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Home > Cats > Crystal Cat Litter: Pros, Cons & Alternatives (2024 Update)

Crystal Cat Litter: Pros, Cons & Alternatives (2024 Update)

crystal cat litter

Cat litter is a must-have for cat parents, and for many, once a brand is found that their cats don’t mind, it’s the brand used forever. But sometimes, it’s good to change things up a bit; you might find a cat litter out there that your cat likes even better than their current one. Plus, there are so many types of cat litter these days—not just clay—so you and your kitty have more options than ever.

One of those options is crystal cat litter, but is it worth making the switch? That’s what we’re here to help you figure out. Below we’ll discuss exactly what crystal cat litter is, the pros and cons, and what other options are available if you decide this litter isn’t for you.

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What Is Crystal Cat Litter?

Not familiar with crystal cat litter? Here’s the deal. Crystal cat litter is a mineral-based litter made up of silica gel (yes, the silica gel you often find in those tiny white packets labeled “do not eat” in packaged foods). Silica gel has minuscule pores in it that are capable of absorbing up to 40 times their own weight in liquid while also trapping odors. You can see how this makes for useful kitty litter!

Crystal cat litter was first marketed by a pair of brothers in 1999.

crystal cat litter in owners hands
Image Credit: kholywood, Shutterstock

The 4 Pros of Crystal Cat Litter

Crystal cat litter has several pros. Here’s a look at a handful of the benefits of using this type of litter.

1. Non-Toxic

If you’re wondering why crystal cat litter is non-toxic, even though those silica gel packs clearly say “do not eat” on them, it’s because it’s made with amorphous silica gel, so it is safe for pets and humans. Crystal cat litter also doesn’t have crystalline silica, which is the element in clay litters that make the dust a possible danger when inhaled, making it safer for those in the home with respiratory issues.


2. Highly Absorbent

As mentioned before, silica gel is highly porous, so it is easily able to absorb liquids at a rate of up to 40 times its own weight. This means not only is urine absorbed, but these crystals also cause feces to dry out, both of which are wonderful for helping reduce odors.


3. Simple Clean-up

This is one cat litter that’s a breeze to clean up (and it helps reduce the work associated with cleaning out the litter box)! You only have to scoop poop out each day, stir the remaining crystals so they don’t become smelly, and you’re done! And when it’s time to fully clean out your cat’s litter box, you’ll find no clumps stuck on the bottom of your litter box, as crystal litter is non-clumping. Have an automatic litter box? Crystal litter can also work well with those by keeping them cleaner longer with the lack of clumps and smaller granules!


4. Long-Lasting

Crystal litter lasts longer than many other litters in the litter box. Thanks to its fabulous absorption capability, you can go a month between changes! This also means you have to buy less, which might save you money in the long run, and less litter goes to the landfill.

tabby cat sitting beside crystal cat litter in the bathroom
Image Credit: Alexandra Morosanu, Shutterstock

The 3 Cons of Crystal Cat Litter

Of course, there are always some drawbacks to products, so here are a few of the cons of crystal cat litter.

1. Not Environmentally Friendly

Crystal litter isn’t environmentally friendly for a couple of reasons, so if that’s important to you, you may want to pick a different litter. For starters, this litter is made from a mineral that comes from quartz, and quartz is mined. Mining operations are highly industrial and displace natural habitats and vegetation, causing erosion, along with air, noise, and water pollution.

This also isn’t a biodegradable product, which means when it goes to a landfill, it will take a very long time to break down.


2. Not Great for Feces Odor Control

Silica gel may be excellent for absorbing urine odors, but it’s not as great with feces odors. While it will eventually absorb these odors, too, as it removes moisture from the feces, you will likely smell your cat’s poop for a while after they use the litter box.


3. Cost

Crystal cat litter is definitely pricier than other cat litters on the market. Chalk it up to being a bit more advanced than most cat litter. So, you will likely pay $3–$4 more for a bag of this type. It does last longer than other litter, though, so the cost may be worth it in the long term.

cats paws in crystal litter
Image Credit: Natalia Hrynovets, Shutterstock

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Other Cat Litter Options

Of course, plenty of other cat litter types are on the market if you feel crystal cat litter isn’t right for your cat. Just a few of your other options include:

All cat litters have pros and cons, so you’ll need to research to find the best option for you.

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Conclusion

Crystal cat litter can be a fantastic option, as it has many pros, such as better absorption and odor control than others. However, there are also some cons, such as this litter being pricier than others and not great for the environment. Research all the types of litter out there to better understand whether crystal cat litter is right for your favorite feline!

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Featured Image Credit: Valentina Zavrazhina, Shutterstock

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