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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Interesting Facts about the Anatomy of Cats

Interesting facts about the anatomy of a cat

Cats have 220° field of view where humans only have 180°.
 
Cats' sense of smell is 14 times stronger than that of humans.
 
Cats have 30 permanent teeth, while adult humans have 32.
 
Cats have 30 vertebrae, while humans only have 25.
 
Cats have 230 bones in their bodies, this is 24 more than humans.


Copyright © 2007 Persian Kitten Empire - http://PersianKittenEmpire.Com

Cats have a body temperature of between 101 and 102.2 °F (38 and 39 °C).

The lifespan of cats are usually between 15 and 20 years.
 
Cats have a heart rate of between 120 - 240 beats per minute. (This varies highly between different breeds cats)

Cats take between 20 - 40 breaths per minute in an inactive state. (This varies highly between different breeds cats)

The print on a cat's nose is like that of a fingerprint of a human, each is unique.

Cats have a top speed of about 30 mp/h (48.28 km/h).

ref: http://www.cat-urine.net

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cat Facts - Did you know that

Cat Facts - I did not know ...

• The cat's tail is used to maintain balance.

• Sir Isaac Newton is not only credited with the laws of gravity but is also credited with inventing the cat flap.

• Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

• When a cats rubs up against you, the cat is marking you with it's scent claiming ownership NOT vise versa :)

• Cats must have fat in their diet as they are unable to produce it on their own.

• It has been scientifically proven that owning cats is good for our health and can decrease the occurrence of high blood pressure and other illnesses.

Copyright © 2007 Persian Kitten Empire - http://PersianKittenEmpire.Com


• Stroking a cat can help to relieve stress, and the feel of a purring cat on your lap conveys a strong sense of security and comfort.

• The ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to realize the cat's potential as a vermin hunter and tamed cats to protect the corn supplies on which their lives depended.

• The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled over the last fifty years.

• A cat has more bones than a human being; humans have 206 and the cat has 230 bones.

• A cat's hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs.

• Cats see six times better in the dark and at night than humans.

• Cats eat grass to aid their digestion and to help them get rid of any fur in their stomachs.

• A healthy cat has a temperature between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius.

Friday, December 14, 2012

VERY Interesting Facts About CATS

Interesting facts about cats.

Cats do strange things and behave in some very interesting ways. Read through the following interesting facts about cats and you will be amazed by the meaning behind some cat behaviors. You will also find some lesser-known information about cats.
Note: All the facts on this page applies to domestic cats.
Very interesting facts about cats and there behaviour.

1.  The cat was seen as a sacred animial in ancient Egypt, and the history of domestic cats dates back to as early as 8000 years.
2.  The biggest breed of domesticated cats are called a Maine Coon cat and weighs up to 11 kg.
3.  Cats are some of the smartest animals and can interpret a human's mood and feelings.
4.  The average cat sleeps between 12-14 hours a day.
5.  Cats paw (repeatedly treading on a spot - often it's owner) to mark their territory.

6.  Cats sweat through the bottom of their paws and rub this off as a marking mechanism.
7.  Cats can be tought how to use the toilet.

8.  White cats with blue eyes are quite often born deaf.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cats in Guiness World Records

Cat World Records according to Guinness World Records


1. Oldest Cat - The oldest cat ever lived is Creme Puff who was born on August 3, 1967. Creme Puff's owner, Jake Perry in Austin, Texas, USA. 

Creme Puff (August 3, 1967 – August 6, 2005), was a female cat who died at age 38 years and 3 days. She was the oldest cat ever recorded, according to the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records

photo: by Mark Sutherland - http://amazing-petscharm.blogspot.com/
 

Creme Puff and Jake Perry's other long-lived cat
Creme Puff lived with her owner, Jake Perry, in Austin, Texas, United States. Perry also owned Granpa Rexs Allen, a registered sphynx. Granpa was claimed to have been born in Paris, France in 1964 and died 1998, aged 34 years and 2 months and was posthumously awarded 1999 Cat of the Year by Cats & Kittens magazine. Granpa was featured in an earlier edition of Guinness World Records. The co-authors of at least one book have pondered whether the longevity of Perry's cats may have had something to do with an unusual diet of, among other things, bacon and eggs, asparagus, and broccoli, concluding that Perry "must be doing something right."

 
2. Cat with Most Toes - The world record for the cat with most toes belongs to Jake who has 28 toes, with 7 on each paw. (Cats with more than 5 toes on a paw is called polydactyl cats) 

photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polydactylcat.jpg





A polydactyl cat is a cat with a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly), a type of cat body type genetic mutation that causes the cat to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws. Cats with this genetically inherited trait are most commonly found along the East Coast of North America (in the United States and Canada) and in South West England and Wales.

Nicknames for polydactyl cats include "boxing cats", "mitten cats", "mitten-foot cats", "snowshoe cats", "thumb cats", "six-fingered cats", "Cardi-cats", "Hemingway cats", and "double-pawed cats." Two specific breeds recognized by some but not all cat fancier clubs are the American Polydactyl and Maine Coon Polydactyl, and named regional populations include the Boston thumb cat, Cardi-cat, Ithacat, and Vermont snowshoe cat.


3. Longest Whisker -  The record for the longest whisker on a cat measured 19 cm (7.5 in) and belongs to Missi, a Maine coon who lives with her owner, Kaija Kyllönen. The whiskers were measured in Finland on December 22, 2005

Previous longest whisker on a cat measured 17.4 cm (6.8 in) on July 30, 2004 and belong to Mingo, a Maine coon (also the biggest breed of domesticated cats), who lives with her owner, Marina Merne in Turku, Finland. 

photo credit: http://www.chicagonow.com



4. Most expensive cat - A Californian Spangled Cat was bought for $24,000 (£15,925) in January 1987 and was the display cat from the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book of 1986.
 
5. Longest Cat - If Frieda Ireland’s pet cat Leo were a human being he would weigh about 100 kg (220 lb) and stretch over 2.5 m (8 feet) tall. As it is, the mammoth moggie is as long as an 8-year-old child and has paws so big they can fit into a size 2 child’s shoe! 

Verismo’s Leonetti Reserve Red – otherwise known as Leo – is a Maine Coon cat owned by Frieda Ireland and Carroll Damron of Chicago. Normally a large breed, Maine Coons often weigh as much as 10 kg (22 lb), but Leo weighs in at a mog-nificent 15.8 kg (35 lb) and measures a record-breaking 121.9 cm (48 in) from nose to tail. 

6. Largest Collection of Cat Memorabilia - Since 1979, Florence Groff of France has amassed a record-breaking collection of 11,717 cat-related items. Among the collection are 2,118 different cat figurines (48 of which are fridge magnets), 86 decorative plates, 60 pieces of crystalware, 140 metallic boxes, 9 lamps, 36 stuffed toys, 41 painted eggs, and 2,666 pussy postcards. 

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Top 20 Fun Facts About Cats

Top 20 Fun Facts About Cats




1. Cats weigh an average of 12 pounds. The heaviest cat on record weighed nearly 47 pounds. The lightest was one pound, eight ounces.

2. Puss, a cat from England, lived to be 36 in human years: the oldest cat on record.


3. Researchers have tried mouse-flavored cat food. The cats who were introduced to it refused to eat it.

4. Cats will spend about a third of the day grooming. The process is helped along by the backwards-facing spikes on their tongues. Now you know why it feels like being rubbed with sandpaper when they lick you.


5. Cats have five toes on each front foot, but only four on each back foot.

6. Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows in mourning when their cats died. And if someone killed a cat, he or she could get the death penalty.


7. Kittens will start dreaming when they’re about one week old.
 
8. Groups of kittens are “kindles,” while groups of adult cats are “clowders.”

9. One litter of kittens can be produced by more than one father.


10. Many cats don’t have eyelashes.




11. Ailurophiles – people who love cats – always want to know more about their favorite pets. Here are some facts about house cats that you might not already know.

12. Many people think that cats are colorblind, but it’s a myth. Now we know that cats can see blues, reds and greens.

13. They will also spend about 16 hours a day sleeping.

14. Bluebell, a Persian cat, had fourteen kittens in one litter: the largest single litter in which every kitten survived.

15. Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door.

16. Cats rarely meow at other cats.





17. You might think it’s disgusting when your cat brings you dead prey (like a bird or mouse), but you should thank her anyway. She thinks that she’s bringing you a present.

18. A cat’s heart beats up to 140 times per minute, or about twice as fast as a human’s.
19. When kittens are born, their eyes are blue – but they often change color as the babies grow.

20. Cats can be trained to use the toilet as their litter box. Some can even be taught to flush when they’re done.


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ref: http://www.bigpawdesigns.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top Cat Gooming Tips

Groom Your Cat - Very Important Grooming Tips


Your feline will look (and feel!) like the cat’s meow after a good grooming session. 


By nature, cats are extremely fastidious. You’ve no doubt watched your kitty washing herself several times a day. For the most part she can take care of herself very well, thank you, but sometimes she’ll need a little help from you.

Make Grooming as Enjoyable as Possible - For the Both of You!


Grooming sessions should be fun for the both of you, so be sure to schedule them when your cat’s relaxed, perhaps after exercise or eating. You want your pet to remember grooming sessions in a positive way, so you never want to risk losing your temper. If you’ve had a stressful day or are in a bad mood, it’s probably not a good time to groom your cat.

Keep your first grooming sessions short - just 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually lengthen the time until your pet is used to the routine. You should also get your pet used to being handled. Get in the habit of petting every single part of your cat - including ears, tail, belly and back - and especially the feet! 


And keep in mind, a little patience can go a long way. If your cat is extremely stressed out, cut the session short and try again when she’s calmer. Unfortunately, most cats do not like baths, so you may need another person to help. And remember to pile on the praise and offer her a treat when the session is over.

1. Brushing


Regular sessions with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free.

If your cat has short hair, you only need to brush once a week:
  • First, use a metal comb and work through her fur from head to tail.
  • Next, use a bristle or rubber brush to remove dead and loose hair.
  • Be extra-gentle near her chest and belly.
  • If your cat has long hair, you will need to brush every day:
    - Start by combing her belly and legs; be sure to untangle any knots.
    - Next, brush her fur in an upward motion with a bristle or rubber brush.
    - To brush her tail, make a part down the middle and brush the fur out on either side.

2. Bathing


If your cat’s coat becomes greasy and oily, or if she’s gotten into something sticky or smelly, she’ll benefit from a bath. Use a mild shampoo that’s safe to use on cats, and follow these easy steps:
  1. First, give your pet a good brushing to remove all dead hair and mats.
  2. Place a rubber bath mat in a sink or tub to provide secure footing.
  3. Put your cat in a tub or sink that has been filled with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
  4. Use a spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, a large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup will do.
  5. Gently massage in shampoo, working from head to tail.
  6. Thoroughly rinse with a spray hose or pitcher; again, avoid the ears, eyes and nose
  7. Dry your pet with a large towel.

3. Nail Clipping


Most people really don’t handle their cats’ feet until they are about to clip the nails and then…watch out! Some animals can get very upset at this totally foreign feeling. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your cat used to having her feet touched before you attempt a nail trim. Rub your hand up and down her leg and then gently press each individual toe—and be sure to give her lots of praise and some food treats as you do this. Every animal is different, but chances are that within a week or two of daily foot massage, your cat will accept nail clipping with too much fuss. Here’s how to do it:
  • Begin by applying gentle pressure to the top of the foot and cushiony pad underneath—this will cause her to extend her claws.
  • Use sharp, high-quality cat nail scissors to cut off the white tip of each nail, just before the point where it begins to curl.
  • Take care to avoid the quick, a vein that runs into the nail. This pink area can be seen through the nail.
  • If you do accidentally cut into this pink area, it may bleed, in which case you can apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding. 
ref: ASPCA http://www.aspca.org
 
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Persian Cat Food

Best Food for Persian Cats

Persian Cats Diet

Special Food for Persian Cats and Persian Kittens

 Royal Canin Persian 30 is Rated 7.0 by Good Guide
This very good! (Best Overall Rating is 7.5)
Read more about indepandant research ranking HERE

Nowadays there are so many pet products available hence a pet owner should be careful about what quality products they are purchasing for their pets. One is required to be all the more careful when buying a Persian cat’s diet food items…


There are many types of diets available for Persian cats and owners generally have a specific type of food they prefer to give to their pet cats. The list of the common foods for a Persian is as follows

•    Chicken
•    Raw meat
•    Partially raw diet
•    Cat meat
•    Cat biscuits

The governing factor to a Persian cat’s health is a stable and suitable diet since this breed of cats is slightly more sensitive towards food as compared to other cats. Persian cats generally also require more vitamins in comparison to other cats, and if needed you can purchase supplements from animal stores, however if provided with a balanced diet that consists of an adequate amount of vitamins the supplements would not be required.

Feeding Kittens
The type of food and its quality is also dependent upon the age of your Persian cat. It is recommended that Persian cats of a month old to two months be fed milk designed specifically for kittens. Then as the kitten grows to 4 months up till it reaches 12 months you should start feeding it soft foods such as chicken and food enriched with vitamins to ensure a healthy growth of the kitten.
There should be optimal nutrition so that from the start you can help your Persian build up a strong and healthy immune system, which would then in turn support your pet’s natural defenses against the negative effects of aging & illness that might threaten your pet and also against any physical and environmental stress.

Rotation diet
Then as your Persian grows to a year old up until it reaches the age of ten the preferred diet should include Royal Canin Adult Persian cat foods that are designed for Persian cats specifically. Generally what pet owners tend to do is feed their pets the same diet everyday, and if by chance there is some unhealthy factor with the source of your pets’ food then it will be unavoidable for your pet not to fall sick. For this reason a system of rotation diet is recommended for your pet.

Diet & Common Health Problems
This regimen can play a vital role in helping your pet build a stronger and healthier immune system. If the diet is not correct then the Persian cat is susceptible to develop certain health problems. The most commonly found health problems in Persian cats include food intolerance, allergies, diabetes, digestive problems and especially obesity since Persian cats are not at all as active as compared to cats of a different breed. Hence Persian cats need a balanced and carefully weighed diet. Human food is highly likely to lead the cats to becoming obese which can then in turn lead to various health problems and then can eventually cause the death of your cat.

Persian Cat Diet Supplements
If the cat’s diet is well supervised and the quality as well as the quantity is well regulated and your cat manages to live up to 10 years of age then it is recommended that you feed your cat a mixed diet, consisting of Royal Canin anti age and skin re-generation supplements. Another very important vitamin that a Persian cat needs is vitamin B, since it helps in maintaining a healthy coat.

ref: http://white-persian-cats.com
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It seems that this dry food for Persian Cats is pretty good to give it a try
If you have tried it please give us a quick feedback
Thanks!!!

The Top alternative would be:

Science Diet Adult Indoor

Ranked: 7.5

Friday, December 2, 2011

Best Cat Food


We at PersianKittenEmpire.Com have been searching for answers regarding the best cat food and what we found is mostly advertising.  Which is very upsetting because we are searching for independent study as well feedback from viewers.  
  • We are looking for your responses.   
  • We need to know if you agree on not.
  • We would really appreciate your feedback on this. 
This is the best the we could find and we want your opinion!!!

Science Diet Mature Adult Indoor takes the top slot while Friskies Grillers' Blend comes in last among more than 250 dry cat food products rated by GoodGuide. Science Diet Adult Optimal Care Gourmet Turkey Entree Minced tops the list of more than 350 wet cat food products, with 9 Lives Chicken & Tuna Dinner finishing last.

Consumer Ally has teamed up with GoodGuide, whose experts have rated more than 65,000 consumer goods -- including food, toys, personal care and household products -- using factors that include concern for the environment, personal health and social responsibility, as consumers begin increasingly to consider those in addition to price.GoodGuide's ratings also include a brief explanation for each category, though the user can drill down into each score for more detail. The health score measures a product's potential health impact on consumers. The environment score is based on the impact of the product in question and the company's overall policies and practices. The society score evaluates social impact, which can include treatment of workers, workplace diversity, community involvement and corporate ethics.

As we wrote about on Friday, pet food is easily the most requested item by GoodGuide users, and the full ratings were published today, including methodology. Because GoodGuide rated both dry and wet food for cats and dogs, we've decided to publish two separate articles. You can read about the cat food ratings below, and the dog food ratings here.

GoodGuide rated 271 dry cat food products, which also included useful information for consumers on dry cat food. Below are its top-five best and worst products. In order to avoid repetition of a particular brand (Science Diet accounts for the top 19 dry cat foods, while Purina makes 9 of the 10 worst), we've skipped ahead to the next best or worst brand.

The Best Dry Cat Food
  • Science Diet Mature Adult Indoor (7.4)
  • Evo Weight Management, 15.4 Lb (7.2)
  • Eukanuba Adult Cat Lamb & Rice Formula (7.1)
  • Innova Cat and Kitten Dry Cat and Kitten Food, 15 Lb (7.0)
  • California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato Adult Dry Cat (6.8)
The Worst Dry Cat Food

  • Nutro Natural Choice Indoor Adult Formula, 7 Lb. (5.9)
  • Natural Balance Original Ultra Ultra Premium Dry Cat Food (5.7)
  • Whiskas Purrfectly with Chicken (5.7)
  • Purina Deli Cat Cat Food (5.3)
  • Friskies Grillers' Blend (5.3)
You can view all the top-rated dry cat food (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated dry cat food (in ascending order) here.

GoodGuide also rated 364 wet cat food products, which also includes useful information on wet cat food. Below are its top-five best and worst products. In order to avoid repetition of a particular brand, we've skipped ahead to the next best or worst brand.


The Best Wet Cat Food
  • Science Diet Adult Optimal Care Gourmet Turkey Entree Minced (7.3)
  • Innova Kitten Flex Chicken & Brown Rice Stew, 13.2 Oz (7.3)
  • Evo 95% Chicken & Turkey, 13.2 Ounce (6.7)
  • Purina Pro Plan Tuna Entree (6.5)
  • Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Herring (6.5)
The Worst Wet Cat Food
  • Purina Pro Plan White Meat Chicken & Vegetable Entree In Gravy (5.5)
  • Special Kitty Select Gourmet Cat Food Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Entree (5.3)
  • Friskies Classic Pate Salmon Dinner (5.3)
  • Fancy Feast Yellowfin Tuna Primavera In A Classic Sauce with Garden Veggies and Greens (5.3)
  • 9Lives Chicken & Tuna Dinner (5.1)
You can view all the top-rated wet cat food (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated wet cat food (in ascending order) here

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ref: GoodGuide

Monday, November 28, 2011

Best Cat Litter

The Best Cat Litter... and the Worst 


Cat in the box picture
Photo: wolfsavard/Flickr
Just as us humans have our preferences of toilet paper, cats, too, are finicky about their lavatories. In fact, the kind of litter you buy may affect your kitty's bathroom habits, so unless you and your cat are 100% satisfied, you might want to experiment with making a change. Plus, with all the new kinds of litter out there, you may find one that's better for your cat, yourself and even the environment.

What follows is a litter primer that lists pros, cons, and recommended brands. For guidance and advice, we went to three heralded cat experts: Dr. Peter L. Borchelt, a renowned animal behavior consultant; Dusty Rainbolt, author of Kittens for Dummies; and holistic health counselor Celia Kutcher. And of course, we also polled the best experts of all -- cat owners.

After the jump, find information and recommendations for the best clay, silica, corn, pine, wheat, soy, aspen, and even tea leaf litters!



- Types of Cat Litter -



Photo: Amazon
Clay
The granddaddy of all litters, clay has been around since the 1940s. There are two varieties: clumping (i.e. scoopable) and non-clumping. Both come from strip mining, which isn't very easy on the environment. The clumping kind is made from clays containing aluminum and silica, allowing it to absorb liquids and form sticky clumps.

Pros: Easy to find and inexpensive. Borchelt says that, when it comes to what cats like, clay litters are "the highest preferred stuff." The scoopable kind usually clumps well -- no accidental crumbling -- while the non-clumping kind leaves behind no icky-sticky residue on the pan. (Likewise, claims one cat owner, "they don't stick to the cat's bunghole.")

Cons: There has been little to no published evidence to back it up, but conventional wisdom dictates that clay litters can be harmful to your cat's health. The non-clumping kind is similar to clay polymer products that are often used to absorb motor oil (widely considered carcinogenic), while the clumping kind contains silica dust (also widely considered carcinogenic). However, Borchelt -- one of the few people in the world to conduct studies on the subject -- says that the harm of these litters is in the dust that's generated when they are poured or pawed at, and that "compared to even ten years ago, the clay litters that are out today generate very little dust."

Recommended brands: Borchelt is a big fan of Scoop Away because it's "pretty undusty, readily available, cheap, and clumps extremely well so that I hardly have to change the litter box." Rainbolt likes lavender-scented clay litters -- in her at-home experimenting, she's found that it's a scent cats respond well to -- especially Ever Clean ("excellent") and Fresh Step ("a good, odor-controlling product. I like the activated charcoal.")


Photo: Amazon
Silica
You know those little "Do Not Eat" packets in your prescription pill bottles that keep meds moisture-free and fresh? That's how silica litters work. "There are all kinds of little catacombs inside these little balls of silica that absorb liquids," explains Rainbolt. "And they are really good about absorbing odors, too." Made from silica gel and sometimes also referred to as crystals, this kind of litter is not at all the same thing as the silica dust found in clay litters.

Pros: Cat owners have lots of praise to heap on silica litters: "It's the only kind that really absorbs the smell." "No dusty residue." "Stays fresh practically forever as long as you stir it around daily." And the experts agree: "Pulls moisture out of poo, making it really, really easy to clean up," explains Kutcher. "Cats seem to like its pretty comfortable texture," adds Rainbolt. "No pan cleaning; you just throw it out."

Cons: One cat owner said, "It can be hard to tell when it needs changing." You can tell when silica litters need changing when you finally (usually after about a month) start smelling cat urine. Also, if you notice the cat pee beginning to pool amongst the silica balls, your litter has reached its saturation point. Different brands feature different-sized balls; says Rainbolt, "the little ones will travel all over your house," and can be tough on your feet should you step on them.

Recommended brands: Target's house brand earned praise, as did Space, which is carried exclusively by Trader Joe's. Honorable mention goes to Tidy Cats Crystals.


Photo: Amazon
Corn
What it is and how it works: There are corn litters made from cobs and there are corn litters made from whole kernels. Cob litters tend to work better for caged pets, including birds. Kernel litters, because of their naturally porous structure, absorb ammonia and clump, making them the stuff of a good cat litter. While you might find a cob litter marketed for cats, Rainbolt warns that these "clump very soft and fall apart," so stick with kernels.

Pros: Digestible in cats' bellies if accidentally ingested while cleaning themselves, plus it's flushable -- though you should check with your water municipality to find out if it's safe to flush cat poops (California sea otters were recently deemed threatened by increased floaters). Its clumps "form so hard and quickly that you can even use it in a self-cleaning box," says Kutcher, who also claims it lasts long: "A seven-pound bag lasts me more than a month."

Cons: It's pricier than other litter varieties, plus Rainbolt says, "They tend to come with a lot of scent," which one cat owner seconded by saying, "The litter itself smelled weird." Also, the clumps are so hard that "you can't just throw it in your toilet and flush it," says Kutcher, "or you will do a number on your pipes like nobody's business. You have to let it sit in the bowl for a few minutes."

Recommended brands: The world's only whole-kernel litter is World's Best Cat Litter, and the name says it all; all three experts gave it raves. Rainbolt and Kutcher use it at home.


Photo: Amazon
Pine
What it is and how it works: Pine sawdust is pressed into little pellets. When the cat goes wee-wee, the pellets expand and absorb.

Pros: One devout cat owner raves, "No chemicals, no odors, no dust, and it's biodegradable."

Cons: Can be pricey and sometimes hard to find. It doesn't clump, so you'll have to change the box regularly rather than scooping out waste. Kutcher warns, "I find it can stick to coats," while Rainbolt says, "The pellet texture can be an issue for cats with sensitive paws."

Recommended brands: Feline Pine takes the prize from pet experts and owners alike. Says Kutcher, "It's been around a long time and it's a very trusted brand. They made it for the right reason: to keep cats healthy." Borchelt also notes that Nature's Miracle "seems to clump very well and is a nice, alternative litter."


Photo: Amazon
Wheat
What it is and how it works: Wheat litter's closest cousin is corn litter, as both are grain-derived, so it works the same as the corn kernel litters.

Pros: Non-toxic, naturally clumping, biodegradable -- it's all the things that those concerned about environment and health look for in a litter.

Cons: Big-time sticking to the litter box. Explains Rainbolt, "If you ever made flour glue as a kid, you know what I mean. I've had to throw away litter boxes when I can't get the wheat litter off." Borchelt also says that he gave wheat litter a try a few years ago, as did some of his clients, and it attracted bugs. "They were like little flies. They were horrible, and it took us a while to figure out they were coming from the litter."

Recommended brands: Kutcher likes Swheat Scoop, while Rainbolt says the key here isn't the name, but what it contains: Look for cornstarch as an ingredient, as those kinds don't stick to the pan as much.


Photo: The Organic Farm Store
Soy
What it is and how it works: The latest in litter wizardry, soy litter was unveiled in 2007 by The Organic Farm Store, a family-run business based in Washington state that produces organic fertilizers. Company founder Scott DeWaide said that he stumbled upon the idea after discovering that soybean meal had good water retention when used in his soil amendments. Soy's enzymes also make it naturally odor-absorbent, and when potato starch was added, the clumping began!

Pros: Not only is it all-natural, biodegradable and flushable -- it's made with meal-grade soybean, which means you can even eat it! As for cats, "It will pass right through their system," says DeWaide.

Cons: Only available at The Organic Farm Store's website and a select few independent pet boutiques. Hasn't been around long enough to develop a consensus as to its effectiveness, but Kutcher suggests there might be some unhealthy side effects. "Soy can affect female estrogen levels; in a very extreme case, you could wind up with some very bad issues with female cats."

Recommended brands: Right now, The Organic Farm Store's brand, called Close to Naturenow, is the only soy litter on the market.


Photo: Gentle Touch
Aspen
What it is and how it works: Also derived from trees, aspen litter works the same as pine.

Pros: The scent of pine can be a natural repellent for cats, so if you like using pine litter but your cat doesn't seem to go for the scent, aspen should satisfy both of you. "I find it to be a better ammonia absorber than pine, and it controls odor much better," says Rainbolt. "When I did side-by-side tests of aspen vs. pine, the aspen won every time."

Cons: Very hard to find and not many brands to choose from.

Recommended brands: Rainbolt likes Gentle Touch's aspen litter. (They also make a pine kind.)


Photo: Amazon
Tea Leaves
What it is and how it works: A popular home remedy for smelly cat litter is to sprinkle dried leaves of green tea into the pan. So, of course, some folks got the idea to make a whole litter out of the stuff. The antioxidants that make green tea so healthy to drink are also what make this litter not stink.

Pros: Flushable and biodegradable -- and thanks to those antioxidants, bacteria-killing! Kutcher says it's "just clean and simple stuff. The absorption is really nice and it doesn't stink. More health-conscious people use it." It's also relatively lightweight compared to many other types of litter.

Cons: Like many of the newer types of litter, it might be hard to find in stores, and pricier. Kutcher suggests making sure the brand you want to buy is a clumping kind, as "some brands do clump and others don't."

Recommended brands: Kutcher's heard good things about Green Tea Leaves Clumping Cat Litter. 

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