Me and cat poop — well, we don’t get along.
I mean, don’t get me wrong; we don’t fight with each other or even raise our voices in anger. Basically it’s like this: I don’t get in cat poop’s way, and it generally stays out of mine. We have a gentlemen’s agreement, you see.
Maybe this makes me a really crappy pet owner (har har, pun intended), but I must confess that I don’t scoop. No sir, I just kind of wait things out for a week, maybe longer, till Hillary’s litter box starts to fill up. I wish there were a bell that would go Ding! to let me know it’s done… but for now I use my nose as a guide. When the litter box area starts to smell like ammonia, it’s out with the old kitty litter and in with the new.
What kind of litter do I use? Must be top-notch stuff, right? After all, it has to stand the test of time? Truth is, it’s nothing too special: Fresh Step Premium Clumping, with “odor-eliminating carbon.” My secret weapon: Hillary, who is just not a terribly picky cat when it comes to bathroom habits. Works out well.
[Update: I have reformed my ways, and I now scoop frequently, realizing now how important litter box cleanliness is to the health of a cat. -Dave]
Readers sometimes ask us what’s the best cat litter for odor control. For the answer to this burning question, I want to look beyond the mass-produced commercial brands like Fresh Step. Here are three promising alternatives. Let’s take a close look at all three brands, and then I’ll declare a winner.
1. Ever Clean Extra-Strength Cat Litter
I see that the highest-rated kitty litter on Amazon.com is Ever Clean Extra-Strength Cat Litter, which sells for about 72 cents per pound.
Buyers tell us Ever Clean lives up to the name — containing smell like no other, and lasting twice as long as some other brands. Right out of the box you see that it’s unscented, so no vaguely annoying perfumey smell when you load up the litter pan. “I was concerned that no odor cat litter = horrible pee smell after my cats used the box,” one customer says, adding, “I was pleasantly surprised that odor is controlled amazingly well.”
One customer says she was able to go months — yes, months — without changing out the Ever Clean litter. That’s radical even by my own standards, but at least she says she scoops out clumps daily. Even months later, though, she says, “I can literally stick my face right next to the litter, inhale deeply, and smell nothing.”
2. Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Clumping Cat Litter
Next up is Nature’s Miracle Odor Control Clumping Cat Litter, selling for around $1.34 per pound. The price stinks, but you can feel good using it because it’s eco-friendly. Forget what you know about kitty litter — this stuff is made out of corn cob granules, which the manufacturer claims can absorb twice the volume of the usual litter mixes on the market. It’s completely biodegradable. But, the big question is, Does it control odor?
Some customers tell us that Nature’s Miracle does not, in fact, neutralize odors very well. “It still stinks even though my cat covers it well after he’s done,” one unhappy buyer says. Another reports, “It works fairly well, but doesn’t cover everything. You need to clean the box at least once per day to keep the odor under control…” Stop right there — once a day, at least? Clearly this is not the product for me. Next!
3. Easy Clean Clumping Cat Litter with Baking Soda
Easy Clean, made by Pestell Pet Products, is dirt cheap at 29 cents a pound, though you’ll probably need to use more of Easy Clean than you do with your regular brand. Buyers say it’s remarkably odor free, thanks in no small part to the added baking soda.
A former veterinary hospital employee says the usual store brands “can’t compare to the odor control and clumping quality of this litter.” Another buyer agrees, saying, “Pestell’s clumping litter with baking soda works much better to absorb the odor, and again, it’s much cheaper.”
Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
And now… the winner. Based on dozens of excellent reviews and reports from satisfied customers, Ever Clean Extra-Strength Cat Litter (the first one we examined) is the clear winner in odor control. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.
Combine Ever Clean with a stink-free litter box spray, and you have a winning formula for a bathroom station that practically smells like daisies. Then again, a guy like me — who’s not so great at regular cleanings — can probably afford to shell out some cash for an automatic cat litter box that cleans itself.
Top photo: eviltomthai/Flickr