Top 10 Best Cat Litters – Buyer’s Guide & Tips for Cat Owners
Cats are fussy (at times), finicky and picky. So, if you’re in looking for the best cat litter, it is critical to get it right. The thing is, kitty litter comes in an assortment of options from clumping clay to scented and recycled paper. Plus, your American Bobtail may have his special preferences for absorbency, fragrance, and texture.
In short, it can get a little confusing when it comes to choosing litter for your cat. Of course, you want what’s absolutely best for your furry friend, no matter how choosy they are. To make it easier for you, we’ve sorted through tons of user and expert reviews to find out the top rated cat liters. These stand out regarding efficiency, value and most importantly, keeping your cat happy.
- 10. Fresh Step Cat Litter
- 9. Arm & Hammer Litter for Cats
- 8. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Litter
- 7. Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter
- 6. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter
- 5. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Cat Litter
- 4. Purina Tidy LightWeight 24/7
- 3. Arm & Hammer Seal Clumping Litter
- 2. Litter Genie Cat Litter Odor Control Refills
- 1. Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Litter
- How to Choose the Best Cat Litters (Buyer’s Guide)
10. Fresh Step Cat Litter
The Fresh Step litter forms hard clumps, which make it easy to scoop. It is a good choice if your cat visits the little box multiple times every day, forcing you clean often. It has low dust content too which translates to cleaner surfaces and air.
The Fresh Step doesn’t contain scent so it won’t cause respiratory complication for you or the cat. Pet owners like the big clay granules that minimize tracking. As long as you collect all the granules, you can rest assured that there will be no stinky crumbles in the box. And for a 20-pound carton, we’d say that this litter is amazingly affordable.
The Fresh Step does more than just allowing you to collect your cat’s pee and poo painlessly. It contains carbon to keep bacterial odor at bay for a remarkable 10 days straight. What’s more? It features plants extracts to suppress the odors further before they leave the litter box.
The only thing you need to know is that you shouldn’t mix this formula with non-clumping litter. Be sure to empty and clean the litter box if you’re using it for the first time. Also, remove clumps and granules every day for the best results.
9. Arm & Hammer Litter for Cats
Some pet owners can’t stand the smell of scented litters. If you’re not one of them, however, this formula by Arm & Hammer is arguably the cat litter for odor control you can get, more so if you’re on a tight budget. It comes in a 40-pound pack, so it will serve you well if you have two or more cats.
The one thing that makes this litter special is the unique baking soda coating on each granule that delivers a fresh scent you won’t be afraid to come home to. The powerful odor destroyers give you the luxury of not emptying your litter box every day. Besides, it makes a perfect pick for those days when you’re away from home for a couple of days.
The Arm & Hammer is a clumping formula. It is dust-free as well. Sure, it has small granules, so there may be some tracking. But, the floral welcoming scent overshadows this little oversight. Thos who’ve used it say it’s fairly lightweight translating to increased portability. While there’s no doubt this formula will get the job done, it is essential to note that it’s not flushable. In fact, almost all clumping litters are not flushable. The Arm & Hammer litter for cat is available in 20 lb and 26.3 lb packs too.
8. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Litter
If you own more than one feline, then you understand the struggles of maintaining a clean litter box. While we recommend that each of your cats should have a separate litter box, there’s every chance that they’ll end up sharing. This is the cat litter you need if that sounds like what’s happening with your furry friends.
It features the brand-exclusive ClumpLock technology to form hard, tight clumps on contact with the liquid. That way, the litter box stays dry at all times. It also makes cleaning a breeze. And because it is almost entirely dust-free, you can use it with a self-cleaning cat litter. Of course, the dust-free formulation means less tracking.
The Fresh Step is a scented cat litter. It doesn’t have the strongest of smells but it is it does enough to hold back stenches from the litter box and by extension keep the air within your living space fresh. Just like the first litter we reviewed, this formula has activated carbon traps to give you a 10-day odor-free guarantee.
Overall, this litter is a great selection if you’re struggling to keep your home free of cat smell. It combines the scented power of Febreze and a strong clumping action that works perfectly of a multi-cat home. It comes in 20lb, 34 lb, and 42 lb packs.
7. Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter
The Ever Clean is indeed one of the best cat litters if you want an unscented formula with incredible strength. It could very well be the most powerful unscented cat litter that we’ve reviewed so far. So, if you have a sensitive nose, pay attention as tell you why this is your to-go-to cat litter.
It offers superior odor control aided by antimicrobial agents to prevent growth and spread of bacteria. It is a clumping litter that absorbs liquid quickly. Pet owners claim it’s easy to scoop which makes it great for everyday use. And just as you’d hoped, it is 99.9% dust free, so it’s eco-friendly. Even though it’s a bit pricey, the Ever Clean 42-pound pack will last you for a whole month if you own one cat (15 days for multi cats). Plus, you can always go for the cheaper 25-pound pack if you’re on a budget.
For those who’re asking, this you can’t flush this formula – composting is a better way to dispose it off though. Cat owners say it has sand-like texture, but with bigger granules. We reckon that these granules are the reason this litter clumps very well. It forms solid chunks that are easy to scoop in the words of those who’ve it. The only gripe with this litter is that it does track a bit. But, its ability to bring even the strongest of odor under control is first-class.
6. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Cat Litter
The primary selling point of this litter is its unrivaled absorbency. It is so absorbent that one bag of Blue Buffalo is equivalent to three bags of clay litter. Make no mistake about it; we’re not saying that you should shun clay litters. No. What we’re trying to tell you is that this litter is ideal if you have a cat with digestive issues or one that keeps visiting the litter box for whatever reason.
Other than that, Blue Buffalo is natural litter, made using walnut shells. It is, thus, safe for the environment and won’t harm your cat even if he ingested it. We love the fact that this litter is 100% biodegradable. Its ability to clump is top-notch too, so you can bet it makes it easy to clean solid and liquid waste.
The Blue Buffalo won’t stick to your cat’s paws, so you won’t have to deal with tracking throughout your entire house. And the best part is, you can flush it down the toilet if the regulations in your area of residence allow you to do so.
So, who’s the Blue Buffalo cat litter for? Well, it is a great alternative if your furry friend won’t use recycled paper. It is a good option if you own a finicky cat that won’t just use corn or pine-based litters. Put differently; this is the best cat litter on this list if your pet prefers natural litter.
5. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Cat Litter
Ideal for multi-cat households, this litter by Purina Tidy thrives on its long-lasting odor control. The Purina’s patented odor locking technology ensures that strong stenches don’t get in the way of your comfort, around the clock. That way, you can spend less time worrying about litter boxes and more time playing with your furry friends.
The Purina Tidy litter has very little dust and as such it’s a good option for kittens or potty training. Some reviewers remarked that the relatively fine granules can cause tracking. We suggest that you invest in a high-quality cat litter too to trap the granules before your feline steps on the floor or couch. Don’t worry if you don’t have the mat, this litter sweeps easily, so tracking shouldn’t be much of a concern.
Even though unscented, you can mix it with another scented formula if you’d like to spruce up the air in your home. Otherwise, it works perfectly on its own. Moreover, you can choose the 4-in-1 strength action or Glade version if you prefer scented litter.
With rave reviews and positive remarks to its name, there’s every reason to believe that this cat litter works excellently. For those who may want to know, this is clumping litter and is compatible with automatic cat boxes. One more thing, the Purina Tidy comes in 27 lb, 35 lb, and 40 lb pails.
4. Purina Tidy LightWeight 24/7
The name says it all, doesn’t it? This cat litter by Purina Tidy promises to keep odor under control 24/7. And if what pet owners are saying about it is anything to by, then these claims are indeed true. To begin with, it contains lightweight natural clay, so hauling it around is less tedious. More specifically, it is about 50% lighter in comparison to similar litter.
Regarding efficiency, Purina features the unique TidyLock Protection that locks away smelly fecal, urine and ammonia odors for up to two weeks. This litter contains scent, but pet owners note that it isn’t overpowering so you can place in your living room, kitchen or even the bathroom.
The Purina 24/7 is dust-free. You know what that means don’t you? Yes, you won’t have to spend time wiping it off all over your floor and neither will it pollute the air in your space. And, just like any other clay cat litter, it forms tight clumps for quick scooping. A section of users states that the Purina 24/7 comes in a remarkably durable container. And for a 17-pound pail, the robust container makes perfect sense. Note – you can opt for the 20 lb, 35 lb, or 40 lb pail as well.
For the best results, we recommend that you maintain a depth of about four inches of this litter in the box. In other words, add more litter every time you empty. Also, don’t forget to remove the solid clumps daily.
3. Arm & Hammer Seal Clumping Litter
This formula by Arm & Hammer caught our attention for a couple of things. Deservedly in our best cat litter reviews, it features plant-based, natural particles that create rock-solid clumps. Obviously, that translates to easy scooping. It means that this litter is biodegradable and eco-friendly too. Also, because the granules aren’t crystals or clay, you can flush or compost it.
We love the fact the Arm & Hammer has moisture activated micro-granules. These work to absorb your cat’s pee super fast while suppressing odors at the time. It’s not surprising that the manufacturer of this litter terms the granules as “heavy duty” odor eliminators. The particles work by creating a tight seal around your cat’s waste on contact. And, yes, just as you thought, since the granules are moisture-activated, this formula is 100% dust free – the only one on this list.
While there’s no debating that the Arm & Hammer will make cleaning your litter box painless, it is essential to note that you should empty on a daily basis. You see, this litter for multi-cat homes – it comes in a 40-pound pack. If you don’t empty, therefore, it can only mean that the clumps will disintegrate, defeating the reason for using the litter in the first place.
Why should you buy? Because as one cat owner says, this is the holy grail of cat litters. From containing odors for up to seven days to stellar absorbency, you’ll love having it in your house.
2. Litter Genie Cat Litter Odor Control Refills
Our collection of best kitty litter wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Litter Genie. See, we recommend that you scoop your litter box every day unless you’re not at home. Even then, you must have note that we’re telling you whether you can flush the cat litters we’ve reviewed. It does because we understand that disposing of litter can be time-consuming. And that’s why we’ve included the Little Genie on our list.
For starters, these refills work with a cat litter dispose system (sold separately). They allow you to conveniently hold litter clumps in your house and most importantly, seal the odors. That way, you can scoop your box as many times as you want without having to take the litter outside.
Each of the Litter Genie refills comes with seven layer bags complete with the innovative barrier technology to smother germs and odors. Now, that’s indeed “ultimate” protection between smelly litter and your nose. And that’s not even the best part. These refills will last you a whopping sixty days with one cat!
Cat owners love the fact that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to fit the Litter Genie in your dispose system. The outer plastic construction is durable too. Other than that, this pack comes with four standard refills that will last you up to eight months. But, you can choose a one, three or six-pack refill depending on your budget.
1. Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Litter
Precious Cat is the best cat litter, hands down. People have bought it in their droves. And, it’s not hard to figure out why they keep coming back for more. First off, it’s unscented, so it won’t choke your household with perfumes plus it’s great if your cat keeps cleaning her toes. Unlike most formulas, this litter is hypoallergenic, which means that you can still use it if you have allergies. In simple terms, it is safe for you and you and the cat – in every sense of the word.
The Precious Cat has big granules too. You’ll only need to use a single mat outside the box to prevent tracking. The ability of this litter to clump is on another level. It literally clumps seconds after coming into contact with the liquid. So yes, scooping, and by extension cleaning your box is a cinch.
Don’t worry if your cat is hard to please. The Precious Cat is an all-natural formula and there’s every chance that your cat will love it – this happens to be a constant remark by many reviewers. Apart from the excellent performance, we believe that the natural materials is the reason most cat owners like this litter.
As for the ability to control odor, it will contain them for at least seven days. And oh, the Precious Cat litter is 99.9% dust free and can work with mechanical/sifting litter boxes.
How to Choose the Best Cat Litters (Buyer’s Guide)
See, picking the right litter for your cat is tricky (or is it). Not if you know what you want before you hit the market. What follows is a rundown of the most important considerations to make to help you determine if specific litter is perfect for your cat (and yourself of course).
Cat litters come is a variety of materials ranging from clay to natural, crystals, and hybrid. It is, therefore, critical that you understand what to expect with various materials. We break it down for you.
- Clay – Clay is the most common cat litter material. In fact, most formulas in our cat litter reviews above are clay. And there are a number of reasons clays are popular with pet owners. They’re affordable and clump well. Clays can hold quite a bit of pee, are readily available and the list goes on. You should, however, note that clay litter tends to be heavy and can be dusty. So, if you’re on a tight budget and want something reliable, clay-based litter may be your best bet.
- Crystals – These are lightweight and are almost scentless. Their absorbency may not be the best but it’s not that bad either. Crystals score highly when it comes to odor absorption. On the downside, they don’t clump well. Plus, they’re relatively expensive.
- Natural – These contain biodegradable material and as such, they’re eco-friendly, all-natural (obviously) and recyclable. Most are wood, corn kernels, newspaper, wheat, and plant-based. Natural litter performs well when it comes to odor control and liquid absorbency in comparison to crystals. They struggle when it comes to clumping though. Natural-based litter will appeal to you if you’re an environmentally conscious pet owner.
- Clay Hybrid – These use the ever popular clay as the foundation but with some additional ingredients. The extras include plant extracts, baking soda, and crystals. Their clumping ability is commendable. Besides, you can choose between clumping and non-clumping options. In short, clay hybrid brings to the fore the proven ability of clay but with a unique twist to help control odors better.
Level of Clumping
Ah, clumping. It’s that word again! But, what does it mean? Clumping refers to the liter’s ability to form solid, scoop-able clumps after it has come into contact with your cat’s waste. As stated, different types of litter clump differently. Some offer semi-clumping.
Indeed, you want cat litter that’s easy to scoop, right? Sure. After all, it makes it easy to clean the litter box. So, be sure to do some research on a specific litter’s ability to clump. Even then, you should also be privy to the fact that there are non-clumping litters as well. These mask the odor for a specified period after which your litter box starts to smell. While non-clumping litter is affordable, most struggle with masking odors.
Cat litters can be scented or non-scented. You need to determine how powerful the scent is if you decide to go with the scented version. You have to know if your cat can handle the perfume. Some formulas use intense fumes that can turn you off or even cause complications more so if you have allergies or a sensitive nose. Non-scented litters don’t use perfumes so they’re a good alternative to the scented version. It can be hard to determine what to expect with the litter you intend to purchase regarding smell. Our best advice is to read cat litter reviews to know how intense the scent is.
Other considerations to make when scouting for the best cat litter include how dusty the formula can be and how easy it is to remove the clumps.
…before you go
Read these Tips for Cat Tips for Cat Owners
Don’t switch brands unless you have reason to
Finding the best kitty litter is already hard enough so when you get something that works for your cat, stick to it. Remember cats could be the finickiest of pets and the last thing you want is to try to force yours to like new litter.
Whenever possible, choose clumping liters
While the type of litter is more of a personal preference, we recommend clumping litter. We’re not saying that other litters are bad, but clumping litter is easy to scoop. Some formulas are biodegradable while others while you can flush others down your toilet. Moreover, statistics indicate that most cats like the feel of clumping litter.
Price isn’t everything
Some cat litters are ridiculously affordable. Don’t be swayed to fall for these unless they have great reviews and a high rating to match. Most cheap litters track easily so be prepared to do a lot of sweeping and wiping.
Your cat’s comfort is paramount
Your furry friend’s paws are highly sensitive. Pay attention to how he reacts after stepping out of the litter box. If you have any reason to think that he’s using the box under protest, it’s time to switch to something finer. You should also note that your cat may stop using the litter box altogether all of a sudden. When this happens, it might not be the litter. Consider visiting your vet before deciding to experiment with different litter.
You cat decides which is the best litter
You may have admiration for a certain brand or formula, but it’s your cat that decides which litter to buy. It doesn’t matter what the experts or previous users say, your cat has to be happy with the litter. Also, be careful with the kittens. Adults cats prefer finer grains but that isn’t the best option for kitten three months or younger. Choose bigger granules for kittens because they can ingest particles leading to complications.
Over to You
Choosing the best cat litter involves a combination of factors. We’ve outlined all the basics and even suggested what we reckon is the best litter for odor control. With our reviews, we hope that you’ll get what you and your cat have been looking for. We’ll keep updating the reviews to make sure that they remain as helpful as possible. Now, over to you!