Is All-Natural Cat Litter as Natural as They Claim? Everything You Need to Know
We know we’re not the first ones to tell you, but there are so many different kinds of cat litters on the market. That means, as a cat owner, you have so many decisions to make: scented or unscented, clumping or non-clumping, all-natural or synthetic, the list goes on.
In particular, there are two main reasons why you may be drawn to all-natural cat litter. First, your cat may be allergic to the ingredients used in other clumping and non-clumping cat litters. And second, you may be trying to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, and the constant cat litter waste may be putting a damper on your efforts.
Whatever the reason, there are so many great all-natural cat litter options to choose from — some can be composted, incinerated or even flushed down the toilet (although not recommended). There’s a range of clumping and non-clumping cat litters that keep your home’s health in mind, many of which are dust-free, non-toxic and free of any fragrances that may irritate those with allergies (or even sensitive noses).
So, can all-natural cat litter really get the job done? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know for this sustainable kitty litter option, along with the list of benefits and different types you should look out for in the cat litter aisle.
What Makes Natural Cat Litter Different (and Why It’s So Great for Your Feline)
Every all-natural cat litter is different from the next. In general, most of these greener, good-for-your-cat options are biodegradable and made with renewable materials. You won’t find any artificial fragrances or suspect ingredients that may irritate your cat’s allergies, skin or overall health. Some all-natural cat litters are more eco-friendly than others: You’ll see that some can be composted or incinerated without issue, while others require you to throw them out the old-fashioned way. The difference lies in the ingredients — many all-natural cat litters are made out of corn, wheat, cedar, pine, grass seed and walnut shell.
All-natural cat litters are obviously made with your kitties in mind, but they actually help everyone in the house. They reduce potentially harmful chemicals and silica dust in your home, easing allergies and making everyone (your cat included) breathe a little bit easier.
A Breakdown of the Best Types of All-Natural Cat Litter
Some cat litters will slap “all-natural” on their packaging, but the ingredients may prove otherwise. Keep in mind that certain materials are more natural than others — say, if it comes straight from the Earth, then it’s probably as natural as it gets. To help you decode the all-too-confusing cat litter aisle, we’ve broken down the most common all-natural cat litters you can find, everything from recycled paper pellets to pebbles made from diatomate boulders (ahem, Skoon!).
- Walnut cat litter comes in both clumping and non-clumping options. Most walnut shell cat litters on the market are made with non-GMO modified, sustainably grown walnuts, so you can feel good about what you’re putting into your cat’s litter box. You’ll find plenty of low or non-dust options, but even if there’s a little dust, you can rest easy knowing there’s nothing toxic in the air. In general, walnut cat litter tends to absorb urine and reduce odors better than other popular all-natural cat litters (including some of the ones listed below).
- Cedar and pine are natural deodorizers, so this kind of cat litter is a winner in getting rid of unpleasant bathroom odors. Although some formulas naturally clump, they aren’t free of tracking, a.k.a. when your cat leaves trails of litter behind them. Although it comes unscented, this litter typically has a strong cedar and pine scent, which is loved by some and hated by others.
- Corn and wheat cat litter produce less dust than clay cat litters — most claim to be 99.9 percent dust-free. They’re free of scents, moderately absorb odors and can be flushed right down the toilet (although your plumber may disagree). The one catch: Some cats have gluten allergies, which means corn and wheat-based cat litter may cause unwanted allergic reactions. Just keep a watchful eye on your cat to make sure that’s not the case.
- Grass-based cat litter naturally controls odor, but not nearly as well as the other all-natural cat litters on this list. If you go for a fine-grained litter, then you’ll notice its strong clumping ability — a plus for anyone looking for something with easy clean-up.
- Paper pellet cat litter is lightweight, relatively dust-free and highly absorbent but doesn’t reduce odor nearly as well as other all-natural cat litter options. The pellets are soft to the touch, making them an excellent option for senior cats or felines with delicate paws.
- Diatom pebble cat litter, like Skoon, gives you the best of both worlds: It’s made with all-natural ingredients (pebbles from large diatomate boulders), making it extremely lightweight, non-toxic and highly absorbent. Non-clumping cat litter also tends to do a better job at getting rid of smelly pet odors; plus it’s the preferred option for kittens or any cats that try to take a bite of the litter clumps.
How to Effectively Switch Over to an All-Natural Cat Litter
Think about it: A litter box is a cat’s version of a bathroom, and you certainly wouldn’t want someone completely overhauling your space without giving you a head’s up … right? Your cat needs the same kind of care if you make the decision to switch over to an all-natural cat litter (or any type of cat litter, for that matter). Go nice and slow, adding small amounts of the new kitty litter to the box of old litter over a seven to 10-day period (or until your cat no longer seems bothered to go to the bathroom). During this time, pay attention to any behavioral shifts in your cat, including peeing outside the litter box or appearing anxious while standing inside the litter box.
If your cat avoids the litter box altogether, this may be a sign that they don’t like the new cat litter you’ve chosen, whether it’s because of the material type (paper pellets vs. pebbles, for example) or the overall scent. To rule out other potential problems, scatter several litter boxes with different kinds of litter throughout your house and take note of which one your cat gravitates toward. At any point, if you’re concerned that their bathroom habits are due to an underlying health issue, call your vet for further guidance.
How Skoon Stacks up Against Other All-Natural Cat Litters
Less-natural options are made with clay, clay compounds and chemical blends; Skoon is the complete opposite. It’s composed of pure diatom pebbles, chipped away from diatoms, a type of single-celled algae found in the oceans, waterways and soils. The pebbles aren’t mixed with anything else and retain their natural shape, so they can effectively absorb liquid and trap odors.
Skoon isn’t all talk; we’ve got the data to back up our claims. Skoon cat litter is certified as non-toxic, low dust and hypoallergenic, making it one of the best all-natural, non-clumping cat litters out there. We’ve run all the tests to ensure our claims are valid. For example, a third-party toxicity report shows that all of Skoon’s ingredients are safe to use and have no reports of adverse effects or reactions.
Give your funny kitty the cat litter they’ll love by choosing Skoon. They will love it, and you’ll appreciate less of a mess when they do their business.