Litter is something that pretty much anyone with an indoor cat has to deal with. They can be extremely messy, smelly and just overall a pain to clean and manage. Luckily, things are starting to look up for cat owners. Litter Robot 3 is becoming more popular. They’re a real lifesaver because they require very little work on your part and allow you to have as little contact with the litter as possible. If you have an automatic litter box, or you’re just starting to look into automatic litter boxes, you should also read this guide.
So, what litter works best with Litter Robot? If you’re going to invest in Litter Robot, you want to make sure you’re using only the best litter and getting the most out it. It’s going to to essential when it comes to keeping the machine clean and functioning properly. Also, since you really only have to empty the waste drawer about once a week, choosing the right litter is going to keep your home smelling as fresh as possible.
Best Litter to Use with Litter Robot
There’s a good chance that you’ve tried out few different kinds of a litter in your automatic litter box. You know that not all litter is the same. Not all cat litters are created equal and you can’t always just depend on the claims listed on the box to always be true. So, which is a good litter to use? Litter robots make your life much easier and save from some of the headaches that come with regular litter boxes, but using a good litter is going to help you get the most out of it. When it comes down to it, there’s a rising trend in automatic litter boxes. Self cleaning models are getting a lot of attention.
We went ahead and tested out several different brands of litter to give you a breakdown of how they performed in terms of dust, odor control, clumping and convenience. Here are the results of some of our favorites to use with a litter robot.
1. Arm & Hammer Double Duty Advanced Odor Control
Arm & Hammer uses the power of baking soda to instantly neutralize odors, and it really works. Another good thing about this odor control litter is that it’s a bit heavier compared to others, so you don’t have to pour as much into the litter robot to activate the sensor that tells you to add more — saving your money in the long run. The weight of the cat litter is perfect because it stays in place, meaning you don’t have to worry about your cat scattering it around the area or tracking it through the house when they’re done.
The clumps that it forms when it comes in contact with moisture are rock solid, leaving no trace of the soiled litter in the clean compartment once the empty cycle of the litter robot has completed. The solid clumps dry so quickly that you don’t have to worry about them causing an sticky, muddy spots on the bottom of the tray. By the time they touch the surface of the litter robot, it already completely dry. That means you’re only left using clean litter, with no waste left behind.
Weight: 287 grams/cup
Odor After 1 Week: Medium to Low
Easy Pouring: No
Clump Firmness: Rock-solid
Clumping Speed: Very Fast
2. Fresh Step Simply Unscented
If you are sensitive or just don’t like strong fragrances, this unscented litter is a great option. For being unscented it really controls and hides odors well, even after a week of not changing the waste drawer. It uses plant extracts and activated charcoal to to keep the area smelling fresh and neutral. You’ll be truly surprised how little odor gets through, even when you’re cleaning out the litter robot.
It clumps very quickly and stays together, so you’re not left with tiny, sticky crumbs and it sifts through the robot really well. We experienced little to no dust when pouring into the litter robot, so you’re not inhaling a cloud of dust. The texture is very fine and comfortable for your pet’s paws and it’s impressive how well it stays in place. You won’t be cleaning it up as often as you would with some others that tend to scatter more.
Weight: 268 grams/cup
Odor Control After 1 Week: Very Low
Easy Pouring: No
Dust: Almost none
Clump Firmness: Medium to High
Clumping Speed: Very High
3. Litter Box All-Natural Clumping Litter
This Litter Robot option is great if you’re looking for something very natural, yet effective. It’s made from sun-dried clay that’s hypoallergenic with no additives or fragrances, making it ideal for cats that have allergies, sensitive skin or aversions to strong scents. The litter clumps very quickly and stays pretty solid so it sifts through cleaning cycle well, leaving only clean cat litter behind.
One of the best things about this cat litter is that there is virtually no dust when it’s being poured or moved around, which keeps the area nice and clean as well. For being dust-free, this cat litter is still very soft in texture, which is ideal for keeping your pet comfortable and relaxed. A little goes a long way, so a bag will last you for a while. You can order convenient delivery directly from the company when you need to restock.
In my opinion, this is the top litter to use.
Weight: 279 grams/cup
Odor After 1 Week: Medium
Easy Pouring: Yes, thanks to the convenient packaging
Clump Firmness: Firm
Clumping Speed: Fast
4. Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
This is another great hypoallergenic option that claims to be 99.9% dust-free, and definitely lives up to it. It has minimal scattering, so the area around the actual self clean litter box stays pretty clean as well. Probably the most impressive thing about this particular litter is how extremely fast it clumps and hardens. It really helps to to keep the rest of litter clean because every bit that is soiled clumps completely and is easily sifted out. If you’re looking for a combination of odor control, and safe, easy litter that’ll work with your litter robot, check this brand out.
Odor control is good even when the waste drawer is full. And it is unscented so it’s perfect for picky cats who hate strong smells. The heavy granules definitely stay in place and your pet will not track them throughout the house. This is due to the fact that it is surprisingly heavy litter. Just looking at the bag, you wouldn’t expect it to be so dense and heavy. It’s very strong and powerful, yet soft and comfy for your pet’s paws.
Weight: 282 grams/cup
Odor After 1 Week: Medium
Easy Pouring: No
Dust: Almost none
Clump Firmness: Extra Firm
Clumping Speed: Fast
5. Scoop Away Extra Strength Clumping Cat Litter
The odor control in this litter is very effective, however it does have very strong fragrance. If strong scents don’t bother you too much, it is a great option. Its clumping power is very strong and its filters through the cleaning cycle without breaking apart, which ensures that the litter left behind is clean.
It is nice and heavy which definitely makes a difference in terms of scattering while your cat walk through it. The heavy weight means that you don’t have to use as much for the robot to sense it and complete the cleaning cycles.
The best part about this litter is the super convenient packaging. It has a handle built into the box that makes it very easy to carry and pour. The package is a nice sturdy box that makes it really easy to store and stack.
Odor After 1 Week: Minimal
Easy Pouring: Yes, the easiest so far
Clump Firmness: Medium to Hard
Clumping Speed: Fast
Factors to Consider
Cat litter probably isn’t something you want to be thinking about. But if you put in the time, effort and research right now, you’ll thank yourself in the future. The truth is, there are a lot of options of cat litter that can be used in a litter robot or other automatic litter box.
These options can be overwhelming and you might just want to choose the first one you see and be done with it. That’s understandable, but if you’ve already invested in the litter robot, you may as well choose the right cat litter to use with it. However, even with a litter robot iii, every home is going to have different needs and there’s a lot to consider.
To help you better narrow down your choices, here are some things to keep in mind, why they’re important and how to navigate them so you can be confident in your decision.
Is it What’s Best for Your Cat?
Think about it: your cat uses this cat litter several times a day, everyday. It’s essential to pick something that your cat is comfortable with and will provide them with the best restroom experience possible. If you choose a cat litter that isn’t compatible with your cat, they will eventually likely stop using it and start giving you problems.
Cats generally prefer a softer texture, it’s much more comfortable on their paws — think sand as opposed to gravel. A lot of the time the packaging will describe the texture of the cat litter and you can feel it out for yourself once it’s been poured by pressing your hand into it. Make sure that it feels soft and cushiony without any sharp pieces.
You should consider if fragrances will be an issue for your cat. A lot of cats have sensitivities and aversions to strong odors. If you choose a cat litter that has a strong scent and you’re cat doesn’t like it, they’ll likely end up doing their business in another part of the house. Of course you want the cat litter to control and eliminate odors as much as possible, but remember that there are many great options that can do this without perfumes. The cat litter should work to eliminate the odor, not just cover it up.
Another thing to look for little to no dust. You’ve probably seen it at some point, you’re filling the automatic litter box and huge cloud of dust hits you in the face. This same dust is stirred up everytime that your cat walks across the litter and it can be very harmful to their respiratory system.
It can trigger allergies. The first time you pour a new litter, pour it from a little higher than normal. This will give you a good idea of the dust situation and whether or not you can find something better.
If your cat is generally sensitive or has any allergies, it’s very important to take that into consideration. Too much fragrance or chemicals can really make sensitive cats uncomfortable. You can find hypoallergenic and chemical-free cat litters that will be much better for you cat.
What’s It Made Out of?
This may not be the first question you ask yourself, but it’s certainly worth looking in to. There are plenty of different litter materials that work well with automatic litter boxes. However, they’re not all as good for your cat, yourself, or the environment. Some clay litter isn’t biodegradable, or takes a very long time to degrade. Likewise, some litter formulas (such as clay litter) are known to cause more dust when your cat buries their waste.
These aren’t the only reasons you should consider looking at what your litter is made of, however. It seems like new litter formulas come out nearly everyday, and it can be hard to keep up. While clay litter is an all time classic, it’s not the only kind of litter out there.
Look around and you’ll see litter made from natural wood, walnut shells, corn, and more. There’s even litter made out of recycled paper! While these all might look good, when you decide which litter to use, you should ensure you look at how it’s manufactured too. The less chemical processing, the better (for your cat, and the environment).
One nice thing about using litter made from repurposed or rescued wood is that it’s highly absorbent, and provides natural odor control with a fresh pine or cedar scent, no chemicals added.
Is it Ideal for You?
This isn’t just in terms of price. Of course, you do want to find a great cat litter that makes sense for your budget, but there are some other things to keep in mind when deciding if a certain litter is going to be best for you. Remember, as with most things sometimes just because something is cheaper than others, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best quality. It’s important to find something that will be affordable for you and still perform well.
Just like how you want to find a litter that will be a healthy and safe option for your cat, you want it to be safe you as well. Again, dust is something to look out for, as it can be very harmful to you over time as well. This also includes chemicals and strong synthetic fragrances. You’re going to be living and breathing in anything that is emitted by the litter on a daily basis, so make sure it’s not harmful.
There’s a reason that we also mentioned pourability in the reviews. The importance of being able to easily pour the litter out of the container isn’t just for convenience. It’s also going to prevent messes and wasting litter that might fall to the ground — that can end up costing you money in the long run.
One more thing to consider when figuring out if it’s ideal for you and your situation, is how and where you’re going to get it. Is it something that you can easily find at your local pet or grocery store? If not, you’ll have to order it online. If you’re okay with ordering it online, you might even be able to find a subscription or auto-delivery option that can save you money and make sure that you never run out.
How to Get Rid of it?
As we mentioned, some litter is more eco friendly than others. However, some litter is much easier to dispose of too. Biodegradable litter is always a huge plus, but you still have to dump it somewhere. If your’e looking for the best cat litter, that packs in the most convenience, there’s a solution. Flush it! Yes, that’s right.
Flushable cat litter is literally a thing, and it’s super easy too. Basically, instead of emptying your automatic litter box and dragging it to the trash bin farthest away, you just flush it and you’re done. That said, don’t flush litter unless the box specifically says you can. Even the best cat litter will destroy a septic system if it’s not specifically designed to be flushed.
Is it Best for the Environment?
Litter comes a wide variety of different materials, some are going to be much more environmentally-friendly. If you’re interested in lowering your carbon footprint and impact on the environment you can look for litters that are biodegradable, chemical-free, compostable and made with sustainable resources. Going green and using ethically sourced and produced cat litter doesn’t have to be a stressful or complicated thing.
What you have to do first is narrow down a few good options. Look for litters that are either unscented or only naturally fragranced, since synthetic fragrances are typically very highly processed and contain a lot of chemicals. The process to create those types of chemicals can have big impact on the planet alone. Next look for soft texture and little to no dust, then look into how the brands you found were able to achieve this. For example, one of the brands that we reviewed uses a sun drying method to achieve a soft texture to their litter.
You should also look for litter that uses ethically sourced materials that are sustainably produced. You’ll be able to find this out if the brand can attest to how they obtained their materials and their energy consumption. Also consider how efficient their packaging is and if it can be recycled.
Like most industries the cat litter industry is also very competitive and you’re going to come across a lot of claims from companies wanting you to think that their products are eco-friendly. If this is something that is very important to you, you must put in a little extra effort to look past the claims and dig a little bit deeper.
Other Things to Think About When Choosing New Litter
We already touched on price. And of course, sometimes you pay a little more to get a lot more quality. Don’t base everything off price though. Some of the best cat litter out there combines quality with a price you can stomach. You should always take claims from litter manufacturers with a grain of salt, but looking at reviews from people who have it used it says a lot.
Another thing you should know is that a bigger bag of cat litter doesn’t always last longer than a smaller one. In fact, many eco friendly cat litters actually last several times longer than more environmentally harmful ones. Many companies tell you how long you can use the litter for if it’s a really good brand. Why not brag a bit when it fits, right? Again, customer reviews are another good place to look for this information . If a cat litter lasts three or five times longer than other cat litters, spending a few extra bucks is still like getting a discount in the longer run.
How many cats do you have? This can have a big impact on the new litter you use too. Some cat litters are ideal for single cat homes, but don’t work the same when you have multiple cats. If you have two or more cats, be sure to look cat litter that will work for both your automatic litter box, and your cats. If you’re using cat litter that isn’t designed for more than one, even the best cat litter won’t be able to keep up.
When you look for cat litter, you need to consider the age of your cat. As long as the texture and smell are okay, most older cats will use whichever litter you choose. Yes, after they’re potty trained, a lot of younger cats will use whichever litter they’re used to. However, kittens are still new to the whole litter box activity. When clumping litter sticks on their paws, it’s only natural that they use their mouths to try and clean litter from their paws.
Clumping litter is undeniably convenient; it’s easy to use and clean litter when you have the clumping kind. However, most vets recommend staying away from clumping litter while kittens are young. It’s best to use a non clumping litter.
You’ll have to work around some tracking most likely, but your kittens could otherwise be ingesting cat litter by accident. That said, some kittens also try eating cat litter out of curiosity. The best cat litter to use for kittens is a safe, chemical free, non clumping litter. Don’t worry, you can always switch back and use clumping litter once they’re a little older.
So, you’ve check if the litter is good for your cat, yourself, and the environment as a whole. That’s where you should start, but it isn’t necessarily the end all be all of your new litter search.
Most cat owners would agree that dealing with the litter box is one of the worst things about having a cat. It’s smelly, high maintenance and messy. Litter robots save you so much time and effort everyday, so you can pretty much forget about the litter box until you have to empty the waste drawer or add some litter. To ensure both you and your cat are getting the best experience from the litter robot, choosing a good cat litter is essential. If you really want to keep your home clean and fresh, the litter you choose is going to play a huge roll.
We’ve put together some of our favorite cat litters and told you why we loved them. But the best litter for you is also going to require you to consider you and your cat’s needs. Sure, there are some general things to look out for — like dust, odor control and clumping ability. However, some cats and cat owners are more sensitive than others.
You might also be more environmentally-conscious and want to find something that’s more sustainable, ethical and natural. This will take some consideration on your part, but you’ll be much more confident in the cat litter that you choose.