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Old 12-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have decided to change the type of litter I'm using for my two kittens. I have been using a regular non clumping grit but I hate it. The kittens are fine with it though. I was thinking of changing to a wood pellet type. The options here in Ireland are not that great, just grit, wood pellet and then some kind of crystal looking stuff. I am looking for advice on how to change over. Do I just clean in out and put in the new litter or mix the new with the old and slowly increase the new type? Last thing I want is for them to start avoiding the litter tray. All advice greatly received. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Since the texture change is so drastic, I would have one box with the old litter and one with the new, so the cat gets a choice. If they COMPLETELY avoid the new litter box, I would probably not change. If they seem to tolerate the new change, I would take it slowly, but eventually they could switch over completely.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The type of litter you use is important, as you need to know about your cat's urination, and it's impossible to do that with the crystals or wood pellet. The reason is you need to always take notice of how much your cat is peeing as it is an important health indicator. Cats can have UTI or urinary blockage, or excessive amounts of urine and this can really only be determined by the size of the clumps in clumping clay litter. It's more difficult to accurately estimated with ordinary clay litter. Keep the litter box scooped minimum twice a day, and you will readily be able to determine your cat's urinary output and habit.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What is grit? The basic litter is the US is clay, and when I hear grit, I just think of dirt.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annegirl View Post
I have decided to change the type of litter I'm using for my two kittens. I have been using a regular non clumping grit but I hate it. The kittens are fine with it though. I was thinking of changing to a wood pellet type. The options here in Ireland are not that great, just grit, wood pellet and then some kind of crystal looking stuff. I am looking for advice on how to change over. Do I just clean in out and put in the new litter or mix the new with the old and slowly increase the new type? Last thing I want is for them to start avoiding the litter tray. All advice greatly received. Thanks.
i used tidy cat regular for years, which would be the equivalent of your grit i suppose, then the clumping for a few but i hated all the dust so i switched to wood pellets. i had one cat i had had problems with (peeing in my bed--before you say i'm insane, all he wanted was another litter box by my bed. quit 100%--only goes in the box) so i was concerned about him going somewhere else because he didn't like it. i have three cats and they all love it, mostly because there is no urine odor. (the poop you must get as soon as possible and flush but it's not a big deal.)

i have two boxes, so i left one with the regular litter in it (the one by my bed lol--just in case, i figured that would be the one he would want if for some reason the new was unacceptable) and the second one i put about 75% clumping litter and put about 25% pellets on the bottom. the guy told me to use a little soiled litter on top because the pine doesn't smell and they might go wth? then as you remove clumps or poo or whatever, just keep adding a handful of pellets. keep it mixed in pretty good so they get used to the texture slowly. it seems like if it creeps up on them, they don't really notice.

the crystals aren't really a good choice for several reasons: most of them are silica-based and that's poison. on top of that, it's a dessicant. the problem comes in because the cat ingests it because they get it on their paws and lick themselves clean. they may not be getting in the box and literally eating it but over time, the effects will be cumulatve. some people love it because it's really absorbent and you can go 30 days before you change it (supposedly). but i think if that were my only option, i'd strongly consider going outside and getting plain old dirt to use--and that sounds like a pain and i don't foresee ever getting to that point.

it took me about 10 days to switch completely over. and for some weird reason, they were all using the pellet box much more than the old kind. so i started changing the second box over, and nobody complained or went outside the box. but when you first start, do make sure you have one that you're starting to switch with, and one entirely of the old kind because some cats won't use pine. actually i'm not sure if what you have is pine or something else, so if it's a different kind of wood they won't have a problem with the smell but it won't control urine odor either. the advantage to it is that it's eco-friendly and it's very inexpensive. if you have no odor control, just use less and change it all every 2-3 days.

you can buy a special litter box for wood pellets, but don't do that until you see if they'll use it. even then, you don't have to buy a new box because i've been using the booda domes and i switched litter in may of this year. there's a trick to it so i'll let you know when you get to that point. you are going to need another tray though, if you only have one. you could try to risk it, but i'll tell you right now that if they start going somewhere else, you will lose your mind trying to correct the behavior. (of course if it's in the corner and not your bed, you won't be AS crazy as i was, but it's all horrible.)

so yeah, don't just fill up a box completely with the new litter because that's a good recipe for behavioral disaster. taking 7-10 days to get it completely pellets is enough time to see if they'll use it. good luck!
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ooh you're in Ireland too! The bigger pet shops have a better selection if you want to have a look there. I have used World's Best Cat Litter (you can get it in Petstop) and I now use Cat's Best Nature Gold (MaxiZoo and Petstop sell this), I've also used Tesco's wood pellet litter before. You can also order stuff like that online, e.g. at zooplus, it's a little bit cheaper. Every time I changed it, I did it gradually - just added a bit of the new litter to her litter box without completely cleaning it first and then gradually added more over time.

- World's Best is a corn based litter, it clumps quite well but it's a bit dusty which is why I changed it again. You only have to dump the contents of the box about once a month though which is handy, and it's flushable.
- Wood pellet litter doesn't clump and in my opinion it gets messy too quickly because you can't scoop out the pee. I had to dump the contents like once a week. :/
- Cat's Best Nature Gold looks similar to wood pellets (it's not as fine as World's Best or clay litter), but it clumps. It's not very dusty either and my cat likes it, and it's flushable. It's plant based. I still use it with a bit of World's Best mixed in and I may keep doing that as it seems to clump a bit better that way. You only have to dump this about once a month too.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
The type of litter you use is important, as you need to know about your cat's urination, and it's impossible to do that with the crystals or wood pellet. The reason is you need to always take notice of how much your cat is peeing as it is an important health indicator. Cats can have UTI or urinary blockage, or excessive amounts of urine and this can really only be determined by the size of the clumps in clumping clay litter. It's more difficult to accurately estimated with ordinary clay litter. Keep the litter box scooped minimum twice a day, and you will readily be able to determine your cat's urinary output and habit.
You can still estimate the amount of urine based on the amount of saw dust in the pan. Of course it's not as accurate as clumping clay, but it's good enough to detect big changes. Also there are other symptoms for UTI, and cats on wet/raw food rarely have UTI. I don't think it's a reason good enough to throw away the idea of wood pellets. I use wood pellets, my Metoo's breeder use it for more than 15 years, and many of my friends are using it now. Haven't heard any complain yet. Actually I am against clay based pellets, especially clumping based, for health concern. There will be some clays stick on cat's paw and cats groom themselves, they ingest trace amount of clay.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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As of switching from clay to wood pellets, I'm not sure if putting pans of two different litter and let cat choose is a good idea. You can try, but chances are you will never be able to "persuade" your cat to the wood pellets this way. I switched my Meatball from clay to wood pellets in one month. I did the textbook way: Just add a tiny amount of pellets into clay that your cat is currently using, and increase the propotion of pellets little by little, until you can fully switch. How fast you can finish the transition depends on your cat, but it's definitely doable
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess I'm spoiled. I just switch cold turkey with my cats and they use whatever I put in the box. Even when there is nothing in there, they use it
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I had fosters who flat our refused to use pellets. They went all over the floor in my laundry room for over a week (they were also box training, so I thought they just hadn't learned yet) but the minute I switched to clay, they were fine again and zero accidents. I like the idea of two boxes (one with each type of litter) so you can make sure they're going to use the new one without them having to "go" all over your house if they won't.
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