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During my time as a cat parent, I’ve gone back and forth between different types of litters. Rarely do I use clay litters simply based on the environmental consequences of strip mining. I imagine all the work that went into getting this clay, which is usually dusty anyway, and then sits in landfills forever and ever simply because our cats need a place to do their business. Instead, I try to find natural cat litters, especially ones that utilize industrial waste in creative ways. That’s exactly how I felt when I first tried BLUE Naturally Fresh years ago.
BLUE Naturally Fresh cat litter is made from walnut shells, which Blue Buffalo advertises have great odor control, minimal dust, and absorbent.
That all sounds great, right? The leftover walnut shells from the walnut growing industry could find a happy home in our litter boxes and we could stop mining for clay litter!
Currently, Billy and I are wading through 2 bags of BLUE Naturally Fresh Quick-Clumping cat litter and are not excited about it. I got the bags at a great price at Petsmart and remembered vaguely positive memories about the brand previously (although we never feed Blue Buffalo cat food; I’ve read too many horror stories).
Maybe I didn’t notice before because Henry, my first cat, was an orange tabby, but this stuff is dusty! Billy’s white paws look like he dipped in a cocoa powder bath. I was afraid the powder would cover everything he climbs on, and fortunately, I have not noticed any of our belongings turning litter-colored.
The children in my life also think the litter looks like chocolate or cat food and have asked if the box of litter was Billy’s food…
Since the litter pieces are small, they seem to track even more around the house. I think all cats are terrible about keeping litter in the box, but these small pieces seem to travel better than others. We’ve started using this litter pad to collect the mess!
The most disappointing feature of this litter is poor odor control. We use a Litter Genie to keep the box clean in between full cleanings. I’ve noticed more and more odor coming out of the Litter Genie, which we did not notice with the ökocat wood litter we used before.
Moderate Clumping Ability
I also find this litter to be a mediocre clumper. I used to rely on pelleted pine litters and despised the lack of clumping. It always made the litter box seem like a mess and I didn’t want to buy a sifter, etc. Once I tested out clumping clay and pine litters, I was impressed with how much easier they are to clean! This litter does an alright cleaning job for wet messes and it’s easy enough to scoop out solids. Still, it seems less effective than many other litters I’ve tried.
Still, the price point isn’t bad, especially when you find a sale, and this is a great way to reuse an industrial waste product like walnut shells. However, once these bags are gone, we are going to look for something else!
Tell me – what is your tried and true natural cat litter? I’m shopping for something better!