By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated March 29, 2010)
Pine pellet litters have become popular in recent years because they are more environmentally friendly than traditional clay kitty litters. Clay litters are generated via environmentally harmful strip mining, whereas pine-based kitty litter is made from lumber industry by-products, so no additional trees are cut down to produce it.
The Benefits of Pine-Based Cat Litters
Consumer reviews indicate that pine pellet cat litters have the following positive attributes:
- Pine products are natural, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly.
- The litter controls urine odours well (though not excrement odours).
- Most owners find the litter to be non-dusty and less likely to be tracked around the house than many other litter types.
- Pine litters are flushable in small quantities.
- The material is highly absorbent.
- Using natural wood provides a nice pine scent with no chemical perfumes.
- The litter is safe for kittens because it is all-natural and does not clump.
Problems Associated with Pine-Based Kitty Litters
Although many owners have had positive experiences with pine-based litters, some have noted problems such as the following:
- Because the litter is non-clumping, it must be changed frequently.
- Some cats dislike the texture and refuse to use it.
- Regular litter scoops are not designed to manage larger pellets, so a special scoop may be required.
- Pine pellets turn to sawdust when mixed with urine.
- Some cats like to play with the large pellets.
- Many stores do not carry pine-based litters.
Best Pine Cat Litter Brands Based on Consumer Reviews
Pine litter is not ideal for every cat or every owner, but the majority of consumers that have reviewed pine litter have found it to be just as good as or superior to traditional cat litter.
Consumer ratings of the leading brand of pine litter, Nature’s Earth Feline Pine, range from 4 to 5 out of 5 on Amazon.com, Epinions.com, Petco.com, and Petsmart.com. Reviews are more polarized on Viewpoints.com, with 57% of consumers rating the product 4 or 5 out of 5, but 28% giving it just 1 or 2 stars.
Other brands that have not been reviewed as extensively but have received very positive feedback at PetSmart include:
- EsquisiCat Envirofriendly Pine Cat Litter
- FreshAire with Bio-Filters Cat Litter Freshener in Fresh Pine (this company also makes a cedar-based litter)
- Naturals Pine Cat Litter
Additional pine kitty litter brands for which no reviews could be found are:
- Feline Fresh Pine Pellet Cat Litter from PlanetWise
- Simplicity Plus Natural Pine Litter
- Healthy Pet Cracked Pine Cat Litter