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November 13, 2018 |0 min read |Veterinarian Reviewed

Cat Litter Crystals: The Facts

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Aside from clumping litter, clay litter, and silica litter, there's also crystal cat litter. If you've been wondering what crystal litter is, you're not alone. Many people puzzle over the best cat litter to buy for their feline companions, because they just don't have all the facts. Are cat litter crystals safe? Do they have better odor control? How do cat litter crystals compare to clay-based litter? What about wood-based litter? Let's learn some cat litter crystals facts today.

Cat Litter Crystals: The Tidy Option


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Clay cat litter clumps, dries, then produces grey dust. Your kitty picks up clay dust on their paws from their cat litter box and treads it all around your lovely, clean home. Pine cat litter is in pellets which cats tend to burrow in and kick all over. Then when moist, it turns into a weird mush that can be tricky to scoop and clean.


Silica gel litters (crystal cat litters) are winning in the clean charts because they don't clump, making it easier to scoop out the solids. Silica gel litter actually has odor control and it's absorbent, so the litter tray doesn't need to be emptied as often, reducing your daily chore list! Crystal cat litter is a dust free cat litter that doesn't track that helps keep your home cleaner and tidier.

Silica Gel Crystal Cat Litter: The Safer Option


crystal litter with scooper

The additional benefit of crystal litter producing less silica dust is that it's kinder to people with allergies. It can also even prevent cats from developing asthma, and is certainly easier on the lungs of those animals who already have asthma.

Clumping clay litter or silica litter has special chemicals added which cause the clay to clump when it comes into contact with your cat's urine. Clay litter is supposed to make it easier to scoop, but those chemicals can actually be harmful to your cat. This is because your cat licks their paws after a visit to the litter tray, and the clay dust they lick off can expand in their tummies and intestines.

Crystal cat litter is entirely non-toxic and has no such clumping or expanding chemicals. Your cat is at no risk from licking silica litter, which gives you peace of mind as a responsible cat owner.

Silica gel crystal litters are also super light because they're made of silica gel, making it safer for your back and knees too!

Silica Cat Litter: The Greener Option


crystal cat litter

It is so important we look after our environment. Kitty litter is one of those unavoidable consumables that we need to keep our kitties clean and healthy. But do we need to be changing the cat litter every few days? With traditional clay litter that clumps, you might find you need to empty and refill the tray at least this often. 

Pine pellet cat litter might last a bit longer before needing to be changed, and because it's sourced from by-products of the wood industry, it's possibly a greener option than clay cat litter, but silica kitty litter/crystal cat litter win this round too.

A suitable crystalline silica gel cat litter only needs to be fully changed around once a month. This means a lower carbon footprint, as it's fewer trips to the grocery store or fewer deliveries if you’re on a subscription service like PrettyLitter. Because less cat litter is used, less energy is used in the production of pet litter, which is also great for the environment.

Cat litter crystals could be the future of cat litter; cleaner, greener, and better for your cat. Please give us your views in the comments!

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Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Sharilyn is a proud cat owner, long time storyteller and researcher. Her work spans beloved podcasts, television shows, media outlets, and independent documentaries. She likes to strike a balance between education and comedy, which you can hopefully tell when you read her articles!

Veterinarian-Reviewed by

Geoff DeWire

PrettyLitter's Veterinarian in Chief Dr. Geoff DeWire graduated UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 where he earned the Pfizer Clinical Achievement Award for Excellence in Veterinary Medicine.

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