The Best Clumping Cat Litters (Review) in 2021
- The Best Clumping Cat Litter
- 1. Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- 2. Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter
- 3. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
- 4. World’s Best Cat Litter
- 5. Purina Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Clumping Cat Litter
- 6. Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Litter
- 7. Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter
- 8. Fresh Step Advanced Cat Litter
- 9. Boxiecat Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- 10. Fresh Step Cat Litter
Our kits are fastidious creatures, especially when it comes to their toilet habits, and so keeping their litter boxes clean and fresh is a must for a happy cat. And that means picking the best cat litter for the job. Designed to absorb liquid, clumping cat litter has become increasingly popular as it makes cleaning out your cat’s litter box so much easier. With your cat’s business caught up in the clumps, you can scoop it all out, leaving the unsoiled litter behind. And this means your cat’s toilet area can stay fresher for longer, and your pet a more contented kit.
But with so many brands for a cat owner to choose from, it can be tough to decide which is right for your cat. To help, we have the scoop on some of the best clumping cat litter you can buy.
The Best Clumping Cat Litter
Hard clumping medium grain clay
99.9% dust free and hypoallergenic
Prevents moisture at the bottom of the tray
Natural odor control
Ideal for multi-cat households
Made using a medium-grain bentonite clay that is both hard clumping and low dust, Ultra Premium from Dr Elsey’s is a cat litter that makes scooping and cleaning your pet’s pee and poop a breeze. For the price, you get a decent 40-pound bag that not only helps to minimize moisture reaching the bottom of the litter box but also creates tight clumps to keep all that cat business contained. Ideal for allergy sufferers, the formula is hypoallergenic and 99.9% dust free. The way this hard clumping litter works, we think it’s a good choice for multi-cat households and is also safe to use with mechanical litter boxes as it sifts really well. Free of artificial scent, we also like its natural odor control to help keep your home fresh and clean. Perhaps a little on the expensive side, but you get a hardworking cat litter that can hold its own.
Effectively masks those kitty toilet odors
Hard clumps are easy to scoop
Good if you have more than one litter box
The hard clumps can settle on the bottom if not removed
Forms tight clumps for easy scooping
ClumpLock long-lasting odor control
Febreze scent triggered by cats paws
99% dust free and low tracking
Extra strength formula
If long-lasting odor control is as important to you as easy scooping, then check out the Advanced Clumping Litter from Fresh Step. The odor locking abilities of its ClumpLock technology start on contact with moisture, and offers up to 10 days of odor control, thanks to its activated charcoal formula. Your kit then plays a part in keeping the whole litter box fresh, as every step they take in the tray triggers the Febreze fresh scent that is incorporated into the litter. When it comes to the litter itself, the natural clay particles are on the larger side, which not only creates a decent clump around your cat’s waste but also helps to keep it inside the litter box, and not tracked by those cat paws all over the floor. Add in the fact that Fresh Step Advanced is 99% dust free and this is a good clumping litter for a clean and sweeter smelling home.
Effective odor control plus the natural clay clumps easily
A heavyweight choice for multiple cat homes
The Febreze scent maybe a little strong for more sensitive feline noses
The clumping can settle on the bottom
Hard clumps formula
Seals in and destroys odors
Odor control that lasts 7 days
Extra strength for multiple cats
Another odor buster, Arm & Hammer have brought their tried and tested baking soda formula to clumping cat litter, which not only seals away smells but kills the odor on contact. The result is a hard clumping litter that can eliminate 10% more odors than their other best-selling Fresh Seal formula and keeps your home fresh for up to seven days. We liked the way this extra strength formula quickly absorbs moisture to form extra hard solid clumps which are quick to scoop. Although you do need to put the soiled litter in the bin as Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal is not flushable. But as a contender for best cat litter for multiple cats, in homes where high traffic litter boxes need more odor control, this dust free formula gets our thumbs up.
Tough on odors, giving you seven days of freshness
100% dust free and sized for several cats
It is not odorless and the scent could be a little strong for some cats
Formula is not flushable
Made from whole kernel corn
Lightweight, silica dust free formula
Low tracking and easy clumping
Flushable – safe for septic and sewer systems
Free from chemicals and perfume
As a lightweight fresh litter, World’s Best is made from compressed corn for an all-natural product that can give more traditional cat litter made from clay a run for its money. As one of the best natural litters, World’s Best is free of silica dust, so you get low tracking and less mess. Another plus is that it is flushable for total convenience. It’s planet and animal friendly credentials continue, as it is 100% free from harmful chemicals and artificial perfumes. This natural litter quickly clumps when it comes into contact with moisture, and seals in any odors, so you can safely scoop solid waste away.
Environmentally friendly, and made from natural ingredients
Silica dust free so less mess and irritation
Its natural smell may not be to everyone’s taste
Fine granules natural clay and minerals
Instant moisture trapping action
Four-in-one action to tackle odors
Gives up to 10 days odor control
99% dust free for less mess
As a natural clumping clay litter, Tidy Cats is certainly a powerhouse when it comes to collecting and sealing away cat waste and the associated odors. It offers a four in one action to tackle the main causes of a less than sweet smelling litter box – urine, fecal, ammonia and bacterial odors. And as it acts instantly on contact with moisture, locking it away, there is no time for your kit’s pee or poop to hang around. We think Tidy Cats clumping clay litter is also good value for money, as you get a two-pack tub so enough to cover a multiple cat family. 99% dust free for a smooth pour and less mess around their litter box, it also leaves a subtle floral scent which should keep both you and your feline happy and your home smelling fresh.
Excellent odor beating properties but doesn’t leave an overpowering scent
The lumps could be a little harder to make scooping super-easy
Fast-acting clay clumping formula
Bio-enzymes act on odors
Locks away ammonia
Easy pour and 99% dust free
Fast acting and with a pleasant, fresh linen scent, Nature’s Miracle’s Intense Defense certainly lives up to its name when it comes to being one of the best clumping cat litter products in our review. Made from bentonite clay, the formula has medium sized granules that are super absorbent and easy to litter scoop but won’t clump so hard as to stick to your cat’s paws. The consistency spreads nicely across the litter box and is 99% dust free for minimal mess when you pour. It is also effective in fighting unpleasant smells caused by ammonia, feces and urine, using its Bio-Enzymatic Odor Control System to destroy odors on contact. However, it cannot be flushed so needs to be carefully disposed of, once soiled.
Fast-acting and super-tough on moisture and odors
Cannot be flushed
A little pricey for the size
No-stick clumping clay formula
EZ Clean – no scrubbing or scraping needed
Seals in moisture and eliminates odor
Odor free for seven days
99% dust free and low tracking
The second Arm & Hammer clay clumping litter in our review, Platinum Slide boasts the same level of odor control and product quality. Made from limestone and bentonite, what sets this kitty litter apart is its ‘EZ clean’ technology which creates a non-stick litter which slides out of the box, ready to be replaced with fresh litter. And that means no scraping or scrubbing when it comes to full litter box clean time. In-between full cleans, Platinum Slide uses fast-acting clumping and baking soda odor control to catch moisture and waste and lock in smells to help keep your kit’s toilet space fresher for longer. As you would expect, it is pretty much dust free too, so if you are looking for a super-convenient clumping litter that takes no time to clean and maintain, then Platinum Slide could be the new litter for you.
Slide formula makes cleaning the litter tray out a breeze
Quality odor control and a nice, fresh scent
One of the most expensive in our clay cat litters review
Fast-acting natural clay litter
10-day odor control formula
Paw-activated Gain scent and charcoal
ClumpLock technology seals away moisture
99.9% dust free and low tracking
With the original Febreze Gain scent to keep your home and your cat’s litter box smelling sweet, Fresh Step Advanced is a hardworking clumping litter for single or multi-cat households. And, with an impressive 10-days of odor control, the citrus fresh Gain smell will be released on contact with your cat’s paws. The clay effectively seals in moisture thanks to its ClumpLock technology to create easy to scoop clumps, making daily cleaning of dirty litter in your pet’s toilet space no longer such a chore. And, as well as controlling odors, Fresh Step Advanced can also help to keep the surrounding area as well as the air clean as it is easy pour, leaves minimal litter tracks and is said to be almost 100% dust free.
Impressive odor eliminating properties, plus a fresh citrus scent
Works fast to seal away moisture and smells, in easy to scoop clumps
The litter is a little on the powdery side, so can produce dust
Scent-free, hypoallergenic formula
Fine, cat paw friendly granules
Smaller clumps to make the litter last longer
Dust free and minimal tracking
Easy scoop clumps stay on the surface
Scent-free and with impressively low levels of dust, Boxiecat is a good clay clumping litter that has been vet-recommended for allergy prone or sensitive cats (and cat owners!) And, while it is not the cheapest in our clumping cat litters review, this is a quality product that lasts a decent amount of time as the clumps are smaller. Made from natural clay, it clumps on contact with moisture, leaving hard lumps conveniently at the surface, ready to be scooped, rather than soaking through to the bottom. When it comes to odor control, it does its job, although there is no scent or fragrance in the formula to mask any lingering smells. We particularly like the fine granules of this car litter, which is soft on your kit’s paws and sits heavy enough in the tray to reduce any tracking on your floor.
Recommended by veterinarians for allergic or sensitive cats
Smaller clumps help Boxiecat to last longer
Pricer than some other products in our review
Lighter formula that’s easy to pour and use
Unscented, with no added dyes
ClumpLock for fast absorption
Tight clumps for convenient cleaning
99% dust-free for cleaner air
Sometimes less is more when it comes to keeping things fresh and clean, and with the lightweight Fresh Step Cat Litter you get an easy to use and effective litter with very little frills.
Unscented, and with a finer formula that clumps easily into tight lumps, ready for scooping, Fresh Step uses activated charcoal to eliminate any nasty toilet whiffs. As with all of Fresh Step’s cat litter range, this unscented litter is low dust, so you get cleaner surfaces as well as air and the whole product is easy to lift and pour. And while it may have no added fragrances, Vet-recommended, Fresh Step can keep your cat litter zone fresh and bacteria-free for up to 10 days.
The lighter, scent-free formula goes a long way
Smaller, tighter clumps make scooping that little bit easier
The smaller particles can lead to some tracking around the litter box
Best Clumping Cat Litters Buying Guide
What is Clumping Cat Litter and How Does It Work?
Clumping litter is a hardworking type of cat litter that has been designed to clump around urine and solid waste so that they can be quickly and easily scooped out and removed, without you having to completely change the tray every time your kit uses it for their toilet.
Most clumping cat litters are made from clay, typically bentonite clay, which is highly absorbent and swells, to encompass the waste into a convenience clump, ready for removal. You can also get clumping cat litters that are made from all-natural fibers such as walnut shells that help the litter clump up when wet.
Once the clumps are formed, you can simply litter scoop them out for disposal, leaving the clean, untouched litter behind. You do however, still need to do a full litter replacement every couple of days as you would with more traditional litter.
Is Clumping Cat Litter Dust Free?
As it is generally made from clay and so has a finer texture with loose particles, clumping cat litter is not dust-free. And, as it works to collect urine and poop by clumping around the moistened areas, it can create more dust, which is not good for people and cats who may suffer from asthma. However, if you shop around, it is possible to find clay litters - or other natural litters - with a low dust formula which is less irritating, and you will find some of the best in our review.
Is Clumping Litter Safe for Cats and Kittens?
As long as your adult cat doesn’t suffer from severe allergies or asthma, clumping litter is perfectly safe for your pet. In fact, as it makes cleaning out their litter tray quicker and more convenient, it is something most cats - and most cat owners - prefer. However, most clumping litters should not be used with young cats and kittens under four months of age. And this is because of the clumps the litter creates when your cat urinates. Younger felines are extra curious and there is a risk that they may try to chew on the clumped litter or mistake it for cat food, which could lead to gastrointestinal distress and even blockages which can be dangerous for your little pet.
Things To Consider When Buying Clumping Cat Litter
When choosing the best clumping cat litter for a clean litter box, there are a few things cat owners should take into account to ensure they pick the right cat litter:
Which Type of Litter Your Cat Prefers
As we know, cats are fussy creatures and while most are happy to use clumping cat litter, as a cat parent you may have to be prepared for your own kit to turn their nose up at their litter tray. Some tidy cats prefer much finer particles or are not fond of the dustier texture of clumping litter so do a little test beforehand to ensure you are not opting for the wrong type of litter for your pet or multiple cats.
The most common ‘ingredient’ used by clumping cat litter brands is clay, normally sodium bentonite which is used in traditional clay litters and is highly absorbent and forms solid clumps on contact with moisture. Other litters use a material called silica to create a lightweight litter some kits prefer. Often referred to as crystal cat litter, this type of clumping litter is made from tiny silica beads which are dust free so can be the best clumping litter for allergies. Ingredients found in other litters include all-natural materials to make lightweight natural clumping litters, including compressed corn and walnut shells.
A clumping cat litter that is low in dust is the best option for cat owners, not just to keep your home free from dust but also as it is kinder on both you and your cat’s lungs, especially if asthma or allergies are an issue.
Scented vs Unscented
In general, cats prefer unscented cat litters in their litter boxes, as their nose is a sensitive organ that can easily get irritated but scented litters can help to keep your home fresher for longer. If you are in any doubt, err on the side of caution and opt for an unscented variety that has good odor absorption.
Is it Odor-Absorbing?
Just as your kit may not like a florally scented litter, neither will you welcome the smell of urine odors or poop lingering in your home. To keep everyone happy, the best cat litters have some form of odor control – added activated charcoal or baking soda are the ingredients to check for.
Size of The Particles
Many cats will typically prefer finer particle litter, rather than pellet or the crystal type of cat litters as it is softer under their paws as they walk on it.
And finally, you want your clumping cat litter to stay where it is meant to be – inside the litter box or tray – and not all over your floor as your cat moves around. Look for anti-track cat litters that are low dust so that everything should stay in place.
How Often Should You Change Clumping Cat Litter?
For the best results, you should be sifting and scooping out those clumps and wet patches daily and then do a full change of the litter around twice a week, depending on the level of soiling as well as the number of cats that may be sharing the litter box. No doubt, you cat will tell you if the cleaning regime is not good enough as chances are, they will simply not use their box!
What's the Difference Between Clumping and Non-clumping Litter?
Traditional cat litters which are non-clumping or the newer clumping variety, are both perfectly safe to use in your adult cat’s litter tray. And both have their advantages and disadvantages, which may help you to make your final decision. Here are the main differences between the two:
- Non-clumping cat litter: Although usually made from clay and other minerals, non-clumping kitty litter is also made from other materials such as pine, wheat or corn, or synthetic crystallized silica. This traditional cat litter is good at removing odors from cat urine as it can absorb large amounts of liquid. However, non clumping cat litters is also prone to getting saturated as all that liquid builds up and can pool at the bottom of the tray, making it difficult to clean without replacing all of the litter.
- Clumping cat litter: While also made from clay, clumping cat litters have been designed to form into a neat blob when it comes into contact with moisture, which then locks away any pee or poo as it hits the litter tray. These clumps then conveniently sit on the surface, ready for pet owners to scoop them away. This means you don’t have to do a full tray empty every time you need to clean up your pet’s litter tray and so can be more cost-effective than the non-clumping variety. However, it tends to be dustier and has a tendency to track and is not suitable for use with kittens.
How do You Dispose of Clumping Litter?
After scooping out the soiled clumped together bits, disposing of clumping litter is pretty easy. Simply tip it into a top tied waste disposal bag or even an empty grocery bag – double bagging is a good idea to prevent any unwanted spills from the liquid waste. Most brands can be put in your domestic garbage and many clumping litter products are also biodegradable. But don’t be tempted to put your soiled clay-based clumping litters on to the bonfire as it is possible for toxins to be released into the air. And never put your cat litter waste on the compost as your cat’s feces may carry worms, parasites and other unpleasant things which could spread disease.
Our Top Pick
Almost entirely dust free, our review's best choice - Dr. Elsey's Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter - is great for allergic cats (and humans). And its medium grain clumping clay creates excellent lumps to lock away not only your kit's waste but also its odor. Not the cheapest of the clumping litters in our review, it is one of the most hardworking and works as well with multiple cats as it does with a solo pet. Unscented, low tracking and easy to use, the Ultra Premium is a reliable clumping cat litter go-to for the feline loving home.