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As a newly minted cat parent, I just assumed that litter was supposed to smell, well…pretty awful. And for the past year, I simply accepted that fate. But recently, I was able to try out a new Naturally Fresh cat litter formula that opened up a whole new fresher-smelling world.

What’s more, Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo Formula doesn’t just combat odors. It’s made with special calming essential oils, and its soothing aroma helped transform one of my cats — a fearful rescue —into a cuddly lap cat!

The best part is that the walnut kitty litter is made with natural materials and pet-safe essential oils, so it’s better for the planet and great for cats. That’s a win-win for everyone!

Keep reading to learn how Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo scented cat litter  can help you banish litter box odor, keep your home smelling fresh, and ensure your cats are happy and content.

Naturally Fresh Cat Litter with calming essential oils

Naturally Fresh Cat Litter: Eco-Friendly Origins

Naturally Fresh cat litter is as eco-friendly as it gets. It’s made from upcycled walnut shells, making it completely biodegradable and safe for your precious pets.

The brand’s unique cat litter is produced by Eco-Shell, a company based in Corning, California, The company uses the fibrous materials inside walnut shells (a food by-product) grown on a family farm to make the eco-friendly litter, which is manufactured in solar-powered facilities.

According to a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) study conducted by Trayak in collaboration with the Pet Sustainability Coalition, Naturally Fresh’s walnut shell-based litter uses 97 percent fewer mineral resources, generates 42 percent fewer fossil fuels, and emits 130 percent fewer greenhouse gasses during production than clay litter.

The clay in most litters gets extracted via strip mining, which destroys habitats and pollutes waterways. In contrast, walnut shell cat litter grows on trees, releasing oxygen and absorbing CO2 (a key contributor to climate change).

What’s different about Naturally Fresh litter?

The difference between Naturally Fresh cat litter and typical clay-based litter is evident from the moment you lay your eyes on it. The crushed-up walnut shells are lightweight and reddish-brown in color. That’s a big change from the white pellets I was using before, which my cats often tracked all over my home. 

More importantly, according to an independent study, walnut shells naturally neutralize smells because they can absorb ammonia odors three times better than pine, corn, clay, and wheat litter. Plus, the Harmony Scented litter is clumping, making it easy to scoop away.

Traditional clay litter contains silica dust, which reportedly can cause respiratory problems in pets and humans. Since Naturally Fresh litter is made from natural ingredients, it’s silica-free. Whatever dust you may notice comes from fine particles that are naturally occurring and aren’t harmful to humans or pets.

Additionally, it’s free of harsh perfumes and chemicals often used to mask odors in other litters. The essential oils in the Harmony Lavender & Bamboo Littler are pet-safe, gentle, soothing, and not overpowering.

Naturally Fresh offers six different types of natural walnut shell cat litter:

The Scoop on Harmony Lavender & Bamboo Kitty Litter

Unlike many other scented litters on the market that add unnatural perfumes, Naturally Fresh Harmony cat litter is infused with safe amounts of natural lavender and bamboo essential oils.

But these aren’t just any essential oils. Naturally Fresh partnered with global fragrance leader  Givaudan on the formula, which uses breakthrough MoodScentz+TM technology to create gentle, pleasing scents that have a special soothing effect on pets.

Harmony Lavender & Bamboo scented litter is designed to reduce feline restlessness naturally and enrich the bond between you and your cats. 

How Does Harmony Cat Calming Litter Work?

Lavender can create a calming atmosphere, so it’s often the go-to scent used in spas. In humans, lavender essential oil can help reduce anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, and agitation. It can reduce our bodies’ “fight or flight” response. And research shows that lavender aromatherapy can help promote better mental health for women after childbirth.

A study published in The Veterinary Nurse in 2018 suggests that lavender aroma may reduce stress in felines and can be calming for cats. And, of course, a calm and relaxed cat is more likely to bond with humans.

Is Lavender Safe for Cats?

Many essential oils, including lavender essential oils — often used in diffusers and sprays — are toxic to cats, as the vapors can be easily inhaled or quickly absorbed through the skin.

According to the ASPCA, lavender can cause nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. If your cat ingests lavender essential oil or comes into contact with it topically, it warrants a visit to the veterinarian. However, the Harmony & Bamboo litter is infused with minimal lavender oil — just enough to give it the scents — and, therefore, safe for your cat’s use.

Cat inspects Naturally Fresh Cat Litter

Putting Naturally Fresh Harmony Scented Cat Litter to the Test

We have two cats in our house: a three-year-old male named Loki and a 10-month-old female named Bailey. Loki spent the first couple of years in a backyard before being rescued and is a bit skittish around humans. On the other hand, Bailey grew up inside since she was six weeks old and is a social butterfly.

Both are used to Tidy Cats’ clay unscented litter and have become experts at using the Litter Robot in the last six months. When I decided to try the Naturally Fresh Harmony Scented Cat litter, I gradually added it to the Litter Robot over a week to get them used to it. By the end of the first week, the transition to Naturally Fresh litter was complete, and both cats were happy using it. 

We’ve always had an air purifier in the cat room, but the difference in the way the room smelled was immediate after switching to the Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo. I am prone to getting a headache when exposed to strong scents, especially from perfumes, so I was a bit hesitant to go near the Litter Robot after making the switch.

The smell of the Naturally Fresh walnut cat litter was gentle and lovely, thanks to the floral aroma of the essential oils. Upon closer inspection, I did not notice the odor of the used litter. Miraculously, I smelled nothing stinky, even when the Litter Robot’s drawer was full.

The Naturally Fresh walnut shell cat litter worked seamlessly in the automatic litter box, which was a big plus. The only slight challenge was that the walnut shell litter doesn’t clump as quickly as clay litter tends to. That means sometimes the damp walnut shell letter would stick to the Litter Robot’s lining, instead of getting scooped into the drawer.

This won’t be a problem for those using a regular litter box who are scooping out used litter. The only challenge with automated machines is you might have to scrape off clumps the machine didn’t get rid of during cycling. But because the litter is made with walnut shells, it’s lightweight and comes off easily without much exertion (almost like removing dirt from a plant pot).  

Two cats sitting pretty on a couch

Things We Like

I am glad I got to test the Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo litter because it was so easy to use, smells pleasant, and calms my cats. I no longer hold my breath when I approach the litter area. The litter doesn’t stick to the cats’ paws so it doesn’t track all over the house like the clay litter.

I also appreciate the fact that the product is all-natural, eco-friendly, and made sustainably in a solar-powered facility. It’s certainly a guilt-free option, as my cats and I are helping to minimize our contribution to climate change and pollution.

Most of all, Loki, who had been scared of humans for over a year, began to feel relaxed enough to let me hold and pet him. That was the most surprising and much-welcomed outcome of switching to the Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo scented litter.

I’ve tried everything from catnip to pheromone diffusers to get him to relax in the past, but nothing has helped until now. Our kitten, Bailey, had become a bit more loving (if possible), cuddling up next to me more and repeatedly rubbing her face against our senior dog, Andy.

Things to Consider

While Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo litter has many positive aspects, there are a few things to consider before you switch.

Naturally Fresh Harmony Lavender & Bamboo litter did work in my Litter Robot. However, it does require a bit more hands-on maintenance than some might prefer. For a truly automated experience, one of Naturally Fresh’s quick-clumping formulas made with finer granules would work better. But whatever Naturally Fresh formula you choose, walnut shell litter doesn’t create large cemented chunks like clay litter does, so the machine’s drawer doesn’t fill up as quickly.

Also, because Naturally Fresh is made of natural materials, our dog, Andy, was drawn to the litter like a magnet. Dogs are scavengers by nature and love to get into anything they get their paws on. Our curious canine is no exception and has a propensity to consume dirt.

If you have dogs, it’s always a good idea to keep your litter box in a separate room they cannot access. The good news is that, because Naturally Fresh cat litter is made with organic materials, if your dog does consume it, they may just have a bit more fiber in their system, which could cause loose stools. Clumping clay litter, on the other hand, could cause blockages that may land your pup in the hospital.

Finally, though Naturally Fresh cat litter is biodegradable (which is great for the planet), be sure to dispose of it carefully. Cat feces contain a parasite called Toxoplasma-gondii that can cause toxoplasmosis, a disease that is harmful to pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. 

Mom with cat
The author with one of her beautiful cats

Harmony Lavender & Bamboo Cat Litter: Our Verdict

The Naturally Fresh cat litter did what it promised — it provided a calming atmosphere, boosted the mood of my cats, and improved our relationship. It’s a definite hit in our household!

It is a bit more expensive than our original litter, but I am happy to pay more for the numerous benefits of walnut cat litter. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s great for calming and bonding (even with my skittish rescue). My home smells like a spa, I no longer instinctively hold my breath when approaching the litter zone, and the cats seem happier. That’s a win-win for everyone! I am happy with the outcome, and I will not be going back to basic clay litter.  

The author received compensation from PetSmart for their services in writing this article.