Choosing pine cat litter can be a great way of mixing the absorbent qualities of clay litter and more modern odor neutralizing litter.
Pine has long been used as the key ingredient in air fresheners as it has organic odor neutralizing properties and a keen fresh scent so it seems natural that someone has worked out how to make it into cat litter.
However, there are some major drawbacks over pine litter which can turn some cat owners away.
Traditional litter is made from chemically produced silica and clay that needs to be dug up from the ground.
This can be extremely environmentally damaging in the long term which is why many cat owners are looking to pine litter as a responsible option.
Each pine litter company assures their customers that the pine trees are responsibly sourced and many promise to replant the trees that get cut down.
Using pine cat litter is a big step to take as it can be hard to get hold of but it has numerous advantages over traditional cat litter:
No dust – some cats suffer from feline asthma which can be triggered by hair from other animals, dirt and the dust that is raised from traditional cat litter. Pine litter is made from wood shavings rather than dried out clay which means that there will be no dust in the air when you pour the litter into the box.
No perfume – many traditional clay litters feel obligated to spray their litter granules with perfume to mask the smell once it’s been used.
The natural odor neutralizing properties of pine mean that you won’t notice your cat’s litter box for either the right or wrong reasons.
Compostable – unlike traditional litter, pine litter can be put in your compost bin once all of the waste has been removed. This saves your trash bag or your drains as most cat litters will clog up and block drains over time.
Pine litter is a fairly new concept in the world of cat litter so there are some negative things that you will need to be aware of when making your decision:
Cost – pound for pound, pine litter is around twice as expensive as traditional clumping litter. As the technology has progressed, however, the pine pellets are made from compressed wood which break down into sawdust when wet.
This sawdust is still absorbent so the litter can last twice as long.
Texture – the feel of pine litter is very different to traditional litter and your cat will notice this the first time that you make the change.
This may put your cat off using the litter box altogether which will cause big problems if you keep your cat indoors all day. However, some owners sprinkle a layer of traditional clumping litter on top of the pine to trick the cat into using the new litter.
Clumping – unless you are willing to shell out for top of the range litter, pine litter doesn’t offer the same clumping qualities as silica based litter. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t clump at all, but you may find yourself having to clean out the box more frequently than with your usual litter.
The main drawback with pine cat litter is that it is still relatively difficult to get hold of in major pet food stores.
You may find it cheaper to order it online in bulk but that does leave you open to disaster if your cat decides it doesn’t like the new litter.
It may be easier to find a small bag to test it out before you make a permanent transfer to pine litter.
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