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cat litter reviews

Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter Review and How to Get a Box for Free

Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter ReviewIf you’ve been thinking of trying Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter, here’s a review of the litter as well as instructions on how to get a box for free.

In June of this year, Feline Pine launched a new and improved clumping formula. They’ve been actively promoting the new product and even sent a comp box for us to try at the Green Little Cat household. Since Furball was already using Feline Pine’s pellet cat litter, we took them up on the offer as I’m always on the prowl for the ultimate eco-friendly cat litter.

Overall, I’d give it an 8/10 for an eco-friendly litter and here are the pros and cons for my review.

Pros

  • It’s much better than most natural cat litters in terms of odor control.
  • My cat is finally burying his poop. Furball seems to be really enjoying the texture.
  • Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter seems to last forever. The crumbly texture migraine easily passes through the scoop so that I don’t toss out new litter when cleaning the box.

Cons

  • With regards to the clumping factor, I’d give it a 6/10. The litter sticks together like tempura batter to fish. Pee makes it come together, but it doesn’t hold tightly. A slight shake of the scoop causes the clump to break up.
  • It’s a bit pricey, but it seems to last a really long time.
  • The pellet version of Feline Pine does a better job of odor control.

How to Get Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter for Free

Visit their website for a rebate form. It’s good for any purchase of the 9 lb or 14 lb box (up to $14.99 value) from December 15, 2011 until December 31, 2012. To claim your rebate on Feline Pine Clumping Cat Litter, you do need to get the form and have it in the mail by January 15, 2013.

All-Natural Cat Litter With Twice the Odor Control

I recently was given the scoop on a nutty all-natural cat litter that claims to have twice the odor control of major brands.  Purr & Simple cat litter is made from locally grown tree-nut shells, which happen to be a sustainable agricultural by-product.

The eco-specs on this litter read really well.  Purr & Simple provides twice the odor control, half the dust and it’s also 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} biodegradable.

And, it comes in two different versions to suit your kitty’s fancy. There’s a pellet version as well as the Kwik-Klump formula.

They sure do like lab tests at Purr & Simple!  They do extensive testing within their facility, shelters, and certified laboratories.  I found a little chart on their website that illustrated how Purr & Simple Kwik-Klump turned into a solid clump in just 15 minutes.

Furball uses a pellet litter so I don’t know if this is an astounding number, but based on the chart comparing Kwik-Klump to pine, healthsavy.com corn and wheat litters, it looks like Purr & Simple has a slight edge on pine and corn, with wheat litter being a distant fourth.

Here’s another one of their graphs comparing Purr & Simple’s odor control to three popular types of eco-friendly litters in addition to clay.

Looks like no contest here, but the real truth lies in home use. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any useful reviews for the product on Amazon.  Most of the five star reviews looked a little suspect.  Hmm, only one review written by the user and it’s for Purr & Simple and it gives them five stars.

The two low ratings I found were given due to sneezing issues and the color of the litter.  If you have any experience with this litter and aren’t affiliated with Purr & Simple in any way, I’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about this natural kitty litter, visit Purr & Simple’s website at http://www.purrandsimple.com.

 

How to Save Money on Natural Cat Litter

If you’ve wanted to switch to an all natural cat litter rather than use a clay cat litter or some other generic clumping cat litter, but have hesitated because of the extra cost for a premium cat litter, learn how you can save money on eco-friendly cat litters. Even if you’re already green, read on to learn a few tips on how you might save some green.

First off, if you’re currently using a clay cat litter, I’ll be straight with you. Yes, natural cat litters cost more. How much more? Obviously it varies depending on what type of kitty litter you’re currently using and what type of litter you want to switch to, but a general ballpark would be twice as much. For example, a 20 lb bag of Fresh Step clay cat litter costs $5.99 whereas a 20 lb bag of Feline Pine is $9.99. If you were to buy Feline Pine’s uber premium clumping cat litter, Feline Pine Scoop, a 10 lb bag would set you back by $13.99.

Don’t be discouraged. There are ways to save money on eco-friendly cat litters so that they cost the same or even less than using a regular litter. Here are a few tips to on saving money so that you can switch from your clumping clay litter to a green cat litter.

1. Free Cat Litter

Like it or not, most natural cat litters are now made by huge conglomerates. The ma/pop kitty litter brands have sold out to the Purinas of the world. While the ideals of the original company founder are probably long lost, the benefit is that their products are now available at more stores making it more convenient for more people to use them.

With the big business, comes big promotions. The marketers working for these companies want you to switch cat litters, but they know that they have some huge obstacles to overcome to get you to switch to a different brand of cat litter. Thus, many premium cat litter companies regularly have special offers for free cat litter.

I’ve noticed it myself on my blog in the Google ad on my site. Every once in a while, I’ll see a link advertising free cat litter for one of the premium brands of all natural cat litter. You don’t need to visit cat blogs and scour random ads. Just search the web for free cat litter. Right now, I just ran a quick search for “free cat litter” and found rebates for free bags of World’s Best cat litter and Feline Pine.

2. Cat Litter Coupons

Searching for cat litter coupons is not nearly as productive as searching for free cat litter. However, I did find a cat litter coupon for Yesterday’s News to save $1.50, and you can currently eta-i.org/tramadol.html find a printable coupon for $2 off World’s Best Cat Litter through Coupon Sherpa. You also see the occasional special offer for free cat litter before. However, many of the cat litter coupons that come up are for the un-green litters such as Fresh Step.

3. Compare Prices for Natural Cat Litters

Free cat litter and cat litter coupons will help you get started, but the savings need to continue with your regular day-to-day usage of kitty litter. This is a pretty obvious tip, but shop around to compare the prices of natural cat litters. In general, natural cat litters cost more, but how much more depends on the litter you choose, the size of the bag and where you purchase it.

Furball uses Cat Country, a cat litter made from wheatgrass. Being a wheatgrass cat litter, you might expect it to cost more, but we pay about $7 for a 20 lb bag at a local ma/pop pet supply store. That’s a dollar more than Fresh Step, but steps ahead in eco-friendliness.

4. Use Less Litter

This may seem like an oxymoron, but using less litter can actually reduce litter box odors and you’ll also save hundreds of dollars on cat litter. In the past, I always added more litter to reduce the smell from the litter box. It wasn’t until I tried toilet training Furball (enter “toilet train” in the search if you want to read how this went) that I discovered that I could significantly reduce the amount of litter we used and also cut down on litter box odors.

During the toilet training, I had to reduce the litter to less than a half inch layer on a small tray sitting on the toilet seat. Furball was just as happy doing his business on a third of an inch of litter as two inches worth.

When we stopped the toilet training experiment, I started putting a third of an inch of litter in his box. I did have to scoop every day, but I was practically scooping daily before, so it wasn’t much of a change. With less litter in the box, it was actually much easier to scoop.

During the past five months, we’ve used only one 40 lb bag of cat litter. We used to go through a 40 lb bag of litter every other month. Now, we’re down to just over two bags a year, bringing the cost of using an organic cat litter to about $30 a year, a savings of 65%. If you could reduce the cost of using a natural cat litter by 65%, that would bring it on par with clay cat litter. So, now there’s no excuse not to switch to a natural cat litter!

Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping Cat Litter – Eco-Friendly Litter Made With Corn Cobs and Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer is best known for their baking soda, but they also make an environmentally-friendly cat litter too.  Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping Cat Litter is made from corn fibres, which makes it 50% lighter than other litters.  Unlike some other corn-based cat litters that take corn out of the food stream, Arm & Hammer’s litter uses corn cobs that would otherwise be left to rot in the fields.  Of course, baking soda is also a quintessential component of this litter.  It’s great for absorbing odours and I routinely sprinkle some into Furball’s cat box.

I also learned a cool green fact about Arm & Hammer.  Did you know they were the only corporate sponsor for the very first Earth Day in 1970?

I haven’t used this cat litter myself, but did do some quick web searches for cat litter reviews. The reviews were all over the map with some users claiming it was the best thing since catnip and others saying it was the worst litter they had ever used.  I think the reviews depend on your expectations. Check these out for yourself:

As a user of eco-friendly cat litter (Furball uses Cat Country), I find green cat litters do an adequate job of odour control so long as the cat box is cleaned daily and a few scoops of litter are added every few days to refresh the box.  I’ve never used the traditional clumping clay litter, although my parents did about a decade ago for another cat.  From what I recall, that litter was really easy to use and did indeed help cover the stink factor if you were a lazy scooper. 

When you compare eco-friendly litters to that standard, then no, it really doesn’t work as well.  However, when you factor in the impact that clumping litter has on the environment, daily scooping isn’t really that big a deal.  I’m still doing it AND I have a newborn baby to look after, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Read more about Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping Litter

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How to Choose the Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter for Your Cat

I thought I’d try a hand at writing an article on eHow about how to choose an eco-friendly cat litter.  There are so many litters touted as earth-friendly these days that it can be confusing to know which one is best for your cat.  Obviously, you can’t try them all out so please check out the article to help narrow your choices.  Kitty litter is something you want to get right the first time!

P.S.  The eHow article writing is an experiment on my part to test out a couple of things:

  1. Can I reach a larger audience by writing on eHow and thus encourage more people to make eco-friendly changes in their lives?
  2. Can I build a passive income stream writing eHow articles to pay for the cost of this site and my time?

Thanks!

Holly and Furball

Here’s the article link:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5517591_choose-ecofriendly-cat-litter-cat.html

Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Reviews

Eco-friendly, enviro-friendly, earth friendly (or whatever you want to call it) cat litter appears to have hit the big time in the world of cat litter. These days, you can get litter made from pine, corn, newspaper, guar bean, wheat, etc. In my greenventory to reduce Furball’s carbon pawprint, litter is definitely an important item to consider.

However, changing cat litter is always a tricky process. Fortunately for me, Furball is already using an eco-friendly litter. If you’re considering making the switch, I can share with you our experience with three enviro-friendly cat litters.

When evaluating these cat litter reviews, you should take into consideration that Furball urinates about 4x as much as other cats due to his high water diet (for crystals, more on that later) and that his box is in a fairly well-ventilated bathroom.

1. Yesterday’s News

Seven years ago when I first brought home a teeny baby Furball, there was a dearth of earth friendly cat litter. At the time, there was only one product available at PetSmart — now it looks like almost 1/4 of their litters are eco-friendly. The litter was called Yesterday’s News Cat Litter and it was made from recycled newspapers.

From what I recall, it was manufactured by some company in the maritimes, although now, the bag is plastered with the Purina logo and comes in a gajillion varieties, so I’m guessing the smaller company got bought out. Furball was already litter trained when I got him and luckily he took to Yesterday’s News like tomorrow’s latest trend. It’s made up of tiny grey cylindrical pellets that fit through the slots of a standard litter scoop.

PROS:

  • 7/10 for controlling odour; as good as any eco-friendly litter can get
  • Doesn’t track dust
  • Easy to scoop #2 from the cat litter
  • Made from recycled newspapers
  • Comes in a “softer” version that is more “clay-like” so this might be a good transitional litter if your cat is used to clay

CONS:

  • Impossible to shake out all of the pellets through the scoop as they JUST FIT through
  • Pellets stick in between the cat’s toes and can be found occasionally throughout the house
  • “Softer” version tracked little crumbly bits all over the house
  • Scented version stinks like fake perfume

2. Cat Country

When I moved to California, the local PetSmart did not carry Yesterday’s News or any other enviro-friendly cat litter. Fortunately, I found Petfood Depot, which had several eco-friendly litters to choose from. It probably took me half an hour to read through the bags and ingredients.

I went with Cat Country Litter for a couple of reasons. One, it seemed so “California” to be using litter made from organic wheatgrass. Two, it was shaped exactly like Yesterday’s News, so I hoped the cat would transition without incident. Fortunately, Furball switched without really even noticing the difference.

PROS:

  • Made from organic ingredients
  • Family owned, sustainable business
  • 7/10 for controlling odour; as good as any eco-friendly litter can get
  • Doesn’t track dust
  • Easy to scoop #2 from the cat litter
  • Flushable (see important note below)

CONS:

  • Smells like malted barley — I put out a fresh box before the pet-sitter arrived and she dumped out the whole box thinking it was full of cat urine because of the weird smell. On the plus side, you only smell it if you’re near it.
  • Impossible to shake out all of the pellets through the scoop as they JUST FIT through
  • Pellets stick in between the cat’s toes and can be found occasionally throughout the house

3. Swheat Scoop

I was enticed to try Swheat Scoop Natural Cat Litter after a fabulous sales pitch at the Sweat Scoop booth at the San Francisco Green Festival in 2007. The person RAVED about the superior odour control of their cat litter and how eco-friendly it was. He also gave me a bunch of coupons so I decided it was worth it to try a change. This time Furball did not take as quickly to the new litter.

I did the whole litter transition process, but he seemed very unsure and wouldn’t use his box for the whole eta-i.org/ambien.html day. I think what confused him most was that the litter was made from wheat. It seemed he wasn’t sure whether he should eat it or pee in it.

When I brought the bag home and opened it up, he meowed and rubbed up against me like I had just brought home the ultimate mega-sized bag of cat food. After I poured it in his box, he looked extremely puzzled, with a “why are you pouring my food in my cat box?” look on his face. He kept sniffing the box and looking at me.

I finally figured out that he was wondering whether he should eat it when he kept pawing at the bag and trying to get into it like he would with a bag of cat food.

PROS:

  • 7/10 for controlling odour; as good as any eco-friendly litter can get
  • Flushable (see important note below)
  • Made from wheat, so it’s natural

CONS:

  • It’s made from wheat so the cat wasn’t sure whether to eat it or pee in it
  • Flour + water = glue. So too, Swheat Scoop + urine = bricks of litter that are really hard to scoop
  • Odour control wasn’t any better than the other two eco-friendly litters I used
  • Made of tiny granules that did track. These were a pain to sweep up.
  • Priced slightly higher than Cat Country
  • It’s made from wheat, so I’m not sure if they’re diverting resources from the food chain

My neighbour used it for her cat and thought the odour control was pretty good. She said she didn’t have a problem with the litter bricks, but she did say that you had to use enough of it to avoid this problem and that “you have to stay on top of it”.

Conclusion

Based on my three eco-friendly cat litter reviews, I personally would give thumbs up to Yesterday’s News and Cat Country. For me, Cat Country Litter edges out Yesterday’s News because it’s organic and made by a family-run sustainable business.

When doing a green evaluation, you might conclude the opposite, that Yesterday’s News is better because it’s made by a large company (i.e., larger impact, economies of scale and efficiencies) and uses recycled newspaper. Just goes to show nothing is 100% cut and dry when doing an environmental evaluation, especially for cat litter.

However, I did find both of these eco-friendly cat litters be fairly equal in their use in the real world. I’d give thumbs down to Swheat Scoop for the extra labour involved in scooping, the tracking of wheat dust and that it’s using wheat.

Other “Earth Friendly” Cat Litters

These litters on the PetSmart website also look like they might be eco-friendly or “natural”. However, I haven’t had any experience with them. Please post a comment if you have used them and let us know your experience with these or any other enviro-friendly litters not listed here.

  • World’s Best Cat Littermade from corn. With all of the controversy surrounding biodiesel made from corn, this might not be so enviro-friendly. On the other hand, it is an extremely lightweight litter so there would be carbon savings in transporting and shipping it.
  • Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Corn Cob Cat Litter
    – I’ve used their carpet cleaning solution and it really did neutralize the urine smell. The company says it uses “enzymes” as opposed to chemicals, so I suppose if odour control is really an issue, this might be a better product to use.
  • Feline Pine
    – Made from “kiln-dried shavings reclaimed from lumber production

IMPORTANT NOTE In the state of California, there are concerns about flushing your cat litter in the toilet. Every bag of cat litter must include a warning label. Why? Apparently sea otters are being killed by parasites found in cat feces, specifically Toxoplasma gondii.

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