May 09, 2005


Remember a few days ago I told you the horrifying story of trying to teach my cats to use the toilet? In that post I was complaining about cat litter and how clumping litter doesn't work, stinks, makes a general mess and one cat seems not only to play around in the litter box but also relishes in making wall art on the sides of the box.

It appeared I was not alone in my cat litter woes so I decided to take one for the team, spend a little extra money and try out the new, (somewhat), cat litter crystals. Honestly, the only reason I never tried it in the past was because of the high price and I just couldn't find it in myself to spend that kind of money on shiny blue and white rocks that I was positive wouldn't actually work the way they said they would.

I was wrong.

I purchased a container of Tidy Cats Crystals for Multiple Cats, (as I'm blessed with more than one hairball machine), to see if it was indeed what cats would prefer.

The first thing the instructions say is to mix some of this litter with their current litter and to gradually up the amount over a three week period. Since most of us don't have that kind of money, I did it for one day. Right off the bat I was convinced I had wasted money because one of my cats took one whiff of it and ran off, peeing all over my bathroom rug later on. (A guest had left the bathroom door open and I was unaware of this until too late.)

The next day, I poured out the entire contents of the litter, gave it a good scrub, (like I do every two days any way), and emptied the remainder of the crystals jug into the cat litter pan. Seemed a hell of a lot of litter to be pouring in a pan when I was just going to have to empty it in two days but that's what they said to do, so I did it. (It came out to 1.5" of litter in the pan.)

I stirred the crystals, per the instructions and then waited. While I waited I read the rest of the back of the jug and noticed that this litter may actually not be so expensive in the long run after all. For one cat, this ONE jug was to last up to 30 days. For two, 10-15 days and for three, 7-10 days. Wow! But does it actually work?

Yes folks. Yes it does.

First, there is absolutely, positively, NO SMELL! You know how with normal litter when it gets used you can smell it? Smells like ammonia? It's disgusting and if bad enough can make your eyes burn? That doesn't happen with the crystals. No. Smell. None. I even went so far as to put my face right down into the litter bowl and took a big whiff, (the things I do for you), and still, no smell.

Second, the issue of trailing cat litter all over the house is now greatly reduced. Of course they still trail a little but it doesn't get nearly as far, staying relatively close to the actual litter pan and it's a hell of a lot easier to clean up as these are like little rocks, not sand. Major plus.

Third, when they say the waste dehydrates into a solid form? They are not lying. This is not like the clumping litter that stays wet and falls apart when you try to scoop it out. This stuff, the "water" waste, literally dehydrates leaving you with a solid, hard clump to flick out of the box with a scooper. Once you've removed the waste (daily) from the box, just stir the crystals around and you are done.

It totally works people. The only negative thing I could find about this product was with the trailing issue: Now again, the litter doesn't trail nearly as far so that remains the plus but the negative is that if you walk around your house in bare feet and step on the crystal rocks, depending on the sensitivity of your feet, this can be slightly painful. If you are used to walking around outside in bare feet, (which I am not), you may not even notice. That's the only negative thing.

The price seems a little high when you first purchase it but you won't smell a thing, you won't have to work so hard to keep the litter clean and you don't have to give a full change to the litter anywhere from a week to an entire month depending on how many cats you have. So the price is fully justified as it comes out to pretty much the same cost to you as regular clumping litter in addition to the added freedom and peace of mind that when guests come over, they won't smell cat litter upon walking in the door.

I have a rating system similar to many people's rating systems:

*-crap ass product/poor customer service, will never buy again
**-had a few good points but mostly sucked, will never buy again
***-had an equal share of good and bad points, maybe if desperate will buy again
****-pretty darn good product, service was probably decent, will look into buying again
*****-awesome product, does just what it says it will do, great customer service, price is right, totally will buy again.

This product gets a 5 star rating from me. Now get out of here. Go buy it. Next week I'll tell you how to litter train that small dog of yours.

Posted by S. Faolan Wolf at May 9, 2005 06:30 PM

I have to jump on the Crystal bandwagon with you. It is an absolute blessing. I normally buy it, but I sent the husband to the store, and specifically wrote down "Crystal cat litter". He freaked out over the price and bought GENERIC cat litter. GENERIC. I should file for divorce. How dare he.

Posted by: mary at May 10, 2005 12:04 AM

I was wondering about this. I'm not sure if we have exactly the same thing here, but the crystals are in a medium sized bag in the supermarket - I think they are white and are twice the price of the usual litter. I'm going to try it and will compare notes. No smell is a BIG plus as you say. Will buy some tomorrow.

Posted by: Ruth at May 10, 2005 12:06 AM

Hee hee! The sacrifices you make for us, your readers. So what is next on the consumer review front, dare I ask?

Anyways, thanks for the pointers, I'll have to get some next trip to WallyWorld.

Posted by: Jeffro at May 10, 2005 01:10 AM

No smell? None? Coming from one who often cannot breathe when cleaning the litter box because the ammonia in the air is so strong that it has displaced the oxygen (the litter box is in a small room), I cannot believe you. There's no way...then again, science is advancing...

Posted by: Ogre at May 10, 2005 08:33 AM

It doesn't matter whether you believe me or not ogre. Instead of telling me why you can't possibly do so, go out, get some, try it and you'll see that I'm not a liar.

Posted by: S. Faolan Wolf at May 10, 2005 11:12 AM

Well I bought some - hope it does what they say it does, it was way expensive...will let you know what I think!

Posted by: Ruth at May 11, 2005 12:14 AM

Well I agree with you F. This stuff is good. I mixed some of the old litter in with it 2 days ago and went cold this morning with all new stuff. It is great not to have such a tracking problem - I don't have to vacuum every day :-) I still find it hard to believe it will last 1 month, but we'll see. Thanks for your post!

Posted by: Ruth at May 12, 2005 09:32 PM
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