Litter training your kittens is an important responsibility as a cat owner. If you also own the mother cat, and she is litter trained, then your job is much easier. She will teach her kittens how to use the litter box. All you need to do is provide more litter boxes for the growing kittens and scoop up the litter everyday.
Originally, people used sand when litter training a kitten. Sand is easily available, helps to absorb the cat urine and makes handling cat poop much easier. It is still used by some cat owners. Unfortunately, cats often track sand all over the house.
For this reason, clay cat litter is more popular. Clay cat litter is more absorbent than sand, and has a larger grain, so your cats are less likely to track it around the house. Compared to sand, it is also works better to get rid of cat urine smell. Some cat owners use clay-based oil absorbent, which is cheaper and works just as well. Clay-based oil absorbent is actually similar to clay cat litter - except that it is made for industrial use. Both of them make use of granulated Fuller's earth for its strong absorbent properties.
The next major advancement in cat litter was the invention of clumping cat litter. As its name suggests, it clumps together when your cat pees on it. As it forms a solid mass separate from the other litter in the box, it is much easier for you to scoop up without having to change all the litter in the box. While clumping litter is great for your adult cats, some cat lovers have expressed concern in using it when litter training a kitten. There is some worry that the kitten will eat the litter and be harmed when it swells inside the stomach. There is no scientific evidence at the moment, but as cat lovers it is better to be safe than sorry.
Crystal cat litter is the latest scientific advancement in cat litter technology. It uses silica gel, which absorbs cat urine even better than clumping cat litter. It lasts so much longer than any other litter - you just need to stir it after you scoop the cat poop to prevent cat urine from pooling in the litter box. One problem with crystal cat litter is that there is no warning when it becomes saturated. The next time your kitten uses the litter box, it could leave a puddle behind. Crystal litter is also lighter than clay cat litter and clumping litter - your kitten might track the silica gel around your house. As cat lovers, there is another concern - we can also find silica gel in our pill bottles, where they are labeled "Do Not Eat". Is it safe for litter training a kitten, especially since even adult cats are very sensitive to poisons.
For cat owners who want to be more environmentally friendly, you can also try biodegradable cat litter. This is usually made from material which naturally decomposes, including wood pellets, recycled newspapers and sawdust. Some brands of biodegradable cat litter can actually be safely flushed down the toilet, unlike normal cat litter. Unfortunately, like many other things which are environmentally friendly, biodegradable litter is also more expensive than the normal kind.
As you can see, you are spoiled for choice when litter training a kitten. You can use clay cat litter, clumping cat litter, crystal cat litter or even biodegradable cat litter. For kittens, clay is probably the best and safest choice.
Do you want to learn more about litter training your kittens? Click here to learn more about litter training a kitten.