Cats are adorable creatures that most households love to have. They are playful, cute and independent. You can leave them in the house all day without feeling worried about their mood and safety. So long as they have food, water, a few toys, and of course a litter box.
While some people prefer to let their cats do their business outside, many opt to let them do it indoors using a tray with cat litter. It’s more convenient, that’s why, especially if you live in a small apartment or condo and your cat can’t simply go outside. Cat litters are originally a form of sand where these furry cuties dig and bury their leavings, mimicking their natural behaviors outdoors.
But today, the best cat litters come in many forms and made using different materials – each has unique properties to suit the varying demands of cat owners and their felines.
Top 9 Cat Litters Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat LitterClumping Litter Overall
With over 13,000 reviews on Amazon, Dr. Elsey’s Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter is no doubt one of the best all-natural cats litters available today and is a top choice for thousands of pet owners.
The unique formulation of this popular cat litter, which combines heavy granules with medium clay, is the reason behind its excellent clumping property. It also reduces tracking when your cat leaves the box and is designed to reduce liquids from reaching the bottom of the tray. It’s scent and perfume-free which is basically what cats prefer. Even so, it greatly controls odor, making it a good choice for smaller homes.
Another great feature of Dr. Elsey’s Cat Ultra Premium litter is that it’s 99.9 dust-free and leaves almost no tracking. It’s best for cat owners who use sifting or mechanical litter boxes and is available in both 18 and 40-pound packages. It also works well for multiple cats, but it’s recommended that you change the litter a little more frequently.
- Excellent clumping
- 99.9% dust-free
- Sticks to the bottom if there is not enough litter. Litter needs to be around 4-6” high
2. World’s Best Lavender Scented Multiple Cat LitterScented Cat Litter
World’s Best Lavender Scented Multiple Cat Litter is an all-natural litter made from wood fibers and corn kennel. With its quick-clumping formulation, this product is guaranteed to make cleaning the litter box highly convenient.
If you’re looking for a high-quality scented litter, this is the best brand. The inclusion of lavender gives off a nice scent that is floral and welcoming. It’s a great choice for those days when you need to be away from home for a little longer. It’s lighter than clay litter, yet has good moisture absorption which allows for fast clumping and easy scooping.
Even more, this cat litter is flushable. And just like other top brands, it’s dust-free. However, it’s made with slightly smaller granules so expect a little tracking. This product is available in 7, 14 and 28-pound bags. Many consumers also say it’s light enough to carry. World’s Best is also suitable for multiple cats.
- Excellent odor control
- More expensive than other brands
3. Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat LitterPaper Based Cat Litter
U.S. veterinarian recommended, the Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat Litter is another premium brand that is 3X more absorbent than clay litter.
While there are many benefits of clumping litter, some people prefer the non-clumping version. With a non-clumping litter, you won’t have to worry about it sticking to the bottom of the tray. This makes cleaning and emptying the box very convenient. The Purina Yesterday’s News is a natural product made from 100% recycled paper which is very soft and gentle for the paws. This makes it a good choice for cats with highly sensitive paws, as well as senior cats. The biodegradable paper pellets are also great for cats with respiratory issues and skin allergies as it contains no ingredients that can cause irritations.
Purina Yesterday’s News is also healthy for your home as it is for your cats. If you are looking for a natural cat litter, you should check it out. What’s more, it’s three times more absorbent than clay and because it has a more granulated texture, there’s less issue with tracking.
- Soft pallets are extra gentle on sensitive paws
- Non-clumping, unscented litter
- Made with recycled paper
- May not effectively control odor
- The texture is different from standard cat litter
4. Purina Tidy Cats Clumping LitterLightweight Cat Litter
Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Litter is 50% lighter than most premium brands, making it easy to use. It also clumps hard and works well with multiple cats.
Carrying a 40-pound box of litter is no doubt exhausting. But with Purina Tidy Cats, it’s easy peasy. Thanks to its lightweight formulation. You will be surprised to know that the heaviest container, which is 17 pounds, is equivalent to around 35 pounds of non-lightweight litter. This is what most people love about Purina litter. It’s ideal for homes where litter boxes had to be placed in high-traffic spots, like the bathroom and living room.
Purina cat litter is made with smaller granules which makes it susceptible to tracking. Even so, it has excellent clumping properties which allow for convenient and scooping.The litter comes in three different scents: glade, 4-in-1 strength, and the ‘instant action’. Even more admirable, the product claims to reduce ammonia smells from urine for up to two weeks.
- Outstanding odor control
- Available in three different scents
- 99.6% dust-free
- Some issues with tracking
5. Arm & Hammer Double Duty LitterCat Litter for Odor Control
Guaranteed to stay odor-free for 7 days, the Arm & Hammer Double Duty Litter has a specially-formulated fresh scent that refreshes each time your cat uses it.
Made from a blend of natural corn fibers, Arm & Hammer cat litter incorporates baking soda crystals for superior odor control. It promises to keep odor away for 7 days and it does it pretty well, based on customer reviews on Amazon. However, some reviewers note that it tends to have a strong “clean” smell, which some of them don’t like. Cats are also not very comfortable with strong scents. On the other hand, the litter is almost entirely dust-free.
- Forms hard clumps
- Highly moisture absorbing
- Clumps don’t stay hard for very long
6. Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Senior Cat LitterCat Litter for Senior and Sickly Cats
Since it’s made from silica gel that absorbs liquid so quickly, the Precious Cat Dr. Elsey’s Senior Cat Litter makes a fantastic choice for elderly and sickly cats.
When you think about the benefits this brand has to offer to your senior cat, it’s easy to outweigh the cons. First of all, this product is 100% biodegradable. It means even though your cat accidentally ingests it, it’s absolutely safe. Because it’s made with silica gel, unlike traditional litter types, the silica granules dehydrate waste (both urine and feces) until they dry out, removing the need for scooping. It also wicks moisture away from the cat’s fur to keep them clean.
The herbal attractant incorporated in the litter also attracts cats to do their business there so you’d have fewer issues transitioning your cat from using a clay-based litter to this one. It also prevents bacterial growth which prevents urinary and uterine infections and kidney failure.
- 100% Biodegradable
- Safe even when inhaled or ingested
- Quite expensive
- Relatively poor odor control
7. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat LitterNatural Cat Litter
If you prefer a natural litter but your cat won’t use recycled paper, choose Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter. Made from 100% biodegradable materials, it’s well-suited for the most finicky of cats.
Here’s another natural litter that is highly absorbent. This product is made from walnut shells which is safe for your cat. It features excellent moisture absorption that is three times more powerful than traditional clay-based litter. This natural litter clumps well, allowing for easy cleanup. It’s odor-reducing too. The unusual smell of the litter is due to the biodegradable ingredients. It also has a darker color which makes monitoring waste a bit challenging especially if the litter box is placed in dim areas.
- Healthy and safe
- Virtually dust-free
- Weird smell
- Dark color makes it somewhat difficult to monitor poop and urine
8. Cat’s Pride NaturalCat Litter for Convenient Pouring
If you like something that’s easier to pour and store, choose Cat’s Pride Natural. It comes with a plastic jug container for easy grip and screw-on top for convenient storage.
This cat litter uses fruit and vegetable extracts that provide an effective and safe way to reduce waste odor. It features low-dust formulation suitable for sensitive cats, and maximum clumping action for easy scooping and disposal. The Cat’s Pride Natural litter comes available in hefty 20-pound or 40-pound plastic bags. It’s more expensive than other natural litter most probably because of the convenient reusable container.
- Forms tight clumps
- Natural odor eliminator
9. Fresh Step Odor Shield Scented Litter with the Power of FebrezeBest Scented Clumping Cat Litter
The main purpose of using cat litter is to make it easy for you to clean after your furry friend. And, that’s exactly what you get from Fresh Step Odor Shield Scented Litter. It is by far the best-scented clumping cat litter. The litter absorbs liquids and forms easy to remove tight clumps. This makes it extremely easy to clean.
With this cat litter, you do not have to worry about spreading allergens around your home. It produces extremely low dust and is suitable for cats of all sizes. Thus, your kittens will find this litter perfect for them. If your cat’s litter box tends to be stinky, you can easily remove the bad odor using this product. The activated charcoal traps and quickly eliminates odor from your kitten’s litter. It works by controlling the growth of bacteria and deactivating odor-forming enzymes.
- A scented litter capable of controlling strong odors
- Comes with a clumping technology that makes it easy to clean
- It is a low-dust litter
- Reports of it not clumping enough
- The strong scent might be repellant to some people
- Some cats were reported to have an allergic reaction
Choosing the Best Cat Litter – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Taking care of your feline friend gives you an awesome feeling. From deworming to knowing exactly where your cat will poop are only a few things that you should consider. Because of so many choices, picking the best cat litter that will make both you and your cat happy can be dizzying. Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or an experienced breeder, this buying guide should make it easier for you to find the best product.
Types of Cat Litter
Cat litter has been available since the 1950s. But it was not until today that it has gotten so much fancier, with so many different types available. To begin your search for the best, you should learn about your options and how they are different from one another.
Traditional Clay Litter
Clay remains to be the most popular type of cat litter on the market today. It’s low-cost and effective, that’s why it’s a top choice for many cat owners. Clay litter is made from dried pulverized clay that is great for absorbing urine well. And because of its sandy texture, it gives the cat something convenient to bury their leavings with. The best thing about clay litter is that it clumps when it comes in contact with water or urine, making the leavings of your cat easy to scoop and dispose of. Most of all, it’s inexpensive.
However, clay litter has its drawbacks too. It can be heavy and dusty, and can’t be flushed. It can also get tracked all over the house, leaving behind a gritty mess. Overall, clay litter is a good choice as long as you scoop out the solids regularly, add a fresh layer of cat litter as needed, and perform a complete clean-out regularly.
Natural Fiber Litter
If eco-friendliness is a concern to you, there are biodegradable choices too. They include wheat, wood, oat tailings, corn, and pine pellets. Instead of getting dumped into the landfill and allowing them to decay, all these waste products of other food or products are processed (dried and compressed into pellets) to create natural fiber litter.
This type of cat litter is highly absorbent and naturally neutralizes odors, and most of all are beneficial to the environment. Most of all, when ingested by your furry friend, it is safe to the intestine. Some natural fiber litter brands are clumping and are flushable, which makes them appealing to many cat owners.
Silica Crystal Litter
This synthetic cat litter is made from silicon dioxide. They are often scented, which makes them a good option if you live in a very small home (like a condo or studio-type apartment). What this cat litter does is soak up urine, dehydrate feces, and trap odor. This means you don’t have to scoop out solids as often as you would with clay or natural fiber litter. Thanks to its strong moisture-absorption properties.
Basically, crystal litter offers convenience. And more and more people prefer a product that’s more convenient to use. But of course, it comes with a price. This litter type is the most expensive of all. They also cannot be flushed.
What does the best cat litter have?
Whether you decide to go with the old school clay litter or the newer alternatives like natural fiber or silica, the best cat litters should definitely share common characteristics.
Some cats would have preference over the type of cat litters. While most would have no problem with crystal litters, some cats may find its pearl-like texture a little weird. It would be great to experiment with different kinds of the litter when your pet is younger it may be hard for him to adjust if you make a shift when he’s older.
If you’re adopting a cat, ask the shelter about the litter he’s used to. If possible, stick to what he is most familiar with. Furthermore, don’t switch brands unless for a good reason. If you notice that your cat is uncomfortable when using the litter (e.g. lots of meowing and fussing around), it’s a sign that you try something else.
Safety of the Product
Prioritize the safety of your furry pet, always. Fine-grained cat litter may not be the best option for cats three months old or younger because they may ingest the small particles which can potentially lead to illness.
Depending on the breed of your cat, some felines tend to have more sensitive claws and would prefer a softer-textured substrate, such as clay litter.
Convenience of Use
Like many other pet products, you also want to take into account your convenience. After all, it’s no one but you who will have to clean the mess up. If you have a busy lifestyle and you’re not able to clean the litter box as often as possible, you may consider getting an odor-absorbing litter that is easy to maintain. The same is true if you have multiple cats. Unless you have the luxury of time to clean each litter box several times each day, you might be good with a more convenient yet more expensive brand.
While your nose may not agree, cats do prefer unscented litter. They are sensitive to smell and may find scented litter less appealing. If you feel like some type of odor-control is a must and your cat doesn’t want a scented litter, look for brands that contain carbon or activated charcoal ingredients that neutralize odor.
The best litters stay in the box and don’t stick to your cat’s paws. Biodegradable choices are generally lower in dust and in tracking while paper-based litters fairly track and dust-free as they are highly absorbent.
Cat litters are essential products that every cat owner needs. And they come in varying types too. From traditional litters made from dried clay to all-natural and silica-gel versions, every cat owner will definitely find something that addresses their needs and fits their lifestyle. You can choose any product from our top 10 list of best cat litters and feel confident that each one of them is high-quality and safe for your pet.
However, it is important that you take into consideration a few things, such as your cat’s preference, number of cats using the litter, how often you will need to maintain it, and of course, your budget. With all these, you will definitely find the best product for your most precious pets.