User’s Guide to Scoopable Cat Litter

Millions of people love cats, but let’s face it: no one loves cat poop. Fortunately for cat owners, felines have a strong instinct to “do their business” in an out-of-the-way place, preferably one with lots of loose material that can easily be raked over the feces. For decades, cat owners used sawdust or sand to accommodate this handy trait of cats kept indoors.
And then, in 1948, a man named Ed Lowe created and marketed a clay-based product that was more absorbent than sand or sawdust. He named it “Kitty Litter,” a phrase that has since become genericized to refer to the entire class of feline litter products. Thus, an industry was born. Not long after, in the 1950s, chemists in the United Kingdom developed clumping, or scoopable cat litter. Scoopable cat litter has chemical properties that cause it to clump together when wet, which makes it easier to clean from the litter box while leaving the unused litter behind.
This convenient characteristic is the main reason that scoopable cat litter makes up around 60% of the entire market. If you’re a cat owner, and especially if you live in a confined indoor space with your feline friends, it’s important to find the best scoopable cat litter to make sure that life with Kitty remains pleasant… and relatively odor-free.
Using Scoopable Cat Litter
The great thing about scoopable cat litter, as mentioned above, is that because of its properties when moistened, it’s easy to strain out the “used” portion, leaving behind the litter that still has usefulness. However, even when using the very best scoopable cat litter, it is still important to completely change out the litter box contents and disinfect the litter box every four to six weeks to prevent the buildup of bacteria. Because of the clumping effect, it’s not a good idea to flush scoopable cat litter. Instead, dispose of it in an airtight sack or other container, along with other household garbage.
Earth-friendly Alternatives
Some object to the use of scoopable cat litter because it is made from clay that is often strip-mined. There are biodegradable litters made from materials like recycled pine sawdust, recycled newspaper (which seems almost poetic, given the poor quality of some journalism), dried orange peel, or wheat bran. These materials typically disintegrate when saturated and are much less harmful when added to landfills. They can also be composted at home, and many types are even flushable.