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10 Best Clay Cat Litters in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

scooping Arm & Hammer Litter Double Duty Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter from litter box

As a cat parent, you know how important it is to get a cat litter that your cat will enjoy using (because, god forbid, they hate it and start going to the bathroom outside the box!). You also want something that will make cleaning out the litter box less of a chore. Clay cat litters offer the solution to both. Cats tend to be fonder of the texture of clay litters, while their clumping action makes clean-up so much simpler.

However, because clay cat litter is the most popular type of litter, the options are endless. That means figuring out what brand to use can be overwhelming (not to mention the research into them can be time-consuming). A wonderful way to make your search easier is by checking out product reviews that offer the info you need quickly. Our reviews here will do just that by giving you the most important aspects of the 10 best clay cat litters available.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Fresh Step Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze Fresh Step Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze
  • Uses the power of Febreeze to help litter boxes smell better
  • Up to 10 days of odor control
  • ClumpLock technology creates a low-tracking litter
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Cat's Pride Unscented Complete Care Hypoallergenic Cat's Pride Unscented Complete Care Hypoallergenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Best value
  • Lightweight
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can be used in self-cleaning boxes
  • Clumps won’t break down
  • Best for Kittens
    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Kitten Attract Kitten Training Litter Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Kitten Attract Kitten Training Litter
  • Uses herbal attractant to rouse kittens’ curiosity
  • Soft on paws
  • Excellent clumping ability
  • Dr. Elsey's Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter Dr. Elsey's Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • Good for felines with respiratory issues
  • Free of deodorants & perfumes
  • Hypoallergenic
  • The 10 Best Clay Cat Litters – Reviews 2021

    1. Fresh Step Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze, Clumping Cat Litter – Best Overall

    Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 14 lb, 25 lb
    Scented: Yes
    Dust-free: 9%
    Clumping: Yes

    You want your pet to have the best, and the best overall clay litter is Fresh Step’s Scented Litter with The Power of Febreze. This clay litter is perfect for households with several cats or those who have a single cat that often uses the litter box. Because it’s made with larger clay particles than most brands use, the litter stays in the box rather than being tracked all over the house. Fresh Step incorporates ClumpLock technology that absorbs both odor and liquid to keep your litter box smelling better. This technology also makes the litter tightly clump, so it’s easier to scoop. That’s not the only technology Fresh Step uses, though. It also uses Ammonia Block Technology to help control the growth of bacteria that makes your cat’s litter box smell bad in the first place.

    Pros
    • Uses the power of Febreeze to help litter boxes smell better
    • ClumpLock technology creates a low-tracking litter
    • Up to 10 days of odor control

    Cons

    • Complaints of litter being incredibly dusty, despite the dust-free claim
    • Complaints of litter smelling like detergent


    2. Cat’s Pride Unscented Complete Care Hypoallergenic – Best Value

    Cat's Pride Multi-Cat Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 10 lbs
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: Low-dust
    Clumping: Yes

    If you’re on a budget, then Cat’s Pride Unscented Complete Care is the best brand for the money. It’s less pricey than other brands out there but has many of the same excellent qualities. Since it’s 50% lighter than other cat litters, it’s easier to lift, pour, and store away. Cat’s Pride claims its litter traps moisture and odors away quickly while creating super tight clumps that make clean-up a breeze. Added baking soda helps to neutralize smells and provides up to 10 days of a clean-smelling litter box. The best part, though? This cat litter is hypoallergenic, so if you have a sensitive kitty, it shouldn’t bother them as other litters might.

    Pros
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Best value
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Highly trackable
    • Dusty
    • Sometimes doesn’t clump well


    3. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium – Premium Choice

    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 20 lbs, 40 lbs
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: 9%
    Clumping: Yes

    When you want to get your favorite kitty something a bit more on the premium side, it’s Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium cat litter you’ll want. Because it’s nearly entirely dust-free and hypoallergenic, this litter will make sure both your pet and your family are breathing easily. It’s also formulated so that litter stays in the box instead of getting tracked all over your home. Dr. Elsey’s claims that this litter will prevent moisture from getting on the bottom of the litter pan, which makes for an easier clean up. This litter also forms clumps that are resistant to breaking down, making it easier to scoop.

    Pros
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Can be used in self-cleaning boxes
    • Clumps won’t break down

    Cons

    • Reports of formula changing recently, making it clump less
    • May not control odor as well as other brands


    4. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Attract Kitten Training Litter – Best for Kittens

    Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 20 lbs
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: 99%
    Clumping: Yes

    Kittens sometimes need a little help getting the hang of the litter box. Luckily, there’s Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten attract to lend a hand. It works to get your little one to the litter box with the addition of an herbal attractant they will find enticing. The litter grains’ size and texture are made to be soft on tiny paws, but it still offers superior clumping for easier scooping. Because it’s almost entirely dust-free, it will also be safe for your kitten’s lungs. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Kitten Attract is recommended for kittens between the ages of 8 weeks to 1 year.

    Pros
    • Uses herbal attractant to rouse kittens’ curiosity
    • Soft on paws
    • Excellent clumping ability

    Cons

    • Bag makes it harder to pour litter
    • May not control odor as well as other brands
    • Some kittens sank into the litter


    5. Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 20 lbs, 40 lbs
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: 9%
    Clumping: Yes

    Another from the Dr. Elsey’s line of cat litters, this one (as you can tell from the name) is suitable for kitties with respiratory ailments. It helps to control breathing issues by being hypoallergenic and 99.9% dust-free, as well as by being free of deodorants, perfumes, and plant proteins. This litter also contains natural herbal essences to help reduce stress—something that can help aid in controlling respiratory disease in cats. As with other Dr. Elsey’s products, this litter is also formulated to produce hard clumps that won’t break down and to work in self-cleaning boxes.

    Pros
    • Good for felines with respiratory issues
    • Free of deodorants & perfumes
    • Hypoallergenic

    Cons

    • Some pet parents did not see improvement with respiratory issues
    • Complaints litter does not trap the smell of ammonia
    • Bag is difficult to lift


    6. Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Glade

    Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Glade Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 8 lbs, 17 lbs
    Scented: Yes
    Dust-free: 9%
    Clumping: Yes

    Purina Tidy Cats uses the power of Glade to help control odors, along with an ammonia blocker that will stop the smell of ammonia for up to 14 days (when used as directed). This litter also forms strong clumps that won’t break apart easily, so cleaning out the litter box will be simpler than ever. Plus, being 99.9% dust-free means you won’t have to worry about breathing issues in your cats or yourself. Purina Tidy Cats is lightweight, so it’s a breeze to pour out—whether you’re using the jug or the box—and is easier to store.

    Pros
    • Uses the power of Glade to control odors
    • Uses an ammonia blocker
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Complaints litter is very trackable
    • Some cats didn’t like the Glade scent
    • Some cats got litter stuck between their toes


    7. Purina Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength

    Purina Tidy Max 4-in-1 Strength Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 20 lbs, 38 lbs
    Scented: Yes
    Dust-free: Low dust
    Clumping: Yes

    If you need the maximum in odor-fighting power, Purina Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength litter is for you! This clay litter neutralizes smells not only with an ammonia blocker but also Power Pieces that are moisture-activated to absorb liquid and nasty odors. Plus, there is a deodorizing system designed to neutralize not only urine odors but fecal ones as well. Super tight clumping means you won’t have to break your back scraping out the litter box, while the litter’s light weight means you’ll have an easier time carting it to and fro. This litter was created with multi-cat households in mind, but it is also suitable for single cat homes.

    Pros
    • Uses an ammonia blocker to neutralize ammonia odors
    • Uses Power Pieces to absorb odors
    • Uses a deodorizing system to fight odors

    Cons

    • Some cats didn’t like the smell of unused litter
    • Some people found new litter smell overpowering
    • More dust than a low dust litter should have

    8. BoxiePro Deep Clean, Scent Free, Probiotic Clumping Cat Litter

    BoxiePro Deep Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 16 lbs, 28 lbs
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: 9%
    Clumping: Yes

    BoxiePro is a unique clay cat litter that utilizes probiotics to continually clean your cat’s litter box on a microscopic level every hour of every day. How does that help? These deep-cleaning probiotics help to destroy odors brought about by bacteria. Plus, BoxiePro is designed not to stick to kitty’s paws, helping to keep litter in the box where it should be. This brand employs a Flat-Top system that makes litter a breeze to scoop by making sure litter clumps at the top rather than at the bottom of the box. One of the 16-pound bags should last you an entire month.

    Pros
    • Incorporates a Flat-Top system for a cleaner box
    • Uses probiotics to keep things clean
    • Low tracking

    Cons

    • Complaints of overwhelming urine smell after use
    • Some cats stepped in moisture left at the top, then tracked that out
    • Seems to become dustier over time


    9. Arm & Hammer Double Duty

    Arm & Hammer Litter Double Duty Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 14 lbs, 26.3 lbs, 29 lbs, 40 lbs
    Scented: Yes
    Dust-free: 99%
    Clumping: Yes

    Arm & Hammer has long been known as an expert in fighting odors, and their cat litter is no different. With an infusion of baking soda and a hint of scent, this litter also boasts an advanced formula designed to control even the worst of litter box smells. Arm & Hammer Double Duty contains rock-hard clumping action that lessens the risk of cats tracking litter throughout the house and makes scooping the litter box incredibly simple. On top of all that, this litter is almost 100% dust-free, meaning easier breathing for everyone in your home.

    Pros
    • Advanced odor fighting formula
    • Extreme clumping for easier scooping
    • 99% dust-free

    Cons

    • Reports of possible recent formula change that leaves litter pasty at times
    • Smell of unused litter may be overwhelming to some people
    • New packaging is harder to carry


    10. Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter

    Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Package Size: 14 lbs, 25 lbs, 10.5 lbs (box of 4)
    Scented: No
    Dust-free: Low dust
    Clumping: Yes

    Ever Clean was the first U.S. company to create clumping cat litter, so this brand knows what it’s doing! This litter is super absorbent, locking moisture away quickly to keep litter boxes less smelly; plus, with activated carbon mixed into the litter, odors are kept at bay for up to 14 days. It also uses an antimicrobial agent to get rid of bacteria that cause the worst odors. The quick moisture absorption means that the litter makes clumps that are incredibly strong and resistant to breaking into pieces. And with it being low dust and unscented, the air around your box (and throughout your home) will be easier to breathe.

    Pros
    • Super absorbent
    • Uses activated carbon to help neutralize odors
    • Contains an antimicrobial agent for odor control

    Cons

    • Reports of recent formula change making litter less beneficial
    • Dustier than it claims


    Buyer’s Guide

    Before you go and start testing clay litters, it’s important to know the pros and cons. You’ll find, though, that the benefits of clay litter are much more numerous than the cons.

    Benefits Of Clay Litter

    Using clay litter has a wide variety of benefits for both you and your favorite feline.

    Popularity

    Clay litter is the most popular type of cat litter. What does that mean? It means that you’ll have no shortage of litters to choose from. No matter what you want from a litter — scented or unscented, clumping or not — you can find it in a clay litter.

    Convenience

    Because clay litter is the most preferred type of litter, you’ll find that you can buy it pretty much anywhere. This type of litter will likely be available no matter where you shop — grocery store, drug store, pet store, or online.

    Suitable For All Types Boxes

    While clay litters are great to use in plain, old litter boxes, they’re also a perfect fit for self-cleaning, mechanical litter boxes. This is because most clay litters will have tiny grains, making it easy to sweep away for automatic boxes.

    Friendly To Your Wallet

    There are so many options for clay litters out there, you’ll find a wide variety of prices — most of which are incredibly budget-friendly!

    Clumping Action

    Clay litter tends to have some of the best clumping technology around. The majority of clay litter brands have been on the market for a while, so they know their stuff when it comes to when it comes to making great clumping formulas that enable you to clean your cat’s litter box more easily.

    Great At Odor Control

    Clay is great at trapping and absorbing gross odors, making clay cat litter one of the best types of litter to keep your home smelling fresh. Clay litter is particularly good for those households that have several cats.

    Cons Of Clay Litter

    Everything will have its cons, but there’s really only one when it comes to clay litter. What’s the catch? It’s not environmentally friendly like other kinds of litter are. Tons of clay litter ends up in landfills each year, and since it isn’t biodegradable, it’s not great for the planet. If eco-friendliness matters to you, you might want to stick to a different type of cat litter.

    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter up close

    What To Look For In A Clay Litter

    Now that you’re aware of the benefits (and the downside) of clay cat litter, it’s time to pick out which brand and options you want. Here are a few items you should look at when picking a clay cat litter.

    Clumping Or Non-Clumping

    Is it clumping or not? Many people prefer litter that clumps because it’s simpler to clean out of the litter box. Another benefit of clumping litter is that you’ll need to replace it less often than you would need to do with non-clumping kinds. Clumping can also help to contain odors and reduce the amount of litter being tracked around your home. That’s not to say non-clumping litter doesn’t have its benefits. Non-clumping litter is sometimes cheaper than clumping and may even absorb more waste. What you end up picking will be down to your (and your cat’s) personal preference.

    Free From Dust

    When pouring out new litter into the litter box, the last thing you want is a huge dust cloud coming up and making you cough. You also don’t want your kitty to have to deal with dust every time they go to the bathroom. Luckily, most clay litters will be low-dust or nearly dust-free.

    Scent

    One of the great things about clay litter is the various scents you can choose from. You can go with unscented if you’re sensitive to artificial fragrances, or you can go with anything from tropical breeze to Febreeze.

    Single Or Multi-Cat

    Do you have one or more cats that will be using the litter box? If you have a multi-kitty household, you’ll do better going with a litter designed specifically for many cats.

    Price

    Clay litters have a large range when it comes to pricing, so you’ll have no trouble finding a litter that fits into your budget.

    Reviews

    Reading reviews from other pet parents who have already tried out a litter you’re thinking about is an incredibly useful way to tell if it’s for you. You’ll be able to get plenty of info about the product you wouldn’t get from the description offered by the brand itself.

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    Conclusion

    And there you have it! With these reviews of the best clay cat litters available, you’ll be sure to find what you need in no time. Our pick for best overall is Fresh Step Scented Litter with its ClumpLock technology and power of Febreeze. The clay litter that offers the best value for the money is Cat’s Pride Unscented. Finally, if you want to give your pet a product that’s more premium than the rest, we recommend Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium with its clumps that don’t break down and hypoallergenic nature.

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.