Choosing a cat litter that is easy to clean, provides decent odor-control, and is acceptable to your indoor cats is essential for cat owners. There are many different types of kitty litter out there. Clay cat litter is perhaps the most popular. It absorbs liquid and the clumping kind makes clean up easy. Even cats who are particularly picky about their litter boxes often like clay litter. Non-clumping clay litter typically needs to be replaced more frequently than clumping cat litter. Cristal cat litter is made out of silica gel and tends to do a good job at absorbing large amount of liquid while providing odor control. It also produces less dust than clay cat litters. Unfortunately, it is also more expensive than clay litters and sometimes cats don't like the feel of the crystals under their paws. There are a number of natural and biodegradable cat litters that also exist, such as those made of pine, wheat, and corn. Over two million tons of cat litter are estimated to end up in garbage dumps every year, and they primarily are not biodegradable. Cat litter made out of recycled newspaper can also make you feel like you're doing your part to help the environment. These options again tend to be more expensive than clay litter.
Whether you choose scented or unscented litter, it is important to scoop your cat's litter box every day. With certain types of litter, if you don't keep the box clean and refresh the litter, liquid waste could pool at the bottom of the litter box. Additionally, cats do not like to use dirty litter boxes (who could blame them?) so may resort to going to the bathroom elsewhere in your home if their litter box isn't up to their cleanliness standards. While lightweight litters certainly are easier to carry home from the store, they tend to track terribly which is why none of them made the cut for our review. Nobody likes finding kitty litter in every room of the house! If you have multiple cats, it is recommended to have multiple litter boxes at home, however there are also kitty litters that are specifically designed with multiple cats in mind. For more litter box recommendations, check out our litter box guide here. Now read on for our top kitty litter recommendations!
Our Favorite Kitty Litter: Dr. Elsey's Ultra
Dr. Elsey's Ultra Litter is available in both scented and non-scented varieties, though we prefer the unscented (the scented doesn't so much mask smell as add an unpleasant fragrance combination to odor). Additionally, reviewers found Dr. Elsey's Ultra Unscented Litter was good enough with masking odor as it is. This litter is made of medium grain clay which results in stronger, harder clumps. Since the grains are of a larger size than some litters, it also results in less tracking (though this problem isn't 100% eliminated). It is 99.9% dust free, all natural, and hypo-allergenic. Reviewers really loved this litter for cutting back on dust at home. They also loved the odor-control it provided as well as how easy it was to scoop and clean. Most importantly, cats also approved!
Best for Odor Control: Fresh Step Ultra Unscented
Fresh Step Ultra Unscented litter is a great cat litter for odor control. The activated charcoal absorbs and tarps odors, and Fresh Step boasts 10 days of bacterial odor protection guaranteed. Of course, you should still scoop every day! This kitty litter is perfume- and dye-free. Fresh Step Ultra Unscented works well in homes with multiple cats. It clumps well for easy scooping. Even though it says "low dust" on the package, we felt it wasn't as low dust as some other options we recommended. Additionally, cats tracked this litter more than other types recommended, though this can always be alleviated by using a litter mat in front of the box. Cats approved of this litter straightaway with no adjustment period.
Favorite Natural Cat Litter: Okocat Natural Wood Cat Litter
Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Litter is a biodegradable and flushable cat litter. It is important to note, however, that it is generally not recommended to flush even flushable cat litter because water treatment plants can't always handle the associated parasites that could end up in our drinking water and also harm marine life. For example, California has a referendum against flushing cat litter due to the harm its caused sea lions. Okocat litter is made out of 100% sustainable, renewable wood fibers. Unused lumber that would otherwise be wasted and naturally fallen timber is cut into pellets. Reviewers liked the natural wood scent, and Okocat says that it can control odor for up to 7 days. It is dye- and scent-free, and the coniferous wood naturally kills 99.9% of bacteria. Dust isn't an issue with this litter. It doesn't result in as hard of clumps as clay litters, so it could be a little messier to clean. It took some time for cats to get used to it.
Also Nice: World's Best Cat Litter – Multiple Cat Clumping Formula
World's Best Cat Litter is a cat litter made from corn, which is naturally absorbent. It is considered a flushable cat litter and is septic safe, however again, flushable cat litter may result in contaminated water since water treatment plants cannot always handle the associated parasites, and California has a referendum against flushing cat litter due to harm to sea lions and other marine life. This cat litter is 99% dust-free according to World's Best Cat Litter. Reviewers found this litter to be very absorbent and mostly dust-free. There was a complaint, however, that that this litter wasn't the best at odor control. Most cats approved of World's Best Cat Litter right away.
Our top choice kitty litter is Dr. Elsey's Ultra, which provided hard clumps that were less likely to break apart and was easy to clean. Odor and dust were both well-controlled, and most importantly, cats approved. Fresh Step Ultra Unscented had some mixed reviews in terms of dust and tracking, however cats were attracted to it and it did a great job with odor control. For a natural cat litter formula, we really like Okocat Natural Wood Cat Litter. The wood is sustainably acquired and dust is not problematic. There was an adjustment period for cats to adapt to this litter. Finally, World's Best Cat Litter is another natural option that we recommend. This litter is made out of corn, and reviewers found it very absorbent, though it didn't provide the best odor control. Cats tended to accept this litter without much prodding. In the end, when choosing a cat litter, while there are many factors to consider, the ultimate decision is up to your cat. When changing to a new litter, consider gradually mixing the new litter brand with the old so that your cat can adapt to it over time and it will not shock him. Finally, always remember to scoop the litter box every day to reduce odor and so that you cat will be more likely to use it.