat litter is one of the most important considerations as a pet parent. Clumping litter is hugely popular, but finding the right brand that’s right for you and your kitty can take time.

You want to know if it’s safe, if it controls odour, and most importantly, if your kitty will like it. Understanding what clumping litter is and the available options gives you an informed choice.

Always remember, cats are very fastidious animals, and will be reluctant to use a toilet that smells bad, just as you would. I hope I’ve answered your question “is clumping cat litter safe?” and that you have a better understanding of it. If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Feel free to share this pin on your “pets” board.

Also, if you have any questions or would like to share experiences please leave a comment below

Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂

12 thoughts on “Is Clumping Cat Litter Safe?”

  1. Thank you for this post, I was looking at some clumping litter the other day seeing as my cats litter box has really started to smell. I clean it every day, maybe I just need to be better about changing out the litter.

    I think i would like the clumping because it would make it easier to scoop, and maybe eliminate more of the odor. Thanks for sharing this and helping me decide which litter to go with!

    • Thank you Madysen, yes, it’s so important to change the litter regularly. It’s not only good for you but your cat as well. There sense of smell is incredible and far stronger than ours! Glad I helped you decide which litter to go with 🙂

  2. Hi Kathy,
    So I always did notice that when I bought the clumping litter, that it was always very dusty. I did always get it because it is cheaper and was easier to clean up. However, it is good to know that there is the ultra micro clumping litter that is more Eco-Friendly. Though it may be more expensive, it sounds like a better product to use. These are very interesting facts you’ve put in here and it is very good information to help so that I don’t have a smelly cat litter.


    • Thank you Robert, I also used to use cheap cat litter, but having discovered better alternatives I certainly won’t go back to the nasty cheap stuff. Yes, there’s no need to live with smelly cat litter!

  3. Hi Kathy, Gosh, I did not know that using the clumping litter which includes bentonite would be destructive to the environment. Also that it would block up the plumbing. Would definitely go for the more expensive litter, also can’t stand the smell if the litter is old.
    Thank you for all this information.

    • Hi Jill, yes, unfortunately most clumping cat litter is non biodegradable and can only be dumped on landfill. Flushing it down your toilet, even in small clumps will almost certainly cause a blockage. Paying extra is definitely worth it if it means your not harming the environment. I know what you mean about bad smelling litter as I’ve been there!

  4. Very informative and interesting article, I had no idea that there are so many aspects that I should take into consideration. I always thought that all clumping litters are the same. But thanks to your article and advice you gave I will be more prudent before buying clumping litter for my cat. Also, I find out that I never used to fill my cat box with enough clumping litter. Thank you so much for sharing this article.

    • Thank you Marius, yes it’s surprising especially for new cat owners. It’s only over the past few decades that cat litter has become so popular, with clumping being the most used. The newer, more environmentally friendly clumping litters have only been around a short while, but quickly gaining popularity. Yes, adding enough litter to the box is essential for your cat to dig around and bury her business. Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  5. Wow …. this is another great article on the need for Clumping Litter. I think it makes good sense for me. Earlier I just bought litter for my tabby and he was able to manage the rest himself.
    But I now see the difference between clumping and normal litter. Apart from the environmental issue, is there any harm in using bentonite inside a house? I mean, I hope it is completely safe?
    Thanks. Love,

    • Hi Aparna, glad you understand the difference now between clumping and non-clumping cat litter. Yes, bentonite clay based cat litter is safe to use indoors, but try to not to breathe it in when you fill the litter box. Thanks for stopping by:)


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