Cat litter is a necessary supply for cat owners, but choosing the right type can be a challenge. While several options are available, not all are created equal. To help you pick the best cat litter to fit your needs and those of your feline friend, we’ll answer a few questions about cat litter; then, we’ll take a look at our picks.
Buying Guide for Cat Litter
Why buy cat litter?
Cats are beloved pets and family members, but without the right ‘facilities,’ their waste can create an odor that can be hard to control. Having an effective cat litter in their litter box setup is a great way to keep your cat happy and healthy and to minimize litter messes and smelliness in your home.
What should you look for in cat litter?
- Ingredients: Cat litter can be made from many ingredients, so choose based on your preferences, your pet, and your home. These types of litter include but are not limited to clay, wood, wheat, corn, and crystals.
- Dust: Some litters produce more dust than others. If you or your cat have respiratory issues or are especially sensitive to dust in general, choose a low-dust option.
- Scent: Cat litter comes in scented and unscented options. Since some people and cats may be more sensitive to strong scents than others, it’s important to take note of the fragrance specifics in the product descriptions when deciding on a cat litter brand.
- Clumping vs. Non-Clumping: Non-clumping litters tend to be less expensive than clumping ones but may not be as convenient when cleaning up after your kitty. On the other hand, clumping litters tend to be better at odor control and more convenient during the cleanup process, but they usually cost more. There are litter robots that are compatible with either type, too.
How often should you change the litter in your cat’s litter box?
It depends on the type of litter you use. With clumping litter, you may only have to change the entire box every couple of weeks or so as long as you’re scooping daily. If you use non-clumping litter, however, you’ll have to change the entire box more frequently, about once a week or more. The frequency of changing your cat’s litter also depends on how many cats share it. The more cats sharing a box, the more frequently it will need to be changed.
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Our Picks for the Best Cat Litters
ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter
A natural clumping litter made from wood that is biodegradable, compostable, and 99% dust-free.
Pros: This natural, plant-based clumping cat litter is great at controlling odors, even in homes with multiple feline fur babies. The precision-cut wood fiber absorbs liquid on contact and forms solid clumps, making cleanup easy. Best of all, this litter is 99% dust-free, which helps keep a healthier home. It’s free of artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, and GMOs. The litter is also biodegradable and compostable. Since it’s made from wood, it exudes a nice natural smell without adding harsh fake smells to compete.
Cons: Some users may experience tracking with this litter, possibly depending on the cat’s scratching habits. A quality cat litter mat may help prevent the product from being tracked too far around the house.
Bottom Line: If having an all-natural, eco-friendly cat litter with odor control is high on your list of priorities, consider this one from ÖKOCAT. In addition to the large 16.6-pound package featured here, this litter is available in a medium 13.2-pound size as well.
Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter
A lightweight cat litter that has no plume of dust after pouring.
Pros: This cat litter is a lightweight, low-dust, clumping option. It is easy to pour with no plume of dust after, and the scent adds a pleasant clean fragrance to your home. The litter has an ammonia blocker, preventing the ammonia odor from forming for two weeks. After each use, this litter forms strong and tight clumps to make for easy cleanup.
Cons: The ammonia-blocking fragrance may be too strong for human or feline noses that are more sensitive to perfumes.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a clumping, deodorizing cat litter that is lightweight and easy to pour and carry, this one is worth a look.
Dr. Elsey's Cat Litter
This hard-clumping litter is low tracking and 99% dust-free.
Pros: Dr. Elsey’s Cat Litter is a 100% bentonite clay, maximum clumping litter that forms hard clumps that won’t crumble, making it easier to scoop. This unique, low-tracking formula of medium-grain clay helps keep litter where it belongs: in the box. It’s 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic, so it’s great for cats with allergies or respiratory issues. This best-selling litter is made with natural ingredients and designed for single or multi-cat households to keep your home smelling fresh between box changes.
Cons: If moisture from your cat’s waste seeps to the bottom of the litter box, the hard clumps can stick to the bottom and become hard to remove. It may help to scoop regularly to prevent clumps from making their way to the bottom of the container.
Bottom Line: If you want cat litter that produces clumps that won’t break apart when scooped, consider this one. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Litter comes in scented and unscented varieties.
World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula for Multiple Cats
A flushable (septic-safe) corn-based cat litter that has odor control, great for multiple-cat households.
Pros: If your household has multiple cats, this litter is perfect. This natural corn product is flushable and septic-safe, which means fewer trips to the trash can. The litter is also lightweight and 99% dust-free, offering low tracking and fewer messes to clean up. No artificial perfumes or harmful chemicals are in this litter, but it’s great at controlling odor, even in frequented litter boxes.
Cons: This unscented, corn-based cat litter has a unique smell that may take a bit of time for some cat owners to get accustomed to. For those who prefer a bit of fragrance, this brand also has litter available in floral and lavender scents.
Bottom Line: This flushable litter can be a real time saver in homes with several cats or for anyone who would like an alternative to clay cat litter.
PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter
This non-clumping cat litter is made of crystals that absorb odors and decrease tracking.
Pros: PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat litter absorbs moisture and dries solid waste to remove odors five times faster than clumping clay litter. It’s ideal for single-cat households and comes in 4.3-pound pre-portioned bags that can last up to 30 days per bag, making it the perfect solution for busy cat owners. This crystal product is also low tracking, which means less mess in your home.
Cons: Although this litter is described as 99% dust-free, some users still experienced a bit more dust than expected, especially for a crystal cat litter.
Bottom Line: If you’re considering a switch to a non-clumping cat litter, this crystal option may be worth a try. The blue litter has a fresh scent, while the purple crystals are lavender-scented. This brand also has an unscented litter for those sensitive to fragrances.
Shopping for litter is a necessity for cat owners. It’s important to find a product that will keep your home clean and odor-free and is comfortable for your cat to use. Whether you prefer a cat litter that’s clumping or non-clumping, fragranced or unscented, or made of clay, wood, or crystals, one of our picks will suit your needs to keep your feline companions as well as your home happy, clean, and healthy.