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Pine Pellet Cat Litter Pros and Cons

When you’re a cat owner, you have many options: wet or dry cat food, toys, collars, and even the kind of cat litter your cat uses. Most people use traditional cat litter for the litter boxes in their homes, but there are more options on the market that you might not be aware of. Pine pellet cat litter, for instance, is an alternative to clay-based cat litter. Like anything else, pine pellet cat litter has several pros and cons.  

ProsCons
All-natural with no chemical additivesMore expensive than cat litter
Better at neutralizing odorsYou may not prefer the smell of pine pellets to scents you can purchase in cat litter
Less messyCat may reject alternative litter when switching
Better for your cat’s healthMore difficult to find in stores than traditional cat litter

How Pine Pellet Cat Litter Works

Pine pellet cat litter works differently than normal cat litter that is clay-based.

Clay cat litters sit in the box until used. Most of these litters will clump around the cat pee or poop, then be scooped with a scooper.

Pine pellets are a litter different.

First, the litter is shaped like pellets, so it has a different look and texture than traditional litter.

When your cat uses pine pellet cat litter, the pellets will soften and eventually turn to sawdust. The sawdust settles on the bottom of the litter box while the pellets stay above it. 

No clumping is going to happen with pine pellet cat litter.

When you go to scoop pine pellets, you aren’t going to scoop out the pellets. Instead, you’re aiming to scoop out the sawdust at the bottom of the litter box. The solid pine pellets will stay for another use. 

Since pine pellets will turn to sawdust, you’ll have to dump out your entire litter box at least twice a month to replace all the pellets in the box.

Traditional cat litter can usually be used for quite a long time before you need to dump out the entire litter box and start with a completely fresh cat litter.

Benefits Of Pine Pellet Cat Litter

One of the best reasons to try pine pellet cat litter is that pine pellets are safer for your cat because it is all-natural with no additives.

Pine pellet cat litter is made from pine wood, which should be untreated. There are no additional additives or chemicals put into pine pellet cat litter.

Alternatively, traditional cat litter can have a long list of additives that can harm your cat. Cat litter will list these additives as benefits – and they very well may be – but this is not always the safest option.

If you have a cat with health issues, then an all-natural pine pellet cat litter will be the safest option for your cat.

Some cats are also allergic to fragrances, which are often added to traditional cat litter. It could make your cat sneeze or dry out his skin where it sticks to him.

You will not run into issues with pine pellet cat litter because companies do not add any fragrance. 

Fragrance In Pine Pellet Cat Litter

We spoke about fragrance above briefly, but let’s dive deeper into it because it is an essential aspect of cat litter.

Traditional cat litters often include fragrances that cats can be sensitive to. After all, a cat’s nose is much stronger than a human’s nose! 

Here are a few warning signs to keep an eye out for that may alert you to your cat’s sensitivity:

  • Congestion, including a stuffy nose or discharge from the nose
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry, flaky skin, especially on legs and paws

Litter needs to be heavily fragranced to cover up the smell of cat pee. 

As we’re going to cover a little later in this article, traditional cat litter only masks the smell of cat pee. It does not get rid of it. 

Environmental Impact

Since you may be looking at pine pellet litter because it is more natural than other litter, the environment may also be a concern for you.

Pine pellet cat litter is better for the environment than traditional clay-based cat litter.

Pine pellets are wood, of course, so they are going to be biodegradable over time. Pine pellets will not sit in landfills forever.

Traditional cat litter, on the other hand, is not as environmentally friendly. As you can probably guess already, this kind of cat litter does not break down easily.

When was the last time you saw your cat’s clay litter turning to mush right before your eyes?

Your cat litter made out of clay will sit around much longer than pine pellet cat litter.

For someone environmentally conscious, this could be extremely important to your final decision to change cat litters.

This fact, however, is not going to be one that your cat will be concerned with! 

Cost Of Pine Pellet Cat Litter

If cost is an essential factor in your decision, it is essential to know that pine pellet cat litter will be more expensive than cat litter.

One benefit of traditional cat litter is that it is the cheaper option because there is less work to make it.

Wood needs to be processed for pine pellet cat litter to reflect the extra work in its price.

Pine pellets won’t be too expensive than traditional cat litter; however, some people are on tight budgets and cannot spare an extra few dollars each time they go to the store to buy pine pellets.

Prices may also be higher for pine pellet cat litter because it is difficult to find. Some retailers may not carry pine pellet cat litter, which means that you will need to go to a pet store to find what you are looking for.

Pet stores are known to have higher prices than grocery stores often. This is another reason your pine pellet cat litter will have a higher price tag than other litters. 

Odor Control Of Pine Pellet Cat Litter

You might not think that pine pellets could be good at absorbing strong odors from cat urine, but pine pellet cat litter is effective at doing this. 

Your pine pellet litter will not simply mask the smell of urine like traditional cat litter. Pine as a wood can neutralize and control the smell of urine. 

This happens when the pine pellets get wet with urine and begin to break down. The sawdust that is left behind is powerful and can trap any bad smells from the cat pee. 

Pine pellets don’t have an artificial scent, though, so don’t expect your litter box to start smelling like lavender. 

Conversely, pine pellets won’t be as good at covering up the smell of cat poop as traditional litter. It cannot trap the smell of poop in the same way that it can pee.

This will have to be something that you think about like a cat owner. Is covering up the smell of cat urine more important than cat poop? 

Some people may not want to smell cat pee or poop in their house, especially if the litter box is in a high-traffic area of the house.

Other people may be more concerned with the smell of cat pee. For instance, if you live in an apartment and rent, you may not want the smell of cat pee to stick around. 

Your Scent Preference

Your cat’s litter box is in your home. Your personal scent preference is going to dictate what kind of litter you try. 

Some people will prefer the fresh scent of pine pellets, especially if you love the great outdoors. Pine is going to give a new scent to your house that you may like.

On the other hand, others prefer the scents that traditional clay-based cat litters come in. These days, there is no shortage of scents when you are walking down the cat litter aisle! 

You may be tempted to purchase cat litter that smells like your favorite air freshener brand, the laundry detergent that you prefer, or a scent like lavender. 

As a third option, you may not like any scent at all. Traditional cat litter provides you the option to buy unscented litter if you are particularly sensitive to the smell of litter.

Pine pellet cat litter will not give you that option. 

Plus, pine pellet cat litter prides itself on being all-natural, so you probably aren’t going to find any pine pellet litter that has added scents. 

Although your cat’s preferences should be one of your primary concerns, I cannot tell you to overlook what you like too. You need to smell it too! 

Ease Of Cleaning Pine Pellet Cat Litter

Pine pellet cat litter is going to be easier to clean than traditional clay cat litter.

If you already have a cat and use traditional cat litter, you know what a pain cat litter can be.

Cat litter clumps, which is good in theory, but it can clump to everything. Your cat may have it stuck to his feet, the bottom of his tail, and even his butt. 

As your cat flicks off the cat litter, it will end up anywhere your cat goes: down the hallway, in your bed, on the blankets, and just about everywhere else in the house.

All of us have stepped on the painful tiny granules around the litter box at least once too. It is as bad as a Lego! 

You don’t have this problem when it comes to pine pellet cat litter, meaning that it will be much easier to clean than other litter. 

Pine pellet cat litter will be made of larger pieces than cat litter that you are used to. It will not stick to everything like clumping cat litter.

Your biggest concern with pine pellet cat litter will be the pieces that your cat kicks out around the litter box when using it. These will be much easier to sweep or vacuum up than other types of cat litter. 

Ease Of Switching To Pine Pellet Cat Litter

Switching from traditional cat litter to pine pellet cat litter will only be as easy as your cat makes it. 

Ultimately, the decision to switch litter will be up to your cat. Only he can decide if he likes it. 

Some cats will not mind the change in the litter. They will act like nothing is different and continue going about their business.

Other cats will have an adjustment period and need to learn about the new kind of cat litter that you are using.

Finally, some cats will downright refuse to use the litter box if they do not like pine pellet cat litter.

You will know if your cat has rejected the new cat litter if your cat starts peeing and pooping around your house. This is a glaringly obvious sign that your cat does not like the new litter.

A cat that hates new litter may start to use it after some time, but some cats do not like change and will not accept it. 

Here are some tips to try if you want to switch litters:

  • Don’t switch all of the litter boxes at once. This will give your cat options while allowing him to get used to the new cat litter.
  • Keep two litters in different boxes all the time. This can be a pain, but if one cat likes pine pellets and the other likes traditional litter, they can be happy.
  • Leave some pine pellets out while you are making the change. Your cat can get used to the new scent. 
  • Alternate between pine pellet litter and traditional cat litter. Again, this can be more annoying than completely switching, but it can be an excellent way to keep things interesting! 

If you are looking to change your type of litter, good luck! 

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