Cat litter is a must-have for all cats. Generally, you’ll want to invest in a clumping cat litter. Otherwise, it’s quite difficult to mitigate the urine smell, leading to more frequent changes and more money out of your pocket.
However, not all clumping litters are made equal. If you want quality clumping litter, it’s important to purchase a high-quality option. Otherwise, your clumping litter may not actually clump that much at all!
Read our reviews to find out what clumping cat litters are worth buying.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
|Best Overall||Arm and Hammer Slide Litter||
|Best Value||Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter||
|Premium Choice||Arm & Hammer Scented Cat Litter||
|Fresh Step Multi-Cat Litter||
|World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Litter||
The 10 Best Clumping Cat Litters
1. Arm and Hammer Scented Clumping Cat Litter – Best Overall
|Special Features:||Dust-free, scented|
If you’re looking for an effective and straightforward cat litter, you should choose Arm and Hammer Litter Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Cat Litter. This cat litter is made from clay and is extremely easy to scoop. In fact, it just slides out of the litter box! This cat litter is also nearly dust-free (of course, no litter is completely dust-free).
This litter is designed to reduce odors quickly and effectively. However, it is scented, and some people may find its scent a bit overpowering. Therefore, we don’t recommend it for those who have a low tolerance for fragrances.
That said, this litter does have poor packaging. There is no handle, at least on the newer boxes. If you purchase a large box, this can make handling it quite difficult. Still, this is easily the best overall clumping cat litter.
2. Tidy Cats Instant Action Clumping Cat Litter — Best Value
|Special Features:||Dust-free, scented|
For those on a tighter budget, you may want to consider Tidy Cats Instant Action Clumping Cat Litter. This cat litter is inexpensive and is easy to scoop, though some people have reported that it doesn’t clump effectively all the time.
It has a deodorizing system that is extremely effective. It protects against odors to keep your home smelling clean for longer. In fact, the company advertises a 10-day odor control guarantee.
Furthermore, this litter is extremely low dust. It isn’t completely dust-free, but it won’t create a cloud of litter every time you refill the litter box.
We highly recommend this cat litter for multi-cat households. It effectively keeps odors locked in and is made for regular use by multiple cats. Cats shouldn’t reject the litter box just because it smells like other cats.
3. Arm & Hammer Slide Scented Cat Litter — Premium Choice
|Special Features:||Scented, dust-free|
The Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Scented Cat Litter is a bit more expensive than some other options on the market. However, it does come with a few features that make it worth the extra money for those who are searching for a premium litter and don’t have a strict budget to stick to.
For instance, this litter is designed to slide right out of the pan. It is not sticky at all, which is a common problem with some other cat litters out there. The fast-clumping action locks in odors and prevents litter tracking. Compared to many other litters, this one does not scatter nearly as easily.
It is also virtually dust-free. There won’t be a giant cloud of dust every time you change the litter box!
Moisture-activated baking soda helps lock in odors without overpowering scents. Baking soda is a known deodorizer and works great for cat litter. This litter has it built right in so you don’t have to add it separately.
In fact, this litter has a 7-day odor-free guarantee.
4. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
For homes with multiple cats, you may want to consider the Fresh Step Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter. This cat litter is specifically designed for multi-cat households. However, single-cat households may also benefit if you’re seriously concerned with the smell of the litter box.
This litter uses the power of Febreze to fight odors. Of course, this means it has a strong fragrance. If you’re sensitive to heavy scents, this may be a problem! Charcoal is added to help fight odors too. This litter is advertised to fight odors for up to 10 days.
It is designed to be as low-tracking as possible, and it does seem to stay inside the litterbox more so than other brands.
This formula is advertised as “low-dust,” but it is actually quite a bit dustier than some other options. While this isn’t a problem for everyone, some users will find the dust overpowering. In fact, it may cause health problems to flare up, especially if you have asthma or other respiratory issues.
5. World’s Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter
|Special Features:||Flushable, natural, dust-free|
If you’re looking for a more natural alternative to your typical cat litter, you may want to consider the World’s Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter. This cat litter is made out of corn, as the name indicates. This feature makes it flushable and eco-friendly compared to clay litter.
Since it only contains corn, this litter is safe for most septic and sewer systems. It is also quite lightweight and almost completely dust-free. The dust that it does produce isn’t super heavy because it isn’t made out of clay.
This litter is also free from harmful chemicals and artificial perfumes, making it great for those with allergies or other sensitivities.
That said, this litter isn’t particularly good at fighting scents because it doesn’t have a fragrance or any other ingredients that help it fight odors.
It also doesn’t clump up that well. It does clump sometimes, but more often than not, it crumbles as you try to scoop it.
6. Scoop Away Complete Performance Cat Litter
Compared to some other litters out there, Scoop Away Complete Performance Cat Litter is extremely inexpensive. For the most part, it does its job quite well.
It has plant extracts that work to control litter odors. Every time your cat uses the litter box, the fragrance is released. Of course, for those who are sensitive to perfumes, this may not be the best option.
It is also decently low-dust, though not as low as some other options on the market.
However, the packaging can be a bit frustrating. It comes in four small bags instead of one larger bag. In many cases, this makes pouring the litter a bit more time-consuming. But it does make the bags easier to carry around, so it mostly depends on your preference.
Furthermore, this litter doesn’t seem to absorb urine as well as some others. In certain cases, it may stay wet instead of clumping right away, which can make tracking a serious problem.
7. Purina Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Cat Litter
|Special Features:||Scented, dust-free|
Purina Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Cat Litter is scented with a floral fragrance that is designed to hide the smell of ammonia and bacteria from a litter box.
However, this overly floral scent may bother some people’s and cats’ noses. If you’re sensitive to smells, this option probably isn’t the best one for you. The natural clay does do a good job at deodorizing, though.
This formula is designed to be low dust. It doesn’t leave a huge cloud when you pour it into the pan. However, it isn’t as low dust as some other options. Some users reported it as “very dusty,” so it mostly depends on the amount of dust that you’re watching out for.
We also found that this litter does clump, but some stray litter always seems to be left behind.
8. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter
|Special Features:||Unscented, dust-free, multi-cat|
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter is unscented, which makes it ideal for people with allergies or sensitivities. It is also 99.9% dust-free, another feature that is great for those with underlying health issues.
The medium-grain clay doesn’t tend to track as easily as some other options. It also does a good job of clumping. However, the clumps tend to disintegrate when you attempt to scoop them. Eventually, this leads to a wet, soupy mess on the bottom of the pan.
To make it work properly, you need to scoop out and change the litter more often than usual. Often, this means you’ll have to buy more litter more frequently, and this litter isn’t cheap.
Furthermore, the litter control isn’t nearly as good as some other options on the market. This is an unscented product, so that is to be expected. Still, it’s disappointing that the brand didn’t add any other natural odor-control substances to this litter.
9. Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control Cat Litter
|Special Features:||Dust-free, lightweight, unscented|
Cat’s Pride Total Odor Control Cat Litter is a lightweight litter that is perfect for those who can’t lug around pounds of clay litter. The lighter weight also makes it easier to pour and store, especially compared to some other litters.
It is advertised to prevent odors for as long as 10 days when used as directed (which includes frequently scooping out the box).
The low-tracking formula won’t end up all over your house. It is also decently dust-free, and most people with allergies will find this dust-free feature extremely helpful.
That said, there are lower-dust options on the market. If you have extreme allergies, this litter may not work for you.
Furthermore, this litter isn’t as odor-controlling as some other options. In particular, it doesn’t seem great at controlling the scent of marking cats.
10. Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Cat Litter
|Special Features:||Multi-cat, dust-free, scented|
Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Cat Litter does clump, but the clumps tend to be soft and fall apart a bit when you try to scoop them. These are not the rock-hard clumps that some other litters produce. This litter is also a bit sticky, so it clings to the sides and bottom of the box.
Despite being advertised as “dust-free,” this litter does contain quite a bit of dust. Don’t expect it to be great for those with true allergies or sensitivities. The litter is also coarser than some other options and not as evenly ground, which may be a quality-control issue.
With daily scooping, this litter works great at fighting odors. However, it is obviously not designed to fight odors for longer than 48 hours, so nearly daily scooping is necessary.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Clumping Cat Litter
No one likes to smell ammonia and bacteria emanating from their cat’s litter box. So, choosing a cat litter that can effectively fight these smells is essential.
Clumping litters are popular because they make it possible to remove cat urine from the box without changing out the whole thing. However, not all cat litters are the same. There are quite a few things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a cat litter for your felines.
Just because a litter is described as clumping doesn’t mean that it actually clumps well. Some litters only clump weakly, causing them to fall apart when you try to scoop them. Other litters just become sticky, which makes it difficult to remove the litter from the pan.
Sadly, there isn’t much that you can do to test this feature without actually purchasing the product. After all, no company is going to advertise that their litter is bad at clumping.
Still, you can read reviews to get an idea of which litters do a good job at clumping.
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Scented vs. Unscented
Whether you choose a scented or unscented cat litter is mostly up to your needs. One is not necessarily better than the other.
Scented cat litters usually do a better job at hiding the odor of your cat’s business. However, certain people (and cats) are sensitive to these artificial perfumes. For some people, the constant scent of fake flowers may be just as bad as the ammonia smell. For others, the perfumes can set off allergies and similar issues.
Instead of using scents to cover up the smell, some unscented cat litters use natural methods only, such as baking soda and charcoal. Others don’t have any added odor-control method, though, which often means that they don’t do a great job at controlling odors.
Choose whichever option works best for you and your cat.
All litter is going to contain a bit of dust. However, some options are much dustier than others!
Most people don’t like dust, even if you aren’t particularly sensitive to it. It can and will send you into a coughing fit if you have to pour out a whole container of dusty litter. The dust also tends to hang in the room for a while, making the air thicker than it should be.
Even if you are not sensitive to dust, your cat or other family members might be. The dust just doesn’t go away right after you pour it. Therefore, if your cat is sensitive, they may avoid the litter box until the dust settles — literally — and may decide to use the bathroom elsewhere.
It can also cause health problems for some felines, especially if they have underlying health conditions.
Adult humans with health problems and children seem to be particularly affected by litter dust, even if they aren’t the ones taking care of the box.
Therefore, choosing a litter that contains little dust is important. We do not recommend compromising on this feature.
Litter is only as good as its odor control. If a litter doesn’t control odors, it isn’t a great litter, even if it checks off all the other boxes.
Many litters include substances like baking soda and charcoal to help fight odors. However, some simply have added perfume. This sort of litter isn’t the best option for most people out there.
Knowing which litters are good at fighting odors and which ones are not can be challenging. However, we recommend reading reviews from people who have tried out the litters. Otherwise, it can be nearly impossible to tell which litter actually works without trying it yourself and potentially wasting money on a subpar product.
The best clumping cat litter out there is Arm and Hammer Litter Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Cat Litter. This litter clumps extremely well, which makes it easy to scoop. It can also be used in multi-cat households and controls odors well. In other words, it does everything that you want a clumping cat litter to do.
As a budget option, we recommend Tidy Cats Instant Action Clumping Cat Litter. This litter is less expensive than most, and it controls odors quite well.
We hope that our reviews helped you figure out which cat litter is perfect for your needs. There are many clumping cat litters out there, but they aren’t all made equal. Be sure to do your research before investing in any litter.
Featured Image Credit: borzywoj, Shutterstock