An Overview of Natural Cat Litter Options

Natural cat litter, which offers the advantages of being biodegradable, flushable, scoopable and clumping, is available in a number of different types. What you choose for your cat will ultimately depend on your cat. If your feline doesn't like the cat litter in its litter box, you will know soon enough. Fortunately, there are other natural cat litter options to choose from.

Plant-Based Natural Cat Litter

Products on the market today include those made from corn, corn cobs, corn and peanut husks, wheat grass and wheat by-products, oat pulp, kenaf, citrus peels, and beet pulp.

  • Corn Cobs - One type of plant-based natural cat litter, made from ground corn cobs, is unprocessed, a renewable resource, has no odor in itself and provides good odor control, and is very absorbent. It is a completely flushable kitty litter. ExquisiCat Corn is one brand name.
  • Wheat Husks - Mixed with natural bonding agents, wheat husks is another organic natural cat litter. Although it is a clumping cat litter, the clumps easily fall apart. Wheat husk-based natural cat litter is flushable, absorbent, and provides good odor control. Swheat Scent is one brand name in this category.
  • Whole Kernel Corn - Clumping, safe for kittens, virtually dust-free, natural cat litter made from whole kernels of corn can be used even in automatic litter boxes. It has a pleasant corn fragrance that most cats do not find objectionable. World's Best Cat Litter is one brand name.
  • Citrus Peel Litter - Taking ground-up peelings from citrus and including stems and leaves, manufacturers have created a natural cat litter that is lightly scented (citrus), quick absorbing and provides less tracking. Citra-Max is one manufacturer brand name.

Recycled Newspaper Natural Cat Litter

Long before there was any other type of cat litter, newspapers served the purpose. Today's natural cat litter includes litter in pellet form that is made from 100 percent recycled newspaper. Nearly dust-free, recycled newspaper cat litter is biodegradable, flushable and able to be burned. Cats don't track recycled newspaper litter like they do with clay litter. Yesterday's News and LitterMaid are two brand names.

Pine And Cedar Sawdust Natural Cat Litter

Scrapped pine lumber, ground into sawdust, is then made into pine natural cat litter. The process includes kiln-drying and compressing the sawdust into pine pellets. These pellets absorb many times their weight in moisture and then break down naturally into sawdust again. Another benefit of pine cat litter is that it naturally eliminates odors by absorbing and neutralizing ammonia. Brand names include Feline Pine, FreshAire Natural Pine and ExquisiCat Pine.

Cedar sawdust natural cat litter, another choice, has the same consistency and properties as pine cat litter. Both types can be flushed, in small amounts, and both can be used as mulch in the garden after feces have been removed. FreshStep Cedar Chips and FreshAire Cedar Litter are two brand names.

Kitty Litter Crystals Made From Silica Gel

One of the newer natural cat litter types is one made from silica gel. This comes from a combination of silica dioxide sand, oxygen and water. Shapes are spheres, which are also known as pearls, half-spheres and crystals. The crystals have millions of tiny pores which absorb moisture - up to 40 times their weight. This type of natural cat litter is flushable, will keep odor at bay for up to a month (for 1 cat and as long as you remove the feces), and it does not track outside the litter box. FreshStep Crystals, Tidy Cat Crystals and ExquisiCat Crystals are some brand names.