A few weeks ago, my bipedal staff decided to switch from clay litter to pine pellets. Let me tell you, it was rather traumatizing. One day, these kitties go from seeing fake dirt in their boxes to those little sticks that provoke an instinctual threat response, like in the videos you’ve seen of cats freaking out about cucumbers (don’t put a cucumber on the ground to scare your cat; it’s mean and it truly frightens them).
So the pellets were an adjustment. When we got over the shock, we discovered they are also weird to walk on. They crumble when urinated upon. But there is a bright side: they don’t cover up the smell of excrement. There’s nothing quite like seeing a human quickly get up when you poo to grab a plastic bag and take your present away while covering his nose and saying it’s the grossest thing he’s ever smelled. Good times.
If the humans were hoping it would help alleviate my allergies, their wishes were dashed. There is no significant change in that department. With that in mind…
Is pine litter worth it?
First of all, it’s cheaper, especially if you go buy a big bag of pine pellets for general use. It’s pretty easy to clean up with a sifting pan and it doesn’t track as much as regular litter. It’s also got that nice pine smell. Until the kitty poops.
If you don’t mind picking it up like you would a dog’s on a walk, you might like pine as a replacement for those expensive boxes you get at department stores. If you do, there are alternatives. Another thing to keep in mind when comparing to clay products is that it doesn’t contain crystals, which can cause urinary tract issues, and it doesn’t pose the same risks if ingested.
For my money, seeing the human run in with a bag is always worth it.