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Kitten standing in pink litter box

Take care in choosing cat box and litter

Q: What is the safest cat litter? I am concerned about toxic ingredients in litter. What kinds of litters should I avoid?

A: According to veterinarians who specialize in toxicology and feline internal medicine, all commercial cat litters are safe. What’s important, then, is to find one you and your cats like. 

Most cats prefer a soft, unscented, clumping litter. The cats in my family like Blue Naturally Fresh litter, made from ground walnut shells, and Feline Pine (essentially pine sawdust that clumps).

Be sure to provide at least one box more than the number of cats you have. Place the litter boxes in quiet areas where the cats won’t be disturbed, with at least one box on each floor of the home.

Litter boxes should be large. An under-bed storage box or a plastic cement mixing tray from a home improvement store makes an economical litter box. Some cats like these open boxes, while others prefer covered boxes. Offer some of each, so all your cats will be satisfied.

Remember to scoop daily and scrub your litter boxes often. Your cats will thank you by using their litter boxes consistently.

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at

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