Have you ever cleaned out a cat box? Its a very delicate process and if you’ve never used clumping litter you might not appreciate how delicate a process it is. There are approximately three levels of strata to the common manual-scoop-clumping-litter litter box.
Top Strata: One must look for the obvious artifact within the top layer, quickly scooping with the least amount of litter possible. These artifacts tend to be of the solid, non-liquid and concentrated-scent variety.
Secondary Strata: Requires a bit of finesse. The object at this level is the removal of the complete lump without breakage. Sub par litter can make this difficult thus resulting in an above par stink factor.
Tertiary Strata: The final and most difficult strata. Dip diggers, the bane of feline waste archeologists, prefer the 3rd strata. Difficulties occur when clumped litter creates not a clump, but a flat layer of moist product blocking the slits in the scooper. Thus the subtle vibration of the scooper to remove clean litter becomes futile. The experienced scooper understands that there is an accepted amount of clean litter to be sacrificed. This is where one must question the benefit of scoop/dump vs. scoop/vibrate/dump.
The pleasures of the house cat.