Cat Litter: Ratings of Sources
In addition to a wealth of information on the do's and don'ts of cat ownership, veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson discusses specific cat litters she has tried over the years. Analysis here is in-depth and based on years of real-world use. It's worth noting that Pierson strongly feels that a clumping litter "is the only sanitary way to maintain a litter box."
Cat author and activist Caroline Golon offers her take on the pros and cons of different types of cat litter. Examples of each type are given, but whether or not those are based on testing, personal experience, or another basis is not well explained. She also offers information on how to transition a cat from one brand or type of litter to another. Her bottom line advice is that "While many litters offer benefits like odor control and clumping abilities that make life easier for humans, the most important thing is how your cat likes it."
Golon also maintains this personal web site, where she blogs about all things litter-box related, including cat litter. You can find reviews written by her and her contributors, but most cat litters covered fare pretty well. That's not surprising as Golon notes in an article on "4 Innovative Cat Litters to Try" that she never posts a review of a poor litter. Keeping in mind that what her cats like, other might not, she adds "What I talk about on this site is always deemed worthy of at least a test run if you think it will work for you."
Pet blogger Daniela Caride compares eight cat litters, giving each a letter grade and brief review. Fresh Step earns the lowest score, where Caride derides clay-based cat litters for their alleged health concerns. A comparative chart at the end of the write-up makes it easy to compare each product by specific attributes.
When it comes to cat litter, there's a good assortment of choices listed at Amazon.com. While not all brands are extensively reviewed, many receive hundreds of user comments, and some get thousands. Most reviews are just a few lines long, but others are fairly extensive, including some with comparisons with other brands/varieties or reports on long term usage.
PetSmart.com sells the major brands of cat litter. Feedback here is much briefer than what's often found at Amazon.com, but more brands generate a significant number of reviews. Navigation is a nuisance, however, as you need to click through to the product pages to see if a rating is based on a handful of reviews, or hundreds. In addition to reviews from the site's users, reviews are also syndicated from some manufacturer web sites and can be seen elsewhere on the Internet as well.
Petco is another big-box pet retailer. As with PetSmart.com, lots of cat owners leave reviews of products, including cat litter. Comments aren't extensive, but still give a good indication of owner and cat satisfaction. Like PetSmart.com, you need to click through to each product to learn how many users have reviewed it.
Retailer Walmart.com carries the more mainstream varieties of cat litter, though many products have amassed a large number of user reviews -- some well into the thousands. Owner feedback is generally cursory, however, especially compared to user reviews at Amazon.com. The number of user reviews is posted on the main pages, so that's a plus when it comes to site usability.
Chewy.com is another online retailer with lots of litters listed. While you won't find quite as much user feedback as at some other sites, many popular brands attract upwards of 100 reviews, and some receive hundreds. Most reviews are brief, but some go into decent detail about their -- and their cat's -- experience with the product.
Franny Syufy is About.com's guide to cats. Although she has good things to say about all the cat litters here, Syufy personally endorses World's Best Cat Litter. She does admit it's relatively expensive, but says it's "virtually dust-free." Links lead to longer reviews of some of the listed cat litters.
You can find lots of tips and suggestions regarding cat litter at Catster.com, but this older article by Golon is among the most helpful. Here, Golon recommends five types of cat litter that she calls "some of the more unique offerings on the market." Analysis here is fairly brief -- just a paragraph or two for each listing -- though opinions are based on Golon's personal experience. Pros and cons are easily identified, and there are lots of pictures, though there isn't much discussion of cost or economy.
Animal shelter worker and pet sitter Elsie Nelson gives her take on cat litters based on her personal experience. While she touts the environmental advantages of plant-based litters, she also provides information on clay-based products she thinks are good choices as well.
Dr. Karen Becker does not recommend specific cat litter products, but does provide a good overview of the different types of litter, and their pluses and minuses. She also notes that while their human companions might prefer something else, preference studies show that "cats prefer unscented clumping litter with no odor control additives."
This site dedicated to all things cat related includes a section where users can post reviews of cat litter that their cat has tried. Reviews tend to brief, and most litters get far fewer reviews here than what can be found at retailer-related sites such as Amazon.com and Petco.com. Still, some additional valuable insights can be gleaned, and articles about cat litter in general as well as forum discussions elsewhere on the site can be somewhat helpful.
Cat nutrition blogger Anne Jablonski doesn't typically review cat litter, but breaks from the norm with her personal take on SmartCat. After a three week trial, Jablonski reports that she and, most important, her cats are thrilled, adding, "I've found the cat litter of my dreams."