If you read my blog on a regular basis you’ll recall that we have five cats – Velcro, Kitty, Padmé, Anakin and Bella.
We love our cats (and our dog and fish too!). We want what is best for them so that they have a long, happy and healthy life. After all, pets are not something you have on a whim. They are a part of your family for their entire lifetime, upwards of 15 years or more (I had a cat live to be 22 years old – and she was Diabetic the last four years of her life).
Cats are wonderful creatures. They are loving, playful and bring joy to our lives. The downside to having a cat is the litter box. No one enjoys having a little box, but unfortunately it comes with having a cat unless you have a cat that does all it’s “business” outside.
With five cats I am forever cleaning out the litter box. Sometimes one cat will go, I’ll clean it out immediately and no sooner do I put the scoop back someone else has jumped into the litter box and did their business too. Cleaning the litter box is an all day and all night sort of thing.
The things I hate most about the litter box are…
- It creates a lot of dust, not only from pouring fresh litter but also when the cats walk in it or bury their “business” in it.
- It doesn’t always control the odor.
- It doesn’t always for firm, solid clumps.
I also worry about clay litter with our youngest cat, Bella. She has asthma, allergies and thyroid issues. I make sure she’s not around when I pour in new litter because I’m afraid the dust my trigger an attack. I also hear that clay litter is not good for your cat or the environment.
I was asked to try out Swheat Scoop kitty litter. Swheat Scoop is a wheat-based litter that is made from 100% biodegradable and renewable resources. That would make it an Earth-friendly litter.
According to the Swheat Scoop website…
This unique litter contains natural wheat enzymes that destroy litter box odors on contact. They work around the clock to keep your house smelling fresh and clean.
Swheat Scoop also contains natural wheat starches which form firm, solid clumps so you can scoop them out with ease. Which makes litter box cleanups a snap. Plus, wheat litter tracks less and doesn’t raise clay dust clouds when poured.
Swheat Scoop does look different then regular clay litters. It looks like little crumbled bits of corn (it’s not really corn, that is what it looks like in my opinion). Kind of like granules. I wasn’t sure if it would feel rough under my cat’s feet, or if it wouldn’t bother them at all.
You have to get your cat used to Swheat Scoop. You just can’t fill the litter box up with it and expect your cat to use it. What you need to do is put 3″ of Swheat Scoop in a clean litter box, topped with about 1″ of your regular litter. That way your can knows it’s litter because they smell their current litter with it.
I followed those directions. Two of my cats (Velcro & Padmé) were very “iffy” about the whole thing and it took them a few hours before they finally went in the box to do their business. One of my cats couldn’t care less (Kitty). Litter is litter. She just did her business and left.
Two other my other cats saw this litter as a new toy or bedding. Bella kept playing in the litter box, as if it was a new toy. She would hop in and out of the litter box, digging all around the litter and batting pieces around. It took her a while to get bored with playing with the litter.
Anakin thought it was a bed! He actually went inside the litter box and lied down and went to sleep. I had to chase him out several times because he was fast asleep inside the litter box.
After a few days I think our cats settled in to the notion that the new stuff in their litter box was there for them to do their business in, and not play or sleep with it.
Swheat Scoop is not dusty like clay litter. That was a huge “plus” for me. I hate litter dust! Not only because I don’t want Bella breathing it but also I don’t like that it gets all over the place (table, counter top, floor…).
As far as odor control goes, it’s hard to say. We never let things sit in the box for too long to begin with. I can usually tell when someone “goes” and I usually scoop it out as soon as they hop out of the litter box. With our condo on the market it’s super important to keep our home smelling cat-free.
There were a few times we smelled super fowl diarrhea (Bella had food that didn’t agree with her), but that was the first time any of our cats have had diarrhea, so I don’t know if that was the exception to the rule. Swheat Scoop controlled the odor just as well as our regular litter does.
Swheat Scoop didn’t track like our other litter did (thankfully). I hate having those little pieces all over the place. They get caught in our cats paws and then fall out when they walk around our condo. I am constantly vacuuming and sweeping just to get the litter up. I even find litter in the bedroom which is on the opposite side of our condo from where the litter box is. That is pretty gross! And that is litter that I DO see. Imagine what I’m NOT seeing? Ugh!
I think Swheat Scoop doesn’t track as much is because the granules are bigger and less likely to stick to the pads of your cat’s feet. My cats did manage to bring some of the Swheat Scoop out of the litter box with them, but nothing compared to our regular litter which got all over the place. The Swheat Scoop mostly was found around the general area of the litter box and not all over the condo.
Another thing that our cats did with our regular litter was step it it and then make little footprints all over the dark laminate floor. You could actually see the path the cat took just by the footprints. And that was on the laminate floor. They wall all over the carpet which we couldn’t see. Thankfully I didn’t see any walking trails with the Swheat Scoop.
Swheat Scoop does clump, but you can’t let it sit in the box too long because it turns into a super hard clump if you do. Thankfully I am normally on top of it so that wasn’t much of a problem. The only time we had to scoop super hard clumps was in the AM when we first go up since we were not scooping during the night.
I read that you can spray the bottom of the litter box with non-stick cooking spray or wax paper to keep the clumps from sticking to the box. I’m not sure if I am keen about either option.
Because this litter is wheat based some animals might think of it as food. Keep an eye out on your cats and even your dog and make sure they don’t consume the litter.
Price wise Swheat Scoop is considerable more expensive then the litter we normally buy. We buy a new package of litter every week. Swheat Scoop is twice as much as our regular litter. In fact Pet Co has a 35 pound package of our regular litter for LESS then a 14 pound package of Swheat Scoop. Even though Swheat Scoop is a healthier option for your pet and the environment, it’s not “budget friendly” for low budget families.
Price, for me, is the only downside. I would certainly prefer to continue to use Swheat Scoop for our cats, but right now it’s not financially possible. With five cats and having to purchase new litter on a weekly basis it would end up taking a huge chunk out of our budget. If we only had 1-2 cats and could have a package of Swheat Scoop last a month, without a doubt I would totally switch to Swheat Scoop.
I’m sorry for not including personal photos. I didn’t think a dirty litter box made for pleasant snapshots.
*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.