Walnut shell cat litter is a natural alternative to clay clumping so I wanted to test how it works with the Litter Robot. For the past few months, I have been testing different alternatives to clay-clumping litter. The first one I tested was crystal cat litter, then I used corn cat litter with the Litter Robot, and lately, wheat cat litter. My effort to keep testing natural cat litters is due to the fact that I want an eco-friendly option. In the beginning, when I tested different clumping clay litters with the Litter Robot I didn’t think about choosing natural, chemical-free alternatives. Now I keep testing more biodegradable types with the Litter Robot to find the best option that I can share with you.
How is walnut shell cat litter made?
This cat litter is made out of the fibrous material of the walnut shell. Walnut shell fibrous has the ability to naturally neutralize ammonia, controlling odors naturally (source).
The walnut shell litter I used with the Litter Robot
I used the brand Naturally Fresh, Quick Clumping variety. I picked this one because it claims to clump quickly and that’s what I needed with the Litter Robot since it starts rotating 7 minutes after the cat using the litter box.
How the Litter Robot works with walnut shell cat litter
This is how walnut shell cat litter worked for me and my cat:
- Dust level: Very low, I almost didn’t see dust when I poured the litter into the Litter-Robot. But I noticed that this cat litter dusted the rubber at the bottom almost entirely with the brownish color from the walnut shell. Not a big deal though.
- Litter weight: When I tested this cat litter I thought it was heavier than the other natural alternatives so I was surprised when I saw that walnut shell litter weighs exactly the same as wheat cat litter, that is 161g per cup. In comparison to the average of 280g of clumping clay litter, this is much lighter.
- Clumping properties: During my first experiment pouring liquid into the litter bed, I saw that walnut shell cat litter clumps fast and forms a nice litter clump when in contact with liquid. However, the clumps were still not firm enough not to break down during the sliding process of the rotation. After my cat Sophie used the litter box for a week, I discovered that by setting up the delay cycle for longer than 7 minutes, the results were better because the litter clumps got firmer. If you use walnut shell cat litter with the Litter Robot and leave the default delay cycle of 7 minutes the rubber bottom of the globe will end up with a sticky residual. I show in my video review how the rubber looks after 7 days of my cat using the litter box. It’s better to set up the delay cycle in 15 minutes.
- Odor control: The odor control was not excellent, but it was good. I must mention that my Litter-Robot has the OdorTrap (accessory of the Litter Robot 4) installed in the waste drawer so the odor control is much better. But this walnut shell cat litter was not that stinky considering that this is a natural cat litter without chemicals, it has a natural neutralizing component that keeps odors at bay. I would say that the odor level when I opened the waste drawer after a week was medium.
- Litter tracking: Walnut shell cat litter doesn’t create much tracking. My cat Sophie walks when enters the Litter Robot and jumps out when exiting the litter box. This usually creates scattered litter around the litter box area, but this time I didn’t see much around the floor or on top of the Trap Mat (a Litter Robot 4 accessory).
- Cleanliness of the Litter Robot’s rubber bottom: The walnut shell cat litter I used left the rubber of the globe similar to how it worked with wheat cat litter, which had residual sticking to the bottom. However, it was not hard to remove it when cleaning the globe. But still, it didn’t leave the rubber too clean. Maybe if I had set up the delay cycle longer than 7 minutes the result could have been different, but I am not sure.
How walnut shell cat litter works with the Litter-Robot
Pros of Using Walnut Shell Cat Litter with Litter Robot
- Eco-friendly natural cat litter with no harmful chemicals so it’s safe for your cat.
- Almost no dust so you don’t have to breathe dust when pouring down cat litter. Good for people and cats with allergies.
- Almost no litter tracking, easier to keep the litter box area clean.
- Quick clumping (the variety I used)
Cons of using walnut shell cat litter
- Slow absorption of urine in the cat litter, the liquids spread out to the sides before being totally absorbed.
- Not easy on the cat’s paws, the texture is rough.
- Clumping sealing needs longer than 7 minutes to get firmer.
- Cat litter clump residual sticks to the bottom after a week of use.
If you use walnut shell cat litter and want to get the Litter Robot
Walnut shell cat litter works well with the Litter Robot. If you currently use walnut shell cat litter with a traditional litter box and you are hesitant about how it works with the Litter Robot, you won’t have issues. My suggestion would be to set up the delay cycle to 15 minutes instead of the default 7 minutes. This way the litter will clump firmer. One of the things to consider is that by using natural clumping litter the rubber on the globe will end up with clump residual attached to it after a week, so you may need to scrape a little every week, but this type of cat litter doesn’t glue to the bottom like the clay clumping type so it’s really easy to clean it. Get the Litter-Robot 4 and apply $50 OFF your order here.
If you use the Litter Robot and want to switch to walnut litter
As mentioned previously you won’t have issues using walnut shell cat litter with the Litter Robot. But beware that the texture of this type of cat litter is rougher than the sandy type of most clay-clumping cat litters, so your cat may not like it. If your cat has sensitive paws, this may not work for him. Another fact that could impact your cat’s acceptance of walnut shell cat litter is its very dark brown color. I had to train my cat to accept this cat litter but she reluctantly started to step on it. The odor control of this type of natural cat litter is not excellent, but it’s OK. You can always use odor control devices like the OdorTrap, or use baking soda, or silica bags inside the waste drawer. All in all, is a good natural alternative that works well with the Litter Robot. Get walnut shell cat litter on Chewy here.