Best Cat Litter of 2021 Complete Reviews with Comparisons
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If cats don’t rule the world, they’re certainly the undisputed champions of the internet. For their owners, cats are treasured members of the family, and they naturally want what’s best for them.
That’s why shopping for cat litter isn’t as simple as grabbing something at the pet store. No, cat litter has come a long way over the decades, and the options available today can seem endless.
Before you get overwhelmed trying to choose the best cat litter for your kitty, check out the fantastic five options reviewed in this article.
5 Best Cat Litters
Best Cat Litter Reviews
Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
The best combination when it comes to cat litter is combining quality and affordability. And that’s exactly what you get with most Dr Elsey’s cat litter program. But the Classic litter formula is truly one of their best products.
The company focuses on 100% sodium clay as their number one litter formula, which means you get minimal tracking. And for a clay litter, you can expect minimal dust, too. This particular product is also hypoallergenic and absorbs unpleasant odors for several days in a row.
You can purchase Dr Elsey Premium Clumping Cat litter in a scented and unscented version. Most cats prefer the unscented kind, but the scented option is also very popular. The company uses a moisture-activated type of scent, which means that scent is utilized only when necessary.
And when it comes to controlling litter-related odors in your home, Dr Elsey’s Classic Cat Litter will deliver as promised. Another amazing feature of this particular cat litter is that you can use it in an automated litter box.
Cat owners are familiar with how challenging it can be to find the perfect cat litter if your kitty is used to an automatic litter box. The clumping properties of Dr Elsey’s Classic Cat litter are genuinely impressive. The clumping is almost instantaneous, and scooping is made very easy.
This is one of the best cat litter options for a home with multiple cats. As for the packaging size, you can find it in 18- and 40-lb. bags. Since it’s clumping clay, this cat litter is quite heavy, so it’s not always right for people who have problems lifting heavy items.
- Excellent clumping properties
- Great for multiple cat homes
- Impressive odor control
- Great Value
Dust control could be better
Fresh Step Extreme Scented Litter
Are you a fan of familiar Febreze freshness? If so, then you might like the Fresh Step Extreme Scented Litter. The partnership between the two companies started with the idea of eliminating unpleasant odors even from the smelliest of litter boxes. Especially if you’re the owner of more than one cat.
We know how it is – you keep getting a new kind of cat litter, but the smell persists no matter what. This can become frustrating and that’s why Fresh Step and Febreze deliver a cat litter that guarantee 10-day odor control with a special patented ammonia-block technology.
Yes, you love your cats very much, but no one likes that fusty litter box smell. When it comes to clumping, Fresh Steps works really well and it’s effortless to scoop. It’s also perfectly compatible with automatic litter boxes.
The clump lock technology is outstanding and the liquid absorption exceptionally quick. But what about the dust? It’s one of the main concerns for most cat owners. Well, Fresh Step Extreme Scented Litter has a really low dust property.
This means that people with dust allergies, and even kitties that have allergies will find this brand of cat litter suitable for their needs. This is a fantastic choice to consider for people who are persistently trying to find the best cat litter that will eliminate that nasty odor. As for the packaging, you have several options. It ranges from 14lbs to 34lbs per bag.
- Extreme odor control
- Excellent clumping power
- Very little dust
- Easy to scoop
A bit heavy for some people
ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
What are the features of the best cat litter? Effective odor control for sure. What about dust management and clumping? These are all crucial and, as a matter of fact, everything Arm & Hammer cat litter provides.
If one of these features were to shine more than the others, it would the dust control. The company prides itself in creating a 100% dust free formula. This is fantastic news for all cat owners who struggle with dust particles in their homes, especially if they have allergies or little children around. But what about the odor elimination? The Arm & Hammer Cat litter doesn’t quite fit into the category of scented or unscented cat litter. In fact, it has a very subtle yet effective citrusy scent.
It’s gentle enough not to bother the kitty sense of smell. But strong enough to mask the odors. The company boasts an impressive 7-day odor-free technology. They also promise rock hard clumps, and that’s exactly what you get.
The scooping is easy enough, but will prove a little more complicated if your cat favors one corner of the litter box. The texture of the cat litter granules resembles sand. Therefore, it’s less likely to cause tracking.
The quality of this particular product is undeniable, but it’s also worth mentioning that it’s not the cheapest cat litter on the market. If purchased in bulk, it could prove to be a worthy investment, though. The company does offer the cat litter in 40-lb. packages. Overall, it’s a great option for both single- and multi-cat owners.
- 100% dust-free formula
- Almost no tracking
- Subtle scent
- Available in a large box
A bit pricey
Purina Tidy Cats BREEZE Litter System Refills
Does your cat use the Breeze Litter System? If so, then you’re familiar with the fact that it’s one of the best and most popular litter box systems on the market. It offers a super easy cleaning routine and a ground-breaking all-in-one concept that divides liquids and solids effortlessly.
But one of the most innovative features of this system is that it uses pellets made of Mordenite Zeolite, a natural mineral famous for its health properties. The Purina Tidy Cats Refills are products that are compatible with the Breeze litter system.
This bundle pack contains one 7-lb. bag of pellets and four cat pads. So, what makes these pellets and pads so great? Well, did you know that you can wash them and reuse them? That might be difficult to believe for cat owners who are yet to try this system. But it’s truly what makes it one of the best cat litter options you can buy.
In some cases, depending on how many cats you have, you’ll have to change the pellets only once per month. Still, the Breeze Litter System does require you to purchase these refills for the optimal use of the litter box.
The pellets are truly a life saver as they have exceptional ammonia odor control. This means your home always gets to stay fresh and breezy. The cat pads that go onto the litter tray have an excellent moisture-locking ability. The only potential downside of the Cat Breeze Litter System is that it can get a little bit pricey if you end up purchasing the refill bundles more often than you expected.
- Washable and reusable pellets
- Natural scented
- Powerful moisture-locking
- Ammonia blocker
- Best option for single-cat homes
Only compatible with Breeze Litter System
PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Non Clumping Cat Litter, 2-Pack
Crystal or silica cat litter is one of the best cat litter options for one-cat homes. It’s entirely dust-free, and with only one cat, you’ll only have to clean and maintain the litter box once or twice per month.
What’s not to love about that? This particular product is compatible with the PetSafe Deluxe Crystal Cat Litter Box System, but you can also use it in any litter box of your choosing. The PetSafe ScoopFree cat litter belongs to the non-clumping category of litter which is a much-preferred option for many cat owners, as well as kitties.
You can buy these little crystals in three options – original, sensitive, and lavender. They come in pre-portioned bags which makes them easier to handle. Compared to clumping clay, the crystal cat litter has a superior urine absorption property and an excellent record of drying solid waste.
Another reason why this might be the perfect cat litter solution for your cat is that it has amazingly low-tracking, and you’ll never have to worry about crystals getting stuck to the cat’s paws.
That means it’s also wholly hypoallergenic. If you have babies or toddlers at home that like to play on the floor, the PetSafe Non-Clumping Crustal cat litter is a genuinely fantastic option. The price tag that accompanies this product is amazing, given how seldom you have to change the litter itself.
- Great for homes with children
- Suits cats with sensitive paws
- Compatible with any litter box
The lavender scent might be too strong
If you’re a first-time cat owner picking out the right litter, it can seem a really daunting task. And even if you already have a cat, it doesn’t mean that you’re happy with what your cat is using.
We get it, cats can be very mercurial. But a happy kitty means your household will be more harmonious. So, here’s a list of litter features to consider next time you’re heading to the pet store.
Types of Cat Litter
Before diving into other details, the most important classification to learn about is the types of cat litter. Most people have only tried one or two, and usually stick to which one they feel is better.
But there are many options out there. Remember, the best cat litter for your precious feline might not be what’s best for another.
Clumping Clay Litter
By far, the most popular type of litter is the clumping clay. That particular type of clay is also called bentonite. It has exceptional absorbency and even more importantly, it helps create hard clumps that you can easily remove after your cat uses it.
Cat owners are partial to clumping clay because of how convenient it is. Maintaining the litter box is the No. 1 concern for households with cats, and clumping clay helps with that immensely. However, there are some downsides to using clumping clay.
It’s definitely dusty and the worst part is that it’s not bio-degradable. Also, clay litter is quite heavy, and it’s not going to be easy for some people to regularly pour it into the litter box. In truth, some companies have started combining the clay with other types of lighter materials to help solve this issue.
Non-Clumping Clay Litter
The non-clumping clay litter is similar to the clumping type, except it lacks the clumping properties. It absorbs urine well, but you probably need to change it much more often that you would other types of littler.
The major upside of non-clumping litter is that it’s considerably cheaper. And since it’s something you have to buy often, especially if you have more than one cat, the expenses can add up. Also, many cats simply prefer the non-clumping clay. If that’s the case, it’s hard to make an argument for anything else.
Silica or Crystal Cat Litter
You know those little crystal beads you get in different products? Well, those silica balls are also an excellent absorbent used to make kitty litter.
Some cats might find it hard to get used to it, but those that do make their owners’ lives much easier. Crystal litter is very easy to clean, and it’s also completely dust free. It offers excellent odor control and tracks much less compared to other litter types.
Sure, it costs more, but you’re also going need to change it less often. Therefore, in a long-term sense, the price tag isn’t that high.
Pine Cat Litter
For several reasons, a pine cat litter is one of the best cat litter options on the market. First, it’s completely natural and bio-degradable. For environmentally conscious people, this is a significant feature.
Secondly, your cat will feel like they’re going to the bathroom outdoors. The pine litter is made from lumber scraps that have gone through the process of detoxification, allergy testing, and natural oil removal.
They’re basically unscented, save for the mild natural pine scent that helps with odor control without any artificially added fragrance. You can find pine cat litter in pallets or granules which will offer a more non-clumping property, or you can buy them crushed which will help with the clumping effect.
Wheat or Corn Cat Litter
You might come across one of these two options when shopping for cat litter. The fact that this type of litter is biodegradable might make you think it’s a good idea.
Plus, the natural scent of this litter will help with odor control. But in fact, these aren’t ideal materials because corn isn’t particularly healthy for your cat, and they might accidentally eat some of it.
Recycled Paper Cat Litter
Another biodegradable and environment-friendly option is the cat litter made from recycled paper. It’s one of the best options for both kitties and their owners.
Most cats love using it and you can even choose the clumping or non-clumping option. So, if you want to ensure that the litter you use doesn’t just end up as an unprocessed waste, consider using recycled paper.
Scoopable or Flushable Litter?
Another criterion you can stick to when choosing the best cat litter for your needs is whether it’s a scoopable kind or flushable.
Since the most common type of scoopable kitty litter is clay, which isn’t biodegradable, most people prefer the flushable kind, especially if they live in apartments.
The flushable cat litter has become very popular because it dissolves in water, so it saves you having to go through the process of scooping and disposing of clumps outside.
Scented or Unscented?
After deciding which material you’re going to go with for your cat, the second question that comes to mind is whether to use scented or unscented cat litter.
The natural materials already come with a scent that some cats might like, and others won’t. But in terms of artificially infused scents, there are no clear rules. Most cat owners will prefer the scented type because it helps with odor control.
But many cats will reject it outright. On the other hand, the unscented litter won’t bother the kitty at all, but it might leave an unpleasant odor in your home.
Every Cat Is Unique
And every cat owner knows this for a fact. Here’s the thing – you can do all the research about cat litter, but your cat won’t approve of it.
So, before choosing what you think is the best cat litter, check back with your feline friend and consider these factors.
Your Cat’s History
If you’ve had your cat ever since they were a kitten, then you probably know every little detail and preference. But if you foster cats a lot, or have just adopted an older cat, you can’t always be sure what to expect.
In case it’s possible, try to find out what type of litter the cat used to use and if they don’t tolerate a particular brand or type of litter. Cats are more adaptable than people give them credit for.
Even if you have to use a specific cat litter at first, over time and with some patience, your cat will get used to the kind of litter you’d normally buy.
The litter you choose for a very young cat or even a tiny kitten shouldn’t be the same you use for an older cat. Most importantly, kittens probably should use the clumping type of cat litter.
They’re still in the process of learning what is edible and what isn’t. So, they might end up eating some of the toxic bits of litter.
If you’re keen on the clumping type, just make sure it’s made of organic material. As for older cats, that’s not always easy to say.
If you try out several types of litter, your kitty or kitties will let you know which one they prefer. But in general, clumping litter is easier to clean and maintain.
Yes, cats have allergies, just like people. And sometimes, cats even have dust allergies too. That’s why clay litter can be detrimental to a kitty with allergies.
Also, many cats will have a severe reaction to synthetically scented cat litter. Cats have a strong sense of smell, and that’s one of the reasons they love a clean litter box and will often refuse to use an untidy kitty bathroom.
So, if you notice that your cat refuses to use a certain type of litter or sneezes when inside the litter box, it’s time to re-examine the cat litter’s choice.
Do you have one cat or more? If you have more than one, your cat litter expenses can quickly accumulate. And even if you just have one cat, the litter is something you always have to think about.
For a lot of people, it’s their budget that dictates what kind of litter their cats will end up using. But even the affordable options aren’t all the same. So, make sure to research the cat litter brands to find the perfect solution for your cat and your home.
Keeping the Cat and the Owner Happy
It’s hard to declare one clear winner in the best cat litter category because every cat and cat owner is different. But generally speaking, there are some definite factors and features that make some cat litters superior to others.
In terms of our review, the trophy goes to the Dr Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter because it has consistently been one of the best clumping clay litters in the world. The odor control is great, and it’s also budget-friendly without compromising on quality.
The PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Non-Clumping Cat Litter is a strong runner-up because crystal cat litter is very popular, and this product delivers so much in quality and affordability.