Believe it or not, cat litter is a relatively new invention in the world of pet products and didn’t become commercially popular until the 1960s when Edward Lowe founded the very first clay cat litter brand. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that it was common for people to share their homes with cats, but as it became more and more common for people to live alongside domesticated cats, concerns for the safety of these feline friends increased. Over time, people began to bring cats indoors in order to protect them from the elements, predators, and the potential of being hit by a car. The necessity for a clean and convenient way to manage their kitties’ elimination needs without sending them outside led to the invention of the first clumping clay cat litter.
The litter box is a very important part of any indoor cat’s well-being and has a direct link to some of the most instinctual needs and behaviors of cats. The small wildcat ancestors of our modern, domesticated feline friends typically buried their excrements in order to avoid being detected by predators and larger, more territorial wildcats. For this reason, cats prefer to do their business in an area where there is a soft, loose material like sand or soil, so that they may easily cover their wastes. This instinctual tendency explains why cats rarely need to be “trained” to use a litter box, and also highlights the importance of choosing a litter that mimics the environment of cats in the wild. Choosing a soft, earthy litter to put in your cats’ litter box will help them feel more comfortable doing what’s natural to them!