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Best cat litter

What is the best cat litter?

Picking the best litter for your pet is crucial because not using the litter box is the number one reason a cat is brought to a shelter, abused or released to the streets. 

New and even current cat owners can be overwhelmed when purchasing the right brand of cat litter for their pet. Today, cat litter utilizes all different types of material, including clay, paper, crystal and silicone gel. Natural options and scented cat litters are designed to mask the odor, but many people still don’t know what type is best and what type cats prefer. Before purchasing, there are essential factors to consider.  

Clumping litter vs. non-clumping litter

Cleaning the litter box is a chore made easy by a scoop that allows you to separate waste from the clean litter. Clumping litter causes the debris in the box to clump around the waste, while non-clumping litter does not. Non-clumping litter is typically less expensive, but clumping litter is much easier to clean and maintain. Cats tend to spread litter when in the litter box and when using non-clumping litter, the clean particles easily mix with the soiled.    

Scented litter vs. unscented litter

Scented litter contains fragrances and perfumes designed to retain the odor of solid waste and urine. There is a wide range of scents available, including lavender, pine and spring breeze. 

Unscented or odorless litter contains no artificial fragrances, so it typically smells like the type of litter, be it clay, wood or wheat. Some forms of unscented litter contain baking soda or other additives that can help absorb odor without masking it. 

When purchasing unscented litter, you also have the option to separately purchase items such as litter deodorizer, litter box wipes and litter fragrance to help mask any unpleasant odors. Litter box charcoal filters are also available that can trap odors and last up to three months. 

Types of cat litter

Best unscented cat litter

World's Best Cat Litter Unscented Clumping Corn 

This comprehensive formula mixes the heavy, non-tracking granules of Precious Cat Classic Litter with a medium-grain clay that makes for superior clumping litter. It’s ideal for cleaning the cat litter boxes by forming hard clumps, making them easier to empty.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

Purina Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

This unscented cat litter is made from pallets of recycled paper. It’s ideal for everyday use, and the low-tracking formula will keep your cat’s paws and your floors litter-free.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart 

So Phresh Extreme Clumping Unscented Grass Seed Cat Litter

This earth-friendly 100 percent US-sourced clumping litter is made from biodegradable glass seeds and is great for the environment. The unscented framed seed product is 59 percent lighter than clay and 99.9 percent dust-free.

Where to buy: Sold by Petco

Best scented cat litter

Fresh Step Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze, Clumping Cat Litter

Fresh Step litter contains carbon to minimize the bacterial odor for up to ten days. The tight clumping clay makes for minimal cleaning and maintenance. A fragrance is released every time your cat uses the litter box, but this litter also inhibits odor control only when necessary to limit over-scenting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

This formula, with revolutionary technology, guarantees to eliminate litter box odors for seven days by absorbing, sealing and destroying odors on contact.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best natural cat litter

Naturally Fresh Unscented Quick-Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

A dust-free formula is essential for those cats and pet owners with respiratory problems or allergies. This natural litter does not contain chemicals, toxins, clay, corn and grains. The 100 percent natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly litter made from walnut shells creates solid clumps that do not stick to the litter box.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

WeruvaIt's A Tea Potty! Hinoki Wood & Green Tea Natural Cat Litter

Made with hinoki wood and green tea to eliminate bacteria and odor, this quick-clumping formula is clay-free and grain-free, making it an excellent natural litter option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter

This natural cat litter is made from biodegradable and renewable wheat and wheat starches to squash odors on contact. The natural enzymes neutralize urine and ammonia odors quickly. This litter is certified flushable, biodegradable and compostable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Best lightweight cat litter

Purina Tidy Cats Free & Clean Lightweight Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Tidy Cat litter is lightweight, easy to carry, pour and store. That means fewer trips to the litter box and the trash. There are no artificial scents or coloring, but the ammonia blocker prevents ammonia odor for 14 days. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and PetSmart

Best training cat litter

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Attract Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

If you own a rescue or stray that needs to learn how to use the litter box, this is the litter. Featuring a natural herb attractant, the herbal scent, texture and particle size help attract a cat to their box. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

Best micro-crystal cat litter

Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

This is a low-maintenance litter that is eco-friendly and reusable for up to two months. The crystals are made with a sand-like silica gel, a naturally occurring mineral made of water, sand, and oxygen, which helps the moisture evaporate. 

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

ExquisiCat Micro Crystals Cat Litter

This modern cat litter utilizes silica gel microcrystals with microscopic channels to trap odors and rapidly absorb moisture. Consumers find this litter to be the best option for scoop-free automatic litter boxes. One bag can last a single cat for an entire month.

Where to buy: Sold by PetSmart


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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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