Pretty Litter Cat Litter Review
Updated by Brandon F. on June 3, 2020
Pretty Litter is a relatively new brand (at least to us). We learned about them through one of our readers reaching out to us. After doing some googling, we quickly discovered that this litter has quite the following and has been discussed on a wide range of popular online magazines, news sites, and social media hubs. So needless to say, our interest was sparked!
Before we get into the specifics of how the litter performed, it is worth mentioning a very unique aspect of Pretty Litter. This product is set up on a subscription basis. You are probably used to buying your cat litter online at retailers such as Amazon or by going into brick and mortar stores. That isn’t the case here!
You will sign up for a subscription where you will receive 1 or more bags of Pretty Litter every month. As for how many bags you will need, Pretty Litter states that one 4-pound bag of their product is enough to take care of a single mid-sized cat for a month. So if you have 3 normal-sized cats for instance, then plan on having to purchase three bags per month. And if you have a larger cat (or smaller cat) you may have to adjust these numbers accordingly.
Now on to the review!
What Exactly is Pretty Litter?
Pretty Litter puts on a great marketing front so it is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to get down to the basics of what type of litter it is, how it locks in odor, etc. Well, we are here to help clear things up for you!
Pretty Litter, at its core, is a silica gel cat litter. They aren’t the first and certainly won’t be the last to utilize silica gel-based products. Other common names for silica gel cat litters can be “crystals”. If you have frequented our site for very long, you have likely seen us review other crystal cat litters. We have an entire section dedicated to just them!
Silica gel cat litters come with some unique pros and, for some people, some unique cons. But we will get more into that below.
What makes Pretty Litter stand out from most other crystal cat litters on the market is in its other feature: it comes with color-changing indicators that react to certain conditions in your cat’s waste. This can be used to provide some insight into your cat’s health. Don’t confuse this with being a diagnostic of conditions that your cat may have: leave that to your veterinarian. But it can provide some helpful early detection that you can then forward to your vet.
The color indicators are as follows:
Red: Litter changing to red may indicate the detection of blood. This could be attributed to a variety of potential issues including kidney stones, bladder inflammation, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder, and more.
Blue/Dark Green: This color represents high alkaline levels. High alkaline levels may be present in certain types of urinary tract infections. Also, high alkaline levels may increase the risk of kidney stones forming.
Orange: Orange color in the litter may mean abnormal acidity levels. This could be a precursor to issues such as metabolic acidosis or kidney tubular acidosis.
Again, any color change that you see in the litter should only be used as an indicator that you can then forward to your veterinarian. Don’t try to diagnose your cat’s condition: leave that to the professionals!
This is a really neat feature. We have seen a small handful of other cat litters attempt the color-changing feature but Pretty Litter seems to have established themselves as the leader for this type of product.
But how does Pretty Litter perform when it comes to simply being a cat litter? Below we will break down the various ranking metrics that we consider.
Clumping Ability – N/A
Pretty Litter isn’t designed to clump. This is true of most other silica gel-based cat litters. Instead of clumping liquid cat waste and requiring the owner to physically remove it, silica gel uses its highly-absorbent characteristics to soak up any moisture that might be present. You will still want to remove any solid cat waste but the liquid cat waste can simply be mixed into the litter, allowing it to be absorbed.
But despite its very absorbent capabilities, even silica gel does have its limits. If you have a cat that tends to go in the same spot in the litter box, you may find that area becomes too saturated over time. This can cause moisture to not be fully absorbed, resulting in not only a mess but also a stinky litter box. This can be remedied by simply bumping up how much and how often you mix the litter around.
Either way, we encourage you to stir the silica crystals around from time to time. This simple action can help you to get the maximum performance (and time) out of a package of Pretty Litter.
When you do remove solid cat waste, it won’t be clumped up like you are used to seeing in clay litters. Without this hard outer shell, the cat waste will be softer so try to be gentle when removing to not make a huge mess.
Silica gel itself doesn’t have much of a scent. This is a big selling point of it over clay-based cat litters since many owners (and animals) may be turned off by the sometimes harsh clay smell that is naturally emitted. Also, silica gel-based cat litters typically don’t utilize any sort of powerful perfume.
We have all experienced clay litters that have gone overboard on the “fresh spring” scent in an attempt to combat cat waste smells. The result is almost as pungent at the cat waste itself!
So for cats or owners with sensitive allergies, silica gels can be almost heaven-sent.
As for fighting cat waste odors, Pretty Litter is extremely good. And this can be attributed back to its innate ability to soak up all of the odor-causing moisture and keep it locked in for extremely long periods. This is essentially why you don’t have to scoop out as many clumps as in a traditional clay cat litter.
But this does come with a caveat. While silica gel cat litters don’t require nearly as much maintenance to keep it at maximum performance, it does still require some.
As we mentioned above, you may have to occasionally stir the silica gel crystals to help better distribute the cat waste moisture throughout the entire litter box. Don’t worry! This shouldn’t result in a soggy mess. Instead, any wet spots should be soaked up.
And you will still want to remove solid waste promptly. Most silica gel cat litters seem to handle wet odors far better than solid odors after sitting for a few days. This likely goes back to the simple fact that the silica gel litter doesn’t form an airtight shell around solid cat waste as clay litters do.
Following these steps will help to tap into the impressive odor-fighting power of silica gel technology.
Pretty Litter believes that their product will adequately fight cat waste odors for up to a month. Whether or not you see these kinds of results will vary. People with larger cats or cats that are on high-protein diets may find that a single 4-pound bag isn’t quite enough for an entire month. While others with smaller cats may easily be able to make it last for 30 days.
But either way, you should be quite impressed with the results relative to most other products that you have tried.
Another common complaint with clay litters lies in just how dusty they are. It is quite common for clay dust to be kicked up when pouring litter, stirring it, and in some cases even when your cat is simply walking around in it doing its business!
While silica gel cat litters have a small amount of dust-like particles that can be kicked it up, it is far less than you will find in most clay cat litters.
Also, the fact that you aren’t having to manually remove as many clumps helps to minimize the chance of messy accidents. However, you will have to take extra care when removing dry cat waste as it won’t be encased in a hard shell, making it more prone to falling apart.
One issue that we do have with many silica cat litters is that they are very easily tracked out of the box. Being so small and lightweight, the granules can be kicked around when your cat is walking on top of them. And for long-haired cats, it is common for some of these silica gel crystals to stick to fur.
Pretty Litter recommends that you pour the cat litter up to around 2” in thickness. This finds a happy medium between maximizing the odor-fighting ability of the litter as well as making it less prone to being tracked and kicked out (since there is a larger gap between the litter and the edge of your cat’s litter box).
At the end of the month, you simply pour out any remaining cat litter and fill up the litter box with a new bag.
The most common complaint that we receive about silica gel cat litters is in their price. Compared to other types of cat litter, they are typically significantly more expensive on a pound-by-pound basis. However, it is important to remember that 1 pound of silica gel cat litter is not the same as 1 pound of clumping clay cat litter.
Pretty Litter Cat Litter is designed to last. A small 4-pound bag is advertised as being capable of handling a medium-sized cat for an entire month. This is compared to a clay litter that might require you to go through 10 pounds or more over a month.
But for people with multiple cats or with larger cats, a single 4-pound bag simply won’t be enough for a month. So plan on multiplying this factor by 2, 3, or even more. You will find some discounts if you order in larger quantities but overall, crystal cat litters have and continue to be one of the more expensive options on the market.
However, for those after maximum odor control with minimum effort, Pretty Litter makes a strong case. And when you take into account the free shipping and the litter’s ability to detect certain abnormalities in your cat’s waste, it helps to justify the potentially high asking price.
Overall Rating –
Pretty Litter offers up a twist on a popular type of cat litter for those owners who are sick of using clay-based products. Their silica-gel based cat litter combines impressive odor control with a unique color-changing indication system and packages it in a clever and simple monthly delivery service.
For those of you who have tried out a crystal cat litter before, this product will act and perform extremely similarly. You will find great odor control, minimal dust, and above-average moisture absorption. But this does come with the cons of higher tracking and increased costs.
We encourage everyone to at least try Pretty Litter (or a product like it) and see if getting away from clay, wood, or corn-based cat litters is a good choice for you and your cat. They certainly aren’t for everyone. But for those who do enjoy their inherent benefits, Pretty Litter makes a strong case.