Best Cat Litter | Clumping Vs Non-Clumping Cat Litter

14 Minute Read
Updated June 10, 2024

Choosing the best cat litter for your feline friend can be a daunting task, with so many options available on the market. However, it is an important decision, as the litter you choose will impact not only your cat's comfort but also your household's cleanliness and odour control.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the best cat litter for your furry friend. We’ll go over what to consider when choosing a top-rated cat litter, as well as some of the best cat litter brands based on your unique needs. 

By the time we’re done, you’ll have a much better idea of what kind of cat litter to choose. 


How to Choose the Best Cat Litter 

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting cat litter:

    • Material: Cat litter comes in various materials such as clay, silica gel, recycled paper, corn, wheat, and even crystals. Each material has its pros and cons.
    • Clumping ability: If you choose a litter that clumps when wet, it will be easier to scoop and dispose of waste. Clumping litter also helps keep the litter box clean for longer periods. 
    • However, some cats love non-clumping litter, and it can be a more cost-effective way to buy litter for your furry friend. 
    • Odour control: The litter you choose should be effective at controlling odours, especially if you have multiple cats. 
    • The best odour control litters may contain activated carbon or baking soda, which helps absorb odours and keeps your house smelling fresh.
    • Dust: Some types of cat litter can create dust, which can be harmful to your cat's respiratory system and cause allergies for humans. Choose a litter that is low or dust-free.
    • Texture: Some cats may be picky about the shape, size, and feel of their litter. Some prefer a fine sand-like texture, while others may prefer a coarse or pellet-style litter. It's essential to observe your cat's preferences and choose their litter accordingly.
    • Non-tracking: Cats can track litter out of the box, creating a mess around the house. Look for a top litter that is less likely to track, such as heavier granules or pellets.
    • Price: The price of cat litter can vary widely, depending on the material and brand. Consider your budget and choose a litter that meets your needs without breaking the bank. On average, most cat owners need between 20-40 lbs of cat litter each month per cat, depending on the type of litter and how often you change it.


Clumping VS Non-Clumping Cat Litter

There are so many types of cat litter to choose from, and it can be hard to decide which one will be best for your cat's bathroom needs.

Cat litter is often broken into two categories: Clumping and Non-Clumping. But what's the difference? Is one better than the other? Each style of litter has it's pros and cons, but more often than not, it comes down to preference (both yours and your cats'). 

What is Clumping Cat Litter?

Clumping cat litter is the type of cat litter that most of us are familiar with. It can be made from a variety of materials that absorb liquid and clump together to make scooping your cat's litter box easy. 

You can find the best clumping cat litter made from these materials:

    • Clay
    • Corn
    • Wheat
    • Grass
    • Wood
    • Walnut Shells
    • Tofu

Some people prefer clumping cat litter because you can scoop out waste daily to reduce odours and provide your cat with a cleaner and safer litter box. Cats often prefer the texture as well, because it allows them to bury their waste, which is a natural instinct.

What is Non-Clumping Cat Litter?

Non-clumping cat litter is less common but is preferred by some pet owners because this type of litter is better for those looking for a lower-maintenance kitty litter box and better odour control. 

This type of litter does not clump and doesn't scoop the same way that clumping litters do. Instead, they are highly absorbent to collect liquids and lock in odours. You'll find non-clumping litter made from the following materials:

    • Silica
    • Wood
    • Paper
    • Walnut Shells
    • Hemp

Non-clumping cat litter doesn't need to be changed as frequently and can be spot-cleaned as needed. The texture of non-clumping cat litter is considerably different, so some cats may need some time to adjust to this new style of litter.


10 Best Cat Litters for Your Kitty 


No one likes cleaning a litter box, but it doesn't have to be a stomach-turning experience. Choosing the right cat litter can make the litter box easier to keep clean and less stinky, and encourage better and safer bathroom habits in cats. 

Whether you have one cat, or thirty, the litter box is one area that we can all agree needs work for both you and your cat.

We know there are a ton of cat litter options, so to help you find the best litter for your cat, we've narrowed down the 10 best cat litters:


1. Best Clumping Cat Litter 

Scooping your cat's litter is easier with a clumping cat litter that clumps firm and dries fast. Clumping litter can be scooped daily to keep your cat's litter box clean and odour-free and encourage better and more consistent kitty bathroom habits. 

World's Best Clumping Cat Litter

This is a great choice for those who prefer clumping cat litter made from natural ingredients. It's made from corn and is flushable, making it easy to dispose of.

It clumps quickly and effectively, and it's low dust and fragrance-free. This litter also performs well in humid climates, clumping firmly and drying fast.

This best cat litter is a great choice for controlling odours as well. No kitty litter smell here! There are also several scented formulas to keep your cat and house smelling fresh.

Shop World's Best Cat Litter


2. Best Natural Cat Litter

Natural is always better, and this is true for your cat's litter too! Traditional clay litter can be messy and dusty, not to mention not great at controlling odours.

The best natural litter made from materials like corn, wheat, walnuts, or paper is much safer for you and your cat and is better at absorbing waste and locking in unpleasant odours. 

Swheat Scoop Fast-Clumping Natural Cat Litter

This cat litter is made from wheat, making it a natural and biodegradable option. It clumps quickly and effectively, making cleanup a breeze.

Plus, it's low dust and fragrance-free, which is great for cats with sensitive noses.

You'll also love how good you feel using this litter. It is flushable, safe, non-toxic, fragrance-free, and biodegradable. This makes it a great choice for your cat and the environment!

Shop Swheat Scoop Cat Litter


3. Best Multi Cat Litter

More cats mean more litter, more smells, more mess and more clean-up. The best cat litter for multiple cats should have superior odour control and be easy to keep clean. 

A dirty or smelly litter box might deter your cats from using it, so stick to multi-cat litters that clump firmly, lock in odours, and stay dry. 

Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Quick Clumping Litter

If you have multiple cats, this litter is a great choice. It's made from a blend of walnut shells and natural fibres, making it environmentally friendly and clumps quickly to control odour.

It's also low dust and free from harmful chemicals. This is perfect for people with allergens, as well as for your favourite furry friend! 

Shop Naturally Fresh Cat Litter


4. Best Clay Cat Litter 


Clay is one of the most popular types of cat litter because it's highly absorbent and cheap. Considering how much litter your cat will go through in a year, saving a few bucks by choosing a high-quality clay litter is a good option.

Though clay litter has many benefits, it can create dust and may contain chemicals that can be harmful to your cat. The best clay litter is pure sodium bentonite and will be a safer option, but many cheap clay litters contain fillers that contribute to dust.

Check out our favourite clay cat litter:

BoxiePro Deep Clean Probiotic Cat Litter

This clay litter is great for those who prefer traditional cat litter. It's made from natural, premium clay and contains probiotics that help reduce odour and keep the litter box clean. It's also low dust and fragrance-free.

Shop BoxieCat Litter


5. Best Biodegradable Cat Litter 

With so much waste in our everyday routines, you might be looking for an option that is a little safer for the planet.

The best biodegradable cat litter is made from natural and safe ingredients, and they are also earth-friendly. This way, you can feel good about the fact that your cat's waste is not contributing to our already overflowing landfills. 

Corn, tofu, and wheat litter are biodegradable and safe if ingested, but they may be more expensive and may not clump as well as clay litter. Here is our favourite:

Dofu Cat Tofu Cat Litter

If you're looking for a biodegradable and eco-friendly option, this litter made from tofu is a great choice. It's low dust and gentle on paws, making it a great choice for cats with sensitive feet. It also clumps well and controls odours effectively.

Shop Dofu Cat Litter


6. Best Kitten Litter

Do kittens need different litter than adult cats? Not all kittens need special litter, but kittens struggling to master their litterbox skills can benefit from the best kitty litter.

These special litters will help to attract your kitten to the box and will feel better on their small and delicate paws. Here's our top pick:

Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract Training Litter

This is a great option for those who have recently adopted a kitten. This litter works perfectly for training your new kitten to use the litter box. The litter is made with natural herbs that specifically attract and catch kittens' attention.

You’ll also feel great about how low dust and fragrance-free this litter is. This best kitten litter also clumps up very well and is easy to clean, making it easy for you and extra clean for your new kitty. 

Shop Dr. Elsey's Cat Litter


7. Best Scented Cat Litter 

If you just can't handle the smell of your cat's litter box, then you might consider choosing a cat litter with a safe and natural scent.

Scented can litters are available in many types and can help to cover up the unpleasant smells that come from your cat's bathroom. Here is our best scented cat litter:

Intersand Odourlock Calming Breeze Cat Litter

This scented cat litter is great for those who prefer a fresh scent. It's made with natural ingredients and controls odour effectively. It's low dust and clumps well, making cleanup easy. Plus, the calming scent can help reduce stress in cats.

Shop Intersand Odorlock Cat Litter


8. Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter 

What is non-clumping cat litter? Unlike traditional litters, the best non-clumping cat litters are preferred by some cat parents because of their highly absorbent nature, superior odour control, and it's low-maintenance clean-up.

Check out this popular non-clumping cat litter:

Cat Love Daily Scoops Recycled Paper Litter

This non-clumping litter is made from recycled paper and is biodegradable and compostable. It's low dust and fragrance-free, making it a great choice for cats with sensitive noses. Plus, it's lightweight and easy to scoop.

Shop Cat Love Litter


9. Best Pellet Cat Litter


Pellet litters are another popular choice because they are highly absorbent and help to lock in liquids and their strong odours.

Pellet litters can be either clumping or non-clumping and are often made from recycled and biodegradable materials like newspaper, pine, walnuts and more. 

Recycled paper litter is eco-friendly and dust-free but may not control odour as effectively as other materials. 

ökocat Less Mess Clumping Mini-Pellets Wood Cat Litter

This litter is made from wood pellets and is biodegradable and flushable. It clumps well and controls odours effectively. Plus, the mini-pellets reduce tracking and mess, making cleanup easier. You and your cat will love the ease of this litter!

Shop ökocat Cat Litter


10. Best Crystal Cat Litter 

If you are looking for the best low-maintenance cat litter that is easy to clean, then our favourite crystal cat litter, sometimes called silica cat litter, might be just what you need. 

This litter style is made from highly absorbent silica gel granules that absorb urine and odours better than any other type of litter. 

The downside to this type of cat litter is that it is not biodegradable and can be harmful if ingested. 

Snappy Tom Crystal Cat Litter

This crystal litter is made from silica gel, which absorbs moisture and controls odour. It's low dust and fragrance-free, making it a great choice for cats with respiratory issues. Plus, it's long-lasting and doesn't need to be changed as frequently as other litter.

Shop Snappy Tom Cat Litter


Can You Flush Cat Litter?

Waste disposal is one of the most annoying and unpleasant parts of owning a cat. This is why flushable cat litter is a popular option, but what does flushable cat litter really mean? Can you flush cat litter down the toilet?

Yes! And no. But mostly maybe.  

Cat litter that is labelled as flushable is technically safe to flush down the toilet, but there are some factors that you should consider before dumping litter into your toilet:

    • Choose Biodegradable Litter - Firstly, the best flushable cat litter needs to be made from biodegradable materials, like corn, wheat, or soy. Keep in mind though, that not all natural litters are flushable. It depends on what happens when they get wet and how they are designed to break down.

    • Choose Clumping Litter - Also, stick to clumping litter only. Non-clumping litters absorb and expand when wet and could lead to a quick and stubborn clog if flushed.

    • Flush One Clump at a Time - How you flush the litter matters, too. It's a common mistake to dump all the soiled litter down the toilet at once and flush. Don't. Any litter that you flush should be done one clump at a time, flushing in between each.

    • How's Your Plumbing? - Consider how new your plumbing is. Does your toilet regularly clog? Older pipes and low-flow toilets might not have the flow to be able to properly dispose of litter clumps.

Brands like Almo Litter and Dofu Litter both offer flushable cat litter options and offer safe disposal instructions. However, if your cat litter doesn't say it's flushable, then it's best not to.

All in all, flushable cat litter is a convenience that some cat families look for, but keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your plumbing is suitable for cat litter.

The safest and most efficient way to dispose of cat litter is to place used litter into a biodegradable bag and place it in your regular trash can. Products like the Litter Genie can also make litter disposal a little bit easier.


Good Cat Litter Leads to Good Litter Habits


Choosing the right cat litter is crucial for your cat's comfort, your household's cleanliness, and your budget.

Consider these factors and choose a litter that is safe, effective, and comfortable for your furry friend.

The litter you choose should suit your preferences but don't forget to choose a litter that also suits your cat's needs. With a little bit of research and experimentation, you'll find the perfect litter for you and your cat.


Best Cat Litter FAQs

The right litter is just one cat litter essential that you should consider. Here are a few commonly asked questions about finding the best cat litter and how to use it:

Is Clay Cat Litter Dangerous?

While there are no definitive studies linking clay cat litter dust to respiratory issues in cats, there is some anecdotal evidence. If the dust in cat litter is a concern for you, choose a natural cat litter or non-clumping litter that offers low or no dust options.

Do Cats Like Scented Cat Litter? 

Flowery scents may soften litter box odours for you, but that can be unpleasant or overpowering for your cat's sensitive nose. This can discourage your cat from using its litter box, especially if you use a covered litter pan. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Cat's Litterbox?

You should scoop and spot-clean your cat's litter box daily to reduce smells and bacteria. Depending on the type of litter you choose, you should completely empty and sanitize your cat's litter box at least once per month. More for multi-cat households. 

How Do You Switch Litters?

Most cats with good litter habits can adjust to litter changes easily, but pickier cats may need to take baby steps. You can start by adding the new litter to the old in small amounts until you get to about 50/50. After a few days, you should be able to do a complete switch. 

How Many Litter Boxes Should You Have Per Cat?

It's recommended to have one more litter box than you have cats. This isn't always possible in small spaces, like apartments, but it is a good idea for multi-story homes. This can encourage healthy litter habits and reduce jealous or territorial behaviours in multi-cat households. 


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Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She is currently working for one very rebellious cat, Jack, and hanging out with a goofy but loveable doggo named Roxy.


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