When it comes to picking a cat litter, we sure are spoilt for choice right? With so many different products out there, how do you pick the best one for your household? Well depending on your preference, crystal cat litter could be the perfect fit for you and your fur baby.
It’s dust free, lightweight, inexpensive and, is made up of silica gel. What’s silica gel you ask? I’ll explain that in detail below shortly.
If you’ve found yourself wondering how to choose the best crystal cat litter, or you’re thinking of making the switch, there are a few key points you should consider before purchasing.
Below I’ll be covering all you need to know when it comes to picking the best crystal cat litter. I’ll tell you what makes it so useful and why it’s a huge hit within the cat owner community.
- PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter, 2-Pack
- Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Long Haired Cat Litter
- Fresh Step Crystals 8 Pound variations (8 lb)
- So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter
- Ultra Pet Ultra Cat Litter
- Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Cat Litter
If you didn’t already know, crystal cat litter is primarily made from silica gel. It’s been around since the late 90’s and has quickly become a household staple for cat owners. Its ability to adsorb 40% of its weight is a huge advantage over its rivals.
You may have seen those little packets you get when purchasing an electronic device or leather handbag. That same silica gel is found in crystal cat litter. They use the silica to reduce humidity inside the container they are shipped in.
Silica Gel can adsorb 40% of its weight, it can also reduce humidity inside a container by 40%.
Silica gel is made up of silica dioxide sand, oxygen and water. Because of its high adsorption ability, maintaining your litter box is a little different to traditional clumping litter. Once your kitty has done his business simply remove any solid waste and stir the crystal litter, there is no need to scoop up after every visit.
Let’s recap, crystal cat litter is a dust free, cost friendly, easy to maintain litter that outlasts traditional clay litter. Okay got it!
If you want to know the specifics on silica gel check out the video below.
It’s a well known fact that silica gel cat litter out lasts every other type of litter on the market. That alone is enough for some people to make the switch. In fact, if you’re regularly scooping the solids out and mixing the litter regularly, a single cat household litter could quite possibly last a month.
If you notice the blue granules turning yellow or pink, this means it’s working. It’s worth noting that some silica gels are even safe to flush, although I try to avoid this.
Litter tracking is reduced because of the crystals used in the litter. It’s less likely that it will stick to your cat’s paws, unlike the alternative clay litters. While it does reduce tracking it definitely doesn’t eliminate it completely, if you want to go that step further to prevent tracking invest in a cat litter mat.
Just because this litter adsorbs 40% of its weight doesn’t mean it’s going to clump like other litters. Its abilities make it a great solution for those weekend getaways or the long hours at work where kitty is left alone for long periods.
Its properties really help towards eliminating those pesky odors we all know too well, not to mention fewer scoops of the litter tray. There is a key difference in the way this litter soaks up the liquids. Adsorption and Absorption are two different ways to contain gasses and liquids, to help understand this better check out the picture below.
Yes, well almost. The silica gel used in crystal cat litter is considered non toxic so the very little dust it produces is fine. Most cat owners would agree it’s dust free, myself included. There are differences between each brand, but more on that later.
If you or your cat suffers from any respiratory issues then this litter should be considered, it’s miles ahead of the competition. It’s the leading recommendation for asthma suffers who should avoid dust as much as possible.
Clay litter bags are often heavy and a struggle to lift. You’ll be delighted with how easy crystal litter is to transport or carry. Its properties make it very lightweight and because you don’t need large amounts they come in lightweight bags or plastic containers.
It’s true, some fussy cats simply don’t like the feel or the sounds crystal cat litter makes. Sounds ridiculous I know but I’ve seen it. It could come down to the fact that the crystals are quite sharp and typically cats prefer a softer substance to do their business on.
Thankfully there are fine grain crystal litters available. While they will always have sharper edges then clay litters, it could be enough to satisfy your cats needs, or should I say wants. If your cat is used to a certain litter and you introduce crystal litter, it could take them some time to get used to it.
Some owners have stated that their cat simply didn’t like the crunching sound the litter makes under their paws. While I never had that problem, it’s a matter of trial and error I’m afraid.
While at first glance crystal litter might seem expensive, if you take into account how long it lasts you might be surprised how it compares. Remember it can last up to one month before needing a change. That’s 3 to 5 times as long as regular litter, take this into account when price matching.
Sadly where silica gel falls short is the ability to handle a lot of use. Once the crystals have reached their adsorption limit, pooling in the litter tray will evidently occur. Gross I know but if you stay on top of things this shouldn’t happen.
If you do have multiple cats using the one litter, you’ll want to check on it every time you scoop out the solids. If you notice the majority of crystals have changed color, it might be time to replace the litter.
PetSafe litter is one that usually goes under the radar. It’s lightweight, virtually dust free and has really good reviews.
It’s very simple to clean, I’d suggest scooping out the solids daily then giving it a stir around to mix up any moisture. The highly absorbent litter comes in two pre-proportioned bags. PetSafe claim that one bag could last up to 30 days, making this litter exceptional value.
You have the choice of a lightly scented lavender litter or if it’s a sensitive litter that is free from dyes or perfumes you’re after, they cater for that also. Odor control from the PetSafe litter is sensational, users reported that it’s one of the best they have ever experienced.
Tracking shouldn’t be a problem when using the litter and cats don’t seem to mind the sound or feel under their feet. I would recommend going with the original or unscented over the lavender litter however.
Overall there are little downsides to this litter, the upsides versus a traditional clay or clumping litter puts it miles ahead. It should be considered a go to option for every cat owner looking to use a crystal litter.
- Long Lasting
- Minimal tracking
- Convenient packaging
- Excellent odor control
- Some users mentioned that it was dusty when refilling the litter tray.
If you own a long haired cat then you know all too well what can happen once your cat has finished his business. Dr. Elsey’s long haired litter has been designed to try and combat the issue.
This long haired litter has been infused with hydrolyzed herbs to draw in your kitty. They claim this litter will prevent the dreaded staining of fur from feces, it’s designed to trap urine and odor on contact, which should stop anything from adhering to where they shouldn’t. However, It should be noted that there are mix reviews when it comes to this.
It’s a well performing litter when it comes to odor control and minimizing dust. Cleaning is as simple as running a vacuum over any loose litter and scooping solids daily, as always mix in the litter after scooping out the solids.
Dr. Elsey’s litter is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and biodegradable, meaning it’s safe incase your long haired friend gets some stuck in his fur and decides to groom and lick it off.
- Low Tracking
- Odor Control
- Reports of it getting stuck in cats fur
- Can be a little dusty.
Fresh Step make it well known that this is by far their best odor control cat litter, 5x better than their top clay litter.
Like all crystal litter it’s lightweight and comes in a range of sizes. This litter will require a little more maintenance than its rivals, however with that said it’s still easy to take care of. The odor control from this litter is second to none.
Fresh Step litters downfall is without a doubt the price tag. Consumers commonly report that they find it hard to justify the price. Sure it performs great and ticks most of the boxes, but it’s still hard to justify the higher price.
- Excellent odor control
- Dust free
- Light weight
- More maintenance required than other litters
I had high hopes for this litter, sadly it fell well short of the mark. Aside from the fact it’s expensive, it really does underperform on the basics.
So Phresh also makes the claim that the litter should last up to 30 days as it uses silica gel. It has been noted that it can be easily overwhelmed in a multiple cat home. This is common with most silica gel litters.
It does a decent job of controlling odor and dust levels. The crystals do a good job at adsorbing any liquids, just not as good as its rivals.
Overall it’s an okay performing litter, It wouldn’t be my first recommendation however.
- Silica gel locks in moisture
- Odor control
- Long lasting
- Not suitable for multiple cats
- A little pricey
If your biggest concern is eliminating those pesky odors from the litter tray look no further. Ultra Pet really is the best when it comes to odor control and its users will attest to that.
Maintenance is going to be similar to other crystal litters, remove solids and stir the litter. “One bag One Cat One Month” is the slogan on the bag and users have backed up the claim. The microbeads is a unique feature of Ultra Pet litter and goes a long way to its ability to adsorbing urine.
The use of microbeads also comes with a set back however, the litter can easily be caught in your kitties paws and tracked throughout the home. Being so lightweight also contributes to the issue. It does hit the mark on dust control, actually, this is rather a strong point for the litter.
No surprise here that the litters biggest drawback is the price tag. It’s premium ticket price can be a deterrent for some, it’s a common theme for crystal litter.
- Long lasting
- Dust free
- Odor control
- Price tag, although it’s somewhat justified with this litter
As the name suggests, if you have a cat that is suffering any respiratory issues consider using Dr. Elsey’s litter. This liter is available in two formulas, clumping clay and silica gel. Of course I’m referencing the silica gel litter in this article.
The litter uses no perfumes or deodorants, it’s also hypoallergenic as you’d expect from a respiratory litter. It should also go without saying that dust control was a priority of this litter and I’m glad to report it does a good job with it.
You won’t reach the 30 day mark with one fill of the litter, it comes close depending on use however. You’re going to get some tracking with this litter as the crystals are very lightweight and stick to paws easily.
Again, the biggest downfall of the litter would be the price tag. While most of us are aware that crystal litter fetches a higher price tag, we expect its lifetime to compensate that. With the litter not lasting the 30 days like its competitors, it’s a hard sell.
- Dust free
- Odor control
- Easily overwhelmed
- Extremely pricey
There are a few ways to get the best out of your litter. Because the crystals are so good at adsorbing moisture it is highly recommended to keep the litter in a dry place. Make sure It’s a well ventilated area and consider placing near a fan.
Avoid humid places such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. The heat and moisture left in the air will shorten the life of the litter significantly. Where possible only use the litter indoors.
While most crystal litters will do a decent job, you shouldn’t just rush out to buy one. Some aren’t worth your hard earned cash, while others should just be avoided at all costs. Consider all the points made above before purchasing.
Now, lets get to the winner.
It’s hard to pass up on such a convenient, well priced litter. One that ticks almost all the boxes and performs at a higher level beyond expectation. For that reason my winner is PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter, 2-Pack
If I had to pick a runner up it would be Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Long Haired Cat Litter. Being easy to maintain, biodegradable and suitable for all cats it’s a very close second.