Best Cat Litter Reviews – Market Top 11 Product
The Guide to Ensure Your Cat’s Hygiene
No, picking out the best cat litter isn’t as much fun as choosing the best cat toys or cat towers. But if I want this site to be complete (and I do), coming up with cat litter ratings is just as important as ranking food for your feline.
After all, having the right litter is crucial for feline health and hygiene – and it makes things a lot easier on the owner, who has to do the dirty work.
You probably know there are two basic types of litter, clumping and non-clumping. Most people feel that clumping litter is easier to maintain since you simply have to scoop out clumped-up waste after a cat does his business. Others remain fans of old-school non-clumping litter that consists of small pebbles made from clay or other materials, because it doesn’t contain any possibly-hazardous chemicals. Non-clumping organic litter is also becoming more popular.
Since there are distinct categories of cat litter, it’s impossible to choose a “top-rated” cat litter. Instead, my best cat litter reviews will highlight the most desirable options in each area.
Top 11 Best Cat Litter Reviews
Here are the 11 best cat litters based both on experience and reviews from other cat owners.
1. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Cat Attract Scoopable Cat Litter
This is a great clumping litter, but that’s not the primary reason it’s my best-rated cat litter in the clumping category. Dr. Elsey’s has found something – and they won’t say exactly what it is, but it’s apparently herbal – to put into its litter which will attract even finicky or recalcitrant cats to the litter box. Not everyone has a problem cat, of course, but there are times when illness or a dirty box can lead normally-cooperative pets to find somewhere else to relieve themselves. Using a very good litter which will “call the cat’s name” is a hassle-free way to handle all of those situations.
And this is indeed a terrific product. It’s all-natural, provides strong odor control and is 99% dust free, eliminating most of the chemical and dust concerns many owners have about clumping litter. Cat Attract is heavy and expensive, so you may want to find another option if you never have to worry about your cat going where he shouldn’t. But the way this Dr. Elsey’s litter attracts cats to litter boxes is nothing short of miraculous.
- Attracts cats to litter box
- All-natural, almost completely dust-free
- Very little odor
- Heavy and dense
2. Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
I like the Precious Cat Ultra Premium clumping litter as a solid alternative to Cat Attract. It’s less than half the price but still a wonderful product as long as you’re not concerned about the “attract” feature of the Dr. Elsey’s brand we just looked at (Dr. Elsey’s also manufactures the Precious Cat line).
This litter is all-natural, so there’s no worry about the chemicals you often find in lesser clumping litters. It also creates virtually no dust even though it’s made from large clay granules, which surprisingly form hard clumps that are easy to scoop out and don’t break into pieces like many competitors do. The strong clumping action also stops most moisture from seeping through to the bottom of the litter pan.
No extra deodorants or perfumes are added to Precious Cat Ultra Premium and the company claims that it’s odor-free; you’ll probably find that to be a bit of an exaggeration, but the slight odor isn’t offensive. One other plus: since this litter isn’t as dense as the Cat Attract, it works just fine in mechanical litter boxes. At the price, this is litter that’s well worth your attention.
- Creates hard clumps easy to pick up
- All-natural, virtually no dust
- Slight but non-offensive odor
- Hard clumps require frequent box cleaning
3. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Litter
For a “mainstream brand,” and for inexpensive clumping litter, this product raises eyebrows with its effectiveness. It’s important to realize before going any further, though, that I’m only discussing the company’s Multi-Cat Clump & Seal brand here; some of its other products aren’t nearly as good.
This litter uses what Arm & Hammer says is a proprietary blend of micro-granules, designed to create a seal around cat waste that prevents odors from seeping out. It’s coupled with the use of the company’s famous baking soda and other heavy-duty ingredients to destroy the odors inside the clumps. That’s a lot of description, but however it works, it works – this litter has a strong perfume scent, but you won’t smell any urine or feces even with multiple cats using the box.
As for the litter’s other properties, the soft particles are quite fine but they form hard clumps with very little dust to be seen. Cats like it and you should too, unless you’re sensitive to the strong smell of the litter.
- Effectively eliminates urine and feces odors
- Very little dust
- Forms hard clumps easy to scoop
- Perfume scent may be difficult for some to take
- Hard clumps require frequent box cleaning
- Not all-natural
4. Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat Litter
More and more cat owners are looking for an environmentally-friendly litter to use, and Yesterday’s News is one of the very best non-clumping choices. Why the name “Yesterday’s News?” It’s because the soft pellets are actually made from bio-degradable recycled newspaper. That not only makes it organic, it also eliminates the issues of dust, non-natural scents (although Purina now has a scented version also available), and non-clumping clay pellets being tracked around the house (and scratching hardwood floors).
Yesterday’s News is inexpensive and very efficient, with the newspaper pellets able to absorb three times as much moisture as clay. The pellets are also a lot easier on cats’ paws than the hard pellets found in most non-clumping litters. The downside: this litter is unscented so there’s nothing in the product to fight the natural odor of cat waste, making frequent box cleaning necessary. Oh, one more plus for organic types: even the bag that the litter comes in is recyclable.
- Biodegradable and recyclable (not flushable)
- No dust, very few tracking issues
- You can read the news while cleaning the litter box (just kidding)
- Doesn’t contain cat odors well
- Dark newspaper pellets can obscure small pieces of feces
- May require a transition period for cats used to other types of litter
5. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Cat Litter #261371
If you shop at the supermarket for cat supplies, you can’t avoid shelves overflowing with Fresh Step litter. It is historically one of the best sellers on the market because of its reasonable price, so “cat fanciers” tend to look down it. When it comes to the Multi-Cat product, however, they shouldn’t turn up their noses. It’s a good product.
This is a clumping litter made from clay and plant extracts, with lots of carbon added to the mixture in order to control pet odor. It seems to do its odor-control work well; then again, with all of the artificial scent added to the mix it can be hard to tell. Homes with multiple cats, though, will be pleased that their litter box smells like litter and not like lots of cats have been doing their business. Fresh Step products are known for creating dust, and the Multi-Cat creates its share. But this litter absorbs and clumps very well, doesn’t track outside the box, and is a very good value.
- Hides odor extremely well
- Clumps well
- Good price
- Creates a good amount of dust
- Not all-natural
- Very noticeable artificial scent
6. World’s Best Cat Litter, Quick Cat Clumping Formula
World’s Best is a very popular biodegradable litter, made from whole-kernel corn and wood fibers. While it’s expensive, it has a lot going for it: it clumps and scoops extremely well, does a very job controlling odors (the litter itself has a light scent of corn and wood), creates very little dust, and can be flushed down the toilet. When you add the environmentally-friendly nature of this litter to the list, it would seem that World’s Best should be one of the best cat litter brands.
There’s a little controversy surrounding this product, though. The use of corn makes World’s Best extremely absorbent, but corn is also known to get moldy, particularly in warm and humid climates. Even worse, the mold that grows is aflatoxin, which is deadly for cats. This isn’t a problem for most cat owners, but if you live in a very humid area or keep your litter box in the bathroom you may find that you have to change the litter very frequently to avoid mold growth. It would also be a good idea to check the bottom of the bag for mold, before using litter that’s been hanging around for a while.
I don’t want to be alarmist, because this really is a great litter. Just be aware of that possible issue before you buy.
- Controls odors extremely well
- Clumps and absorbs well
- Biodegradable and flushable
- Corn litter could grow dangerous mold in humid weather
7. Feline Pine Original Litter
This once-beloved litter has taken a battering in the court of public opinion for the last couple of years, but is now back on track. The issue started when Feline Pine was bought out by Arm & Hammer, which changed the formula and scent of the litter – until the company realized that you shouldn’t change something that isn’t broken. And this mix of shredded pine and natural fibers is once again an all-natural, pleasant-smelling non-clumping litter. In fact, it’s basically the same material that’s used in most livestock stalls because of those benefits.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the pellets in Feline Pine. They don’t create dust and there’s no problem with tracking outside the box. They’re also much lighter than clay, so carrying the bag in from the garage isn’t an ordeal. However, the pellets are larger than usual so you can’t use a normal litter scoop; you need a special Feline Pine scoop with larger grooves. And as with many non-clumping litters, urine has a tendency to seep through to the bottom of the litter box to create a goopy mess. Despite those drawbacks, Feline Pine is very inexpensive, smells good and does a nice job.
- All-natural, no dust
- Pleasant pine smell and good odor control
- Important to be sure you buy the right formulation since it has recently changed
- Large pellets requires a special scoop
- Wet pellets can turn into sawdust that collects outside of the box
8. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Easy Care Crystal Litter
Just For Cats Easy Care Crystal Litter is another non-clumping product made from a very different type of material: silica crystals. The beauty of silica is that it’s ultra-absorbent, so the crystals soak up almost all of your cat’s urine (as well as the odor) and allow you to go much longer before a complete litter change is required. Once your cat does his business, just stir the crystals a couple of times, all of the urine will be absorbed or will evaporate, and a pleasant odor will be released. The crystals don’t stick to the bottom of the tray, either.
There’s very little dust created when you use this non-toxic and flushable Nature’s Miracle litter, although there can be some tracking of the crystals. Just For Cats Crystal is pretty expensive, although many of the other crystal litters on the market are priced even higher.
- Extremely absorbent
- Very good odor control
- Tracking can be an issue
9. Arm & Hammer Double Duty Clumping Litter
This is the least-expensive product on this roundup of best cat litters, and while it’s not as good as the company’s Multi-Cat Clump & Seal litter reviewed earlier, it’s not bad for the price. That is, if you can take a pretty bad smell for a little while. Here’s the story: once your cat relieves himself, the litter reacts with the pee and poop to neutralize the smell – and that process creates a rather revolting odor for five or ten minutes. After that, everything’s fine again (unless you want a completely odorless litter, which this is not).
As with the Multi-Cat litter, there is baking soda along other odor-neutralizers in the litter so this is not an all-natural product. It does clump well and produces virtually no dust, so the only real big issue to consider is the smell.
- Clumps well
- Very little dust
- Bad smell until odors are neutralized
- Not all-natural or odorless
10. Pro-Sense Fresh Results Crystal Silica Cat Litter
I’ve already mentioned an expensive crystal silica litter. Pro-Sense is much less expensive, and while it’s not as good as the Nature’s Miracle product, it still does a nice job of absorbing odors and lasting much longer between changes than other types of litter. The process is identical, too; the silica crystals are extremely absorbent, so urine and odors are locked in and then dehydrated. Just stir the crystals each day and the litter can literally last longer than a week before it has to be changed.
Pro-Sense litter is lightweight and doesn’t create a lot of dust, although it can track pretty easily through the house. It doesn’t smell quite as good or absorb as much of the pet odor as Nature’s Miracle, but the price is definitely right.
- Extremely absorbent
- Good odor control
- Tracking can be an issue
- More dust than expected for a silica litter
11. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Pellets
These pellets are designed to be used with the Tidy Cats Breeze litter box system, which is sold separately. In brief, the pellets are made of a hard clay-like material (mordenite zeolite). Urine drains through them into an absorbent collection pad that sits in a slide-out drawer, while the feces stays on top of the pellets to be removed as necessary. That way, you can just change pads once every few weeks without having to scoop litter.
There’s no dust created by the pellets, there’s not a huge amount of pellet tracking, and the setup of the system minimizes odor. This product is definitely more expensive than ordinary litter, but it can be used in the Breeze system for much longer than clay or crystal litter would last, and it can even be washed and reused if you have the energy and desire to do it.
- Good odor control
- Almost no dust
- Must be used with the Tidy Cats Breeze litter box system
How to Transition Your Cat from One Litter to Another
Cats may be curious, but they’re definitely creatures of habit – especially when it comes to their toilet habits. If you try to make a quick and radical switch between different types (or even different brands) of litter you could up with a stressed and very unhappy cat. That sometimes leads to behavioral problems or eating problems, and often means you’ll have lots of messes to clean up around the house.
Changing your cat’s litter doesn’t have to be a nightmare, as long as you do it gradually. Mix a little of the new stuff in with your pet’s usual litter each day; the best approach is to replace any scooped-out used litter with a fresh scoop of the new product. Don’t make a big deal out of the change, just let your cat get used to the newer litter little-by-little. Eventually, you’ll have made the switch without muss or fuss.
If your cat reacts badly to the gradual introduction of new litter, just slow down until he’s comfortable with the mix you’ve reached. If he simply won’t accept the new litter, accept the fact that he may not agree with your reasoned and rational choice and search for another brand to try. Remember, litters all feel and smell differently so he may not be rejecting the type of litter you’re introducing, just objecting to the specific brand.
All of the litters I’ve suggested are good options, so there’s a lot to choose from if your cat makes it clear that you should shop around. For most pets, though, I think the best cat litter is the Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter reviewed near the top of this page. Based on both experience and other user reviews, I’ve concluded that it’s a superior product, with the added benefit that it ensures that cats will always use their litter box without straying.