When it comes to choosing the right cat litter, traditionally cat owners in the UK have opted for the conventional clay, silica or bentonite-based litter without knowing that there is a more natural and eco-friendly option available. The rise in popularity of natural cat litters in European countries such as France, Germany and Italy has meant that we are finally seeing more natural alternatives on the market here in the UK.
What is natural cat litter?
Natural cat litter is made from materials such as wood, paper, corn, wheat, and even coconut. It is an excellent alternative to traditional cat litter.
Is clay litter natural?
Clay litter is technically natural but when we talk about natural cat litters in the cat litter industry, generally we are talking about cat litter that is made from renewable sources and that is biodegradable or compostable (or both).
While clay comes from the earth, the process of extracting it is called strip-mining. Strip mining destroys entire ecosystems as the top level of the Earth’s surface is removed. The damage is far reaching. It means that the wildlife habitats and forests are completely destroyed and cleared. This also results in soil erosion and therefore reduces the likelihood of this land being used for agriculture.
What are the benefits of natural cat litter?
1. Environmentally friendly
Unlike traditional cat litter that is made from non-renewable resources and generates a significant amount of waste, natural cat litter is biodegradable and compostable*. It reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and helps to conserve our planet's resources.
*But beware! If you are going to compost your litter, ensure you are doing so in a safe manner. Check out our Litter Guide for more information on composting litter at home.
2. Costs less
Don’t get caught out by a bag of non-natural litter being ‘cheaper’ than a natural alternative. Natural litter lasts a lot longer than the non-natural alternative. This means you use less in the long run and save more, simple!
3. Safe for your cat
Natural cat litters are non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals, making it a safer option for your cat. Traditional cat litter can contain fragrances, additives, and other chemicals that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation in cats. We find the concept of fragranced litter very odd - would you want to walk into a perfumed cat litter box to go for a pee?! With natural cat litter, you don't have to worry about exposing your cat to harmful chemicals.
4. Reduced tracking
One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional cat litter is that it tracks easily, leaving a trail of litter all over your home. Natural cat litter is heavier and less likely to stick to your cat's paws, reducing tracking and mess. Having said this, lots of natural litters do also track. You need to find one that has that sweet spot of being small enough to clump efficiently and effectively, yet coarse enough not to get carried to your bed or sofa on your cat’s paws! Tippaws Long-long Lasting Clumping litter is excellent for both - less than 0.5% of litter leaves the trays on your cat's paws. Add a tracking mat to your setup to catch that 0.5%, and you’ll have a winning combination!
4. No harmful dust
Traditional cat litter can create harmful dust particles that can be inhaled by both humans and cats. Natural cat litter, on the other hand, is dust-free, making it a safer option for your home and your cat's respiratory health.
5. Easier to dispose of
Traditional cat litter can be difficult to dispose of, especially if you live in an apartment or don't have access to a backyard. Natural cat litter, on the other hand, can be easily composted or disposed of in the rubbish, or composted at home.
What are some examples of natural cat litters?
- Wood-based litter: This type of litter is made from reclaimed wood, such as pine or cedar. It is highly absorbent, making it an excellent option for cats who produce a lot of urine. Wood-based litter is also dust-free and has a pleasant, natural scent.
- Paper-based litter: Paper-based litter is made from recycled paper products, such as newspaper and cardboard. It is lightweight, absorbent, and biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly option. Paper-based litter is also dust-free and gentle on your cat's paws.
- Corn-based litter: Corn-based litter is made from renewable resources and is biodegradable. It is highly absorbent and clumps well, making it easy to clean. Corn-based litter is also dust-free and has a pleasant, natural scent.
- Wheat-based litter: Wheat-based litter is made from renewable resources and is biodegradable. It is highly absorbent and clumps well, making it easy to clean. Wheat-based litter is also dust-free and gentle on your cat's paws.
- A mix of two or more of the above. For example, Tippaws Long-lasting Clumping Litter is a combination of wood and corn.
In conclusion, natural cat litter is an excellent alternative to traditional cat litter for a variety of reasons. It is environmentally friendly, safe for your cat, and reduces tracking and mess.
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