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Thinking about swapping from normal clay litter to wood pellet litter? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so let’s dig in and explore pine pellet cat litter pros and cons to better understand the differences.
Pine Pellet Cat Litter Pros and Cons
Using natural pine pellets instead of clay litter has several potential advantages. In addition to being much more eco-friendly, many cat owners enjoy the natural scent and odor control pine pellets offer.
Here are some things you should know about using a wood pellet cat litter broken down by the positives and negatives.
Pros – Wood Pellet Cat Litter
First, let’s explore the pros of using pine pellets in litter boxes.
Pine cat litter is more environmentally friendly than traditional clay clumping litter. The traditional clay litter is created using a chemical process that can be harmful to the environment.
The pine pellets, on the other hand, are made from reclaimed wood and sawdust. This means they dissolve in water and make great compost when they are eventually put in the soil. This makes wood pellets a great natural cat litter.
Helps With Urine Odor Elimination
Wood pellet cat litter also helps with urine odor elimination. The pellets absorb the liquid and turn into sawdust, helping to keep the urine odors trapped within the pine.
Low Tracking and Less Dust
Traditional clay cat litter can be very messy, with many types producing a significant amount of dust. And because the clay cat litter is made up of tiny little pieces, it’s easy for those pieces to get stuck on your cat’s paws and be tracked throughout your home.
Wood pellet litter doesn’t produce dust and the larger sizes of the wood pellets help minimize any tracking from your cat helping to keep the litter box area cleaner.
Pine pellet cat litter has a much more natural pine scent than traditional clay cat litter. Many clay litters are either completely unscented or are scented with a fragrance that can still be unpleasing to many cat owners.
Cheaper Than Regular Litter
If you compare a bag of clay clumping litter with wood pellet litter, it will appear that the wood pellet litter is more expensive. However, you have to factor in that pine pellet litter lasts much longer than traditional clay litter.
If you have a sifting litter box (which works great with wood litter), then your wood pellet cat litter will last even longer.
Cons – Wood Pellet Cat Litter
There are some cons to wood pellet litter that need to be considered.
Can Be Harder To Clean
Most clay litter is sold as clumping litter, making it easy for cat owners to scoop out the cat feces and urine that form into tight clumps.
Pine litter on the other hand breaks down into sawdust when it comes into contact with moisture making it slightly more difficult to clean. If you have a regular litter box you will need to scoop out the cat poop and then separate the solid pine pellets from the sawdust so that you can dispose of the sawdust.
If you choose to use wood pellet litters, then we strongly recommend a sifting litter box which makes cleaning the litter box significantly easier.
Related: Best Sifting Litter Boxes for Pine Pellets
Some Cats May Not Like It
Some cats may not like pine pellet cat litter because of the texture. Cats instinctively like to bury their waste in the dirt, which traditional clay litter is similar to. Wood pellets are larger and if you have a picky cat they may not be comfortable with the larger pellet size of wood litter.
If your cat is new to wood pellets, you should introduce them slowly by mixing them with their traditional clay clumping litter until you completely phase out the clay litter.
Doesn’t Contain Poop Odor As Well
Clay litter tends to stick to cat poop and once your cat buries it, the smell can be stifled in the litter box. However, cat poop is more exposed with wood pellet litter meaning it can be slightly smellier than regular litter.
Pine Pellet Cat Litter – Recommendations
Looking for recommendations on wood pellet cat litter? Here are a few of our favorite brands.
Okocat Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter
Litter Features: Flushable, Odor Control, Clumping, Unscented, Natural, Eco-Friendly
Key Feature: 100% free from artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, or GMOs.
Okocat Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter is a good option if you’re looking for wood pellet cat litter due to its sustainably sourced, chemical-free nature. This plant-based litter absorbs litter on contact creating solid clumps similar to traditional clay cat litter. This means you can clean your cat litter box with a scooper or a sifting litter box.
The wood pellets are 99% dust-free through a screening process which will help minimize mess around your cat’s litter box.
Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter
Brand: Feline Pine
Litter Features: Non-Clumping, Unscented, Odor Control, Natural
Key Feature: Improved formula absorbs liquid 2 times faster than the original blend.
Feline Pine Wood Cat Litter is a natural wood pellet cat litter that doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, additives, or synthetic perfumes making it a great natural product for your home.
Feline Pine’s new and improved formula absorbs liquid 2 times faster making it great for odor control. The dust-free, low-tracking properties will keep your cat’s paws and litter box area clear of mess.
Frisco Pine Pellet Unscented Non-Clumping Cat Litter
Litter Features: Multi-Cat, Natural, Odor Control, Non-Clumping, Unscented, Dust Free, Low Tracking
Key feature: All-natural cat litter is made with 100% pine that absorbs up to 3X their weight in liquids.
Frisco Pine Pellet Cat Litter is an all-natural cat litter made with 100% pine that doesn’t use any chemicals or added fragrances. The pine pellets absorb 3X their weight in liquids helping to minimize urine odors and keeping litter boxes fresh.
The wood pellets have a natural pine scent and are dust-free and low-tracking helping to minimize mess in your home.
Does Wood Pellet Litter Require a Special Litter Box?
Wood pellet litter does not require a special litter box; however, a sifting litter box does make cleaning pine pellet litter much easier so it is recommended.
How Does Wood Pellet Cat Litter work?
Wood pellet litter is made up of pieces of pine that break down into sawdust when they come into contact with cat urine.
Traditional clay cat litter works by forming tight, hard clumps around cat litter.
How Do You Clean Pine Pellet Litter Boxes?
On the surface, wood pellet litter is no different than traditional clay cat litter when it comes to cleaning. You simply scoop out any solid clumps and soiled pine pellets every time your cat uses the litter box. However, you need to be more careful with how much sawdust you scoop out of the box so that you don’t over-fill the litter box.
How to Transition Your Cats to Using Pine Pellet Litter
Cats can be picky when it comes to swapping out cat litter, so it’s important to carry out the transition to pine pellets slowly. Here are a few steps to follow to increase your chances of success.
- Start by placing a new litter box with a thin layer of pine pellets next to your old litter box. There’s always a chance your cat takes to the wood pellet litter right away and you can just remove the old litter and be done. If your cat is not interested in the wood pellet cat litter then move on to Step 2.
- Mix in a small amount of clean clay litter and a small amount of dirty cat litter from the old box into the pine pellets. This will help familiarize your cat with the pine pellets and help get them accustomed to feeling the new texture.
- Every day or two slowly remove some of the clay litter and add a small amount of pine litter on top until you’ve fully transitioned to pellet litter.
- Keep an eye on your cat to make sure they are using the new litter box and go as slowly as needed with this transition.
Can You Use Horse Pellets Instead of Pine Pellets?
Horse pellets or equine bedding can be used instead of wood pellet cat litter. Horse pellets are typically made of 100% pine and are much less expensive than traditional pellet litter.
You can typically find horse pellets at your local Tractor Supply Store, Walmart, or even online.
Is Pine Pellet Litter Safe for Cats?
Yes, pine pellet litter is safe for cats due to its eco-friendly composition and properties. Most wood pellet cat litter you buy from a pet store is going to be treated and made safe for cat use. However, make sure to check that there is no pine oil or phenols in the cat litter that could make your cat sick.
Is Pine Pellet Litter Better for Cats?
Pine pellet litter can be better for cats due to its all-natural properties. However, clay cat litter is not necessarily considered bad for cats either.
Pine Pellet Cat Litter Pros and Cons – Final Thoughts
Overall, pine pellet cat litter is a great alternative to clay cat litter. Most cat owners find the pros of wood pellets outweigh the cons. Many owners like the more eco-friendly option and the fact that the wood pellet cat litter lasts longer than traditional clay litters.
If you’ve been using clay litter for your cats and thinking about switching to something better like pine pellets, check out Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter and start transitioning your cat’s litter box.
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