I Tried Tuft + Paw’s “Really Great Cat Litter” and it Lived Up to its Name
This sustainable, dust-free, odor-concealing litter is “really great” for you, your cat, and the environment.
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Every cat parent will tell you that the worst part of cat ownership is having to deal with their litter box. Ok, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic, but I would bet one of my limbs that a sizable portion would agree. But because we love our sweet angels, every day we roll up our sleeves, hold our breath, and reach into their litter boxes to remove chunks of poop and pee.
My three-year-old Tortoiseshell cat, Patches, has a love-hate relationship with her litter box. Sometimes it’s her favorite place in the world and sometimes she prefers to use my bed, my couch, and my favorite pair of Converse. When I took Patches to the vet and consulted with my other cat parent friends on why she refused to use the litter box, they all advised me to take a look to the litter.
According to the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, the texture, smell, and dust of kitty litter impacts a cat’s ability to go to the bathroom properly. They explain, “Cats are particular about litter the way humans are about the bathrooms we use. Sometimes the environment is so off-putting to a cat, they’d rather go anywhere else, like in your plants.”
When I first adopted my cat, I made the mistake of assuming that any kitty litter would work fine. This most definitely is not the case. I started off by purchasing basic, unscented sand litter, but even though I cleaned my cat’s litter box twice a day, I quickly became overwhelmed with the odorous smell of poop that would fill my room. Then I switched to scented litter, and it was working great until I noticed my cat was starting to sneeze more than usual after coming out of the box. I decided to switch back to the unscented brand and obsessively cleaned the box after each use.
As you can imagine, this became very exhausting. Scooping poop out of a litter box doesn’t have to be harder than it already is, so I decided to try out Tuft + Paw’s Really Great Cat Litter. Of course, because I am a cynical person, I was skeptical of the name. However, after all of my litter trials and tribulations, I was hopeful that it would live up to its title.
The first thing I noticed when pouring the litter into my cat’s box is that I did not have to turn my head and wait for any dust to settle. Of course, at first, Patches was a bit hesitant to jump in, but after her first go at it she used the litter box with ease. Also, each morning I am usually awoken by the sound of her nails scraping on the ridges on top of her litter box as she attempts to get the litter from under her nails, but I noticed she has stopped doing this. She also did not track any of the litter onto the mat I placed in front of her box since she would previously spill it everywhere.
I still maintained my regular scooping schedule because I am a sucker for routine, but did not notice any cat-related odors throughout the day; the litter did make my room smell a bit like clay, but it was not noxious. When I went to scoop the litter I noticed how easy it was to detect and pick up the clumps my cat left behind. I did not have to mine through the box hunting for smaller pieces that evaded the scooper, and none of it stuck to the walls or the bottom of the box.
For those keen on reversing the seven year doomsday climate change clock, this litter is “sustainably made from soybean product” and “free from dyes, fragrances, and toxic ingredients.” In fact, it only has five ingredients: Soybean fiber, corn starch, corn flour, guar gum, and charcoal. It’s also flushable, if you want to save a bit on plastic bags (although you should avoid flushing huge chunks of cat poop for the sake of your pipes). Although they don’t visibly dissolve, the small urine-soaked clumps I threw into my toilet bowl disappeared with one flush.
Tuft + Paw is set to provide a subscription-based service of litter and currently offers two plans depending on how much litter your cat(s) need. They deliver right to your door, which comes in handy if you have a busy schedule, are quarantined, or are just too tired to walk to the store.
If you’re not happy with your cat’s current litter, I would recommend trying this out for a month. Don’t worry: you have the option to cancel the subscription at any time if you or your pet are not pleased with the product! Lucky for you, cats have never been shy when it comes to letting us know when they are unsatisfied.
If you do nothing else, teach your cat to poop in their litter box (not your shoe).
A cat behaviorist explains why they are so particular about where they pop a squat.
Heven Haile is a writer living in New York City with their cat Patches.