This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More
All cat litters are not created equal. Though one cat litter may look the same as the next, there are some important differences that can affect everything from scoopability to odor control.
When it comes to choosing a cat litter, the biggest decision you have to make is between clumping and non-clumping cat litter. To a certain degree, this choice is a matter of preference, but clumping litter does provide some benefits over non-clumping litter.
It is, of course, up to you to decide which features are most important to you while also factoring in your cat’s preference.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: World’s Best Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Litter
- Best Affordable: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Premium Clumping Litter
- Best For Multiple Cats: Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter
- Best For Odor Control: Fresh Step Extreme Scoopable Litter with Febreeze
- Best For All-Natural: Cat Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Quick-Clumping Cat Litter
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of clumping versus non-clumping cat litter. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best clumping cat litters.
What Are the Benefits of Clumping vs. Non-Clumping Cat Litter?
When you’re ready to start shopping for cat litter, the first question you need to ask is clumping versus non-clumping.
Each of these has its own benefits, so it’s up to you to decide what is most important to you.
Take the time to think about the pros and cons of each option before you decide.
Here are some of the benefits of clumping cat litter:
- Clumping cat litter locks in odor more quickly than non-clumping
- Hard clumps are easier to scoop than wet litter
- Clumping litter prevents liquid from soaking through and sticking to the litter box
- Many clumping cat litters are made from environmentally-friendly materials
- Clumping litter reduces waste because clean litter can be reused
- Litter boxes with clumping cat litter don’t need to be scooped as often
Now that you know the benefits of clumping versus non-clumping cat litter, you can now start shopping around for the best clumping cat litter. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Choose the Best Clumping Cat Litter
Walking down the cat aisle at your local pet store should be enough for you to realize just how many different types of cat litter there are.
In addition to deciding between clumping and non-clumping cat litter, you also have to think about factors like natural materials, dust, tracking, and odor control.
Finding the right combination of features is the best way to choose a clumping cat litter.
Here are some things to look for in a clumping cat litter:
- Hard Clumps – A hard-clumping cat litter is the best option for odor-control, and it also makes scooping the litter box easier. Clay litter forms hard clumps, but there are also other materials that do well, so keep an open mind as you start shopping.
- Low Dust – Though clay litters do well for clumping, they can be a bit dusty. Look for a low-dust cat litter to avoid irritating your cat’s eyes and nose.
- Low Tracking – One of the benefits of clumping cat litter is that it keeps the waste in the litter box where it belongs. You still need to look for a low-tracking litter, however, to prevent dirty litter from being tracked all over your house.
- Cost – The cost of cat litter is widely varied, though clumping cat litter is generally a little more expensive than non-clumping litter. Fortunately, with so many options available you can easily find a clumping cat litter within your budget.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best clumping cat litter.
The Top 5 Best Clumping Cat Litters
There are many clumping cat litters on the market, but some of them are better than others. Once you factor in features such as low dust, low tracking, affordability, and odor control, you will have narrowed down your options. Here are our top 5 picks for the best clumping cat litter that you should consider:
Not only does this World’s Best Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Litter stand up to its name in terms of clumping action, but it also offers excellent odor control. This litter features an all-natural, plant-derived formula which means that it is septic-safe and flushable for easy disposal.
You’ll also be glad to know that it is unscented (though a scented version is available) and it is dust-free.
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Premium Clumping Litter is one of the top cat litters on the market not only because it is affordable, but because it offers hard-clumping action. This cat litter absorbs liquid on contact, so it doesn’t soak through and stick to the bottom of the litter box.
It also features heavier granules to reduce tracking, and it is hypoallergenic as well. This cat litter comes in 18- and 40-pound packages which can sometimes be tricky to manage, but the price can’t be beat.
If you have a multi-cat household, you need a hard-clumping cat litter that will lock away odors and take the work out of scooping the litter box. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter is a great option because it is affordable, highly absorbent, and guaranteed to lock away odors for 7 days.
This cat litter contains 10% more odor eliminators than the original formula, and it is 100% dust-free. You’ll also be glad to know that it forms rock-hard clumps for easy scooping.
If you’re concerned about litter box odor, Fresh Step Extreme Scoopable Litter with Febreeze might be the way to go.
Not only does this litter form hard clumps to lock away odor, but it contains the fresh scent of Febreeze for 10 days of guaranteed odor control. This cat litter contains activated charcoal for added control, and it is a low-dust formula as well. All in all, it’s hard to beat this litter.
If you want hard-clumping action, but you don’t like clay litter, try a natural option like Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Quick-Clumping Cat Litter.
This litter is made from walnut shells, so it absorbs liquid quickly and forms hard clumps to lock away odor. This formula is virtually dust-free, and it doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws either. Plus, it is 100% natural and environmentally friendly.
How Much Cat Litter Should You Use?
To a certain degree, the amount of cat litter you use in the litter box is matter of your cat’s preference.
The general rule is 2 to 3 inches of litter, though cats that like to dig may require 3 to 4 inches of litter. Each time you scoop the litter box, it is a good idea to add a little bit of fresh litter to replace what you’ve lost and to keep it smelling fresh.
Also Read: The Best Sifting Cat Litter Boxes
How Often Should You Scoop the Litter Box?
The more frequently you scoop your cat’s litter box, the better. The best plan of attack is to scoop out the hard clumps daily or every other day and to replace the litter entirely once every 7 to 10 days. How often you need to scoop the box and replace the litter depends on the number of cats you have and the type of litter you choose.
With clumping cat litter, you can scoop the clumps and reserve the clean litter for longer than you can with non-clumping cat litter.
Though it is largely a matter of preference whether you choose clumping or non-clumping cat litter, most cat owners agree that clumping litter is better for odor control. If you’re looking for the best clumping cat litter, try one of the top 5 options we’ve reviewed above.