Pine Cat Litter: The Verdict

Big Buddy: Hey Bud, how’s it going in there?

Little Buddy: What the heck? [Head pops out of litter box flap] Get outta here! I’m trying to do my business in peace.

Big Buddy: But how’s the pine litter? People want to know.

Little Buddy: [Trills in irritation] People? What people?

Big Buddy: The people who read the blog. Your blog. Come on, you know this.

Little Buddy: [A sudden pause in the digging sound inside the litter box] You’re blogging about my pooping habits?!

Big Buddy: Well, yeah…

Little Buddy: To complete strangers? It’s a good thing no one reads your stupid blog.

Big Buddy: Actually it’s your blog, little guy. And people do read it. Last month it was more than three thousand, four hundred and… 

Little Buddy: WHAT?!

Big Buddy: Yeah, dude. And they want to know how the pine litter is working out for you, so if you could just, you know, describe what…Ow! OUCH what the hell? Stop, stop! Don’t you dare…put those claws away, I’m not warning you ag…owww! You little…

As you can see, Buddy wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of me blogging about his business, but things eventually calmed down and I lifted the lid…

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The good: Pine litter really absorbs cat eliminations of the liquid and solid kind, and does a good job neutralizing the scent. It might do a better job than your regular litter: At one point Buddy blew up the box, and while the smell wasn’t entirely absorbed by the pine, it was much less unpleasant than it usually is with scented litter.

It’s also better for the environment and can be purchased in bulk. That’s a win-win.

Finally, pine weighs considerably less than most other types of litter, which may appeal to cat servants who have difficulty lugging large bags.

The bad: Other cats might not take to it so readily. Buddy is unusually unperturbed by changes in litter, and although I try to remain consistent, I’ve tried several types. He doesn’t seem to mind. YMMV according to your cat’s habits and personality. If your cat is upset by the change, proceed gradually by mixing the pine with the original litter.

The main problem is the way the litter clumps, or doesn’t. You’re not going to get easily-scoopable clumps to leave your cat with a clean litter box, and litter scoops aren’t designed for pine. Instead you’ll have to dump most or all of it out and refill it. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing since you get more litter for the price, but you’ll need to keep a lot of it in your home and you’ll go through it quickly.

The verdict: Pine is probably a great solution for people whose cats aren’t picky about litter. It does a great job neutralizing odor. Others may find it requires too much maintenance and might be put off by the difficulties with clumping.

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