The results are in!!
Well, I have finally settled on a new litter. Maybe. After I told Mike about the litter mistake, he started telling me (again) that I should use Feline Pine litter. Feline Pine is literally pine pellets that turns into sawdust when it gets peed on. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that if I was going to do this litter thing, I was going to do it right. The next time I went to the pet store, I got Feline Pine, Yesterday's News (same idea as the pine, but the pellets are made of recycled newspapers), and Swheat Scoop (made out of wheat bits, this is the only one of the three that clumps). I washed and bleached all three litter boxes, put liners in, and put a different litter in each box. Below are my findings:
Yesterday's News - This seemed to be a fairly decent litter. I would take it over the regular clumping stuff any day. There wasn't much litter spillage because of the size of the pellets, but that also meant that they did a rather poor job of covering poos. It also seemed to not do much as far as keeping smells away, although it still smelled better than clumping stuff or clay. Overall, it was decent, and a little cheaper than the other two (which are about the same price for comperable sizes) but I wouldn't pick this one if I could get one of the other two.
Swheat Scoop - I liked the fact that this one clumped, which means you don't have to totally empty it like the other two. It didn't clump very solid though, it had kind of a doughy consistency (maybe cause it's wheat?) and was a little tricky to scoop if it was a large clump. It did an awesome job not stinking though, and whenever I cleaned it out I had no nasty smells coming at me. The litter itself smells like toast, and the pee clumps smell like bread dough. It was very odd cleaning a litter box that made me want to bake. It was also not very dusty, which I am really excited about because I hate bending over the box only to end up with a face full of litter dust. The only real problem I had with this one is the smaller granules spread over the floor a lot faster and farther than the pellet litters did.
Feline Pine - This possibly performed the best overall out of the three. It also did an awesome job of not smelling like anything except pine, poos got reasonably well covered, and the fact that it breaks up into sawdust after it got peed in was pretty cool. Plus, since the pellets don't scatter on the floor too much, and the sawdust stays put, this probably had the least amount of mess on the floor. It is also the lightest litter in the bunch, which is great if you put a liner in and are trying to take said liner out to change the box but it's heavier because it's full of pee. This one was also virtually dust free, and seems to last longer as far as how much pee it can hold before it needs to be changed.
Clay litter and clumping litter both have problems that, for me, outweigh any benefits they have. Clumping has such bad dust that when I clean it, I end up with concrete in my nose from the dust mixing with snot. That makes me not clean the litter boxes when they need it. Plus, Vester's feet get concreted as well. Clay litter is heavy as fuck even when it's clean, and it smells in no time at all.
So in the end, I am going to use either Feline Pine or Swheat Scoop. I might switch between the two for a while, or have a couple boxes of each set up, but I am just glad to have finally found a litter that will not cake my cat's feet or smell like shit even before it gets put in the box. And no more dust in my face, yay!!!
Here is a link to a page full of cat litter reviews, should you be interested. Some of them, like the Feline Pine, can be used for small animals or small animal itter boxes. And just FYI, the ExquisiCat Pine Cat Litter is just the PetsMart version of Feline Pine. It's cheaper.