There are countless varieties of cat litter on the market today, but not all of them will be right for every cat. This can make it difficult to choose one. Clumping clay cat litters are popular choices, but not all cats can use them.
If your feline is sensitive to dust or has respiratory issues, they may respond well to natural cat litters. These litters also offer benefits to humans with allergies and dust sensitivity. Natural litters can do an effective job of absorbing and minimizing odors. They are also typically eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, and biodegradable.
Whether you’re considering making a switch from clay litter or looking for a new natural litter, we rounded up our favorites with reviews to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||World’s Best Corn Cat Litter||
|Best Value||Arm & Hammer Corn Cat Litter||
|Premium Choice||Next Gen Green Tea Litter||
|Okocat Paper Pellet Cat Litter||
|Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter||
The 7 Best Natural Cat Litters
1. World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter — Best Overall
|Features:||Clumping, odor-control, multi-cat|
Our best overall choice for natural cat litter is World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter. This litter, made from corn, forms tight clumps that are easy to scoop. It’s 99% dust-free and will let everyone in your house breathe easier. Free from any added dyes, perfumes, and chemicals, it’s also flushable and safe for most septic and sewer systems.
This formula is made with a natural plant ingredient to control odors even more. The litter is made with multi-cat households in mind but would also work well for one cat.
As with any litter, you’ll have to scoop the box regularly to keep your home as odor-free as possible. A full litter change is necessary to keep odors from building up. When you notice that there’s an odor even with regular scooping, it’s time to refresh the box.
2. Arm & Hammer Clumping Corn Cat Litter — Best Value
|Features:||Clumping, scented, odor-control|
For the best natural cat litter for the money, we like Arm & Hammer Natural Clumping Corn Cat Litter. Arm & Hammer is known for its expert odor elimination skills, which also appear in this litter. This corn litter works well to control odors for a multi-cat household.
There is a light artificial fragrance added to the litter, along with mineral oil to manage and control dust. This corn formula claims to absorb two times more than clay litter while being half its weight. The clumping agent in the litter is derived from plants, so it’s non-toxic and safe for your cat. As with many other Arm & Hammer products, there is baking soda in the formula to eliminate odors on contact.
There are reports of the artificial scent being too strong for people. The clumps that form are also said to be too loose to scoop efficiently.
3. Next Gen Green Tea Clumping Litter — Premium Choice
|Features:||Unscented, clumping, flushable, odor control|
Our premium choice for natural cat litter is Next Gen Green Tea Clumping Wood Litter, made of wood and green tea powder. In addition to odor control, green tea also provides an astringent called catechin. This is an antioxidant and antibacterial agent that suppresses bacterial growth before it can cause odors.
One bag of this litter should last approximately 4–6 weeks. The clumps that you scoop, are flushable and any remaining litter that you empty before you refresh to box is completely compostable.
One issue that was reported with this litter is tracking. Due to the size of the pellets, it’s easy for cats to track this litter all over the house. A litter-catching mat under the box may be necessary.
4. Okocat Non-Clumping Cat Litter — Best for Kittens
|Features:||Flushable, odor-control, dust-free|
The paper-based Okocat Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Cat Litter is our best choice for kittens because it’s soft on their paws and easy for them to use. The odor control in this litter is plant-based, so it’s non-toxic and all-natural to easily eliminate ammonia odors. This is safe for kittens that are just learning how to use the litter box. It’s an ideal option for kittens that like to play in their litter and may accidentally eat some of it.
The white paper fiber in this litter is low-tracking and contains no dye, chemicals, or GMOs. While safe for delicate kittens, this is also a suitable litter for cats with allergies or that are recovering from surgeries or wounds.
The litter pellets are flushable and biodegradable. There are a few reports that this litter has a terrible odor even when it’s clean and that urine odors aren’t entirely absorbed.
5. Naturally Fresh Clumping Cat Litter — Best Low Dust Option
|Features:||Clumping, multi-cat, odor control, dust-free|
The Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter is made for a multi-cat household but will work fine for your lone feline. Made from walnut shells, it has the natural ability to absorb odors better than clay litters. One bag is equal to three bags of clumping clay litter and weighs much less.
When this litter is used, tight clumps begin to form in as little as 15 minutes. It is also compostable. Free from silica dust and low-tracking, this litter is a suitable option for cats and people with respiratory diseases. Cats can use this litter without putting themselves at risk, and you can change this litter without breathing in silica dust.
This formula has changed recently, and there are reports of a newly added scent to the litter.
6. sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
|Features:||Clumping, odor control, flushable|
The sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Clumping Litter will work for one or multiple cats. Made from biodegradable and renewable wheat, this litter stops odors on contact and neutralizes ammonia odors. Even with frequent use from several cats, the odor is controlled and the clumps are easy to scoop out.
No artificial dyes or perfumes are added. This litter should be changed thoroughly to prevent odors from building up over time. There are reports of high-tracking with this litter. It’s also flushable, making cleanup easier. It will work to keep odors down if it’s replaced and freshened regularly.
7. Feline Pine Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter
|Features:||Non-clumping, odor-control, unscented|
The wood in the Feline Pine Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter is made of shavings from reclaimed lumber production. New trees are not cut down to make this litter.
The sawdust texture is soft on your cat’s paws but also highly absorbent. It neutralizes odors instantly and locks them away. The pine fibers act like sponges to soak up liquids. No chemicals or perfumes are added to this litter. The wood shavings produce little dust, so you and your cat can breathe easily.
Since this is a non-clumping option, the litter won’t be scoopable. When it’s time to change it, just empty and wash the litter box, and refill it with fresh litter. When this litter is wet, it turns into wet sawdust, and if it’s not changed regularly, then the urine may start to pool on the bottom.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Natural Cat Litter
Why Use Natural Cat Litter?
Clay cat litter can contain certain chemicals that aren’t good for the environment. This litter then gets thrown away and doesn’t break down in a landfill. If you’re environmentally conscious, a biodegradable, natural cat litter may be a better choice.
Cats that have allergies or dust sensitivities can have reactions when they breathe in the clay dust in the litter box. People can have respiratory issues from the litter dust too. To keep everyone breathing easier, natural litter is best.
Some cats like to eat their litter. They can do this for many reasons, but some of them can be because of health issues. If you notice your cat eating their litter, take them in for a health check with your veterinarian. They may recommend a natural litter that won’t harm them if it’s ingested.
Choosing the Right Natural Litter
Not all natural litters are the same. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the right one for you and your cat.
Many find clumping litter to be their choice because it’s easier to scoop. Some cats shouldn’t have clumping litter. For example, kittens and cats that are recovering from a spay or neuter surgery shouldn’t use clumping litter. Kittens can play in their litter and may accidentally ingest some of it, so non-clumping litter is best for them.
Natural litters shouldn’t sacrifice odor control. Some litters have no scent, while others have added or natural scents that mask odors. Your litter should have some sort of odor-control ability in the formula.
Different cats have different preferences when it comes to litter. Some prefer larger granules, while others like a fine, smooth texture. You know what your cat likes best, so try to keep that in mind when choosing a new litter for them.
Some products claim to be natural when they aren’t. It may contain chemicals or toxins that you don’t want around your cat or in your home. Always browse formula ingredients to find out exactly what is in the litter before making your choice.
Choose the Right Type
There are various types of materials used in natural cat litter.
Common Types of Natural Cat Litter
This litter is made from walnut shells, which are absorbent and fibrous. The shells are processed into a sandy texture. This litter is lightweight and doesn’t have much natural odor protection to it.
Grass litters are made from grass seed. They have a coarse texture and produce low levels of dust. They have a natural wheat-like scent that masks odors.
Wood litters are highly absorbent and have a natural pine scent that offers odor control. These litters are usually not as effective as others at clumping.
Corn or Grain
This litter is made of corn kernels or grains, such as wheat. These litters usually have a cereal scent for odor control and form solid clumps. They are also non-toxic for your cat if they should happen to ingest the litter.
Recycled paper litter is soft on your cat’s feet and highly absorbent. It should be scooped often because it doesn’t clump. To eliminate odors, this litter should be replaced regularly. If it’s not, urine can start to pool underneath it, making it a soggy mess.
Is All Natural Litter Flushable?
Not all natural litters are flushable. Before you swap the trash bin for the toilet, make sure you find the information on the label that says whether your litter is safe for flushing. Some natural litters can easily clog pipes.
- 7 Ways To Dispose Of Cat Litter Without Plastic Bags
- 7 Best Flushable Cat Litters in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks!
- 10 Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litters in 2022
When it comes to all-natural cat litter, our best overall choice is World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter. It’s made of corn and flushable, making it good for the environment and your cleanup time. Arm & Hammer Natural Clumping Corn Cat Litter is our value choice. We like the added baking soda for extra odor control and the price. We hope that our reviews have helped you choose the natural cat litter that’s right for your cat and your household.
- You may be wondering: Why Is My Cat Eating Litter? What To Do and When to Worry
Featured Image Credit: Zoran-Photographer, Shutterstock