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Clumping cat litter absorbs liquid on contact and forms cohesive clumps that are easy to scoop and discard. This makes for convenient and hassle-free cleanup. And because clumping litter keeps your cat’s waste more neatly contained, it may also reduce litter box odor more effectively than other litter products.
If you’re in the market for a hard-working clumping litter, this guide offers 12 options worth exploring. You’ll also learn what to consider when selecting the best clumping litter for your cat.
At a Glance: Best Clumping Cat Litter To Buy
- Infused with probiotics to control odor
- Forms hard clumps on the litter surface
- Fine granules for sensitive paws
- Unscented formula
- Long-lasting odor control
- Can be used in mechanical litter boxes
- Soft texture is gentle on your cat’s paws
- Made from reclaimed wood fibers
- Highly absorbent and clumps well
- Fine-grained texture is gentle on your cat’s paws
- Absorbs high volumes of liquid quickly
- Dehydrates solid waste
Why Trust Cats.com
Drawing together extensive research, hands-on testing, and expert insights, our team has cracked the code on what makes a really good cat litter. Over the last several years, we’ve reviewed over two dozen of the most popular cat litter brands, spending hundreds of hours testing features like clumping ability, odor control, dustiness, and tendency to track and scatter. Additionally, our experts have made note of other factors affecting user experience, such as product weight, resealable packaging, and product variety.
In addition to our own product research and testing, we’ve read thousands of customer reviews and consulted several veterinarians to get their take on the safest and most effective cat litter.
To track down the best clumping cat litter, we prioritized products that received high marks for clumping action and boasted a track record of superior odor control. We also considered a range of cat parent needs, exploring litters for kittens, multi-cat homes, and hypoallergenic options.
Once we chose items worthy of testing, we observed their performance for a period of at least two weeks. Most of the litter products on this list have been tested in different types of litter boxes, including traditional open litter pans, covered litter boxes, sifting litter boxes, and automatic litter boxes. They’ve also been tested with multiple cats, each of whom has their own preferences when it comes to cat litter.
The Best Clumping Cat Litter: Our Top 12 Recommendations
Our rankings are determined by a variety of factors. Each cat will have different needs and preferences when it comes to litter, so while Boxiecat is our top choice, it may not be ideal for your unique cat. To help you choose the right clumping litter for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations by material, different training needs, feline preferences (soft, fragrance-free, etc.), and other key considerations.
What to Consider When Buying Clumping Clay Litter
When deciding between clumping litters, it’s largely a matter of personal preference. But don’t forget to consider your cat’s opinion. Factors like dust, grain size, and fragrance play a role in determining a product’s cat-friendliness.
Keep in mind no cat litter is perfect, and you may have to try several brands to find the one that works best for you and your cats. That said, here are a few key considerations to guide your browsing:
Bentonite clay is the most widely used litter type because of its clumping ability and affordability. However, clay isn’t biodegradable, which makes litter composed of natural materials more appealing to some cat parents. These can be found in a range of sustainable materials, including paper, grass, corn, wheat, and soybeans.
Finally, silica gel crystals are growing in popularity. These litters cost a bit more, but some folks find their benefits outweigh the added expense. For one, crystals are highly absorbent and they trap odors efficiently. They’re also lightweight and long-lasting, meaning they contribute less waste.
Scent & Odor-Control
Generally speaking, most cats (and the majority of cat parents) will prefer unscented litter. After all, cats have highly sensitive sniffers! Instead of relying on perfumey fragrances to block foul smells, focus on litters with deodorizing agents like baking soda, activated charcoal, or enzymes. Fast-clumping litter is also good at trapping odors inside its tight clumps.
Texture & Shape
Cats seem to prefer litter with small, fine granules that don’t feel sharp under their paws. Unfortunately, fine-grained litter tends to have more issues with dust and tracking than larger, heavier granules. To combat the mess and catch stray particles, try placing a mat underneath your litter box.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you dump clumping cat litter?
Clumping cat litter should be scooped daily and changed entirely at least once a month. If you have multiple cats, you may want to dump and replace litter every two to three weeks.
Can I add baking soda to clumping cat litter?
Yes, baking soda is non-toxic and can help neutralize odors. However, some cat parents find it to be dusty.
How do I keep my litter box from smelling in the house?
The best way to combat odors is by scooping daily. It’s also important to empty and scrub litter boxes at least once a month. Place the litter box in a well-ventilated area with windows and doors that can be left open. Finally, you can sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda into the box.