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Discussion Starter #1
i'm thinking of checking this out but was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with it. i am currently using precious cat scoopable clay litter but want to switch to a natural litter, since our kitties are having some problems getting clumping litter on their long fur and i'm concerned about them ingesting it as they groom themselves.

i've tried world's best (it smelled funny and the kitties didn't like it) and swheat scoop (kitties were eh about it but it was a bit too dusty for me) and want to look at alternative options.

thanks =)
 

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My understanding is that Blue bought out Purr & Simple and just re-branded it.

A friend of mine tried a bag of the P&S and hated it, but it wasn't a great test. Her cat was in kidney failure and peeing like crazy. Her biggest issue was that it formed a white mold on the surface after a few days. But again, probably not the best test.

I had a customer that special ordered a bag and never asked for another one, so I guess that says something...

So, this probably wasn't a great help...but that's what I know.
 

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I looked at it yesterday at the store but it was even more expensive than the Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat we buy so I decided not to get it. They do so well on the Precious Cat anyway, their coughing is down about 85% from what it used to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cody loves precious cat so much litter that he'll just hang out in the box with it. It is a great litter, however I'm concerned because lately I've been finding either coughed up clumps of litter around or clumps of litter on them at least every other day or so. I don't know if it's a phase or maybe this batch of litter as I've used this litter for a while without problems, but I've wanted to switch out of the clay anyway.

I wound up buying a small bag of naturally fresh yesterday and yes it's quite pricey, $10 for a little bag. Mixed a tiny bit into one of their boxes and Cody seems a bit hesitant about it still. Aster doesn't mind. Will keep you posted.
 

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I bought a bag of walnut shell litter (actually intended as bedding for rabbits, I think) hoping to see if Gracie would like it. World's Best is what we normally use, but I was thinking maybe another natural alternative might be nice. Anyway, Gracie seemed very happy to stick her feet in it initially, but never paid any further attention to the stuff. I found it kind of strong-smelling, and difficult to scoop when I tested it with some water. So I gave up on it. Maybe someone else has tried it and has a better report...

Fran
 

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i have not used walnut shell litter but i can't say enough good things about wood pellets. feline pine is the marketed brand but if you buy wood stove pellets from a hardware or home and garden store (this is where i get mine New Earth Green Depot | Home Page) they are 4.97 for 40 lbs. or 199.00 a ton LOL. trust me, if i had a place to put them, i'd buy a ton. rats/mice/insects don't get in them and it's not like i wouldn't use them. at first i was totally skeptical that it was "just like" feline pine and didn't smell, but it is.

at this price it almost seems a crime not to use it. i used clumping litter for years and i can't believe how much better this is. no tracking, NO SMELL, (you have to get the poop asap but it's no big deal), it just disintegrates back into sawdust and you throw that away. i see you live in CA, which has an ordinance about flushing cat feces just because toxoplasmosis isn't killed by sewage treatment and it's killing sea otters, but i just bag mine like i would a dog's.

it takes about a week to change over but my cats really love it, probably because the litter box smells so fresh every day. try it. for 5.00 how much can you lose? lol if you end up liking it, there's a special litter box that works better but i'm still using my old ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
it's been a couple days and cody still seems hesitant about the box with the walnut litter so i have increased the amount of old litter in it. he will use it once a day but prefers the other litter box with the old litter. we're taking it slow, i guess! i should feel happy that he's using it at all though lol. aster still will use it without any preference to the other litter box it seems.

my one concern is that in general it seems like there are less clumps, so they are peeing less, overall in both boxes. SO FAR i haven't smelled anything around the house so i am not suspecting any inappropriate elimination but i just hope they aren't trying to hold it instead of going. urine output also seems less, and their eating habits have also become a bit more finicky. maybe it's too much change and hope they will get used to it.

i think of the other natural litters i've tried (world's best and swheat scoop) the walnut litter seems to be the most difficult for cody to transition to.

we'll see how this goes for a few more days..

cinderflower, thank you so much for all the information on the wood pellets. i am really attracted to the idea of clumping still, so if these other natural clumping litters don't work out, maybe i'll have a look, eventually lol.
 

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i know it sounds like i own stock in a wood pellet company but i don't lol. i'm just so happy with it and have been thinking, "OMG why didn't i know about this YEARS ago?????" i mean seriously, the expense of clumping litter and it's so heavy and the dust gets all over everything and it ends up in my bed because of the tracking . . . i could go on and on about how inconvenient it was becoming.

i know the attachment to the clumps, and at first i thought this was going to be a let down but it seems that only when it's mixed with some of the old litter is it kind of hard to deal with. i have them 100% transitioned, probably took about 10 days, maybe a couple less, and i can't believe there's no PEE SMELL. none! i'm not exaggerating. i made a guy i know who hates cats come over (he doesn't really hate mine but he SO hates the urine stench) and sniff around and he was like,"OMG, this is so weird, what did you do? make the cats not go? hahaha there is NO smell."

it's weird to make the change because with clumps you can tell how much they pee, etc, feel like you're doing something when you get the clumps out, after awhile all clumps look pretty similar--but with taking the poo out immediately, that gets rid of any offensive odor and makes it ultra clean for the cat. and when they pee, even though there's no clumps, the pellets absorb it and then just disintegrate into sawdust, and you throw that away. i was thinking before, "oh that's impossible, even pine can't possibly eliminate cat urine odor, it's just too strong," but honest! i can't speak for leaving it more than 2-3 days, but it just smells a little like the forest, but not like a cat peed on a pine tree hee hee.

i was like you too, i thought, "hmm, they aren't going like they were," and i was sniffing around all over the place trying to figure out if baci was going elsewhere since that used to be his favorite trick and i never saw him in the box. they are going, but it just breaks down so much differently. and now that it's all pellets, the sawdust represents how much they pee. they're going in cycles, it seems like they like to use one at a time, but i'm sure they'll just go back to using the two boxes.

i can't tell you how much of a relief it is because i used to hate the way it smelled two days after i completely changed the litter, and i scoop a couple of times a day at least. the clay just picks up a scent, and the pine does not. i still completely change the liner and everything at least once a week so i can swish water around in it with a little soap, but it's not because it smells. i just want it to be clean. i'd want my bathroom to be clean if i had to step in it a couple of times a day :)

i'm going to break down and get the sifting boxes though, just because it will be easier to just throw the dust out every day. i'll deal with the lack of cover later. maybe i'll get one of those cute little things that looks like a potted plant lol. and when i say dust i mean sawdust, it isn't silty, floaty dust that gets all in the air. if you spill a little it's no big deal, i only have to vacuum every 2-3 days now instead of at least once a day. and when you think about it, the dust and artificial perfumes can't really be that great for the cats. i suppose some cats might not take to this right away just because of the size of the pellets, but mine didn't balk at all. one is fussy about food, the other one is REALLY picky about litter, and the old lady cat doesn't care what's in there as long as it's clean and there's some kind of litter in it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i think the one thing that keeps me from trying the pine is the urine-absorbed saw dust. maybe it's because i haven't tried it and can't quite envision how it all works but i feel a little uncomfortable with the thought. with clumping litter, all the urine is absorbed in a ball and can be disposed of, but when i think of urine absorbed in the form of saw dust, i feel like i envision tracked dust and dust on paws, all that are contaminated with urine. please correct me if i'm wrong.
 

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Little Sushi, all I can say is, give it a try :) I was a hard-core clumping litter user, and the non-clumping feature really unsettled me at the beginning. But it turns out a lot better than I imagined.

How wood pellets work is, when contacted with liquid, the pellets first "puff up", and then break down into saw dusts. Since cat urine leak through to the bottom, only lower layers of pellets will break down. The top layers remain whole pieces (some may puff up a bit but not enough liquid to make them break). So there is next to none tracking dust, because the cat paws don't directly touch the dust. They are stepping on the whole pellets. Of course, if you don't change the box for a long time, top layer will break and there could be trackings. Also before I switch to my high-sided large litter box, my cats may kick out one or two pellets out of the box. Then they may play "kitty hocky" with it. After changing to my current litter box such thing haven't happened.

As of the hygeine concern regarding urine left in the box, again, try it out and you will know. I clean the box and take out all saw dust once a week, and I never smell any urine in the box. If you have really sensitive smell, dump the entire box twice a week then. The price is so cheap so some waste is no big deal. If you are using a sifting box, you can sift it once a day and dump the dust. However, I couldn't find any sifting box that has high sides and big enough.

Anyway, if you are willing to go through the trouble of training your cats to use the new litter (and potentially to train them again in case of switching back), do give it a try. It's definitely worth it :)
 

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i think the one thing that keeps me from trying the pine is the urine-absorbed saw dust. maybe it's because i haven't tried it and can't quite envision how it all works but i feel a little uncomfortable with the thought. with clumping litter, all the urine is absorbed in a ball and can be disposed of, but when i think of urine absorbed in the form of saw dust, i feel like i envision tracked dust and dust on paws, all that are contaminated with urine. please correct me if i'm wrong.
me too. i just thought, "ewwww," even though i was already thinking "ewww" when i had to put a litter box next to my bed because baci kept peeing in it. (my bed) (that was all he wanted but it took me 2 years to figure it out :(). the tracking of clumping litter meant that no matter what i did, i ended up with litter in my bed. all i could think was, "well, it's better than pee." :)

what ying ying said is exactly right. even if you're using just a regular litter box the pellets stay on top and there isn't enough sawdust (or shouldn't be) to get on their paws and track. if you just use the litter box you have now, i suggest "scooping" once a day, as in, scoop out all the pellets (shake, the sawdust will fall through), throw out the dust, and put the pellets back in, add some if you think you need to. i have three cats and they pee a lot (i had to scoop two boxes twice a day with clumping litter) and removing the dust once a day is enough. of course you have to get the poo as soon as you can because the pine won't cover the odor, but i only have one cat that takes really smelly (and big, haha) dumps. he also tends toward the looser side. not diarrhea, just not really fully formed stools and it's not even a problem with that. i smelled it last night when i was almost asleep, so first thing this morning i got it and it just sticks to the pellets a little and you throw the whole thing away. i use sandwich bags, re-use bags fruit came in, doggie-do bags, anything small.

if you remove the dust once a day, it's akin to scooping the box once a day like you would anyway. takes a little longer but not much. i'm ordering the special feline pine box today, i don't really want to but i couldn't come up with anything that i could do that would be similar. i even bought some of those "lift and sift" liners, 14 for 12.99--i wasn't expecting much and it's good thing because they're crap. if i use two of them, that's good enough to keep the pellets from falling through but i won't buy those again. i was in walgreens and grabbed them because i was curious. but the special box is two bottom pans--the dust falls through a grate and you dump it without having to sift at all, i would imagine just shake, and of course take out the poo as necessary.

if you throw out the dust every day, it honestly doesn't have any odor. letting it sit longer than 2 days i can't vouch for. i would imagine even pine doesn't deodorize forever, but i was throwing away urine clumps every day anyway and the remaining clay litter picks up the scent. i've been using the same pellets for about a week (just added some fresh today) and they don't smell.

of course, with the grate, i would imagine some urine will fall through, unlike the pellets sitting in a regular box. they would just absorb--but it's not really instant so it would be the trickle down effect. although it probably mixes with the dust, i plan on putting a chux pad in it, you know, the cotton ones with plastic backing. that's up to you, i would think it's probably easy enough just to rinse out with water. if you don't already have wee wee pads, improvise. :) seriously, it's worth a try. i am fussy about housekeeping and germs, and it's lovely.

remember though, buy wood stove pellets sold for fuel and not the actual feline pine. the fuel pellets are about $5 for 40 lbs. there are no additives (i don't think there is in any of them but just check if you aren't sure). i even saw a bag in king soopers yesterday for 4.38 for 40 lbs. it was called "eco-flame". i wouldn't count on finding it in a grocery depending on where you are but ace, loew's, home depot, or any wood stove place will most likely carry it.

i just looked at the eco-flame site: Wood pellet review: Eco-Flame depending on where you are, i guess depends on what kind you will be able to find but ying ying is in toronto and she gets them seasonally. i just happen to live in denver, so this might be why i heard about using these fuel pellets instead of feline pine. i just had to try because it's so dang cheap. but if it was dirty or smelly, it wouldn't matter, i wouldn't have switched. i'm as green as i can possibly be, but i'm not one of those people who would start rubbing a rock under my armpits for deodorant because THEY DON'T WORK hahaha. i hate to say that, but i've known people who did that and i was like well i hate to tell you, but it's not working so you might want to try something else. i'm not really a rude person but i speak my mind. i'd want to know the truth, that's why i asked roman to come over and smell my house after i started using them. i knew he'd tell me.

the reason our pine pellets are cheap is because they use trees destroyed by beetles. i don't think any other region can compete with our supply. but even so, whatever you can find will still be cheaper than feline pine, which is 31.58 for 40 lbs. on amazon or 20 lbs. for 12.99 at the grocery.

it's also a good eco-friendly way to heat your home, i may be looking into it soon, i think the wood stoves are about $1200 but it would probably be worth it.

if i buy from green earth depot, they sell a ton for $199 (that's 50 bags) and i guess a ton is about $300 in the northeast but that's still only about $6 for a 40 lb. bag.
 

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I love the Blue litter. It clumps wonderfully and has some pretty decent odor control, but the odor control is about as good as Precious Cat. One other thing I like about it - the multi-cat formula clumps well and the clumps aren't so damned HEAVY! That's what I hated the most about clay. The litter IS expensive BUT Petsmart seems to have it on sell fairly often. The pellet version is the cheapest.
 

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So, are the wood stove pellets bigger than the feline pine pellets? I looked at the Equine pine today and the pellets looked huge. Just curious if they're all like that because I was picturing something the size of the pellet food I feed my guinea pigs. Not that it really matters. I am going to check the farm supply store that I know sells wood stove pellets too, but I don't think they would sell them in the summertime, so Equine pine might be the way to go for me. I just bought regular litter today, a big bag, so Friday when I buy the pine stuff I can start gradually mixing it in and transition. Im going to get a bigger litter box then too. TSC had the jumbo hooded box (24") for $16.99. That's the best price I've seen. The cats came with a "large" (18") hooded box and they have definitely outgrown it. They're longer than the litter box and if they both poop in it they can't go back in without stepping in some.
 

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i don't think there's any difference in size. it's been so many years since i bought feline pine that these looked bigger to me but i really don't think they are.

i just found this youtube clip from new zealand for something called "pussydo" lol can't say i love the name but this is one of the best illustrations i've seen of how the stuff works:


i honestly can't say if equine pine is exactly the same, but i'd go out on a limb and say that it is, simply because of the size of a horse and the necessity for the pellets to be durable in that respect. from reading about wood stove pellets, i guess there is a hardwood and a softwood (pine is soft) and they talk about the difference in odor from burning pine (it isn't overpowering--but there you go in the odor control dept. when you use it for litter).

i just can't bring myself to order the feline pine box because it's 21.99 PLUS over $12 for shipping and that annoys me. the box price itself isn't too high but the shipping cost seems excessive to me. the biggest reason that i don't want it is that it's not covered. it doesn't look all that big either. the smell wouldn't be an issue but i've always used a covered box because who wants to look at cat poop sitting out in the open? i know i throw it away asap but i just hate the idea of it being there for everyone to see. not to mention the fact that the cat has to do its biz in front everyone. i don't especially want to see that lol. so . . . your best bet might be to do what i think i might--buy those big plastic storage bins, you can buy gigantic ones, get one that's more shallow than the other and drill holes in the bottom of it. now, where the drilling comes in, i don't know if you have access to a drill but it would certainly be cheaper plus you'd be getting a big giant litter box. plus at the price of those bins (target, walmart, wherever you can find rubbermaid or a comparable brand) you can buy a third one for back-up when you are emptying the dust. or washing it, whatever.

there is a huge amount of diy instructions for litter boxes online so i would imagine you can find whatever works best for you. if push came to shove i was thinking about the uncovered box with one of those little houses over it--you know, the ones that cost $100 if you buy it from a pet store (no way was i going to spend that much but there are instructions for how to make your own and some of them are way cute).
 

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I like those furniture cat boxes too. I'm on the lookout for a yard sale find that I can transform into one of those.

I'm sure the equine pine is close enough, I know people who use it for cats and there were reviews online from people who use it as cat litter and love it. Can't wait to try it!
 

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I just invested in some natural* cat litter. Scentless? Super-absorbant? I guess we'll find out! I've also heard certain fruit seeds-apricot,peach,and mulberry to name a few,have absorbant properties.

I'd like to try the walnut shell,but isn't it kinda pricey?

*'Natural' can be decieving. MY definition of natural is ORGANIC. Or at the very least,chemical free? Excluding pine and walnut shell,how can you have 'natural' cat litter? River clay? :l
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So far the cats are taking to it fine, after adjusting. however, we are still at about a third mix of walnut and 2/3 clay, not at 100% yet, which is why I hadn't posted my thoughts yet. I've been topping off with the walnut litter as the litter gets low. It seems to be working fine as before, with about the same amount/ slightly less amount of tracking. Odor control seems the same as before, but I scoop frequently, about several times a day. It doesn't clump quite as tightly as the Precious Cat alone, but it's not as crumbly as World's Best or Swheat Scoop. Also, the cats are no longer having issues with litter getting stuck on them, so I'm happy.

As far as pricing goes, the small bag (maybe 7-8 lbs?) I got at Petco was pricey, at $9.99. However, I found it the other day at a discount pet supply store around here called Pet Club, and they had a 17 lb bag for $14.99. It's about the same size/volume as the 40 lb bag of Precious Cat that I normally get at Petsmart for about $17 so here the price seems comparable. I don't know how much it is at Petsmart/Petco though as I haven't been there in a while.

I bought a bag since the price was right, and will have to assess how long it takes to go through the bag as compared to the clay litter when I go through it. I'll keep you posted. :)
 

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So far the cats are taking to it fine, after adjusting. however, we are still at about a third mix of walnut and 2/3 clay, not at 100% yet, which is why I hadn't posted my thoughts yet. I've been topping off with the walnut litter as the litter gets low. It seems to be working fine as before, with about the same amount/ slightly less amount of tracking. Odor control seems the same as before, but I scoop frequently, about several times a day. It doesn't clump quite as tightly as the Precious Cat alone, but it's not as crumbly as World's Best or Swheat Scoop. Also, the cats are no longer having issues with litter getting stuck on them, so I'm happy.

As far as pricing goes, the small bag (maybe 7-8 lbs?) I got at Petco was pricey, at $9.99. However, I found it the other day at a discount pet supply store around here called Pet Club, and they had a 17 lb bag for $14.99. It's about the same size/volume as the 40 lb bag of Precious Cat that I normally get at Petsmart for about $17 so here the price seems comparable. I don't know how much it is at Petsmart/Petco though as I haven't been there in a while.

I bought a bag since the price was right, and will have to assess how long it takes to go through the bag as compared to the clay litter when I go through it. I'll keep you posted. :)
Any new remarks about this litter?

I just switched the BB food and I thought I might give it a try. I'm using World's Best right now and am happy with it but I'm open to change!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
so far - no new remarks, my observations are still the same. we're still not yet at 100% walnut litter, as i'm still just topping it off, but now the kitties seem used to it. it's probably half walnut, half clay right now.

i'm noticing that there is less dust than when i tried world's best and that the smell of the litter bugs me less. world's best even when mixed in with clay made my place smell like a barn, whereas with the walnut there is an earthy scent, but i only notice it after pouring it in the box.

one new observation i made is the price - the 17lb bag of walnut is a bit smaller in volume compared to the 40lb bag of clay litter, when i originally thought they were similar in size. so for me, it would be more expensive. i am willing to pay a little more though if it means that i'm using a more natural litter though.

but all in all, i think it is worth trying if you don't mind the price. :) no complaints from me so far. i'm still hoping to give you guys feedback when i have a box switched over 100%, might be in a couple weeks or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
just wanted to follow up on my experience with this litter for anyone that is interested. sorry it's been a while, but for the longest while i was mixing the leftover precious cat clay litter with the walnut litter and didn't want to post until i had switched over to the walnut litter 100%.

my feelings are a bit mixed about this litter.

pros:
-our cats took to it well, after a week initial transition period.
-the bags are light, 17lbs vs 40lb clay litter. the 17 lb is slightly less in volume.
-good odor control.

cons:
-does not clump well, clumps fall apart easily.
-tracks everywhere, more than the clay. it could be because it's so light in weight, but it could also be because it's darker in color and easier to see. i'm finding myself vacuuming everyday around the litter box as opposed to every other day.
-not as dusty as swheat scoop, world's best, but still dusty. my litter scoop and litter locker have a layer of brown dust on it now ever since going 100% walnut litter.

i had wonderful results with mixing the two, so i'm thinking of going back to my mix of litter.

in conclusion:
i love precious cat clay litter - it's really not dusty at all, clumps amazingly, and the cats love the texture, but it was almost doing its job too well with getting stuck on our cats' fur. besides i've also wanted to try a natural litter that would be better for the environment and possibly our kitties health. the walnut litter seems to be my favorite of the 3 natural litters i've tried (the other 2 were swheat scoop and world's best). it's not perfect, but mixing the clay litter with the walnut litter seems to provide enough clumping without getting stuck on our kitties long fur and enough dust reduction to my liking as well as less tracking. even 75% walnut / 25% clay was a ratio that both me and my cats were happy with.

thanks for reading :)
 
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