Cats are particularly clean animals. While outdoor cats mostly do their business outside, domestic cats in particular need a litter box. This is filled with cat litter and is able to absorb urine and feces and effectively bind odors.
Cat litter is available in many different variants, such as silicate cat litter, organic cat litter, mineral litter or litter with additives. In our cat litter test you will find out, for example, where you can buy cat litter, where you can dispose of cat litter or what you should pay attention to when buying. We also introduce you to our cat litter test winners.
1) Cat Litter Advice
1.1) Cat’s Best Eco Plus cat litter – Our comparison winner in the cat litter test
The well-known manufacturer Cat’s Best mainly produces ecological types of cat litter. These are available both as fine-grained cat litter and as non-clumping litter in the form of pellets. The Cat’s Best cat litter is generally very economical.
The Cat’s Best cat litter consists of 100% small pieces of plant fibers, more precisely from technologically refined active wood fibers. The fibers are obtained from untreated domestic fir and spruce wood. These can absorb urine very well and reduce the smell of feces. With Cat’s Best cat litter, liquids and odors are simply encapsulated inside the wood fibers. So the eco cat litter can bind 700% of its own weight in liquid. The Cat’s Best cat litter smells pleasantly fresh of fir and spruce. The clumping ability of the eco cat litter only decreases after about 3 weeks. This can be recognized by the fact that the litter takes on a darker color over time.
It turns out to be positive that hardly any residue sticks to the floor or the walls of the litter box. This makes cleaning very much easier. In addition, the eco cat litter hardly dusts when it is poured into the litter box and is therefore also suitable for allergy sufferers. Due to the biological origin of the litter, the small quantities of dust produced are not harmful to human or animal health.
A dirt trap mat for the litter box is recommended so that the bits of Cat’s Best cat litter are not scattered all over the home.
Cat’s Best cat litter can be disposed of in the toilet, organic waste or the residual waste bin.
The litter is relatively expensive, but very productive. It is available in several sizes. There are bags with 5, 10, 20 or 40 liters on the market.
Advantages at a glance
– lasts much longer than other litter
– clumps are formed without smearing; the lumps do not stick to the floor of the litter box
– no smell of their own, just a pleasant smell of fresh wood
– light weight in relation to the number of liters
Disadvantages at a glance
– cats often distribute litter in the apartment
– lumps sometimes crumble when disposed of
1.2.) Powercat silicate cat litter in the cat litter test
The Powercat silicate cat litter is a non-clumping litter that has a very good yield and odor retention. Since it belongs to the non-clumping litter, it absorbs the liquid as it were; the cat’s feces are literally dried out. It is available in either 6 or 12 bags of 5 liters each. The litter is very fine because it consists of multi-pored grains.
It is made from quartz sand that has been processed into multi-pored and highly absorbent granules. The silicate cat litter is dust-free and is therefore very suitable for allergy sufferers. Since the litter does not form clumps, it has to be replaced more often. We recommend a complete change every 2-3 weeks.
There are several ways you can dispose of the cat litter. Disposal in household waste is possible. Since the silicate cat litter dissolves in water, it can also be disposed of in the toilet.
Advantages at a glance
– absorbs odors very well and binds them for a long time
– very absorbent
Disadvantages at a glance
– the litter box has to be emptied completely more often than with other litter
1.3.) Thomas cat litter in the cat litter test
Thomas cat litter is a stable and rounded granulate with a coarser grain size. It is very absorbent and can also effectively bind odors. Thomas cat litter consists of clay granules, is relatively odorless and does not contain any chemical additives.
The resulting lumps do not fall apart and can be easily removed with the shovel. This eliminates the need to constantly change the entire granulate. Since Thomas cat litter is very coarse-grained, it does not stick to the cat’s fur and paws so easily and is therefore not so easily spread around the apartment. The litter is very economical and only needs to be changed every 4-5 weeks.
Unfortunately, the granulate tends to generate a relatively large amount of dust both when it is poured into the litter box and when it is disposed of. The somewhat coarser grain is not suitable for sensitive cat paws.
The Thomas cat litter is available very cheaply.
It can be disposed of in the toilet, organic waste bin or in household waste.
Overview of advantages
– very economical
– odors are reliably bound
– very cheap
Disadvantages at a glance
– relatively strong dust development
1.4.) Catsan Active Fresh cat litter in the cat litter test
The Catsan Active Fresh cat litter is a very absorbent and clump-forming cat litter. It consists of white clay grains that can absorb many times their own volume in liquid. The small solid lumps of the Catsan cat litter can easily be removed every day. The black granulated activated carbon ensures effective odor control. It is obtained from renewable natural raw materials, such as coconut shells or wood, and has a very large surface that can effectively remove unpleasant odors. As soon as the white clay granules of the Catsan cat litter absorb moisture, a fragrant scent is created. Since the Catsan cat litter is very low in dust thanks to the dust-binding additive, the formation of dust when filling and emptying the litter box is prevented.
The formation of lumps saves the frequent changing of the entire litter. So it is much more productive.
Advantages at a glance
– good absorbency
– good odor binding
– low dust
– very economical
1.5.) Biokat’s Diamond Care Multicat Fresh cat litter in the cat litter test
Biokats cat litter is manufactured by H. von Gimborn GmbH. All types of litter absorb odors very quickly, are highly absorbent and form stable lumps. The products consist of pure natural clay, so it is an organic cat litter. In the production of organic cat litter, great emphasis is placed on environmental friendliness. High-quality natural clay is used and the transport routes from the pit to production are kept short. Attention is also paid to the complete renaturation of all clay pits. The organic cat litter is produced almost entirely in USA.
Biokat’s Diamond Care Multicat Fresh cat litter is a clumping litter made of natural clay. This is extracted from controlled opencast mines in the region. The litter also contains black activated carbon beads. Due to their large inner surface and the special pores, these are very well able to absorb and bind odor. They are obtained from coconut shells by means of steam activation in special ovens. The Biokats cat litter is sprayed with a liquid aloe essence that is supposed to care for the cat’s paws. In addition, the Biokats cat litter is equipped with the special Biokat’s AromaProtect Formula. This attaches to the unpleasant odor molecules of cat urine and feces and encapsulates them. At the same time, a pleasant, fresh fragrance is released.
Since the grains of the litter are relatively heavy, they do not stick to the cat’s fur and are therefore not distributed in the apartment. The Biokats cat litter soaks up very quickly and within a few minutes flat lumps form that do not smear the floor of the litter box.
The price is quite high, but the Biokats cat litter keeps fresh for a long time and is very economical. Since the cat litter is dust-free, it is also suitable for sensitive cats and allergy sufferers.
Advantages at a glance
– very good odor binding
– strong absorbency
– purely natural components
Have you already found the right litter box? Here is a comparison.
2) Cat Litter Test Buying Guide
2.1.) What types of cat litter are there?
2.1.1) Mineral Cat Litter
Mineral litter consists of natural clay minerals. These are mixed with lime and quartz sand. Occasionally, bentonite is also used. Bentonite is a mixture of different clay minerals that is created by the weathering of volcanic ash. Mineral litter can even bind large amounts of urine without any problems. The smell of feces also disappears immediately.
Mineral litter is available coarse or fine-grained, whereby the fine litter is much more pleasant for the cats as it has no sharp edges. The finer the litter, the smaller the lumps are. It is available very cheaply. It has proven to be disadvantageous that the litter adheres very firmly to the floor of the litter box due to the high moisture retention and can only be removed again with difficulty. In addition, this litter is very heavy because it is very heavy. Handling when filling the litter box is thus made more difficult.
Another disadvantage is that mineral litter leads to a large amount of fine dust when filling the litter box. Mineral litter is therefore not suitable for allergy sufferers. You’d better switch to organic litter. After all, odor retention is often worse than with natural litter. The mineral litter is also often criticized for its not very environmentally friendly extraction. When the minerals are broken down, the environment is severely damaged.
Mineral litter must always be disposed of with the residual waste; disposal via the toilet is not permitted.
Advantages at a glance
– very good absorption capacity
Disadvantages at a glance
– Not biodegradable
– High weight
– Potentially harmful dust
– Proper disposal required
2.1.2.) Silicate Litter
Silicate litter consists of very fine spheres of silica gel. Silicate is also found in sanitary napkins or baby diapers. The litter has very good odor binding properties. Another great advantage is that it not only binds feces, urine and odors, but can also trap germs.
In contrast to the mineral litter, the silicate litter is significantly lighter and also more productive. This means that it does not have to be replaced as often. Finally, it also has an antibacterial effect. When filling the litter box with silicate litter, very little fine dust is produced, so it is well suited for allergy sufferers.
A disadvantage of the silicate litter is that the small balls tend to be distributed throughout the apartment due to their low weight. A small rug in front of the litter box proves to be helpful here. If a cat is particularly sensitive to noise, it may avoid the litter box because the beads rustle when entering. In addition, silicate litter is more expensive to buy. With small kittens you have to be careful that they don’t eat the granules. This could lead to poisoning.
Silicate litter can be disposed of in the bio bin.
Benefits at a Glance
– Excellent capacity
– Low dust
Disadvantages at a glance
– due to its low weight it is distributed very quickly in the apartment
– potentially harmful to the health of animals
2.1.3.) Natural Litter
Natural litter consists of natural fibers such as straw, hay, waste paper, corn or wood chips. It is therefore a very environmentally friendly alternative. One advantage of this type of litter is that it is very light and also very economical. It weighs only about half as much as mineral litter. Natural litter can trap odors very well. However, the binding of urine and feces is not as good as with mineral litter. When using natural litter, the litter box must be completely replaced several times a week. The litter consists of cylindrical pellets in the shape of cylinders. These can soak up liquids and bind odors. Due to the shape of the pellets, the clumping litter hardly gets stuck in the cat’s fur.
Natural litter generates very little particulate matter, making it suitable for allergy sufferers. Compared to mineral litter, natural litter is significantly more expensive.
When cat owners buy these natural cat litter, they should make sure that no additives have been used.
Although natural litter is biodegradable, it should not be disposed of in the compost, otherwise pathogens could multiply. It is advisable to dispose of the litter in the residual waste.
Advantages at a glance
– Low weight – Low
– Environmentally friendly
Disadvantages at a glance
– High price
– Sometimes no good binding of moisture and odors
– Few suppliers on the market
If you are still looking for a cat toy, have a look at our comparison here .
2.1.4) Clumping Litter As Cat Litter Test Winner
Clumping litter forms solid clumps as soon as it comes into contact with urine or feces. It is very economical. Only the contaminated litter, i.e. the lumps, has to be removed. This saves money, time and work. In addition, there is less waste. Clumping litter is available on both a mineral and a vegetable basis. The moisture is bound inside the litter. This deprives odor-causing bacteria of their livelihood. The low pH value also reduces the formation of odors.
One disadvantage of clumping litter is that it often gets caught in the fur of long-haired cats. It should also not be used on kittens if possible, as they could eat the lumps and react with digestive disorders such as constipation
Advantages at a glance
– very high productivity
2.1.5) Non-Clumping Cat Litter
Non-clumping litter consists of pressed wood chips in the form of small pellets. Many cats do not like this litter because the pellets are very hard and uncomfortable. In addition, litter that does not clump is not very absorbent. As soon as the litter box is contaminated, all of the litter must be replaced.
2.1.6) Cat Litter With Additives
Litter with additives is perfumed litter that is able to cover up unpleasant smells. However, the addition of scents is rather unpleasant for the cats’ fine sense of smell. In addition, allergies can be triggered in cats. The fragrances can also cause headaches for some cat owners. A possible alternative to scented cat litter is to add baking soda to conventional litter. This can absorb odors very well.
2.2.) What should be considered when buying litter?
When buying litter for the cats, there are several criteria to consider.
2.2.1.) Dust Generation
The more dust develops when filling the litter box and while the cat is scratching in the toilet, the more unpleasant it is for humans and animals. The fine dust particles can get stuck in the respiratory tract and cause health problems there. Allergy sufferers in particular should choose a litter with a low level of dust.
Increased dust generation always means increased cleaning effort, since fine dust can settle in all corners as well as on furniture and windows.
As a rule, litter made from bentonite and silicate dusts more than natural litter and litter made from plant fibers.
A cat litter test winner must be able to bind large amounts of liquid. Clumping litter proves to be ideal, as clumps automatically form here as soon as the litter comes into contact with liquid. Clumping litter has a high absorbency and absorption capacity. The cat’s legacies are reliably locked away. Even non-clumping litter such as natural litter has good absorbency.
2.2.3) Odor Binding
In order to avoid unpleasant odors in the apartment, the odor binding of the litter must be as optimal as possible. It must reliably contain feces and urine. In this way, odor formation can be avoided or at least minimized. Clumping litter is very suitable for this, as it locks in urine and feces by forming clumps and thus reliably binds odors. High-quality eco cat litter is also recommended. Although it does not form lumps, it is still very absorbent. Litter made of bentonite or calcium silicate, on the other hand, is less able to bind odors.
When you buy cat litter, yield is also important. If a large amount of litter is required every time to clean the litter box, this will cost a lot in the long run. Usually, more expensive cat litter is also more productive, so that the higher price pays off over time.
A litter must be economical, because it lasts longer and not too much material is consumed. You’d better buy higher quality, but more expensive, litter for the cats. This lasts longer than cheaper litter, which is often used up quickly.
The more productive the litter, the longer the pack will last and the costs can be kept permanently low.
2.2.5.) Lack of Critical Ingredients
Respirable fibers are particularly critical ingredients in litter. These occur, for example, with clay litter made from bentonite. The pulmonary fibers can then burden the respiratory tract of humans and animals.
Other critical ingredients are heavy metals such as nickel, which can be found in some types of silicate litter. These can also get into the airways and cause damage there.
If the litter contains quartz, it can cause silicosis. This is a disease-related change in the connective tissue in the lungs.
Cellulose litter, for example, is free of critical ingredients.
Litter can consist of different materials. Litter made from corn, wood, straw or plant fibers consists of organic materials. These develop little dust and have good suction power. Odors and liquids are trapped inside. The clumps that form do not disintegrate when cat owners dispose of the cat litter. In addition, litter made of organic materials is only light in weight.
Clay litter has very good clumping properties and is biodegradable.
Silicate litter has a very low weight and is low in dust. It is not suitable for long-haired cats as it quickly gets stuck in the fur and then spreads throughout the apartment. There is also a lot of rustling, which scares some cats. Silicate litter is also not suitable for small kittens, as there is a high risk of poisoning if consumed. Since it does not clump, it is not very productive as it always has to be completely disposed of.
2.2.7.) Lump Formation
Clumping litter has proven to be the test winner for cat litter. This can easily be removed from the litter box so that the entire litter does not have to be changed every time. This makes it very economical.
2.3.) Where is the best place to buy litter for cats?
Litter can be purchased in discount stores, pet shops or on the Internet. A large selection of different types of cat litter is available in pet shops. Here you can also fall back on the qualified advice of trained staff. However, the prices in specialty shops are usually significantly higher.
Many discounters and supermarkets also have a small selection of litter ready. This proves to be practical, because in addition to the daily purchases, you can also get litter.
Shopping on the internet is useful in several ways. A direct comparison of different products and a price comparison can be carried out there. The reviews of other customers also prove to be helpful. Consumers can thus find out in detail before making a purchase. This way, bad purchases can be avoided.
You can order from the comfort of your own home, and the desired litter is delivered straight to your front door. There is no need to carry the often heavy packaging.
After all, the prices on the Internet are usually significantly cheaper than in discount stores or even in pet shops.
A cat litter test winner helps with the purchase decision.
2.4.) How is litter correctly laid out?
First of all, it is important that the litter box is set up in a quiet and separate place in the home so that the cat can do its business in peace. It must be easy to find and accessible at all times. Installation next to the feeding place is to be avoided.
When littering, neither too much nor too little litter should be used. It turns out to be optimal if the litter box is about half full with litter. If there is not enough litter, the urine and feces cannot be properly coated. In addition, the cat cannot scratch the litter. On the other hand, if there is too much litter in the litter box, the cat cannot move properly. Initially, you have to try out what amount of litter the cat feels comfortable with. Most cats need about 2 inches of litter. There should be no more than 10 cm of litter in the litter box, otherwise the cat may no longer use it.
In principle, it depends on 2 factors how high the litter should be filled in: On the nature of the material and its productivity. Coarse litter of the same weight requires more space in the litter box than fine litter. Many manufacturers recommend filling the litter about 5 cm high. However, the cat litter test showed that a fill height of 7 to 10 cm is optimal. In this way, the cat can bury its remains well if the fill level is higher. In addition, the feces do not come into direct contact with the floor of the litter box. This is a hygienic advantage.
If the fill level of the litter is too high, the cat may play with the litter and push it out of the toilet.
The litter should be slowly poured into the litter box from a small height. In this way, excessive dust generation can be avoided.
Since cats are very clean animals, they attach great importance to a clean litter box and clean litter. Therefore, the litter box should be cleaned several times a day. Before adding new litter, the litter box should be washed out with water and a mild detergent. Cleaning with disinfectants or agents with chemical additives should be avoided, as the pathogens could otherwise become resistant over time.
Cleaning agents with a strong odor should also be avoided, as cats have a very fine nose and they can no longer use the toilet.
If you want to change to a new type of litter, this should first be mixed with the old type of litter to make it easier for the cat to get used to it.
2.5.) How is litter disposed of?
How often litter has to be completely changed and disposed of depends on the material of the litter. Bentonite and silicate litter should be disposed of about every 1-2 weeks; vegetable litter lasts up to 4 weeks.
As a rule, the packaging indicates where the litter should be disposed of.
Almost all types of cat litter are disposed of with normal household waste. Only organic or natural litter made from biodegradable materials can be disposed of in the organic waste bin or compost. Some types of silicate cat litter may also be disposed of in organic waste bins or compost. However, the lumps must first be removed with urine and feces. The ammonia in the urine is harmful to the compost or the earth and cat excrement increases the risk of bacterial contamination. It should be noted that cat litter takes a long time to rot.
Before disposing of it in the organic waste bin, please refer to the respective municipal waste management’s website.
Disposal in the toilet is not recommended as there is a high risk of blockage. Litter can swell in connection with liquid and thus clog the pipes.
Where and how best to dispose of litter depends on the material or composition:
2.5.1.) Bentonite Litter
The bentonite litter is the classic gray mineral clumping litter. It is considered to be particularly harmful to the environment because it is not biodegradable. It must therefore not be disposed of in the compost or the organic waste bin or in the toilet. Cat owners therefore best dispose of bentonite cat litter in the residual waste.
2.5.2.) Silicate Litter
The silicate litter consists of substances that are strongly liquid-binding. Although it doesn’t clump, it shouldn’t be thrown down the toilet as it often causes clogging and poisoning the sewage. Disposal via compost or organic waste is also not advisable. Cat owners should also dispose of this cat litter in the residual waste.
2.5.3.) Eco Cat Litter
Organic cat litter is 100% biodegradable. It usually consists of waste paper, straw or other vegetable materials. It can therefore be disposed of in the toilet very easily without it becoming clogged. It can also be disposed of with the residual waste, but not in the organic waste bin or compost.
2.6.) What are the advantages and disadvantages of cat litter?
– There are many different types and many different manufacturers
– Litter offers a hygienic and natural way of keeping
cats indoors – Cat owners can buy cat litter almost anywhere
– the needs of the cat must be assessed correctly
– many cats get used to new types of litter only slowly or not at all
– mostly large packaging that is heavy
2.7.) What are the dangers of cat litter?
Again and again there are smells circulating on the Internet, according to which litter is supposed to be dangerous for cats. In particular, the mineral litter is repeatedly criticized. Mineral litter is probably the most common type of litter. It consists of a mixture of different clay minerals. If you put mineral litter in the litter box, depending on the quality, it can sometimes be very dusty. This dust can be harmful to the health of humans and cats and under certain circumstances even cause asthma. Therefore, when filling it should be ensured that this takes place slowly. In this way the development of dust can be effectively avoided.
Litter is still at risk of being eaten by smaller kittens. These can then react with indigestion, for example.
2.8.) Litter Boxes
Most of the commercially available litter boxes are bowl litter boxes or rectangular litter boxes. Both models are available with or without a lid.
2.8.1.) Advantages and disadvantages of a litter box with a lid
– the smell is reduced
– even if the cat starts scratching, the litter does not fly around
– the cat can do its business undisturbed
– is only partially suitable for anxious cats due to the lid
– if the toilet is to be cleaned, the lid must be removed first
– a larger area is required to set it up
2.8.2.) How often should the litter box be cleaned?
Since cats are very odor-sensitive animals, the remains should be removed from the litter box several times a day. The feces are best removed with a special cat scoop. This has a grid on the underside. This allows the loose pieces to be picked up while the litter falls back into the litter box. All of the litter should be changed once a week.
Gloves and a mask may be worn when cleaning the litter box to prevent toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by protozoa that some cats carry and that is transmitted through feces.
After removing the litter, the litter box must be cleaned thoroughly in the sink or with the help of a hose. A mild cleaning agent, such as dish soap, can also be used. Do not use harsh chemicals such as ammonia or bleach when cleaning. However, it must be ensured that no residues of the cleaning agent remain in the litter box and that it is rinsed thoroughly. If the cat doesn’t like the smell of the cleaning agent, it may avoid the litter box in the future.
The empty, cleaned litter box is dried thoroughly and then refilled with fresh litter.
It is advisable to place a small rug in front of the litter box so that the litter is not spread throughout the apartment.
2.8.3.) What types of litter boxes are there?
Bowl toilet without lid
This is suitable for all cats and is available in different sizes and heights. So it can be individually adapted to the size of the cat. For example, smaller bowls with a low rim are suitable for kittens, while larger bowls with a high rim are suitable for large cats. It should be noted that, due to the missing lid, odors cannot be trapped as well.
Bowl toilet with lid
Bowl toilets with lid are also available in different sizes and heights. However, the total height should be taken into account, as otherwise the litter box can only be accommodated with difficulty under furniture. Thanks to the lid and the activated carbon filter it contains, the odor is reduced.
Corner litter box with or without a lid
Corner litter boxes offer the advantage that they can easily be accommodated in smaller free spaces. To do this, every corner of the apartment can be selected. Edge height or width cannot be selected for this litter box.
Hop In Litter Boxes
This type of litter box has an entry at the top. So the cat has to jump on it to get inside. It is usually very high, but not that long. Due to the narrow width and short length, it is relatively narrow in it. It must be set up free-standing and is already suitable for young kittens.
The Hop In litter box is only partially suitable for old, weak or sick cats. In such cases, bowl toilets are a better choice.
2.9.) Questions and answers about cat litter
How often should litter be disposed of?
When using clumping litter, the clumps that have formed should be removed from the litter box every day. The litter should be completely replaced once a week. If non-clumping litter is used, it must be completely renewed every day.
How high should the litter be filled?
Litter should never be filled too high in the litter box. However, a filling height of less than 3 cm does not make sense either, as the cats then cannot bury their remains.
Which litter is suitable for kittens?
Clumping litter and silicate litter are not suitable for kittens. There is a risk that the kittens will eat the litter and thereby develop indigestion. For kittens, cat owners should buy non-clumping cat litter.
Why do cats eat litter?
As soon as you see your cat eating litter, a visit to the vet is required. Most of the time, the cat has symptoms of deficiency or hormonal disorders. It can also be infested with intestinal parasites. The cat tries to compensate for its deficiencies with the litter, since litter contains a lot of minerals.
Are there alternatives to the ready-made litter?
Litter can be replaced with normal sand. However, earth and sand should then be added. In addition, litter can also be made from normal potting soil.
What is the difference between coarse-grained and fine-grained clumping litter?
How good a clumping litter is does not depend on the size of the granules. Ultimately, the quality of the raw materials used is decisive. Fine-grained litter is very popular because it is very economical to use. Only the dirty litter clumps have to be removed. In this way, the remaining spreading length can be used.