Silica cat litter is just one of the many forms of cat litter available, and it is also sometimes known as crystal cat litter. It is one of the newest forms of cat litter on the market – so what is it all about?
Silica cat litter is not as well-known as other types of litter such as wood pellet cat litter or clay based cat litter. This is because it has not been around as long or as widely used – however there are plenty of brands of silica cat litter available today and we have summarised our favourites in the table below.
Advantages of silica cat litter
1. Absorbent material
Silica cat litter is non clumping, and it comprises of large, solid granules of sodium silicate. The silicate is a very absorbent material, so this means that the cat litter can absorb a large amount of cat urine so the tray should not need to be changed as often.
2. Ease of use
Some manufacturers claim that you can leave the tray for several weeks with a single filling of silica cat litter. In reality you will probably find that you will need to completely change the tray a couple of times a month, although one of the benefits of silica cat litter is that it is extremely easy to use so for this reason it is a good choice for automatic cat litters. Another contributing factor to the ease of use of silica cat litter is that it is very light. This makes it much easier to scoop the litter and to move the tray around.
3. Masks the smell
Another advantage of silica cat litter is that is does help to mask the odours produced by cat waste – which is an essential if you only change the tray a couple of times a month! The absorbent nature of the silica means that it is better at masking the smell than clay based litter.
4. Less dusty
One of the main complaints of cat owners regarding litter is the amount of dust that is produced, especially from clay based litters. This is another of the advantages of silica cat litter, and although it is unlikely to be completely dust free this sort of litter will produce less dust than other types.
Disadvantages of silica cat litter
Reading all of the above you must be thinking – ‘This is great, where can I get some silica cat litter?’ However, there are some drawbacks to silica cat litter as well:
There is no doubt about it, silica cat litter is more expensive than most other types of cat litter. This is purely down to the expensive of the material, so if you are shopping for your cat litter on a budget then you may want to consider other clay based varieties.
As mentioned above, the silica is a very absorbent material and you should only need to completely change the litter tray a couple of times a month. However, this does mean that you can have granules that have absorbed urine lying around for several weeks – which is not a very hygienic situation.
3. Your cat may not like it
Silica crystals are very crunchy underfoot, so your cat may not enjoy using the litter tray if you try using silica cat litter. As it is very light, then it is quite easy for your cat to inadvertently transfer some of the crystals from the litter tray to the floor. This can be unhygienic, especially if there are small children around and painful if you accidentally step on the crystals.
Silica Cat Litter Reviews
Pettex Silica Cat Litter Granules
There are plenty of options when it comes to buying silica cat litter, and one of the most popular brands is Pettex Silica Cat Litter.
This litter consists of specially designed granules which contain micro-pores to instantly soak up moisture. This means that the granules stay dry to the touch, as they retain the urine within the granules but the water content evaporates off. The granules can then continue to work actively in the tray.
Unpleasant odours also stay locked in the crystals, reducing odours and the chunk style granules will also help to eliminate tracking and keep the litter tray area clean and tidy. This is very important as cats are such clean animals!
This is a high quality cat litter which is also great value for money.
Extra Select Silica Cat Litter
An alternative to Pettex Silica Cat Litter is Extra Select Silica Cat Litter.
This product includes silica crystals which instantly absorb moisture and odour for an extended period of time, which means that the tray does not have to changed as often as with other litters. It is important to note that solid waste should be scooped out.
The litter should be stirred on daily basis, until eventually it becomes saturated and the entire tray should be changed. This should be done when the litter changes colour.
Another advantage of this product is that it is completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly, which is becoming a more important factor when choosing the best cat litter.
Extra Select Cat Litter is available in a 15 litre bag - and this should keep you going for some time.
Sanicat Diamond Silica Gel Cat Litter
Sanicat Diamond Silica Gel cat litter is a very well known brand and uses the newest kind of granular silica crystals.
The crystals are highly absorbent, so they absorb moisture keep odours locked in. Solid waste must be scooped out of the tray.
This litter is very low maintenance, although the tray should be stirred every day. The crystals will eventually become saturated, at which point they will change colour and you should change the whole tray. However, this should only be needed to be done about once a month with these super absorbent crystals.
Riga Rigalit Fine Silica Cat Litter
Our final choice is Riga Rigalit Fine Silica cat litter, which is a mineral litter based on silicate.
It uses finer crystals than other silica cat litter, so it is super absorbent and particularly suitable for sensitive cats.
As with other silica cat litters, the tray should be stirred on a regular basis which ensures that the litter is mixed and increases effectiveness. Another very good silica cat litter that receives very good reviews.
It is really up to you if you would like to try using silica cat litter when you are looking for the best litter for your cat.
Although it is more expensive, some cat owners swear by this product and will not use anything else thanks to the ease of use and the reduction in dust and odour. There are some drawbacks, but most people find it is worth the money!