10 Best Silica Gel Crystal Cat Litters
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In this post I’m going to share my list of the best silica crystal litters for your feline friend.
This list has been compiled over many years of researching online and offline, in store and from personal experience.
There’s 10 reviews in the list with all the details you need to make the best choice for you and your kitty.
I’ll also tell you why you should buy a silica gel cat litter along with the advantages and disadvantages at the end of this post.
Let’s get started.
Top Silica Gel Crystal Cat Litters at a Glance
You normally buy these in an 8 lb bag, but there is a better deal if you buy two bags, and that will save you some money. This is a crystal scented litter, and one that absorbs moisture on contact.
That achieves two things, the main one being to absorb urine, but it also helps dry out any wet poop. Sorry I know it is not the most pleasant thing to discuss, but it is cat litter after all. The manufacturer claims, and many buyers agree that this is extremely good at controlling odors.
It is a lightweight litter so easier to carry, easier to scoop and certainly easier to clean. The crystals are also very small and that is much better and easier on the cat’s paws. The manufacturer recommends to fill the litter box with at least 1.5 inches of Fresh Step Crystals litter.
Like any litter it is recommended to remove solid waste at least twice a day, and ideally soon after it appears. This litter, like any cat litter should not be flushed or placed in the garden. The litter will need completely changed once a month if you have one cat, for 2 cats every 10 to 15 days, and for 3 cats every 7 to 10 days.
Ultra Pet Cat Litter are a more expensive purchase than many others on this list. Buyers do like these though and don’t mind spending the extra money, as these are very gently on their cat’s paws.
They have good odor control, low on dust, good at reducing tracking and very good at absorbing cat urine. The manufacturer states that one bag of these will last a single cat for up to 2 months. So although more expensive to buy initially they most certainly last longer.
- 60% of all buyers rated these as a 5 star purchase and 5% gave these a bad rating
- Any complaints was that there was too much dust and that the pearls were just too small
- Most buyers said they did a great job of controlling odors
Coming in at number 3 on our list is this one from the brand Just the Crystals. This one is sold in two 4.4 lb bags. Unlike the one above, this one has no scent and is fragrance free.
Like many of the crystal style litters, this one is recommended by buyers, as it is very low on dust. Generally speaking these type of litters last for up to 5 times longer than the clay based litters.
The manufacturer claims these have the highest rated absorbency of any crystal litter on the market.They don’t use any fragrances to cover odors. Buyers did say that these were better than having a chemical “masking” fragrance in their home.
Around 2/3 of buyers give these the full 5 star review treatment, and the number of complaints about these are very low. Those are both good signs, and make these worth your consideration.
This one works with the ScoopFree litter tray and also as a stand alone litter. Please note that this is a non clumping litter.
In terms of fragrance you actually have three choices which are sensitive, original scent and a really nice lavender. With this one you get 2 x 4.4 lb bags, and this one is good value for money. Like most of the crystal litters this one is almost completely dust free, and good at preventing tracking.
Buyers advise keeping this litter away from areas of high humidity, such as bathrooms and basements. The same really applies for any cat litter. It is all designed to absorb moisture and it will do that. Too much moisture which is not cat urine will mean you have to replace it more often.
- Buyers like the fact that this is a lightweight litter and that makes a big difference for them
- They also really liked the fact that it controlled odors really well
- The only real complaint I could find was that a few buyers thought that a couple of the packs they received were more dusty than previous supplies
- A small minority also thought that the fragrance didn’t last long enough
This one comes in two slightly different formats of crystals. Those are micro crystals or micro pearls. The crystals are pretty much in the same vein as the others that I have described.
The pearls on the other hand are a different type altogether. These are designed to be gentler on the cat’s paws and that makes them ideal for small kittens, or for older cats. The “pearl” type are however more expensive.
- Buyers said that these were good for drying out cat poop waste
- They were very good with odor control and also with reducing tracking
- Most buyers said that with one cat, these lasted about a month
- The biggest complaint (around 10% of buyers) was that these were too dusty.
These are one of the cheapest on this list so if you’re looking to save some money then So Phresh Crystal Litter is worth considering, even if you just want to try them out. They are like all of the ones on my list much lighter and less dusty than the clay litters.
This is a popular and pretty well known brand. These are also relatively new to the marketplace.
The reviews on this litter are pretty mixed.
- Around half of all buyers give them the full 5 star treatment, but the bad reviews are sitting around 16-18%
- Those that like this choice said they are lightweight, don’t stick and do a very good job getting rid of the smell
- Those that didn’t like these said that it was too expensive, and didn’t work in an automatic litter box which is true (some crystals do work well in automatic boxes)
This is classed as a gel crystal litter. These have been designed without chemicals, no airborne dust and contain no plant proteins, making them a consideration for anyone with a cat who has any type of breathing issues. They do however do a good job of trapping urine and controlling odors.
This is a silica sand but it is worth noting that like almost all of these gels this is not a litter that clumps. It is biodegradable.
- Around 2/3 of buyers rate this as a 5 star product, with poor reviews sitting around 13-15%
- Those who liked it said this was much easier than using a clay litter, did a great job at odor control and really helped a lot with respiratory issues
- Those that didn’t like it said it tracked too much and it didn’t clump
This is a very popular brand that most poeple are happy with. This one does release a light fragrance, and overall this is a good choice for multiple cats.
This one will work with the ScoopFree automatic litter boxes. These are medium sized crystals so not like the small pearl style. All these crystal types stick a lot less than normal clay litters.
- Around half of the buyers rate this as a 5 star product with around 10% giving it a poor review
- Those who said this was good said it was great at reducing tracking, very good at odor control and required very little maintenance and looking after
- Those who gave this a bad review mainly said that the litter was just too dusty
Most cat owners will be familiar with the LitterMaid brand. It is one of the cheapest on my top 10 list. Overall buyers have given this on an average buyer satisfaction rating of 62%. This one is available in a large 9 lb bag.
This particular litter certainly divides opinion. Around 30% rate it as a 5 star product, and around 20% rate it as a 1 star product, with the remaining reviewers somewhere in the middle.
- Those that like it state that it works well for odor control, liked the bigger style of crystals as they tend not to track,
- Those that don’t like it said the crystals were too big, tracked a lot, did not do a great job on odor control and that their cats didn’t like it
As you can see some buyers loved it and some hated it.
Last but not least on our list is another option from UltraPet. These were a low rating at one time, but with more buyer reviews available they have started to get better, and currently they get an average buyer satisfaction rate of around 68%.
This comes in a 3.5 lb bag and have been designed to last for one month with one cat.
As the name would suggest these are designed to do the normal things that a litter should like control odors, and be light and easy to use. What makes this one slightly different is that the crystals are shaped as semi-spherical and that is meant to reduce tracking of litter around your home.
These again really do split opinion right down the middle. They are one of the lowest rated on our list.
Why Buy Silica Gel Crystal Cat Litter?
With so many different types of cat litter on the market, why would any cat owner consider buying one that is made from crystals of silica gel? It is a very good question, and the reality is that more and more owners are buying these, rather than the standard clay based litters.
There are a lot of very good reasons to consider making the switch, and I have listed both the advantages and disadvantages down below.
I have also added an article which you may find useful about exactly how to use a silica gel litter, and you can read that by clicking here.
Advantages of Using Silica Gel Cat Litter
Easier To Use
There is no doubt that silica gel cat litter is the easiest of all the cat litters to use. In essence all you need to do is remove the poop once or twice a day, and give the litter a stir. That is all there is to it until you need to do a full change out of the litter.
Now the time between changes depending on the brand that you buy and also on the number of cats that you have. All of them last much longer than other litter types, so less cleaning up to do.
Cleaner To Use & Lower on Dust
In principle, these are sold as they are a lot cleaner to use than many of the clay or natural style of cat litters available on the market place. Over the years I have used many types of litter. I have yet to find one that is 100% dust free.
The one thing that I can tell you is that any silica gel will be less dusty than any clay litter.
Lighter to Handle
These lightly made up crystals are a great deal lighter than either a clay litter, or all of the natural or biodegradable litters. That in itself does not sound that important.
However, if you have ever carried around a heavy bag of litter, then by changing to crystals, you will never have that problem again.
Likewise when it comes to scooping these are a lot easier to mix. It is also considerably easier to fill and empty a litter box.
Excellent at Strong Odor Control
Most of these small crystals can absorb up to 15 times their own weight. Not only do they absorb well, but they also capture any germs and bacteria, and lock those inside the tiny spores on each individual crystal.
Better for the Environment
Now all of these crystal litters still have to go into your main waste. However as they are smaller and lighter a lot less will end up in land fill sites, simply as they are much smaller, but last longer than many of the clay or biodegradable litters.
There is 70% less landfill required with these types of litters.
Disadvantages of Silica Gel Crystal Litters
Like most products this litter type also has some disadvantages, and I like to include all the information on my reviews. That way you can make your own mind up, which type is best suited to your own individual circumstances.
Expensive to Buy
When you compare these dollar for dollar against weight, these crystals are about 3 times more expensive than a clumping clay litter. That may initially put you right off buying these, but there is more to it than just the price.
These also last much longer, up to 2-3 times longer, so you will not have to buy these so often. The recommendation for changing litter types is as follows:
- Non-clumping – weekly
- Clumping – every 2 weeks
- Natural or Biodegradable – weekly
- Gel crystals 4-6 weeks
So if you strictly follow the recommended litter change periods, silica gel crystals do hold their own in terms of price. They are slightly more expensive though, and a lot of that comes down to regular daily cleaning of the litter.
Can Be Messy even Unhygienic
These are really not suitable for an open litter, as if your cat is a digger and moves its cat litter around, these will end up all over the floor. These are circular ball type of crystals and they will go everywhere, so can be quite messy.
Any spills can be hard to clean up, given the nature and size of these smaller crystals.
There is an argument that when a cat poops on these crystals, that when the poop is removed, some may remain on the crystals. Mixing that in is clearly not a good idea, but some people do that. It is a good idea to scoop out some of the crystals around the area where your cat has pooped.
Only Suitable for Some Automatic Litter Boxes
If you have a self-cleaning litter box, you will need to check that it’s suitable for silica crystal litters as some of these types of litter boxes require natural clumping or clay cluping cat litters.
Overall, silica crystal litters are generally more expensive that other types of cat litter. But if you’re looking for ease of use, great odor control and something environmentally friendly then a silica based cat litter might be the best choice for you.