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What is Cat Litter Used for?

The Origin of Cat Litter

Cats have natural instincts to bury and cover their waste in the soil in hope of hiding their presence and scent from predators in the wild.

Ever since ancient Egyptians first welcomed cats into their homes, they have to endure with the accompanying stench of cat’s urine. People started to use litter box and filled them with sand, sawdust or wood shavings trying to absorb and cover the unpleasant odor, and the result was not that satisfying, because cats didn’t like using them much and also those materials tend to stick to cats’ feet and fur, causing cleaning headaches.

During the 1940s, Edward Lowe discovered that granulated clay absorbed moisture and trapped bad odors, but crucially, cats didn’t track the clay through the house afterwards. Lowe seized this business opportunity and developed a brand called “kitty litter”, and this relatively simple solution to an age-old problem was an instant success.

Later Thomas Nelson noticed that bentonite clay forms clumps when wet. This new “clumping cat litter” allows cat owners to simply remove the clumps instead of replacing the entire cat litter box.

Now cat litter is a must-have for cat owners, especially since many indoor cats don't have easy access to loose soil. The cat litter provides an ideal environment for pet cats to take care of business. 

Materials used in Modern Cat Litter

The main component of most modern cat litters is still clay. But they are expensive to mine and not very environmentally friendly.

There are other options available too. One frequently seen option is silica cat litter, which is manufactured from silica gel and is lighter and less dusty than clay. Silica gel are porous and contains a maze of tunnels. When the cat pees on it, the internal structures trap the moisture along with the smell. Silica cat litter can be used for up to a month at a time. 

A range of natural and eco-friendly cat litters are also now available in the market, and many of them are biodegradable and address health concerns. The materials used include wheat, sawdust, corncobs, grains, tofu, peanut shells and newspaper, and they still feature the properties of odor sealing and clumping 

There are also added fragrance options to mask odors, but many cats refuse to use scented cat litter as they find the fragrance offensive. 


Important Properties of Cat Litter

All of these litter options help to maintain a clean home for both cats and their owners. Pet parents and feline preferences are the keys in selecting the ideal litter. There are a few key factors to consider when making the decision. 

Texture(litter weight, shape, and softness): 

Cats typically prefer a soft, grainy litter that is easy to dig, so pay attention to the shape and weight and density of the litter.

Dust and Scent:

Cats are very sensitive to both dust and scent. The less dust the better, and unscented options are recommended as cats are super sensitive to smells.

Clumping ability and ease of cleaning: 

See how quickly and easily water is absorbed, as well as how solidly it clumped and stuck together upon scooping.

Odor control and tracking: 

Note how easy clumps are to remove and how much end up on the floor. See whether odors is under control.


Choose the right one according to your budget. And silica cat litter tends to last longer.

Health monitoring:

There are health monitoring silica gel cat litter that can change colors according to the ph value of cat’s urine, this property can give you signs of your cat’s health and an ease of mind.