What are the Pearls made of?
Pearls are made of sodium silicate sand, called silica gel, which is processed into either bead or granular form.
Some people confuse silica gel cat litter with crystalline silicate. Crystalline silicate is a form of Quartz, a mineral found in some clays and dirt, that have been shown to harmful. There is NO crystalline silicate in silica gel litters.
How do silica gel litters work?
When the silica gel pearls or crystals are formed they are appear solid but actually they are filled with a network of small hollow channels. Upon contact with liquid of any kind, the pearls begin to immediately absorb the moisture much like a sponge. The moisture from urine and related odors are locked in, leaving the outer layer of the pearls dry to the touch. The liquid moisture will then evaporate trapping the odor causing molecules inside the internal channels. This allows the Pearls to absorb over and over again for up to a month for one cat.
To work properly, the litter needs to be deep enough to absorb the urine before it reaches the bottom of the litter box and it needs to be “turned” or raked daily to allow moisture to evaporate from the crystals of silica gel at the bottom of the litter pan. We recommend a minimum of 1.5 inches deep of litter in the pan and up to 2 inches for optimum performance. Note: if your cat is a “digger” there will need to be more litter in the pan so that litter will be at least 1.5” deep at the bottom of your cat’s dugout area.
Our Pearls also help control the odors associated with feces. When a cat leavers feces in the litter, the silica gel pearls will wick the moisture from the feces and help lock in the odor. If your cat is especially polite and buries its poop then there will be almost no smell.
What is the difference between the silica gel litters?
All the silica gel litters by Ultra Pet are the highest quality available. The materials used in production as well as the process of production are done to meet the highest quality standards. Ultra Pet silica gel litters come in several forms. All of our pearls work the same way to eliminate litter box odors.
~ Tracksless Litter Pearls are irregular shaped to help reduce the tracking (sold in Pet Specialty Stores)
~ Crystal Clear Litter Pearls are semi-spherical pearls (sold in Pet Specialty Stores)
~ Litter Pearl Micro Crystals are small sand-like quality pearls (sold in Pet Specialty Stores)
~ Ultra Pearls are a semi spherical shape (sold in grocery stores)
~ Ultra Micro Crystals are small sand-like quality pearls (sold in grocery stores)
~ Ultra Fresh Crystals are similar to Ultra Pearls, but a fresh floral scent to them.
Does it clump?
NO! The Litter Pearls stay dry. They do not clump, do not dissolve, do not turn to a gel, nor do they change size or shape. With that, you are not scooping out heavy clumps of clay infused with liquid waste daily.
What about Diarrhea?
The beads will work to dry the wet stool. This will result in more than the average number of pearls being removed from the box and the wet stool will dry eventually but have some residual moisture and should be removed from the box.
What makes the crystals different colors?
We use a vegetable dye to change the colors of the pearls. This is for the appeal of the cat’s parents– the cats do not care about color.
There was dust when I first poured out my bag of silica gel litter.
There may be a small amount of powder on the product, but generally the product is over 99% dust free. This is the result of pearls rubbing together during transport. Once you have opened the bag you shouldn’t have any problems with dust—if you do please call us.
Will the litter pearls work in an automatic litter box?
Yes, most automated litter boxes you can adjust the spacing in the rake and that would make our pearls work fine. If the rake is not adjustable use the litters with smaller crystals like the Ultra Fresh Crystals or Micro Crystals. The Better Way litters also work well in the automatic litter boxes.
Will it track?
The size of the Litter Pearl helps to inhibit the pearl from becoming lodged in the paws or fur of the cat’s feet. However most cat litter is ‘kicked’ out of the box when the cat is burying waste or is dragged out when jumping out of the box. The product is lightweight and may find its way out of the box – in the box it is a great cat litter, out of the box it is a bit of a cat toy.
Tracks-Less Litter Pearls are shaped so they will not roll across smooth surfaces (hardwood floors, tile, etc). Micro Crystals have a fine, sand-like texture. These can adhere to a cats’ paws or get caught in between their toes.
Litter Pearls certainly track less than other litters, but a covered cat box with a litter mat or piece of carpet at all openings will go a long way to reducing your tracking problem. We suggest that you use a litter mat because if your cat kicks out litter when covering feces or jumping out of the box, the mat will keep the litter in one spot and make cleaning up a lot easier!
My Ultra Pearls Plus litter changed colors. What does that mean?
- Green: pH level of urine is slightly elevated
- Blue: pH level of urine is highly elevated
- Orange/Red: blood is possibly present in the urine
- Yellow/Amber: The litter is almost ready to change; a lot of solids have been absorbed during the month from continual exposures to urine.
For green or blue, this could be caused by diet – if is one-time (day) occurrence, perhaps the cat ate something that caused the level to rise, or if regular cat food is grain/vegetable based as opposed to protein based, the pH level may be elevated. If neither is the case, it could be indicator of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Infection Disease. The only way to know is to schedule check-up with vet.
BETTER WAY CAT LITTERS:
What is Better Way Litter made of?
Our Better Way Cat Litter is a mixture of bentonite clay and attapulgite clays, for all litters except the Flushable, which is made with attapulgite clay and a natural food-grade clumping agent.
There are 4 types of Betterway:
- Original – Clumping clay with no scent
- Fresh Scent – Clumping clay with a fresh scent
- Cedar – Clumping clay with Real Cedar chips
- Flushable – soft clumping clay that can be flushed (not recommended for septic tanks)
How is Better Way Litters different from other Clay Litters?
All Better Way Cat litters have a proprietary cat attractant called Sanel. Sanel is made from natural tree resin that reminds cats of the outdoors and helps overcome litter box refusal. Better Way Cat litters are smaller in size than most clay litters making in Soft on Paws. Many indoor cats have tender paws and prefer the small granule size of Better Way.
My dog ate some “feces treats” out of the litter box filled with clumping clay litter? Will this hurt the dog?
Probably not, but clumping clay is made with bentonite clay and this can sometimes cause digestive track obstructions in cats and dogs if a lot is ingested. Monitor the dog’s behavior and consult your veterinarian if there are any changes in behavior or an inability to defecate.
I have heard that clumping clay litters can be harmful to human and cats. Is Better Way harmful to them?
Some clay litters have a form of quartz rock crystal called Crystalline Silicate. This has been shown to be a possible carcinogenic. Our silica litters have no quartz Crystalline Silicate and our clay litters are monitored to make sure they meet all federal guidelines, as quartz can be found in some clay deposits
Are pearls safe for kittens?
Pearls should only be used for kittens over 12 weeks of age, starting with a layer of 2 cm (approximately 2/3 an inch deep). The depth can be increased as the cats gain height and body mass. Kittens should be closely monitored when learning proper litter box use. Some kittens will try to eat any litter that they are using.
My cat ate some of the pearls, can this cause any harm?
Pearls are non-toxic but ingesting too much of a desiccant can cause digestive track problems. If you suspect your cat (or dog as they sometimes raid the litter box for “treats”) has swallowed silica gel litter make sure that it drinks lots of liquids to saturate the silica. Monitor the cat for changes in behavior and if there are any changes notify your veterinarian immediately.
What happens if it is ingested?
This product is 100% biologically and chemically Inert. What does that mean to you or your pets? There is nothing in there that will hurt you or your pets. There are absolutely no chemicals, and it will pass through the digestive system.
Silica Dust and Silicosis
DO NOT CONFUSE OUR SILICA CAT LITTER PRODUCT FOR CRYSTALLINE SILICA. They are not the same. Silica sand has no adverse effects or cautions. Crystalline Silica is an ingredient commonly found in cements, clays and clumping-type products. This material, once airborne, shows the ability of causing Silicosis. This can cause incurable lesions on the lungs and throat rendering that tissue useless for transferring oxygen. Crystalline Silica is a naturally occurring element also known as quartz, and found in some of the clay litters. Our Crystal Clear Litter Pearls are 100% free of Crystalline Silica.
My cat refuses to use the litter box now that I have changed to silica gel litter!
As with any new cat litter it is very important to introduce it gradually. Cats are not excited about litter changes so whenever introducing any new cat litter it is recommended that you incorporate some portion of the old litter to encourage cat’s trial. It may even be best to incorporate some clumps of waste or used litter from the currently used box during the first couple days. A 50% new on bottom / 50% old on top mix best for the first month gradually stirring the litters to mix and let the cat get used to the texture and sounds of the new litter. By the time you get to the start of month 2 the silica gel litter should be the only litter in the box with complete cat acceptance. You may also find it helpful to place the cat in the box after changing to pearls and comfort them into trying the texture and sound. Pearls may have more sound as they shift as the cat walks.
My cat is urinating outside the litter box—why?
There are many reasons for this behavior, but never punish your cat because cats, by their nature are clean animals, so there is something wrong. It will take time to find the reason but as one of the main causes is health related it is important to pay attention and discover the cause.
The safest and very best thing to do is to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to determine if there is a medical cause. Your vet will most likely do a test on the cat’s urine, called an urinalysis, which will look for underlying medical abnormalities. They may also want to do blood work to determine kidney function and overall health.
Some cats will urinate outside the litter box if it is not kept clean. Therefore, is important to clean the litter box when changing the litter. Cats have a very acute sense of smell. Use a mild detergent when washing the litter box. Never use harsh chemicals like ammonia. Also, maintain the litter daily to prevent smells.
Behavioral Refusal to use the litter box can have multiple causes. The cat is upset by a change in the household and wants you to know it. This can be introduction of a new pet or child into the home, a change in household routines, loss of a family member, etc.
So what’s the bottom line? If your cat is relieving itself outside of the litter box, don’t assume the problem is behavioral. There are several different diseases that can cause them to go outside of the litter box and only your veterinarian can make an accurate determination. If it is health related, it is critical to find the cause because several of the conditions that cause this behavior as these conditions can result in death.
The Pearls aren’t working any more—did you change the formula?
Our litters are still made by the same high quality materials as always. If you think the product is not working as well as it has in the past then we usually find that something has changed in the home – often this is the cat’s health. Check the items below and if none apply and you are still having problems contact our customer service department.
The most important issue to product performance is the appropriate fill depth. This product does not work well if there is too much litter in the box and neither does it works effectively if there is too little in the box. The optimum depth for Litter Pearls is to fill to 1.5”-2” in the bottom of the cat box and one bag is suitable for a medium-size litter box. Customers can use extra litter for larger litter boxes to reach the proper depth.
The litter needs to be raked and stirred daily. This process consists of removing the solid waste daily using a slotted scoop, then using the litter scoop to rake the litter bringing the pearls on the bottom of the pan to the top. Also move the silica from side to side. Cats tend to urinate in the same spot every time. By moving the silica around with the slotted spoon all the silica will receive approximately the same exposures to the cat’s waste over time. Note: there are videos on our website that show the proper way to do Raking-Stirring. Raking the litter daily allows the evaporation process to remove the water from the pearls. The pearls hold the urine’s solids and the smell inside. When maintained properly the pearls stay dry to touch and prevent odors from the litter box.
If the urine pools on the bottom the litter pan, the litter may not be deep enough. It should be at least 1.5” to 2″ deep in the pan. Also, if your cat is a “digger” and scoops out the pearls before urination so that it is urinating through a very thin layer of litter. This allows the urine to the result can be a pool on the bottom. To correct this, use a deeper layer of pearls or crystals so that even after digging a hollow to urinate in, there is still 1.5 to 2” of litter. Another cause of pooling urine on the bottom is the cat may be urinating against the side of the pan so the urine doesn’t get the chance to be absorbed as it descends to the bottom of the pan where it pools. The bottom litter absorbs the first amount of urine, but if the cat continually urinates in same location, the silica gel reaches a point of saturation. When this occurs, the urine smell will result. Proper raking and stirring will help eliminate this problem.
Environmental causes of Silica Gel Litter not lasting a month:
More than one cat using the litter box. With two cats the litter will last 15-18 days if properly maintained. With three cats the litter will last approximately 10 days if properly maintained.
The litter box is in an area of high humidity. This can happen if the litter box is in the bathroom or during the summer in areas with high humidity.
Health causes of Silica Gel Litter not lasting a month for one cat:
Cats with Feline Lower Urinary Track Disease, Infected or failing Kidneys, Diabetes and other conditions often urinate more than normal and the urine often has a stronger smell than usual. Because there is more urination, the pearls get saturated quicker than normal. If the pearls have worked for your cat for a period of time and then stop working as effectively, observe your cat closely for more frequent visits to the litter box. Observe if your cat is making unusual noises while trying to urinate. All these are signs that you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian as some of the conditions can result in death.
How do you dispose of used litter?
You can throw it in the trash. It is completely safe at landfills, as it decomposes back to its sand form over a period of time. You will notice that a few of the pearls will be stuck to the solid waste when scooping and if you prefer, you may flush a few of them with that solid waste if that is your method of feces disposal.
Are Pearls Flushable?
We do not recommend flushing litter into sewers or septic systems, but if you are flushing the feces removed from the litter box into your septic tank and a few silica gel crystals adhere to feces it is acceptable to flush these down the toilet, as they will break down as they absorb moisture.
Why can’t I pour the entire contents of the litter box into the toilet system at the end of each month?
First, it is possible that this might clog pipes. Also, it is better environmentally to send to the landfill where the product can breakdown as it is exposed to the elements.
Where can I purchase your products?
Please click on the ‘Store Locator’ tab. Depending on your area, our products are found at grocery stores, pet stores, and/or online.