Mineral clumping litter compared with plant-based clumping litter

Choosing a cat litter isn’t easy for cat lovers. Many different factors have to be taken into consideration. Is it better to opt for organic cat litter or bentonite litter? Clumping litter or non-clumping hygienic litter? Many cat owners are deciding increasingly in favour of clumping litter on account of its good odour-binding properties and high absorbency. However, there are two types to choose from: plant-based and mineral clumping litter. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Here we explain how our plant-based COSYCAT clumping litter differs from clumping litter produced from bentonite.

Mineral clumping litter - pro and cons

Mineral clumping litter produced from bentonite

Mineral cat litter is manufactured from bentonite. This is an argillaceous (clayey) rock created by the weathering of volcanic ash. It is a mixture of various clay minerals, hence the term “mineral cat litter”. One of its constituents, montmorillonite, gives the litter its ability to absorb large amounts of water and swell up. Bentonite is a rock occurring in the ground and has to be mined. The strata that can be mined are only 1-2 metres high and may lie at depths of up to 30 metres. It is removed by opencast mining, meaning that massive excavation operations are necessary to get to the raw material. Exploitable reserves exist worldwide, including in Europe and Germany. Consumers who swear by clumping litter from bentonite should bear in mind that the bentonite originates in Germany, because the weight of bentonite litter is responsible for high CO2 emissions during transportation. Short transport routes can reduce the carbon footprint.

Plant-based clumping litter

COSYCAT clumping litter is manufactured from plant fibres, more specifically from untreated timber. The timber derives from sustainably managed forests and is PEFC-certified. Certification is subject to stringent guidelines, guaranteeing that the forest is maintained as a habitat. For COSYCAT we use secondary raw materials, meaning the by-product arising from timber processing. The timber is reduced to coarse chips, ground into wood fibres and then processed to produce a fine granulate. This production process increases the water absorption capacity of the wood fibres to 700%.

Clump formation

Both mineral litter and COSYCAT form solid clumps, which can be removed from the cat toilet easily using a litter scoop. Both litter types have similar clumping characteristics. The clumps of bentonite litter harden quickly, while a few minutes are required before the COSYCAT clumps can be safely removed from the cat toilet. We therefore recommend not cleaning the cat toilet immediately after the cat has left it.

In terms of economy, there are no differences between our plant-based clumping litter and mineral clumping litter, as only the clumps and solid excretions are removed. Simply top up the tray from time to time with fresh litter. The clean litter can remain in the cat toilet for several weeks.

Mineral clumping litter

  • Stable clumps form quickly when the litter comes into contact with urine.
  • The clumps can be removed easily using a scoop.

COSYCAT

  • Clumps form quickly when the litter comes into contact with urine.
  • After a maximum of 5 minutes, the clumps are so stable that they will not disintegrate even if they fall off the scoop.

Odour binding

Some mineral clumping litters are not as good at trapping odours. Cat owners complain time and again that the cat toilet smells. This is due to the quality of the bentonite that is used. A higher-quality raw material will also achieve better odour control. Regardless of whether you use plant-based or mineral cat litter, we recommend removal of the clumps and solids twice a day; that way you can prevent unpleasant odours from developing.

Mineral clumping litter:

  • The quality of the raw material determines the odour-binding capacity.

COSYCAT

  • Traps odours quickly and reliably.

Dust formation

The dust created by clumping litter produced from bentonite varies according to the litter brand. Some brands yield little dust, while others are extremely dust-laden. We advise slow filling of the cat toilet from a low height.

Mineral clumping litter

  • Dust emission varies according to the brand.

COSYCAT

  • The dust is removed from our ecological clumping litter in a separate process stage, leaving it virtually dust-free.

Weight

COSYCAT belongs to the lightweight division, weighing in at 60% less than mineral clumping litter. Its low weight makes it easier for cat owners to transport, top up and empty.

Mineral clumping litter

  • 10 litres of litter made from bentonite weigh 10 kilograms.

COSYCAT

  • 10 litres of COSYCAT weigh just 4 kilograms.

 

Disposal

Large quantities of cat litter are now produced. This may lead to an increase in refuse collection charges. The topic of disposal is thus an important one for many cat owners. Plant-based cat litter can generally be disposed of with organic waste. Please note, however, that this is not permitted in all regions. You can obtain information regarding this from your local authority. Composting of plant-based litter is hygienically safe, if you make sure that the material can rot sufficiently and if you use only mature compost. Take care that the compost heap consists of a good mix of materials to avoid over-fertilizing the soil. Smaller quantities of plant-based litter can even be flushed down the toilet; you’ll find further information about this in our guide under Flushable cat litter – easy to dispose of.

Mineral clumping litter

  • Mineral-based litter can only be disposed of with household waste.
  • Clumping litter made from bentonite cannot be flushed down the toilet, as deposits will accumulate in the sewage pipes on account of the material’s clayey consistency.

COSYCAT

  • Our cat litter is 100% biodegradable and can be disposed of with organic waste.
  • Our organic cat litter is compostable, so it can be put onto the compost heap.
  • Walnut-sized portions can be flushed down the toilet.

Conclusion

Both mineral clumping litter and COSYCAT are suitable for use as cat litter. COSYCAT organic litter and bentonite cat litter perform similarly with regard to many criteria; it depends on the brand of mineral cat litter that is used. Although the plant-based COSYCAT litter is at a slight disadvantage with regard to clump strength, as the clumps take longer to solidify, it boasts advantages in respect of disposal, weight and sustainability. COSYCAT is a lightweight, ecological alternative to mineral cat litter and offers many disposal options.

Mineral litter and COSYCAT at a glance

Comparison criterion COSYCAT clumping litter Mineral clumping litter
Material Wood Bentonite (clay minerals)
Economy Very good Very good
Odour binding Very good Depends on the quality of the bentonite
Absorption Very good Varies according to brand
Clumping stability Clumps are solid after max. 5 minutes Varies according to brand
Dust formation Hardly any Varies according to brand
Environmental compatibility No environmental impact, PEFC-certified timber Raw material obtained from opencast mining, thus major impact on the landscape
Weight 400 g per litre 1 kg per litre
Disposal Household waste, organic waste, compost, toilet Household waste