Clay

Clumping * Non-Clumping

Clay litter is the first kind of litter that was ever sold commercially. Clay litter is still the most popular choice for litter among cat owners all over the world. Clay litter comes in both clumping and non-clumping types.

Non-Clumping

Advantages

  • It’s cheap
  • Heavy litter may be most comfortable for large/heavy cats or cats with mobility problems to stand on

Disadvantages

  • Lots of silica dust
    • silica dust is a known carcinogen when inhaled
  • Can track through the house a lot
  • Heavy litter may be hard for some people to carry
  • Only safe disposal option is putting it in the garbage
  • Not long lasting and requires frequent total box changes
  • Limited ability to absorb liquid and control odor
    • Typically contains added ingredients for odor control
  • Environmentally unfriendly, usually requires strip mining to produce

Clumping

Clumping clay litter comes from the same basic material as the non-clumping variety, but has additional Bentonite clay added for forming clumps. Clumping clay litters also come in lightweight varieties. They have the same basic advantages and disadvantages of the standard weight litters, plus some others.

Advantages

  • Bentonite clay can absorb up to 15 times its weight in moisture
  • Clumps are easy to scoop, allowing you to remove urine and feces often while leaving the unused/clean litter behind
  • Lasts longer than non-clumping clay because you don’t need to dump the entire box as often for cleaning
  • Better odor control because you can remove soiled litter easily and often

Disadvantages

  • Lots of silica dust
    • silica dust is a known carcinogen when inhaled
    • also contains Bentonite clay, which may cause additional problems when inhaled
  • Tracks through the house a lot
  • It’s as heavy as traditional clay litter, although you will use less of it
  • The only disposal option is the garbage
  • Environmentally unfriendly, usually requires strip mining to produce