Clay cat litter is arguably the most convenient type of cat litter to purchase due to its affordability, clumping action, and ability to control odors well while being easy to clean. But it isn’t very safe for cats since it is made from bentonite clay and other chemicals that can cause respiratory issues in cats.1 Nor is clay cat litter the most eco-friendly, as it is not biodegradable, sitting in a landfill for almost eternity.
In a world where there is a growing awareness of the need for eco-friendly products that are safe and healthy as well as earth-friendly, we can also make changes in the type of cat litter that we buy. That’s where cat litter made from paper comes in. It is one of the most eco-friendly cat litters available, and here are our reviews for the best ones on the market today.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
|Best Overall||Yesterday’s News Cat Litter||
|Best Value||Fresh News Recycled Paper Litter||
|Premium Choice||Yesterday’s News Clumping Litter||
|Best for Kittens||Small Pet Recycled Paper Cat Litter||
|Okocat Paper Cat Litter||
The 5 Best Paper Cat Litters
1. Okocat Natural Paper Non-Clumping Cat Litter – Best Overall
Okocat Natural Paper Non-Clumping Cat Litter is great for single or multi-cat households, and there are even handy instructions on the box that tell you how often you should change this litter if you have one or two cats. The reason why this litter can accommodate multiple cats is that it can absorb up to 200% of its weight in liquid, meaning that it lasts longer than other types of cat litter. The soft texture of the pellets also makes this litter comfortable for your cats to use.
The paper pellets also contain plant-based fibers that help to control odors, so there is no need for artificial fragrances to mask unpleasant smells. It’s free of other harmful chemicals as well and produces virtually no dust upon pouring and cleaning it because the paper pellets are absorbent without disintegrating when they get wet. However, this litter is non-clumping, which can make it challenging to scoop. But the pellets are white, so it should be easy to identify any stained areas. Another downside is that it is pricey when you consider the quantity of litter that you get.
2. Fresh News Recycled Paper Cat Litter – Best Value
Fresh News Recycled Paper Cat Litter is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper for a truly eco-friendly cat litter that is biodegradable upon disposal. Instead of containing artificial fragrances to help fight odors, this cat litter relies on the natural carbon found in the paper along with baking soda contained in the pellets to help absorb and block odors.
Baking soda also helps to absorb moisture, making this cat litter more absorbent than clay while being free of the harsh chemicals that are sometimes found in clay cat litters. It also doesn’t produce dust when cleaning or pouring fresh cat litter, so you don’t have to worry about you or your cat breathing in those unpleasant smells.
The paper is contained in pellet form, so again, this litter is non-clumping. It does a good job of containing moisture inside the pellets, but the pellets soften when they get wet. This can make it difficult to scoop and you may have to change the litter more often. But considering the amount of cat litter you get for an affordable price, it’s easy to see why this is the best paper cat litter for the money.
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3. Small Pet Select Recycled Paper Cat Litter – Best for Kittens
Small Pet Select Recycled Pelleted Paper Cat Litter is ideal for kittens and other small animals because it is made up of smaller pellets than other types of paper cat litter. While smaller pellets may lead to some tracking for larger cats, they are also easier for kittens to scoop to cover up their messes. That way, your kitten will have an easier time using this litter and it can serve as a great introduction to using the litter box in general as well as helping him get used to paper cat litter.
Other features of this litter in addition to being made from recycled paper include an all-natural odor blocker as well as up to three times the absorbency of clay cat litter. It is also dust-free and contains no toxic chemicals that could harm your cat. And like most of the other paper cat litters on this list, it is non-clumping, so cleaning and changing it may be more frequent and time-consuming.
4. Fresh News Recycled Paper Multi-Cat Litter
This Fresh News Recycled Paper Litter is great for multi-cat households, as it is highly absorbent. It also contains baking soda to help control odors, and although it doesn’t say that it contains any artificial fragrances, it is scented litter which implies that it probably does. It is three times more absorbent than clay cat litter, but the absorbency is the same as paper cat litter that doesn’t specify that it is for multi-cat households. It appears that the only difference between the multi-cat and the regular version of this brand is that the multi-cat version is scented.
It is made from 100% recycled paper and the amount of tracking that occurs should be low due to the large size of the pellets. It is also 99% dust-free and 100% non-allergenic, so the fragrance shouldn’t irritate your cat when he uses the litter box and you when you clean it. Plus, you can use it for other small pets that may need litter or bedding. However, it is expensive compared to other paper cat litters on this list.
5. Hartz Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Paper Cat Litter
Something that you don’t often see with paper cat litter is clumping action, but this Hartz Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Paper Cat Litter has it. Plus, it is designed for multi-cat homes so the clumping action is even more convenient since you’ll have to clean it more frequently. Another feature of this cat litter is that it contains an ingredient that makes soiled areas turn blue. However, that means that the litter isn’t 100% natural since it contains an additive that becomes activated when it comes into contact with moisture, but it shouldn’t pose any problems for your cat.
The formula is dust-free and highly absorbent, and it’s also lightweight so that it is easy to pour when changing out the litter. However, it is only made from 80% recycled paper which means that while it is still eco-friendly compared to other types of cat litter, it isn’t the most eco-friendly. And with clumping cat litter comes a greater potential for the litter to stick to your cat’s paws and be tracked throughout the house. But in terms of overall convenience, this litter is an excellent choice.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Best Paper Cat Litter
Now that we’ve looked at several different versions of paper cat litter, the decision of which one to choose may seem slightly overwhelming. If you’re planning on using paper cat litter from the onset of getting a cat, you may not have a point of comparison. But if you’re switching to paper cat litter having exclusively used clay up until this point, just know that there may be some things that you’ll have to sacrifice in an effort to choose a litter that is more eco-friendly and safer for your cat.
Let’s look at the typical things you’ll want to consider for cat litter in general no matter which one you choose. By looking at these characteristics individually, you can get a better idea of what paper cat litter can and can’t offer.
In terms of absorbency, paper litter is pretty high compared to other types of cat litter. The paper material itself combined with the pellet shape allows the litter to absorb higher amounts of urine, which is why most of the litters above say that they are up to three times more absorbent than clay.
Clean-up is one area where paper litter isn’t necessarily easier or more convenient than other types of cat litter. This is because most paper cat litter does not clump, so it is harder to scoop up soiled litter and you may end up wasting litter that isn’t soiled in the process. However, its high absorbency means that you may not have to change it as often.
Another benefit of paper litter is that it is easily biodegradable. Clay cat litter can take a long time to biodegrade, so when it ends up in a landfill it stays there for a long time and just contributes to more waste. Since paper litter is biodegradable, it won’t create as much waste even if it does go to a landfill because it won’t stay in the landfill as long.
Dust produced by cat litter can be suffocating (and sometimes toxic) when the litter is being poured and scooped. Paper litter produces very little (if any) dust and a lot of them are even 99% dust-free. Even though cleaning can be a little more time-consuming, the lack of dust makes the cleaning process more bearable.
Paper litter isn’t necessarily better at controlling odors than other types of cat litter. This is because a lot of them are unscented in an effort to maintain their naturalness, and it is harder to mask smells without the use of artificial fragrances. Some types of paper cat litter do have baking soda in them to help absorb odors, but paper litter still tends to hold odors inside of it regardless.
The problem with some types of cat litter, especially litter that clumps, is that the granules that make up the litter can get stuck to your cat’s feet. Not only does this mean that litter often leaves the litter box and gets tracked through the house, but it also means that your cat can ingest some of the litter when cleaning his feet. This could make him sick, especially if the litter contains any chemicals. But paper litter usually consists of large pellets that don’t often get tracked, so you don’t have to worry about litter getting everywhere or your cat accidentally eating it.
Transitioning to Paper Litter
It can be difficult for some finicky cats to make the adjustment to using paper litter, especially if they’ve gotten used to a particular type. If this is the case for your cat, you shouldn’t expect them to make the adjustment immediately. You may have to introduce paper litter slowly by mixing it with clay litter or whatever type of litter you’ve been using up until that point. This will give him time to adjust to the new texture. Mix a little bit more paper litter and a little bit less clay litter every time you change the litter until you’ve managed to replace the old litter entirely with new, eco-friendly paper litter.
We hope these reviews and buyer’s guide made helped make your decision to switch to paper cat litter easier. Our overall favorite paper cat litter is the Okocat Natural Paper Non-Clumping Cat Litter due to being efficient enough for multicat households. For a more budget-friendly option, the best paper cat litter for the money is the Fresh News Recycled Paper Cat Litter due to having all the best qualities you could want in a paper cat litter at an affordable price. No matter which one you choose, we applaud you for wanting to make a more eco-friendly and safe choice.
Featured Image Credit: Mila Naumova, Shutterstock