Pioneer Pet Products manufactures two cat litters under its SmartCat brand: All Natural Clumping Litter and Lightweight Clumping Litter. The former has a cult-following whose members would not dream of using anything else. The lightweight option, however, is a newer product still in search of its stans.
Pioneer’s litters may be a good fit for cat families with a deep reverence for Mother Nature. So let’s dive into an in-depth Pioneer Pet cat litter review to determine if it’s for you.
Pioneer Pet and SmartCat: Brand Overview
Grab your beverage of choice, settle in, and allow me to limn the tale of Pioneer Pet Products.
Back in the 1990s, a cat behaviorist named Betsy Lipscomb grew frustrated with the number of cats landing in shelters because owners didn’t understand how to teach kitties less-destructive scratching habits. To help solve the problem, Lipscomb started an international cat behavior hotline, and thousands of people called in to learn the skills needed to keep their felines — and furniture — happy.
Over the years, the mission grew. Lipscomb also started educating cat owners on the cruelty of declawing and launched a business dedicated to “enhancing” the quality of pets’ lives. It sold scratch pads and other feline-friendly accessories.
Today, that company is Pioneer Pet Products, which has since acquired two subsidiary brands: SmartCat and Sticky Paws.
SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
Cats of all ages can use SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter, environmentally conscious households love the no-chemical formula, and folks who prefer products made in the USA feel good that its only ingredient is homegrown.
This non-GMO litter is made of 100 percent American-farmed grass and clumps into a rock-hard ball within 20 seconds! If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering: How can it clump so well without chemicals? The combination of grasses used in the formula naturally clumps together when combined with liquids.
And when I say this litter clumps, I’m talking about the hardest chunks on the kitty litter market. You can throw them at a wall, and they won’t break. The firmness also handles the odor control by locking in foul stenches.
So what’s the catch? SmartCat’s All Natural Clumping Litter is the opposite of cheap. Plus, there was that one time when bugs infested a batch. But other than that, most folks love it.
Pros SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
- 100 percent natural
- Impressive clumping
Cons SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
- Some people say it isn’t dust-free enough
- Odor control may not be strong enough for hyper-sensitive noses
SmartCat Lightweight Clumping Litter
SmartCat’s Lightweight Clumping Litter is the brand’s second foray into the litter space. People who previously used the All Natural Clumping Litter usually don’t love this formula, but folks who’ve never used another SmartCat product typically dig it.
All Natural’s formula is made of 100 percent organic material, but it’s unclear if this version has chemicals. Pioneer Pets doesn’t market it as non-GMO or all-natural, and there’s probably a reason. However, the company is more conscientious than many other conglomerates that manufacture litter, so whether it can be considered a “natural litter” falls squarely into the personal preference column.
What are some common complaints about SmartCat’s Lightweight Clumping Litter? Pioneer Pets advertises Lightweight Clumping Litter as 99 percent dust-free, but some users don’t agree. Others feel it tracks too much and doesn’t cover foul odors sufficiently.
All of that said, Lightweight Clumping is a lot cheaper than its sister product — half as much!
Pro SmartCat Lightweight Clumping Litter
- Excellent clumping action
- More natural than 100 percent synthetic formulas
- Half the price of SmartCat’s All Natural Clumping Litter
Con SmartCat Lightweight Clumping Litter
- May include chemicals
- May not be dust-free enough for some people
SmartCat Litter FAQ
Is it OK to Flush SmartCat Litters?
Flushing cat refuse is never wise. It can contain harmful parasites, infest the public water system, and then wreak havoc. Flushing cat poo can mushroom into a local public health crisis. The best way to dispose of cat excretions coated in all-natural litter is to throw it on the compost.
Is SmartCat Litter “Green”?
It depends on your definition of “green.” The All Natural Clumping Litter is made of 100 percent American-grown grass, which is about as organic as you’re going to get. The Lightweight Clumping Litter formula is a little less clear. There may be some chemicals in it.
Are SmartCat Litters Dust-Free?
Pioneer Pets markets their cat litters as 99 percent dust-free. But the longer I’m on the cat beat, the more I realize that one person’s dust-free is another person’s dust-nightmare. In other words, it’s subjective. Everyone has a different dust tolerance.
Can I Use SmartCat Litters with Automated Litter Boxes?
Many people rave about using the All Natural litter in automated boxes. But again, this is a subjective matrix. Sometimes, the only way to determine if something is for you is to try it.
Pioneer Pet Cat Litter Review Conclusion
- Pioneer Pet has two cat litters; one is lightweight and the other all-natural.
- The all-natural option is made entirely out of grass and clumps into rock-hard balls near instantaneously. It’s also costly.
- The lightweight option is new, and devotees of the all-natural alternative are not fans. But budget shoppers are giving it thumbs up because it clumps well and costs half the amount.
Brian is a proud cat parent and animal enthusiast who lives in the Northwestern United States with two cats. In his spare time, Brian likes traveling around with his pets, exploring new places, and writing. Sharing what he learned over the years of cat ownership brings him joy, and the cats teach him something new every day.