I never thought I’d grow up to have a favorite cat litter.
Cat Daddy, Eric Boatwright
Seriously, we were all working in the cattery late in the evening: scooping, dumping, collecting, feeding, medicating, scrubbing. Eric walked around holding his small, spent-litter receptacle. Sarah was doing laundry, Jack checking the water fountains. I was studying a litter of kittens for any sign of illness and I hear him make this declaration. From this comment, we know we are now specialists.
We’ve come to some conclusions on products and best practices for their use.
Note: We are not amazon affiliates for any of the products you see here. We are distributors of Life’s Abundance products.
My go-to budget friendly clumping litter is Dr. Elsy’s Precious Cat. $20 for 40 pounds of the best clumping litter, delivered right to your door so you don’t have to lug it in with the groceries. Cons: you do need to be sturdy to open and pour it into kitty’s box AND it’s not appropriate for kittens who are often teething. They have been known to enjoy the texture on their gums, but their digestive system is not impressed with it. Stick to one of the following options instead.
There are several options, but the one we’ve come to appreciate is PETKIT. It is safe for kittens and it clumps well enough that removal of the spent litter is easy, leaving the remaining litter in great shape. PETKIT litter is flushable. READ: biodegradable/compostable! It’s also light-weight.
Wood Pellet Litter
This is a photo of a popular brand, but other brands exist and are sufficient. Wood pellet litter is found in both grocery stores and pet supply stores, available in 18lb and 40lb. Pine pellets don’t last as long as the clumping litters, but the price and ease of use make it worth it for us.
We purchase a pallet of pellets from Lowe’s for about $5/bag.
It is also environmentally friendly. If you compost, this is the litter for you. But do not expect to scoop it. Instead, dump it twice/day/cat. Two cats? You’ll need two litter boxes. After you’ve dumped them, wipe down the box with a disinfectant wipe or similar and refill with fresh pellets. Fill the box just enough to cover the bottom, allow the kitties to use it, and dump unceremoniously into your compost heap out back!
We use this process this with all of our small kittens who are litter training. While the actual pellets are useless after they become soiled or wet, they do allow us to refresh the kitten boxes often enough to keep the kittens in a sanitary environment. The pellets, if made without any added chemicals (read your labels), are also safe for kittens to chew, should their gums need a little massage.
Masterpiece Ragdoll Kittens are now routinely offered a raw meat diet. The why of this is forthcoming in another blog, but the gist is that we believe it to be a healthier source of nourishment. The proof has been in the litters born in late spring 2023: growth & development, litter habits, coat texture, and most important, energy levels. These kittens are by far the most healthy we have ever had.
We began with a pricey option from VIVA Raw and everyone gobbled it up, but when we learned that we could source protein from a human grade, inspected butcher on the west coast, we gave it a shot!
Mad Butcher Meat Co. does not stuff their pet food grind with supplements because most of what your cat or kitten needs is found in the organs, meat, and bones already! There is one caveat–fish. They do not sell products which contain fish (omega fatty acids), so you will need to offer fish or raw egg twice/week. The easiest add a tablespoon each day in to the regular raw grind. The kitties really dig it!
Mad Butcher Meat Co. is offering our kitten adopters 10% off any purchase no matter the size of the order! Just use the code MASTERPIECE to get 10% off. You can use this code as often as you like.
Please note: FELINES DO NOT NEED FRUITS OR VEGETABLES. Blends containing anything other than meat + bone blend are designed for dogs.
Incidentally, Mad Butcher is the least expensive option I have encountered so far. Other reputable raw meat companies exist: Darwins, Viva Raw, Blue Ridge to name a few.
An alternative to frozen raw is Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried biscuits. You can simply rehydrate and serve when you’re ready. No prep. The only draw back is that it can get a bit spendy. We do use their products in the cattery, though. We shred and add to the kibble from Life’s Abundance. We also provide the S&C’s Magical Dust Meal Toppers. But we still don’t really recommend the kibble, if we’re being honest.
Do you feed wet food or dry?
~Everybody I meet.
Both. We use both, depending on the situation, but Masterpiece Ragdoll kittens prefer raw food and will wait for it.
Kittens and cats are carnivores and will need kibble (unless you have them on a raw food diet) as their main source of calories. This is where they get most of their macronutrients. These foods are designed to be the main source of fiber, protein, fat, and vitamins. So why bother with wet?
- Small servings of oily, odiferous canned foods serve as appetizers. Kitty eats a tablespoon and realizes she is actually quite hungry so she will saunter over to the dry food and fill her belly with longer-lasting calories.
- Canned food contains water and since cats are not typically water lappers, this moisture content is good for the kidneys. Regular intake of fluids is key to preventing urinary obstruction.
- Wet food is the best vehicle for medicines and supplements. If ever you need to give kitty something like this, having them used to eating wet foods will increase the chance for success when trying to medicate.
- They usually just like it and will associate you with this thing they like, so WHY NOT?
For kittens, choose a product with 11% crude protein. Masterpieces are routinely exposed to these brands:
Speaking of water, small fountains with replaceable filters are a must. We have them everywhere here!
We’ve experimented with a variety of brands. There’s actually a lot of great options out there, but we keep coming back to Life’s Abundance.
It’s small-batch produced, contains adequate protein, fat, and pre- and probiotics. It also contains more fiber than other brands which is ideal for a long-haired breed. When I open a bag, the smell is rich and the kibble is moist. This tells me it wasn’t just product collecting dust in a back room warehouse.
I have a store front because, well, it’s another multi-level marketing product. It can’t be purchased at major retailers and it is slightly higher in price than Purina Pro-Plan, Royal Canin. You can click on the bag below and order directly. I probably make $0.28 per bag, so please know that we don’t just promote it for a revenue stream.
Can I feed my ragdoll another brand of kibble?
As Bobby Brown says, “it’s your prerogative.”
I will send home a small supply of Life’s Abundance All Stages Cat food. I suggest starting with this and slowly adding in small quantities of your preferred food. 90/10, 80/20, 70/30 – you can gradually move your ragdoll kitten from our preferred food to yours.
Have you tried the mechanical litter boxes?
This is my favorite combination. I’ve tried three competitors. This is the least disgusting method of waste management. The Petkit Pura X litter box is the lowest profile and easiest to clean. I don’t utilize the app/wifi feature, so I can’t comment on that. I basically wanted something I could keep relatively clean and minimize odors. As of Winter 2023, I own five. I have autoshipments of their tofu-based kitty litter through amazon. Even iwhen using Dr. Elsy’s clumping litter, this machine is far preferable to any other litter system.