Best Non Clumping Cat Litter For Your Kitty


According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), approximately 40% of Americans have at least one cat in their home, and many are on the hunt for the best non-clumping cat litter for their kitty.

And it’s really no wonder as cat ownership is highly linked with healthier hearts and fewer allergies, not to mention news stories of how cats have saved the lives of their owners… quite literally.

Cats are known to help their owners with coping due to the loss of a loved one, and lessening anxiety.

If you’re a guy in the dating game, many women have indicated that men who own cats are actually nicer than those who own other pets or no pet at all.

Already mentioned above but worthy of a deeper dive is that some of the best studies have shown that owning a cat can lower your stress levels and lessen your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Many cat owners also find that the purring noise made by cats can be soothing, which can have a positive effect on joint mobility after injury. 

If you can’t believe it, know that when a cat purrs, it creates a frequency of 20-140 HZ, and studies have shown that frequencies in the 18-35 HZ range have a positive effect on joint mobility in humans.

Cats are also associated with better sleep habits and sounder sleep for humans, as almost half of cat owners will indicate that they sleep better with their pet than without.

Quite clearly, the best benefits of owning and loving a cat go on and on. And since your cat is so good for you, it is important to adopt best practices when caring for your beloved pet.

feline pine original non clumping cat litter

This non-clumping cat litter is chemical and clay free and uses absorbent pine pellets to absorb liquids and mask ammonia smells, providing 100% odor elimination.

Since the formula is clay-free, it means you are less prone to exposure to crystalline silica dust.

If you’ve used the Feline Pine brand before, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to know that this newer formula by the same name, now absorbs twice as fast as the original formula.

Pros

  • Fast removal of odor
  • Highly absorbent
  • Easy to scoop

Cons

  • Some cats do not care for the feel of pellets

Tidy cats breeze non-clumping cat litter pellets

These easy to use and dust-free pellets are designed to work with the Tidy Cats Breeze litter system (not included with pellet purchase).

 When used properly, the pellets allow the cat’s urine to pass through, leaving solid waste on the top, making it of the best non clumping litter for cats.

These pellets are formulated for households with more than one cat, and feature odor control and low maintenance.

You can read our full Tidy Cats litter reviews for more information.

Pros

  • Little to no dust
  • Limited fragrance which is only evident when the litter box is in use
  • Quickly eliminates odors of cat litter

Cons

  • Higher priced than many cat litter brands
  • Must be used with the Tidy Cats Breeze litter system

Tidy cats Non-clumping 24/7 performance litter

This non-clumping cat litter formula provides an extended-release deodorizing system that provides for an ongoing fresh scent that works around the clock, providing of the best odor control, doing away with that ammonia smell that is common when cat urine mixes with cat litter.

Designed for families with multiple cats, this product provides excellent absorption to keep your cats happy, clean, and dry.

Pros

  • Limited tracking cat litter
  • Long lasting cat litter
  • Great for homes with more than one cat

Cons

  • Has a mild scent

yesterday's new original formula cat litter

Don’t be fooled by the product name, as this product is not old, as is often cited as one of the best non clumping cat litters on the market.

The eco-friendly cat litter, made with recycled paper, which is better for our environment, is three times more moisture-absorbent than clay.

Further, the recycled paper that is used to make the pellets is 99.7% dust free, making breathing easier for both you and your favorite feline friend.

Pros

  • Unscented cat litter
  • Highly absorbent cat litter
  • Recommended by veterinarians and leading cat experts

Cons

  • More difficult to scoop than other cat litter
  • Not as great with odor control compared to other cat litter brands

naturally fresh walnut-based non-clumping cat litter

This non-clumping litter claims to control ammonia-causing odors up to seven times more than other non-clumping litters, making it one of the best non-clumping kitty litter.

Using renewable sources and no chemicals, toxins, corn, grains, or clay, this formula is made from walnut shells to help neutralize cat litter box odors.

This litter is made of low-tracking materials, and is virtually dust free.

However, as this cat litter is made from walnut shells, those with nut allergies should check with their doctor to determine if this product is safe to use in their home.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly cat litter
  • Low price cat litter
  • Little dust

Cons

  • Litter doesn’t always dry completely after elimination
  • Some cats do not care for the feel of pellets as their cat litter

johnny cat complete multi-cat litter

This litter is a dependable classic and works hard to inhibit if not eliminate the development of odors from elimination.

One of the best for homes with multiple cats, this highly absorbable clay cat litter provides long-lasting protection.

Johnny Cat’s litter knocks out ammonia without the use of harsh chemicals, so cat owners can feel good about the product that their cat will be coming into contact with.

Pros

  • Long-lasting odor control
  • Low price cat litter
  • Works quickly

Cons

  • A bit dustier than its counterparts


choosing the right non-clumping cat litter

Cat litter was invented back in 1947 by Ed Lowe, an American entrepreneur and businessman.

Until this point, most cat owners kept their felines outside, but Lowe, whose business sold ice, coal, and saw-dust to residents of Michigan, realized after his neighbor asked him for some saw dust to fill her litter box.

At that time, he instead suggested a kiln-dried clay cat litter which was highly absorbent and good for odor control. His neighbor later raved to him about how effective the clay was, and just like that, the idea for a kitty litter that could be used inside the home, was born.

If you are new to cat ownership, it is important to experiment with various types of cat litter until you find one that both you and your cat like, and go from there.

But know that your cat will be the decision maker here, and while every cat is different and presents its own personality and character traits, there are many behaviors that are universal among all cats.

In general, cats tend to like smaller litter particles as opposed to pellet or crystal-types of cat litter. The finer particles are believed to feel better on paws and are more similar to the sands that cats are used to historically as the best (cats were originally desert-dwelling animals that buried their waste in sand).

Cats also tend to prefer unscented litters, as they prefer their own scent as the best over artificial smells, even if scented litters smell better to their human owners.

things to consider before you buy

scent

As mentioned above, cats tend to prefer unscented litters, as they prefer their own scent over artificial smells, even if scented litters smell like the best kind of cat litter..

But, this is truly up to the cat. Dr. Neilson presented the results of a study back in 2011 at the Veterinary Behavior Conference, and found that cats did indeed choose to use unscented litter over scented litter.

clean-up

Clumping cat litter is indeed very popular as it reduces the frequency in which you need to clean the litter box, and can make clean-up quick and easy.

The clumping cat litter formula creates a bond with the urine and feces, which makes it easier to scoop out and remove the waste. This may save cat owners money over time, which is the best scenario.

However, clumping vs. non-clumping litter is truly a matter of personal preference and your cat’s reaction to the texture of the litter, and saying one  is the best over the other is subjective.

cost of non clumping cat litter

Non-clumping litter can also be less expensive up front than its clumping counterparts, but as non-clumping litter needs to be purchased more frequently, that up-front savings will likely diminish over time.

Important to know, however, is that a potential yet significant downfall of clumping cat litter is that it is often associated with a high level of litter dust.

These types of litter contain crystalline silica, which can lead to upper and lower respiratory problems for both you and your cat. If you work around large amounts of crystalline silica dust cat litter, you will know that it is classified as a human lung carcinogen and can lead to silicosis, which is not the best outcome.

So, if you want a clumping litter, and many cat owners do, look for those that are also labeled as the best low-dust or dust-free cat litter.

low dust

If you use a dusty formula, not only is it annoying to you as you will find yourself in a cloud of dust when pouring the litter into the box, but it can also cause serious health problems for both you and your cat. Aside from triggering allergies, litter dust can cause skin irritations and can even trigger an asthmatic attack.

When using dusty cat litters, especially those with a clumping formula, the dust can get stuck in your cat’s paws and fur, and your cat will likely consume some of this dust when using the litter box.

Sodium bentonite clay, which is often used to create the clumping ability, can expand up to 18 times its original volume when in contact with moisture and can become a cement-like mass in your cat’s intestine.

In particular, this is quite dangerous for kittens who have smaller and more sensitive digestive tracks. It is best to avoid clumping and/or high dust litters until your kitten is at least three to four months of age.

young kittens and non-clumping cat litter

Young kittens, those generally under three to four months of age, have a higher risk of litter ingestion.

Normally, this is just a symptom of curiosity as your precious kitty learns of the environment around him, and clumping litters can be far more dangerous due to the chemicals that they are made with.

Other causes of litter ingestion come from anemia, vitamin or mineral deficiency, kidney disease, or leukemia. If your kitten is eating his cat litter, it is important to monitor his behaviors and keep him away from the litter box when he is not eliminating.

If your older cat is eating cat litter, it is important to have him checked by your local veterinarian for treatment of a more serious health condition.

types of cat litter

clay and silica

Clay and silica cat litter are not as good for the earth as their more natural counterparts, and cats with respiratory issues often can’t handle the materials. Clay litter is 99% dust free and silica litter prevents bacteria with crystals that absorb eliminants and help dehydrate feces.

Environmentally, silica litters will biodegrade and are non-toxic, making them a better choice than clay, but neither choice will break down as quickly as their counterparts.

corn 

Corn cat litter is lightweight, biodegradable, and has a soft texture that many cats find to be pleasant.

However, there are dangers with corn-based litters. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, which can be recognized by a gray-green or yellow-green mold growing on corn kernels.

Most cat litters are processed to eliminate the moisture that can cause the growth of mold, and are also tested for the presence of aflatoxin. But, once cat owners get their litter home and open the container, the litter is then exposed to heat and humidity, which can lead to the build-up of moisture in the package, which can then get transferred to the litter box.

While it is never intended that a cat would ingest their litter, it does happen as cats groom themselves and can ingest anything that might get stuck to their fur.

wheat

Wheat litter is made from naturally processed secondary wheat, which is a renewable and biodegradable material. Wheat litter is septic and sewer safe, but it is important to follow the flushing instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure litter is disposed of properly.

Wheat can be ingested, but only by accident and not intentionally. Natural wheat enzymes are great at eliminating odors without needing additional scent.

Pine                          

Pine litter comes from the pine on pine trees, and most specifically uses the materials that come from lumber processing which would otherwise go to waste. Different from clay litter,these litters are made from pine trees.

More specifically, the litter is made from the leftover materials coming out of the lumbering process. Pine is a renewable resource and low dust, which means it will not cause respiratory problems for cats and owners that are often associated with clay and silica. Pine has the ability to trap urine and ammonia odors underneath the surface which reduces long-term odors.

grass seed

Grass seed is known to clump easily and 99% dust free, making for simple and quick clean-up, plus it is made from a 100% renewable resource and is flushable and biodegradable.

Further, it is made of a no-tracking formula which a huge benefit for cats and owners with breathing or other respiratory problems. The no-allergy friendly formula is safe for kittens, as well as infection-prone cats, and cats that may be recovering from a surgery. Grass seed litter is coarser than clay, pine, and wheat litter.

how do i properly dispose of non-clumping cat litter?

Most cat owners simply dispose of the waste in a sealed plastic bag. However, improvements in cat litter formulas over the years has made it possible for cat litter to be environmentally friendly, and some manufacturers have made sewer and septic safe litters.

As plastic bags and cat litter aren’t all that good for our nation’s landfills, many owners prefer the option of simply disposing of the cat litter waste in their toilet system.

Further, some landlords will not allow disposal of cat litter (sealed in bag or otherwise) via garbage chutes, so it is important to understand the rules and requirements where you live before throwing out the cat litter.

How do i remove non-clumping cat litter from the litter box?

As mentioned above, it is suggested that cat owners clean out litter boxes at least two times per week, and more if their litter does not use a clumping formula.

In fact, some owners prefer non-clumping formulas because they can dump out the entire litter box instead of digging through the litter box for clumps several times per week.

Most cats will not want to use a dirty (or smelly) litter box, and that is actually a good thing due to the risks of bacteria (more on that coming up shortly).

So, keep watch over your cats as they will often offer suggestions on when to clean the litter box, if you have not changed it already. When cleaning the cat litter box, be sure to use these suggested steps:

  • Obtain a pair of latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands from the cat litter. This is especially important if you are prone to dust-related allergies. Note too that pregnant women should ask a friend or their partner to change the litter box, if possible. And if not, then it is even more critical that the pregnant woman wears protective gloves when changing cat litter. Children and those with weakened immune systems should also avoid cleaning out litter boxes.
  • Scoop out the waste with a litter scooper, and if it is not environmentally friendly and safe for your septic or sewer system, seal it is in a plastic bag and dispose of the waste in your trash bin. If you are using a septic or sewer safe little, then you can easily dispose of the clumps in your toilet. If you are using a non-clumping formula, then you may find it easier to take the entire litter box outdoors, and dump it into your trash bin, which can be an easy solution, especially with dust-free and low-dust formulas.
  • Wash the scoop with unscented soap and water, let dry, and then store it in a plastic bag.
  • Clean any exposed areas of the litter box, including the edge and accessible outside sections, with unscented soap and water, and then dry with a towel.
  • For both the litter scoop and box, be sure that you so not use chemicals such as ammonia or bleach, as remnants from these items can be dangerous for your cat’s health.
  • Remember that cat feces may contain toxoplasma gondii which is a fierce little parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis. We all know cats like to surprise their owners with their catch of the day, the second unfortunate circumstance in this situation is that cats can acquire the toxoplasma infection by killing and eating their infected prey. While the majority of cats are immune to this disease through ongoing exposure to the parasite, those that are not immune will show symptoms such as mild diarrhea and/or a loss of appetite. If you suspect that your cat has toxoplasmosis, it is important to bring him to your local veterinarian as the disease can have serious effects on your cat’s lungs, liver, and nervous system.
  • When handling cat litter, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhalation. If you do accidentally inhale or ingest cat litter, seek medical attention promptly as overexposure to ammonia and bacterial infections both need to be treated as soon as possible.

Can pregnant women clean this kind of litter?

Ideally, another family member or friend should take on responsibility for cleaning out the litter box during pregnancy.

But, again, if this is not an option, then it is absolutely critical that the pregnant woman wears protective gloves when changing cat litter. When a pregnant woman resides in the home, it is also important to change the cat litter or remove clumps on a daily basis vs. once every two days.

 Toxoplasmosis cysts in the litter box require 48 hours to become infective, so daily remove will lessen the risk of the toxoplasmosis being spread to the mother and her unborn child.

It is also wise to refrain from feeding your cat raw meat during the time of the pregnancy, and it may also be helpful to limit the cat’s time outdoors to lessen the risk of the cat picking up infected prey.