Traditional clay cat litters are heavy, and messy, and can track throughout your home. If you're looking for an alternative to clay, you may have heard of crystal cat litter. But what is crystal cat litter, and how does it work? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this type of cat litter.

How Does Crystal Cat Litter Work?

Crystal cat litter is made from silica gel crystals, which are a type of polymer.

It has very small pores that allow it to effectively absorb many times its weight in liquid (exactly how much varies depending on the manufacturer). These silica gel crystals are actually similar to the little packets you see packed with things like shoes and electronics that are designed to absorb moisture.

You know, the ones with the prominent "DO NOT EAT" stamped on them. Silica crystal litter, though, is manufactured to be safe for cats and does not contain anything that can be harmful to your cat.

The crystals are odorless, non-toxic, and absorb moisture on contact. When the crystals come in contact with urine or feces, they absorb the moisture and trap the odor inside the crystal.

The main advantage of crystal cat litter is that it is virtually dust-free. This is because the crystals are very absorbent and can soak up urine and fecal matter, which then turns into a solid clump that can be scooped out easily.

Crystal cat litters also tend to neutralize bad odors better than other types of litter, and they typically last longer before needing to be replaced. Some brands of crystal litter are even marketed as being "flushable" and biodegradable, although you should always check with your local water authority before flushing any kind of litter down the toilet.

The silica gel crystals absorb all the moisture when your cat pees on them. The pores in the crystals trap odors from their waste and keep any unpleasant smells to a minimum. With feces, the silica beads effectively dehydrate it, which ensures that none of it will stick to your cat’s paws.

You will see the shriveled-up remains when you scoop the litter. It really is amazing how quickly crystal litter dehydrates waste and effectively neutralizes any odor. Moisture is simply released back into the air by evaporation.

The litter crystals are not toxic, and will not harm your pet if they happen to eat a bit of it. The crystals will simply pass through their system.

The crystals are larger than traditional clay particles, so they don't track as easily throughout your home. And because they're so absorbent, you won't have to worry about changes in smell or texture when your cat uses the litter box.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Crystal Cat Litter?

One potential disadvantage of crystal cat litter is that it can be more expensive than other types of litter. However, because you don't have to scoop as often and there's no tracking, many people feel that the cost is worth it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some cats don't like the feel of crystal cat litter on their paws. If your cat is resistant to using this type of litter, you may want to try another option. However, many cats quickly get used to the feel of crystal cat litter and have no problem using it on a regular basis.

Crystal cat litters offer a number of advantages over traditional clay litter -including less tracking and odor control. If you're considering making the switch to crystal cat litter, we hope this article has helped you understand how it works and whether it's right for your family.

If you would like to learn more about cat litter and what works best, here are links to several reviews we have published recently. We hope some of these will help you choose the right litter for your cat, whether it be crystal litter (which we prefer) or one of the more traditional formulations.

The Best Crystal Cat Litter - we review five excellent brands of crystal litter currently on the market.

Best Litter Box for Messy Cats - if you have one of those cats that love to fling and toss their litter all over the place, this article is a must-read!

Evaluating Hypoallergenic Cat Litter - some cats are allergic to ingredients in common cat litter products. Learn more about hypoallergenic cat litter in this article.

The Best Natural Cat Litter for a Healthy Home - for those who prefer more natural litter solutions, such as ground walnut shells, this article is a wealth of information.

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