Cats with claws are not as likely to care about the type of litter you buy, but declawed cats are often prone to litter box issues. Even years after surgery, a declawed cat may refuse to use her litter box. To help protect your cat’s comfort and health, resist using clay-based, sandy or clumping litters that could stick or clump between her toes or in her surgical incisions. You may use these types of litters after your cat has recovered completely from her declawing surgery. Read on to learn more about the best litter for declawed cats.
Litter Box Behavior and Declawed Cats
Declawing a cat is an elective procedure done solely for the owners convenience and has no benefit to the cat. Once declawed, it may be very painful and uncomfortable for your cat to step into her normal litter. In fact, “going” outside the litter box is a common issue with newly declawed cats, since they do not want to step in litter that is now uncomfortable to them. Stress and anxiety are also universal triggers for litter box avoidance. The traumatic declawing process, post-surgery pain and vulnerability are all sources of stress for cats. Some cats even become nervous and defensive and display an undesirable temperament or behavior change after being declawed. To learn more about declawing your cat and why so many countries have banned it, go here.
What to Consider When Choosing a Litter for Declawed Cats
Dust Free – If your cat has recently been declawed the dust could enter the wound, causing irritation and potential infection.
Attractants – Some litters come with attractants and may motivate your cat to use the litter box.
Soft Texture – Look for soft, fine granules that is easy to walk and dig in.
Non-Clumping – During recovery, choose a non-clumping litter that won’t stick in the wounds.
Size of Granules – Large Litter Granules can be hard for cats to move in and dig around in.
Unscented – Cats are sensitive to harsh smells and maybe less likely to use a strong smelling litter box.
Top 5 Best Cat Litter for Declawed Cats
Made from wheat and other grains, the sWheat Scoop Natural Cat Litter has been improved to better eliminate odors, clump faster, and outlast other litters. It does not contain chemicals, silica dust, or sodium bentonite (clay). It is unique in that it is farmer-owned and the ingredients are also farmer-grown. This is what makes this company unique, and their commitment to improving their product through technology has helped them stand out. The Noble Ion® Technology means they use wheat enzymes and starches to create a litter that uses positive ions in order to eliminate the negative ions that can be found in pet odors. The granular texture of the litter makes it highly absorbent, and easy to sift. sWheat Scoop is also flush-able and compo-stable.
- Litter smell is subtle
- Does a good job of hiding odors
- Minimal Dust
- Strong ammonia smell
- Does have clumping ability
- More pricey than other litters
The Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter is 99% dust free and is made from grasses that were grown in the USA. It claims to clump better than clay litter and its sand-like texture means less tracking than other litters. SmartCat Litter is also free of perfumes and chemicals that cats and owners may find offensive. The company has a “No smell-can’t tell” slogan and “out clumps clay every day” motto which shows their confidence in their product’s ability. Odor absorption and liquid absorption is a definitive perk for cat owners and this litter to be the best at accomplishing both.
- Good odor control
- Made from sustainable and renewable grass, farmed in the USA
- Fragrance free
- Has clumping ability
- Some cats find it tasty enough to eat
- Not the most economical, price-wise
Purina’s Yesterdays News Cat Litter is made from compressed pellets of recycled newspaper. It is considered environmentally-friendly since its biodegradable. It also absorbs well, and is often recommended by vets for use by post-surgical cats, since it doesn’t cling to paws or fur like clay or other clumping litters. For one thing, pellets don’t get tracked around the house. Worst-case scenario, a few dry pieces will get flung out of the litter box, but they are easy to see and clean up. Since Yesterday’s News cat litter not a granule, it’s a good choice if you have hardwood in your house; it won’t be prone to getting scratched due to tracking like traditional clay litter. This litter won’t get stuck in your kitty’s paws, so it won’t be licked off and ingested. One of the most obvious reasons people choose Yesterdays News cat litter, is because its dust free and fragrance free. It’s also very absorbent: Yesterdays News absorbs 3 times more moisture than clay, however it doesn’t clump.
- Soft pellets
- 3x more absorbent than other litters
- Low dust & tracking
- May not control odor well
- Not easy to clean
- Price is on the high side
The name may be quite a mouthful but Better Way produces a unique type of cat litter. The clay grains are small and fine like sand and soft on cat’s paws. Better Way also contains a natural cat attractant called Sanel which creates an aroma that only the cats can smell that reminds them of being outdoors. Sanel attractant also helps train kittens to use litter box and helps retrain older cats who maybe refusing to use the litter box. This litter has smaller granules which help keep urine from reaching bottom of litter box, keeping the litter box fresh and easy to clean
- Good odor control
- No complaints of clogs
- Cats love it
- Clumps are not always firm
- Some tracking onto the floor
- Ammonia smell if a lot of urine
What makes World’s Best different from other litters is what it’s made out of: natural, non-toxic, ground corn husks. First time users are usually shocked by how light weight it is and while the aroma (of corn) is unique, it isn’t over-powering and is easy to adapt to. Some cats, and other animals if you have them, have been caught eating this litter. World’s Best can be a bit more costly than other brands among flushable litters. Many avid users claim the price is worth it since this product lasts longer than other litters, meaning little goes to waste. World’s Best also has superb clumping abilities. Also, the corn is excellent at absorbing moisture which reduces the amount of bacteria, the main cause of litter box odor, left behind.
- Very soft
- Natural litter scent
- Long lasting
- Has clumping ability
- Minor tracking and dust
Remember, declawed cats prefer soft litter because it is less harsh on their sensitive paws and much easier for them to walk through. In any case, urinating or defecating outside the litter box is unusual and your cat maybe telling you that something is wrong. In any case most issues can be avoided by selecting a litter than makes your cat happy and comfortable.