You Can't Have a Kitty Without the Litter -- Analyzing What Litters Work and Why

08/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

According to a 2008 APPMA study there are 88.3 million cats in the United States, one in every three homes in the United States. But it doesn't matter if you have one, four or 100 cats (which is shockingly legal in New York State), every cat needs litter to do there business. And if you have 100 cats that's more business than AIG.

With so many litters out there, it's hard to choose which one will leave your cat happy and your home smelling like roses, rather than making even an indoor cat run for the door. Check out these tips on finding the right litter for you.

1. To clump or not to clump. The first thing to consider is if you want a clumping or a non-clumping litter. Clumping seems more sensible because the urine is clumped together in the clay-based litter (crystal based litter does not clump as easily). This makes it easier to do a scoop out about once a week and do an entire empty and reload about once a month. Non-clumping litter needs the whole box to be emptied, cleaned, and replaced about once a week. Popular brands such as FreshStep and Tidy-Cat make both formulas.

2. Poop-ourri. Then, do you want your litter to be scented or unscented? Unscented litters add no fragrances to the litter, but might add charcoal to help eliminate smells. Scented litters put in fragrances to cover smells, which adds a pleasant smell to the room. The fragrance litters only seem to cover smells, not eliminate them, so go with the unscented litters! Add a room deodorizer to the room the litter box is in, which will work with the unscented litter for the best results!

3. Eco-Cat! Nowadays the more popular litters are the biodegradable like Feline Pine, made out of pine-lumber pellets or World's Best Cat Litter, made out of whole-kernal corn. Both can be reused in the yard or flushed, and both carry top ratings in the litter community.

4. Wipe your paws at the door please! As most people know, after your special feline friend uses the box, sometimes, the litter gets stuck to the bottom of their paws. Nobody wants little clay or crystals on the new, expensive rug in the living room! Put a special mat or rug next to the litter box that cleans your kitty's paws after they exit their litter box.

5. Your cat can use technology too. There are self cleaning litter boxes that are automated made by LitterMaid, CatGenie, and Litter Robot. In theory these seem like a great idea, but in reality they aren't a god send and they don't come cheap. We all would like to rely on technology 100% of the time, but sometimes technicalitter ends up being more work in the end.

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Wendy and Pasha Diamond, Pasha is a rescued Russian Blue and the handsome brother to Little Lucky!