A growing trend among cat lovers is the use of crystal cat litter. Considered by many to be an elite product, due to its cost, crystal cat litter is beginning to take a significant portion of the cat litter market.
What Is Crystal Cat Litter?
Crystal Cat Litter was first marketed in 1999. One of the reasons for its growth in the market is the length of time between litter changes. Crystal litter stays fresh much longer than traditional clay or clumping litters. Litter boxes filled with crystal litter can go a month between cleanings, as opposed to a week for other litters.
What Is Silica Gel Cat Litter?
Crystal litters are made from silica gel, the same thing you find in those little packets in your recently purchased leather goods or electronic equipment. Silica gel is a combination of oxygen, water, and silica dioxide sand. Another name for it is silica dioxide.
The reason it works well in the litter box is the same reason manufacturers include the little packets in the box of your new camera: silica gel retains liquid and holds water vapor, reducing moisture in the area around it.
In cat litter, the silica dioxide takes up the liquid in urine and feces and holds it away from everything else.
Quick Look : Best Crystal Litter in 2019
Why Use Crystal Cat Litter?
Many pet owners choose to use crystal cat litter for the simple reason that the crystals absorb liquid and odor so well that you might go a month between litter box changes. Others like that this litter has less mess as it isn’t tracked outside the litter box.
What Are The Benefits Of Crystal Cat Litter?
There are no allergen risks to humans or cats with crystal litters, which have less dust than traditional litters. At this time, there are no known toxins in the crystals, although some have claimed that there are health risks associated with crystal litters.
Crystal cat litter is naturally odor eliminating, as it works by drying up the moisture in waste matter. It is for this reason that you can go for a long time between litter box changes.
The crystals are non-clumping which keeps them from sticking to your cat’s paws. There is a low risk of your cat tracking the litter crystals through the house. In addition, the crystal litter produces less dust than clay or clumping litters.
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What Are The Drawbacks Of Crystal Cat Litter?
The biggest drawback of crystal litter is the cost. It is by far the most expensive type of cat litter on the market. Once you consider, though, that the same amount of litter may last you as much as four times longer, the price isn’t as bad as it initially appears.
Another negative of the crystals is their size. The crystals are larger than clay or clumping granules, which keeps them from being tracked out of the box by kitty’s paws. These larger crystals, though, can cause a great deal of pain to the human foot that might step on them—think glass shards.
These larger crystals are often unpleasant for cats, too. Cats that have become accustomed to the fine sand-like grains of clumping litter may find the silica crystals to be jagged and uncomfortable.
Crystal cat litters are not recommended for multi-cat households. The crystals can only absorb a limited amount of liquid over a period of time. The crystals need time to process the moisture before they can take on any more. If the amount of urine is greater than the capacity of the crystals, the urine will pool at the bottom of the litter box.
These Are the 4 Best Rated Crystal Cat Litters
In our efforts to provide you with the best information about cat litters, we have collected information about the four highest-rated crystal cat litters. In random order, here are the four best-rated crystal cat litters.
Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter Check Price
Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter has a rating of 4.6 out of five stars from 195 reviewers on chewy.com.
Fresh Step is a leader in cat litter innovations. Launched in 1984, Fresh Step is a division of the Clorox Company. Since its inception, Fresh Step has consistently developed and improved its product.
Fresh Step Crystals Cat Litter requires only minimal daily care; you need only to remove any solid waste and stir the remaining crystals to disperse the moisture of the urine. They claim that the crystals absorb five times more liquid waste than clay and clumping litters. Fresh Step’s blue crystals are gentle on kitty’s paws—and look nice, too.
Reviewers who liked the product raved about the odor control, the neatness of the cleaning process, and the overall pleasure they experienced with this crystal litter. Most of the positive reviews claimed to enjoy the break from weekly changes of the litter. Many reviewers mentioned that the crystals do not stick to the cat fur or feet.
On the other hand, reviewers who didn’t like the product complained that the crystals did not absorb enough urine quickly enough. It would be fair to note that most of the negative complainants used the crystals with multiple cats, against the recommendations of the manufacturer.
- the absorbent crystals remove wet waste
- odors are neutralized almost immediately
- the litter has a pleasant appearance, masking the color of urine
- litter box only needs to be changed once a month
- the cost of the litter is comparatively high
- the crystals are sharp and painful to bare feet
- the crystals may be painful to kitty feet
- the crystals have a limited capacity for liquid absorption
Ultra Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter Check Price
Ultra Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter rates 4.4 out of five stars from 19 reviewers on chewy.com.
Ultra Pearls Micro Crystals are fine and sand-like, providing a soft foundation for kitty in the litter box. The silica gel crystals are non-toxic and provide great odor and moisture protection. The crystals absorb moisture from liquid and solid waste and will last 100% longer than traditional clay or clumping litters.
The manufacturer claims that raking the crystals will disperse the moisture and make the litter dry to the touch. In addition, they state that one bag of litter will last one cat through one month of use.
Reviewers boldly claim this as the best crystal litter available. They love the odor neutralizing and moisture absorbing capabilities but are not very happy with the amount of litter that gets tracked around the house outside the litter box.
Reviewers also appreciate that this crystal litter is significantly less expensive than other brands. Since crystal cat litter, on the whole, is the more expensive option for cat owners, it is good to have the choice of a lower priced high-end litter.
Our list of pros and cons include the above and other features of the litter.
- soft sandy crystals for cat paws
- super absorption quality
- lightweight crystals make for easy litter box change
- easy maintenance requires daily scooping of solids only, no clumps
- the litter is lightweight enough to be tracked by the cats
- the tiny granules are messier than the larger crystals of other brands
- the sand-like granules stick to the fur of long-haired breeds
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter Check Price
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter has 4.3 out of five stars with 62 reviews on chewy.com.
This silica cat litter was designed by feline veterinarian Bruce Elsey specifically for cats at risk of respiratory disease. The litter is allergen free, created with no plant proteins, fragrances, or deodorizers. The manufacturer claims the litter is 99% dust free and hypoallergenic.
Reviewers boast of the dust-free litter changes. They are pleased that their cats are breathing easier with this litter. Several reviewers commented on the fine sand-like granules tracking outside the litter box, but almost all of them claim that the trade-off for good health of their cat is worth it.
There were, of course, some negative reviews; so, taking the good with the bad, here are our pros and cons for Dr. Elsey’s Silica Gel Cat Litter.
- healthy breathing with little to no dust
- soft granules are comfortable for cat paws
- easy maintenance with a long time between litter pan changes
- non-toxic and hypoallergenic
- tracking is a problem because the granules are so fine and lightweight
- the litter is expensive
Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter Check Price
Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter has 4.4 out of five stars from 12 reviewers on chewy.com.
Litter Pearls Crystal Cat Litter has small fine sand-like granules of silica gel that absorb odor and wetness. The manufacturer claims that it is non-toxic, allergy free, and dust free. They claim that in a home with only one cat, you can go two to three months without changing the litter box.
Reviewers love the small crystals that are easy on kitty feet. They also comment positively about the odor protection qualities of this litter. Several reviewers name this litter as the best they have tried.
In fairness, there was a negative review with a complaint about tracking and cost.
Here is our list of pros and cons.
- fine granules are painless for kitty feet
- low dust and non-toxic for healthier cats
- easy cleanup and infrequent litter box changes
- litter does get tracked out of the box by kitty
- the litter is expensive
Overall, crystal cat litters are still very expensive, and there are only a few brands regularly available. Choosing the best crystal litter for your cat is similar to choosing the best food: you can pick the one you think will be ideal for you and your cat in your situation, but it is ultimately up to your cat. Finicky felines can bring all your good planning to a halt.