How Does a Cat Litter Box Work?

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Cats are the cleanest animal in the whole world. They are so much obsessed with keeping themselves clean. From ancient times they have the tendency to keep themselves clean in every way possible. But they aren’t aware of the stinky smell of their own urine. This is the very reason for using cat litter.

Cat litter box makes it too easy for owners and cats too. It just soaks up the urine and removes any kind of bad odor coming from it as well. But have you ever wondered how does a cat litter box work?. Well, don’t worry now because here we will be disclosing the working process of different cat litters. This will help you to have a better understanding of the topic.

First, let’s take a look at two different types of cat litter boxes available in the market right now. They are pretty different in function and also built.


Types of Cat litter box

There are two types of cat litters box you can find. One is non-clumping cat litter, and the other is clumping cat litter. Let’s check them out one by one.

Nonclumping cat litter: This is the kind of cat litter that was available from the beginning. It is pretty good at removing the odor from cat urine. It can soak up greater amounts of urine, which takes away the odor anyways. Usually, the non-clumping cat litters don’t come with any kind of scents, yet you might find some exceptions as well.

Drawbacks of a non-clumping cat litter are the urine being pooled at the bottom of the litter. This makes it very difficult to remove the soil from the litter. You must change the complete litter box to do it. Also, this one requires frequent cleaning. Even after this, people prefer this one because of the low price tag, and sometimes their cats just prefer this one. The primary non-clumping cat litters mostly come in clay. But there are some alternatives you can try that are plant-based.

Clumping cat litter: The difference between clumping cat litter and non-clumping cat litter is very much. First of all, clumping cat litter can get rid of feces along with urine. And you don’t even need to clear the whole litter box to do so. That is because most of the time, they contain something called bentonite. This is a substance that forms a solid clump upon soaking liquid.

Also, you can go for all-natural fibers that help to clump the litter tightly. Removing this is very easy; you can just remove the clumped soil from the litter box along with feces. You don’t even need to touch the clean litter at all. So, here you don’t need to go through continually cleaning the litter. You can just add the equal amount of litter that was taken from the box. You will still need to clean the box once in a while, but you don’t need to do it very frequently, which can be a pain. Also, you will need to change the litter once a month.

Which one you choose entirely depends on you and your cat. Some cats prefer non-clumping ones, and some prefer clumping cat litters. Let your kittens decide which one they like. Now let’s get through to how they work.


How Does a Cat Litter Box Work?

Different types of materials have different working processes. Here, we will be discussing the materials and how do they work.

How Does a Clay litter box Work?

Before everything, people opted for ashes and sand for litter options. Then came the absorbent clay, which was the next step from these two. The reason is it provides better odor protection than ashes or sands. Then some additional elements such as charcoal and baking soda, made it more powerful. And helped it to get rid of all kinds of bad smells from urine and feces. The working process of clay litter is described below.

In a clay litter, the urine goes to the bottom of the pan running through the clay whenever a cat urinates. This way, the ammonia in urine doesn’t get to spread the odor openly. As long as the clay is solid, you won’t get any smell from the litter box. This is the process of odor control in clay litter. When the clay saturates with too much urine, the litter will lose control over the odor. To get rid of that, you will need to change the litter and clean the whole box. Then fill the box with fresh litter. Usually, this has to be done once a week. You can minimize the odor by scooping out the feces every day.


How does a Clumping Bentonite litter box work?

This material works just like magic for cat owners. This is the most favorite cat litter material for many people. Sodium Bentonite is a type of clay that can soak up the liquid and harden itself. It is almost a kind of a self-cleaning litter box. Clumping litter comes in various forms. You can get the scented ones, unscented ones. Or you can get for one cat or multiple cats. They sometimes come in low-tracking formulas as well.

The best part of this one is you don’t need to go through constant cleaning and don’t even need to change the litter that much. Make sure not to throw this out in the toilet as they can soak up water and expand. Now let’s check out the working process of this one.

The working process here is pretty simple. When your cat urinates in the bentonite litter, it soaks up all the liquid and creates a clump. This becomes a solid clump in a few moments. Then you can just scoop it out just like cat feces. When you scoop out the clump, you can just replenish the box by putting the same amount of litter back in there. The odor stays to a minimum, and you don’t need to clean a lot either. Although you will need to change the litter every month or maybe sooner depending on how many cats are using it.


How Does a Silica litter box work?

Another popular choice among cat owners is the silica gel litter. It is also known as the best litter box for cats. These are just litter pearls that are made of silica. Even though they have a solid exterior for their appearance, they have hollowed spaces in them. This is the very reason they can be used as cat litter materials. To use the silica litter, you will need to make sure the litter is big enough. And the reason behind that is described in the working process below.

As you already know, the silica pearls have a hollowed-out space inside them. So, whenever your cat urinates in the litter box, the silica works just like a sponge. It soaks up the moisture and odor from the urine and keeps it trapped inside the hollow space. That way, the exterior of the silica gel still stays dry so that you can touch them.

Later on, the moisture trapped inside the pearls evaporates while keeping the odor trapped inside. There are some things you need to take note of. Firstly, the litter needs to be deep so that the pearls can trap the urine moisture and odor. Otherwise, the urine will go to the bottom of the box. Secondly, you will need to rake the litter daily to create an escape for the moisture to evaporate. This silica litter can last up to one month without any cleaning.


How do Biodegradable litter boxes Work?

Now, if you are an eco-friendly person, then you can opt for various bio-degradable litters. There are many options, such as corn, newspaper, pine, wheat, and many more. Different litters work differently here. Some of these can make clumps using the starch present in them. This works like a bentonite litter. And some work like the clay litter and silica pearls they absorb the urine and leave some existence behind. But obviously, these aren’t the most convenient choices for litters.

These were the different cat litters and their working process. Now, you can’t just choose your favorite one or choose the popular one here. You will need to checkout with your cat. You will need to select the one your cat prefers. As every cat is different, their preferences will be different as well. Choose the cat litter that your cat feels reliable to use.



There you go, we got you the answer for how a cat litter box works?”. Knowing this will help you a lot to get the best cat litter box. At least you will now know where to start and which one you prefer for your cat. Then, if that doesn’t work out for your cat, you can go for other choices. We have given you all types of information regarding cat litters and their usage for that purpose. Hopefully, this will clear out your confusion regarding cat litters.

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