Last Updated: 1 month ago

One of the most important decisions you will make as a cat owner is what the best types of cat litter are when it comes to both the needs of your cat and your home.

The best odor control with the least amount of paw transfer is extremely important!

But you also want the choice for which your sometimes fickle feline friend will approve.

So let’s take a look at the popular types of litter options you will find as a pet parent and help you find the perfect one.

What Types of Cat Litter Are There?

cat coming out of her cat litter

There are so many different types of cat litter: from clumping to non-clumping clay litter, to crystal, to wood, to eco-friendly, and so on and so forth.

The good news is that choosing which of the various cat litter types is best for you and your situation does not have to be overwhelming.

Simply understanding the different types, as well as their pros and cons, can make the choice so much easier. So what are the most common types? Keep reading to learn more.

Take a look at this quick comparison table.

Cat LitterProsCons
Clumping Cat LitterVery easy to cleanLess eco-friendly
Non-clumping Cat LitterAll-naturalDoes not absorb
Wood Cat LitterQuickly absorbing odorsCan create dust that gets tracked
Eco-friendly Cat LitterNo harsh chemicalsNot effective as other types
Crystal Cat LitterLasts longerIt must be stirred daily
Paper Pellet Cat LitterUses recycled materialLooks messy
Tofu Cat LitterBiodegradable and flushableExpensive
Coconut Husk Cat LitterDust-freeHard to find

1. Clumping Cat Litter

clumping cat litter being scooped

When you select this type of litter cat waste bonds with the particles to create clumps.

Pros

One pro of this kind is that it is easy to clean, which makes it a popular choice. You don’t have to clean the entire litter box, but rather can simply scoop the tight clumps away and leave the rest behind.

Another pro is that it is a cheaper litter in the long run. You will use less over time because you are only removing the clumps in the box.

It tackles bad odors effectively. One of the most important features of a cat litter is that it ensures your home remains smelling fresh.

The clumping clay absorbs quickly, eliminating emanating odors from escaping the waste and getting into your home.

It is the ideal choice for traveling since clumps can be detected so easily and discarded so quickly.

Cons

Bentonite clay is the main ingredient in clumping litter but it is less environmentally friendly as it is sourced by strip mining. 

It is a bit expensive, and thus the initial price of the cat litter purchase may be higher than others (though you use less so it lasts longer).

Though the silica-based gels do not transfer dust, the clay-based ones that are very common do. This means your cat will likely transfer dust from the box to various places throughout your home.

This is especially true if your cat has water on their feet (perhaps from the water bowl) or any area of their body that touches the clumping clay. It is not as serious as it sounds, but it does happen.

Ingestion of these clay-based litters, perhaps occurring during the grooming stage, can cause health problems to your cat. This is true with any type of cat litter your kitty might inadvertently ingest.

In this video, you will see 5 recommended non-clumping cat litters that work well to neutralize odors. Some of the brands may be familiar, but there is at least one that will surprise you!

2. Non-Clumping Litter

non clumping clay litter

Non-clumping cat litter does not form clumps when it comes in contact with cat waste. There are some pros and drawbacks to choosing it.

Pros

It is probably all-natural. Non-clumping litter is usually made from things like shredded paper, corn kernels, wheat, or other naturally absorbing materials that will not harm your kitty.

It is not likely to cause health problems if accidentally ingested through the grooming process.

There is no dust for little paws to track around the house.

Cons

It does not absorb as well as the clumping variety so odors are likely to form quickly

It is not as easy to clean cat litter boxes. Because you are not scooping up a clump to discard, more of the litter is thrown away and needs to be changed at one time. This can be time-consuming for the pet owner.

3. Wood cat litter

wood cat litter

One of the favorite litters for those who prefer natural options is wood.

The best wood cat litter to use is a matter of choice. You can find it in various versions such as pine chips, shavings, pine pellet cat litter, etc.

Pros

Wood cat litter has a great track record of quickly absorbing the odors that naturally take place when your cat uses the bathroom.

It is often made from recycled materials. And it is often sold in very large bags, so your purchase will last a long time.

Cons

Wood litters can create dust that gets tracked around your home. Pine litter seems to be the least tracking offender when it comes to the different kinds of cat litter made from wood.

It can be expensive to purchase since it generally only comes in a larger size bag.

The best wood cat litter is the one your cat likes the best, and the one you feel most comfortable using.

4. Eco-Friendly Versions

eco friendly cat litter

There are others you can purchase that are good for the environment as well. The best eco friendly cat litter to choose is the one that best fits in with your ideals and your cat’s preferences.

Pros

Items like wheat litter, grass, corn, and recycled paper, are all-natural materials that are easy to find.

There are no harsh chemicals or mechanically produced harmful ingredients. This is good for obvious reasons.

Most have a natural or no scent (some cats are bothered by scented varieties).

Many of the eco-friendly choices can be flushed. Be sure to consult the label before attempting to do so.

Cons

These types may not be as effective as other types at controlling litter box odor.

Certain types, such as walnut litter, can create a lot of dust that tracks around the home. This can lead to respiratory issues.

Not all options are created equal. Some, such as corn, can lead to various health problems for cats if not cleaned quickly and often.

5. Crystal cat litter

Crystal cat litters

Crystal cat litters are another option. Created of synthetic materials, they are also the most attractive in the sense of getting a little bougie in the cat box.

Pros

They tend to absorb quickly which means good odor control.

Crystals last a long time, which means they are cost-effective in the long run.

It is lightweight, making it easier to handle for you.

The crystals are made of non-toxic materials which is very good news for your cat.

Cons

The initial price may be higher, but they do last a long time so maybe you will save In the long term.

Cats are creatures of habit and may need an adjustment period to get used to the texture.

It is not clumping.

It must be stirred daily to prevent urine from collecting in the bottom of the box.

In this video, you will learn some great tips on how to use crystal litter material.

6. Paper Pellet Cat Litter

paper pellet made cat litter

Cat litter made of paper pellets is an environmentally-friendly way to provide a soft bathroom for your cat. Manufacturers use recycled newspaper, though some add sawdust or leaves to ensure the material is robust.

Pros

Paper pellets use recycled material and don’t contain fragrances. It’s tough for your cat to make a mess using paper pellets because they’re easy to sweep and throw away.

Paper litter is softer than clay while still absorbing your cat’s waste. This smooth texture won’t irritate your cat’s paws or body when they’re in their litter box.

Cons

Paper pellets can’t clump like clay litter, so the litter box looks messy after your cat uses it.

Since the recycled paper doesn’t have a fragrance, you’ll also be able to smell your cat’s waste. If you can clean your litter box multiple times a day, you can benefit from this type of litter.

7. Tofu Cat Litter

tofu made cat litter

Tofu cat litter is a new option growing in popularity. It’s all-natural, meaning it’s biodegradable and flushable. This litter uses soybean fiber, which prevents dust from getting in the air.

Pros

This eco-friendly cat litter is an excellent option because it clumps almost as well as clay litter, keeping the litter box cleaner overall. The lack of dust also helps keep the surrounding area clean.

The ease of flushing this litter after each scoop makes it appealing. You can’t get much lower maintenance than that.

Cons

Tofu cat litter is one of the most expensive options. If you’re passionate about the environment and want the ability to flush waste, it’s worth the investment.

This type of litter requires strict storage requirements. Moisture or humidity can cause mold to grow on the tofu pellets. You’ll need to find an alternative if you usually store your litter in the bathroom or a damp basement.

8. Coconut Husk Cat Litter

coconut husk made cat litter

Coconut husk cat litter is another environmentally-friendly option, though you might have to special-order it.

Pros

Coconut husk cat litter is completely natural, so you can compost it after disposing of the waste. You can even compost the cat’s waste if you use that fertilizer on decorative flower beds, not an edible garden.

This litter is dust-free, but your cat may track it around the house. It’s very light and will stick to their paws, and they can kick it out of the box unintentionally.

Cons

This type of litter is hard to find in standard pet stores, so you might need to order it online. Shipping costs can make it more expensive than other options on this list.

It’s tough to classify the scent as a pro or con, so it depends on your preference. This type of litter has a light coconut fragrance.

How To Choose The Right One?

What is non clumping cat litter? Is it better or worse than clumping? Should you buy an eco-friendly version like paper pellets?

Are the ingredients in cat litter toxic? Can you flush? Do you prefer an unscented variety or a scented one?

All of these questions may be forming as you try to determine which types of litter work best for you and your kitty. 

One question of major importance to ask is: What type of litter is safest for cats? There are pros and cons to each kind available, so it pays to do your homework.

You want to find a product that is safe for your cat, has excellent odor control, and is conducive to your lifestyle and beliefs.

Cat litter reviews can help. A lot of research and trial-and-error has already been done for you. Take the time to read what people are saying about the products they have purchased.

The most important factor in determining which one to buy is whether or not your cat likes it. It doesn’t matter how much you like a certain type of cat litter if your cat won’t use it.

How do you know your cat likes their litter? According to Veterinarian Amy Hohenhaus, scratching is a good indicator. The more cats scratch, the less likely they are to enjoy their litter choice.

Follow kitty’s lead to help determine which type you ultimately choose to buy.

Conclusion

Though there are many types of cat litter options when it comes to choosing what is best for you. There is also a lot of information available to help you choose the right one for your particular situation.

Understanding the pros and cons of the various choices can help you determine the best fit for you and your adorable feline friends.

Trial and error may well end up being the best way to make your choice. Pay attention to your needs as well as kitties, and you are sure to find a cat litter that fits.

If you have a small kitten non-clumping litter it the best option until they reach about 4 months of age.

What type of cat litter do you prefer? Please let us know what your first choice is in the comment section below!

What Types of Cat Litter Are There
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.