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Pick of The Litter

Sandy Robins//October 12, 2015//

Pick of The Litter

Sandy Robins //October 12, 2015//

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News flash for pet specialty retailers: Start planning for more shelf space. A slew of new innovative cat litter products are giving consumers more choices than ever before.

Healthy Cats; Healthy Planet

New to Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Products is the Health Monitor Everyday Litter, which is designed to monitor kidney function, diabetes and hyperthyroidism, three medical issues that are a major concern to many cat owners.

The litter is a calibrated particle size for consistency. It also comes with a digital scale and a chart that details how to weigh and compare a cat’s clumped urine litter balls. It is suggested that cat owners check their cat’s urine balls every three months since increased weight is an indicator that cat owners should seek out a veterinary opinion.

The company’s Touch of Outdoors Litter is made from natural chemical-free prairie grass grown by the manufacturers and relies on natural chlorophyll to eliminate litter box odors.

According to published information about this litter, it has been designed to enrich a cat’s environment and consequently reduce stress behaviors such as pacing, scratching on furniture, inter-cat aggression, excessive grooming and urine marking that often is the result of anxiety, boredom or depression.

The product can be used in standard litter boxes as well as in mechanical and sifting boxes.

Pioneer Pet Products—a company that makes a variety of pet products, including the SmartCat Ultimate Litter Box, with its accessible entry point, high-backed sides and oversized rim for easy lifting—is now manufacturing a range of different litters as a way of increasing their product line up.

“The new SmartCat all natural clumping litter is made from 100 percent USA-farmed grasses, with no chemicals or fragrances,” said Shannon Supanich, media and public relations manager for the company. “Thus, it’s biodegradable and a renewable resource and is also soft on the paws and safe for younger cats.”

The company has also just released a combo-litter that is made from both grains and clay.

“It has an all-natural grain core and is lightly coated with clay,” Supanich said. “This creates a rock hard clump that is lightweight. This new clumping technology stops odors on contact and is 99 percent dust-free.”

Lightweight Litters

Since introducing its first lightweight litter, Tidy Cats LightWeight 24/7, which the company branded as “featherlight”, the company’s range has expanded to include Tidy Cats LightWeight Instant Action and most recently Tidy Cats LightWeight with Glade Tough Odor Solutions.

The lightweight litter category is growing. According to Jim Kerley, assistant brand manager for Tidy Cats, Tidy Cats lightweight litters along with those of other competitive clay brands currently represents 19 percent of the clumping litter category.

The Nestle Purina PetCare Company produces a variety of litter under the Purina Pro Plan label.

The Pro Plan Renew Litter is made with 100 percent natural ingredients, namely highly-absorbent corncob and fresh-smelling cedar. It is sold in a recyclable molded pulp jug that is made from 93 percent recycled material and is also recyclable. Currently, this product is only available in PetSmart. However, the two Pro Plan Perform litters, Total Clean and Advanced Odor Control are sold in pet specialty stores nationwide. They are made with the company’s proprietary OptiScoop dual odor-fighting technology designed to produce strong, tight clumps that seals in offensive odors.

On the crystal-styled cat litter front, UltraPet has produced UltraClump, a litter that the company claims to “be (the) first clumping crystal cat litter in the world” and says it’s 70 percent lighter than most clumping clay litters.

The formula only needs to be scooped twice a week and is non-allergenic as it is nut-free, corn-free, wheat-free and gluten-free.

It also works with the company’s Ultra Monthly Monitor product that when added to litter changes colors, allowing pet owners to monitor the pH of the cat’s urine, an indicator of internal feline health.

Ultra Monthly Monitor works on all types of litter including clay and corn.

Stopping the Smell

Pestell Pet Products based in Ontario, Canada, has launched its Easy Clean Probiotic Litter that focuses on what Trevor Russwurm, national sales manager, described as “the number one concern amongst cat owners—odor control.”

According to Russwurm, the product doesn’t mask odors, but destroys them.

“Easy Clean Probiotic Litter contains a dormant strain of bacillus that attacks the food source (odor-causing bacteria) once moisture-activated, breaking it down and completely neutralizing it,” he said. “The continual process of scooping and adding fresh litter allows the cat owner to keep replenishing the supply of dormant bacteria, ensuring a consistently odor-free litter box environment.

“We believe this to be a truly a scientific answer to the primary need of cat owners, odor control.”