What are the different types of cat litter?

Different Types of Cat Litter

By Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

May 15, 2022

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Many kittens are already litter trained by their mother, so there’s not much for you to do when you bring your new kitten home. Once you’re sure it knows where the litter box is, you rarely need to worry about it going somewhere else. But you will have to make a decision – deciding what type of kitty litter will work best.

If you’ve been away from the pet store for a while, you may be surprised by the different types of products available which, as a cat owner, can make it hard to choose the right cat litter. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular options.

Different Types of Cat Litter


Clay Cat Litter

Clay cat litter is made of small pieces of clay that are shaped like pellets. These pellets are what the cat uses to dig and bury its waste. Clay litter is a natural material, which means it is environmentally friendly.

Pretty Litter

When purchasing cat litter, you’ll want to consider the price. Clay litter is less expensive than most of the other options available, making it a good choice for budget-minded cat owners.

The downside to using clay cat litter is that it can absorb liquids and hold on to smells, making it necessary to change it often or the scent will be carried throughout the home. Clay litter is also problematic if a cat has allergies, as when they scratch in the litter box dust may fly.

Best Cleanest Litter
BoxiePro Deep Clean, Scent Free, Probiotic Clay Clumping Cat Litter
$20.99 ($0.08 / Fl Oz)

Winner of the 2018 Pet Business Industry Recognition Award! BoxiePro’s boosted blend of probiotics deep clean your litter on a microscopic level, so your cat won't spread unseen waste to kitchen counters, beds, and other areas of the home. 99.9% dust free

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Clumping Cat Litter

Clumping Cat Litter is a type of litter made from small clumps of clay and wood beads that stick together. The litter absorbs and holds the smells of your cat, making it a good choice for those who have multiple cats.

The clumps are easy to remove, meaning you don’t have to replace the entire box. Once you scoop the waste, just replace the missing litter with some new litter.

This litter is available in different scents that will help cover up the smell, although it won’t get rid of the odor entirely.

The biggest problem with using clumping litter is that some cats will actually eat the clumps. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they’re not eating the litter.

Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
$18.69 ($0.08 / Ounce)

This Fresh Step Litter controls odors naturally with activated charcoal and no additional fragrance. This unscented Fresh Step cat scoopable litter is created with your cat’s health and happiness in mind in a lightweight formula that’s easier to lift, pour, and store 

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02/18/2024 08:38 pm GMT


Silica Cat Litter

Silica litters (also known a crystal litter) use water, sand, and crystals to control the odor and moisture. The solid waste is scooped out and the urine is absorbed by the crystals. On the downside, it is a non clumping litter.

It’s a natural product that helps control odor and keeps your cat’s paws clean. It’s also a good choice for cats who have allergies to other types of litter. The litter is usually biodegradable, returning to a sandy base when decomposed.

Alpha Paw Genius Cat Litter with Health Indicator
$24.99 ($4.16 / Pound)

Scratchy Paw Litter is a revolutionary natural cat litter that monitors your cat's health. This premium item contains an indicator that responds to deviating values in the urine such as blood, alkaline, bilirubin, or abnormal PH levels. The non-clump crystal sand cat litter allows urine or pee to be absorbed in seconds, the easiest way to keep your catbox fresh all day long. Plus, cleaning the litter box is quick and easy because it stays dry, leaving no trace. Best of all - no odor - making Alpha Paw cat supplies a great choice for multi-cat families.

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02/19/2024 03:53 pm GMT


Paper Cat Litter

Another type of litter is paper, which is becoming very popular among environmental pet owners. Paper litter is made from pellets or recycled paper, and in addition to being biodegradable, it’s absorbent and lightweight, making it easy to carry around.

Best for Sensitive Skin
Fresh News Recycled Paper, Original Pellet Multi-Cat Litter
$21.99 ($0.05 / Fl Oz)

Fresh News products are over 99% dust free and 100% non allergenic, giving you a cleaner litter box and home. Made with 100% post consumer paper from recycling centers, it is safe for all animals; This litter is also biodegradable when composted, so you can continue to help divert space from landfills. Fresh News Recycled Paper Litter has super absorbent strength, almost three times more than clay; Our soft and dust-free pellets retain their form when wet.

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Pine Cat Litter

Pine litter is a type of natural litter made from pine wood shavings. It is considered to be environmentally friendly as it’s biodegradable.

Pine litter has a high absorbency rate, and natural odor control capabilities, which means no chemicals need to be added. It is also is also highly dust-free. This makes for a more natural product.

Best Hypoallergenic Pellet Litter
ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter
$25.49 ($0.12 / Ounce)

Our sustainable cat litter is free of artificial fragrance, synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, and GMOs; unlike clay, our biodegradable, compostable cat litter degrades quickly and cleanly. Our low-dust cat litter is made from clean wood fiber that has been screened and de-dusted for a cleaner pour and a healthier home and no dirty clay dust.

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Corn Litter

Corn litter is a type of natural litter that is made from corn. It is a good choice for cats because it has low odor and high absorbency.  In addition, corn litter is environmentally friendly because it’s a biodegradable litter.

Best Overall
World's Best CAT Litter Multiple Cat Unscented

A naturally safe litter made from whole-kernel corn that offers no harmful chemicals and no artificial perfumes. Naturally free of silica dust, this lightweight cat litter offers low tracking and less mess — so you and your cat can breathe easy. Keep your cats happy with a natural litter with long-lasting odor control.

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What is the difference between clumping and non-clumping cat litter?

There are two main types of cat litter – clumping and non-clumping. Clumping is where the urine “clumps” together in lumps, making the waste easy to scoop out of the litter tray. Non-clumping is where the litter particles do not clump together even when soaked in urine.

Different Types of Cat Litter

Do cats prefer clumping or non-clumping litter?

Many cats appear to prefer clumping litter because it is easier for them to move the litter around, but some cats prefer non-clumping clay. Both types of litters produce some dust, although there are formulations of both types that are designed to reduce the amount of dust in the litter.


Can I mix clumping and non-clumping litter?

Clumping and non-clumping litters are both great choices for cats.  It’s usually not a good idea to mix clumping and non-clumping litter because the litters will not clump the way it was designed to do and therefore will create more waste and make cleanup difficult. Mixed litter can be used while transitioning a cat to a new litter or to avoid wasting excess litter.

Different Types of Cat Litter


How Do I Choose the Right Type of Cat Litter for My Home?

Clumping litters work best for cats that have a difficult time using regular litter, as the clumps help to absorb the waste. Non-clumping litters are usually more affordable and work well for cats that prefer to use a more traditional litter box. There are also clay litters available, but they aren’t as popular with cat owners because they can be difficult to clean and can cause some odor issues.

The best way to pick the right litter for your cat is to consult with them.

Some cats dislike silica because the crystals can hurt their paws, while others avoid pine because they simply don’t like the smell. Some cats do not like scented litter. Even though your cat cannot speak, he will let you know if he does not approve of what you have chosen.

If they don’t seem interested in using the new type of litter, it’s probably not the right cat litter for them.

By understanding the different types of cat litter and what each one offers, you can make an informed decision about which is the best cat litter for your cat and your home.


Discover the Best Hypoallergenic Cat Litters

Written by Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

I'm Jennie, the creator of Ragdoll Cats World. I have been owned and loved by Ragdoll Cats for almost twenty years after getting my first Ragdoll kittens, Huey and Choo-Choo back in 2003. They lived to the grand old age of 18 and 17 and they even made the move from London to Australia with me! We now have two Ragdoll cats, Violet and Ocean, and a Maine Coon cat named Eddie, and we love sharing our knowledge of all things related to Ragdoll Cats with you at Ragdoll Cats World!
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