- Key Takeaways
- 1. Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Clumping Litter
- 2. Arm & Hammer Litter Platinum Slide Multi-Cat Cat Litter
- 3. Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Glade Scented Clumping Cat Litter
- 4. Feline Pine Cat Litter Original Non-Clumping Litter
- 5. World’s Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter
- 6. Fresh Step Advanced Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
- 7. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
- 8. CatSpot Litter: Coconut Cat Litter
- 9. Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- 10. Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Unscented Cat Litter
Now that you're about to bring home a brand new furry bundle of joy, you need to start thinking about how you could prepare your home for their imminent arrival. What toys will that have? What style of bed would be best? Everything down to the food they're going to eat and the litter they're going to poop in. But when kittens are so sensitive, you need to be aware of the types of cat litter on the market that are actually suitable for young cats to use. Fortunately, we've put together an easy guide along with a few suggested litter options to help you make an informed decision on the matter.
- - Though kittens don't need kitten-specific litter, they do need litter for sensitive paws.
- - Kitten training litter contains pheromones to make litter training go more smoothly.
- - Scented litter is not bad, but can be overwhelming for small sensitive noses.
- - Clumping litter is fast-acting and easy to clean, but non-clumping litter is more absorbent.
- - Kittens should have a smaller litter box both for security and to save on wastage.
- - Positive reinforcement is key for successful litter training.
We've selected ten of what we believe to be the best options for future cat owners to peruse. Of course, everyone has their own preferences and requirements, but we hope the eclectic array of cat litters listed below will contain at least one option to suit pretty much anyone.
1. Fresh Step Extreme Odor Control Clumping Litter
Imbued with Febreze for an extra fresh scent
The new and improved formula gives off less dust
Clumps are quick and easy to clear away
Concentrated formula requires less than other brands
Ensured at least ten days of effective odor suppression
As the brand name would suggest, Fresh Step focuses on providing fresh, effectively odor-masking litter for pet owners that struggle with covering the overwhelming scent of ammonia. Most clumping clay litters provide odor control through the clumping technology alone, however, Fresh step took it one step further by providing a fresh scent, to begin with – doubling down on that odor control power.
This is particularly helpful litter if you live in a smaller space or are often in close proximity to the litter box, as not only does it give out a fresh, easy scent on the nose, but the fast clumping action ensures the waste is coated and suppressed until you’re able to clear it away. Furthermore, Fresh Step ensures a 10 day odor-free home before the litter needs refreshing. However, be mindful that the powerful scent might be a deal-breaker for more sensitive cats.
The strong odor control scent is highly effective
Clumping technology works really well and is easy to clean up
Some cats much prefer to have their tray scented
Some owners still find this particular litter a little dusty for their liking.
The scent can be a little overpowering for sensitive kittens.
2. Arm & Hammer Litter Platinum Slide Multi-Cat Cat Litter
Clumping for is convenient and easy
Quickly masks odors on contact
Non-stick litter formula ideal for easy tray cleaning
Guarantees 7-day odor-free usage
Claims to be 100% dust-free
A brand proud of its durable, and highly effective kitty litter, Arm & Hammer has developed a 100% dust-free clumping formula, meaning your kitten shouldn’t have any respiratory trouble with repeated use (as is often seen with the dustier formulas). This is a soft, non-stick clumping litter, meaning you won’t have to worry about it clogging up the bottom of the litter tray or sticking too badly to your kitten’s paws if they accidentally step in a wet patch.
This is a seven-day freshness formula providing odor control with even the most stubborn urine – especially seeing as the super-solid clumps quickly envelop the urine, cutting off the offending smell. This is a new and improved formula with even better odor suppression than the previous Arm & Hammer cat litter range. Just be mindful that this is not suitable for ingestion, so if your kitten likes to eat its litter, avoid clay litters such as this.
The litter is extremely easy to clean out and repace
It’s simple to scoop solid waste and clumps from the tray
No problems with dust owing to the dust-free formula
Not suitable for use in an automated self-cleaning litter box
This is a heavy litter than can be difficult to move around
3. Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Glade Scented Clumping Cat Litter
Guarantees 14-day odor-free home
Natural clay and minerals are gentle on cat’s skin
Infused with Clear Springs Glade scent
Lightweight formula for easy storage
Suitable for multi-cat households
Purina is a brand known for prioritizing quality and ensuring that your kitten is provided with the best possible care throughout its life. The Tidy Cats litter range is designed to keep your house running smoothly and smelling fresh, even when you own more than one cat that shares a single litter box. The key element in this particular litter of the fact that each crystal has been imbued with the Clear Springs scent of Glade.
In multi-cat households, controlling the scent of urine is a difficult task, seeing as ammonia is known as one of the most penetrable smells. However, this pre-scented litter provides a barrier before the scent can get to that point. Furthermore, this is a 99.9% dust-free formula, meaning your kitty shouldn’t have any problems burying its poop. Just be sure to keep your cat out of the room whilst you change the litter box until the dust has settled.
The lightweight formula makes it easy to store and move around
The Glade scent is pleasant and not too overpowering
It provides odor control for almost two weeks
Because it is lightweight it can track quite easily
This litter does not clump as solidly as some others
4. Feline Pine Cat Litter Original Non-Clumping Litter
Made up of 100% natural pine
Uses entirely natural odor control methods
100% chemical-free formula
Non-clumping litter for better longevity
New and improved formula for better absorption
Feline Pine is an all-natural non-clumping cat litter that utilizes the unique absorbent quality and natural odor control of pine pellets to achieve maximum efficiency. Pine pellets respond to moisture in such a way that they break down into a dry sandlike consistency. This response makes it so that any odor that will have come from wet urine is absorbed into the pellets and masked by the litter’s natural pine scent.
The breaking-down of pine pellet litter is what makes it such an excellent choice for cat owners with sifting litter boxes. So long as the holes in the sifter are smaller than the pellets, the liquid waste-saturated pellet dust falls straight to the bottom, whilst solid waste can be scooped right off the top. But be mindful that that same sandlike waste can be quite messy to clear away, so use the appropriate protection when you do and ensure your cat is out of the room whilst you’re cleaning.
Pine pellets are great for use in sifting litter boxes
Pine pellets require less than typical non-clumping clay litter
A more kitten-safe litter than the clay alternatives
The pellets can be a little difficult for small kittens to dig through
The broken-down pine pellets can give off a lot of dust during cleaning.
5. World’s Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter
A formal containing all-natural ingredients
Clumps quickly in response to liquid waste
Litter can be flushed down the toilet
A septic-safe formula for all homes
Lasts twice as long as other standard litters
The World’s Best Cat Litter certainly has a lot to live up to! This all-natural unscented clumping litter is made using corn kernels to mimic the texture of cat litter whilst also being softer and easier and your cat’s skin and feet. This can either be a pro or a con depending on the cat. Some cats do not respond well to certain textures and might be off-put by the feel of corn kernels beneath their feet – others may like the texture and subtle natural scent.
There are countless benefits to using corn litter in replacement of clay litter. This litter is environmentally friendly, natural, flush-safe, septic-safe, and is generally twice as absorbent as clay-based litter owing to its ability to swell when it absorbs urine. Furthermore, should your kitten accidentally ingest some, it can be digested. The only real downside (if you see it as one) is that the clumping is not as effective as some other litters, meaning the clumps can fall apart when scooped.
The corn-based formula is significantly safer if digested by accident
Completely free from any harmful chemicals or perfumes
A super-soft litter that is ideal for kittens with sensitive tiny paws
The clumping technology is not as effective as other clay-based clumping litters
Some cats don’t respond well to corn litter and may refuse to use the box
6. Fresh Step Advanced Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
Specifically designed to mask the scent of multiple cats
Low dust formula is 99% dust-free
Provides up to 10 days of odor suppression
Highly absorbent formula
Fast-acting clumps that are easy to clear away
If you’re looking for the right litter for a small house with multiple cats, then this Fresh Step Advanced scented formula may be just the litter for you and your furry friends. This specific listing is for a multi-pack which ensured you have plenty of litter in at all times, with one bag sealed to maintain a dry environment.
This is a strongly scented clumping litter that forms clumps immediately upon contact with liquid waste, as well as coating solid waste until it can be removed. The use of Febreze to neutralize bad smells is highly effective, leaving your home Febreze fresh for up to 10 days between changes. Just be mindful that most cats need an adjustment period when switching to scented litter, so take it slow for a better chance of success.
The strong scent helps to keep the house smelling fresh for over a week
The small amount of dust settles very quickly after pouring
This litter is not overly sticky, making it easy to clear from trays and paws
The scent can be overpowering for some cats causing them to reject it
Though the dust settles quickly, it can track very easily
7. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
Clay and chemical-free formula
Lightweight litter easy to left and store
Low-dust 99% dust-free design
Fragrance-free for an easier transition
Made with 100% natural grass seeds
Another all-natural cat litter that is especially well-suited to young kittens owing to its complete lack of chemicals, clay, or perfumes. Many kittens are hypersensitive to certain qualities in some litters, such as fragrances. The Smart Cat natural grass seed litter utilizes the entirely natural absorbent properties of grass seeds to provide exceptional moisture absorption.
Furthermore, this litter quickly clumps once it comes into contact with liquid, which helps to suppress odor without the need for additional perfumes. The low dust formula helps to reduce tracking on the house, however, the lightweight design does mean it can still get picked up by your cat’s paws, so you may want to keep a mat next to the exit of their litter box. For anyone wanting to go with the most natural option possible, this would definitely be among our top recommendations.
A completely biodegradable, environmentally-friendly formula
Can be used as a renewable resource in gardens and in the wild
Gentle on cats paws and digestive systems if accidentally ingested
Odor suppression is not as effective as other scented lines
The clumps do not hold together as well as clay-based clumping cat litters
8. CatSpot Litter: Coconut Cat Litter
Has a clumping and non-clumping option
Made from 100% natural coconut
Odor eliminating and hypoallergenic
Lightweight formula easy to move and store
Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
Another fantastic choice for natural litter, this CatSpot coconut litter also uses the naturally porous nature of coconut shell to create a highly-absorbent, lightweight litter that gives off a gentle, natural scent of coconut as a little added bonus. This is a 100% natural formula meaning it is biodegradable and environmentally friendly – you could dump it in your garden once your cat’s done with it if you wanted!
The gentle coconut scent that is a happy side-effect of using 100% coconut litter, helps to mask unpleasant odors without being unpleasant or overpowering. This makes it easier for your cat to adapt to its new toilet. Though be mindful that even with the most natural of litters, the transition should always be slow, with the initial recommendation being a 50/50 mix of the new litter and the old for a more gentle and encouraging changeover.
This is a completely natural formula, meaning its safe for cats of all ages
Can be digested if a kitten accidentally ingests some whilst grooming
The coconut scent is pleasant and subtle – not at all overpowering
The lightweight formula can track easily and kick up dust when kittens dig
Needs changing more frequently than other litters due to odor saturation
9. Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter
100% moneyback satisfaction guarantee
Herbal attractant to encourage use
Designed for kittens 8-weeks to 1-year
99% dust-free clumping formula
Soft texture for tender kitten paws
Specifically designed to help train a new kitten, Dry Elsey’s Kitten Attract litter is ideal for encouraging better toilet habits in new kittens that are still trying to find their feet in their new environment. This is one of the most effective litters if you’ve got a kitten that seems to be having trouble adapting to toilet training. It utilizes herbal attractants to draw the kitten in and make them more comfortable with using their new toilet.
Furthermore, this particular formula is designed to work well with multi-kitten households, meaning it could be especially helpful for kitten breeders who might have to train multiple kittens before they’re adopted out. It is a gentle formula designed to be comfortable on a tiny kitten’s tender paws as well as being most dust-free so that the chance of respiratory discomfort during use is significantly reduced.
The herbal attractant element is super effective at getting a kitten’s attention
This litter takes effect almost immediately even with especially difficult kittens
The tiny granules are perfect for small kittens to walk on and dig into
Odor suppression is not especially effective and litter can kick up dust
Some kittens can become over-enthusiastic, wanting to play and sleep in it
10. Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Unscented Cat Litter
No synthetic chemicals, dyes, or fragrances
Super-soft litter for delicate paws
All liquid is absorbed on contact
Creates solid clumps quickly
99% dust-free litter
The Okocat clumping litter is another natural litter designed for comfort, not just for your kitten but also for you as the owner. The odor suppression is impressively effective for natural, unscented litter, which comes down to the tremendously absorbent qualities of the dehydrated plant-based granules. Once any liquid hits the granules it is immediately absorbed, not giving the scent any chance to escape, saving your home from the ever-pungent smell of ammonia.
Furthermore, the clumps in this formula are surprisingly solid, considering they don’t use clay in any way. making this not only a gentle, kitten-friendly, environmentally-friendly, chemical-free, perfume-free, dye-free formula but also one that can be easily cleaned. Ideal for a busy household where full litter changes might don’t always be possible. Just be mindful that this litter does have a tendency to kick up dust when poured, so keep your cat out of the way during full box cleanings.
The plant-based natural litter is eco-friendly and safe for all cats
The soft litter is comfortable on delicate paws and idea for kittens
The clumps are solid and easy to scoop despite the natural formula
Can kick up a lot of dust during changeouts before it settles
Not suitable for use with automatic self-cleaning robotic litter trays
Criteria Used for Evaluation
How to Choose The Best Litter for Kittens
So, what is the best litter for kittens? Unfortunately, there's no one answer for this one. Each type of litter serves a different purpose, and so the best thing to do is read up on the options available to you and decide which one you think would fit best with you and your feline friend.
Different Types of Litter
There's actually a tremendous variety when it comes to cat litter. Each type had its own pros and cons with different litters being more suitable for certain environments, breeds, personalities, and habits. Listed below are the most commonly seen cat litters readily available at this moment in time.
Silicone Crystal Pellet Litter
Silicone crystal litter is known for being highly absorbent and capable of masking scents quite well as a result. Additionally, most silicone cat litters will either be made from clear silicone or contain indicator crystals that change color in order to let the owner monitor their cat's urine and help them to identify any potential health problems. The changing color also helps you to recognize how saturated the litter is, meaning they will only change it when it needs to be changed - saving money on litter replenishment.
Clumping Clay Litter
Clumping clay litter is generally favored by people looking for a quick and effective litter that makes clearing litter a quick and painless affair. However, it does have its drawback. Though clumping clay litter makes an easy job of clearing away liquid waste, and coats solid waste, masking its scent, it is a very sticky substance when wet. This means if your kitten steps in a wet patch after relieving itself then they are likely to get clay powder stuck in the fur on their paws. This can be difficult to remove once the clay sets - especially with long-haired breeds.
Non-Clumping Clay Litter
Most cat parents will opt for the non-clumping litter option owing to its absorbency, and affordability. Clay litter is generally budget-friendly and capable of controlling odor thanks to its high absorbency. However, it can be a real pain to clean compacted clay litter from the bottom of your kitten's tray, and is generally quite a dusty litter, meaning you'll want a mat on the ground next to where your cat enters and exits its litter tray if you want to reduce tracking.
Scented Odor Control Cat Litter
Scented cat litter does exactly as it says on the tin. It's excellent at masking or even eliminating odors owing to the scented quality imbued into the litter crystals. You can find scented litter in all forms of cat litter, with its primary function serving owners well if they spend a lot of time out of the house, as it will prevent the scent of urine or solid waste from permeating the home. However, scented litter can sometimes be overwhelming for the super-sensitive noses of tiny kittens, which may cause them to find somewhere else to go, so be sure to look out for any signs that they don't like their new litter.
Unscented cat litter does not necessarily mean stinky litter. Some of the best cat litters are unscented, but capable of absorbing large amounts of urine or capable of coating the waste quickly and efficiently, preventing the smell from being overwhelming. However, unscented cat litter for kittens is not completely odor eliminating and can begin to smell quite pungent if the litter is left a little too long between cleanouts.
All-Natural Clumping Litter
Choosing all-natural clumping kitten litter is generally a little more expensive than the clay option. However, it is the more lightweight litter option, making storage and litter box changes much easier. It is also much better for the environment and can be dumped out into the soil of your garden to be reintegrated into the earth - with some owners using it as a type of compost (though only certain plants will respond positively to reused natural clumping litter).
All-Natural Non-Clumping Cat Litter
This option is usually the best cat litter for kittens that like to chew on their litter between mealtimes (a more common problem than a lot of pet owners realize). Though most adult cats will have grown out of this rather unusual and sometimes frustrating, or even dangerous behavior. Some examples of all-natural litter include litter made from walnut shells, grass litter, corn litter, and wheat litter. Just be mindful, as you should be with the clumping natural litter, that food-based litters, whilst more gentle on your kitten's digestive system than clay or silicone, can still develop bad bacteria if it's not looked after properly.
Pine Pellet Cat Litter
Pine pellet cat litter falls within the all-natural non-clumping category, but we felt the need to give it a separate section owing to its popularity. Pine pellets are nog digestible like other natural cat litters, but they are lightweight, naturally scented, and soft on the paws - making this a pretty good choice for young kittens. Though it's worth noting that pine pellets do not make for easy scooping as the highly absorbent pine fibers work by dissolving into a sandy texture after making contact with moisture. The way pine pellets break down actually makes this type of litter a good candidate for sifting litter boxes as the dirty litter falls straight through, whilst you can scoop solid waste right off the top with ease.
Toilet Training Kitten Litter
Probably the type of litter you would expect to purchase for a new kitten, though not necessarily necessary if you are confident in your training technique. Training kitten litter is ordinarily imbued with pheromones that imitate those of the mother. These pheromones help the kitten to adapt more quickly to its new litter and become more comfortable in its litter box. However, some kitten owners have also found that their new fur baby perhaps became too fond of its litter box, using it like a bed and resting place as well as a toilet.
To Clump or Not to Clump?
Both clumping and non-clumping litters have their individual benefits and drawbacks. Clumping litter is extremely fast-acting, leaving you with very little litter box cleaning to do when compared to other litters that allow liquids to pass through to the bottom. However, clumping litter is not exactly the right cat litter for households with multiple cats or for cats that just have a tendency to pee a lot, as it's not as absorbent as non-clumping kitten litter.
What to Consider When Buying Kitty Litter
The kitten litter market is awash with different formulas, materials, information, and instruction on picking which one is best, with each cat litter brand claiming to be the best. However, it all comes down to the individual kitten. Older cats being adopted may be set in their ways and unwilling to change to another type of litter, young kittens are generally more flexible though various sensitivities, personality traits, and breed characteristics can influence which would be the best option.
So ultimately the choice comes down to you. So with the following key points to keep in mind, we hope that this section will help you to whittle down your choices and pick the best kitty litter for your new little feline.
Where The Litter Box Will Be Kept
You need to consider where you are thinking of keeping the litter box whilst it is in use. With it be on laminate or hardwood floor that is easy to clean? In which case you won't have to worry about tracking as it can be swept up and disposed of. However, if the litter box will be kept on the carpet, litter tracking can become a real problem - especially with clumping clay litter. Therefore you may need to change your litter choice or provide a tracking mat to reduce the risk of tracking beyond the immediate entrance of the box.
How Long The Kitten's Fur Is
If your cat is from a particularly long-haired breed then clumping litters would not be recommended. Pet owners with short-furred kittens don't need to worry quite so much as any litter stuck to the paws can be more easily cleaned. Additionally, odor control cat litter is highly recommended for the litter boxes of long-haired cats, as the long fur can pick up odors and carry them around the house - whereas if the litter itself smells fresh, they're less likely to track unpleasant odors from one room to the next.
How Energetic The Kitten Is
Particularly over-zealous kittens have a tendency to play in their litter boxes or even dig into the litter - shooting litter out of the tray. They also have more of a tendency to ingest litter as a result of having to groom themselves more if they're messy at playtime. Therefore we'd suggest going with a litter that is more gentle on the digestive system, like a natural or lightweight litter. We'd also suggest utilizing some anti-hairball treats or drops to encourage the ingested litter to pass more easily.
How Many Cats Are In The House
Households containing more than one cat should decide whether each cat will have its own litter box, or whether both with share. If it is decided that they will share a single litter box, then scented litter or kitty litter with particularly effective odor control should be prioritized if you don't want your house smelling like ammonia. Though keep in mind that an odor-free litter box does not mean it is clean, so you will need to make sure you're checking the litter regularly for saturation, lest your cats decide to relieve themselves somewhere more sanitary (like the living room rug?)
Is The Litter Tray Close To The Cat Food?
Some people think that their cat's negative reaction to a new litter is due to the litter itself. However, it can be that if the tray is too close to where they eat it can be off-putting for them, particularly if it's scented. The best way to combat this is to have the cat food in another room to the litter tray. Typically a cat prefers to be well clear of its toilet area when it eats (as do humans), as they are extremely clean creatures.
Is The Kitten From a Sensitive Breed?
Some cat breeds have particularly sensitive paws, skin, or noses. All cat owners should familiarise themselves with the breed they're thinking of having before selecting their kitten litter, bed, toys, or food. If the breed is naturally susceptible to a corn allergy, then corn-based litter would a no. If it has delicate skin or paws then it would be a good idea to steer clear of clay clumping litter which can be an irritant.
Q: Do kittens need special litter?
Not necessarily. Though there are specific litters designed to encourage kittens to litter train more easily by being impregnated with pheromones, it's not an essential part of kitten care. Just be sure to pick kitten-safe litter that will be gentle on your tiny furry friend's delicate paws.
Q: Which type of litter is best for kittens?
This entirely depends on the kitten in question. Kittens are sensitive creatures that require a litter that will be gentle on their paws and senses. However, with so many options out there the best solution would be to pick the type of litter you feel will best suit your kitten, and if it doesn't work, switch to another (gradually). Trial and error is the trick to finding the perfect kitten litter for your new cat.
Q: What litter is bad for kittens?
Clay litter. Though it is not necessarily bad, it's perhaps not recommended for particularly small kittens as clay should not be injected (due to the risk of blockage), and can become stuck in a young kitten's fur, as kittens are more likely to step in wet waste one they're done doing their business.