bedding related annoucement:

yesterday’s news is no longer rat safe. some older rat care websites list it as a good choice, when the company that makes it has added softwoods to the recycled paper mix.

softwoods like cedar and pine contain aromatic oils. they smell good to us, but they will make rats sick. it hurts their respiratory systems.

a good alternative is petsmart’s exquisicat paper cat litter. it’s basically the same as YN used to be. my boys really like it and it’s cheap. oh, and i’m not affiliated with petsmart at all, haha. just letting you all know about the change.

Kitty Litter Product Recommendation

Didn’t want to add too much to that long post about Purina Lightweight litter, which is apparently HORRIBLE for your pets, but here’s my personal recommendation.

We’ve been using Arm & Hammer’s Healthy Home Solutions Pine & Cedar Fiber Clumping Litter mixed with ExquisiCat Naturals Pine pellets for close to two years now and they work very well. (Normally I’d recommend one or the other, but one cat likes fine texture and the other like pellets, so we have to compromise or deal with daily messes.)

As far as I know, the source for these products is lumber mill leavings, so it’s a good use for recycled scrap wood. (Hard to find a definitive source on this, but it’s what I was told at the store.) Also, there’s less dust than with clay or stone-based clumping litter, and it smells like wood shavings instead of urine, even after use. It also draws the moisture out of feces much faster than other clumping litters I’ve used and thereby cuts the smell by a LOT.

Both our kitties have been using this blend with no litter-related health problems for over a year, and they’re both Domestic Shorthair ginger tabbies (a breed which can be prone to bladder or kidney issues if you don’t get their bathrooms JUST right). There is SOME issue with tracking for the Pine & Cedar Fiber Clumping Litter, but it’s nothing that a quick vacuum-and-sweep doesn’t fix. And if you pour the litters from a low height (<1 foot above the box), there’s only a small amount of dust.

It’s worth mentioning that my fiance has pretty bad allergies to several things, one of which is litter dust, and these products don’t bother him at all. If you have asthma or allergies triggered by wood dust, this might not be ideal for you, but I’d definitely recommend it for folks looking for litterbox solutions.

A 25-lb bag of the ExquisiCat Naturals runs about $15 USD at stores like Petsmart, and a 15-lb bag of the Healthy Home Solutions runs about $14 (I haven’t seen a larger size, but it lasts a good while if you scoop regularly.) We use them in combination with a litterbox liner for easier cleanup, and it’s made a huge difference. ExquisiCat also makes a similarly-priced recycled paper pellet litter which works just as well as the pine version, if your kitty doesn’t mind the texture. It doesn’t cut the odor quite as effectively, but it’s still a pretty good product.

Hope this helps!