The secret to happy home (and cat) is a clean litter box.

Around 30 percent of U.S. households have at least one cat, and those cat owners know cleaning the litter box is a necessary evil. It’s not the most glamourous part of taking care of a feline— that spot goes to curating your Catsagram account— but it can make or break your cat’s happiness in your home. And we all know that’s what matters most.

Choosing a cat litter that meets the needs of both you and your cat can call for some messy trial and error. One thing that can give you a better scoop— er, handle— on maintaining a clean and fresh home? Understanding the technical elements of litter and how it appeases your cat’s pickiness. Your best bet is to choose a premium cat litter that boasts these five benefits:

Your cat loves it

Cats are confident in their preferences, and will let you know if the litter isn’t up to par. To avoid litter box rejection and other issues, you’ll want to find a fine-grain litter that studies show cats prefer. This is likely because it mimics the sandy texture cats naturally gravitate towards to use the bathroom. If you use a new litter, make the change for your cat easier by mixing in the new litter with the old for a week.

Litter box mess won’t take over your home

We get it: Litter boxes are gross. That’s why you shove them in your bathroom or a back closet. The last thing you want is litter box grime invading the rest of your home. 44 percent of cat owners say they’re concerned about how the litter box affects the cleanliness of their home. Between scary-sounding parasites and cat health issues brought on by licking the stuff, that’s no surprise. Choosing a premium cat litter that’s dust-free is key.

Premium cat litter isn’t made of just anything

We all love a clean label—and that can extend to the kind of cat litter you use, too. Cat litters can be composed of clay, pine, wheat, corn, recycled paper, silica and more. Eco-friendly litters are becoming en vogue, but a majority of cat owners who tried these nontraditional litters (think pine or paper) switched back to popular litters like clumping clay, because it’s more efficient. Look for premium clumping clay cat litters for improved clumping, or litters with optimized fragrances and plant extracts made with your cat in mind.  

It’s easier to maintain a clean litter box

If you’re like most cat owners, you’re probably cleaning your litter box everyday. It’s a chore, but it’s one that premium litter can make easier. When it comes to popularity, 80 percent of litter sales are clumping litters. That’s because it efficiently absorbs waste and produces easy-to-scoop clumps.

You won’t smell it 24/7

At last— your friends will start coming over again without pretending not to smell litter. Nearly 70 percent of cat owners say odor is the worst part about living with cats. If not taken care of, it can linger and absorb into every inch of your home. To avoid this, opt for premium clumping clay cat litters made with sodium bentonite clay, the ingredient that’s a powerhouse at locking nasty odors in. If you want extra odor protection, litters made with mineral odor fighters and paw-activated fragrance will be your best friend.