Cat Litter: The Ultimate Buying Guide
What Is the Best Cat Litter?
If you’re looking to find out which cat litter you should buy, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we will consider everything you need to know about making the right choice, including what to consider when selecting brands, the various types of litter, and even which is the best for cats with skin allergies. We will also cover things such as non-clumping versus the best clumping, odour eliminating, and ‘low tracking’ and what it means.
By the end of the article, you should have a much better idea of the type of cat litter that is best for you and your cat. Want to learn more? Read on.
What Are the Considerations When Selecting The Best Cat Litter?
Choosing the best cat litter requires some research. That’s because there are many different products on the market, all with different features.
When selecting cat litter, firstly, you will need to choose between clumping and non-clumping. You will also need to consider ‘tracking’ (a concept that refers to the tendency for litter to get stuck to your cat’s paws and walked through the house). In general, tracking becomes less of an issue with heavier pellets. Materials such as recycled paper and corn-based pellets are better in this respect, compared to, say, litters made of fibre-containing materials (such as plant litter).
Owners should also consider odour control or scented cat litter. Odour control is good for two reasons. Odour control traps the smell from your litter box from spreading through your home. You can also get scented which can help reduce nasty smells but can discourage your cat as they are highly sensitive to smells and may go to the bathroom elsewhere if they detect them.
Overall, when choosing a cat litter, you may also wish to consider:
- The environmental impact. (Some litters are compostable and eco-friendly, while others are not).
- The cost of the litter. (Generally, non-clumping litters are cheaper)
- Whether the litter has any added fragrances (which improve the smell but may discourage cats from using them)
What Are the Different Types of Cat Litter?
There are many different types of cat litter on the market. We describe your options below.
Clay litter is a popular choice because of its ability to absorb water. When cat waste comes into contact with the clay, it desiccates it, reducing the smell and making clean up easier. Clay litter is available in both clumping and non-clumping. Because of its natural absorption abilities, it offers odour control as well.
Cat owners generally consider wood litter an affordable alternative to clay. The pellets are not absorbent but instead use scents to mask waste smells. Wood litter tends to be the cheapest litter available. It is also eco-friendly since wood is biodegradable. Wood also offers less tracking - great for homeowners who want to keep their floors clean.
Plant litter is usually made of a biodegradable, eco-friendly material such as pine, corn, wheat, or soy. It is usually vegan-friendly, and often more absorbent than clay (plant litter can trap more than four times its weight in water).
Overall, corn litter is a great option because it is fast-clumping, low tracking and friendly to cat paws. It is also extremely easy to use and offers an absorbent formula that helps to keep smells at bay.
Corn litter is made from a combination of corn fibres, blended with a binding agent and, sometimes, fragrances. It is both safe and natural and is a great option for cat owners looking to avoid clay.
Corn litter first came to prominence in the 1990s when scientists found a way to compact corn granules so that they would absorb more water. Because of this, most corn litters clump, making waste removal easy.
Crystal litter is made of silica - a material that manufacturers include in packaging to keep products fresh. Silica granules are highly porous and, therefore, excellent at absorbing moisture. They’re also incredibly lightweight, which reduces overall costs, and a hygienic choice because of their ability to trap faecal matter.
Paper litter is an excellent eco-friendly, scentless option for cats. However, it is not as good as the other options on this list for controlling odours, it can be quite dusty and messy and it’s also not low tracking. However, using paper litter can end up being more expensive over time because it requires more frequent changing. Additionally, paper litter tends to be pricier compared to other economical choices like wood or clay-based alternatives (which require less replacements and less maintenance).
Clumping Cat Litter v Non-Clumping Cat Litter, What’s Best?
Clumping cat litter, as the name implies, forms clumps after your cat goes to the bathroom. This feature makes it easy to clean up dirty cat litter while leaving unsoiled, fresh litter in the tray.
Non-clumping cat litter does not form easily-scoopable clumps. Instead, it absorbs cat urine directly.
So, what is best for you and your cat?
Clumping cat litter is great for anyone looking to save time when cleaning out the litter box. You simply scoop out the clumps from the litter tray, leaving fresh litter behind. (Hence, you don’t have to replace all the litter every time your cat goes to the bathroom). It is also an excellent choice for owners wanting better odour control because it makes it easy to remove waste.
Non-clumping cat litter also offers advantages. For instance, it is excellent at absorbing large quantities of urine which helps prevent odour. Individual pellets each soak up the liquid. Moreover, it is frequently less expensive than clumping varieties.
In summary, clumping cat litter is best, unless you are on a strict budget because it allows you to conveniently clean out the litter box and avoids waste.
Low Tracking Cat Litter, What Does It Mean?
Low tracking cat litter is litter that doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws, so the litter stays in the tray, preventing them from traipsing it through the home. Typically, the best low tracking cat litter will also be clumping litter. That’s because clumping helps to form large pellets that are less likely to stick to your cat's feet.
What Is Odourless Cat Litter?
You may sometimes see cat litter brands advertise their products as odourless.
There are two ways that manufacturers produce an odourless product. They use a material with moisture-absorbing properties to trap odour, so you won’t get any nasty smells coming from the litter box.
There are also scented litters that have added chemicals that cause an odour-neutralising reaction. Brands will also occasionally include fragrances in cat litter. Natural fragrances from essential oils, such as pine and lavender, are generally okay. However, some cats may refuse to use litter trays containing scented synthetics or other additives.
The Best Cat Litters Based on Customer Reviews
5 Star Reviews: 634
Breeder's Choice offers something for everyone. It is eco-friendly, highly absorbent and because it comes from recycled paper, it is affordable. It also does not contain any chemicals, additives, or bleaches. Breeders Choice is also proudly Australian made.
5 Star Reviews: 538
Minx is another favourite. It offers fast-action clumping for easy scooping, low tracking, and odour-neutralisation. It’s also kind on paws because of the small size and texture of the pellets, which encourages use. For those looking for an eco-friendly alternative, it also breaks down quickly, so it is great for the environment.
5 Star Reviews: 216
This Trouble & Trix Litter is the brand’s most popular because it effectively removes odours and leaves behind a light fresh scent. This litter also has an antibacterial agent that inhibits bacterial growth by killing 95% of bacteria on contact.
5 Star Reviews: 614
Kitter Wood Pellet Cat Litter can absorb up to three times its weight in liquid and offer substantial odour control at the same time. Kitter sources raw materials for its litter from renewable plantation timbers and does not use any chemical additives. This litter is 100% biodegradable.
5 Star Reviews: 160
Catsan clumping litter is a highly absorbent cat litter designed to form easy-to-remove clumps when it comes into contact with moisture. This makes cleaning the litter box more convenient and helps control odours effectively.
Cat Litter Comparison Table
|Value for Money (per 15kg)
Kitter Wood Pellet Cat Litter
15kg lasts 2-4 weeks at ~$1.60 per kg
*less tracking with sieve trays
Breeders Choice Recycled Paper Litter
15kg lasts 2-4 weeks at ~$1.07 per kg
*requires frequent replacements
Catsan Clumping Clay Litter For Cats
15kg lasts 10-12 weeks at
~$1.93 per kg
*can create dust
Minx Clumping Corn Cat Litter
15kg lasts 15-18 weeks at
~$4.20 per kg
*some cats may dislike the texture
Trouble And Trix Crystal Litter
15kg lasts 10-12 weeks at
~$2.16 per kg
*can become toxic if ingested too often