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The Best Cat Litters – 2018 Buyer’s Guide

As we all know, cats don’t need much to be happy.

But they do need a good cat litter.

Cats need litter that they’re comfortable using, that controls the odor from their waste, and is easy to clean and switch out.

Unfortunately, not all litters are created equal. Some clump better than others. Some control odor better than others. And some are better for training your cat to use it.

In this article, we’re going to review what we believe are the best cat litters on the market for your pet. We’ll also go over what’s in litter, the types of cat litter available, and how to choose a cat litter, so you will be fully prepared to make the right decision.

Let’s dive in:

What’s In Kitty Litter? What Is It Made Of?

Best Cat Litters Image

First off, let’s talk about what is actually in cat litter, as it isn’t always apparent just by looking at it.

Cat litter is typically made of one of three types of substances:

  1. Silica
  2. Clay
  3. Biodegradable material

Silica Litter

Silica is an absorbent material that forms crystallized cat litters. It provides good odor control and is excellent at containing excess moisture.

Silica usually creates less dust than clay litter, however, it is potentially dangerous if consumed in large quantities.

Clay Litter

Traditional clay litter has been around the longest and is a staple in the industry.

Its claim to fame is its absorption ability. It can usually absorb its weight in urine, and it is adept at containing odors as well.

Issues arise as the litter becomes overly used. There comes a point where it can no longer absorb more liquid, and odor becomes a bigger issue.

However, thanks to bentonite clay, this type of litter can clump when it absorbs liquid. Clumping litter is much easier to clean, as you can remove the clumps as they arise, and it’s better at odor control.

This also means complete emptying and refilling of the litter does not need to happen as often as it does with litter that does not clump. Many owners use clumping clay cat litter as their preferred choice.

Biodegradable Litter

If you would prefer a more environmentally-friendly option, biodegradable litters may be best for you.

Biodegradable litters can be made from a variety of eco-friendly material:

  • Recycled paper products
  • Pine
  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Wheat
  • Beet pulp
  • Walnut

These materials can break down once in the environment and don’t fill up landfills.

Source: PetMD

Types of Cat Litter – Which Is Best?

Cat Playing

There are many types of cat litter, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for it can be tough to make the right decision.

Make sure to read this section carefully, because it will help you understand what you’re looking at when shopping for a cat litter.

The Types

Clay Clumping – This litter that is usually made from bentonite, allowing it to absorb and clump for easy removal. However, this litter can be dusty and is non-biodegradable.

Clay Non-Clumping – This is “traditional” cat litter. It works well, but can become a hassle if not emptied and refilled frequently.

Silica Gel – Silica litter is absorbent and provides excellent odor control. It’s almost completely dust-free. The drawback is since cats and kittens tend to consume a small amount of litter when they groom, owners are wary of the fact that silica can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities.

Recycled Paper Products – Recycled paper is turned into pellets or granules. It’s dust-free, absorbent, and biodegradable. Pellets don’t clump but granules do.

Walnut – Some litter is made from crushed walnut shells. This is a solid option as walnut litter is absorbent, biodegradable, and offers great odor containment.

Corn – Corn is an environmentally friendly option, but it isn’t usually recommended as it can be detrimental if consumed by pets.

Wheat – Wheat is biodegradable, provides good odor control, and produces a relatively low amount of dust compared to other litters. However, it can cause issues if consumed by cats so it isn’t usually recommended.

Pine – Some litter is made from recycled pine. It’s environmentally friendly, can clump but not as well as clay, and may turn to sawdust over time, so it must be refilled on a consistent basis.

Which Is Best?

In terms of price, availability, and ease, clay clumping litter and walnut litters (usually in the form of pellets) are the best overall types of litter to use.

However, in the end, the choice is up to you and what your cat likes. So don’t be afraid to test out different kinds to find the right litter for both of you.

How to Choose a Cat Litter

Silver Kitten

When choosing a cat litter, there are a few aspects to pay attention to:

  • Clumping
  • Odor control
  • Granule or pellet size
  • Dust production
  • Cost

Clumping

Clumping litters tend to make your life a lot easier, and they’re usually preferred by your pet as well.

The lumps that evolve are easy to scoop out, and they contain the mess into confined areas rather than spreading it over the whole litter box. All you need to do is add clean litter whenever you remove some, and replace the whole box every once in a while.

Odor Control

Nobody like a smelly litter box. Cat urine can be quite pungent – so much so that it can fill a room.

Besides replacing litter regularly, the best way to prevent it is to buy litter with good odor control. And no, buying scented litter is not the right fix, as it can contain unhealthy byproducts and is usually rejected by cats.

Granule or Pellet Size

Most cats prefer small granules/pellets, but these also track around the house more easily. The bigger-sized litters aren’t as preferred, but they track less and are typically better for kittens because they aren’t swallowed as easily.

Dust Production

Dust is one of the messiest parts of dealing with cat litter. Clay litters tend to create a lot of dust when cleaning. Silica litters and some biodegradable litters are completely dust-free.

Cost

Remember that you will need to buy cat litter pretty often. Cost is an important factor, and sometimes it’s better to buy in bulk. Also, when it comes to litter (as with most things), you typically get what you pay for.

Take all of these into consideration when buying a cat litter.

The Best Cat Litters in 2018

To help make your search easier, we’ve rounded up what we feel are the best cat litters in 2018. Use the table below to get a quick overview or scroll down to read more about each litter.

LitterTypeClumpingPrice
Purina Tidy CatsPurina Tidy CatsPelletsNoCheck Price
Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Multi-CatBlue Buffalo Naturally FreshWalnutYesCheck Price
Precious Cat Training LitterPrecious Cat Cat Attract Training LitterClayYesCheck Price
Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Pellet LitterBlue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Pellet LitterPelletsNoCheck Price
Precious Cat Ultra PremiumPrecious Cat Ultra PremiumClayYesCheck Price
Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Natural Pine LitterNature's Miracle Just for Cats Natural Pine LitterPineYesCheck Price
UltraPet LitterPearls Trackless Cat LitterUltraPet LitterPearls Trackless Cat LitterSilicaNoCheck Price

1. Purina Tidy Cats Breeze – Best Overall

Purina Tidy Cats

Purina Tidy Cats is one of the most popular litter brands. Their Breeze version is our pick for the best overall cat litter.

This 3.75 pound bag of pellets is part of a two-step system that allows your cat’s urine to pass through the pellets and onto a super absorbent Breeze Cat Pad.

The solid waste stays on top, making it easy to find and remove. And since this litter is made of pellets, a much smaller amount will be tracked around the house compared to other types of litters.

Typically, with this litter you only need to replace it once a month, it helps eliminate odor, and is dust-free.

If you don’t know where to start, Breeze Pellets from Purina are an excellent option.


2. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat – Best Natural Clumping Litter

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat is a great clumping litter.

It provides superior odor control, and is made from a proprietary blend of fibrous materials found in walnut shells.

This litter is in the top tier in terms of absorption, meaning it takes less litter to get the job done. It produces harder clumps than pine, corn, or wheat in as little as 15 minutes.

It also minimizes tracking around the house and produces almost no dust. This litter from Blue Buffalo is a solid option, especially if you have multiple cats in your home.


3. Precious Cat Cat Attract – Best Training Litter

Precious Cat Cat Attract Training Litter

This litter from Precious Cat uses natural herbs to train your cat to use it regularly.

It’s 99.5% dust free and doesn’t contain any added deodorizers or chemicals. It’s made of bentonite clay, so it clumps well.

The litter is also produced in the U.S.


4. Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Pellet Litter

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Pellet Litter

This is the single-cat version of Blue Buffalo’s Multi-Cat pellet litter. These pellets are made from walnut shells and provide superior absorption and odor control.

The litter is 100% natural and biodegradable (made from a renewable non-food agricultural product) with no chemicals or toxins.


5. Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter

Precious Cat Ultra Premium

Precious Cat Ultra Premium controls your cat’s odor without using perfumes, chemicals, deodorizers, or artificial scents.

Made of sodium bentonite clay, it clumps well and is hypo-allergenic and doesn’t contain plant proteins. For a clay litter, it is also surprisingly dust-free.

It’s great for mechanical litter boxes that sift automatically, and it’s made in the USA.


6. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Natural Pine Litter

Nature's Miracle Just for Cats Natural Pine Litter

Nature’s Miracle is made of natural pine. The pine scent helps mask kitty odor by keeping the litter box fresh smelling.

The litter is dust-free, and doesn’t contain any chemicals. It absorbs on contact and uses a bio-enzyme system to naturally absorb ammonia and fecal odors.


7. UltraPet LitterPearls Trackless Cat Litter

UltraPet LitterPearls Trackless Cat Litter

UltraPet LitterPearls is a silica litter. This litter is trackless, extremely absorbent, and eliminates odors by locking odor molecules into microscopic channels.

After a few minutes, the moisture without the odor is allowed to evaporate.

This bag contains three months worth of litter, and solid waste is easy to find a remove.


To Wrap It Up

Choosing the right cat litter is important, is it affects both your cat’s and your life.

Hopefully this article has given you everything you need to choose the best litter for your cat, but if not, don’t hesitate to comment below!

2 replies
  1. Jenny azcat
    Jenny azcat says:

    I know this stuff LOOKS like a cheap off-brand from the packaging, but long years of living my life as a miserable, lonely cat person with no romantic prospects has shown me that this stuff is amazing. It has the least dust of any litter I’ve used, it clumps like concrete, the litter pan remains fresher longer because when you scoop it you are getting more of the actual waste removed from the pan, none of the clumps has crumbled away to mix with the rest of the remaining litter, the clumps remain intact. Be advised, however, the 40 pound bag of this stuff weighs at least 63 pounds more than the 40 pound bag of Tidy Cat. It is the heaviest substance known to man.

    Reply
    • EntirelyPets
      EntirelyPets says:

      Thanks for the info Jenny. There are a lot of companies producing junk cat littler just to continue sales. When we find the right litter, it’s like Finally!

      Reply

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