It is no secret that cats are pretty sensitive and picky as creatures. They are highly emotional about litter boxes and can be as rigid as they are with the kind of food they consume or the type of whisker they prefer. So, switching to a new litter brand can be a tricky job at hand.
Your cat may or may not respond well to the change in the litter box, which brings along the possibility of conflict in the household. It is advisable not to change the litter box unless required, and when it is, to try and get it right the first time!
If you are a new cat parent and the question ‘can changing cat litter brands make cats sick?’ bothers you too, this article is for you.
Can changing cat litter brands make cats sick?
We do not recommend changing litters unless necessary. It is because cats are hypoallergenic creatures and can react adversely to an abrupt switch in the litter. Some of these reactions can also be due to their effect on the cat’s overall health.
It is always advisable to research well before switching to a new litter brand, as choosing the correct litter for your cat is a big responsibility and requires you to be attentive.
However, if you notice these below-mentioned things, it is time for you to switch to a new litter –
- If your cat is not comfortable using the current litter and has difficulty digging there.
- Clumping litter is easier to clean, so wanting to shift from non-clumping litter to it is justifiable.
- Your existing litter brand is no longer available in the market.
How do cats react to new litter?
Each cat is unique, and so is their reaction to any form of change – especially to something as crucial as switching to a new litter brand. Sometimes these reactions can appear so that it may seem your cat is sick. But in reality, that is far from the truth. More often than not, your cat is just having an allergic reaction to the litter. It happens because certain ingredients present in the litter can cause allergic reactions in your cat. The severity of these reactions varies, but the symptoms are mainly running nose, sneezing, wheezing, and constant scratching.
The best time to switch to a new type of litter
The best time to switch to a new type of litter is when your cat is not reacting well to the existing litter. Start introducing small amounts of the new litter brand when you scoop away the existing one. Then, continue following the process till the entire litter is of the new brand. It ensures that your cat is well and does not undergo a stressful situation.
Here’s how To Switch a Litter
Changing to a new litter brand is tiresome and requires you to acquire knowledge of your cat’s preferences. While there are no hard and fast rules for the same, as every cat is unique, we have listed below some ways to help you have a seamless switch of brands.
Go through the different kinds of litter available in the market and see what works best for your cat. First, take time to understand the brand and how it functions. If unsure of your research, you can always ask in a public forum or consult a vet.
Second, when you change the litter, expect your cat to react aggressively out of stress. This change in a cat’s behavior occurs as cats do not respond well to any change.
The best way to reduce this stress is by ensuring that the other areas in your cat’s life are worry-free and far from any potential change. Try to access your cat’s behavior and take special care of it in the initial days.
Third, introduce the new litter brand gradually and steadily. Introducing your cat to the new litter needs adequate time to get acquainted with the brand. Do not rush through the process as it will only worsen the situation – most cats do not respond well to abrupt shifts and can go on a damage spree.
Please put in a certain amount daily and replace it with the amount you scoop out. Closely monitor your cat’s reaction to speed up or slow the introduction process. If your cat seems stressed, give it some rest before continuing with it. But if there is no change in its behavior, you are on the right track! Keep filling the box until it has no traces of the old litter brand.
Fourth, give your cat some litter options from the beginning. Expose it to two litter brands at the same time. Keep the old litter alongside the new, and see which litter it gravitates to – the trick lies in tempting your cat to want to try out the new litter.
The best way to know if it worked is to track your cat’s litter movements. If your cat uses the new litter brand for a few days, your plan is successful – it is a switch! But if not, you may have to wait a little longer.
It is a general tendency of cats to react when introduced to a new litter brand. So, the whole responsibility of a seamless adjustment lies in you as a cat parent. It would help if you were careful with the way you introduce your cat to a new brand – give it time rather than hurrying through the process. Trust me, the results of a steady introduction are much more effective than that not of a hasty one.