New Kitten? What Kind of Litter Is Best?

Kittens are irresistibly adorable, whether it is your first kitten or your thirty-first one.

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Taking care of a kitten is different from caring for an adult cat; much like caring for a toddler is different than taking care of a teen.

One of those differences is related to the litter box. You wouldn’t expect a ten-month-old human to use the toilet in the same way as a ten-year-old. You shouldn’t expect a tiny kitten to use the same facilities as a fully grown cat.

Quick Look : Best Kitten Litter in 2019

Litter Training a Kitten

A kitten will almost instinctively use a litter box with very little training. Kittens will require a litter box with lower sides, for access. They will need their litter box to be frequently cleaned while they are learning.

If the mother cat is around, she will do the litter box training for you. If you are doing the training, introduce the litter box to the kitten when he is calm. Try to do this at a time that he might naturally have to pee. Scratch in the litter, as if you were a cat, to model the idea for the kitten.

Once your kitten is fully litter trained, he can be left home alone. Until then, if you must leave the kitten alone, leave him in a small safe room with food and a clean litter box. But be prepared to clean up the oopsies if he should have them. He is a baby, after all.

What Kind of Litter is Best for a Kitten?

The best kind of litter for a kitten, or for any cat, is one that they will use. It won’t matter how carefully you select the litter for your newest baby if she doesn’t use it.

Kittens will use the litter type that their mother taught them to use, assuming they had a mother available during their first weeks.  For some kittens, this might mean dirt—if they were born and weaned in the out-of-doors.  For other kittens, the best litter will be scented or unscented, clay or pellets, whatever the mother used as she was teaching the basics of waste elimination.

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What about Clumping Litter? I Heard That…

Yes, we’ve heard that too.

There are anecdotal stories about clumping litter being ingested by kittens, causing harmful, or fatal, digestive blockages. The idea is that because the clumping litter solidifies in moisture, if a kitten were to eat it, or lick it from her paws, a solid mass would develop in her small intestines.

The problem with this idea is that there have been no verifiable, or documented, cases of this actually happening.

As with all things baby, even baby cats, people choose to err on the side of caution. Adopting a “better safe than sorry” philosophy, most cat lovers will discourage the use of clumping litter with kittens.

While there is no evidence to support the statement that clumping litter is dangerous for kittens, we cannot, in good conscience, recommend a clumping litter for the new feline in your family.

What we can do, is provide you with a list of the five best-rated cat litters for kittens.

The Five Best Rated Cat Litters for Kittens

Without a doubt, we know that you want the best for your kitten. Here is a list of the five highest-rated cat litters for kittens. Some have been developed specifically for kittens; others are recommended for cats of any age.

Yesterday’s News Softer Texture Unscented Cat Litter Check Price

Yesterday's News Softer Texture Unscented Cat Litter

Purina’s Yesterday’s News Softer Texture Cat Litter has a rating of 4.3 out of five stars, with 107 reviews on chewy.com.

This cat litter is made from recycled paper and shaped into gentle pellets similar in texture to clay litter. The litter is non-toxic and virtually dustless. The non-clumping litter is absorbent and contains no harmful chemicals.

The manufacturer, Purina, has been in the pet supply business for many years and is a trusted name for many pet owners. They claim that this litter is environmentally friendly because it reduces landfill matter by recycling newspapers, magazines, and phone books. Even the packaging is made from recycled material and is recyclable.

Reviewers overwhelmingly praise Yesterday’s News for its odor control and lack of dust. Many reviewers like that they are using a product that is eco-friendly on both the front end (made from recycled materials) and the back end (100% biodegradable).  One reviewer said she was surprised by the unconventional look of the litter, but loves it after using it.

Several reviewers use this litter for their rabbits, ferrets, and rats.

As we try to present the good with the bad, here is our pros and cons list.

Pros

  • biodegradable and made from recycled materials
  • virtually no dust and low tracking
  • non-toxic and no harmful chemicals
  • non-clumping
  • odor controlling

Cons

  • requires more frequent litter box changes
  • hard to distinguish pellets from poops
  • some cats reject this litter due to its scent

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Attract Training Cat Litter Check Price

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Attract Training Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Attract Training Cat Litter rates 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 107 reviews on chewy.com.

This is one of two cat litters we found that is formulated specifically for kittens. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Litter contains a natural herb that will attract kittens to the litter box. The litter is a clumping litter, but it was developed by a veterinarian who specializes in cats. The granules are designed to be gentle on little kitten paws.

The developer, Dr. Bruce Elsey, offers a 100% money back guarantee that your kitten will litter train with this litter. The litter is all natural clay with herbs added to attract kittens.

Reviewers primarily agree that this litter will train your kitten. Kittens who had never used a litter box, or who had refused to use one, were easily trained with this litter. Many reviewers applaud the litter for its appeal to kittens, its odor control, and its quick clumping action. One reviewer saw the success her sister had with a kitten and this litter, so purchased it for her elderly cat; the older cat’s sensitive paws appreciated the soft texture of this litter.

The few negative reviews seem to indicate that some kittens will play in and with this litter instead of using it for waste management. A few complained that their kitten wanted to eat this litter.

Pros and Cons for the Kitten Attract Training Litter are

Pros

  • formulated specifically for kittens
  • controls odors
  • gentle on cat paws, whether kitten or older cat
  • successfully attracts kittens to the litter box

Cons

  • kittens might try to eat it
  • kittens and cats want to play in it rather than poo in it
  • sticks to fur and tracks outside the litter box
  • clumping litter

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Kitten Training Quick-Clumping Cat Litter Check Price

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Kitten Training Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Kitten Training Quick-Clumping Cat Litter rates 4 out of 5 stars from 23 reviewers on chewy.com and amazon.com

The Blue Naturally Fresh Kitten Training Litter is a clumping litter created from walnut shells. It is made in the USA and is completely biodegradable. Made from all natural ingredients, it contains no toxins to harm your kitten.

The manufacturer states that the litter contains herbal scents that will entice your kitten to use the litter box. They also claim that the litter is virtually dust-free.

Reviewers seem to either love this product or hate it. Positive reviews offer glowing recommendations for its clumping ability, its odor control, and its success with litter box training kittens. Negative reviews criticize its brown color, its dark dust, and its tracking outside the litter box.

There were significantly more five-star ratings than there were one-star ratings, but the number of reviews we could find was quite low. We will update this information as more reviews are accumulated for this product.

Our pros and cons list is here.

Pros

  • designed and scented to attract kittens
  • controls odors with natural ingredients
  • assists with litter box training
  • environmentally friendly and biodegradable

Cons

  • produces a brown dust
  • color is dark, making it hard to distinguish fecal matter
  • clumping litter

Fresh News Cat Litter Check Price

Fresh News Cat Litter

Fresh News Cat Litter receives a rating of 4.6 out of five stars, with 100 reviews on chewy.com.

Fresh News Cat Litter is made from recycled paper and is completely biodegradable. It is infused with baking soda for odor control. The pellets are super absorbent. It is also free of allergens and claims to be dust free.

The manufacturer states that the pellets are not likely to stick to your kitten’s feet and be tracked outside the litter box.

Reviewers of this litter rave about the ease of care and the lack of cat box odor. They also like that this litter has no allergens to irritate their fur babies or their two-legged family members.  One reviewer stated that every other cat litter she has tried had irritated her cat’s eyes, but not Fresh News.

Our list of pros and cons looks like this:

Pros

  • allergen free
  • very little dust
  • all natural, non-clumping, and safe for kittens
  • pellets are not tracked outside the litter box

Cons

  • clean up may be messy
  • litter may not be cost efficient
  • pellets are large, possibly too large for smaller kittens

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter Check Price

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter has a rating of 4 out of five stars, with 144 reviews, on chewy.com.

The Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh litter is made in the US of all natural ingredients. The primary ingredient in the litter is walnut shells. This pellet litter is environmentally friendly and fully biodegradable.

Because this litter is pellets, there is little dust and no tracking. The litter contains no corn, grains, chemicals or toxins, so it is safe for kittens to use.

Happy reviewers write about the odor control properties, stating that the walnut shell litter is great at keeping the odors away. They also comment that the clean-up is easy and foolproof.

Some reviewers were less happy with the product, claiming that it is too lightweight and that once wet, it doesn’t dry out.

We like to provide a fair review, so here’s our list of pros and cons.

Pros

  • all natural ingredients make it super safe for kittens, even if they eat it
  • odor control keeps the litter box smelling fresh with daily cleaning
  • environmentally friendly litter is non-clumping and completely safe for kittens
  • odor control is accomplished through the absorption of the urine into the pellets

Cons

  • the dark color of pellets makes it hard to see the fecal matter
  • pellets are hard and noisy so may not be ideal for smaller kittens
  • some cats do not like and do not adapt to the smell of the pellets

Litter box training a kitten should be an easy and successful process. Unlike human babies, kittens have a natural instinct to use sand or dirt for their toilet. Choosing an appropriate cat litter for your kitten can help make the training process go more smoothly.

Of the five kinds of cat litter reviewed here, two are made specifically for litter training kittens. The other three will work as well for kittens as for adult cats. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of the types of litter. You may have to sample a few for yourself to see which type your kitty prefers.

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