It's rare that I offer an unsolicited review of a cat product, especially one that has nothing to do with cat food. But I'm so jazzed about a new product that I stumbled on at my fave local holistic pet supply store, PetSage, that I'm going for it.
If you ever read my page on litter boxes (note to self: update litter box page), you know that I whine about the fact that I'd never found the truly ideal cat litter. One that didn't have perfumes or additives in it. And that wasn't dusty. And that clumped well and was not environmentally hideous like clay. And, most important, was a cat litter that was truly cat-friendly - soft on the paws.
Some litters had some of those features, but no single litter I'd found had all of those qualities. It was always a compromise.
When I was at PetSage, the store owner - my dear friend Terri - showed me a new product she'd just gotten in. It's called SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter by Pioneer Pet Products.
I picked up a bag from the shelf and the first thing that hit me was how very light the bag was for the volume of litter it contained. Be still my heart. Cat litter that doesn't tear rotator cuffs? I once injured my shoulder (for real) moving a big heavy bag of cat litter off a store shelf to get it in my shopping cart.
I looked at the bag and saw what the ingredient was and I confess I was skeptical that it really clumped.
The only ingredient? Grass.
That's it. Just grass. Grass that's specially chopped and extruded somehow (don't ask me how) to make it clump-able. But only grass.
Since fools rush in and I'm one, I bought a couple of bags, figuring it was worth a try. I pulled out a spare empty litter box - leaving the two existing litter boxes untouched - and filled it up with the SmartCat. I didn't detect ANY dust. So far, so good. Light weight. Not dusty.
Sidney-Beans immediately came to investigate and pawed around in the box and gave me instant pee-feedback on the clumping qualities of the litter. Using a five-star rating system, I'd easily give it five stars. This stuff is seriously great at clumping. Light weight. Not dusty. Clumps.
Wilson initially opted to continue using the old box with my regular litter (Dr. Elsey's). I was intrigued enough that I wrote the company to confirm that this stuff truly was only grass and that there was nothing else in there. They answered me immediately and with assurances it was only grass.
I began to slowly switch the litter in the old boxes over to the SmartCat. Because I'm superstitious and terrified of cats not using their litter boxes, I took a (probably unnecessary) extra step of tossing in a little of the Dr. Elsey's Cat Attractant in the new litter for the first couple of weeks, just to make sure my fellows were drawn to the new litter.
It's been three full weeks now and I declare this experiment a smashing success. I've found the cat litter of my dreams.
1. It clumps as well as clay litter, if not better. The folks who came up with this amazing stuff made a super fun and silly video showing the power of the clump of their litter.
2. It doesn't break your back to carry or lift a bag of this stuff. Bonus!
3. It is biodegradable and therefore infinitely more environmentally kind to Mother Earth than clay litter. Hallelujah.
4. It is soft on a cat's paws. Awesome.
5. It's not dusty. Better for your lungs and your cats' lungs. Yay!
6. It doesn't contain any silly or dangerous perfumes or additives. Thank you.
7. Cats dig using it. Shazzam.
Cross my heart, Pioneer Pet Products didn't ask for my review or offer me any freebies or enticements for a positive review. Though, hey, if they want to send me some free bags, I'm not going to offend them by declining the offer. Just saying.
I wanted to share this because I know that many of you share the same frustrations I've had with most cat litters. This product is very new to the market and I don't think it's yet widely available in a lot of stores - though you can order it online.
Two thumbs and four dew-claws up for this stuff!