When asked to try tofu cat litter on my cat, Nova, I immediately thought, “what's tofu cat litter?”. Having never even heard of it before, I imagined seeing large chunks of bean curd sitting in a tray, believing no cat would ever take well to it. It just seemed a little far out; slightly off-beat.
After some research and time spent trying it out (with my cat, not myself, you understand), however, it became clear that it's not as wacky as it may seem. In fact, as I would go on to discover, it's certainly a product worth considering.
What is tofu cat litter?
If, like me, you're equating this with the foodstuff beloved of vegans and vegetarians, it's time to think again – well, to some degree at least. That's because tofu cat litter isn't intended to form a delicious protein-packed meal. Instead, it's made from food-grade soybean fiber residue that would otherwise be thrown away, mixed with cornstarch, guar gum and pea fiber among other natural ingredients.
In that sense, it forms an eco-friendly cat litter alternative and there are certainly many advantages to using it. Aside from the environmental benefits, it's an effective litter material that is pretty much dust free. It also barely sticks to a cat's paws which means you're far less likely to see little bits of litter strewn around your home. Since it's great at absorbing waste, it's odor-free too. What's more, it's soft and inviting. The perfect choice?
Is tofu cat litter good for cats?
Before rushing out and buying tofu cat litter, it's important to address whether or not it's safe for those who will be actually using it: that is, your cats! And here, we can report good news. Tofu cat litter will cause very few problems for your feline friends so long as you treat it well by scooping daily.
Since it's made from natural ingredients and contains no toxins, you won't need to worry if your cat ends up eating some of it (just make sure they're not scoffing loads and that no artificial additives have been added). The dust-free nature of tofu litter also means cats who are suffering from respiratory problems can breathe more easily. As you can imagine, this will be good for humans as well.
How long does tofu last in cat litter?
Knowing how often to change cat litter is important for a number of reasons, from hygiene to encouraging your kitty to make use of it. If you're scooping daily (which is definitely advisable) and investing in clumping cat litter, then you may only need to change litter every two to three weeks. It's also worth going the extra yard and learning how to clean a litter box for maximum efficiency.
But that is not quite answering the question. What we're looking at here is how long tofu itself will last given that it's nature. Well, a lot depends on how you're storing it. The 2mm granules that make up tofu cat litter can easily develop mold if they're not being kept in a dry, cool and well-ventilated space. Yet in the correct conditions, you'll find tofu cat litter lasts a good while – as long as a month in some instances although it could depend on the time of the year as well.
Does tofu litter clump urine?
Now there are various types of cat litter but their suitability can often come down to whether it clumps urine or not. In the case of tofu cat litter, you're again in luck, because it does indeed clump – doing so pretty quickly too! Experiments show that tofu is able to absorb much more moisture than clay, for example, which goes a long way towards making it odor-free. But there's also a convenience factor to tofu litter: it can be flushed down the toilet.
Now, flushable cat litter can seem like the holy grail and there are varieties that can be removed from the best cat litter box and popped down the loo – they include those made from compostable materials such as wheat, newspaper, cassava, pine, wood shavings or corn. Whether or not you should do so is another matter – there's always a danger that your home's plumbing can become clogged. Yet tofu cat litter is water-soluble so it's more toilet-friendly than most. You could also compost it.
We tested some leading tofu cat litter - here’s what we found
PetNF Tofu Cat Litter
Best premium tofu cat litter
If you can get past the cost of this cat litter (and it's fair to say that many people will wince at the price), then you and your kitty are in for a treat! Pouring the cat litter into the tray was dust-free, as expected, and while we felt there was an ever-so slightly odd yet not unpleasant smell, it proved very effective when being used, preventing the odor of urine well. In that sense, it did its job, with the urine clumping quickly and poop being easy to scoop. Very convenient and impressive.
Youdupes Tofu Cat Litter
Best smelling tofu cat litter
It seems a little strange to take a tofu cat litter – which is supposed to have odor-free properties as “standard” – and then add green tea extract for odor control. But it works so who are we to argue, giving the immediate area a pleasant fragrance that got the thumbs-up in our household. Once again, it clumps quickly and hard and it's pleasing to note there was no dust when tipping it into the litter tray. Nova ate a little of this one but didn't have any adverse effects.
Chow Sing tofu litter
Best budget tofu cat litter
This product proudly states that it's toilet flushable. That, however, is the case for all tofu litter so it's not particularly special in that sense. In our test, we placed a small amount into the loo (our plumbing isn't the best so we didn't want to do much more) and, lo and behold, it went down well. As with the other products on test, this also proved a great choice. Odor was controlled, there was no dust and it eliminated tracking. It's also very reasonably priced.
Does tofu cat litter actually work?
And so we come to the grand conclusion in which we can report that, yes, tofu cat litter works. Some users have claimed it's a game-changer and it certainly does have a heap of advantages. Our only concern is the price but if you can afford it and want to tap into the benefits, there should be very little else to hold you back.
David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.