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Why Does My Clumping Cat Litter Not Clump? (+ Tips)

If you have noticed that your clumping litter is not clumping, you may be left puzzled and wondering why this is happening.

Why Does My Clumping Cat Litter Not Clump?

Your clumping litter may not clump if it is not absorbent enough. Some brands are better at dealing with this than others. Alternatively, you may have a specific area of the tray saturated with cat urine. Some cats frequent the same spot.

3 Best litters for clumping

Description Image My Rating
01. Arm & Hammer Clumping (Best Option)
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5 stars
02. Fresh Step Extreme Clumping litter
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03. Purina Tidy Cats Clumping litter
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4 stars

Now that you know why your litter may not be clumping, keep reading to learn how you can correct this if clumping litter is even a good choice if it can be mixed with non-clumping litter, and so much more.

Other reasons why your cat litter is NOT clumping:

Earlier I briefly mentioned some common reasons why your litter is not clumping. However, other reasons could lead to this. Therefore, in this section, I will share a few more with you:

Potential health issue 

One theory is that health issues, such as diabetes, could affect litter clumping. Although there is no hard evidence to support this, there are instances of cat owners who have had issues with their litter, only to discover their cat had a health issue.

For example, one cat owner, after getting their cat checked by the vet, discovered their cat’s urine had crystals. And, this was believed to be linked to their clumping problems.

It’s spraying instead of urinating

If your cat is spraying, instead of urinating, this may cause the clumping litter to not get wet enough in one area to form a clump. When a cat urinates, in a conventional way, it saturates one area to form a clump.

If you have a cat that is spayed or neutered, it can still spray. This is likely due to it having the need to mark its territory, which could be linked to the stress of fear of a new cat, or other territorial issues.

An excessive amount of urine

If the clumping litter is too wet it can struggle to dry out and form a clump. This can happen when your cat saturates the litter making it bordering on impossible to clump.

There are several reasons for this. For example, your cat may have a health issue, such as diabetes. This condition can cause a cat to drink more, and therefore pee more than average.

Other reasons could be that your cat is naturally consuming more water than average. This could be because it eats a lot of wet food and consumes a lot of water from a water fountain.

Lastly, it could be happening because the litter box is just too full. And there are existing formed clumps that are now getting peed on.

It is too humid

The humidity in the air can affect cat litter clumping. This is because the moisture can make it hard for the clumps to form, or dry.

This can happen for several reasons such as the natural atmosphere in your home. Or, a particular room, such as your bathroom, if you keep the litter box there.

You are scooping it too fast

If you are scooping the litter too fast, you may not be giving it enough time to form the clumps properly. For example, you may have tried to scoop a few minutes after your cat has used the litter box.

With that being said, there needs to be a balance, because if it’s left too long it can cause the formed clumps to be saturated and cause problems.

Not changing the litter enough

If you leave the litter in the tray for too long the formed clumps will just get peed on again and damaged. This can end up with litter that is failing to create the clumps.

This can even happen when the litter appears new to you. This can be because the litter is damaged or moist before you even bought it. For example, the vendor stored the clumping litter in a storage room with high humidity.

Bad litter box design

Some cat litter boxes look good but are not practical. For example, ones that are round, or oval-shaped. And, ones that have a flat-styled bottom.

When this happens you may find it difficult to clean out all the clumps, or areas that get saturated and hard to clump up.

How can you make the clumping litter clump up? (Tips)

Now that you understand why your litter is not clumping, it is a good idea to learn how to make it clump up properly. Therefore, in this section, I will cover this.

In my opinion, there are two options for you:

  • Replace the litter with another brand (best option)
  • Change the litter more frequently

Replace the litter with another brand (best option)

The chances are you are using a clumping litter that s not very absorbent. Therefore, it is better to try another brand or another option in that same brand, are you with me?

The reality is, this may take some time to try and see what works best for you and your cat.

Change the litter more frequently

If you are not keen on replacing your current litter, maybe you just purchased a lot of it in bulk, then you can try replacing it more frequently.

The issue with this method

My issue with this method is it does not always work. Sometimes the litter you have chosen is just not good enough, regardless of the frequent changes you do.

If its a health issue

If you fear there is a health issue, such as diabetes, which causes your cat to pee more than normal, then it may seem obvious, but they need to get checked by your vet ASAP.

Even if your objective is to just rule this out, it’s worth doing. And, it could save your cat from more pain and discomfort long term. If the vet says it’s fine, then you can look at other potential issues.

If it’s spraying instead of urinating

To get around spraying issues, that are leading to your litter not clumping, there are several possible solutions depending on your situation.

If it’s because you have multiple cats, and limited litter boxes, you need more. The general rule is this, have at least one litter box each, plus another one.

I get it, this may sound expensive, especially if you have many cats, but this is part of their care. Also, even if you argue that “they used to be fine with just one litter box”, well, things change and cats are no different.

If you fear the anxiety causes by a cat outside, and it’s making your cat spray to mark its territory, you need to either keep your cat in for a bit or find a solution to calm it.

If there is excessive urine

For this scenario, you can consider putting more litter in the box. This is because sometimes if you place too little in there, it won’t clump properly.

However, if you feel that this is not an issue for you, and you have plenty, try changing it more often. Or investing in more litter boxes, as discussed earlier.

If It’s too humid

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Consider changing the location of the litter box if it’s too humid. For example, if it’s located in your bathroom, move it to a less humid room.

Or, if you live in a naturally humid area, you could consider getting a dehumidifier. This can help to draw the excess moisture out of the air and help your litter to clump up.

If you are scooping it too fast

Try to give your litter more time to clump up. For example, no sooner than 15 minutes. However, do not leave it too long. For example, not more than 12 hours.

Find the correct balance so you can leave the litter enough time to do its job, and not too long for it to become ineffective.

Is clumping or non-clumping cat litter better?

A cat jumping out of a litter box.

A cat jumping out of a litter box.

Just because you are using clumping litter, or you were told it is best, does not mean it is fact. Therefore, in this section, I will lay out some pros and cons of each and give you my opinion.

Clumping litter pros

  • Controls odor well
  • Less litter changing required
  • Simple to clean

As you can see clumping litter is great for litter box odor, especially when you get high quality and fragranced ones.

In general, you do not need to change it as much, maybe once every couple of weeks, as opposed to daily with non-clumping litter. And, because it clumps up, it is easy to clean.

Clumping litter Cons:

  • It can be more expensive.
  • Some cats may not like the texture

Like most things, nothing is perfect, lets’s face it, it can be a bit more expensive than basic, non-clumping litter, right? And, there will always be some cats that do not like the texture and refuse to use it.

Non-Clumping litter Pros

  • Usually cheaper
  • Some cats prefer the texture more

Some cat owners love this litter (can it go in the green bin? click here) because it is, generally, pretty cheap, in comparison to clumping litter. And, most cats take to it pretty well.

Non-Clumping litter Cons

  • More odor
  • Needs to be changed more frequently
  • More waste

One of the biggest issues is the smell it makes in your home. This can be a big problem for some cat owners.

Also, it needs to be changed regularly, for example, daily. And, when you do this change, you often waste a lot more of it each time. This is because most people replace the entire tray each time.

In Summary

In my opinion, I feel that clumping litter is a better option. Yes, it may be a bit more cost, but because it lasts longer, it tends to be of better value. Keep reading to see if you can consider mixing these litters.

Can I mix clumping and non-clumping cat litter?

Now that you know the pros and cons of these litters, you may be keen to see if you can mix them. This may seem weird, but there are occasions when you are desperate and have no choice.

You can mix clumping and non-clumping litter. But, it is not a good long-term alternative. Because it is unlikely to clump properly, and your cat will probably not like the change of texture. Meaning, that it may just be wasted.

Now that you understand that this is not ideal, let me explain how often you can expect to change clumping litter, so you can always plan.

How often do you change clumping cat litter?

One of the benefits of clumping litter is that you do not need to change it as much, but what frequency are we talking about here?

You can expect to change clumping litter approximately once every 2-3 weeks. This may vary, based on the brand you are using, but this is a good example of what to expect. This is far less than non-clumping litter, which is typically changed daily.

Now that you know more about the expected frequency of these changes, it is a good idea to see how you can get rid of it when you change it, let me explain if it can be flushed.

Can you flush non-clumping litter?

If you have clumping litter you can’t flush it. But, what about non-clumping litter?

You can flush some non-clumping litter. These types usually make it very clear if you can. Because this is usually their way of marketing it to you. In general, they are usually made from corn, wood, pine, or even wheat. They claim they are more eco-friendly.

You have learned that some non-clumping litter can be flushed, but are some types safer than others?

What cat litter is safest for cats?

If you love your fur baby, the chances are, you want the best for her, and to keep her safe, right? So, what are the safest options out there?

Grass cat litter is often regarded as one of the safest options. It has almost no dust. This is advantageous for people cast with respiratory problems. And, it is known to be less prone to allergies, when compared to wheat or corn.

Now that you know which cat litter (what about the mats, what material are they? click here) is regarded as the safest, keep reading to know how safe it is to compost litter, and if clumping litter can be used.

Can clumping cat litter be composted?

If you are an eco-friendly cat owner, or just interested in gardening, you may be wondering if clumping litter can be re-used for composting. In this section, I will explain if this is even possible and if there are any risks associated with it.

It is possible to use a clumping litter for composting. But, it depends on the litter you are using, how you plan to compost, and what you plan to use this compost for. In general, cat litter compost is not safe because of the parasites and bacteria in the feces.

So, you have learned that it is not straightforward, and some caution is needed if you want to use cat litter (Click here if your cat is peeing over the edge of its box) for composting. Keep reading to learn when your cat should start using clumping litter.

What age can you use clumping litter?

Before you even purchase any climbing litter you need to make sure that your cat is even ready for it. Therefore, in this section, I will explain the best age to start using it.

From 4 months of age is generally a good time to start using clumping litter (Click here to see why this is good to store in your motorhome) for your cat. Before then, there is a chance your cat will try and eat it. Also, at 4 months, if some are eaten, by accident, it will have a better chance.

What is clumping litter usually made of?

There are several types of ingredients used with clumping litter, depending on the brand you buy. For example, a common ingredient is sodium bentonite, this clay expands and clumps up.

However, other more environmental choices use ingredients such as corn, grass seed, or even wheat. However, these may not clump as well as sodium bentonite.

How Big Should cat pee clumps be?

In general, an average sized cat will create a urine clump about the size of a tennis ball. So, if yours seem way bigger, it could be something looking into.

Lindsey Browlingdon