The Hidden Dangers of Scented Cat Litter: Why It Might Harm Your Cat’s Health and Well-Being

Whether preparing to own your first cat or stuck to one cat litter for your cat’s life, you may need to learn the available kitty litter options. And some might not be the best choice for your cat. From clumping wonders to natural alternatives, we’re here to unravel the world of litter and guide you towards the purrfect choice that will have your feline friend happily doing their business in style and comfort.

I personally cannot bear the smell of artificially scented cat litter. And knowing a cat’s sense of smell is much more potent than mine, I cannot imagine what they endure when being hit with the smell of artificially scented cat litter. But there are more reasons than the smell that make scented litter concerning.

Scented vs. Unscented

litter in a blue litter box with a blue scoop shovel sitting on wood floor
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Scented litter is litter with an extra scent added to cover up the odors of urine and cat poop. Still, artificially scented litter is not a good choice – cats tend to hate it, and it doesn’t mask smells but blends with them. Scented litter can be very toxic to kitties, so the safe choice is always unscented.

Clumping vs. Non-clumping

Used clumped, cat litter on a green shovel over top 2 litter trays full of litter
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Clumping litters form clumps around urine and feces, making it easier to scoop up. Non-clumping litters absorb urine but don’t absorb poop – and because you can’t tell where your cat has done their business, you need to change the whole tray at once.

Biodegradable Options

biodegradable cat litter in a grey open litter box
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Some cat litter is biodegradable. It’s better for the planet but more expensive, too, so if you want to do your bit for the environment, you may need to pay more.

Clay Litter

kitten sitting in a blue open litter box with a blue shovel in the box
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Clay litter is one of the most common types – it clumps quickly and doesn’t need changing often, but it can cause dust and isn’t biodegradable.

Silica Gel Crystals

cat stepping out of blue green litter with gel litter in it
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Gel crystals are non-clumping crystals that absorb urine. They’re dust-free, but they’re not biodegradable. You have to change the whole tray simultaneously, and many cats don’t like them.

Paper Litter

kitten sitting outside a yellow and white covered litter box

Litter made from paper is cheap, dust-free, and biodegradable, but it needs to be changed more frequently, and it doesn’t control odors well.

Wheat Litter

wheat litter in a red cat litter tray sitting on a gray floor with a cat sitting next to it
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Wheat litter is typically scented – naturally or artificially. It’s biodegradable and dust-free, but it doesn’t clump together well and is more challenging to clean; plus, it can attract pests.

Wood Litter

Milo a Cinnamon Mink Ragdoll cat and his littermate Mochi a Cinnamon Mink Ragdoll Cat sitting in a white laundry basket
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Wood litter is a natural choice that is dust-free and biodegradable. Still, cats typically don’t like the smell, which can cause problems with your kitty’s toilet habits.

Walnut Shell Litter

Litter Robot Maine Coon robot cat litter box walnut litter in waste drawer
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Walnut shell litter can be clumping or non-clumping. Clumping walnut shell litter isn’t as effective as clay but is biodegradable and has low dust levels.

Corn Litter

small yellow and brown litter box with a red scoop litter shovel in it and corn litter
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Corn litter is clumping, dust-free, and biodegradable, but it’s expensive and is another option that can attract pests.

Coconut Husk Litter

2 cats looking into a white covered litter box sitting in a room with a light wood floor and gray walls
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Coconut husk litter is a clumping litter that’s dust-free and biodegradable.
It’s less effective than clay litter and is harder to find in stores.

The Best Cat Litter

ragdoll cat sitting on tile floor next to a plastic bin used for a litte box, filled with kitty litter
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

There’s no single correct answer for the best litter, but clay litter does the best job of clumping, so it is one of the easiest to clean. Unscented litter is the best choice for cats since many will avoid the litter tray if they don’t like the smell.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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2 Comments

  1. Another click bait title. You don’t even mention a single danger to cats if you uses scented litter and can cause A LOT of health problems and even early death. But the point of the article is to get clicks and sales commission. Sad. I expected more from this site.

    1. Scented litter is the first thing mentioned? If you have research I can link to about the early death thing, happy to do it. I hate scented litter, so wouldn’t support it. As far as the click bait thing, there are no affiliate links on this article, so there will be no sales commission earned. These articles are published on MSN, so trying write in the style those readers are accustomed to.

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