Whether your cat was recently declawed or you’ve just adopted a declawed cat, it’s crucial to understand which cat litters will be best for them. For post-surgery cats, a litter change doesn’t have to be permanent. You simply need a soft litter that won’t cause further pain or irritation of your cat’s paws. A flawless, pain-free recovery is imperative for keeping your declawed cat healthy.


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While there is an endless variety of cat litters on the market today, your declawed cat will benefit from certain materials and litter formulas. In this article we outline the benefits of using a cat litter for declawed cats, and we offer some excellent litter recommendations for cat parents. We also discuss which materials will be safest for your cat, especially if they are newly recovering from surgery.

5 Benefits of Using a Cat Litter for Declawed Cats

Declawed cats have specific needs when it comes to using their litter box. Your cat will benefit from using litter that is formulated to be gentle on paws. Here are benefits of taking the time to purchase a special litter for your declawed cat:

  1. Soft litter alleviates discomfort: If your cat is newly declawed, they will benefit from using a litter that won’t cause further discomfort in their paws. Soft litter will be gentle on their paws, which is absolutely crucial. If your kitty experiences pain when attempting to use their litter box, they may resort to improper elimination.
  2. Won’t contaminate recent surgical sites: Cats who have been recently declawed will have sensitive paws due to surgery. Appropriate litter for declawed cats won’t irritate or contaminate the surgical site.
  3. Materials won’t be too harsh on wounds: Materials like clay can feel harsh on your cat if they just got declawed. Softer materials will ensure proper healing and less pain.
  4. Keep your cat from eliminating improperly: If your cat takes a pit stop at their litter box but the feel of the granules causes pain, they may start attempting to do their business somewhere else. Using a litter for declawed cats will help ensure that your kitty continues to use the box properly.
  5. Good litter can help reduce stress: Using a good litter for your declawed cat can help reduce stress. Since your kitty may already be experiencing trauma after losing their claws, it’s important that the litter box remains a stress-free place.

Different Types of Litter for Declawed Cats

As you probably know, cat litters are available in a multitude of different materials. The following litter types are best for declawed cats:

  • Paper pellets – great for cats who are still recovering from surgery.
  • Corn – super soft, but recommended for fully healed cats.
  • Wood – you can purchase wood granule litter as well as wood pellet litter.
  • Wheat – wheat litter is extremely soft, but due to natural clumping properties, it’s best to use when your cat is healed.
  • Grass – grass is another soft option. It’s extremely fine and sand-like.
Clay litters generally aren’t good for declawed cats. The rough pieces can be painful for declawed paws, and certain ingredients may be detrimental to a cat’s healing process. It’s recommended to stay away from clay litter for your declawed cat.

5 Components to Look for in a Cat Litter for Declawed Cats

It’s imperative that you purchase a litter that won’t irritate your declawed cat’s sensitive paws. Consider these components when purchasing a litter for declawed cats:

  1. Super soft granules: You will absolutely want to purchase a soft grain litter for your declawed cat. Materials like clay may be too hard or rough on their paws.
  2. Choose a low-dust formula: Cat litters with little to no dust will be the best for declawed cats. Dusty residue and chemicals can irritate the surgery site.
  3. Clumping or non-clumping: You may want to consider purchasing a non-clumping cat litter if your feline friend just had surgery. Navigating around clumps can be difficult or painful for newly declawed cats. Once your cat is fully recovered from surgery, you can resume using a clumping litter.
  4. Paper litter: Paper cat litter is highly recommended for cats who recently went through surgery. The pellets won’t get stuck in a cat’s paws, and paper is generally dust free.
  5. Litter attractant: If your cat has been showing signs of pain or improper elimination, you may consider a different litter material. You can also purchase a litter with an herbal attractant which will encourage your kitty to start using their box again.

It’s time to get into our list of recommendations!

Overall Best Cat Litter for Declawed Cats

Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Super soft texture for sensitive paws
  • Made with patented Odor Shield Technology
  • Litter and box are biodegradable
  • Naturally lightweight

This soft wood litter from Okocat is our top pick for declawed cats. The fine wood granules are gentle on even the most sensitive paws. The litter is lightweight so your cat will have no problem digging through it and covering their business. The lightweight of this natural litter is also beneficial for humans who don’t want to lug around massive, heavy jugs of litter. The formula is clumping for easy scooping and maintenance.

We love Okocat litters because they are safe for the planet and our pets. Made with patented Odor Shield Technology, this litter for declawed cats will trap and control odors for up to 7 days. The granules are made from reclaimed lumber, giving the litter a natural woodsy smell. Okocat is considered a high performance litter, as it works well for multi-cat homes in a variety of situations. We like that this litter is soft and safe for your declawed cat, and is equally safe for the environment.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Soft on sensitive paws
  • Absorbs liquid and odors 5X better than clay
  • Lightweight
  • Free of dyes and chemicals

Cons:

  • This is a clumping litter, so it may be best for fully recovered cats.
  • The biggest container is around 16lbs, so you may need to purchase multiple boxes at a time if you have a large kitty family.

sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Super fine granules are gentle on paws
  • Made from 100% wheat
  • No added dyes or perfumes
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable

Runner-Up Best Cat Litter for Declawed Cats: sWheat Scoop litter is excellent for declawed cats because the granules are very fine, making it soft and comfortable on paws. The texture also makes the litter safe for sensitive paws of kittens or seniors. Wheat litter is great at naturally absorbing odors and trapping liquid before it hits the bottom of the litter box. The high absorbency and odor control make sWheat Scoop a fantastic choice for multi-cat homes.

Your declawed cat needs a safe litter, and sWheat Scoop has you covered! It’s made from 100% wheat without any added dyes, chemicals or perfumes. This particular formula is clumping so you can scoop it easy and frequently. Wheat starch helps clumps form quickly without wasting excess litter. Veterinarians recommend this litter for sensitive and post-surgical cats. We like this sWheat Scoop is eco-friendly, much like our overall top pick, so you know this litter will be healthy for your cat and our beautiful planet.

Pros:

  • Wheat is naturally, highly absorbent
  • Great for declawed cats, post-surgical cats and sensitive kitties
  • Biodegradable
  • No additional dyes, perfumes, fragrances or chemicals
  • Excellent for multi-cat households

Cons:

  • The fine granules may not be ideal for long hair cats

Yesterday’s News Softer Texture Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Soft texture pellets are made from recycled paper
  • Virtually dust free
  • Affordable for any budget
  • Environmentally-friendly

Best Budget-Friendly Cat Litter for Declawed Cats: The soft paper pellets which comprise this budget-friendly litter will be safe and comfortable for your cat’s paws. This formula is softer than other Yesterday’s News options. The pellets are made from 100% recycled paper. Do you have a long hair cat? This litter is a fantastic pick for kitties with long locks because the pellets won’t get matted in their fur. With this litter, you’re making a good choice for your wallet, your declawed cat, and the environment!

Yesterday’s News is virtually dust free, as paper litters typically are. It will absorb up to 3X as much liquid as traditional clay litter, and large pellets mean that this litter won’t track like small granules. We love how affordable this litter is, while still being eco-friendly and good for your cat. This litter won’t work in mechanical litter boxes, but it is appropriate for other small animals like ferrets and guinea pigs.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Low tracking
  • Eco-friendly
  • Pellets won’t get stuck in your cat’s paws
  • Great for other small household pets

Cons:

  • Will not work in a sifting or mechanical litter box

More Top Declawed Cat Litter Picks

Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter

This Okocat litter brings high-quality and eco-friendly together to offer an exceptional option for your declawed cat. Like other Okocat litters, this one is biodegradable and it comes in a compostable package. This paper pellet litter is dust free and absorbs up to 200% its weight in moisture. Patented Odor Shield Technology will keep your litter box area smelling pleasant without the use of chemicals, perfumes or fragrances. Okocat paper litter will be gentle on your cat’s delicate paws, while controlling odors and moisture effectively.

Hartz Multi-Cat Strong Clumping Cat Litter

This lightweight litter is made from recycled paper. It’s safe for the planet and for your declawed cat. Clumps form immediately on contact so the litter box remains clean and odor-free. The clumps also turn blue allowing you to see when it’s time to scoop the box! We like that this litter is super soft and extremely lightweight so it’ll be easy for your cat to dig through. It’s also strong enough to handle odors in multi-cat homes.

Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter

Pioneer Pet all natural litter is a very fine texture, as it’s made from grass. The sand-like consistency will be comfortable on any paws, especially those of your cat with sensitive paws. The formula is clumping for easy scooping and maintenance, and it’s manufactured to offer superior odor control. Although this litter is pricier than others, you are getting a premium litter. It is dust-free, biodegradable and would be excellent for mechanical litter boxes.

World’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula

Although this is a multi-cat litter formula, it can absolutely be used for a single cat household! Multi-cat strength simply gives better odor and clumping benefits. World’s Best is made from renewable whole kernel corn, so it’s eco-friendly. The fine texture is sure to be gentle on paws, and it’s dust free so your cat with allergies or asthma will also appreciate this litter!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do declawed cats need special litter? – Recently declawed cats need to use a litter which won’t irritate their paws and surgery site. It’s absolutely imperative that you create a positive litter box experience for them after surgery to prevent stress-induced behaviors.
  • How long do I need to wait before using a clumping litter for my declawed cat? – Generally your cat will need about two weeks to fully heal from a declawing surgery. During the first two weeks, keeping your cat comfortable is priority. Remember to seek veterinary attention if you have concerns about your cat’s healing process.
  • What do I do if my cat stops using their litter box after being declawed? – Declawing a cat can be a stressful experience which will potentially cause pain. Before having a cat declawed, it’s important to be prepared with an appropriate cat litter. If you’ve taken all necessary action to ensure a stress-free post-surgery process and you have concerns about your cat using the litter box, we suggest consulting your veterinarian.

Conclusion

After a cat is declawed, they may experience pain, stress and trauma. It’s crucial to have a high-quality litter on hand to help them recover from the surgery. Even if you recently adopted a cat who’s already fully healed from being declawed, it’s still imperative to use a litter that won’t become stuck in their paws. A cat uses their litter box several times a day, so keeping the routine positive will help your kitty maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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