If you have an indoor cat it's very important to keep your cat litter tray clean. A dirty litter tray may cause your cat to refuse to use the litter tray altogether and find other places in the house, like behind the sofa instead! Remember if the smell of the cat box is bothering you, your cat, with it's much more sensitive nose, will absolutely hate it. So make sure you remove all the poop at least once, preferably twice a day, and top it up according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Types Of Litter
There are so many different kinds of litter on the market that it can be hard to choose. They range from sand based litters at the low end, to higher end clay clumping litters. There are also bio-degradable and silica gel litters to confuse the issue. Some people on a budget or for ecological reasons prefer to use newspaper or regular sand or earth instead, but this isn't necessarily the best choice for puss. Others get round the problem of what cat litter to choose by training their cat to use the toilet instead!
Clumping Versus Non-Clumping Litter
Unless you are scrupulous about cleaning the litter every time your cat uses the tray, clumping litter is usually better than non-clumping litter like sand or simple clay. Your cat needs to dig in the litter tray to cover up the feces and clumping litter allows the urine to also clump and this makes it a lot easier to remove. With non-clumping litter you not only have to remove all the feces every day but the litter itself normally needs to be completely replaced and the tray washed out every week. However with some brands of clumping litter you only need to remove the clumps and top up the litter every day without having to clean out the whole litter tray weekly.
These litters are the 'green' answer to your cat's toilet needs. This type of litter, made from corn, wheat, pine or other bio-degradable materials, can often be flushed down the toilet or used in the flower garden as compost. However, not all cats are as 'green' as their owners and may refuse to use them.
Silica Gel Litter
This type of litter lasts about a month at a time, absorbing the urine into the gel, while allowing you to easily remove the poop. It is supposed not to smell at all until it all the silica gel is full and won't absorb more liquid. As it weighs a lot less than conventional litter it can be a smart choice if you live in an apartment without an elevator.
Signs Of Sickness
Depending on the type of litter you use, some cats may ingest small amounts of litter as they groom themselves and this can occasionally cause sickness. If you have a very dusty type of litter your cat may be inhaling dust causing respiratory problems. They can also get an allergic reaction to a bio-degradable corn or wheat litter. So a cat that refuses to use a clean litter tray may be sick. Check with your veterinarian straight away to make sure that kitty is alright.
How To Choose
Start off with a small bag of the cheapest litter available and then keep going up in price and type until you find a litter that both you and kitty like. This may take a while so don't buy a large quantity of any litter brand until you are sure that this is the right one for you and puss.