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What is a clumping cat litter

Welcome back, cat lovers. True love and your care that you should be giving your pet aren’t limited just on the snuggles, walks and treats, but rather on all the details that make your cat healthy and happy.

That, among the other things, includes taking care of your cat’s potty habits. The best clumping cat litter is one of the many, many types you can use, and this article will give you all the details to help you make your decision.

Top 5 Clumping Cat Litters (Summary)

ImageProductFeatures
sWheat ScoopsWheat Scoop
  • Biodegradable and has no added perfumes and dyes
  • Simple scooping
  • Neutralizes odors naturally without masking them
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ökocatökocat
  • Extra soft texture for comfortability
  • Advanced odor control
  • Easy clumping and complete absorption
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Nature's MiracleNature's Miracle
  • Eliminates odor build-up
  • Keep a cat’s litter box fresh and dry
  • Powerful formula
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Dr. Elsey’sDr. Elsey’s
  • Forms hard clumps that are very easy to dispose of
  • Prevents moisture from sipping out of the box
  • Hypoallergenic formula
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Purina Yesterday's NewsPurina Yesterday's News
  • Very efficient odor control
  • Crafted from a recycled paper and non-toxic
  • Absorbs 3 times more moisture
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How does the clumping cat litter work?

Even if your furball is a fully outdoor type, including her potty habits, you should own a litter box, in the case of her illness or traveling to a distant location. For an indoor cat, it’s a part of her standard equipment.

Your cat’s litter box will be located inside your house, so it must be safe, odorless, convenient and easy to use thus it must be filled with appropriate litter.

The clumping cat litter turns your cat’s excrement and urine into small clumps that can easily be scooped away from the box, which will save you a lot of cleaning. Clumping cat litter has high absorbency, great power to absorb liquids and odor and is the most common choice for the majority of cat owners.

Types of a Clumping Litter for Cats

Clay

Types of the clumping cat litter

Clay cat litter was the first commercial litter that provided a great alternative to sand, sawdust or old newspapers, that were commonly used before. It was (accidentally) invented by Edward Lowe in 1947.

His neighbor asked him to borrow some sand for her cat’s litter box and young Edward, having no sand, gave her a bag of granulated clay. The neighbor was thrilled with the efficiency of the clay, and thus a brand was born. Edward Love named the new product Kitty Litter and later founded the Tidy Cat brand of litter.

Clay as a material has a natural ability to retain a high amount of liquid, so it turned out to be a perfect choice. Unfortunately, the first versions of a clay litter couldn’t clump, so they were rather messy and the litter needed to be changed more often.

The addition of bentonite clay gave the standard clay litter much-needed clumping ability, so you could clean up the clumps, leaving the clean litter in the box. Also, cats love it, as clay is a natural product that resembles the outdoors.

Other less common materials (corn, pine, silica or recycled newspaper)

There are various types of clumping clay litter, as the pet supply market grows bigger every day. You can get your cat some natural products, like litter made of recycled paper, excess wood, pine, coconut and walnut shells, even natural grown grass or a modern solution like silica gel crystal litter.

All these types of clumping cat litter come with their ups and downs, so it usually comes down to your cat’s personal preferences.

11 Best Clumping Cat Litters With Pros and Cons

1. sWheat Scoop

What differentiates sWheat Scoop Clumping Cat Litter is a Noble Ion Technology that neutralizes litter box odors effectively.

The product doesn’t mask the smell and instead eliminates it completely. With no added fragrances and dyes, it’s entirely biodegradable.

You’ll appreciate how quickly you can scoop the litter from the box, thanks to the fast clumping feature. Clumps don’t only form fast but also become firm and compact.

The item is wheat-based and really great when it comes to odor neutralization and scooping. The only downside the customers noticed is that it doesn’t weak away moisture and liquids.

sWheat Scoop

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Pros

  • Neutralizes odors naturally without masking them
  • Fast clumping and simple scooping
  • Biodegradable and has no added perfumes and dyes
Cons

  • Doesn’t reduce urine that much

2. Boxiecat

Remaining free from odors, Boxiecat Clumping Cat Litter stays extra clean even after weeks of scooping. While on that, it’s worthwhile mentioning that it also creates hard clumps that are easy to clean.

It’s suitable for every litter box type and will last twice as long as other similar products. The cat litter is almost completely dust-free and hypoallergenic.

It has exceptional odor control and resists tracking. The package has a handle that enables easy carrying and is resealable.

Pour spout helps with controlled pouring and you can rest assured that this product will eliminate the ammonia smell completely.

Boxiecat

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Pros

  • Forms rock hard clumps for easiest scooping
  • Almost entirely dust-free
  • Lasts two times longer
Cons

  • Too heavy for litter box rake

3. ökocat

With ökocat Cat Litter, you’ll get a biodegradable product that has a 7-day odor control that eliminates ammonia smell completely.

Crafted from natural wood fiber and with a soft texture, this product contains no harmful chemicals or added fragrances.

In fact, it’s made of entirely sustainable and renewable ingredients. This helps in ensuring that there’s no dust at all.

Scooping the waste from the litter box is extremely easy with this item, given that this cat litter enables easy and clean clumping.

ökocat

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Pros

  • Advanced odor control
  • Extra soft texture for comfortability
  • Easy clumping and complete absorption
Cons

  • Slightly expensive

4. Feline Pine

Weighing at least half the weight of regular cat litters, Feline Pine is extremely lightweight and consists of pine pellets that are great liquid absorbent.

Furthermore, it gets rid off ammonia and similar odors, with the combination of baking soda and pine that neutralize strong odors at the core.

This is possible because it doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances or harsh chemicals, just a powerful, natural odor control.

Lasting as much as 3 times longer than other cat litters, this product reduces dust levels, which means that your cat’s litter box will be much cleaner.

Feline Pine

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Pros

  • Advanced odor control
  • Extra soft texture for comfortability
  • Easy clumping and complete absorption
Cons

  • Slightly expensive

5. Nature’s Miracle

Allowing you to moisturize your pet’s coat and paws thoroughly, Nature’s Miracle Clumping Cat Litter is powerful and fast-clumping.

The product is made of a natural corn cob that doesn’t allow the formation of dust. That way, you know that your pet will stay clean and its coat soft, shiny and healthy.

Your cat’s litter box will always remain dry and fresh and it’ll also prevent odor build-up. However, you should note that the litter has a strong odor itself.

You might notice a chemical smell, especially when you start using it. In case this is something you’re not bothered with, you’ll find this item a great choice.

Nature’s Miracle

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Pros

  • Fast clumping and powerful formula
  • Almost entirely dust-free and keep a cat’s litter box fresh and dry
  • Eliminates odor build-up
Cons

  • Has strong, chemical smell

6. Dr. Elsey’s

If a definition of a quality clumping cat litter is to be dust-free, to prevent moisture and form hard clumps, Dr. Elsey’s Cat Litter has it all.

It prevents up to 99.9% of dust, which makes it perfect for homes where people with allergies live. The medium-grain clay enables the formation of hard clumps that are easy to scoop up.

This feature also helps in preventing moisture and liquids from getting to the bottom of the litter box, making sure that your home stays clean and fresh smelling the whole day.

A superior odor control without added chemicals and deodorants doesn’t allow odors to spread across your home while making it simple to dispose of your pet’s waste.

Dr. Elsey’s

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Pros

  • Hypoallergenic formula that’s 99.9% dust-free
  • Forms hard clumps that are very easy to dispose of
  • Prevents moisture from sipping out of the box
Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than similar products

7. Fresh Step

One of the best features of Fresh Step Clumping Cat Litter is its powerful, strong odors control technology with ammonia block and activated charcoal.

This technology also controls the growth of bacteria and deactivates pesky enzymes. That way, you’ll never experience urine and feces odors in your home.

As an added benefit, scooping your cats’ waste is extremely easy, given that this item possesses a clump lock feature that absorbs liquids and forms hard clumps.

The seller claims that the product is made with a low dust formula. However, most of the pet owners noticed that the litter becomes very dusty with prolonged use.

fresh Step

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Pros

  • Powerful odor control technology that deodorizes strong smells
  • Absorbs all the liquids
  • Forms hard and tight clumps for easier scooping
Cons

  • Tends to become really dusty

8. Arm & Hammer

Almost all sealed-in odors from urine and feces won’t stand a chance against Arm & Hammer Clumping Cat Litter.

The manufacturer made sure to improve the formula, making it 10% more efficient in odor elimination. Also, the product has zero dust tolerance, which means you won’t find a dusty cloud in your home.

After only a week of using this item, you’ll start noticing that there aren’t any odors from your cat’s urine or waste like they used to be before.

Additionally, the item forms clumps that are hard as rocks, making the cleaning and scooping task even easier.

Arm & Hammer

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Pros

  • Seals and destroys all odors
  • Enhanced dust-free formula
  • Forms rock hard clumps and very easy to clean
Cons

  • Has a strong chemical smell when opened

9. Purina Yesterday’s News

Coming in a big bag of 26.5 lbs, Purina Yesterday’s News Cat Litter, is an organic product made of a recycled paper that’s not toxic at all.

This is actually a product that contains paper pellets, so it’s gentle on your pet’s paws. It’s formulated to absorb moisture fast and easy, even three times better than the usual litters made of clay.

The item helps prevent low tracking because it stops dust formation. The manufacturer also states that this product has odor control properties.

Nevertheless, most of the customers noticed that, while it does stop most of the odors, it doesn’t prevent urine smell from spreading across the house, so this might be a problem for some.

Purina Yesterday's News

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Pros

  • Absorbs 3 times more moisture
  • Very efficient odor control
  • Crafted from a recycled paper and non-toxic
Cons

  • Hard to notice and scoop waste because of its dark color

10. World’s Best Cat Litter

The long-lasting odor control, like no other and 100% elimination of dust, are what you’ll get when using World’s Best Cat Litter.

The product is designed to be light in weight and to enable the easiest scooping ever thanks to its quick clumping property that doesn’t leave the mess around the litter box.

Although it doesn’t contain artificial chemicals nor perfumes, this clumping cat litter smells like lavender and is entirely free of silica dust.

Dusting and tracking will be minimal, which makes this product perfect for homes where people who suffer from allergies live.

World's Best Cat Litter

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Pros

  • Long-lasting control of all odors
  • Quick and easy clumping and scooping
  • Minimizes dust and tracking
Cons

  • Some cats might start to eat it since it’s made of the whole-kernel corn material

11. Purina Tidy Cats

By using Purina Tidy Cats Litter, your home will smell fresh even after the usage of 10 days. The product provides immediate control of all odors.

It’s especially effective in eliminating the smell of ammonia, urine and feces. A strong clumping ability enables easy scooping and cleaning every time.

There’s also a dust-free formula that prevents the appearance of dust, making the area in and around the litter box clean.

However, the heavyweight makes it hard to lift, especially by older people, which is why you might want to look at another solution if that’s the case.

Purina Tidy Cats

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Pros

  • Eliminates ammonia, urine and feces odors entirely
  • Creates a firm and strong clumps
  • Keeps the area around the litter box tidy and free of dust
Cons

  • Very heavy to lift

How To Choose The Best Clumping Cat Litter

What makes a great clumping cat litter

If you are going to choose a clumping cat litter, you should take the best one there is, so we’ll provide you with some inside tips and tricks on how to choose the perfect one.

Clumping process and ability

The choices aren’t as obvious as they seem, and the different clumping cat litter brands have different abilities to clump. You should look for a cat litter that makes solid clumps that won’t break away and turn into smaller parts in the process of cleaning.

The clumping process should be pretty fast and the chunks must stay on the top of the litter box.

Odor control

Nobody likes to feel the smell of excrements, especially in their home. The clumping cat litter is much better in fighting the bad smell than the non-clumping type, especially if you choose some of the brands which offer amazing cat litter for odor control, or a scented type of litter, that neutralizes or covers the bad smells

Number of cats

More cats mean more fun and more things you should consider. It is highly recommended that every cat has its own litter box, but if you are using a one big litter box for all your cats, consider buying a specialized clumping cat litter for multiple cats.

They usually have increased abilities of clumping, as well as stronger antibacterial and anti-odor properties. Although, most of the top brand litters can be used for multiple cat litter boxes.

Amount of dust and tracking

Almost all the cat litters produce some amount of dust. Dust can be harmful to your cat if she has some respiratory issues or allergies, and generally ruins the quality of the air that you, your family and your pet breathe.

Choose the best dust-free cat litter that can guarantee you minimal or no amount of dust, and your pet will be grateful.

Scent

The great clumping cat litter should have no bad odor, regardless of your cat potty habits. The ingredients in the litter should always neutralize or totally cover any unwanted scent.

Of course, lots of brands can offer you a scented type of litter, and various choice of scents, from natural aromas to artificial, perfume-like scents.

Size of the clumping litter package

A jumbo package of the litter is great for saving money, as they tend to be cheaper than the regular ones, and is the best choice if you have multiple cats.

However, bigger bags of sands aren’t convenient if you have only one cat, and you must include their weight which can be a problem for the older owners, people with health issues and those who live in rather hard-to-reach places.

Biodegradable and environment-friendly clumping litter

We have only one planet to live on, and everyone should take his part in protecting the environment. The plant-based types of clumping cat litter are completely recyclable and biodegradable, as opposed to clay types and silica gel crystal litter.

Scented vs Unscented Clumping Litter

Scented vs unscented cat litter

Ah, an old, unsolvable debate. Cats are beings with an extraordinary sense of smell and extremely sensitive when they sense the smell that they don’t like. If you are just started to potty train your kitten, use an unscented clumping type, for your grownup cats, it’s the matter of their personal choice.

Keep in mind that most of the cats don’t like the scent of citrus, lavender or any heavy scent, but as always, there are exceptions. And, of course, consider your personal preferences as equally important, after all, it’s your house.

Does spending more on clumping litter means more quality?

Regarding the subject of the clumping cat litter, the price itself doesn’t have to mean anything, as there are other, far more important factors. But of course, you eventually get what you paid for.

Extra options always cost extra, but it is wrong to base your choice solely on the price of the litter. The best choice is to purchase from the renowned producers or sellers, and not to rely on suspicious brands.

Quality products are always worthwhile in spending a few coins more. And the most expensive cat litter is the one that your cat refuses to use, so think about that.

How often does the clumping cat litter need to be changed?

The best choice would be to scoop the litter as soon as your cat is finished with her relieving and the clumps are already formed. But besides that, you should scoop the litter at least once every day, and even more often if you need to.

The litter in the litter box must be changed every week, sometimes even more often, depending on the condition. Some types need to be changed frequently, and some, like silica gel crystal litter, can supposedly last up to a month.

Non-clumping vs clumping cat litter

Clumping cat litter has various advantages and disadvantages, but the clumping part is its greatest strength. You don’t need to toss away the whole content of the litter box, you just scoop away the clumps and restore the amount of the litter that is missing.

That simple process saves you a lot of time and money. Non-clumping cat litter usually has a lower price than the clumping one, but in the long run, the clumping cat litter always pays off.

Although, if your cat simply prefers one type over the other, all the other arguments are irrelevant.

How to train your cat to use a cat litter box

How to train your cat to use a cat litter box

Most of the cats are easily trained to use the litter box, as that is the part of their natural instinct, especially if they were taught by their mothers. But, if your cat has never used the litter box and has no idea how it works, don’t worry, cats are a natural talent.

You need to prepare the litter box, or a two, that would be even better. Start by filling it with nonscented cat litter, so your kitty doesn’t get confused with the smell.

Place the litter box in a location that gives your cat some privacy, but is accessible. If you just shove it under the stairs or in the basement, the cat will refuse to use it. Get her used to an idea of the litter box in her space, so she can accept it as a normal part of her surroundings.

Observe your cat’s daily routine and try to notice the exact time when your cat needs to go to the potty. The most common cases are after sleep, after any outdoor activity and surprisingly, right after the meal.

When you notice that your cat is in need to use the potty, react fast by carrying her to a litter box and encouraging her to relieve herself there. After a few times, she will develop an instinctive reflex.

You really should reward your cat every time she uses her litter box properly, as it would encourage her to continue using it. Some treats, a lot of pampering and some cat toys should do the trick.

Arm yourself with a lot of patience and cleaning utilities, because it’s gonna take a while for your cat to master the usage of the cat litter box, and well…accidents happen. Smelly accidents.

The most important part of the training is never to scream at your cat or punish her in every way because she didn’t use the litter box properly. Love and patience, that is all you need to train your cat.

How to clean and maintain a cat litter box with clumping litter

Cleaning the cat litter box is a matter of hygiene and keeping you and your cat healthy. Cat feces can contain parasites and bacterias that are harmful to humans and you need to prevent the risk.

Besides daily scooping, you need to change the litter weekly, and that is the right time to fully clean the litter box. Start by tossing all the litter from the box, and when it’s fully emptied, it’s scrubbing time!

You are going to need a pair of gloves, lots of warm water and a mild, pet-safe detergent. Never use any stronger chemicals in the cleaning process, as their strong scent might have a repulsive effect on your cat.

Scrub the box thoroughly, inside out, and don’t forget the area around the box, too. Dry up the box and it is ready for a new portion of the cat litter.

You should change your cat’s litter box once every year, or sometimes even more often if your cat is a passionate destroyer.

Bites, scratch marks and other sorts of misuse leave a certain amount of damaging traces on the box and thus making it impossible to clean it properly. Really, litter boxes don’t cost a fortune and everyone can afford one every year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is clumping cat litter safe for cats?

Although there are no proven facts of the harmfulness of the clumping cat litter, it is best to avoid its use if your kitty is only a few months old.

Kittens can be too curious for their own good and swallowing even small quantity of the clumping cat litter can lead to potential health hazards, like choking or digestive problems. However, grown-up cats will have no problem with using it.

How to properly dispose of the clumping litter

Believe it or not, there are some types of clumping cat litter that are completely flushable and can be tossed in your toilet and flushed. You just need to check on the package if that option is involved and don’t flush the content of the whole litter box in one try as it might clog your toilet.

All the types of clumping cat litter that origin from plant-based ingredients are completely recyclable and biodegradable, so you can even make compost or a fertilizer with them.

But beware, that kind of compost mustn’t be used for any edible plants, as there are microorganisms in the cat’s feces that can be harmful to humans.

Regarding the litter made of artificial materials and clay, you just scoop it in a garbage bag and toss it into the garbage. Be sure to double the garbage bag, as the saturated litter can get really heavy and trust me, you don’t want that bag to break in your own house.

Another reason for doubling the bag is that the smell of the cat’s excrement can attract the stray cats that will try to tear the bag.

How to persuade your cat to use a different type of litter?

Cats are creatures of habit so any sudden change will simply not work. If you decide to use the other type of cat litter, the first thing you should do is empty the litter box.

After that add half of the usual amount of the new type of cat litter on the bottom of the box and cover it with the old one. After every weekly cleaning, change the ratio of litters in favor of the new kind. That way your cat will gradually get used to texture and smell of the new type of cat litter.

Covered or uncovered litter boxes?

From the human point of view, covered litter boxes are a great thing.  They keep the feces out of the sight, the smell is less noticeable and your cat has some privacy when she is on the potty.

But, on the other hand, lots of cats feel anxiety when they have to use a covered box, especially larger cats. Also, the airflow isn’t that good so it is going to need a lot of time for litter to dry and the smells to evaporate, and you will probably scoop it much infrequently.

After all, cats are very vulnerable while using the litter box, and the closed box doesn’t give them an escape route if they are being attacked by other cats in the multi-cat household.

Final Word

We came, we saw, we conquered the subject of the pros and cons of the clumping cat litter. Choose carefully, wager the advantages and disadvantages, and as usual, let your cat make the final decision.

Resources:

Is Clumping Cat Litter Safe? – VetInfo
What is the Best Cat Litter? Non-Clumping vs. Clumping Litter, Pet MD
Is Sodium Bentonite dangerous to cats? PetPlace, Dr. Debra
Litter Box Problems – ASPCA
Litter Box Care Guidelines – VeterinaryPartner, Kelly A. St. Denis, DVM, MS, DABVP
Kitty Litter: Does It Really Matter What Type I Buy? Pet Health Network, Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC

Related articles you may also like:

Photos from: Olga_968 / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com, Kolonorf / depositphotos.com, buecax / depositphotos.com.

Big pet lover and a dog training and behavior expert who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Happy owner of two amazing dogs Labrador Bela and Jack Russell Terrier Piksi and one cuddly cat Tom.

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