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Product Reviews

Light Cat Litter? Here’s the Scoop!

I’ve used clay litter for years, and it’s all Bubba Cat’s fault.

When he was a kitten, he would not use the litter box. Instead, he would go right beside the box. I took him to the vet, and had him checked out. Bubba was healthy, so the vet suggested it may be the litter itself. I tried different brands until I found one he would use, and I’ve bought that same litter ever since.

But clay litter is so darn heavy, and with all of these new, “lighter” versions of litter on the market, I decided to give a few a try to see how they work.

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Swheat Scoop, Tidy Cats Pure Nature, and Tidy Cats Lightweight.

purenature_LPure Nature is touted as a natural alternative to clay, which I don’t get, because clay is natural too. They strip-mine mountaintops for clay for litter. They clear-cut trees for cedar and pine, so I guess we’re even.

Pure Nature has the clean scent of cedar. It clumps fairly well, and is easy to scoop. Pure Nature is lightweight, and you’re going to find it tracked all through your house. But the worst part comes when you clean the litter box. This stuff leaves a slimy film on the litter box. You’ll have to scrub to get rid of it. Ugh!

swheat scoop

Swheat Scoop is made from wheat. It bills itself as a safe and natural alternative to clay litter. Swheat scoop is not as small as the By Nature, so you’re not going to have it tracked all over the house.

But Swheat Scoop’s claims that it stops odors doesn’t hold up. It doesn’t clump well. And the worst part is the “used” litter looks like cookie dough. I’ll never bake cookies from scratch again.

performance_L

Tidy Cats LightWeight looks like litter, but doesn’t feel like it. LightWeight clumps well and is easy to scoop, once you get used to it not weighing as much as clay. And I don’t have the same clean-up problem that I have with Pure Nature. Amazon reviews claim it’s dusty. It’s not. At least none of the product I’ve tried is.

But LightWeight IS like Pure Nature in that it ends up everywhere. Even using litter boxes with tops, I find the stuff tracked all over the house, including on my bed (no, there’s not a litter box in my bedroom). For LightWeight to be effective, you have to maintain the recommended depth of 3″ in the box. Otherwise, your cat is going to kick the stuff around and pee on the bottom of the pan.

.

So which product will I go with? I haven’t decided. I like the performance of the LightWeight, but I don’t know what the product is made of, so I’m not sure it’s the best choice. I love the smell of the Pure Nature, but the slimy film is certainly a deal-breaker. Perhaps if I found a way to line the litter pan, so I wouldn’t have to clean?

What kind of litter do you use? What’s the pros and cons of your choice?

Disclaimer: I bought the products I reviewed. All thoughts about each litter are my own. 

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Discussion

60 thoughts on “Light Cat Litter? Here’s the Scoop!

  1. I use a crystal litter for my cat. I adopted him from a shelter and they used crystal litter. I didn’t want to confuse him by changing his litter and risk having him use the floor as his toilet.

    The crystal litter is really great at clumping and virtually odour free. I suspect it’s not very eco-friendly which I don’t like. It’s also expensive. I don’t like that either.

    My cat spreads the stuff everywhere too and I mean everywhere. Anyone would think he’s excavating for an underground, multi-storey car park. I’m forever sweeping up kitty litter.

    Do you have recycled paper cat litter? That would be my choice although it’s not the greatest on any count. It’s main claim to fame is that it’s eco-friendly and can be disposed of in the garden.

    Good luck with your experiments. 🙂

    Posted by anniegoldfisher | January 24, 2015, 6:05 AM
    • In the garden? But cat pee kills my plants, so I’m not thinking that dumping a litter box full of the stuff would be a good idea.

      Posted by rumpydog | January 24, 2015, 6:12 AM
      • Just a comment on the wheat/corn brands of clumping litter: I didn’t have the odour problems reported, but I used them for rabbits. Herbivore poop probably didn’t stink as much to begin with.

        My rabbits actually liked Sweet Scoop as a snack, but not so much as to gain additional weight.

        The problem is that both the corn and wheat varieties became horrific food sources and infestations for pantry moths. I really liked the litter, and hated to replace it, but I couldn’t get rid of the moths until I ditched the litter. Just so you know.

        Posted by Vladimir Zhirinovski | May 27, 2016, 12:24 PM
      • try coconut in the litters it absorbes the urine and cuts down on the smell

        Posted by luvalmostallthings | July 13, 2017, 1:45 PM
  2. Send this stuff to Washington DC. We need to get rid of the poop and stink.

    Posted by Carl D'Agostino | January 24, 2015, 6:07 AM
  3. I use Chicken layer pellets..we buy them in bulk and they work fine..eco friendly and work fine for the girls here..it was used in the shelter I was a volunteer at..no real tracking clumps fine and can’t harm them I used crystals once until I found a piece of glass in it..then straight back to layer pellets 🙂 hugs Fozziemum

    Posted by fozziemum | January 24, 2015, 6:14 AM
    • What are those pellets made of? I want to see if I can find something like there here in the states.

      Posted by rumpydog | January 24, 2015, 6:32 AM
      • Basically wheat I need to check it’s been a long time since I looked at the packaging..very cost effective especially with foru cats..places that sell to famers ect should have them..they come here in 25k kilo bags for 14 Aus dollars ..we use an old plastic barrel with a secure lid to store it so no mice can get in 🙂 I will find out exactly what’s in it and get back to you 🙂

        Posted by fozziemum | January 24, 2015, 6:36 AM
      • Great. Thanks!

        Posted by rumpydog | January 24, 2015, 6:40 AM
  4. I have no clue about litter boxes, but I like the idea of fozziemum, that sounds like a good way :o)

    Posted by easyweimaraner | January 24, 2015, 6:45 AM
  5. I use the crystal litter for my boys and although it is more expensive I find it better than the clay or even the pellets. Like your Bubba my cats seem to get the cat littler everywhere .

    Posted by dianaroggenbuckebrown | January 24, 2015, 7:10 AM
  6. I really like Feline Pine (the pellets, NOT the scoopable). For a fraction of the price you can buy “horse stall pellets” at Tractor Supply or Southern States. They run around $5 for 40 pounds and are the exact same thing. If your cats are accustomed to sandy litter they may not like the texture. But we’ve never had any problems. It doesn’t track as badly (and when it does track the pieces are big enough to pick up and throw away!), it smells like pine, and it lasts a long time.

    Posted by Carol | January 24, 2015, 7:27 AM
  7. Have you tried Perfect Litter? It’s super light, not clay but clumps like it, very low tracking/dust….AND it turns pink if the cat’s urine is too high a pH. *s* You can get free month trial at perfectlitter.com

    Posted by Amy Shojai, CABC | January 24, 2015, 7:38 AM
  8. We still use the same litter we have used for years. It is a clay litter…..fresh step. Our first cat used it and lived to the age of 19. That was 50 years ago. I suspect it is not very Eco friendly but we go green with everything else in our life. I personally think there is way too much hype over cat litter.

    Posted by mariodacat | January 24, 2015, 8:20 AM
  9. My cat will only use the tidy cat for multiple cats even though he is the only cat we have and it is a certain kind of the combinations they have out there. It comes in the box, not the handy container. If I use something else, he refuses to use it. This one does clump and clean up easily so I go after him each time he uses it and I sprinkle a little arm and hammer kitty box deodorizer in the box right after. Now he is happy. At almost 17 it is the least I can do in his last few years with me. We have finally came to an agreement with food too lol.

    Posted by TammyeHoney | January 24, 2015, 8:22 AM
  10. I have used a Tidy Cat litter for years. I like the Blend with crystals if I can get it. Otherwise there is a variety with Glade. I tried the TC lightweight and I found it very dusty. I used it in the basement boxes and everything got coated with dust.

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | January 24, 2015, 8:29 AM
    • I’ve never tried the crystals before. I have tried the Glade variety and the scent was too strong for me, so I’m sure the cats weren’t happy with it.

      Posted by rumpydog | January 24, 2015, 8:44 AM
    • Tidy Cats Lightweight has caused death for some cats because of the dust getting into their lungs. A recent expose about dangerous ingredients, from a previous Tidy Cats worker, is trending. I’ve been using Cat’s Pride Fresh and Light, which isn’t dusty, and clumps. I just use a dust buster to vacuum up the stuff left outside the box.

      When I asked the vet what they use, they told me that they use a non-clumping product that isn’t actually litter, but something used under cars to soak up grease. I was surprised. I guess it’s available from auto parts stores or places like Walmart. I haven’t checked the safety of the ingredients, and wouldn’t use a non-clumping product anyway.

      I only use “unscented” products. Think about how offensive some scents can be to us, and how much more to our cats. Most litters are scented, and only a very small percentage are unscented.

      Also, since I started feeding my cat a commercial raw food made locally, her poop and pee no longer smells. And, she no longer has health issues that weren’t resolved by vet visits and bills.

      Posted by Sandy Murphey -Northern CA, USA | February 3, 2016, 8:39 AM
  11. I preferred SweatScoop for years, but finally had to change. Yes, little turds do look a bit like cookie dough to me. They looked even more like treats to my dogs. The wheat litter was like bonus crunch for them and they developed a distinct taste for the goodies. I finally had to stop using it because it was so gross and unhealthy. As a litter, I liked it though. No perfume and I didn’t have to worry if the cat licked any off his paws and ingested it.

    Posted by KDKH | January 24, 2015, 9:40 AM
  12. We’ve used pellet stove fuel and/or horse/stall pellets since we got both and either. Smells like Lego, if you’re old enough to remember a non-electronic form of childhood entertainment. Both kinds of pellets soak up ten times their weight in liquid and clump better than any ‘clumping’ cat litter. In addition, the fuel and stall pellets available at feed stores or woodstove suppliers have no additives. They are 100% compostable. Kittens take to it like ducks to water and even our older cats had no trouble making the transition. If you’ve got a hard-sell, mix the pellets in gradually–over a period of two weeks–with your regular litter. Best of all? 40 lbs for approximately $4.00–and that INCLUDES tax.

    Posted by Barbara Boxom | January 24, 2015, 10:15 AM
  13. My brother, Jamison, had the stinkiest pee and poop in the world. Mom recently started using Cat’s Pride and loves it. It’s this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00O0SS4J2/ref=pd_aw_sim_petsupplies_1?refRID=0HB4PT5FKNYF4F6Q5QAV

    It tracks just a little but clumps the best out of all the litters she’s tried. It also holds the stink in!

    Posted by noodle4president | January 24, 2015, 11:17 AM
  14. We use walnut litter by Blue Buffalo. We had to get away from clay litter due to my cat’s asthma and I’m glad we did after discovering how bad it is for the environment. We tried the corn litter for awhile, but I read that it can release a toxin when it gets wet and one cat actually died from it. So we decided to switch to something else to be safe. The walnut is a finer grain than clay, but we haven’t had any trouble with her tracking it through the house. 🙂 We like it!

    Posted by Carita Rosebeary | January 24, 2015, 1:12 PM
  15. We still use clay. We love Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat. It clumps really well and it doesn’t smell. We don’t like litters that smell like cedar or pine…or Tidy Cat because it tracks so bad. Seriously, if someone could invent litter that didn’t track, they’d make millions!!

    Posted by The Island Cats | January 24, 2015, 1:29 PM
  16. The best cat litter in the world to us is: PC Green Twice as Absorbent Clumping Cat Litter!

    It’s made from corncobs 🙂 We prefer clumping because then you can easily scoop it away! The dust does not fly around, there is no clay in it, it’s not made of any harsh chemicals and we have no smell issues with it!

    Posted by ChasetheSheltie | January 24, 2015, 2:37 PM
  17. I’ve been using Scoop Away in the 42 pound package from Costco. It is cheaper and works very well. But it’s really heavy! So last month I got some Cats Pride scoopable Fresh and Light. It was dusty when I poured it in the box. but there hasn’t been any dust tracked around and it isn’t dusty when they use it. I think I might try the horse pellets though. Sounds good and very cheap compare to the others.

    Posted by bigdogmom2013 | January 24, 2015, 3:25 PM
  18. We use SwheatScoop and luv it. Mommy sez da clumpin’ stwengff gets better da longer da pee stays in da box. Ifin yous can weighht 30 minutes to an hour afur scoopin’ it shuld hav dwied and clumped weally well by dat time. as fur lookin’ like cookie dough, mommy didn’t see dat, she finks da smell after bein’ hit wiff a fwesh hot pee smells like fwesh baked bwead. Guess at least yous boff in da kitchen wiff yous fawts. MOL We also twied wecently da Blue Buffalo nut litter and alhto’ it wusn’t sumfin’ we wuld use by itself, mommy combined it wiff ShweatScoop in one of ow boxes and it makes fings clump even hawder, but is still safe to flush. Mommy sed after havin’ it in a box, hers wuldn’t wanna use it by itselff anyways, cuz yous can’t hawdly see da poops cuz da litter be so dawk. but combined wiff da wheat it’s fine. Good luck.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

    Posted by DezizWorld | January 24, 2015, 4:18 PM
  19. If I ever get another cat I’ll reread your post.

    Posted by Hi folks. It's BJ Pup | January 24, 2015, 11:30 PM
  20. The litter we use for our cats is made from paper which is almost the same material for ladie’s sanitary napkin. The brand name is ” unicharm” . The litter is very light and we can flush them out human toilet. Very easy to through away but the worst part is that like Pure Nature and Light Weight, it ends up everywhere…..We don’t know this is the best one but when Shiro came to our house, we use it and for the other three cats, we don’t have any problem…but now we’re interested in the one, we don’t have to clean it everyday. We just change a sheet that we put the bottom of the litter box once a week because pee through the litter into the sheet. Of course, we have to scoop poop everytime, but as for pee, we just chaneg the whole litter only once a month. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s getting popular here but we haven’t got it yet….

    Posted by eripanwkevin | January 25, 2015, 1:56 AM
  21. I’ve been using Luv Litter since I got my girls from the cattery(they used it there) It’s wood pellets, which keep the odor down great, absorb the kitty-pee and you scoop the poo out of the box. About once every week or two, depending on which box is used more often, I dump the used litter in the garden and wash the box and refill. You know it’s time to change when the pellets are mostly broken down. Also I’m filling in a couple of low spots in our yard with eco-friendly compost!

    Posted by lisakerns2014 | January 25, 2015, 2:50 PM
  22. Because of our age we are using Tidy Cats LightWeight but I do not like it. It tracks all over the house like you said and what we get is dusty if you are not very careful scooping. I will be searching for something different when we need litter. Hugs

    Posted by Mags | January 25, 2015, 5:40 PM
  23. We’ve been using Cat’s Pride scoopable for quite some time.

    Posted by meowmeowmans | January 25, 2015, 9:01 PM
  24. We have 8 “kits” … @ one time I used the pine pellets for everyone until bladder infection occurred in a couple, then they quit using the litter box appropriately. I loved it because it broke down to fine sawdust, and didn’t crunch under my feet the way all the others do. Now, I am using a variety. I’m not as happy about it but …! I’ve tried the light weight varieties but find they are dusty, and don’t hold up regarding clumping. I’ve tried both wheat and corn varieties, don’t like the looks, smell after several uses … the kids don’t either. So now, I’m using very fine crystals in two boxes, Fresh Step in one, and Tidy Cat multi in the remaining ones. But the weight and cost each month is crazy. After reading several recs about the pellets for horses, I might have to give that a try. Also, to make for easier box cleaning for the boxes with the heaviest use, I line them with the heavy-duty construction type bags to line the boxes. I can go through several weeks with the same bag; only needing to fill. I find the litter doesn’t get stuck on the bottom. If it does, I tilt the box slightly and drop, the clump “lifts”, and it’s easy to scoop. I still find they ALL manage to track, and make it to my comforter … I’ve even tried track mats without success. I continue my quest for happy compromise. 😀

    Posted by becca givens | January 26, 2015, 5:58 AM
  25. I prefer Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal. It clumps really well and leaves my home odor free longer than any other kind I’ve tried. I can’t really think of a negative to it. It’s seriously been my favorite.

    Posted by Saving Sammie | January 26, 2015, 9:42 AM
  26. I’m glad it isn’t just our cats that trail litter everywhere! We’ve tried placing the trays so that they have to walk across a mat to leave so that the mat will collect the litter, but they just jump over it!

    Posted by Clowie | January 27, 2015, 9:56 AM
  27. RC is very picky about litter and has no problem letting us know by leaving presents in odd places. Her paws are delicate. So many “soft ones” track everywhere and dust. We tried a corn one, but no.
    We’ve used Swheatscoop for several years ( they used to have a frequent buyer’s plan where you got free litter – might check their Facebook page for coupons?) I do clean litter box frequently, but the stuff will harden into a neat ball if you give it a chance – if you have to leave for the weekend or something (RC likes it clean and she runs to yowl to let me know attention is needed to the box when she’s done – so yes, soft scooping has to be done carefully). It’s not the best odor control if you don’t clean ( my daughter hated it when she tried it for Granny. She only cleaned box once a week)
    For us it works although has really gone up in price. It doesn’t dust and keeps the area fairly neat with a long haired cat.
    We can’t stand the smell of many litters. (If you have wheat allergy, it might not work for you) Every time I try something new, us and RC look at each other and say no. Back to Swheat.

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | January 29, 2015, 11:14 AM
  28. Great reviews!!!! I’ve been wondering about a couple of these brands for a long time. I’ve used Scoop Away for our Princess Lily since we brought her home, 14 1/2 years ago. Now with these reviews~~~I think we’ll stick with what she likes! No mess and tracking through the house and she likes it.

    Posted by Cathy Connolly | February 21, 2015, 7:09 AM
    • I also have been using Scoop Away for several years ever since Boots adopted us.Then they came out with Scoop Away Lightweight. I tried it and we both love it. Clumps well, slight fragrance, Minimal dust and only while changing or adding new litter to box and controls odors. I have tile and wood floors with carpet in bedrooms. There is very little tracking but occasionally I do get a piece in the bed. No carpet between litter box and bedroom.
      Very important is that it has no dust while she uses it or while I clean it. Clay dust or any dust in your cats lungs can cause serious health conditions and possibly death. Also, keep in mind that you breathing this dust is just as bad for you.
      One comment from another person stated that they use a Oil Soak or Floor Dry from a car parts store. Whether clay or paper/fiber, it is extremely dusty and nearly pure clay. Not recommended for cat litter.
      At this time I have been able to find it in a 15.4# box. It is about the same size box as the original in a 20# box.

      Posted by Monty Manuel | December 24, 2016, 3:20 PM
  29. My cat got super sick and not respiratory but vomiting and diarrhea, then started avoiding the litter box. As soon as I changed the litter he improved. Not trying it again. I love the corn based litter as it’s natural and is made from the corn left from ethanol production and not from trees. I will stick with natural as I don’t need a super sick cat that I have to bathe. Just glad my little guy is better

    Posted by Regina | July 21, 2017, 6:14 AM

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