The ultimate green litter choice for smart cats
Last updated April 16th, 2018Cats and their guardians have never had it this good since the days of fireplace ashes and sawdust cat litters of the 1950’s. With the arrival and popularity of clumping clay litter, there has never been a better time to be an indoor cat. Clay litter has stood the test of time, both for convenience and superior odor control. But with the increase of consumer awareness surrounding issues such as biodegradability, renewability and health concerns, most clay litters do not fare well. But there are greener choices offering the same convenience together with a whole lot more added benefits to you and your kitty companions.
Disclosure: We received two free bags of SmartCat All Natural cat litter in exchange for our honest review, but this did not influence our opinions at all. We only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers. Pioneer Pet® Products is not responsible for the content of this post. Our opinions are based on one month’s use of the product by the Chirpy Cats testing team! Stay tuned until the end of this post for an exciting giveaway!
In the past few years, I started ditching chemical detergents for greener options. If I was concerned about exposing our cats to toxic chemicals, it made perfectly good sense to rethink the contents of their litter boxes. So the fact that I was still using clay litter always bothered me.
And then there is that choke-inducing ‘genie smoke’ swirling up as you pour the contents of the litter; except there’s nothing magical about it. In fact, it’s quite toxic, that’s silica dust, settling on every surface, nook, and cranny. Worst, settling on your cat’s lungs as he inhales it, or ingests it while grooming. Gasp! I always felt that I should be scooping wearing a dust mask. But how unfair to your cat, there are no miniature dust masks for little cat noses… or maybe there is…. I bet you’re dying to Google that, am I right?
But seriously, what is so bad about clay if it’s a natural product?
- Silica, a known carcinogen, is present in most clay litters. The silica dust is inhaled by you when scooping and by your cat, as they kick up a storm in the litter box.
- Sodium bentonite is the agent found in most clumping cat litters causing that wonderful clumping function we love so much. Since it expands to 15 times its volume, it may very well be forming clumps along your cat’s digestive tract over time.
- Most clay cat litters are harvested through an environmentally destructive process called strip mining.
- Clay litter is non-bio degradable, meaning tons of it just sit in landfills. Talk about marking your territory kitty! So if you wish to reduce your carbon pawprint you might want to search for a cat litter made from renewable sources.
And then the search began for the perfect cat litter.
We have tried and tested a few natural litters in the past, some great, some not so great. I was beginning to think that no litter would have all my checkboxes ticked for biodegradability, renewability, odor control, clumping ability, lightweight, odorless and agreeable texture that cats love. So when I received two bags of SmartCat All Natural cat litter by Pioneer Pet® Products I was curious and super excited for the Chirpies to try it out.
Litter made from 100% grass, let that sit for a while
SmartCat All Natural clumping litter is made from 100% U.S. farmed grasses with zero chemicals or fragrances. Okay don’t go getting any ideas kitty cats; this is not grass, but litter made from grass, meant for dumping and not chomping! In addition, being chemical and fragrance-free, you can rest assured that there are no offensive odors in the litter box while your cat takes care of business. Lavender’s great on your pillow at night, not the litter box. In fact, I like that it smells like…pure fresh nothing.
Three things highlighted about SmartCat litter is that it’s easier to carry, easier to scoop and easier to clean. Let me tell you after two weeks of scooping and pouring this lightweight litter, my niggly shoulder is thanking me. Scooping SmartCat litter makes scooping out regular clay litters feel like stirring cement. My husband does most of the litter duty for 12 boxes in total (yes, he’s great!) but I’ve been volunteering my scooping skills since using SmartCat litter because it’s so easy to scoop and pour.
Clumping efficiency – Solid as a rock
The SmartCat website has a funny video demonstrating how rock solid the clumps become after just a few minutes, with the clumps being thrown around and kicked like a ball. I was tempted to go test this theory out in the backyard with a clump but didn’t have to. I was pleased to find how quickly it clumped in seconds and definitely hardens even more with time. So none of those crumbly bits that tend to break off. Just clean solid rocks easy to dispose of.
99% dust free means no more genie dust
This one is important to our Chirpy Cats household because I keep a litter box in the bedroom, housed in a litter box cabinet. Since old Earl Grey is blind I want to him to have easy access to the litter box even in the bedroom, so having zero dust is a huge deal and just keeps everything cleaner. I’ve since abandoned all crazy thoughts about miniature kitty dust masks, besides, I Googled, and no, they don’t exist.
What about litter sticking to the sides?
Say goodbye to that sticky pasty mess when trying to scrape litter off the sides. This normally happens when some of my lazy boy cats don’t bother to position themselves properly and they hop into the box for a quick pee against the sides. Yes, Charlie and Baggy, I’m talking about you! But the texture of SmartCat All Natural has a way of dealing with those ‘side jobs’ as I call them. The consistency is such that when it sticks to the sides, it becomes almost rubbery and pops off when you give a little nudge with the scoop.
Superior odor control
Litter box odor control is an absolute requirement, especially with multiple cats. SmartCat All Natural litter locks in urine and odor-causing bacteria immediately upon contact; so there is no chance of offensive odors brewing or escaping. Still, even with this highly efficient odor-locking function, scooping at least twice daily is part of our routine. Cats don’t like stepping on another cat’s rocks or logs!
The Cats’ final words
We dived in head first and dumped a full load of SmartCat litter into a clean litter box without following the recommended 50/50 mix of the old litter with new. But I know my cats and their preferences so I was confident they would immediately take to the texture. This is what happened…
Charlie stepped right in.
Mr. Jack, well, “when you gotta go, you gotta go”
Ollie is a smart cat. He said, “I like this where do I sign?”
Sly Pie sniffed a little and carried on like he didn’t care.
The rest all use it as normal, it’s as if I didn’t change the litter at all.
Now that we know the cats like it and the humans like it for all these reasons below…
- 100% grass
- Easy to keep clean
- Fragrance and chemical free
- Compostable – for use in garden not meant for consumption
- Smells like nothing
- Renewable and biodegradable
- Soft on paws
…we will be tossing out the last of those clay boulders and pouring some SmartCat All Natural litter into the rest of the litter boxes.
Watch our video on product testing featuring the Chirpies’ bathroom demonstration.
Now for the giveaway!
Is your cat a smart cat like Ollie? Perhaps he wants to reduce his carbon paw print. See for yourself and enter for a chance to let him sink his paws into two bags of this awesome litter.
Pioneer Pet® Products is generously offering one lucky reader a chance to win not just one, but two 20lb bags of SmartCat All Natural Clumping litter! To enter simply leave a blog comment below and enter the giveaway. Do you have any litter box woes to share? Good luck to the humans and the kitties!
The giveaway is open to U.S. residents who reside in the 48 contiguous states, 18+ years of age, except where prohibited by law. One winner will be selected randomly and contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize, and a new winner will be randomly selected. The giveaway closes on Friday, August 25th 2017 at midnight EST.
14 CommentsLeave a comment
This is awesome! Ive been looking for the perfect kitty litter for years! I finally settled with wood stove pellets,since theyre all natural, but it doesnt clump,its a hassle to scoop out,its not very comfy for the kitties feet,and its heavy! I hope i win the giveaway so i can test out the SmartCat litter for my 9 kitties!
This sounds good. We’re currently using another brand in some of our eight litter boxes and pine pellets in others. This sounds like just what the kitties ordered! Fingers and paws crossed that we might be the lucky winner!
Linda Arthur Tejera recently posted…One Word Photo Challenge: Hummingbird
I had no idea silica was in clay litter, that is awful.
Ellen Pilch recently posted…Friendly Fill-Ins Week 67
I agree with you that cats are for life. Reading your cats reaction to the new litter is exactly ho my 3 cats would react. One wouldn’t care, one would jump in and the last wold have to inspect it first.
That sounds like a good litter. Purrs
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I would be interested in this. I have concerns about cats breathing dust from clay litter.
I’ve seen that litter in the store but never tried it. I’m intrigued. Pawsome review!
Melissa & Mudpie recently posted…Angel Truffles’ 4th Gotcha Day #SundaySelfie
Thank you and you should definitely try it!
This is a great review and definitely sounds like something I’d like to try. We still use a clay litter, but one I’ve found to be very, very low dust. But this definitely sounds great. And I LOVE your video!
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Thank you! That’s great that you have found a low dust litter. At the moment we’re just waiting to use up the last of the clay litter we have and then switch it out.
[…] this post? Hop over to my review of SmarCat All Natural CLumping Cat litter. Lightweight, clean, odor free, with no carbon […]
Silica, a known carcinogen, is present in most clay litters. The silica dust is inhaled by you when scooping and by your cat, as they kick up a storm in the litter box.
There is absolutely no evidence of this. there has not been a rise in cancers since the introduction of scoopable litter.
Sodium bentonite is the agent found in most clumping cat litters causing that wonderful clumping function we love so much. Since it expands to 15 times its volume, it may very well be forming clumps along your cat’s digestive tract over time.
If your cat’s digestive tract isn’t pushing a few pieces of litter through the digestive tract than the cat has a bigger problem than a few pieces of litter in their digestive tract. My cat ate pieces of cement when she was anemic and the body pushed that right through, just as it does will all indigestible material that is small enough to move through the digestive tract. if the cat is eating so much litter that it is causing a problem then the cat already had a health issue – like anemia – and it isn’t such much a problem with the litter.
Most clay cat litters are harvested through an environmentally destructive process called strip mining.
Clay litter is non-bio degradable, meaning tons of it just sit in landfills. Talk about marking your territory kitty! So if you wish to reduce your carbon pawprint you might want to search for a cat litter made from renewable sources.
I can’t disagree with you on the strip mining, nor with the fact that clay is non-biodegradable but nothing is biodegradable once you stick it in a landfill. They have harvested landfills and found items in the exact same condition as when they went in years before due to the lack of oxygen to break them down. Clay is also a natural material like a stone or sand.
I am all for alternative litters. I really like this litter (even though it didn’t work for us) and hope it does well, but spreading false information is not the way to do it.
Thank you for your insight on this topic. You have expanded on two issues which I have only touched upon here; biodegradability and the digestive tract of a cat. I in no way claimed to be an expert on the topic and the review highlighting those issues is meant for the reader as food for thought, not an in-depth scientific study on the what is fully biodegradable or how a cat would digest foreign matter. Those are topics on their own.
Cat owners who wish to err on the side of caution might want to know the possible effects of a substance that may be harmful.
Crystalline silica is indeed a known carcinogen. The below is an excerpt from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the household products database.
“Carcinogenicity: From MSDS
Crystalline silica has been identified by IARC and NTP as a probable carcinogen. None of the other ingredients is listed as a carcinogen or potential carcinogen by OSHA, NTP, or IARC.
Carcinogenicity The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that respirable crystalline silica is a probable human carcinogen (Group 1). Repeated inhalation of large amounts of silica dust over an extended period of time may result in adverse effects on the lungs.
Chronic Toxicity: This product contains a small amount of crystalline silica.”
I always appreciated input from a different perspective and it’s okay to agree to disagree, expand on a topic, learn from others, etc. We all have different experiences which is a great thing. But telling me I am spreading false information when I am not, is not the way to go.
Now that is an amazing techniques for their toilet haha! Your cat is adorable, this is one of the most cutest blog. thanks for the tips and sharing with us!
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