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Pioneer Pet SmartCat Clumping Cat Litter Review

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Is Pioneer Pet SmartCat litter a good option? After purchasing and testing two varieties from Pioneer Pet’s litter lineup, we’ve concluded that this is a cat-friendly, effective litter brand that does offer great litter products that do everything they should.

Both litters in this review are unscented, but still do an excellent job of odor control, so your home not only won’t smell of cat waste, but it also won’t smell like the litter itself.

And of course, rather importantly, both litters are fast-clumping, making your cat boxes easy to scoop with little to no mess. Let’s take a look at these two SmartCat litters so you can decide which one fits the needs of both you and your cats.


  • Variety of Products – 3/5
  • Price Per Pound – 4/5
  • Multi-Cat Formulas – 3/5
  • Clumping Ability – 5/5
  • Long-Lasting Odor Control – 5/5
  • Natural/Alternative Options – 4/5

Overall Score: 4/5

How We Tested:

  • We purchased two of the varieties of cat litter that SmartCat has to offer.
  • We spent multiple weeks testing the litters on several cats.
  • We did not receive these products in exchange for a favorable review; they were purchased with our own money.

Brand Overview

The founder of SmartCat, Betsy Lipscomb, is a cat lover and cat behaviorist who began her career by setting up a free hotline called Cats International for cat owners struggling with feline behavioral issues.

Betsy also gathered wooden fence posts from her farm in Wisconsin, which she would wrap in sisal rope and mount on wood bases, creating scratching posts for cat owners looking to save their furniture from their cat’s claws.

The scratching posts became so popular that at one point, Betsy was making as many as 50 posts a month by hand before launching her brand of cat items on a larger scale. Thus, SmartCat was born.

What does this have to do with the cat litter that we are talking about here? Well, it demonstrates that the founder of SmartCat is not only a person who loves cats but a person who also understands cats and their owners. In 2009, the company branched out to become Pioneer Pet Products, and then eventually acquired Sticky Paws to join their trio of brands. The rest, as they say, is history.

Products Included In This Review

Name Materials Clumping? Life Stage Additional Features
Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter Sorghum Grass Yes All Clumping, Unscented,

Odor Control,

Dust Free, Eco-Friendly

Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Clay Yes All Clumping, Lightweight, Multi-Cat,

Odor Control, Unscented,

Dust Free

Overview Of Litter Offered By Pioneer Pet SmartCat

The Pioneer Pet SmartCat litter is a beloved brand that many cat owners have happily been buying for years. Perhaps best known for their grass litter, SmartCat also offers other products, including these three formulas – the Unscented Lightweight Clumping Litter, All-Natural Clumping Grass Litter, and the All-Natural Lightweight Clumping Corn + Wheat Litter. This review features the first two.

Both of the SmartCat litter formulas in this review offer the following benefits:

  • Made from all-natural ingredients
  • No added chemicals or fragrances
  • Dust-free formula
  • Immediate clumping
  • Lightweight materials
Product Name Type Price Overall Rating
Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter Clumping $1.8 per lb 3/5
Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Clumping $1.3 per lb 4/5

#1 Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

We tested the clumping grass litter for several weeks in a multi-cat home.

Made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients, this litter is designed as an eco-friendly option for your cat litter needs. There are no added fragrances or chemicals, and it’s also made from renewable and biodegradable ingredients.

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

The granules of this litter are small and similar to slightly less fine sawdust. That being said, we were pleased to see that there really was virtually no dust when the litter was poured into its box or when scooping.

It is made of all-natural 100% non-GMO USDA farmed sorghum grass, which is very soft, making it easy on your kitty’s paws. The grass naturally clumps when wet due to the high starch content of the seed and a specialized production process to aid in clumping. With no added chemicals, clays, or fragrances, the litter is completely plant-based, biodegradable, and renewable. How’s that for the environmentally conscientious consumer?

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

While the SmartCat grass litter is fragrance-free, the product insists that this detail is the key to keeping odor under control. As it turns out, The SmartCat Grass Litter does a pretty good job of following through on its promise in the odor department. These natural materials may just be the ticket to a truly fantastic product.

Also, very importantly, the litter’s masking of unpleasant odors is all thanks to the clumpability of the litter itself. The fast-acting clumping of the litter helps keep smell under control and makes scooping quick and easy. All of these points make us fans of this litter, and our cats seem to agree.

The clumps are solid, staying together instead of frustratingly crumbling when scooping, and I was thrilled to not have to clean out mushy, wet clumps left stuck to the bottom and sides of the litter box. Bonus!

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

This litter is a bit on the spendy side, at $29.99 per 10 lbs. bag, making it come to about $2.99/pound. However, you get what you pay for, such as the all-natural ingredients, and the lessened impact on the environment. It does its job so well, it really does make the unpleasant task of scooping and changing a litter box much easier and cleaner to boot. With such excellent clumping and odor-masking skills, the litter goes a long way. You won’t have to dump it all for some time as long as you are scooping your cat’s box regularly – which you should be doing anyway!

Category Rating
Price 3/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 5/5
Dust/Mess 5/5
Scent 5/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.6/5


  • Made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients with no added chemicals
  • Excellent clumping ability
  • Excellent odor control
  • Longlasting


  • A bit more expensive than other litter options
  • Not for cats/cat owners with grass allergies

This litter comes in a 10-pound bag, but due to its natural grass ingredients, it feels lighter than litters made from clay and other ingredients.

#2 Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

I tested the clumping clay litter for several weeks in a multi-cat home.

The clumping clay litter offering from SmartCat has its own lessened environmental impact, thanks to its plant-based core that comes coated in clay granules. As a result, the litter is lighter and finer, making it nice and soft on your cat’s paws. The product claims to be 99% dust-free, which is a fair claim. Small clouds of dust can be seen when pouring the litter into a box, but they dissipate quickly, and it’s not so overpowering that it makes you want to hold your breath; the dust is truly minimal.

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

Clumping is not an issue for this litter, and clumps mercifully stay together when you scoop them. It clumps quickly, making cleaning out the litter box thankfully very easy. Miraculously, the odor-free quality of the litter is not a hindrance–the litter performed its job well, leaving behind minimal cat smell. As for the litter’s own smell, there really isn’t any smell to it at all. It’s pretty great that you don’t have to mask the smell of the very thing masking the smell of your cat’s litter!

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter

Ma’ayan Gutbezahl / Cats.com

The SmartCat Clumping Clay Litter is quite a bit cheaper than its all-natural grass litter cousin. That being said, it isn’t as environmentally friendly, although it boasts no added chemicals, which is always a healthy option when purchasing your cat litter. If you want a litter that clump, scoops, and masks the most odor, then look no further. If environmental friendliness is a priority for you, then the extra cash you will need to shell out for the grass litter will be worth it. Otherwise, you can still rest easy knowing that the clay litter is still plant-based at its core, making it a bit more environmentally friendly still than many of its competitors.

Category Rating
Price 5/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 5/5
Dust/Mess 4/5
Scent 5/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.8/5


  • Excellent clumping ability
  • Minimal dust
  • Unscented and odor control


  • Not the most environmentally healthy choice

This litter comes in a 10-pound jug, making pouring it easy.

What Do Customers Think About Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter?

Both of the Pioneer Pet SmartCat litters are a big hit with customers, with the all-natural grass formula scoring 88% and the clay formula scoring 81% on Chewy. Also on Chewy, the grass-based litter received a 4.4-star rating while the clay-based litter only received a 3.4-star rating, but with far, far fewer reviews overall – in fact, there are only 16 reviews of the clay litter, while the grass litter has a whopping 656 reviews! Of course, both litters have good and bad reviews because everyone’s cat, situation, and needs vary. Do a little research and make your best-educated guess to find out what works best for you and your cats.

Here are some positive and negative reviews for you to consider of both SmartCat Litter formulas featured in this review:

Positive Reviews

“We found this to be great. With 11 cats we have been through a lot of litter. I was skeptical of this product after reading reviews but this company was out of my regular litter and I was not able to get out to the store. I tried 2 jugs of it and was pleased with it as were my cats. I will continue to order more.” –Catlover, reviewing Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

“Try this litter. Great odor control. I was hesitant to try grass litter because my cat has allergies but I am glad I finally switched to this one. No dust, perfect clumping, great odor control and lightweight. It tracks somewhat but all litters do. This litter has no weird smells and you won’t realize that there is a litter box in the room. My cat has no problem with this litter. Perfect choice for every cat!”  –GrannySmith, reviewing Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

Negative Reviews

“Terrible Litter and would never recommend. Admittedly, we ordered the wrong SmartCat litter. Wanted the grass one and grabbed this by mistake. Just the worst. It sticks to absolutely everything…the litter box, the scoop It has endless dust and the granules are tracked all over the house. Threw away the whole container after two days.” –ABB62 reviewing Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

“After trying this litter for my cats, I am thoroughly impressed with the scooping aspect of it because it is so smooth and the clumps don’t get stuck to the side of the box! If I were reading this on that alone, this would be five stars and beyond! However, the odor control is not that great, even after adding order control to it. For that reason, I probably won’t buy it again because I live in a smaller space where it is important to have odor control, but if you live in a larger space where you’re not really near the litter box, and you’re looking for good dust-free litter with great scooping, then this is great!” –Becky reviewing Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

How Much Does Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter Cost?

The price differences between the two formulae of cat litter in this review is large. The grass litter is certainly more expensive than many other litters on the market, but it’s also long-lasting, works well, and is eco-friendly. Given all these perks, the extra cost is for a worthwhile reason.

The clay formula costs $1.29 per pound, and the grass formula costs a whopping $2.99 per pound, which is on the high-end of litter costs. However, it is a very high quality litter. Sometimes, you get what you pay for – you just have to decide what you need in a litter and determine if the cost is worth it for you and your cat.

Overall, Is Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter A Good Choice?

After testing it with my cats, I have a lot of positive things to say about both varieties of Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter. Both litters are excellent and seemed to work nicely with the cats I tested them on. The drawbacks mostly have to do with cost, so if that is not worry for you, then give these products a try.

The main difference between the two varieties of this litter other than price is that one is more environmentally friendly than the other. But you could still do worse than the clay formula. Both litters are solid, and we recommend them!

Where Is Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter Sold?

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter is primarily sold online through Chewy and Amazon, but is also available to purchase from other retailers.

Click HERE to shop for Pioneer Pet SmartCat Litter on Chewy

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About Ma'ayan Gutbezahl

Maayan is a senior content editor on the Cats.com team. Over the course of her career, she has written on a wide variety of topics that reflect her many interests, from video game reviews to animal and pet care; and from rock music to international social issues. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her family, drinking tea with a good book and one of her cats in her lap, and deep diving into new hobbies and exploring new interests.