Litter

What’s The Best Cat Litter For Your Cat?

best cat litter
Written by Amy Wallace

As all cat owners know, the litter box can be the worst part about owning a cat. No matter how much we love them, their poop stinks and is gross. No-one likes scooping the litter box. However, the litter that you choose to fill this box with can make a huge difference to the experience. The kitty litter you eventually end up with will be one that both you and your cat decide on. Cat’s are fickle creatures and they’re rather particular about their toilet habits and litter trays and may refuse to use certain cat litters.

Finding the best cat litter for your home may take a bit of trial and error. It’s not as simple as just picking one off the shelf. Certain litter trays work better with different kinds of litter. Some people may require the best cat litter for odour control as they live in a small apartment while others may need the best cat litter for allergies or dust free cat litter if someone in the house has asthma or an allergy. Hopefully, this article will help you make the best the decision for both you and your cat.

Choosing the Right Kind of Cat Litter

no track cat litter

Kitty litter comes in a variety of types and do different things. Some are more environmentally friendly than others and some are more expensive. Before buying a cat litter, you should first consider which type you want to try out.

Clay Cat Litter

The story goes that clay became a standard cat litter material during a particularly bad snowstorm. A woman asked her neighbour if she could borrow some sand or sawdust for her cat as she and the cat couldn’t go outside. The neighbour didn’t have any sand or sawdust so he offered her clay to tide her over and, low and behold, it worked a treat! The woman told all her friends and those with cats started coming to the neighbour to buy clay and so the clay-based cat litter was born.

kitty litter that doesn't track

Most clumping litters are clay-based as it is cheap and easy to mine. However, clay litter is not biodegradable and millions of tonnes of it ends up in landfills every year. The most common type of clay used for clumping cat litter is sodium bentonite, which can expand to be 18 times its original size when wet. For this reason, you cannot flush this litter as it’ll swell up and block your drains. It’s also not advisable to give clay clumping litter to kittens as they tend to explore the world with their mouths. If they eat the clay, it could expand in their digestive tract and cause all sorts of problems in there.

Dust free

The best dust free cat litter is usually made from highly absorbent materials like newspaper, shredded softwood or plant material. Because it absorbs moisture so quickly, the urine and faeces clump together and dry out, making them easy to remove from the litter box. Dust free cat litter is also pretty good at absorbing smells. However, watch out for litters that are scented or that dehydrate waste using chemicals. Some of the crystal litters can irritate cat’s paws and a scent that we barely notice can overpower a cat’s sensitive nose and cause it to refuse to use the litter box.

Plant Based

Plant based cat litters are the most environmentally friendly. They're made from unwanted crop parts such as corn husks, wheat by-products, beet pulp and oat husks. Wheat-grass and beet pulp litters, however, are not so great at controlling smells. Corn litters are a much better option for this. Some cat litters are made from kenaf, which is a cotton relative. This one is lightweight and good at clumping. Plant based litters are generally flushable, organic and biodegradable and are a great choice for the environmentally conscious cat owner.

So, now that you have an idea of which kind of cat litter you like the sound of, let’s take a look at the best brands available.

Product

Features

Rating

Best cat litter

Works perfectly with Tidy Cats Litter System

Clay-based clumping litter

Dust free

Washable pellets​

Rating 4.5
beat cat litter for smell

Clumping litter​

Paired with Febreze for ultimate odour elimination

Low dust

Paw activated mountain fresh scent

Rating 4.5
best cat litter dust free

Non clay-based clumping litter

Dust free

Unscented

Plant based and biodegradable

Flushable

White coloured to track urine health easily​

Rating 4.5
best cat litter for allergies

Clay-based clumping litter

Designed for odour control

Easy to clean up

Fine particles to encourage digging and burying​

Rating 4.5
cat litter

Clumping litter

Unscented

Easy to clean up

Rating 4.5

Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter System Cat Pellet (4.7/5)

Best cat litter

This pellet cat litter is designed to go with the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter System. It allows urine to pass through it to the absorbent pad below, while drying out the solid waste to be easily removed. The pad is changed roughly once a week and thrown away. The litter is a clay, dust-free, clumping litter that absorbs smells. The pellets are large and dust free so that they don’t track out of the litter box. This makes it one of the best cat litter for allergies. It’s also possible to wash the pellets, since they don’t soak up urine. You can put them in a cloth bag or net, rinse them out under a tap and hang them out to dry to save the expense of buying new ones every time you change the tray.

Most Common Complaints

  • It’s quite expensive.
  • You have to use this litter with the whole system, it doesn’t so work well in other litter boxes for urine absorption.
  • It doesn’t control the smell as well as it claims, mainly with the poops.
  • The pellets are really hard, so if one does escape the litter box, stepping on it really hurts. But this doesn’t happen very often.

Fresh Step Extreme Clumping Cat Litter (4.6/5)

best cat litter for smell

Fresh Step Extreme collaborates with Febreze to make sure that it eliminates your cat litter odours completely. This is a low dust, clumping, scented cat litter that clumps quickly and efficiently, trapping liquids and smells, and makes cleaning out the litter box super easy. It has a mountain spring scent and antimicrobials to kill the bacteria that live in cat litter and cause it to smell. The scent is “paw activated” meaning that it gets released when your cat digs in the litter. This way it covers smells when they’re produced but doesn’t overpower your home the rest of the time. It comes in a bag with a resealable top, but 42lbs can be quite a lot so maybe consider a smaller bag if you think you’ll struggle handling so much litter.

Most Common complaints

  • It is dusty, despite being advertised as a low dust litter.
  • The bag it comes is was bigger/heavier than expected.

Garfield Cat Litter Tiny Grains Natural Multi Cats Instant Quick Clumping Better Way Flushable Litter For Cat (4.5/5)

best cat litter dust free

The Garfield Cat Litter is a biodegradable, flushable cat litter made from renewable, natural ingredients. It takes care of your cat poop in an environmentally friendly way. It’s also dust free and unscented. This makes is great for cats with respiratory issues and for humans with asthma as there’s no dust cloud when you fill the litter box. The litter is white in colour, to help you keep track of your cat’s urine and spot possible health issues early, like dark coloured pee or blood being present. This litter is great litter for cats with sensitive paws as it’s made of soft, small pieces of plant material that won’t irritate their feet.

After your cat has used the litter box, the urine or faeces will form clumps with the litter. The clumps solidify quickly so they don’t break apart when you try and scoop them. It also stops the wet litter sticking to the box when you try and clean it. You then take these clumps and drop them into the toilet. Leave them in the water a little while to dissolve again and then flush just them away. Clumps that are left for more than 12 hours probably will be too solid to dissolve. You should throw these in the bin rather than try and flush them.

Most Common Complaints

  • The particles are quite small so they track a lot.
  • While it’s really good with masking the urine smells, it’s not so good with the poop smell.

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter, Multi-Cat (4.5/5)

best cat litter for allergies

The biggest selling point of the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter is that it seals in the smell from the litter tray and promises a 7 day odour free home. It seems to work by forming a film around the waste clumps using particles that are activated by moisture. This film seals in the smell while other ingredients such as baking soda, eliminate it. It clumps really well, making it easy to clean out the litter box. The sandy texture of the litter encourages cats to dig and even the most lazy cat has a go at burying their poop. Since this is a clay clumping litter, it’s not suitable for kittens or pregnant cats.

Most Common Complaints

  • It tracks a lot from the litter box, mostly by sticking to the cats.
  • There seems to some inconsistency when ordering this particular litter and with its performance. Mostly, it works well, but every so often people are getting something that is not the same as they’ve had previously in the same box.
  • It’s scented and smells strongly on its own and the smell gets stronger when the cats dig.
  • Many people have complained that it does not control odour well at all. Mixed with the scent of the litter, it makes a rather unpleasant smell.

Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter, Unscented (4.3/5) 

cat litter

The Ever Clean litter is also a clay clumping litter. It has excellent clumping ability, making it super easy to clean up. It’s unscented, so doesn’t have chemicals adding a fragrance to it, and traps the cat waste smell really well. Several people have claimed they can’t even tell there’s a cat in the house after switching to this litter.

Most Common Complaints

  • This litter claims to be dust free, but several people have not found this to be the case, especially when pouring it into the litter tray.
  • The bag it comes in is badly designed. It’s too heavy to lift and pour, but there’s not enough space initially to scoop litter out of it.
  • It does track out of the litter tray.

Conclusion

Finding a great cat litter that both you and your cat are happy with can be as tricky as finding the right food for your cat. There are many things to take into consideration when making your choice. Some of these are dust allergies, the materials of the litter, its texture and smell and how well it clumps. Then, even after all that, you may find that your cat just doesn’t like it for no apparent reason. Trial and error play a big part in this decision and once you find one that suits you both, it’s probably best to stick with it for as long as possible.

Cat of the Week

best cat litter odour control

I made friends with this kitty as he came running towards me in the street. He did then leave as soon as a new person walked past then came back when they left. Seems like rather a fickle cat! I named him Cuddles.

About the author

Amy Wallace

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