Cats are creatures of habit – well, at least most felines love their routine. So, when cats find any changes in their life, they do not always respond well. If you’re planning on changing your cat’s litter or using two different brands to make up a new mix, there’s a high probability that your kitty cat won’t be too happy about it.
You can get a variety of litters, from clumping or non-clumping, to litter made from all kinds of materials including clay, wheat, corn, pine, silica crystals, and even tofu. Then there are other preferences within each category to consider, such as scented or unscented litter, hypoallergenic options, and more.
But can you mix cat litter? It is perfectly safe to mix cat litter, but when you mix two different brands or types of litter, you end up reducing the efficiency of both kinds. It’s better for you to select and stick to the one that your cat likes the best.
If you’re still curious why this is the case and whether there may be exceptions to the rule, let’s take an in-depth look at reasons why experts do not advise cat owners to mix cat litter and what can help you decide on the best choice of litter for your pet.
Why Is Mixing Cat Litter Not A Good Idea?
As mentioned earlier, there is a massive variety of brands available for cat litter (this one’s my favorite). Most cat litter brands have their own unique selling point. That is to say, that many litter brands differ in terms of the quality of the litter, the materials used, the price, or even the additives that are put into the litter to make it smell better or clump quicker.
So, while mixing litter may sound like a good way to mix and match desired features, it simply doesn’t work well, and here’s why:
1. Works Less Efficiently
When you try to mix two different litters, you don’t actually end up with a mix that gives you more. Instead, the mix fails to serve its purpose. For example, some pet parents look for eco-friendly litter that can be easily flushed down the toilet.
But, if you add clay litter to wheat or corn litter, then you won’t be able to flush the litter down the toilet, and the litter won’t absorb as well as clay litter.
Clay litter does clump better, but it takes longer to biodegrade than wheat or corn. It leaves a bigger carbon footprint. Another example is when you mix hypoallergenic litter with one that is scented. Hypoallergenic litter is unscented litter and is meant for felines with a sensitivity for fragrances. But, mixing the two will completely defeat the purpose for either.
Additionally, crystal silica litter works by absorbing and trapping moisture. Crystal silica litter is amazing at containing odor and it lasts for longer. In short, crystal litter doesn’t need to be changed for a month.
So, if your cat pees in a mix of crystal and clay litter, the moisture that hits the crystals is completely absorbed but the liquid that touches the clay litter clumps at the base, creating a monumental mess in the crystal litter. Then you are forced to change the litter sooner, as there is odor as well as clumping.
2. Cats Don’t Like Much Change
You should know that some kitties really don’t care about the litter being put into their litter box. They just prefer to have a litter box all to themselves.
Other cats don’t mind sharing their litter box with other cats in the household. But, the moment you change their litter, they go off their rocker and start to pee or eliminate in other areas of the house. They continue with the behavior until you replace the new mix with the old litter that your cat prefers.
When Can Mixing Litter Be To Your Advantage?
Well, in most cases, first time pet guardians of felines are advised to stick to a brand that their kitty cat likes best. Refrain from making any changes to your cat’s environment, particularly if you’ve just adopted your cat.
However, if you’ve had your pet for a while and are looking to make a change to the litter brand for ecological reasons or even to get something that’s better for your cat’s constitution, then you need to make a slow and gradual change.
In such a case, mixing the litter actually helps your cause. However, you need to keep in mind that when you are planning on mixing up different brands, the type of litter of both brands should be similar. Don’t mix clay and crystal together. At least, if you’re simply changing your cat’s litter for financial reasons.
1. Saving A Few Bucks
You can easily go from one brand to another, but if you’re using the clumping kind, go with a new affordable brand but the same type of litter.
Moreover, when pet parents are left with a whole bunch of leftovers of different brands of litter, they do tend to mix the whole lot up to use up the leftover litter and prevent wastage.
However, if you do apply this technique, you should first keep in mind how well your cat responds to change. If your cat isn’t picky or particular about their litter, go ahead and save a bit of cash and mix up as many brands as you like. But, if your cat is finicky about their litter, practice caution when mixing.
2. Going Green
There are many pet guardians of felines that don’t appreciate the idea of using litter that isn’t easily biodegradable or adds to the pollution in the world. Many cat owners look for eco-friendly options such as wheat or corn litter instead.
But, if you really want to go from clay to wheat, corn, or crystal, you will have to unfortunately mix a little bit of either. If you put 75% clay litter into the litter box, mix only 25% crystal litter. As time progresses, you keep increasing the percentage of the crystal silica litter. Doing so will give your cat the time they need to adjust to change.
3. Gain A Benefit From Two Different Types Of Litter
Also, sometimes, mixing litter can prove to be advantageous. It’s rare to mix two brands of litter and see the two brands working well together, particularly when each type of litter mix is different.
But, for example, when you use paper pellets with pine pellets, the paper pellets give you the benefit of extra absorbency and the pine pellets control the odor. Since both are non-clumping, the performance of the mixture is not counterproductive.
What Can You Do To Make Changing Litter Easier For Your Cat?
If you are compelled to change your cat’s litter but are trying to make the transition easier for your pet, you can take a few, simple steps.
First, you should always keep in mind that felines don’t like change much. So, if you are trying to make any changes to their diet, routine, or even litter, the change must be very gradual.
Moreover, for those stubborn kitty cats that don’t respond well to changes and act up, you may need to place a few pieces of feces from their old litter onto the new litter mix. The smell and the placement of the feces will reassure your cat that it is not in an unfamiliar territory and make the change of litter more acceptable for your picky feline.
Finally, never resort to punishing your pet if they cat out due to the changes you’ve made to their litter and never make use of negative reinforcement to prevent unwanted behavior. If you want to create a bond of trust and love between your pet and yourself, then you will have to show patience and perseverance.
Being a pet parent can mean loads of fun and joy. But, it is also a huge responsibility to become a pet guardian. Just as each human being is different, so is every kitty cat.
Each cat has a different personality; every cat has their likes and dislikes. Even if you have cats from the same litter, you will find that each one is very different from the other.
So, you’ll find that while some felines don’t care even the slightest bit about the litter in their litter box. Other cats are very fussy about any alterations made to even their litter.
If you’ve adopted a new cat, best stick to what your cat finds acceptable until they settle into their new environment. If you’ve had your cat for a while, you should still be wary of any changes you make to a cat’s litter; cats are nothing if not unpredictable.