Litter is now manufactured in a wide variety of materials including paper, wood, silica, corn and fuller’s earth. Many of these are lightweight, biodegradable and have excellent odour-neutralizing properties. Providing these litters are maintained properly and cleaned regularly they can be acceptable to your cat, particularly if you maintain the material that he was weaned to as a kitten.
However, the ideal substrate to meet your cat’s preferences would be the fine sand-like litters because they best mimic the material that both wild and domestic cats instinctively favour - you’ll know this if you’ve ever had a sandpit in your garden! A cat’s paw pads are extremely sensitive and fine litter is much more gentle on them. We would also recommend unscented clumping litter because it makes it easier to remove all the urine deposits, and this in turn will make it more likely that a cat will continue to use the tray. The scented cat litter has been introduced for our noses not for cats! Anything that has any kind of manufactured smell (baby talc or otherwise!) is another one of the factors that may put a cat off using the tray.
Research also shows that most cats prefer a depth of 3-4cm of litter in their tray, just enough for them to be able to rake over their deposits, but not enough for them to sink in!