About Cat litter
There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing a cat litter. Tofu is the newest option which has been gaining a lot of popularity over the recent years.
Here at Paw&Tidy, we are cat experts. We're intimately familiar with features that are most important to cats and spoke to actual cat and cat furniture experts to do some of the research for you.
Our opinion is that tofu cat litter is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use cat litters available. So what exactly makes tofu cat litter so great? Read on...
What is tofu cat litter?
Not to be confused with the protein source you eat, it gets it's name because it's made from the food-grade pulp of soybeans (same as tofu that you eat), making it a non-toxic, 100% natural alternative to conventional cat litters. If you're curious, we recently compared tofu litter with clay litter to see how it differs from the industry standard.
Tofu cat litter comes in the form of cylinder-shaped granules that are soft and lightweight.
Most tofu cat litters come unscented to keep the natural integrity of the product, but you will find some brands add scents to their litter (more on tofu cat litter and odor down below). In addition, some cat litter brands will add colors to their tofu cat litter. Our recommendation is to stay with unscented and uncolored. The natural ingredients are already very absorbent and good at controlling odors.
Why Tofu Litter is Becoming Popular
Let’s go over some of the biggest benefits of tofu cat litter to help illustrate why it's becoming a popular option for cat families.
1. Health and safety
Tofu cat litter doesn’t contain any harmful toxins or synthetic materials (assuming you’re buying unscented, uncolored tofu cat litter, which we recommend). In addition, you’ll find that many conventional cat litters can cause respiratory issues in both cats and humans over time. This is NOT the case with tofu cat litter. Tofu cat litter is made from natural ingredients which are safe to ingest (although still not recommended over long periods of time) which is in stark contrast to other litters, where an emergency vet visit is usually required if your cat starts to eat it.
2. It does not track NEARLY as much and causes less mess overall
Because the pellets are larger than most litter kernels, it doesn't stick to your cat's paws as much. As such, it's extremely low-tracking, meaning you won’t find pieces of it spread throughout your entire home. It's way less dusty. And, it can easily be flushed down the toilet because it actually disintegrates in water.
Finally, because of its high absorbency, it doesn’t produce any odor. It's seriously a game changer.
3. It's insanely convenient
Tofu cat litter can safely be flushed down the toilet for easy disposal. It literally disintegrates in water so you don't need to keep a nasty garbage bag to keep the waste. Cleaning a litter box is probably no cat person's favorite chore, but with tofu cat litter, the process becomes so much more seamless. If flushability is a big deal for you, our list of the 5 best flushable cat litters might be worth a read.
When purchasing cat litter, you’re probably most concerned with finding a litter that is suitable for both you and your cat, but more cat owners are realizing the harmful effects that conventional cat litter is having on the planet.
Traditional cat litter ends up in the garbage, which then ends up in a landfill. Because these conventional clumping litters are designed to swell when exposed to water, they actually end up taking up even more space in landfills, which is concerning if you think about how many cat owners are dumping their cat litter into the trash.
Tofu cat litter is made from soybean byproducts, which would have ended up in landfills if it was not used in cat litter in the first place.
Drawbacks of Tofu Cat Litter
The three drawbacks of tofu cat litter are:
Mold: Tofu cat litter is made from natural organic ingredients, so it is susceptible to mold if not stored properly. The solution is simple: Store your tofu cat litter in a cool, dry, well-ventilated space. While tofu cat litter does have the potential to go moldy, if you store it correctly, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Price: Tofu cat litter may be more expensive than conventional cat litter, but most owners find the price is well worth the extra spending, considering the litter’s convenience. Because tofu cat litter is higher performing, you likely won’t have to clean your litter box as frequently, meaning you may pay more initially for a bag, but you’ll likely have to change the litter less frequently, saving you money in the long-term.
Flushing Concerns: Some cats have an infection called Toxoplasmosis which contaminates their feces and should not be flushed down the toilet. This is regulated on a municipal level, but according to the CDC, cats kept indoors that do not hunt prey, and are not fed raw meat are not likely to be infected with Toxoplasmosis. We’d recommend that you only flush feces of indoor cats, in municipalities which allow it (we know California is more strict regarding this so make sure to check).
How To Convert Your Cat to Tofu Cat Litter
When you've decided it's time to transition to tofu litter, follow these steps:
Step 1: Keep everything else the same
While transitioning, it’s important to keep everything else about the litter box the same. Don’t change the box, don’t change the location of the box, and don't do it if you've recently added another cat to the home. Everything else about the litter box and routine should remain the exact same in order to have the most success with the transition.
Step 2: Go slow
Slowly transition by gradually incorporating the new litter. For example, at first you can simply go for an 80/20 ratio, and over time, increase until your cat is exclusively using the new litter.
As cat people know, cats are smart, so they will likely notice the change. Be sure that the top layer of litter is composed of their old litter. This should help make the change less stressful.
Step 3: Positive associations
Save some of your cat’s feces from their old litter and add it to their new litter. Your cat will then associate it with their old litter. By bringing in feces from their old litter into the new one, you’ll signal to your cat that this is where they should do their business.
Step 4: Reward
Not every cat is going to respond to rewards, but if you have a cat who is food motivated, this may be a good option. When you see them successfully using the new litter, reward them with a couple of treats.