Selecting a cat litter can feel overwhelming with all the options out there. As you’re researching the best cat litter, ask yourself:
Will my cat reliably use the litter box if I use this litter?
Does the litter aggravate allergies?
Do I mind the odor?
Does the maintenance associated with that litter fit my lifestyle?
Does it fit my budget?
Cats tend to prefer unscented clumping cat litter that’s medium-fine textured. Giving your cat some samples by putting litter boxes side by side with different litters can be a great way to determine which they prefer. But while no cat litter is going to be perfect for every cat and every household, the litters listed below are some favored by cats and cat parents alike.
Best Overall Cat Litter: Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
This cat litter has many features that are preferred by cats, namely that it’s an unscented, clumping clay material. The litter is low-dust, which is helpful for cats (especially those with allergies or feline asthma) and pet parents alike. It’s also budget-friendly, can support use from multiple cats, and, even though it’s unscented, helps seal in odor to minimize that “litter box smell” every cat parent knows so well.
Best Clumping Cat Litter: Tidy Cats Free & Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter
This cat litter is made with odor-absorbing activated charcoal and forms strong, tight clumps to keep your cat’s urine and feces separate from the remaining clean litter. This makes cleaning the litter box easier, and it doesn’t release dust while you scoop.
Best Litter for Multiple Cats: Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Cat Litter
Having more than one cat at home means your litter box is going to take some extra wear-and-tear, but this litter is up for the challenge. It clumps together tidily, and the built-in baking soda crystals work to eliminate pesky odors that can quickly arise. That said, you still need to make sure you’re scooping your box every day and that you have at least one litter box for each cat plus one extra.
Best Cat Litter for Odor: Arm & Hammer Slide Scented Cat Litter
This scented cat litter works to mask unseemly odors for up to seven days, thanks to its moisture-activated particles. Bonus: It doesn’t stick to the litter box like other products do, making cleanup easier.
Best Dust-Free Cat Litter: Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Platinum Litter
Say goodbye to sneezing kitties—filling the box with dust-free litter is helpful for kitties with asthma and allergies. But this hypoallergenic cat litter is great for any cat (and cat parent!) who’s sensitive to dust and strong scents that can easily be kicked up.
Best Cat Litter for Kittens: Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract Litter
Looking to make litter training a little easier? This litter is designed to be a texture that little kitten paws are comfortable using, and it features a natural herbal attractant to help draw them into the box. Use it when your kitten is 8 weeks to 1 year old.
Most Affordable Cat Litter: Tidy Cats Instant Action Non-Clumping Cat Litter
One of the most budget-friendly options on the market, Tidy Cats litter works well, is dust-free, and controls odor. It’s also designed to be low-tracking, so, when paired with a litter mat, the mess will be minimal.
Best Lightweight Cat Litter: Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Litter
Every cat parent knows that carrying your just-delivered box of cat litter from the porch to your litter box is essentially an arm workout. This lightweight litter makes that trip a whole lot easier—at just 18 pounds, it’s about half the weight of other boxes.
Best Crystal Cat Litter: Frisco Micro Crystal Cat Litter
For pet parents looking for a substrate other than clay, crystal cat litters can provide great absorbent properties, odor control, and low dust. And while most crystal cat litters can be rough and some cats don’t like how they feel on their paws, these silica gel granules are easier on kitty feet.
Best Litter for Surgery Recovery: Fresh News Paper Cat Litter
If your cat is scheduled for surgery soon, check with your veterinarian to see if they recommend using a non-clumping, paper-based cat litter during the recovery period to help keep the surgery site clean and healthy. Introducing your cat to a recovery-friendly litter like Fresh News before their surgery can help kitty get used to it.
Best Flushable Cat Litter: Okocat Original Premium Wood Cat Litter
If flushing the cat litter makes cleanup a little less taxing for you, this plant-based litter may be a great option to consider. It features the convenience of a clumping litter and still offers great odor control, just like its common clay counterparts.
If you or your cat have been less than pleased with your current litter, considering a litter trial with some of the above may be a great way to find something new that may work better for you and your cat. And remember: If your cat is having accidents outside of the litter box, work with your veterinarian to rule out underlying medical conditions and discuss appropriate litter box placement and maintenance.
Featured Image: iStock/CasarsaGuru
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