Case Histories

5 Responses to Case Histories

  1. Paul H says:

    Hi my name is Paul, Ive just started out in bonsai but am now looking at the cat litter soil issue. Ive bought a load of litter and intend to use it as my bonsai soil for most of my tiny bonsai. I would like to know your thoughts on this and how cat beinifits the bonsai.


    • Paul, This is my first year to use Sophisticat and so far it is proving to be very satisfactory. Over the years I have used various mixes including my own and Acadama. I think that one big advantage of the cat litter is that it does not break down and cause compaction as quick as some other mediums. It is also a lot cheaper than Acadama but doesn’t look as good. A solution to this is to top dress your better trees with Acadama. One disadvantage with the cat litter and grit in the proportions recommended by those who have more experience with it is that it dries out quite quickly and so you will need to water more often. I have mixed some chopped tree bark to my mixes as an added water retainer. Just over a handful for a medium sized tree. I must say that so far I have not found the watering to be a problem this year but I am retired and can keep an eye on things. If you need more help contact bonsaieejit using the link fropm this blog. He is very knowledgeable and very willing to help.


    • Philip Northfield says:

      Hi my name is Phil and i have been facinated with bonsai for 30 years and last year i finally started with very mixed results(lots more dead wood than planned lol) however always on a budget i realised soil was a problem and akadama etc were expensive so itried the tesco cat litter the pink one and i cant believe it but i havent lost a tree yet all vigerous and healthy……. however i am alarmed at the author of the blogs results ……… and am now worried should i repot all my trees at once cause if i loose them all i think i will be done with bonsai for good… could you tell me how long it took before the problems arose? What did the soil composition change to ,as mine still looks the same as when i re potted them a year ago……… Thanks alarmed Phil


      • Phil. Thanks for your comment. Please note I have only cited my personal experience when using Tesco Premium Cat Litter. You may be using a different product. Click yhis link to see what mine looked like after about 3 years. The pics were taken when re-potting earlier this year. I didn’t actually lose any trees but all that were potted in this stuff suffered badly in loss of health and vigour. I may have accidentally used the wrong product to that I saw recommended on the web but I really don’t think so. Why don’t you send a few pics of some of your trees and of the soil surface. Maybe even a pic of the raw material you are using as it comes out of the bag. I am currently using Sophisticat Pink which is available in large bags at Pets at Home. This is a much better product than the one I was using beforehand. Hope this is helpful. Are you in a club. EMail to


  2. I also use Sophisticat but as well as Tesco Low dust or dust free which is like a small grade of Sophisticat. I don’t think Tesco Premium was the right one to choose.Been using litter for over three years and like yours my trees don’t say much but they seem quite happy.

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