One big convenience / inconvenience of pet cat ownership is the litter box. How handy and civilized is it that cats use the bathroom indoors just like their owners? On the other hand, how annoying and demeaning is cleaning the box on a regular basis? Litter box technology has come a long way since clumping litter was first developed in the 1950s. This type of litter was finally introduced in the United States in the 1980s, and what a difference this made for pet cat owners. Clumping litter is made from small lumps of clay that clumps together when wet, making clean-up of both liquid and solid waste a simple matter of scooping out the clumps. But there are more types of litter than clumping. Natural litters of different materials are available for kitties who can't use clay and for owners looking for dust-free solutions. Crystal-type litters absorb liquid waste over a month or so per cat. Besides all of the choice in litter types, there is a huge variety in litter pan types. Open pans, lidded litter boxes, even self-cleaning boxes are all options for today's cat owner. You can also pick out your favorite style of litter scoop and accessories like liners and cleaning solutions to keep you and your cat happy.