What are a dust-free cat litter and the benefits of using it

Has the air in your house gone thicker? Do you have an intense desire to listen to “Dust in the wind” over and over again?  Does your cat cough and sneeze a lot lately? Do you? If you recognize any of these symptoms it’s time for you to get the best dust free cat litter.

What are a dust free cat litter and the benefits of using it?

One of the most important parts of taking care of your pet, along with feeding, playing and pampering, is taking care of her potty habits. I admit it’s not the greatest feeling (or scent) in the world, but it is quite important.

You want your furball happy and healthy and your house clean and odorless, and that’s why you need to choose the perfect cat litter that will satisfy all your needs.

All cats have and rely on their sharp senses of smell, and the clouds of dust coming from the litter box aren’t quite desirable for them, or for you.

Furthermore, dust can lead to even more serious health issues, like asthma and allergies, especially to cats that are sensitive to breathing problems. Not to mention the mess that dust leaves behind, and the odors it can carry.

How Does a Dust Free Litter Work?

Every time you sip the litter in the litter box or scoop it away or your cat tries to burry her feces in it, there is a chance for things to get dusty. Dust-free cat litter is designed to minimize or completely zero the amount of dust that you or your cat produce managing the litter.

Some types of litter have natural dust-free properties due to the natural ingredients used, while some needed some adjustment to become dust-free.

Fair warning: lots and lots of brands claim that their product is completely dust-free, but unfortunately, not very many really are.

We will point out a few things that you need to pay attention to, so you will be able to make the right choice.

Types of the dust free cat litter – including pros and cons

Pellet litter – really, really low dust litter

Pellet litter - really, really low dust litter

Pellet litter is one of the most popular choices when it comes to dust-free litters. It is commonly made of recycled paper, that expands in the contact with fluids, so no dust can be actually produced,won’t stick to your pet’s fur and there is no danger if your cat tries to swallow it.

However, cats simply like great clumping cat litter and pellet litter doesn’t clump. In fact, some brands have issues regarding the breaking of the used pellets in smaller pieces that can get gooey.

That means a whole lot of frequent cleaning. Also, a certain amount of cats doesn’t like the large texture of pellet litter.

Clay litter – a classic cat’s choice

Knowing the properties of the clay, you quickly realize that there is no way for a clay cat litter to be dust-free, in fact, it is impossible. Of course, there are types of clay litter that offer more or less amount of protection from the dust, but commonly the ones with larger texture are more successful at it.

But, cats tend to really like clay litter, as it reminds them of the natural environment (because clay is basically a type of soil), and that, along with moderate price and availability rounds up the popularity of this type.

Silica gel crystal litter – a modern choice

Silica gel crystal litter - a modern choice

This is a modern type of cat litter, made from tiny silica crystals praised for its high absorbing qualities and decently low amount of dust. Also, it is an amazing cat litter for odor control,  easy to maintain and doesn’t need to be changed that frequently.

However, the price is a bit higher than the other types, which is somewhat justified by its sturdiness. The bigger issue is that some cats don’t like the feeling of the sharp crystals under their gentle little paws, and there have been some controversial issues about the effects of the silica gel crystal litter on the cat’s health.

Walnut litter – you read it right

Walnut cat litter is also a pellet-type litter but is made of crushed walnut shells, so it’s ecological and biodegradable. Also, it has more than decent dust-free properties, great clumping power and comes in a variety of textures.

The parts about the walnut litter that customers usually don’t like are the price and the dark color of it, that makes the litter look messy and harder to scoop.

Other, less common types – back to nature

Usually, this group is reserved for the other types of natural cat litters, like the ones made from, pine, excess wood, coconut, bamboo, wheat and corn.

They all come with their advantages and disadvantages but are usually better dust-free option than the clay. Because these all are relatively new types of litter on the market, the price can sometimes be unreasonably high.

How to choose the best dust free cat litter

Attributes that make the best dust-free cat litter

Dust / Clumping

Sodium bentonite is the active ingredient in the clumping clay cat litter and the main reason why that type is so good in absorbing the liquid, and why is it so dusty.

The non-clumping clay litter doesn’t have that ingredient so it produces a fairly less amount of dust, but it’s absorbing power is low and needs to be changed more often.

So you have yourself a dilemma. Regarding the other types, clumping usually means more dust but easier cleaning and maintenance.

Odor control

You shouldn’t be able to smell the position of your cat’s litter box in the house. A great dust free cat litter should have the ability to completely neutralize or cover any bad smell coming from the litter box.  And again, a clumping cat litter is much better at reducing the odor than the non-clumping one.

Ingredients of the low dust litter

Checking the ingredients of the low dust cat litter before you buy it is a common thing. If you prefer environmentally friendly products, go for the natural ingredients, but beware if your cat has a propensity for allergies. In that case, you should avoid wheat, corn and pine.

If your cat prefers clay, pick the litter without the sodium bentonite, but be ready for more cleaning than usual. Small kittens should avoid any type of litter that has silica crystal gel components, as it can cause some harm in their respiratory system.

One cat, two cats, three cats…

The more cats, the merrier. But that usually means more bad odors and bigger clouds of dust, especially if you use one large litter box for all your cats.

The majority of pet experts recommend that every cat has its own litter box if it’s possible. But if you don’t have the opportunity to do so, ar your cats get along really well, some brands offer specialized cat litter for a multi-cat household.

That usually means the litter has enhanced low-dust, anti-odor, clumping and other abilities. However, most of the regular low dust litters can also be used for a multi-cat litter box.

Pick your favorite scent

The choice of the scented dust-free cat litters can be truly fascinating, from natural aroma to the ones similar to the perfumes humans use. Just have in mind that the usual purpose of the scented dust-free litter is to cover the bad smells that it hasn’t managed to neutralize.

Package size

Small packages of litter often cost more than the bulkier one but are quite easy to manage, especially for the owners that have some kind of movement impairment or just live in a remote location.

On the other hand, if you have several cats, you will go for the bigger package as it is simpler to buy a big chunk of litter once in a while than go litter shopping every couple of days.

Scented vs unscented low dust litter

As we mentioned it before, cats have an excellent sense of smell, and most of the scented litters will usually try to please the owner, not the cat. Cats tend to avoid any stronger, “harder” scents and will boycott the litter box if the scent isn’t appealing to them.

If you want a scented dust-free cat litter, pick the one that your cat agrees with, and of course, the type that you like. If your cat disagrees with every scented litter that you pick, admit a defeat and buy here an unscented one.

Does spending more means more quality

Of course, it does, but not in the way that you think. Spend more time researching for the really good dust-free cat litter, the one that will satisfy the needs of your cat, and be suitable for you to manage.

Check for the reputation and history of the manufacturers and the sellers, and always pick the top ones. The informing about all the properties and types of the litter that you want is far more important than the price of it, and when you find the one you were looking for, the price will not mean a thing.

How often does litter need to be changed?

You should make your daily routine to scoop the litter daily, to remove the feces, and add the new quantity of litter. You should scoop even more often if there is a need.

But the whole quantity of the litter box should be changed at least once per week, and of course, if you detect the need to do it more often, just do it. Although, there are brands of the dust-free silica crystal gel litter that claim their product can keep up to the whole month without needing to be changed.

How to (and why to) clean and maintain a cat litter box

How to (and why to) clean and maintain a cat litter box

Regular cleaning and maintaining the cat litter box isn’t just a matter of aesthetics, but a matter of hygiene and thus health, both for you and for your cat.

The awful odor that spreads from the dirty litter box is surely something that you don’t want in your house or near your pet. Besides that, a cat’s feces can contain very harmful microbes and parasites that can jeopardize your health as well as the health of your pet.

Now we got that cleared, it’s time to clean the box. Besides daily scooping, it should be a part of your routine to change the litter weekly and clean the litter box. Of course, you can do it more often or whenever you see the need.

Pour the dirty litter outside of the box and prepare some warm water, mild unscented detergent, brush and a pair of gloves, and start scrubbing. It is highly important never to use any stronger chemicals for the cleaning of the litter box, especially the ones that contain ammonia, as they can repulse your cat from using the litter box and even cause some serious health issues to her.

When you are done with the scrubbing part, clean the area around the box too, dry the box and put some new cat litter in it. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

You should treat your cat with a new litter box every year. Their price is quite affordable, and your cat should use a new one than to stick to the old litter box that over the times got damaged and stinky.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dust-free litter safe for cats?

To be fair, every cat litter is safe for cats, otherwise, it would be forbidden to use or sell. And of course, with every type of litter, there is a small risk of misuse by your small or too curious cat. Dust-free litter is safer for the cats than the other alternatives just by the fact it is dust-free, so it won’t harm your cat’s lungs.

How to dispose of cat litter?

There are few ways to do that, and the obvious one is just to pour the filthy litter into the firm nylon bag, seal it and toss it to the garbage bin. But some brands offer the flushable option, so you can easily get rid of the litter by simply flushing it in your bathroom, just don’t flush it all at once.

Nature-based litters can be used to make compost or fertilizer for your garden. Just don’t use it for any edible plants, as it can be harmful to humans.

Can I put baby powder in the dust-free cat litter?

Not at all. In fact, you should never, ever use any of the products that are not made for the use of your pet. Human cosmetics, carpet or room deodorizers or any of the house cleaning products can seriously have a bad impact on your cat’s health.

Short conclusion

So, our job here is done. Through this article, we gave you a wide set of information, tips and tricks that will help you choose the best dust-free cat litter. If you need any more help feel free to contact us. Thank you and goodbye!

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Photos from: Digifuture / depositphotos.com, Ekkka / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com. 

Big pet lover and a dog training and behavior expert who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Happy owner of two amazing dogs Labrador Bela and Jack Russell Terrier Piksi and one cuddly cat Tom.