Pine cat litter is one of the newer litters on the market. Unlike traditional clay or even newer clumping litters, pine litter has its own inherent odor control because of the natural odor-killing properties of pine. Therefore, it has become popular with cat owners because it greatly reduces box odor within the home.
Many people initially are put off by the cost. And, as compared to the clumping variety, it’s probably roughly twice the price by volume. However, it works by using pine pellets that are compressed wood, and as these pellets get wet, they turn into sawdust. This sawdust itself can then actually absorb even more liquid. Therefore, per use, it’s about as cost-effective as more traditional types.
However there is one disadvantage and that is that many cats do not like to use it. The pellets themselves can be rough on the feet, and many cats never get used to this. Therefore, of course, your cat’s opinion is going to be the most important element in the end when it comes to choosing the type of little you’ll use. However if your cat seems to avoid the litter at first, you can institute a “break-in” period. Mix your cat’s regular litter with pine, starting with a small amount of the pine and a larger amount of the regular litter. Gradually reduce the amount of regular and increase the amount pine used until you’re using all pine litter. Many cats do get used to using pine in this way, although some do not. If your cat does not, of course, then this will not be for you. Obviously there are no benefits if you cat won’t even use the box.
Some cat owners prefer to use mostly pine with a small amount of traditional litter sprinkled on top of that permanently. This gives them the odor control of the pine litter with its advantages, and yet keeps cats comfortable so that they’ll use the box if they don’t like pine.
One major concern about pine litter is that it smells quite strongly of pine. Although this is pleasant to humans, it can be unpleasant for cats’ sensitive noses. Therefore, this litter may not be something your cat likes because of the smell it exudes. You should know, however, that there are no toxic pine oils within the litter itself anymore. They have all been removed and it is perfectly safe for cats to use.
Finally, if you live somewhere where your litter can be composted, pine cat litter is a compostable material once feces have been removed. This can be an environmental advantage to using pine over other types of litter. The final say, of course, will come from your cat. If he or she likes it, then it’s a good and cost-effective way to manage odor in your home and make cleaning your box more convenient. If he or she does not, that is likely that you need to stick with your regular litter.