What Is the Best Cat Litter?

Best Seller
Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter
10/10Our Score
  • PrettyLitter traps odor instantly and then eliminates moisture
  • PrettyLitter changes color to tell you when your cat has a potential health issue, so you can get them help before it becomes an urgent medical situation.
  • Our silica litter (crystal litter) could save you big money on expensive vet bills

What Is Cat Litter?

Cat litter is a substance that is added to a litter box to give a cat a place to relieve itself. It can be made of clay, wood, plastic, or a mixture of these things to fight odors and make cleaning up and disposing of cat waste easier and safer.

Some are clumping and others non-clumping, some are scented and others fragrance-free, and some are synthetic and others natural.

Which Type of Litter is Best for Cats?

There are numerous types of cat litter on the market – synthetic and natural litter.

Each type is better suited to a specific purpose than others, and we go into what makes each type of cat litter different below:

  • Wood Pellet Cat Litter: Wood and paper pellet cat litter, like Feline Pine and Yesterday’s News, is made of processed and recycled wood that has been pressed into a pellet shape. These litter pellets absorb moisture and clump as normal litter does, but it is safe and hypoallergenic to both humans and their feline friends.
  • Clay Cat Litter: Bentonite clay is the most common type of cat litter, and it is affordable, effective, and easy to find. This tends to be the dustiest of the litters, though, so it should be taken into consideration when looking for a new cat litter.
  • Plastic Cat Litter: Silica-based crystal litters clump & seal odors and moisture like clay litters do but with reduced dust which makes them a good choice for cat owners with allergies.
  • Paper Cat Litter: This is a great option for someone seeking cost-effective cat litter. Although it is often not as absorbent as other types, it is recycled paper, and it is inexpensive, so you are not only reducing your carbon footprint, but you are saving some change as well.
  • Natural Cat Litter: This type of litter is often made of natural things like sawdust, beet pulp, and corn and is biodegradable. They are available in clumping and non-clumping varieties as well.
  • Flushable Cat Litter: Flushable litter is a great and convenient option. This clumping clay cat litter dissolves in water, but this makes it necessary to scoop the litter box daily as it dissolves when met with excess urine in the box as well.

How Long Does Cat Litter Last?

Cat litter should last 10-14 days without needing to be changed, but only if it is scooped clean daily. If it is not cleaned daily or the litter is not changed regularly, it can pose health risks to your cat, like urinary tract infections, especially if you have multiple cats.

How Often do You Change Cat Litter?

If you scoop the clumps from the litter daily, most cat litter will last up to 14 days without needing to be changed.

However, various factors affect how often you need to change the litter, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best results.

What Are the Benefits of Cat Litter?

Using cat litter is practical and hygienic. Here are some of the benefits of using cat litter.

  • Safety: A good kitty litter will clump quickly and prevent odors. This helps to eliminate the chance of infection by locking away bacteria in the urine and feces and keeps them from infecting the cat.
  • Odor Control: Most odor-controlling cat litter is infused with baking soda or an aroma-controlling agent like Febreze and Gain Original. This helps to keep away smells that would otherwise be offensive to the nose.
  • Easy Cleaning: Cleaning litter boxes is a dirty job, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Many cat litters are non-stick and allow for waste to slide right out of the litter box when cleaning.

The Best Cat Litters Reviewed

With so many different types of cat litter, it is hard for pet owners to choose the right one. Here we have selected and reviewed the best-selling cat litter products on the market.

Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter

Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter

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Price: $24.00

Size: N/A

Material: Clay

Dimension: N/A

Item Weight: N/A

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Unscented; Lotus flower

Color: White

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature and as close to the floor as possible.

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread out a layer about 3 inches thick in a cat litter box. Clean daily for best results with a scooper and throw out the waste. Wash the litter box when removing old litter with warm water and soap to prevent infections and unwanted smells.

Summary: Pretty litter is a cat litter company aimed at monitoring your cat’s health with color-changing litter. The litter will change colors depending on various factors that may indicate health issues or potential for health concerns.

It is available in a subscription service, so you never have to worry about running out. It is 99% dust-free and low-tracking to keep the mess down and keep your house smelling fresh. This litter is non-clumping and long-lasting so cleaning the litter box only requires that you throw out all of the old litter.

Pros
  • Dust-free and low-tracking
  • Quality, non-clumping formula
  • Up to 80% lighter than other brands
  • Health indicators (color changes)
  • Subscriptions are possible
Cons
  • Can cause paranoia about your cat’s health
  • The non-clumping formula can be seen as a con by some customers

Customer Reviews: Over 23,000 people have reviewed Pretty Litter on their website, and over 20,000 of those reviews were 5 stars. Cat owners liked the litter and how easy it was to replace as well as how well it worked to keep smells down.

Unhappy customers say this litter did nothing to stop the smell of ammonia, and they complain about the lack of response from customer service.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter an overall 7/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (10/10): This litter is great for responsible cat owners who are concerned about their cat’s well-being. This litter also serves basic litter functions, litter odor control, and moisture control.
  • Material Quality (7/10): Although we only noticed some smell, numerous customers gave it a 1-star rating because they could smell it throughout their house. 
  • Cost Effectiveness (7/10): A one-month supply for one cat is less than $25.00, which is about the average monthly litter expense for most cat owners.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): Over 23,000 people have reviewed Pretty Litter just on their site, and over 20,000 of those reviews were 5 stars.  
  • Product Variety (1/10): From what we can tell, Pretty Litter only makes one product. 

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Extra Strength Scented Litter with the Power of Febreze

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Extra Strength Scented Litter with the Power of Febreze

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Price: $9.54

Size: 14 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 10.13” x 4.19” x 10.13”

Item Weight: 14 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Febreeze infused

Color: Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature.

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread a layer of litter in the cat litter box about 2 inches thick. Scoop clean the litter daily for best results and change the litter when soiled or low. When changing the litter, be sure to wash the litter box with soap and warm water before refilling.

Summary: Fresh Step has been producing high-quality cat litter for decades. This multi-cat formula is one of their best-selling products. It clumps quickly and tightly to prevent infection from spreading from one cat to another, and this also helps to make cleaning quick and easy.

It is formulated to control smells for up to 10 days and is infused with the power of Febreeze to aid in eliminating odors. There are three varieties available for multi-cat households and strong odors.

Pros
  • Quick and easy clumping
  • Dust-free formula
  • Controls odors for up to 10 days
  • Fit for multi-cat households
  • Affordable price tag
Cons
  • Relatively high tracking
  • The smell of the litter itself can be a bit much for some people

Customer Reviews: Most consumers rate this cat litter 4 or 5 stars, with the most common point of satisfaction being the litter’s ability to keep odors down. These cat owners enjoy the clumping and the Febreeze-infused clay granules that keep odors under control.

However, some customers were disappointed with how much litter their cat had brought outside the litter box.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Fresh Step Multi-Cat Extra Strength Scented Litter with the Power of Febreze an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter kept pat smells down for us and clumped nicely, which made cleaning easy. However, it does track a bit more than we would like.  
  • Material Quality (8/10): The litter did clump nicely and keep ammonia odors down, but the odor from the litter itself was noticeable.  
  • Cost Effectiveness (10/10): Customers were happy with the cost at under $1.00 per pound and so are we.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): With an average rating of 4.6 stars and almost 70,000 reviews, this cat litter is firmly in the perfect score range for customer feedback. 
  • Product Variety (10/10): Fresh Step has a wide variety of cat litter in their product line for cat owners of all kinds.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter

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Price: $10.44

Size: 18 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 15” x 10” x 4”

Item Weight: 18 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Unscented

Color: Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature and as close to the floor as possible.  

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread out a layer about 3 inches thick in a cat litter box. Clean daily for best results with a scooper and throw out the waste. Wash the litter box when removing old litter with warm water and soap to prevent infections and unwanted smells.

Summary: Dr. Elsey’s makes natural cat products, such as litter, that are safe and cost-effective. It is available in scented and unscented options to help control pet odors. The natural clay this litter is made of forms tight clumps when wet that are easy to clean and easy to notice.

Various formulas are available as well for multi-cat households and cats who are put off by scented litter. It is sold in bags up to 40 lbs and priced at under $1.00 per pound, so it is an affordable option for any cat owner.

Pros
  • Fast-clumping clay
  • Dust-free formula
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Scented and unscented options
  • Budget-friendly price
Cons
  • The scent may be too strong for some cats
  • Tracks more than we would like

Customer Reviews: Most customers on Amazon were pleased with this cat litter. They like that it traps smell and does not give off excess dust when cleaning the cat box.

The two most common complaints came from cat owners upset at how much this litter tracked and how little it seemed to clump for them.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter an overall 8/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (8/10): This litter is great at trapping moisture and smells but tends to get stuck on the cat’s feet.
  • Material Quality (8/10): The ingredients in this litter are great at clumping at controlling odors, however, we noticed quite a bit of tracking, and so did other customers.
  • Cost Effectiveness (10/10): At under $1.00 per pound, this is an exceptional price for cat litter.
  • Customer Feedback (7/10): Over 2,000 people have reviewed this litter, which is a good number but nowhere near the most we have seen. They give this cat litter an average of 4.4 stars.
  • Product Variety (9/10): Dr. Elsey’s makes loads of high-quality cat products but only in the subjects of food and cat litter.

Cat’s Pride Odor Control Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter

Cat’s Pride Odor Control Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter

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Price: $11.99

Size: 15 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 13.5” x 9.25” x 5.7”

Item Weight: 15 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Unscented; Ultra clean

Color: Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature and as close to the floor as possible.  

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread out a layer about 3 inches thick in a cat litter box. Clean daily for best results with a scooper and throw out the waste. Wash the litter box when removing old litter with warm water and soap to prevent infections and unwanted smells.

Summary: Cat’s Pride is a cat litter brand that delivers high-quality cat litter for a multitude of purposes. This cat litter is no different. It is made in nearly a dozen varieties to fit the needs of cats and cat owners everywhere. It is made of clay and is formulated to be dust free and to tightly control odors with its instant clumping action.

It is 25% lighter to be easier to pour and comes in a jug, so refilling the litter box is easy and fast. It is sold in 15-lb jugs and priced at under $1.00 per pound to be affordable for cat owners everywhere.

Pros
  • Wide variety of purposes
  • Dust-free clay formula
  • Controls odors efficiently
  • Affordable price tag
  • Donates to animals in need
Cons
  • Customers complain about the clay smell of the litter when it is opened
  • Relatively high tracking

Customer Reviews: Most of the 40,000+ reviews were positive with special mention of how well it clumps and keeps smells at bay. Cat owners were pleased with the price, saying it was worth more than they paid for it.

Critical reviews didn’t seem to have a common complaint. Instead, the complaints ranged from non-clumping litter to litter clogging the toilet when flushed.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Cat’s Pride Odor Control Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter is great at keeping moisture and smells at bay, but it does track more than we would prefer from a cat litter.
  • Material Quality (8/10): The clay granules trap moisture nicely, but it gets stuck in the toes of cats, which increases the chance of them eating it when they clean themselves.  
  • Cost Effectiveness (10/10Priced at under $1.00 per pound, this is an excellent choice for a budget cat litter.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): With over 40,000 reviews on Amazon alone and an average rating of 4.5 stars, it is clear this is a crowd pleaser.  
  • Product Variety (9/10): Cat’s Pride only makes cat litter, but they make litter for nearly every purpose. 

ARM & HAMMER Slide Platinum Clumping Cat Litter

ARM & HAMMER Slide Platinum Clumping Cat Litter

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Price: $17.99

Size: 18 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 11.75” x 7” x 13.69”

Item Weight: 18 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Unscented

Color: Grey

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature. Putting it on a lower shelf or on the floor is ideal to avoid spills.

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread a layer of litter in the cat litter box about 2 inches thick. Scoop clean the litter daily for best results and change the litter when soiled or low. When changing the litter, be sure to wash the litter box with soap and warm water before refilling.

Summary: Arm & Hammer has been a trusted source of pet products, like cat litter, for years. Arm & Hammer clump formula is a great option for cat owners who have trouble cleaning the litter box. The clumps are formulated to be non-sticking in the pan, so they slide right out of the litter pan, hence the name.

It includes 10% more odor eliminators than competitive brands, and it destroys smells once they are locked into the clumps. This litter is sold in 18 and 37-lb boxes and provides odor control for up to 14 days at a time.

Pros
  • Instant clumping
  • Destroys sealed in odors
  • Has 10% more odor eliminators
  • No scraping is required when cleaning
  • Reputable manufacturer
Cons
  • Counterfeit Arm & Hammer pet products on Amazon
  • The smell of the litter itself can be overpowering for some people

Customer Reviews: Thousands of happy customers left reviews mentioning how satisfied they were with this litter. Numerous consumers said it was “better than Tidy Cats,” and they recommend this litter to any cat owner.

Other pet owners did not like the clumping they observed from this litter, and they were unhappy with the smell of the litter itself.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving ARM & HAMMER Slide Platinum Clumping Cat Litter an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter clumps nicely and does not track, but the smell of the litter itself can be a bit much for some people.
  • Material Quality (9/10): The clay clumps and the deodorizers keep smells at bay, but there is a noticeable odor from the litter, and we wonder if it could have been avoided.  
  • Cost Effectiveness (8/10): At $1.00 per pound, this is a better price than average for cat litter, but not the best price we have seen.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): With almost 24,000 reviews and an average of 4.6 stars, this product has earned a perfect score for customer feedback.
  • Product Variety (10/10): Arm & Hamer makes dozens of safe and effective pet products.  

Fresh Step Advanced Extreme Mountain Spring

Fresh Step Advanced Extreme Mountain Spring

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Price: $17.69

Size: 18.5 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 11.63” x 5.19” x 10.06”

Item Weight: 37 lbs

Style: Indoor cat litter

Scented: Febreze scented

Color: White

Pet: Cats

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature and as close to the floor as possible.

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread out a layer about 3 inches thick in a cat litter box. Clean daily for best results with a scooper and throw out the waste. Wash the litter box when removing old litter with warm water and soap to prevent infections and unwanted smells.

Summary: Fresh Step has produced high-quality and trusted cat litter for decades. This version of Febreze-infused cat litter from them is aimed at powerfully reducing the effect of pet odors in the home.

It is scented with mountain breeze Febreze and is 99.9% dust-free. It is formulated to control odors for up to 10 days, and with its clumplock technology, it is ready to be scooped clean daily. This litter is sold in 18 and in 37 lbs boxes for single and multi-cat households.

Pros
  • Available in large 37 lbs containers
  • Infused with Febreze
  • Provides excellent odor control
  • 99.9% dust-free
  • Perfect for multi-cat households
Cons
  • Customers complain that the litter comes in a box and is difficult to pour
  • High tracking

Customer Reviews: Over 90% of the 60,000+ reviews were 4 and 5-star reviews. These cat owners were happy with the smell elimination and this litter’s ability to form strong clumps that are easily removed from the litter box.

Unhappy consumers, however, did not like the amount of dust that came from this litter, and numerous reviews expressed dissatisfaction with the overall performance. These reviews only made up 3% of total reviews.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Fresh Step Advanced Extreme Mountain Spring an overall 9/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (9/10): This litter works well to eliminate odors with its Febreze technology, but, as is normal with many clay cat litters, the tracking is higher than we would like.
  • Material Quality (8/10): This litter makes tight, lightweight clumps and reduces smells, but the granules are large and sticky This adds another level of cleanup to litter box cleaning. 
  • Cost Effectiveness (7/10): This litter is priced right around the average cost of cat litter.
  • Customer Feedback (10/10): With an average rating of  4.7 and over 60,000 reviews, this is a crowd favorite.
  • Product Variety (10/10): Fresh Step has been around for decades creating innovative cat litter. 

Purina Tidy Cats Low Dust Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

Purina Tidy Cats Low Dust Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

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Price: $24.21

Size: 17 lbs

Material: Clay

Dimension: 9” x 13.25” x 11.75”

Item Weight: 17 lbs

Style: Indoor

Scented: Floral

Color: Grey

Pet: Cat

Lifestage: All life stages

Storage Instructions: Store in a dry place at room temperature.

Product Use Instruction: Evenly spread out a layer about 2 inches thick in a cat litter box. Clean daily for best results with a scooper and throw out the waste.

Summary: The 4-in-1 action of this litter clumps, neutralizes odors, controls dust, and controls tracking. Clumps are made immediately after the litter comes into contact with moisture, and the odors are controlled with a deodorizing system that works for up to 14 days.

It is lightweight and takes half the amount of litter to do the same job as its competitors. The powerfully absorbent formula of clay and minerals provides a safe and clean area for your cat while controlling odors for you.

Pros
  • 4-in-1 strength action
  • Made with a quality clay
  • Low-dust formula
  • Great for multi-cat households
  • Nice and floral fragrance
Cons
  • The scent may discourage cats from using the litter box
  • Clay granules may become stuck in the fur of longer-coated cats

Customer Reviews: Cat owners were thrilled about the Tidy cat litter. They liked the potent odor control it provided while raving about how easy it was to clean and how little it took to fill the litter box.

Some owners didn’t like how it tracked on their cats with long fur, and some mentioned having to take their cats to the vet after they had eaten some of the litter from their paws and began acting strange.

Veterinarians.org Review: Our team at veterinarians.org is giving Purina Tidy Cats Multi-Cat Low Dust Clumping Cat Litter an overall 8/10-star rating. The breakdown of our ratings is below:

  • Pet Suitability (8/10): While many people did not like that the litter stuck to their cat’s paws, we did not notice this to the same degree. We observed it working appropriately and being a relatively low-tracking litter.
  • Material Quality (9/10): The smells were kept down, and the clumps were easy to manage, but the granules do have a tendency to get stuck in between a cat’s toes. 
  • Cost Effectiveness (7/10): This is an average price for cat litter of this size.
  • Customer Feedback (9/10): Thousands of reviews give this litter a 4 or 5-star rating, and only 5% of ratings were critical. 
  • Product Variety (10/10): Tidy Cats has been around since the mid-1950s and has grown its product line to include dozens of products for every scenario.  

What Should I Look for in a Cat Litter?

When shopping for cat litter, consider the following factors:

  • Clumping Action: Whether it is clumping litter or non-clumping litter, the choice is up to you to make. Whether a litter clumps or not is a personal preference.
  • Odor Control: Some cat litters have baking soda in them, while others use silica gel to keep smells down. These tend to be the best options for odor control as products infused with Febreze, or Glade scents can simply add to the smell or mask it without eliminating it from the air.
  • Cleaning Method: If you are not able to clean the litter box daily, a self-cleaning litter box may be a better option than a standard litter box. This may require special cat litter, like Scoopfree crystal litter, to be compatible with your device, so be sure you are looking for the right type of litter for your litter box.
  • Contents: Different types of litter are made of different things. Clay litter is the most common but is often dusty and sticks to a cat’s feet, making ingestion more likely. Other lightweight litter options, like silica and paper pellets, work as well as most clay litters but are not as dusty.

What Is the Best Way to Clean Cat Litter?

For easy cat litter cleaning, follow these simple instructions:

  • Gather your Things: You will need a litter scooper and something in which to discard the waste.
  • Scoop out Clumps: When using scoopable cat litter, scoop away the hard clumps in the litter box, leaving the fresh litter behind. Depending on how old the litter is, it may need to be replaced completely. Oftentimes, when this is necessary, the litter will appear dark, the smell of ammonia, or not clump as tightly.
    If you are using a non-clumping litter, litter mats, or a litter tray, then removing the tray and replacing the litter as a whole may be your best option. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for better instructions.
  • Even out the Litter: Using the back of the scooper, even out the litter. This will give your cat a comfortable place to do their business next time.
  • Throw away and Wash Hands: Carefully disposing of old litter and cat waste is an important step in preventing infections like toxoplasmosis, which affects an estimated 40 million people in the United States alone.

What Happens When You Don’t Change Cat Litter?

If you do not change the litter frequently enough, your cat can come down with urinary infections, or refuse to use the litter box and start using your laundry basket instead.

Litter box problems and accidents around the house are unhygienic and will make the house smell. Plus, they pose a health hazard for humans (some diseases can be transmitted to humans through cat urine).