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Unbiased Special Kitty Cat Litter Review

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Kate Barrington / Cats.com

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Special Kitty Cat Litter on What Matters

We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.


  • Variety of Products – 4/5
  • Price Per Pound – 5/5
  • Multi-Cat Formulas – 4/5
  • Clumping Ability – 5/5
  • Long-Lasting Odor Control – 4/5
  • Natural/Alternative Options – 1/5

Overall Score: 3.83/5

How We Tested:

  • We purchased 3 of the best cat litters Special Kitty has to offer
  • We spent a few weeks testing the cat 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 Special Kitty brand is exclusive to Walmart. Originally founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in Bentonville, AR, the Walmart company has grown to include over 10,500 stores and clubs in 24 countries. It is the world’s largest company by revenue, according to the 2020 Fortune Global 500 list.

Like many of Walmart’s in-house brands, Special Kitty is designed primarily for affordability which, particularly in regard to their pet food products, is telling in terms of the level of quality you can expect. Fortunately, there is less to worry about regarding quality with cat litter than cat food.

Products Included in This Review

Product Name Materials Clumping? Life Stage Additional Features
Special Kitty Scoopable Tight Clumping Cat Litter, Fragrance Free Clay Yes All Clumping, Fragrance-Free, Multi-Cat Formula
Special Kitty Lightweight & Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter, Fresh Scent Clay Yes All Clumping, Fresh Scent, Multi-Cat Formula
Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter, Unscented Clay No All Non-Clumping, Natural Clay, Fragrance-Free

What Kinds of Litter Does The Brand Offer?

The Special Kitty brand currently offers five different types of cat litter. They offer both clumping and non-clumping cat litters as well as scented and fragrance—free formulas.

Here’s a list of Special Kitty’s cat litter formulas:

  • Scoopable Tight-Clumping Litter, Fresh Scent
  • Scoopable Tight-Clumping Litter, Fragrance-Free
  • Lightweight & Scoopable Clumping Litter, Fresh Scent
  • Fragrance Free Natural Clay Non-Clumping Litter
  • Premium Clay Non-Clumping Cat Litter, Fragrance-Free

Special Kitty clumping cat litter is sold in tubs while their non-clumping formulas come in bags (25 or 50 pounds).

Top 3 Special Kitty Cat Litters Reviewed

Product Name Type Price Overall Rating
Special Kitty Scoopable Tight Clumping Cat Litter, Fragrance Free Clumping $0.5 per Ib 4.25/5
Special Kitty Lightweight & Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter, Fresh Scent Clumping $1.15 per lb 4.25/5
Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter, Unscented Non-Clumping $0.25 per lb 3/5

#1 Special Kitty Scoopable Tight Clumping Cat Litter, Fragrance Free

This clay cat litter is described as a tight-clumping, 99% dust-free formula free from fragrance. While I did find the litter to be fragrance-free and it did clump well, it was anything but dust-free.

In testing this clumping clay litter, I noticed that it had a very fine texture which probably contributes to its dustiness. The fineness of the granules also led to some tracking outside the litter box. It may be worth noting that Walmart’s product description doesn’t make any promises about this litter being non-tracking, though they do say it’s dust-free.

Though this litter was pretty dusty, it has a few things going for it. Not only is it incredibly affordable (priced around $0.35/pound) but this litter works well, forming hard, tight clumps that are easy to scoop. It performed fairly well in odor control as well, making it a good choice for multi-cat households.

This litter comes in a 14-pound jug.

Category Rating
Price 5/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 4/5
Dust/Mess 2/5
Scent 4/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.25/5


  • Forms tight, hard clumps for easy scooping
  • Very affordably priced (about $0.35/pound)
  • Comes in an easy-to-carry jug


  • Produces a significant amount of dust
  • Fine granules tend to track to some degree

#2 Special Kitty Lightweight & Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter, Fresh Scent

Though Special Kitty’s clumping clay formulas are sold in 14-pound jugs that are fairly easy to carry, some may still find them a bit too heavy. This lightweight formula weighs just 8.5 pounds but contains about the same amount of litter as the 14-pound jug.

Unfortunately, when I opened the package, I found the jug had somehow been punctured or the lid had come loose during shipping. A significant amount of litter was spilled in the box. Based on numerous customer reviews, this seems to be a common problem with Walmart’s shipping of cat litter.

In regard to the product in particular, I was impressed by its clumping ability and found it to be a little less dusty than the original formulas. This clay litter is mixed with plant-based material to cut some of the weight, so that may account for it being less dusty as well. The granules for this lightweight cat litter were finer than the original clay as well, so there was some tracking.

I’d also like to note that while this is a scented formula, the fresh scent was incredibly subtle. Scented cat litters can sometimes be overwhelming but I found this scented formula quite pleasant.

This litter comes in an 8.5-pound jug that contains about as much litter as a 14-pound jug.

Category Rating
Price 4/5
Clumping Action 5/5
Odor Control 4/5
Dust/Mess 3/5
Scent 4/5
Easy to Scoop 5/5
Overall Rating 4.25


  • About 50% lighter than regular clay litter
  • Has a subtle fresh scent to reduce litter box odor
  • Forms tight, hard clumps for easy scooping


  • Packaging was damaged, leaked in the box
  • Still somewhat dusty and tracks a little

#3 Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter, Unscented

I found this non-clumping clay litter to be highly absorbent, but I did have some trouble when it came time to scoop the box. Like many customers have commented, the litter turns a bit gooey when it becomes saturated with liquid, and it has a tendency to stick to the litter box.

In addition to being a little difficult to scoop, this cat litter comes in fairly large granules and the particles are a little rough. Tracking was still an issue and the litter it produced a lot of dust, both during pouring and scooping. Though unscented, it also took on a slightly unpleasant odor when it got wet.

This litter comes in a 25-pound or 50-pound bag.

Category Rating
Price 5/5
Clumping Action 0/5
Odor Control 3/5
Dust/Mess 3/5
Scent 4/5
Easy to Scoop 3/5
Overall Rating 3/5


  • Very affordably priced (about $0.19/pound)
  • Highly absorbent
  • Doesn’t contain artificial fragrance


  • Very dusty, not low tracking
  • Granules are fairly large and rough
  • Not a clumping formula

What Do Customers Think Of Special Kitty Cat Litter?

Given the massive size of the Walmart name, it comes as no surprise that Special Kitty cat litters have hundreds (even thousands) of reviews on Walmart.com. While some brands seem to highlight only their positive reviews on the company website, Walmart doesn’t appear to censor their customer ratings.

For the most part, customers seem pleased with the Special Kitty brand – especially the affordable price.

Many customers like the availability of scented and unscented formulas, though there are a number of comments that the brand isn’t anything special. There are numerous comments about the litter being dusty, but most customers seem pleased with the odor control.

Positive Customer Reviews

“This litter has amazing odor control. I do live in a lower humidity environment. I have discovered that it works better if the litter is just a little deeper than using regular clumping cat litter. It gets a little “sticky” on the bottom of the litter box when the depth is shallower.” – LaurafromReno reviewing Special Kitty Lightweight & Scoopable Clumping Clay Litter

“With fostering 13 cats. Buying litter was expensive. Especially have to change 3 boxes every other day. Great value for the buck. We just add a little baking soda to the mix and good to go. Nothing special here. Just a great inexpensive way to get by.” – Alan reviewing Special Kitty Fragrance-Free Natural Clay Non-Clumping Litter

Negative Customer Reviews

“This litter is horrible. Does absolutely nothing about odor and the amount of dust is astronomical. Anyone with asthma or breathing problems definitely should avoid this product.” – AMC08 reviewing Special Kitty Scoopable Tight Clumping Litter, Fragrance Free

“The product is great. We use it all the time. The packaging is the issue. The bag of litter was split down the middle and litter is everywhere. The delivery driver even complained because there is litter all over his truck. So disappointing.” – Tanya reviewing Special Kitty Premium Clay Non-Clumping Litter, Fresh Scent

How Much Does Special Kitty Cat Litter Cost?

As a Walmart-exclusive brand, Special Kitty is designed for affordability. This brand only offers clay litter which is generally pretty affordable anyway, but their prices are extremely competitive.

Their most expensive product is their lightweight clumping clay litter, priced at $0.82 per pound. Otherwise, Special Kitty’s clumping litters cost about $0.35 per pound and their non-clumping formulas are priced around $0.19 per pound.

Overall, Is Special Kitty Cat Litter a Good Choice?

Special Kitty is a brand designed for affordability, so it’s important to keep that in mind when evaluating their products. I appreciated that the brand offers both clumping and non-clumping formulas as well as scented and fragrance-free options, but it would be nice to see a little more variety.

In terms of the cat litter itself, I was impressed with its clumping ability, and it did a decent job controlling odor. None of the formulas were anywhere close to being low-dust like promised, however, and there was a fair amount of tracking.

If you’re looking for an affordable brand of cat litter, Special Kitty is a great choice. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to put up with some dust, a little bit of tracking, and, with the non-clumping formula, cat owners may need to empty the litter box every few days to keep the litter from sticking.

Where Is Special Kitty Cat Litter Sold?

Special Kitty is a Walmart-exclusive brand, sold only in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a writer with over twelve years of experience in the pet industry. She is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach and has completed coursework in therapeutic nutrition, raw feeding, and the formulation of homemade diets for pets at an accredited university. Kate enjoys cooking, reading, and doing DIY projects around the house. She has three cats, Bagel, Munchkin, and Biscuit.

28 thoughts on “Unbiased Special Kitty Cat Litter Review”

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  1. Bridget Darby

    How am I supposed to take any review on here seriously after that? I have 6 cats, I’ve fostered, I lost my job twice-so obviously I’ve looked and prayed for economical litter solutions. Special kitty is awful. If you get lucky enough to get an actual pee clump, scoop gently bc it will disintegrate into wet ammonia sand. My mind is literally blown about this review because the litter is such garbage. I’ve been searching for the perfect litter- now I can’t rely on your website for real reviews. I mean what are you comparing SK litter to? Like maybe it works better than if they went in play sand?

    1. kateKate Barrington Post author

      Hey Bridget, we’re sorry you had such a negative experience with Special Kitty! User experience does seem to be pretty variable with these cheap, store-brand cat litters, unfortunately. I can understand your frustration with trying to find something affordable for your 6 cats that also works well. Have you considered crystal cat litter? It generally doesn’t clump but it dehydrates solid waste and absorbs urine. You can scoop the feces but then you just stir the litter once or twice a day to keep it fresh. It may last a little longer than clay litter and could save you some hassle in emptying the litter box as often, though it’s hard to say with 6 cats.

    2. Crystal walker

      Special kitty clumping litter is cheap garbage which should come with dust free masks.I wonder what this does to the lungs of cats and their owners?

    3. kateKate Barrington Post author

      Cheap litter does certainly tend to be dusty, Crystal. I find that placing the litter box in a well ventilated area helps a little and some cats may prefer open to enclosed litter boxes if the litter is dusty.

  2. Deborah Prutzman

    I have 5 cats and use Fresh Step clumping, unscented. I have tried all the litters out on the markey and nothing even comes close. I stock up on it when it is on sale or have coupons and have also subscribed to Amazon for auto delivery. I scoop thier boxes daily and whatever amount of soiled litter I have removed, I replace with fresh litter and mix it into the older litter. I also have 1 box that is Pretty Litter and I use that every now then to check their urine for different types of health issures.

  3. Lorraine Settle

    I have used Special Kitty Cat litter from some time with no complaints – clumping good, not too much powder, etc. BUT – RECENTLY my Son picked up a box for me and in the same box with the same description and claims on the box as my previous carton (which I kept for utility) – the litter is not at all the same. I know we are all having supply problems but this is false advertising and will not help your future sales of this litter – it is pure gravel! It does not clump. When it gets on the floor I am walking on small stones. My cat is forever trying to lick the stuff off of her claws. I am thinking of reporting this to the powers that be, including Walmart, pending your reply to this valid complaint… [email protected] 416 604-3486 416 614-8138

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      Hi Lorraine, this does sound quite problematic. To be clear, we just reviewed the brand and aren’t directly affiliated with Special Kitty, so you’ll have to report this to them directly. Hoping they’ll be able to sort things out and sell a good clumping litter once more.

  4. Beth Zaret

    Want to say Thank you for your great litter, I have tried alot of different brands and special kitty won hands down the best I have tried. No dust smell and clumps hold together while scooping. My search is over, I will only buy this litter from now on.

  5. Douglas Thompson

    Copyright Douglas Thompson, 2:32pm, 12, 17, 22 )Send checks to 2005 Summit St., Apt. 202, Sioux City, IA 51104, Have the song “Good Life” playing in the background, while a woman scoops cat litter, and she starts singing with the song, “Ohh, poop on the kitty cat, ohh, poop on the kitty cat, poop poop on the kitty cat for a good good life”. Then her s/o speaks up, “Honey, if your creativity were NOT so funny, I would HAVE to see about checking you into some funny farm or other, you wonderful hubba hubba you”. She responds, “Hush, don’t speak that way in front of the cat; she’ll tear your eyes out without me”

    Make this for a joke script on SNL, then see about it becoming some regular ad.
    Thank you,
    Douglas A. Thompson

    1. DR

      An update/correction if you will — the inner bag is more like the liner of a cereal box, not like a real a plastic bag.

  6. DR

    My observation is that Odor Control only works if cats cover their droppings and only if the clumping process completes.
    Special Kitty Tight Clumping does the job…it makes hard dry clumps and there is little to no odor when my cats cover,
    I have encountered no more and no less tracking than with A&H, TC, or even Pet-Store litters.
    So, I am purchasing more…for now =;^)
    I first used SKTC when searching for something, anything, to replace the up-scale litter that had been my “go to” for years.
    Somehow it had changed and all it did was leave huge piles of horrible smelling mud, not tight, dry clumps.
    I first found SKTC at Walmart in a cardboard box with a plastic bag liner which made it easy to dispense & to recycle.
    Recently I also found it listed on eBay and on amazon, but only in the plastic jug when available.
    Yes, it is dusty when poured, so instead of pouring it, I buy the boxed version and use a cup to scoop it into the litter pans, thereby reducing dust. Hooray!

  7. Arden Leslie

    I have been using special kitty cat litter and am discusted. The dust is atrocious. It is going to take me months to clear this from my apartment. Every morning I was getting up with a layer of dust on everything. It is causing me to cough as I breathe it in and I would hate to see what is may be doing to my cats respirory systems if it is doing this to me. I have a covered litter box that it kept in the bathroom and my apt. is about 800 sq ft. with 5 separate rooms. I would never recommend this product to anyone. Had an issue with your cat food before so will not buy special kitty in any way shape or form again. I would rather spend a bit more for my cats health and mine.
    I rate this product at a minus 5.

  8. Teresa Whitson

    I have purchased Special Kitty for over two years and have been extremely satisfied with the product, however the last 25# bag I purchased is awful. Besides the dust being 10 times worse the smell is terrible. The litter smells already used in the bag. Has the formula been changed or did I just get a bad bag? Wondering if I need to change brands.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      Hello! I’m not sure why it would smell like it had been used straight out of the bag, but perhaps it was just a bad one, not a new formulation. It seems like the dustiness may vary from bag to bag, and sometimes, you may get one that became dustier during transport and handling. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a definite answer about reformulation.

  9. Kristine Taylor

    I’ve had cats all my life and purchased different litters and always had issues with the ammonia smell. I seen the special kitty clumping litter and noticed I was getting more for less compared to what I had been paying so I figured I would give a new litter a shot. I only have one adult cat and clean her box every couple days as she does enjoy being outside during the day with warmer temps. I have not had a single scent of ammonia since using special kitty. I will continue to purchase this litter for that very reason!

  10. Robin Armagost

    I was looking for an explanation as to the materials used in this litter (tight clumping) All it says is clay, and this article also only mentions clay. However- there are alot of shiny particles in this litter. I examined with a magnifying glass, it appears to be shell, sharp tiny pieces.
    Which is a concern these particles could cut or enbed in my cats paws.
    I bought this for the price factor, but my cats well being is more important, so I won’t be buying this anymore.

  11. Kimberly Lenker

    I absolutely love your product. I started using it 5 years ago & I will never stop. It is the best liter I have every used compared to top brands & no one has every came close to keeping odor away & the clumping is wonderful. I have 5 cats & lots of people have came in my tiny apartment & they say you can never tell that I have that many cats because it never smells. I scoop & don’t ever have that nasty ammonia odor at all. Thank y’all so much & believe me I tell EVERYONE about you. Your price & how absorbable Iris is the best. Thank you so much