Clumping cat litter is by far the best type of litter.
Whether it’s biodegradable, silica, or clay, they’re easy to mantain and great at absorbing odors.
In this post, I’ll take a look at the BEST clumping cat litters on the market.
I’ll also include:
- My top pick
- The features (and benefits) of each
- Some disadvantages
- And much more
Let’s get straight into it.
1. Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter – My Top Pick
This one came out at number one on our list. By quite a distance this one also happens to be one of the biggest sellers online, with thousands of online buyer reviews. If you are in any doubt as to which clumping litter to buy, then go with this one.
This litter gets a very good name, and as long as your cat likes using clumping litters, then it will be hard to find anything better than this one.
This litter has no scents, no perfumes and no plant proteins. the manufacturer claims that it is 99.9% dust free, and that is always a very good thing.
This is also a great choice for either sifting or mechanical litter boxes. It is hypo-allergenic, and available in 18 or 40 pound bags. This litter is particularly good at stopping cat urine getting to the bottom of the tray.
May buyers say this is a very good choice for either a one cat home, or for those with multiple cats. The granules in this are quite heavy compared to other litters. That helps considerably with the tracking problem, as only finer litters stick to cat’s paws.
2. Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat Clump & Seal Clumping Litter – Runner Up
Another popular brand came in at number two on our list. Some cat owners prefer this brand, and this clumping one is clearly a favorite with many buyers. They are a well known brand, and they make a wide range of very good cat litters.
As the name of this one would suggest, this is a good choice for owners with multiple cats.
As you can see this one gets strong reviews from online buyers at Amazon. Overall online buyers rate this one with an 82% buyer satisfaction. Around 60% give this the full 5 star treatment.
The manufacturer advertises this one strongly with a guaranteed 7 day odor free home. It is like many other clumping litters a granular texture. Quite a few cat owners said this one was particularly effective, if you happen to own a cat, or cats who like to pee and/or poop in the exact same spot.
It is very well rated for odor control, low tracking, long lasting and good value for money.
3. Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter – Best for Odor Control
Coming in at number three is this cat litter from the Ever Clean brand. Buyers like this one a lot and it has high rating that seem to be getting higher all of the time. This is one that is fairly new to the market and is rising in popularity
You can buy this one in a 25 or a 42 pound bag. When they refer to extra strength, the manufacturer is referring to the actual clumping strength of the litter, and almost every buyer agrees, that this litter clumps very well.
It has an ingredient activated carbon. That product along with baking soda is very good at controlling and neutralising odors of all kinds. Buyers certainly rate this one very highly at the moment with an average online buyer satisfaction rating of 90%
It is an unscented litter that has been fortified with an ammonia shield, and designed to last for up to 10 days of freshness. The texture is best described as a coarse sand, and almost every buyer states that this particular brand of litter is very low on dust.
This one is slightly more expensive than many of the more basic litters. Paying that little extra does not appear to put buyers off though, as they stated that the odor control is excellent, and the tracking is very low.
4. Fresh Step Extreme Clumping Cat Litter
This one from the Fresh Step brand makes an interesting choice. Like the one above this comes in a large and heavy 42 lb bag. This one is also pretty new to the market. At the moment of writing this I could find around 200 online buyer reviews, but they love it.
Overall they rate this litter with a 94% buyer satisfaction rate. This is of course a very high rating, but the number of available reviews is small, compared to many other litters on the market. I shall see how this one goes, and keep you updated here.
The brand guarantees a 10 day odor free period and it uses the highly popular “Febreze” to make this happen. Buyers clearly love this and say that it works really well.
The litter itself tightens up a lot, and that of course saves on replacing litter, and also makes it very easy to scoop out when that is required.
This one also contains carbon, and has a low dust production. The scent is there and if you are familiar with Febreze, it is the same scent, a fresh light scent. Many buyers are certainly making this one their number one choice.
5. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter
This one along with the Purina cat litter tidy system kit, makes this particular litter a very high selling product. This one is available in a few choices and these include a 27 lb pail, a 35 lb pail, a 40 lb box and 2 x 20 lb jugs.
There are over 2,000 online buyer reviews, so I know this one is a consistent seller. This one has been out for quite a while, and overall buyers have given this litter an 82% buyer satisfaction rating.
The manufacturer advertises this one with a TidyLock protection, the main purpose being to lock in the odors of cat urine ammonia smell. Buyers say that it is very good at absorbing urine, and also does a good job at controlling the normal smells of a litter box.
This one is a clay based litter and the clumping makes for easy scooping. This one is very well priced, and is in fact the lowest and cheapest price on our list. (Just be aware that prices change though, and it was the cheapest at the time I wrote this article)
Most buyers seem convinced that this brand of litter has the lowest dust. That is from buyers commenting that, they had tried many others, and found this one to be the lowest of them all.
6. Oil Dri Cat’s Pride Fresh and Light Premium Clumping Fragrance Free Scoopable Cat Litter
Quite a number of buyers opt for this brand. Now if the one above was the cheapest on our list, then this one certainly has the longest name on the list. This is a brand that many cat owners will not be that familiar with.
This comes as a single jug or as a 2 pack jug. It is a fragrance free litter, and also one that is around 25% lighter than most clumping litters. That does make it easier to transport the litter, or to move a filled litter box around.
There is a special low dust formula and this one is both fragrance and dye free. It is made from a highly absorbent clay with tightly forming clumps, and that also helps prevent heavy tracking.
It would seem that most people who are buying this one now, have changed to this one for two main reasons. It is doing a very good job at creating a fresh smell and it also has much less dust than other brands that they have been using.
7. Precious Cat Classic Premium Clumping Cat Litter
This one is from the Precious Cat brand. It is available in a few choices which include 18 pound, 40 pound, 40 lb (2 packs) 40 lb (3 packs. This litter is free of perfumes, scents or deodorants, and is designed to control odors using hard clumping to do that.
It is suitable for those who like low dust and hard clumping litters. Most buyers seem to like this one as it is scent free, and you don’t get that horrible scented smell of urine and perfume which can be quite horrid.
Almost two thirds of the buyers gave this one the full 5 star treatment, with around 7% of all buyers deeming this litter only worthy of a single star. Reading through the many reviews owners with multiple cats seemed to like this one as their first choice.
This is the most expensive cat litter on the list, so check and see if it is on offer, before you buy if you plan on testing it out.
8. Purina Tidy Cats Glade Tough Odor Solutions Clear Springs Clumping Cat Litter
Another alternative option from the Purina brand. I always find it rather amusing when they come up with the names for these litters. Quite often it makes the mind boggle as to how they believe that we could all remember these long and curious names.
I guess that is the world of marketing, but anyhow, I have certainly included it on my list. It is another litter that is pretty new to the market, and to date I have managed to find around 300 online reviews.
So far those buyers have rated this litter with an overall average satisfaction rate of 86%. That is a really strong and consistent rating. Purina have teamed up with the Glade brand (which probably explains the long name) to make a litter that delivers a strong odor control.
Buyers say with this litter that urine never gets through to pool at the bottom of the box. That is important as when that happens, the ammonia in the urine starts to get extremely smelly as it ages.
Once again a number of buyers said that having this delivered to their door made a huge difference. Rather than lugging a heavy bag back from the store, it was delivered straight to the door.
9. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Litter, Multi-Cat
And here another choice from the Arm & Hammer brand. It sounds like the same as the second one on our list, but does in fact have a slightly different name. This one also is rated higher by online buyers with an average satisfaction rating of a high 90%.
The only reason it is lower down the list is the fact that it is still pretty new to the market, but growing in popularity. I did find over 800 reviews and once it gets over 1,000 I will probably move this one higher up the list. There are however around 10% of all buyers who rate this very poorly, and that is a little too high for my liking.
With such an overall high rating though it is clear that buyers really do like this one a lot. Now the manufacturer does make the claim that this litter is 100% dust free. That is a mighty big claim. Buyers do tend to agree though.
On looking through the bad reviews the problem seems to be that it does not do that good a job of controlling odors. Most poor reviews also said that the after smell was not good.
10. Purina Tidy Cats Instant Action Clumping Cat Litter
Last but not least on our top 10 list of litters is another one from the Purina brand who get three places on our top 10 list. This litter is available in a few options which include a 27 lb pail, 35 lb pail, a 3 pack of 14 lb jugs, a 2 pack of 20 lb jugs and a 40 lb bag.
Purina have made this one specifically for homes with multiple cats. Again this one clumps really well, offers instant odor control (hence the name) and id 99.9% dust free.
This litter is really all about trapping odors as soon as they start. It is of course the best time to do that. This litter is not perfumed but there is according to buyers a very light scent from this one. Around half the buyers have given this product a 5 star review.
However please be aware that around 1 in 4 buyers (25%) have given this litter a very bad review. That usually puts me off and here are much better options on my list.
Why Pick A Clumping Litter?
There are a number of reasons why cat owners decide to go for a clumping style of cat litter. This is the biggest selling type of litter, and just below I will explain why that is the case.
There are of course some disadvantages of using these as well, and these are also discussed below. For now though let’s look at the advantages.
These clumping litters have been designed to save cat owners money. With a non-clumping litter, the litter gets saturated and urine will start to collect at the bottom of the litter tray box.
Almost always the only way to get rid of the smell, is to completely change out the litter on a weekly basis. That can cost a lot of money to make this regular change, but there really is not any other option.
Clumping litters on the other hand are made in such a way, that the urine clumps, and those clumps along with the cat poop can easily and quickly be removed from the litter box. That helps a great deal in controlling the odors.
In addition to that, the urine does not get through to the rest of the clay based litter. As such you can easily go for around 4-6 weeks without needing to fully change and replace a non-clumping litter.
Clearly that is much better and cheaper than having to change the litter once a week.
On a price comparison compared to other litters clumping litters are certainly one of the cheapest. I have included the average cost per lb just below:
- Clumping Litter $0.76 per lb
- Non-clumping litter $0.69 per lb
- Natural or Biodegradable $1.32 per lb
- Crystal Gels $1.98 per lb
So you can see a clumping litter is almost the cheapest. If you would like to see how much cat litter costs per month based on litter type and usage, then please click here. Pound for pound though cat litter more than holds its own.
Great Odor Control
Non-clumping litters do a good enough job at controlling odors. However they are not the best at doing that. Clumping litters are much better at doing that, as they clumping effect means that the urine forms into clumps. They can then be removed, and new litter can replace those.
That means that the odor is removed from the box quicker, and is not allowed to sit soaking through to the bottom of the box. That is even more important if you have more than one cat in the home.
The fact that the litter clumps it does make scooping out a litter box faster and easier. if the urine forms into pretty solid lumps, then that along with poop is much easier to get out of a box, without wasting a lot of litter.
It will still need a full replacement about once every 2-3 weeks, but daily cleaning is much faster and a great deal easier.
It is estimated that this can be done in around 30 seconds. With other types of litter this can take anything between 3-5 times longer.
Suitable for Almost All Types of Litter Box
There are a lot of different types of litter box on the market. These include:
- Hooded/Enclosed/Covered litter boxes
- Corner boxes
- Self-cleaning litter boxes
- Automatic self cleaning boxes
- Litter Box Furniture
- Self flushing Litter Boxes
With the exception of the self flushing box, most clumping style of litters, can be used in almost all of the other types of boxes. That is an important thing to know as for example many non-clumping litters, natural litters and gel based litters will not work in many of the self cleaning boxes.
Clumping litters usually do, so make sure that the clumping litter you buy will work in the box that you have.
Disadvantages of Clumping Cat Litter
Like any litter, there are advantages and disadvantages. I explained the pros above, and down below I will now explain the cons.
These litters are made from a natural clay. However this clay has to be strip mined from the earth. That of course harms the environment where that mining takes place. That is however not the main reason for concern among some cat owners.
I should caution you that the evidence for what I am about to write, is anecdotal, as I could not find any scientific studies that verify this one way or the other.
Some genuinely concerned cat owners fear that sodium bentonite clay, if it is eaten or ingested, could cause gastrointestinal blockage and even death. This clay has the capability of expanding up to 15 times its own size.
Now cats can use a clumping clay litter, and then lick their coats afterwards, and many cat owners believe that they are inadvertently eating the cat litter. If that then swells up, it can cause blockages. Kittens are also likely to eat cat litter simply down to curiousity.
As I said the information for this is anecdotal and to date no research has been done to either prove or disprove this anecdotal evidence.
Sticking to Cat’s Paws
If your cat’s paws happen to be wet, then with this type of litter does have a strong tendency to stick to the paws. In fact if any part of the cat is wet, and they use the litter, the clumps may stick to their coats. If that happens they can form hardened lumps, and those can become quite hard.
There is a risk with clumping litters that is certainly worth knowing about. Clumping litter is made to do just that – clump when it comes into contact with any type of moisture. In a litter that is of course cat pee or urine.
However the litter will react to any type of moisture. As an example your kitten or cat may have a wet coat when it goes into the litter, and some may even try and eat at certain litters. If they lick their wet coat or paws, and this clumping litter is present, then that will swell up and clump.
In small amounts this is not a big concern. However if they do this on a repetitive basis, it can build up and it can eventually block the intestines.
The best advice is to first keep an eye on any cat when using the litter. That is particularly important if you ever decide to change the litter type. Just make sure they are not trying to eat it, and if they are, you will need to change the litter type.
With wet coats and paws there really is not a lot you can do, other than to try and dry them off a little.
If you would like to read about other potential health risks to humans, then please read my article here.
Generally speaking though clumping litter remains the most popular choice for cat owners.
How Often Should Clumping Litter Be Changed?
I’ve written a more in-depth article on how often a cat litter should be cleaned, but here’s a quick overview:
It is recommended that clumping cat litter is cleaned twice a day. Now that cleaning simply means removing poop and any clumps, which takes less than a minute to do.
In terms of a complete change out of the litter, and assuming it is cleaned daily as recommended above, a full change should be done every 3-4 weeks.
At the same time as a full change is being done, the litter box should also be cleaned with hot water and a mild detergent. (no disinfectant) Make sure the litter box is bone dry before adding a new clumping litter, otherwise it will stick to the sides and bottom and clump.
That makes it a nightmare to clean the next time. Please don’t ask me how I know that.
This concludes my reviews of the best clumping cat litters.
There are many to choose from but if you’re looking for an all time favorite, I highly recommend Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium.
A good runner up is Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat Clump & Seal and one great for odor control is Ever Clean Extra Strength.
I hope you found this guide useful!
Steve is a blogger with an unhealthy cat obsession. He enjoys reading non-fiction books, cooking and cuddles with his cat Fij.