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As every cat parent will tell you, the worst part of living with a feline companion is having to scoop the litter box. It’s gross, smelly, and downright toxic (cat urine is full of ammonia, a gas that can bring on headaches, trigger asthma attacks, and lead to other respiratory issues). But because we love our sweet angel babies, we roll up our sleeves, try not to breathe, and get to shoveling.
Cat litter has come a long way from its clay-based beginning, partly because consumers will jump at any opportunity to make their least-favorite task a more pleasant experience for everyone involved (Anyone else about to shell out the big bucks for a Litter-Robot?). Stop by your nearest pet store, and you’ll likely find litter made from silica, pine, paper, walnut shell, corn cob, wheat, and even grass seed. With innovations for odor and moisture control constantly being developed, it’s anyone’s guess what manufacturers will come up with next.
Turns out we already have the answer. The newest type of litter is derived from an unlikely source: soy. Yes, you read that right. Your feline can now do their business on dust-free, clumping, and flushable tofu cat litter.
What Is Tofu Cat Litter?
Tofu litter is made primarily from soybean dregs, the pulpy, fibrous part of soy that remains after pureed soybeans are filtered for products like soy milk and tofu. This by-product is typically thrown out in manufacturing (however, soybean pulp can also be eaten—check out WoonHeng’s recipe for okara patties) but in the case of tofu cat litter, the soy pulp is dried and combined with plant-based starches to form a cylinder-shaped litter pellet.
Depending on the manufacturer, the soy-based cat litter may have other ingredients to control odor or added binders, colors, and fragrances. Tofu cat litter is a non-toxic, natural alternative to conventional cat litter. It’s soft, lightweight, and highly absorbent.
Why Is Tofu Cat Litter Good?
While tofu-based cat litter may sound like a novelty item, there’s more than one reason you might consider switching to soy cat litter.
5 Benefits Of Tofu Cat Litter
- Health and safety: Tofu cat litter is free from harmful toxins. Unlike conventional cat litter, which can cause respiratory issues in cats and humans over time, soy-based litter is 100 percent safe and can even be ingested (please don’t eat the cat litter). In contrast, if your cat eats traditional clay litter, you’ll need to make an emergency vet visit. Learn more about the dangers of clay litter via The Pet Health & Nutrition Center.
- Eco-friendly: Unlike clay and crystal cat litter, tofu litter is biodegradable and compostable.
- Low dust and tracking: Say goodbye to the trail of litter coming from the litter box and traveling all over the house. Tofu pellets are larger and less likely to stick to your cat’s paws and fur. Soy-based pellets are also virtually dust-free (assuming you get a formula without extra binding ingredients).
- High absorbency: the absorbency of tofu makes it good at clumping and odor control.
- Easy cleaning: Unlike traditional litter, tofu litter doesn’t cement itself to the litter box, so scooping is much easier. Tofu litter can also be flushed down the toilet since it dissolves in water.
Pros & Cons
|Susceptible to mold if not stored properly
|More expensive than conventional cat litter
|Not all municipalities allow flushing of cat feces
|Not all varieties work with automatic litter boxes
|Cat may eat
|Uses natural ingredients
Top 3 Tofu Cat Litters
What makes a quality cat litter? The following factors were considered when choosing the best tofu cat litters:
- Cleanup: A clumping litter makes for easier cleanup.
- Dust: Dusty litter is especially bad for those with people and cats with respiratory issues.
- Ease of use: A litter that can be easily lifted and poured is essential for those with mobility issues.
- Odor control: A quality litter will neutralize the smell of urine.
- Price: Along with the cost of food, litter is one of the most-costly purchases for your cat.
- Scent: Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell; a strong scent may be too overwhelming for your furry friend.
- Tracking: Because feeling litter under your feet is the absolute worst.
Tuft + Paw Really Great Cat Litter
- Ingredients: soybean fiber, corn starch, corn flour, guar gum, charcoal
- Subscription service (plus, free shipping)
- $29/9.5 lb. bag = $3.05/lb.
- Money-back guarantee
- Low tracking and very low dust
- Activated charcoal for odor control
The cat furniture company tuft + paw now makes a “really great” cat litter made from tofu. This product is an excellent choice for the health-minded buyer as it’s free from synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, and toxic ingredients. In fact, it only uses five ingredients: soybean fiber, corn starch, corn flour, guar gum, and charcoal. Users love that this litter is low dust and low tracking. Rather than covering up the scent, it uses charcoal, which absorbs moisture and traps odor in the litter box and surrounding air.
To purchase Really Great Cat Litter, you must sign up for a subscription service, which is handy if you have a busy schedule and want to take one errand off your plate. Choose one bag per month ($29) or three bags every three months ($79). Shipping is free, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.
Pidan Signature Tofu Blend
- Ingredients: organic bean dregs, starch, guar gum, bentonite (with STV particles)
- $18.99/7.9 lb. bag = $2.40/lb.
- Low dust and tracking
- Great clumping
- Also available in a formula without bentonite
- Scented using deodorant granules
- Also available with blood test particles to monitor cat’s health
Pidan’s Tofu Cat Litter Mix is 70 percent tofu cat litter and 30 percent bentonite clay. The small-particle bentonite fills up the gaps of the tofu litter, giving this formula superior clumping capability. The non-toxic STV particles offer additional odor control, and most users love the smell of this formula (often described as vanilla).
Pidan offers several different tofu litter formulas, including tofu litter with a blood test that detects hemoglobin at a concentration as low as 0.1 percent. You can also purchase Pidan without bentonite or with added activated carbon for odor control.
Nourse Chowsing Activated Carbon
- Ingredients: soybean dregs, corn, starch, guar gum, activated carbon
- $18.99/6 lb. bag = $3.17/lb.
- Low dust and tracking
- High flushability
- Charcoal for odor control
- Also available in Original (milk scent) and Great Tea
As one of the original tofu cat litters, Nourse Chowsing has a larger following than the other two litters on this list. Users praise this litter for its low dust and low tracking. For those interested in a flushable option, Nourse Chowsing is your best bet. It’s highly dissolvable; however, some users complain about the somewhat-sticky consistency of the litter clumps.
Nourse Chowsing is available in three varieties: original (milk-scented), green tea, and activated carbon. For added odor control, I’d choose the third option.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Do You Change Tofu Cat Litter?
Scoop your litter box daily, and change the litter every two to three weeks. We cover everything you need to know about how often to change cat litter, including step-by-step instructions for changing your cat’s litter box.
Can You Use Tofu Cat Litter With An Automatic Litter Box?
You might be able to use tofu cat litter with your auto litter box. Brands vary, so you must confirm which litters are compatible with your litter box.
Whenever transitioning to a new cat litter, it’s essential to go slow. Research suggests transitioning over a six-day period is ideal to minimize stress. Gradually incorporate the new litter by mixing it in with the old. To start, switch out 25 percent of the current litter with your new litter and progressively reduce this amount until you’ve fully transitioned.