Clay is the most established and most popular litter of choice among cat owners and is an obvious pick for traditional litter trays. This is because its fast-clumping and odor control make it ideal for litter maintenance and manual scooping.
However, it’s also compatible with many new, high-tech automatic litter boxes, such as the AutoEgg and Aimicat. Clay litter in combination with a self-cleaning system can provide a deeper clean and a more hygienic experience overall.
Let’s explore why clay litter is favored by cat owners and felines alike and what makes it the best choice for an automatic litter box.
Examining The Advantages Of Clay Cat Litter
It Clumps Exceptionally Well
The better a litter clumps, the easier it is to scoop and clean out the litter bed. Clay is undoubtedly the best litter for clumping, in comparison with other types like wheat, crystal, or paper.
This is because the particles quickly absorb liquids by clumping together to form a cement-like texture. This action holds the waste together, making it easier to scoop than other non-clumping cat litters.
Moreover, clay clumps retain their shape better than other styles of clumping litters. Therefore, when you scoop, the lumps are less likely to break up and disperse into the clean granules.
Excellent For Odor Control
Clay litter is available as both unscented and scented for owners. There are many scented versions on the market, such as coffee, apple, and orange.
All clay litter does a more than adequate job at masking odors, but many cat owners opt for scented versions as they feel these give the best odor control overall.
Despite this, a lot of kitties will prefer unscented litter. Cats have up to 200 million sensors in their noses, whereas humans have a mere 5 million. Therefore, scents that seem light and pleasant to us can be overwhelmingly strong to our feline friends and could deter them from their litter box.
Find the happy medium that fits your fur family best!
The Sand-Like Feeling Is Natural For Cats
Felines can be particular about where they do their business. A cats’ favorite litter is clumping clay because it’s soft on the paws and mimics a sand-like consistency.
This imitates the surface that most cats are instinctually familiar with in the wild. You will find some clay litters with large particles, and others with more refined grains. Felines tend to favor the latter as it gives more of that soft sand feel and is easier for burying waste.
Another reason why cats prefer clay litter is that the clumps dry when set. This is important to consider if you scoop manually. Cats don’t like to walk over lumps, but they dislike having to walk over wet, sticky litter even more.
Opting for an automatic litter box can virtually eliminate this issue altogether with a routine cleaning schedule that can tackle every litter trip throughout the day.
The Varieties Are Endless
With clay litter, the possibilities are essentially limitless. As discussed, you can choose between scented and unscented types and smaller or larger particles.
However, there are also low-dust and dust-free options available. Clay litter does tend to create a fair amount of dust when your kitty is digging through it, so these versions are designed to minimize any of the kick out clouds.
With a hooded design similar to that of my self-cleaning options dust becomes a non-issue as the enclosed lid will capture almost all of the scatter and keep dust and odors fully contained.
It’s Available Everywhere
You can find clay litter in almost all supermarkets, pet stores, and convenience stores, so it is the most widely available litter type out there.
Moreover, it’s an affordable litter choice as many standard unscented clay litters are low cost for owners.
Why Clay Cat Litter Is The Right Choice For An Automatic Litter Box
Many cleaning systems of automatic litter boxes work only with clay litter. This is positive news for kitties who already love and use this litter type. Changing your cat’s litter box from a basic to a high-tech version can be a significant change for your fur baby. Therefore, using the same litter can make the transition much easier and help your kitty adapt quicker to their new bathroom space.
Highly Effective Clean
It doesn’t just help the acclimation process, though. Clumping clay litter is the most effective style for an automatic cleaning system. Depending on the unit, automatic litter boxes primarily work well with hard clumping litters as they cycle very quickly after usage and will need a litter that can clump quickly prior to the sifting or raking process.
For example, the AutoEgg uses a horizontal raking system to rake through the litter and sift out all the waste. Clumping clay litter makes this process much easier by creating solid clumps that won’t stick to the rake as they’re being sifted into the waste compartment.
Keeping Maintenance Costs Low
Automatic litter boxes can be quite an investment. It’s no secret that they cost considerably more than any manual litter box does. However, the models that use clay litter allow you to keep your costs low over time.
Moreover, one of the many benefits of an automatic litter box is the reduction in litter needed. The smart cleaning process does a brilliant job of removing only the waste particles while preserving as much of the clean litter as possible.
Most cat owners who upgrade to a self-cleaning box notice a significant difference in the amount of litter they use on a weekly basis.
How To Choose The Best Clay Litter For Your Automatic Litter Box.
- Not all clay litter has clumping abilities, so ensure you choose a quick-clumping one. Automatic litter boxes can not clean well with non-clumping litter. Moreover, wet particles can create a mess in the mechanism of the machine and will require constant cleaning.
- We recommend choosing a low-dust clumping litter so that your unit does not get covered in the residue (even if it has a hood!).
- As all automatic litter boxes function differently, check which litter the manufacturer of your unit recommends. For example, ChillX suggests using hard-clumping clay cat litter with smaller particles in the AutoEgg.
- There is no ‘perfect’ clay litter as cats have varying preferences. However, we find ‘Tidy Cats Instant Action’ clay litter best for clumping and ‘24/7 Performance’ clay litter the top choice for odor control.
Many cat owners have a strong preference when it comes to cat litter. Different litters help to cover different pain points for both pets and people alike.
What’s important is making a decision that benefits your cat and their overall well being. While some litter types may seem convenient, if your cat is keeping clear from it you should consider their reaction and find an option that best fits their needs and comfort level.