After 41 hours spent researching the best cat litters, we think Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter is the best for most people.
This choice is based on several criteria: brand, size, type, material, fragrance, easy-to-use, dust-free, scoopable, all-natural, odor control, long-lasting, absorbent, biodegradable, eco-friendly, and best use, among other things.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Quality||Efficiency||Appearance||Maintenance||Value for Money||brand||size||type||material||fragrance||easy-to-use||dust-free||scoopable||all-natural||odor control||long-lasting||absorbent||biodegradable||eco-friendly||best use|
|Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter||Check Price||4.3||4.5||4.0||4.5||4.0||4.5||Arm & Hammer||40 lbs||Clumping||Clay||Fresh scent||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||1 or 2 cats|
|Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Pellets Cat Litter||Check Price||4.9||5.0||4.5||5.0||5.0||5.0||Purina Tidy Cats||21 lbs||Pellets||Silica gel, zeolite||Unscented||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||1 or 2 cats|
|Clumping Formula World’s Best Cat Litter||Check Price||4.6||5.0||4.0||4.5||4.5||5.0||World's Best Cat Litter||28 lbs||Clumping||Corn kernel||Lavender||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||1 or 2 cats|
|Dr. Elsey’s Precious Scoopable Cat Litter||Check Price||4.5||5.0||4.5||4.0||4.5||4.5||Dr. Elsey's||40 lbs||Clumping||Clay||Herbal essence||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||1 or 2 cats|
|sWheat Scoop All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter||Check Price||4.8||5.0||4.5||4.5||5.0||5.0||sWheat Scoop||36 lbs||Clumping||Wheat||Unscented||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||1 or 2 cats|
- 1 Selection Of The Best Cat Litters
- 2 Best Cat Litter Buying Guide
- 2.1 Scented or Unscented?
- 2.2 How Much Dust?
- 2.3 Does it Get Stuck on Cats’ Paws?
- 2.4 Comfort / Texture
- 2.5 Level of Clumping
- 2.6 Number of Cats
- 2.7 Clay Litter
- 2.8 Recycled Materials
- 2.9 Cat Litter Crystals
- 2.10 Natural Materials
- 2.11 Size of Container
- 2.12 Ability to Detect Potential Health Issues
- 2.13 Ease of Scooping
- 2.14 Flushable Options
- 2.15 Type of Packaging
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
The best cat litter is pretty essential whether you have one cat or four cats, and the type you choose can make a big difference to both you and your companions.
The right litter will be comfortable for your cats to use, prevent messes, and keep offensive smells to a minimum.
Keeping your kitty pal healthy and happy doesn’t take a lot of effort. They have few real needs, but we do like to spoil them. He wants a big cat toy selection, a comfy cat bed and delicious cat food or kitten food. Some people will even grow their own catnip so there’s always plenty on hand.
Cats do need to have something to scratch like a cat tree, cat scratching pad, or cat scratching post. Ensuring the food and water bowls are clean and filled is easier than ever, however, with an automatic cat feeder and cat water fountain.
The worst part of caring for a cat is the cat litter box. A cat litter mat can prevent them from tracking litter through the house, but whether you have a regular old box or a new self-cleaning automatic cat litter box, you need to pay attention to the type of litter used.
What is the best cat litter for your feline friend? How can you find something that Fluffy will be happy using and will make your life easier at the same time?
Selection Of The Best Cat Litters
Best Cat Litter Buying Guide
Scented or Unscented?
Because a litter box is your cat’s toilet, you may be tempted to go out and get the most flowery, delightful smelling option that you can find for their litter. That may not be your best choice, however.
Cats are sensitive to any sort of scent, and what you find pleasant may not be so pleasing to them. You’re much better off getting an odor-control litter that doesn’t come with any sort of strong scent.
How Much Dust?
Litter that produces a lot of dust when they scratch is bad for a cat’s lungs, and it can make quite a mess for you to clean. Plus litter dust can be downright dangerous if, or more likely when, your kitty has to wear a cat cone.
When looking at cat litter, low dust options should be at the top of your list. Your family cats will have a much easier time breathing, and it will take you much less time to clean up the litter box.
Does it Get Stuck on Cats’ Paws?
When the cat gets in and out of their litter box, you need to be sure that they can do so safely – and neatly.
While a mat can do a lot of good in cleaning up their paws, it’s also a good idea to seek out litter that doesn’t get stuck between the pads on their paws. Litter should be easy for the cat to shake off of their feet.
Comfort / Texture
If a cat doesn’t like the way that something feels under their paws, they are much less likely to walk in those spaces. This is also true when it comes to cat litter.
You want a product that is soft and not grainy. Your cat will feel much more confident getting in and out of their litter box, and you’ll find that they feel more confident using the box as well.
Level of Clumping
Do you want to have litter that clumps? In the past, litter didn’t clump at all and you were forced to clean out the box almost daily. Nowadays, clumping litter is absolutely essential for most cat homes.
How well does the litter clump? Does it make a solid clump of urine and the feces, or does it fall apart easily? When you clean out the litter box, do the clumps stick to the box? These are the questions that need to be explored and considered before you make a decision.
Number of Cats
How many cats reside in your home is going to have an impact on finding the right cat litter. Since multiple cats are going to be using multiple boxes, you want the litter to work well for all of them.
The best cat litter for multiple cats is specially designed for multi-cat homes. These options have multiple levels of odor control and the clumping ability is also much stronger than what you’ll see in products designed for single-cat homes.
As you search for cat litter, clay is going to be one of the first options you come across. And, with good reason – it was the original option when people started using cat litter in their homes.
Clay litter clumps better than any other type, but it has a tendency to produce more dust than any other types. And, although it’s very absorbent, it gets saturated very quickly, which can be problematic.
Nowadays, many people are trying to be more environmentally conscious, and that includes the cat litter that they are using on a regular basis. Manufacturers have recognized that trend and the options for litter made of recycled materials have increased significantly.
Recycled materials (like newspaper) are definitely absorbent, but generally they don’t do a good job of controlling odors or clumping. Also, be aware that recycled options are harder to find and usually cost more.
Cat Litter Crystals
We’ve all seen commercials of cat litter with crystals, and they can be quite effective. Usually made with silica, a type of plastic material, crystals are absorbent because they have small holes that trap and hold moisture.
Crystals do not clump well, however, and you’ll have to scoop fecal matter daily. You also need to ensure that the crystals are deep enough that the urine gets into them instead of pooling on the bottom, and you’ll have to rake the crystals daily to ensure the urine evaporates.
Natural materials are another option that cat owners have when they are looking for environmentally friendly cat litter. Pine pellets, saw dust, corn husks, wheat, walnut shells and others are used to make litter.
While natural cat litter alternatives can be a good option, the material’s scent and/or texture may be offensive to your cat and clumping may not be as effective as traditional commercial litter. Some, like those made of corn or wheat, can also attract unwanted insects.
Size of Container
If you have a large cat or multiple cats, you may be looking for cat litter in bulk so that you can save some money. Thankfully, many companies do offer bulk kitty litter that can save you a lot of cash.
Be aware, though, to retain its effectiveness the litter should be kept in a cool place and away from moisture. Heat and moisture can cause the cat litter to clump prematurely, and it could also lose some of its odor control characteristics over time.
Ability to Detect Potential Health Issues
One of the best ways to detect a health issue in your furry friend is to check out their urine and fecal matter. But, since most cats go to the bathroom in private, it’s not always easy to see problems.
There are some styles of litter on the market that actually change color if the urine or feces indicate that there may be a problem. This can help you to take care of health issues before they become too serious.
Ease of Scooping
How easy is it for you to scoop your cat litter? Scooping the cat litter is a fact of life, and you want litter that is going to stick together and not cause you a lot of consternation when it comes to keeping the litter box clean.
Obviously, some of this depends on the cat litter scoopers that you have in your home, so be sure that you do some research and find the scoopers that work best for the style of litter you decide to purchase.
If you’re toilet training your cat with an in-toilet litter “box” or your kitty litter box is in the bathroom, you may want to consider finding options that can flush down the toilet.
Every style that we’ve mentioned in this guide has an option or two that is able to be flushed without clogging or causing damage to your plumbing system. It could end up saving you a lot of time and a lot of garbage bags in the long run.
Type of Packaging
Most cat litters are available in 3 types of packaging: sacks, small jugs, and large plastic containers. The type of packaging used depends on the brand and the amount of litter. Some of these packages are heavier and more cumbersome than others, so you want to be sure that you can lift it and pour litter easily.
The best cat litter for your home will come in packaging that makes it easy for you to store and that will make it simple for you to add litter to the cat’s box.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can cats be trained to go to the bathroom on walks?
Not really. Even if your cat is comfortable wearing a cat harness or cat collar and they’re used to regular walks with a cat leash, cats are not like dogs. They pee and poop when they need to, not when you want them to.
Cats are not pack animals – they expect humans to bend to their will, not the other way around. On top of that, they aren’t built to “hold it” like dogs. You simply can’t expect them to wait for a walk to do their business.
Can people really toilet train their cats?
Yes! Sometimes, instead of cat litter box training, people will train their cats to use the toilet. There are actually some specialized training tools you can put inside of your toilet bowl.
You pour litter into this training apparatus and start working with your cat on toilet training. The scent of the litter will make them more likely to come to the toilet and use it as a litter box. Over time, you can remove the training tool and they’ll just use the toilet without it.
What do I do if I want to switch litter?
Switching to a different brand or type of litter can be difficult – if a cat doesn’t recognize the smell, they may refuse to use it. Your best bet is to use an additional litter box for a short period of time.
Put the new box, complete with the new litter, in the same area as the old one. The old one should still have the old litter in it. Over the course of a few days, the cat should start using the new litter box regularly, and you can take the old one away.
Do automatic litter boxes need special litter?
It depends on the brand and style of the self-cleaning cat litter boxes that you’re looking to buy. Some automatic options are able to use any sort of litter; others may need a special type (crystals instead of clay for example).
Always read the instructions for your automatic litter box before you use to be sure that you’ve got the right type of litter for that specific product.
Is using baking soda with my litter okay?
Many cat litter deodorizers are not appealing to cats, mainly because the smell is way too strong for them. Most times, they will stop using the litter box because they can’t stand the smell of it.
Baking soda, however, is an excellent alternative to scented deodorizers. Not only does it help to reduce the odor, but it’s a neutralizer so cats likely won’t even notice the smell of it. You can even find litter options that have baking soda included.
- Toxoplasmosis Frequently Asked Questions, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oct 2, 2018
- Suspected bentonite toxicosis in a cat from ingestion of clay cat litter, National Institutes of Health, Oct 1, 1996
- Pets and the immunocompromised person, Medline Plus,
- Kent Nutrition Group, Inc. (World's Best Cat Litter), Federal Trade Commission, Nov 9, 2011
- Digging Deeper: The Scoop on Cat Litter , Eco Advice Stanford
- The Top 7 Changes In Cat Behavior, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Aug 1, 2017
- Litter box, Wikipedia
- The best cat litter you can buy, Business Insider, Jul 18, 2017
- The Best Cat Litter, Wirecutter, Jun 16, 2017
- What Cat Litter Is Best?, Petfinder