Best Cat Litter for Older Cats
Last Updated by Brandon F. on May 8, 2020
As our beloved feline friends become older, it is important to adapt their lifestyle to accommodate their age. This can include things such as diet, exercise, and doctor visits. However, one aspect that people sometimes forget about is what type of cat litter they should use.
Certain cat litters are designed to be better suited for older cats. There are certain cat litter manufacturers that specifically design and target these types of cat litters for older cats.
In this article, we will go over some of the common features that you will find in a mature-friendly cat litter. We will also list out a few of the best cat litters for older cats.
If you are in a rush, check out the table below for quick links to our selections.
- 1 Best Cat Litter for Older Cats
- 1.1 Cat Litters for Older Cats: What to Look for
- 1.2 Best Cat Litters for Older Cats: Our Top Choices
- 1.3 BoxieCat Premium Cat Litter
- 1.4 Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Cat Litter
- 1.5 Cedarific Cat Litter
- 1.6 Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Cat Litter
- 1.7 Conclusion
Cat Litters for Older Cats: What to Look for
If you are in the market for a new cat litter for your aging cat, there are a few attributes that we like to look out for.
As cats become older, they can be more sensitive to strong perfumes or dyes. This can cause breathing issues and general discomfort. And in some extreme cases, it can be so off-putting that your cat may opt to go potty outside of their litter box.
We recommend looking for cat litters that have little if any perfume scents for your aging cat. While this may result in a slight sacrifice in overall odor control, it will make for a much more relaxing experience for your cat. And with modern advances in cat litter recipes, many of the best cat litters on the market don’t need the extra boost from strong perfumes: the litter granules themselves will do a good job of locking in the odor.
In general, any sort of silica gel cat litter will have essentially no perfume scent. Certain eco-friendly cat litters such as wood or corn will also avoid these smells (but you have to be careful with these types of cat litters because the “natural” scents emitted by wood, paper, corn, etc. may still cause some issues with cats that have sensitive allergies).
Clay litters will probably be the most challenging. Even unscented clay litters are notorious for having a rather strong mineral smell. Remember: your cat has a much better sense of smell than you do. So if you can smell the litter, your cat certainly can!
Older cats may develop sensitive paws. This can make walking on sharp litter granules a painful experience. Thankfully, there are cat litters on the market that have much smoother and/or softer granules.
Many of your silica gel litters will resemble tiny beads as opposed to jagged rocks. The smoother surfaces on the beads will be much more comfortable to walk on.
There is also a nice selection of wood and paper litters that have a very soft texture. You can imagine how gentle it is to walk on a pile of shredded newspaper.
Again, clay cat litters are going to be the biggest challenge in this regard. Clay litters tend to be larger, sharper, and harder than most other litter materials. And while certain types are better than others when it comes to comfort, you will have to spend some extra time observing and listening to your cat’s needs.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but your cat also benefits from litters that are better at controlling odor. A kitten or adult cat may be more lenient to doing its business in a stinky litter box. But as a cat becomes older, it may become less-inclined to putting up with the smells.
Part of this falls on making sure that you are implementing timely litter box maintenance. Make sure to clean out your cat’s litter box regularly.
But the other part of this falls on sticking with a cat litter that does a good job of fighting odor, to begin with. Both you and your cat will benefit from this as neither one of you want to deal with those strong cat waste odors.
Another aspect of litter granules that may become more important as your cat ages is the granule size. Since cats like to bury their waste after going to the bathroom, having granules that are small enough for them to easily move around with their paws is helpful. As cats age, their muscles and bones can become weaker. This can make the act of moving these granules around much more laborious.
If you see your cat struggling to hide their waste or avoiding it altogether, make sure that it isn’t because the granules are too large or heavy. There are plenty of litters on the market that offer up smaller granules that will be easier for your cat to handle.
Best Cat Litters for Older Cats: Our Top Choices
Now that we have gone through a few of our top considerations when shopping for a cat litter for an older cat, we will list out what we feel are the best examples of this. These cat litters have been personally tested by us with older cats and they have received 2 paws up.
BoxieCat Premium Cat Litter
If you prefer the ease and cost-savings of a clay cat litter, then we highly recommend Boxiecat. This cat litter is great for older cats thanks to the small litter granule size. These small litter granules are almost like sand underneath your cat’s paws. This makes moving it around and walking on it much easier. Not only that, but BoxieCat Cat Litter does a great job of locking in odor.
You can read our full review of this cat litter here.
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Cat Litter
Another clay cat litter that we have had success with for older cats is Precious Cat Cat Attract. These litter granules are larger and a bit more jagged, but the secret sauce with this product is in the inclusion of a natural herbal attractant. While this attractant does have a slight smell, we haven’t found that it bothers most cats. The opposite. Most cats love it! This can make the act of having to walk through clay litter much more tantalizing for your older cat. And as is typical of most Dr. Elsey’s products, the clumping and odor control is great.
A more thorough review that we performed on this cat litter can be read here.
Cedarific Cat Litter
If you and your cat have had your fill of clay litters and want to try a more eco-friendly offering, then consider giving Cedarific Cat Litter a try. As the name suggests, Cedarific is made of biodegradable cedar wood fibers. These shredded pieces of wood are very soft and easy for your older cat to walk on even if they have sensitive paws. Not only that, but they are very lightweight and easy for your cat to move around with their paws. Also, there are no added chemicals or perfumes. You will sacrifice some in the way over overall odor control and general clumping, but the positives of a wood-based cat litter can’t be ignored.
Interested in trying out this unique cat litter? You can read more in our giant review.
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Cat Litter
Another one of our favorite Dr. Elsey’s products is their R&R Respiratory Relief Cat Litter. This clay cat litter has very small amounts of dust in addition to stress-relieving herbal essences. This makes it a great choice for cats with sensitive allergies or breathing problems. And the fact that the dust levels are much lower than most clay cat litters means that you won’t have to deal with as much dust being kicked up when your cat is mixing the litter around with its paws. And despite these great features, this respiratory relief cat litter retains most of the clumping and odor control ability of other Dr. Elsey’s products.
Click here if you wish to read our full review of this cat litter.
We hope that this article helped you in your search for the best cat litter for your older cat. Just because a cat is getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t find a product that works with its changing needs. Cat litter companies know that older cats require special attention and thankfully there are quite a few products out there to address this.
The most important thing when shopping around for a new cat litter is being willing to try a few different options. Pay close attention to how your cat responds to new litters and we are confident that you will find a product that makes both of you happy.