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The 11 Best Cat Litters

Any cat parent is well aware that selecting the incorrect litter can be a significant issue.

For starters, cats are reasonably particular about their bathrooms—litter that does not suit your furry friend can result in accidents and poor litter box behavior.

Additionally, you want an option that is simple to scoop, does not track throughout your home, and aids in odor control.

Additionally, consider the litter material (there are a surprising number of options!) and its clumping ability.

Here are BestForPets's (bestforpets.org) best cat litters for keeping your home clean and your cat happy.


Biodegradable Cat Litter at its Finest



Naturally Fresh’s Cat Litter is an extremely effective cat litter that is also eco-friendly.

This chemical-free litter is composed of ground walnut shells that are surprisingly absorbent and clump similarly to traditional clumping litter.

Additionally, it is available in both scented and unscented varieties, giving you a choice based on your preferences.

When switching to a new litter (particularly one that smells or is composed differently), veterinarians generally recommend layering some of the old litter on top of the new.

This, however, may not be necessary with Naturally Fresh’s Cat Litter; the size of the walnut shells is standard, and the litter has a sand-like texture that cats can instinctively adapt to.


The Best Lightweight: Tidy Cats Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter



If you live on the fifth floor of a walkup, the weight of the products you purchase is significant—carrying purchases and deliveries up the stairs is strenuous.

If you’re looking for a lighter formulation, this Tidy Cats option is worth considering: One 8.5-pound jug of this natural clay litter replaces a 20-pound bag of other litter.

Additionally, 17 pound and 6 pound containers are available. The jug is compostable, and the litter is fragrance- and dye-free.

Activated charcoal and ammonia-blocking agents aid in preventing and controlling the odor. This clumping litter produces little dust and is effective at neutralizing odors.

However, you may discover that this litter leaves a trail, necessitating additional daily cleanup.


Fresh Step Odor Shield Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter – Best Scent



There is no denying that your cat’s litter box does not smell pleasant. Rather than using baking soda or spraying air freshener around the cat’s box, you may prefer a scented litter to help control odors.

This litter comes with a 10-day odor control guarantee—the scent is from Febreze, and activated charcoal helps control the odor of cat urine.

Fresh Step clay litter clumps together to make scooping out the litter box a breeze. Please keep in mind that litter should be disposed of daily in the trash (not flushed down the toilet bowl).


The World’s Best Clumping Corn Cat Litter



This cat litter has a lot to commend it: because it is made from corn, it is an environmentally friendly option that biodegrades.

It is odorless, which appeals to some cats. It is extremely effective at controlling odors while remaining lightweight and easy to scoop.

While this is a more expensive option, you can extend the life of the litter with daily cleanups and top-offs from the litter bag.

This reduces the frequency with which you must completely clean out your litter box.


Cat litter that is best for litter-box training



For a cat that is not yet using a litter box — or is learning to use one as an adult — this litter contains a proprietary blend of herbs that, similar to catnip, attracts cats.

McKeon assures, “I’ve seen it in action and it works.” When her shelter rescued a large group of cats who had never used a litter box, she says they placed Cat Attract in all of their boxes and “no one required medication to use a litter box; they all eventually learned how to use one.”

While Krause agrees that this litter can be a lifesaver for cats with behavioral issues, she advises that you consult your veterinarian prior to purchasing to ensure your cat is not avoiding the box due to illness.

What to Look for When Purchasing Cat Litter


Nowadays, most cat litter is made of bentonite clay, a clumping material that resembles small rocks.

However, traditional Fuller’s earth, also known as non-clumping litter, as well as silica gel and natural litters, are also available.

While bentonite clay litters are popular due to their ease of scooping and ability to combat odors, there are some environmental concerns with this material, in part due to its inability to biodegrade.

Although natural litters are more environmentally friendly, some may be less effective at masking odors.


Bentonite clay is referred to as “clumping” litter due to the fact that wet patches adhere to one another, making them easy to scoop out.

On the other hand, Fuller’s earth and natural litters do not clump, which means they may need to be replaced more frequently.

There are also silica gel litters that absorb moisture into their pellets, requiring only solid waste to be scooped.


If you place your litter box in a low-traffic area, you may not mind if it smells slightly.

On the other hand, if your cat’s bathroom is located in a central area of your home, you may want to choose a litter formula that contains odor-fighting ingredients to help neutralize or mask the odor.

Why Should You Believe BestForPets?

We read dozens of product reviews from retailer sites and BestForPets’s contributing reviewers to determine the best cat litters to include. We also put top products through rigorous testing.

Madeleine Burry, who has covered pet care for over a decade, wrote the original version of this article.

Deborah R Fletcher, a lifestyle writer and commerce editor at BestForPets (bestforpets.org) , contributed additional research and editing.


How often should you change the kitty litter?

This will be determined by the type of litter you use. If you use most non-clumping litters, you should replace the litter and clean the box at least once a week because urine can collect at the bottom of the box more easily. If you use clumping cat litter, you can deep clean the box less frequently if you scoop frequently. You can wait up to five weeks before cleaning and replacing the litter box with clumping litter.

Whatever litter you use, your cat will be the happiest if you scoop the box at least once a day.

What is the composition of kitty litter?

There are numerous types of litter available on the market. Clumping litter is typically made of bentonite clay, but other materials, such as silica gel, are available.

Silica is an absorbent material that can be used to control odors. Natural litter is made of recycled paper products or plant-derived materials such as wood shavings or corn for those who prefer a more environmentally friendly option.

What is the best way to clean a litter box?

Proper litter box maintenance begins with selecting the appropriate box and tools for your cat’s habits and needs.

Most cat owners prefer clumping litter because it is easier to spot waste and allows for faster cleanup.

If you use clumping litter, waste should be scooped out daily, but the entire litter box should be deep cleaned once a week or every four to five weeks, depending on the type of litter you use.

Litter should always be disposed of in an airtight trash bag. Some litter is flushable, and smaller clumps can be disposed of in this manner, but never flush the entire contents of the box.

Eventually, you’ll need to empty the box and thoroughly clean it with unscented dish soap and paper towels.

Non-clumping litter will require more frequent cleaning due to the buildup it can cause at the bottom of the box, whereas clumping litter can be removed in small amounts daily and replaced less frequently.

How does one go about litter-training a cat?

When you first bring home a new kitten, one of the first things you should do is litter train them. It is recommended that you introduce your new cat into a “transition room” that is safe, comfortable, and separate from the rest of your home.

The cat’s food and water should be at one end of the room, and the litter box should be at the other. To establish good habits, take it to the litter box immediately after it eats or drinks.

If your cat uses the litter box correctly, reward it with a toy or treat to help it stick to its new routine.

They should be allowed to explore the area—rather than scooping out waste right away, leave it to remind them where to go to the bathroom properly.

What is the best way to get rid of kitty litter?

The majority of litter should then be discarded in the trash.

Because it is biodegradable, some brands, such as Garfield Cat Litter, can be flushed directly down the toilet in small amounts, but keep in mind that many municipal waste systems and septic systems are not designed to handle cat waste.

Litter that is not biodegradable should never be flushed. Litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day, and clumps should be placed in a trash bag.

To avoid odors, consider purchasing a Litter Genie, which seals waste at the bottom and keeps any odor contained throughout the week.

Simply take out your secured plastic bag of litter and waste on trash day and dispose of it with the rest of your trash.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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