Powder Room Perfect

Not all litterboxes are alike. Learn the features of each, then choose the one that's best for your pet.

By Peggy Scott | Posted: Tue Mar 6 00:00:00 PST 2001

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Natural/Alternative litters are produced from wood, newspaper and other natural fibers. Wood-based products have natural odor control; and paper products tend to track less. Some naturals do come in clumping formulas, and many are flushable or biodegradable. The litter's western red cedar and sodium betonite, which is added to clay, makes for a litter that's "naturally odor-controlling," says Gary Burrell, marketing director for Cedar Fresh Scoop. "Consumers are continually looking for something to control odor better," he says.

Silica litters, one of the latest litters, uses "micropore technology" to evaporate moisture and trap odor - to the extent that consumers can reportedly go one month without changing litter (per cat).

"Silica litters are about odor control," says Jennifer Condren, marketing manager for Tidy Cat. "Silica gel products may be more expensive, but they last longer."

Other advances in technology include Purina Pet Product's Hemalert feline urinary blood detection system, which allows cat owners (and their veterinarians) to monitor a cat's urinary tract health at home.

Hemalert, available only from veterinarians, is mixed with litter and changes color if there is evidence of hematuria (blood in the urine). Susan McDonough, DVM, coordinator of the Hemalert study points out that a veterinarian's expertise is still required.

"This product has its place," Dr. McDonough says. "Blood in the urine is always a sign something is wrong. In such cases, take your cat to the vet."

Another option, Pet Ecology Brands Inc.'s Scientific Cat Litter Urinary Tract Health Indicator, alerts cat owners to possible feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) before symptoms appear. The litter tests the pH in your cat's urine for abnormal alkalinity, which causes crystals called struvite, to form in a cat's bladder.

With all of these choices to be made for you and your cat, remember to keep your cat's best interests in mind when you choose a litter and a box. These items are more important than you may realize.

- More Litterbox Tips -

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Jane    Chicago, IL

4/1/2007 10:14:15 AM

My kitten seems to like any litter I use.

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