Let’s face it: no cat owner wants to scoop up litter, but buying one that meets your standards can make the chore a little less cumbersome.
From dust level to odor control, every person (and cat!) has different preferences. We’ve taken the guesswork out of litter shopping by bringing you a list of our top cat litter picks and why we like them.
Before we get into our options, let’s discuss what types of cat litter are out there and answer some frequently asked questions about them.
types of cat litter
Clay cat litter is the most common type of litter and is usually made from sodium bentonite. sodium bentonite is natural clay collected from clay beds. it has superior absorbency qualities, absorbing up to 15 times its dry weight in liquid. it also collects around the litter, making it easier to remove from the litter box.
This type of litter has a high dust content, so it cannot be flushed down the toilet, nor is it environmentally friendly, as it takes longer to biodegrade than litters made from wheat, corn, or grass.
other types of sand are made from:
- silica gel (crystal granules)
- recycled paper
some of these are grouped while others are not. however, all of these work well in a litter box.
what type of litter do most cats prefer?
Cats prefer soft, grainy substances that they can easily absorb. that may be why they prefer to leave their business cards in your garden. Cats with sensitive paws may find that grainy or sharp, crystal-like litter irritates the beans.
When cats are raised on a particular type of litter, such as pellets or clumping clay litter, they develop a strong preference for it. For example, when trying to switch from granule litter to a finer texture, a cat with strong litter preferences may refuse to use her litter box.
scented or unscented: what is the best cat litter for odor control?
A common misconception is that scented kitty litter removes odors better than unscented kitty litter. cats have a more acute sense of smell than humans and may find strong odors like scented litter offensive enough to make them reject their litter box.
Manufacturers designed scented litter to cover up the smell of waste, but what they got was a scent that blends in with the unpleasant smell. “poovendar” is not always pleasant to our noses. most cats will appreciate odorless litter, but some will tolerate it.
The most effective way to eliminate odors in the cat box is to clean it at least once a day, and maybe more if you have multiple cats.
binder vs. non-clumping: what kind of litter is easy to clean?
clumping litter is a popular choice for easy cleanup. Made from clay, corn, wood, and sorghum, this sand forms a solid mass when surrounded by liquid, making it easy to scoop up.
On the other hand, non-clumping litter is made of silica gel, wood, and pine pellets that become saturated and break down over time. the contents of the kitty litter box should be stirred daily to distribute the ammonia evenly throughout the box.
Both clumping and non-clumping varieties of litter handle odors well. clumping litter should be removed from the litter box daily, while non-clumping litter should be completely emptied and refilled according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which is typically every 2-7 weeks.
No kitty litter is completely dust-free, but some help keep dust to a minimum. This type of litter helps reduce the risk of coughing or sneezing in cats with asthma or allergies. the same is true for us humans!
even if the litter label says it’s flushable, that doesn’t mean your municipal sewage facility or septic system is safe for cat waste.
Cat waste can contain toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in warm-blooded animals and humans. most wastewater treatment centers cannot filter it, so it ends up in the treated water and is redistributed into our environment.
Toxoplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms and, rarely, impaired fetal development. so even if the label says disposable, it’s not a good idea. Double bag cat waste and dispose of in trash can. there are many biodegradable poop bags available for an eco-friendly option when disposing of cat waste.
Smart litters change color in reaction to certain chemicals found in your cat’s urine. they can indicate a bladder or kidney problem and may alert you to the need for a visit to the vet. In the event of an unexpected infection, pet insurance can help reduce a portion of your vet bill, allowing you to focus on giving your cat the best possible care.
Kittens and cats not used to using litter boxes are drawn to the natural herbal additive in these litters. they are made of bentonite which has a hard agglomeration reaction. the kitten versions contain herbs that are attractive to kittens (as many do not respond to catnip until they are over a year old).
what type of cat litter is best? our picks for the best cat litters of 2022
dr. lovely ultra cat litter from elsey
This ticks all the boxes for a standard litter for multi-cat households. When you need a litter that clumps and reduces odors, makes scooping up a breeze, this litter is perfect.
arm & Hammer & stamp
The price for this arena is very reasonable and can be found almost anywhere. it has the clumping, odor control, and scented or non-scented characteristics that all cat owners want.
non-clumping platinum feline pine litter
this litter has been around for a long time and lives up to the manufacturer’s claims well. it has a pleasant aroma of pine, it retains moisture at the bottom of the tray and is easy to pick up, although it does not form clumps.
better odor control
breeze pellets for tidy cats
This is the litter that controls odors with its unique design. A tray filled with proprietary granules drains liquid down to the super absorbent liner in the bottom tray while trapping all solids for daily collection. the granules dehydrate solids for easy removal.
The downside to this arena system is the cost. For multi-cat households, it can be expensive, but for single-cat households, it seems reasonable and works as intended.
the best ecological
skoon all-natural cat litter
Made from diatomaceous earth, this litter was available in many varieties, including a monthly subscription to have it delivered to your door. the materials used for the litter were natural and super absorbent with strong odor control. there were enough varieties to please any fussy cat, and can be easily purchased on amazon if you choose not to subscribe to the litter service. He also offered a disposable cat box for sale!
the best litter for kittens
dr. elsey’s kitty attracts litter
made from 100% bentonite, but with natural herbs that attract kitties. When you rescue and breed foster kittens, or have a new kitten that isn’t box trained, this litter promises to solve the problem.
the best litter without dust
yesterday’s news for original paper cat litter
This litter is made from recycled newspaper and can be used for kittens, cats recovering from surgery, and even small pets.
It does not form lumps, but it is very absorbent and does not perfume. The soft paper pellets are perfect for a kitten’s tender paws and have strong odor control for even the stinkiest deposits.
the best litter for multi-cat households
arm & Hammer & stamp
It was specially formulated for use in various families of cats. the superior odor control of the baking soda additive and hard clumping formula work well according to users, and it picks up easily with most standard spoons.
the best smart litter
prettylitter health control cat litter
A relatively new addition to the litter market, it shows promise and has won the approval of many veterinarians. It’s a low-track, non-clumping litter that changes color based on the chemicals found in your cat’s urine. helps determine if your cat should visit the vet and can detect problems before symptoms are noticed.
When your cat is suffering from flutd or urinary tract problems, this litter is reported to be very helpful and will detect chemical changes in the urine before they become uncomfortable for your kitty.
With so many cat litters to choose from, shopping can be overwhelming. But as long as the litter of your choice makes your cat potty like a pro, you can’t go wrong! When shopping for any product for your precious pup, his health and happiness is always your top priority. At Pumpkin, pets’ health and happiness are our priority too! that’s why pumpkin pet insurance plans help pay for 90% of eligible veterinary bills, so you can worry less about cost and more about care.