Cats are very clean animals. It’s important that the cat litter box is cleaned regularly to keep your cat healthy and in a good mood.
Cleaning a cat’s litter tray, however, is not the funniest of activities and it can become really an unpleasant chore if it’s hard to clean.
Choosing an appropriate cat litter can make a big difference in how easy it is to clean the litter box. The best cat litters should be easy to deal with for a cat owner and should also be pleasant for your cat to use.
The last thing you want is for your cat to leave their feces outside the litter box because they don’t like the litter!
To help you choose the best cat litter for your and your cat’s needs, we have reviewed the most popular cat litters on the market.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
The Top 5 Best Cat Litters in 2021
|Brand||Product Image||Top Benefit||Price|
|Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter||The Best Clumping Cat Litter Overall|
|Fresh Step Multi-Cat with Febreze Freshness||The Best Cat Litter for Odor Control|
|ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat||The Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats|
|World’s Best Cat Litter||The Best Clumping Cat Litter for Health|
|Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter||The Best Cat Litter for ‘Problem’ Cats|
Before we start reviewing the best cat litters, have a look at the table below. It shows the most important features you should consider when choosing the best cat litter for your convenience and your furry friend’s preferences:
The Best Cat Litter – Comparison Table
The Best Cat Litter – Reviews
1. Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter – The Best Clumping Cat Litter Overall
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter is the most popular and favorite cat litter on the market. It has more than 16,000 reviews and is sworn by many that it’s the only cat litter that they will ever buy.
So what makes this cat litter so special? It’s a number of benefits that this cat litter delivers thanks to the special formula which combines heavy granules with medium grain clay.
First of all, this cat litter clumps really well. Customers who use this product say that none of the clumps crumble away when they are scooping them out of the litter box. That means you can remove clumped feces and urine without mixing it with the remaining litter. You can simply replenish the missing portion of litter and enjoy the freshness of the litter box for longer.
A heavy clumping effect also prevents moisture from reaching the bottom of the litter box which means you won’t need to deal with scrapping a congealed litter from the bottom of the litter box.
Secondly, this litter is (99.9%) dust-free. This is a huge benefit both for the health of a cat as well the place the litter box is placed in.
The third benefit is that thanks to the formula which combines heavy granules with medium grain this cat litter doesn’t track. That means you won’t be finding granules all over your house and less risk your cat will digest them while grooming.
Last but not least this cat litter is hypo-allergenic and contains no plant proteins, perfumes, deodorants or chemicals. Customers who use this litter say that it keeps odors away very well. This litter can be used by multiple cats at the same time, as the odors will be successfully locked away.
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter is made of all-natural bentonite clay. It can be used with sifting or mechanical litter boxes. It’s available in 18 pounds or 40 pounds bags.
2. Fresh Step Multi-Cat with Febreze Freshness – The Best Cat Litter for Odor Control
Fresh Step Multi-Cat with Febreze Freshness is loved by cat owners for a number of reasons.
First of all, this cat litter locks odors so effectively that the manufacturer guarantees 10 days of odor control. It’s especially helpful for multi-cat houses where the intensity of odors accumulates fast. The ability to lock in odors so effectively comes from the formula of this cat litter which contains carbon to inhibit bacterial odor.
Secondly, this cat litter clumps really well. It forms tight clumps around urine and feces which don’t break down when scooping. It enables to leave the major portion of litter intact and helps to clean the litter box easily. The litter also prevents urine to stick to the bottom of the litter box (just make sure you fill the litter box with 2-3 inches of litter, as per instructions on the package).
The next benefit is that it is a low dust litter. Customers who use this litter confirm that it does not produce dust. It’s a bonus for you and your cat’s health, because you don’t get to breathe it. It’s also good for your apartment, as there won’t be white footprints left all over it.
Last but not least, Fresh Step cat litter uses Febreze fragrance that is activated by the cat’s paws every time the cat uses the litter box. The fragrance leaves a nice smell on your cat’s paws when she leaves the litter box.
Fresh Step cat litter is made of clay with added carbon for enhanced odor control. It’s suitable for sifting or mechanical litter boxes. It’s available in 14, 20, 34 and 75 lbs resealable packs. Each pack consists of a few smaller bags for easy handling and storage.
3. ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat – The Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats
ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat is another cat litter sworn to be loved by many who have once used it. It’s a scented cat litter, but the scent is light, fresh and not overpowering.
Customers who are using this litter say that it clumps very well, leaving the clumps so hard they don’t crumble when scoping out.
The manufacturer of this cat litter guarantees 7 days odor-free home. Indeed, people who have bought this product say it locks odors very well, making it suitable for use by multi-cat households.
One of the biggest advantages of this cat litter is that it’s almost dust-free. The manufacturer says that it’s 100% dust-free. While 100% dust-free may be a little bit of exaggeration, the cat owners who are using this product say that indeed, this cat litter generates only a minimal amount of dust when pouring or scooping.
This cat litter consists of very fine granules, almost like a sand-like. Some cat owners said that the fine granules don’t stick to their cat’s paws, hence the tracking is reduced, while others said that the fine grains enhance tracking.
ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat is available in 27.5 pounds or 40 pounds bags. Make sure you’ll be able to handle the 40 pounds bag because many people said this packaging was difficult to carry and pour the litter from.
4. World’s Best Cat Litter – The Best Clumping Cat Litter for Health
World’s Best Cat Litter is a clumping cat litter made out of whole-kernel corn. It means that it’s more healthy for your cat than the clay litter and is also more friendly for the environment as it’s biodegradable. It does not contain any chemicals or artificial perfumes and it’s flushable.
Customers who bought this cat litter said that it clumps really well and is easy to scoop. They reported that it lasts longer than other cat litters because feces and urine, once clumped, don’t mix up with the surrounding litter. Therefore it stays clean longer.
When it comes to odor control, although the manufacturer claims that this litter has outstanding odor control, the large number of customers reported that, unfortunately, this litter does not control odor well. It looks like it’s due to the nature of the corn which absorbs the smell.
Regarding dust, while the manufacturer claims that this litter is 99% dust-free, opinions among cat owners who use this litter are mixed. While some customers say this cat litter produces only minimal dust, others say it generates plenty of it. They say, however, that this dust is heavier in comparison to the clay litter’s one, and does not get into the air.
The biggest benefit of this cat litter is that corn is a natural material and it’s much healthier for your cat then clay cat litter. When your cat cleans herself, she doesn’t have to lick unnatural particles and chemicals present in the clay cat litter.
World’s Best Cat Litter is available in three options: traditional, clumping, multi-cat clumping and lavender-scented multi-cat clumping. It’s also available in 7 pounds or 28 pounds bags.
5. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter – The Best Cat Litter for ‘Problem’ Cats
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter is designed especially for cats that don’t want to use the litter box. It is ideal to use for ‘problem’ cats, or as a training litter for kittens.
This litter contains natural herbs, which scent attract cats to come inside the litter box. It also features a preferable for cats texture and size of granules. The cat owners who bought this litter confirm that this litter has really attracted their cats and kittens to urinate and defecate inside the litter box.
This cat litter is no scented. The only scent comes from natural herbs. Artificial fragrance may deter cats from coming into the litter box.
The manufacturer says this litter is 99.5% dust-free. It holds true among the customers who bought this product, who praise the litter for producing almost no dust.
According to people who used this product, this cat litter clumps well, however, it allows moisture to reach the bottom of the litter box. When a cat urinates the litter turns into ‘concrete’ which sticks to the bottom of the litter box which makes it hard to clean. As a result, this also affects the ability of this cat litter to lock the odor effectively. To remedy this problem, it’s advised to fill in the litter box with 3 to 4 inches of litter.
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter is available in 20 pounds and 40 pounds bags.
6. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter – Cat Litter with the Most Convenient Packaging
Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter is another highly rated product by thousands of people.
It’s a clay-based, slightly scented litter. The scent is light and fresh and not overpowering.
The manufacturer promises a 24/7 odor control which seems to hold true. Customers who bought this product say it’s very good at locking away even very strong odors.
Another benefit of this litter is that it’s 99.9% dust-free. Cat owners who use this product confirmed that it does produce only very little dust.
When it comes to clumping, although the manufacturer promise a hard clumping effect, the experiences of people who bought this product are different. Some customers say that it clumps very well, whereas others say that the clumps break apart while scooping.
The litter is available in a variety of weights and different form of packaging so that you can choose the most convenient option for your needs.
7. PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box Tray Refills – The Best Cat Litter for Self-Cleaning
PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box Tray Refills is a non-clumping crystal cat litter. It’s specially designed for the PetSafe Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, but you can use the refill trays alone, without having to purchase the whole litter box.
This litter does not clump, which means that the crystal granules do not clump over the feces and urine as standard clumping clay litter does. Instead, the crystals have an ability to absorb urine and dry out feces so that the odor gets removed from the waste.
The best thing about this cat litter is the convenience of not having to clean the litter box. The trays that come with this litter are disposable and you do not need to clean them. Every few weeks, when the litter is ready to be replaced, you can simply cover the old tray with a provided lid and throw it away. The manufacturer says that one refill tray lasts up to 30 days for one cat.
Another noticeable advantage of this cat litter is that it generates almost no dust. Customers who bought this litter say that the crystal granules produce much less dust in comparison to standard clay litter particles. Another benefit of the crystal granules is that they also don’t track as much as clay granules.
PetSafe ScoopFree Cat Litter is available in three options: premium blue crystals, lavender crystals (light lavender scent) and sensitive crystals (free from perfumes and dyes, for sensitive cats and people). One unit Includes 3 disposable plastic trays with litter.
8. Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter – The Best Cat Litter for Sensitive Paws
Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter is a non-clumping and unscented cat litter made of recycled paper pellets.
It’s a great cat litter for cats that have sensitive paws, for example, those that have been declawed, as the soft paper pellets would not hurt or irritate them.
It’s a non-clumping cat litter, therefore you should clean feces and urine as soon as possible so that they don’t start to smell. Once the waste is removed, you should not feel the odor.
This cat litter generates no dust so that you and your cat won’t have to breathe a chemical powder of standard, clay cat litter. Your cat will not leave white footprints all around the house. When your cat cleans herself, she won’t have to lick off chemical dusty clay out of her fur.
The paper pellets also don’t get tracked around the house as much as small granules of clay cat litter.
Being made out of recycled paper means that this cat litter is eco-friendly and decomposable. It will not add to the landfill.
As this cat litter doesn’t have clumping properties, it can be flushed down the toilet without risk of blocking the drains.
Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter is available in one 30 pounds or 6 bags 5 pounds each.
9. Feline Pine Cat Litter – The Best Cat Litter with Natural Scent
Feline Pine Cat Litter is a non-clumping cat litter made of compressed pine wood pellets. It’s 100% natural pine with no chemicals or additives. The pellets are made from shavings from lumber yards so only trees already cut are used in the production of this cat litter.
This cat litter is non-clumping, which means that you will need to dispose of waste as soon as possible each time your cat defecates or urinates in order to prevent the bad smell. Although this cat litter is unscented, it has a nice, natural smell of pines.
Made out of natural material, this cat litter is healthy and safe for your cat. When your cat cleans herself she won’t lick off chemicals out of her fur.
This cat litter generates no dust, which means you nor your cat won’t be exposed to breathing chemical powder of standard clay litters. There won’t be messy footprints left on the surfaces.
Large pellets of this cat litter don’t get tracked around the house as much as small particles of clay cat litter.
As this is a non-clumping litter, it can be flushed down the toilet without risk of blockage.
Last but not least, the softness of pellets makes it a perfect product for cats with sensitive paws, for example, cats that have been declawed. The pellets don’t stick into your cat’s paws causing irritation or wounds.
Feline Pine Cat Litter is available in 20 pounds or 40 pounds bags.
10. Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter – The Best Cat Litter for Composting
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter is a natural clumping cat litter made of compressed walnut shells.
Made of natural ingredients, it’s eco-friendly and biodegradable. It’s also safe for you and your cat. Your cat won’t get exposed to harmful chemicals with this all-natural cat litter.
Customers who bought this product confirmed the manufacturer claims that this cat litter is great in locking out odors.
When it comes to clumping, cat owners who use this cat litter say that the clumps are firm, but they would crumble away while scooping, making it harder to clean up the waste and leave the rest of the litter box clean.
Customers who bought this cat litter said that the biggest issue with this cat litter is dust and tracking. Although the dust is natural and silica-free, this cat litter generates so much dust that the surfaces get dirty quite easily. The very small and powdery particles of this cat litter make it easy to track around.
Although this cat litter has clumping properties, customers who bought this product said that it can be flushed down the toilet without clogging the drains.
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter comes in seven different variations, depending on your needs. It is available in 6, 14, 26 and 52 pounds bags.
Best Cat Litter – Buyer’s Guide
Important considerations about cat litter before you buy one:
1. Clumping cat litter vs. non-clumping cat litter
Cat litters can be differentiated in various ways, however, the most prominent differentiator is if the litter is clumping or non-clumping.
What is clumping cat litter?
Clumping cat litter is designed to remove urine and feces easily from the box without having to empty the entire box. Most of clumping cat litters contain material known as bentonite clay that allows the litter to form a nice solid clump as the litter absorbs liquid.
Once the litter is clumped around the feces it can be removed from the box pretty easily. What you only need to do is to scoop out the soiled litter from the box. The ability to scoop and remove soiled litter from the box means that the box stays clean for a longer period. You can replenish the soiled litter by adding an equal amount of fresh litter.
Although clumping cat litter is usually made of bentonite clay, a substance sourced by environmentally destructive strip mining, it can also be made of eco-friendly materials like corn, wheat or wall nut.
Benefits of clumping cat litter:
– Clumps around feces and urine, which makes it easier to clean the litter box.
– Thanks to clumping, the litter box stays fresh for longer.
– Clumping traps the smell of feces and ammonia effectively
Disadvantages of clumping cat litter:
– Can produce dust
– Small granules can track around the house
– Not flushable (because of the clumping effect, flushing clumping litter down the toilet can clog the pipes)
– The harvesting of bentonite clay is destructive to the environment
What is non-clumping cat litter?
Non-clumping cat litter is typically made of plant-based materials like pine, wheat, wood, etc. Non-clumping cat litter is good at removing odors because it has the ability to absorb relatively large volumes of urine.
On another hand, because urine begins to pool in the bottom of the litter box, it’s rather hard to clean the non-clumping litter without cleaning the entire box.
Cat owners would choose a non-clumping cat litter over clumping cat litter because made of purely of plant-based materials, it’s a healthier option both for the cat and the owner.
Benefits of non-clumping cat litter:
– Plant-based materials are healthier for the cat, cat owner and the environment
– Does not generate dust
– Usually, non-clumping cat litter features bigger particles, which track less than the small particles of clumping cat litter
– Can be flushed down the toilet
Disadvantages of non-clumping cat litter:
– Non-clumping means you should be scooping waste as soon as possible to avoid the smell
– Urine accumulates at the bottom of the litter box, which means you will need to clean the litter box more often
2. Scented vs. unscented cat litter
There are scented and unscented variations of cat litter on the market. It’s completely up to you and your cat which one you would prefer. Scented cat litters are nice to smell and may diminish the smell of ammonia. On another hand, your cat may not like the scent and it could deter him from using the litter box. If the smell is too overpowering, it may become obstructive for you too.
Examples of the best clumping cat litters with light and fresh scents:
Example of a non-clumping cat litter with a natural pine scent:
3. Bentonite clay vs. plant-based cat litter
Cat litter can be made of mineral, non-biodegradable substances, like bentonite clay, or biodegradable, plant-based substances such as wood, wheat, corn, walnut shells, etc.
Most of the clumping cat litters are made of bentonite clay, which is sourced through an environmentally destructive process of strip mining. There are over two million tons of bentonite clay mined in the United States to be turned into cat litter every year.
Apart from being not eco-friendly, bentonite clay is also known to contain silica dust, which in some states is classified as a carcinogen. As clumping cat litter generates dust, inhalation of such substances may be dangerous both to cat and to the cat owner. More than that, a cat is also disposed to the digestion of the harmful chemicals when she licks off her fur during cleaning.
4. Quality of clumping
If you decided that the clumping cat litter is the best for your needs, you should be looking for the quality of clumping. A good clumping cat litter should create hard, firm clumps that won’t crumble while scooping them out. Hard clumps that don’t break apart, make it easy to scoop them out and leave the rest of the litter intact. This way the litter will last fresh for longer.
Examples of the best clumping cat litters that form hard and firm clumps:
5. Odor control
Odor control is one of the most important factors when purchasing a cat litter. The smell of ammonia can be unbearable.
You should be looking for a cat litter with effective odor control when you are a busy cat owner who does not have time to clean a cat litter box often.
The odor locking is also important for those cat owners who live in small apartments, where the smell can spread quickly through all the living areas.
Last but not least, effective odor control is a must if you have multiple cats. In multi-cat households, even with frequent cleaning, the smell can build up in no time.
Examples of the best cat litters for odor control:
5. Amount of dust
Dust is another important factor when choosing cat litter. Dust is undesirable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, dust creates a mess. It will cover the surfaces in the proximity of the litter box and your cat will spread out white footprints all around the place.
Secondly, you and your cat are prone to inhale it. It’s especially dangerous to inhale dust from the clumping cat litter made of bentonite clay, as it contains silica dust, which is known to be harmful to the organism.
Thirdly, cats are additionally exposed to the harmful consequences of chemicals contained in the dust generated by bentonite clay cat litter by ingesting it when they clean themselves.
Examples of the best clumping cat litters which generate little dust:
Examples of the best non-clumping cat litters which are dust-free:
Finding litter granules all around the house, in your bed and or on the kitchen table can be frustrating. Unfortunately, the smaller the granules are, the easier they stick to the cat’s paws and get carried away all over the place.
If you are really annoyed with tracking, you should be looking for cat litter where the particles are not tiny. The best cat litters in this respect are non-clumping ones, which are usually in the form of bigger pellets.
Example of the best clumping cat litter with low-tracking:
Examples of the best non-clumping cat litters with no-tracking:
When choosing cat litter you should also look at the way it’s packaged. Some of the litters are packed in very heavy bags which makes them difficult to carry or pour the litter from.
For some people, especially older people or those who live alone, handling such heavy bags gets impossible. Before you place an order for cat litter, make sure you’ll be able to handle it in a convenient for yourself way.
8. Cat litter for cats with sensitive paws
If your cat has sensitive paws, for example, in case your cat has been declawed, a hard, granulated cat litter may be too harsh for your cat.
Granules can go inside your cat paws and irritate or even wound them. It can be additionally harmful and unpleasant for your cat if the litter is made of bentonite clay, as various chemicals can get in your cat’s system.
The best cat litter for sensitive paws is the one that is plant-based and is made of large, soft pellets, which won’t stick inside your cat paws.
Examples of the best cat litters for sensitive paws:
Best Cat Litter – Frequently Asked Questions
How to dispose of cat litter?
To dispose of cat litter follow the steps below:
1. Scoop the litter into the plastic bag (make sure the plastic bag is strong enough so it doesn’t break, you can also use two bags for added security).
2. Tie up the bag tightly to make sure the contents and odor will not leak out.
3. Place the bag into the trash can with a lid (if possible, it’s better to put the bag with the used litter outside of your house or apartment, so that the smell and bacterias won’t have a chance to spread in your living space).
Can cat litter be flushed?
Clumping cat litter cannot be flushed down the toilet because it can block drains. Some non-clumping cat litters, made of plants, are possible to be flushed as they are not likely to clog the toilet.
Even though some litters are advertised as flushable, flushing cat litter down the toilet should be avoided due to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which is present in the cat’s feces and causes toxoplasmosis. If you flush cat’s feces down the toilet you allow this dangerous parasite entering the water system and increase the possibility of public infection.
How often to change cat litter?
Cat litter should be cleaned of cat’s feces daily. The more often and quicker the feces are scooped out of the box, the longer the period the litter can stay fresher.
Usually, the clumping cat litter can stay clean and without smell for longer than the non-clumping cat litter. A good clumping cat litter which is scooped daily, can last even for two to three weeks. If the clumping cat litter is not scooped regularly, or if you have a non-clumping cat litter, it should usually be changed twice to once a week.
You should definitely change cat litter when you start smelling the odor or when you can see that the litter became wet or clumped.
Is cat litter biodegradable?
If you want to be eco-friendly you should choose a cat litter that is biodegradable. The clumping cat litter made of bentonite clay is not biodegradable and it will just sit in the landfill. The biodegradable cat litters are made of recycled paper products or plant-based materials such as wood, pine, corn, wheat, walnut shells, etc.
Is cat litter toxic?
Clumping cat litters made of bentonite clay may contain a substance called silica dust (crystalline silica), which in California is treated as a known carcinogen.
If the clay clumping cat litter is dusty, the harmful particles can be easily inhaled by you and your cat. Additionally, cats are exposed to digesting toxic chemicals when they lick off their fur during cleaning.
Some scented cat litters can also contain chemical fragrances that can be toxic to cats and cats may be aversed to them refusing to use the litter.