Best Clumping Cat Litter In 2019 (Reviews)


Cats are the perfect companions for busy and independent people. They require far less attention than dogs because they are largely independent creatures.

On top of that, their independence makes you feel positively special when one of them adopts you…  because any cat lover knows that they have no say in the matter.

That being said, domesticated cats are still not fully independent. They need a lot of care from their fur loving parents.

Whether it’s finding the type of cat food that they won’t turn up their very picky noses at or watching them go into whisker fits over the best catnip you can buy, cats are a responsibility.

clumping cat litter

The biggest responsibility of all can be the litter box. While everyone loves his or her pets, no one loves their pet’s excrements. That’s the one area that dogs can be nicer; they do their doody duty outside. Picking the right litter for your cat can make the difference between guests knowing they’re at the cat lady’s house or guests being shocked (and honored) when your precious feline decides to make his presence known to them.

This article will help you choose the right cat litter. By the time you finish reading, not only will you have a lot of common questions answered, but you will also find that we have sifted through the litter box of shifty sands to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the very best cat litter brands on the market right now.

The 5 best clumping cat litter reviews

The 5 best clumping cat litters available all have reasons to be called the cat’s meow! No matter which one you buy, these are all great choices. From here, it comes down to your kitty’s stamp of approval. They will definitely let you know if they are not amused with your choice.

The litters on this list are unscented and many of them are also biodegradable. While these are ultimately preferential decisions, the fact is that any specific scent may be a major turn off to picky pets or pets with allergies. For this reason, the list contains only formulas that meet a rigorous set of standards under test conditions with real cats.

 Hopefully, you and your cat will find a great brand of cat litter. A happy cat means a happy habitat. Finding the right cat litter will make sure that your nose, your wallet, and your cat all love you, ending this review of the best clumping litter for your cat.

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey makes some great litters, and the ultra clumping bags are no exception to the lineup of formidable litters.


The Dr. Elsey brand is designed to clump; making sure that your cat isn’t trailing sand through the house. Best of all – it is unscented! 


As a special note, this is also the best cat litter for multiple cats


It’s also a great option for small spaces, like apartments, because it is a master of odor reduction without having to permeate the air with its own artificial perfuming. 


We recommend picking this a-meow-sing cat litter up for your house right meow!

Dr Elsey's Cat Litter

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Eliminates the buildup of moisture and urine
  • Eliminates litter tracking through the house

Cons

  • Can’t be used with new automatic cleaning litter boxes
  • The clumping action works against you because you go through it faster than other brands.

More Information

Unfortunate Information: This product is not very compatible with self-cleaning litter boxes. If you’ve got an aversion to cleaning the litter box the old fashioned way, then you will probably want a different brand from this list. If you’re old school then this litter will have you saying great things about it!


Pause and Think: This product changes its formula recently. While this makes it even better at clumping and capturing waste, and reduces the tracking throughout the house, it is slightly dustier than competitor brands.


Informative Details: Dr. Elsey’s is a Precious Cat company brand. This is an unscented litter designed for controlling odors. It works through moisture locking technology that reduces clumping and tracking.


Awesome News: The hypoallergenic formula is really great because it means even your finicky cats will not reject this litter. It’s the ultimate in bathroom comfort for your kitties. It also uses heavy granules, which will reduce the amount of liquid that hits the tray bottom. This makes for less scraping of nasty congealed litter from the bottom of your box.

World's Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula

World’s Best makes some perfect kitty litters, and you’ll go catnip crazy for their clumping formula!


This formula uses corn instead of clay, and doesn’t use the silica dust that ends up tracked all over the house.


This also makes it a decent choice for sneezy cats!


It clumps quickly, so a little bit goes a really long way with this brand.

Pros

  • Flushable formula
  • Very little dust
  • Ecologically friendly

Cons

  • Clumps can occasionally break apart, making for messier cleanup
  • Has a very distinctive smell
  • Pricier than comparable brands

More Information

Feline Features: This formula clumps very quickly, trapping odors away instantly and locking moisture in before it seeps through to the ray. It is 99% dust free so you can breathe easily and know that it won’t get tracked through your house.


Gives Some Pause: Sometimes, the clumps can disappear. The other disadvantage of corn is that, with an odor-free formula, you end up with the odor of natural products. Clay absorbs smell a bit better without having much of a distinctive smell itself. This isn’t the case with corn.


Perfect Formula: This formula is biodegradable, so you can easily flush clumps down the toilet as they occur throughout the day instead of having messy litter build up that crowds litter boxes and gets carried out to sit in the large trash bin until garbage day arrives.

​Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter

A lot of people haven’t heard of Okocat, but that’s going to change very soon.


They are one of the quickly emerging pet brands that take care of your cat and the environment.


They offer a completely new spin on cat litter - Natural Wood!

This cat litter uses recycled lumber to create a massively eco-friendly litter formula.


This is a dust free formula that uses no additives or synthetic materials, so it can be used with even the most allergy prone cats.

Pros

  • Uses far less than other litters
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lighter than other litters
  • Antibacterial

Cons

  • Pellets are pretty large

More Information

More to the Tale: Its odor shield technology will control odors for an entire week! The pellets are hard on the outside but soft enough to contain liquid inside, and labs show that they hold more than 5 times their weight in liquid, so you don’t have to worry about replacing your litter nearly as often.


Pause to Think: The one downside of this litter is that the natural ingredients make natural messes. Without chemical additives, this litter has a tendency to track all over your house; so if you use this brand make sure you have enough space to contain the tracked mess before your pet gets cozy with the carpet!


Perfect Strength: This litter can absorb 500% of its weight in moisture so it is a heavy-duty option for eliminating frequent litter changes. It completely traps liquid using plant fibers to bind it. As an added bonus, this makes it naturally antibacterial, too, which you won’t find it any other litters naturally.

​Tidy Cats Lightweight 24/7 

Performance Clumping Cat Litter

When most people think of the top cat litter brands, they automatically think of Tidy Cats


Purina is at the top of the game when it comes to major pet supply companies, whether it’s cats or dogs, food or litter.


The best scoopable cat is their Lightweight 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter.

Pros

  • 2 week odor protection guarantee
  • Half the weight of comparable options
  • Easy to scoop clumping action

Cons

  • New packaging makes it much harder to handle

More Information

New Information: One of the best features of this litter is the odor free guarantee. The Tidy Lock formula guarantees that it will eliminate ammonia odor for 2 weeks, which makes it a great option for multi-cat homes. It is also a nearly completely dust free formula that won’t cause allergies.


Pause for Thought: This litter can easily end up all around the house. It may be dust free, but it still tracks all over the place, so paws to think about this brand. Tidy Cat doesn’t guarantee a tidy house! If only… 


//Pro Tip: If your cat’s don’t like how light this litter is, then just go for a throw back Thursday and try their original formula!//


Amazing Formula: This is a great litter for parents with children. It can be difficult to teach children responsalbity, and pet care is a great way to do that. The lightweight, scoopable formula of this litter means that kids will have an easier time carrying it and scooping it. They can help you without making a total mess!

Arm & Hammer Double Duty Clumping Litter

Arm & Hammer is a great brand for cleansing and sealing odor. 


In fact, many of you have probably put a box if this in your refrigerator at some point to keep it fresh. 


Let that same tactic go to work in your litter box! They have made a Double Duty Clumping Litter for your cat’s needs.

Like all of their other products, this one uses baking soda to help keep litter boxes fresh and odor free.


They are odor elimination experts, after all.

Pros

  • Odor control eliminates even the smelliest messes
  • Formula is moisture activated, so works instantly.
  • Nearly eliminates tracking thanks to hard clumping action

Cons

  • Replaces ammonia smell with strong chemical scent

More Information

//Pro-Tip: To help reduce the chemical scent, you can mix in their Cat Litter Deodorizer ad let the 2 products work together.//

Tell You More:
This uses a dust free formula to cut back on allergic reactions and messes. It will be easy to breathe around this litter. It also has an extensive shelf life, never reducing effectiveness over time.

Mutiny Possible:
Try a small batch of this litter first. A lot of cats refuse to use this brand for some reason, possibly because there’s a chemical odor attached. The freshness doesn’t last as long as other comparable options, and this can’t exactly be called odor free.

Perfect Option:
This is a great option for messy, stinky pets. If your cat is prone to tracking their litter all over the house, then this will reduce the amount of tracking your cat manages thanks to it’s clumps being hard as rock.

Buyer's guide for the best clumping litter for cats

If you’re a new cat owner, you may have a lot of questions. This guide will answer a lot of the most frequently asked questions about cat litter so you can make an educated and informed decision that will be best for your cat and your home.

what is clumping cat litter?

Clumping litter nearly always uses sodium bentinite. This is special clay that clumps naturally when it takes in moisture. This makes it easy to scoop and dispose of soiled kitty litter. To work properly, no matter what material it uses, it needs to be extremely absorbent.

This is nice because it means you don’t have to empty the entire littler box nearly as often, which saves money. Instead, just toss in fresh litter as needed between cleans. Litter that doesn’t use a clumping formula has to be regularly emptied to avoid the entire bottom being a pool of cat urine. Without being able to clump and bond to the litter, it just spreads out across the box and settles.

things to consider when looking for the best clumping cat litter:

Cat litters are all different. Even within the category of clumping cat litter, there are several different methods and formulas to think about. This is why there’s not a single, best option to use. This is especially true when you factor in that cats have different preferences and can be more persnickety than their owners!

The most important factor is obviously how well it clumps. The entire point of buying clumping litter is so you can scoop the clumps easily. This means that if your clumps aren’t super hard and solid, you may as well not use it.

You also need to consider whether or not you want a scent. People have been debating which one is better for a while, and no solid conclusion has been reached.

If you decide to try a scented clumping formula, make sure that they also contain an odor eliminating scent, otherwise you’re just covering the smell with another smell instead of eliminating it. Don’t buy a huge package, either, because cats are picky and if they can’t stand the smell, they will refuse to use the litter.

None of the litters on this list are scented, because that can often make it more difficult to be accepted by your cat. It also may lead to allergies, and many scents do not mix well at all with litter box odors. Conversely, unscented formulas smell like their source materials, so a lot of people complain of a funky smell that is only a little better than the litter scent.

This leads to odor control, which is different from scent. Odor control is what actually attacks and eliminates the smell of your litter box. Extra odor protection can completely eliminate litter box smells without adding a cloud of perfume to your home.

Dust is another factor in every cat litter. Some cats are extremely sensitive to dust particles, so you will want to find a dust free formula doe them. This can also settle around your house and create an icky cat litter film, which is not pleasant.

Eco-friendliness can be important to a lot of people. More and more cat litters are becoming biodegradable, but not all of them are. Make sure you know what you are getting into when it comes to disposal, because while several of the litters in this list are flushable, very few clumping cat litters actually are.

how do i know when to change clumping cat litter?

This answer is different for everyone because it depends on a lot of different factors. If you have multiple cats, or if your cat uses the litter box more frequently than most, you will need to change your litter more quickly.

Several pet owners change their litter on a set schedule. Clumping cat litter needs to be completely emptied and cleaned less regularly than normal litter, so many people just change it on trash day.  If your litter starts to smell more noticeably, or look wet, then it is definitely time to go ahead and change it.

You should be scooping out the solid clumps regularly as your cat uses the litter box. Once you do, you need to go ahead and refill it so that there are always at least 3 or 4 inches of litter inside the box.

will you ever need to switch your litter?

This is a tricky question, and it largely depends more on your cat than you. A lot o cats will go their lifetime using the same litter and if you try to switch their brand, they get upset. Other times, subtle changes in the formula from the manufacturer that go unnoticed to you make the difference between acceptance and rejection to your cat.

If you get a new cat that does not like the one you are using, you may need to start hunting for another type of litter. This can be more difficult since your other cats have already adjusted to the current brand, but with so many available you can find a formula that all of your cats will use.

If you are noticing that you have to clean the litter box constantly, or your clumps aren’t hardening regularly, it may also be time to look around for other options.

If your cat doesn’t seem to be using the litter box as regularly as they used to, it can mean they are sick of the current formula and want a change. If they start tracking the litter through the house, then you may be ready to change, too.

Just remember that when you are switching litters, you should buy trial sizes or see if your vet has some sample packages on hand. Cats are extremely picky and it may take you a few tries to find the right option.

cat kittens use clumping litter?

This question has been debated hotly, but ultimately it has been determined that there is no scientific proof that clumping cat litter is harmful for cats. That being said, no cat litter is safe for curious kittens that frequently put things in their mouth.

Small amounts of litter that get accidentally ingested can easily make their way through and out again in very little time. Larger clumps may be too big to break down and end up causing blockages.

In the end, there is no evidence that says clumping cat litter is unsafe for kittens, but you know your pet best. The ASPCA recommends that if you are in doubt, you should wait until your cat is 3 or 4 months old before using it regularly.

can you mix clumping and non-clumping litter?

You can, but this is not recommended unless you are desperately close to being out of litter and don’t have time or money to run for more while you wait for your internet order to arrive.

Remember that cats are picky. If you mix 2 litters together, they may reject it for any number of reasons from the smell to the texture. If you are mixing, start slowly and use more of what they are familiar with than the new stuff.

Mixing it will also drastically reduce the effectiveness of your clumping litter. Those formulas are blended specifically and perfectly balanced. Adding non-clumping litter to the mixture will make it harder for the clumping formula to reach and absorb the liquid, and result in the type of clumps that will fall apart easily instead of remaining bonded together.

are there any natural cat litter alternatives?

There are several natural alternatives to traditional cat litter for ecologically minded people. While you can use them safely, many of them are far less effective than litter, so you may not get the best results – especially when it comes to odor elimination!

The upside is that many cat litter companies have begun looking into eco-friendly, biodegradable formulas. In fact, a couple of the options on our list already use some of these natural alternatives.

Corn is one of the most common biodegradable cat litter alternatives. This is unscented and clumps extremely well, so it makes a great option. The downside is that it tracks through the house a lot, no matter what you do.

Grass also works for cat litter. It’s the most natural option there is, and it has worked for wild cats for generations. Grass is light weight, dust free, doesn’t track, and lasts a long time. However, it’s also very lightweight so cats may not like it if they’re heavy. Several of them end up sinking or knocking over the box.

The ASPCA has suggested walnut shells before, too. They are not toxic to cats, they clump well, and they control the odor better than other natural remedies. The down side is that it is difficult to break them down into the right size pellets and it will track everywhere and stick to your cat’s paws. A lot of cats hate the stuff.

Wheat is a lightweight litter and smells nice naturally. The down side is that it gets everywhere and does next to noting about odor control. On the plus side, it clumps well and flushes easily if you’re not allergic.

Wood pellets are a great option, and one of the brands on this list is made from wood. It is highly absorbent, but can’t be scooped because the scoop holes are too small for large pellets. Be careful what you grab with wood, though, because if they have adhesives, finishes, or additives those things may be extremely toxic to your cats.

conclusion for these clumping cat litter reviews

Now that you have learned about what clumping cat litter is and had some questions answered, you should be ready to find the right litter for your cats. Remember that it is your cat’s decision as much as yours at the end of the day. If your cat refuses to use the litter you have chosen, then there is nothing you can do except find another option.

Remember that clumping cat litter reduces the need to frequently change the litter box and clean it, but it does not eliminate this need. You will still need to completely empty and refill your cat’s litter box on a regular basis to prevent odors and ensure health.

Practice safe cleaning standards. Cat urine contains a lot of potentially hazardous materials, so you want to wash the box somewhere that you don’t also wash food and scrub your hands thoroughly afterwards.