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Understanding Clay, Silica and Biodegradable Cat Litter

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There are many different types of cat litters available, but essentially most of them fall into three distinct categories: clay based, silica based and biodegradable.

Cat litter care is important as poor care can jeopardise a cat’s health and cause urinary problems. Ideally you want to take care of your cat’s litter tray in the easiest, most efficient and environmentally friendlyway.


Non-clumping clay cat litter is the oldest type of commercial cat litter and is still widely available on the market today. Clay is still popular as it’s a great absorber and cheaply priced. Odour control can be a problem - as the clay becomes soiled and can no longer absorb liquid.

You have to throw out the whole litter tray once it is full. Approximately once a week the tray will need to be emptied, cleaned and replaced. This means non-clumping cat litter is not very environmentally friendly. As it is not biodegradable it has to be disposed in a landfill contributing to the 1/3 of waste that will sit in UK landfill sites forever!

Clay cat litter also comes in clumping. The addition of a special type of clay known as ‘bentonite’ allows the litter to clump when it becomes wet. Many cat owners will have a preference between clumping and non-clumping cat litter – but do you know the difference?

Clumping litters claim about 70% of the market, probably because they require less cleaning and work. With clumping cat litter you don’t throw out the whole tray, you just scoop out the urine and fecal clumps daily – this also makes clumping cat litter more environmentally friendly. 

Silica Cat Litter

Silica cat litter, also known as ‘crystallised’ cat litter, is formed from a silica gel. This gel is very absorbent and also provides odour control. The silica used in these products is similar to the desiccant that is often found in pill bottles to keep their contents dry.

This type of litter is very popular due to its lasting value. A single usage of crystal cat litter can last in a cat’s litter tray for an entire month. Note – this only applies to cat urine, you still have to scoop out your cat’s solid waste every day. Because the tray doesn't have to changed as often as clay or biodegradable litters, crystal cat litters come in more manageable bag sizes. 

They tend to produce less dust than clay litters, but some cat owners are concerned about the possibility the litter may be dangerous if ingested in large amounts. The jagged crystalline can also be very hard on a cat’s paws.

Biodegradable Cat Litter

Biodegradable cat litter is a plant based litter and a very environmentally friendly ‘green’ product. Such litters may be made from recycled paper products, or plant based materials such as pine, wheat, corn, beet pulp and soybean. There are lots of natural alternatives available on the market today, which are biodegradable and made with 100% natural products. 

Biodegradable litter can tend to be more expensive than traditional clay litters, but most biodegradable litters last longer than the equivalent size of clay litters. Unlike clay based litter that has to go landfill, natural cat litters can be disposed with your garden waste, as part of your own compost and clumps can be flushed straight down the toilet.

Though a large quantity of either clay or silica would need to be ingested to really to be dangerous to your cat, biodegradable cat litters provide an alternative for those who are concerned about that possibility.

Biodegradable litter is available in clumping and non-clumping varieties.

We offer a clumping and non-clumping biodegradable cat litter that is a completely natural alternative to clay-based litters. It absorbs up to 300% of its weight in liquid and the patented odour control formulation removes unwanted smells permanently rather than simply masking them. For more information & to buy please visit our website. 



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