What are the Pearls made of?
Pearls are made of sodium silicate sand which is processed into either bead or granular silica gel. 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?
Silica gel pearls or crystals appear solid but actually they are filled with a network of small hollow channels. Upon contact with moisture, the crystals immediately begin absorbing the moisture; much like a sponge. The moisture from urine and related odors are locked inside, 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 crystals 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 leaves feces in the litter the silica gel pearls will wick the moisture from the feces and help trap the odor. If your cat is especially polite and buries its poop then there will be almost no smell.
What is the difference between our 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.
- Ultra Clump is made of micro crystals with a natural clumping agent.
- NEON Litter is made of colored micro crystals with a natural clumping agent.
Does it clump?
Most of Ultra Pet’s silica gel crystals litters do not clump. In 2014, Ultra Pet introduced Litter Pearls Ultra Clump was introduced which does clump.
What about cats with 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.
Why are some crystals colored?
The cats we have asked do not care about the color of the crystals, but the owners buy crystal litter with or without color for personal preference.
Do Ultra Pet litters have dust?
Ultra Pet strives to maintain the lowest dust in all its products. Test by independent labs show our silica gel litters as being 99.9% dust free. During shipping friction between crystals can sometimes cause the fine dust seen when the bag is poured into the litter box. To minimize we suggest holding the opening of the bag close to the litter pan. If you ever experience any problems with Ultra Pet litters please contact our customer service department.
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 Pearls and Ultra Pearls crystals helps to inhibit the crystals from becoming lodged in the paws. Most tracked cat litter is ‘kicked’ out of the box when the cat is burying waste or is dragged out when the cat jumps out of the box.
Tracks-Less Litter Pearls are shaped so they will not roll across smooth surfaces.
Micro Crystals have a fine, sand-like texture. These can adhere to a cats’ paws or get caught in between their toes.
A covered cat box with a litter mat or piece of carpet at all litter box openings will help reduce any tracking. 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 clean up a lot easier!
My Cat's Monthly Monitor changed color. What does this mean?
Monthly Monitor measures the pH of your cat’s urine. Please go here for more information.
Are Silica Gel Crystals safe for kittens?
Silica gel crystal cat litter should only be used for kittens over 12 weeks of age – we recommend the Micro Crystals as it is “soft on paws”. Start with a layer of 2cm deep (approximately 2/3 of an inch) and increase the litter depth as the kittens gain height and body mass. Kittens should be closely monitored when using a litter box as some will try to eat litter if unattended.
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.
I have noticed a warning on all cat litters about Toxoplasmosis. What is it and is it dangerous?
Pregnant women and persons with suppressed immune systems should not handle used cat litter due to the risk of Toxoplasmosis. This is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Infections in healthy adults usually cause no symptoms. Toxoplasmosis can be spread by eating poorly cooked foods that contains cysts, exposure to infected cat feces, and from a mother to child during pregnancy if the mother becomes infected.
For more info go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis
Remember to always wash your hands after handling used cat litter, the litter box, or the litter scoop.
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 several possible reasons for inappropriate elimination but the causes are usually based in health problems or environmental problems. Please do not punish your cat because cats by their nature are clean animals; thus inappropriate elimination is an indication something is wrong.
Cats sometimes urinate outside the litter box if the litter and the litter box are not kept clean. It is important to clean the litter box when changing the litter. Cats have an acute sense of smell so use a mild detergent when washing the litter box. Never use harsh chemicals like ammonia. Also, daily maintenance of the litter will help prevent smells.
Territorial Issues/Privacy: Animal behaviorist recommend that homes have a litter box for every cat plus one. This is because some cats are territorial and will become aggressive toward other cats that use the litter box it considers is “mine”. Litter boxes should be placed in areas that allow the cat privacy but also allow it to watch for “intruders”.
Inappropriate elimination may also be a sign your cat is upset by a change in the household and this is an effective “message”. The change in the home could be the introduction of a new pet or child, a change in household routines, the loss of a family member, etc.
Inappropriate elimination could also be the result of a medical condition. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease and other illnesses can often lead to urinations outside the box. Having your cat examined by a veterinarian will 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 abnormalities. They may also want to do blood work to determine kidney function and overall health.
So what’s the bottom line? If your cat is relieving itself outside of the litter box something is wrong! Don’t assume the problem is behavioral and will go away. There are several different diseases that can cause cats to eliminate 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 can result in death.
How do I get silica gel crystals to last the longest?
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?
Please consult your local health authorities for the best disposal method for your area. Normally you can dispose of used litter in a trash receptacle. Silica gel litter will break down when exposed to elements. The State of California and some local authorities recommend not flushing cat feces into toilets or storm drains.
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. The State of California prohibits the flushing of cat feces in toilets or putting cat feces in storm drains or outdoor gutters.
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.