The 5 Best Clumping Cat Litters

Cats litter Oct 11, 2019
Written by Mallory Crusta | Updated Apr 21, 2021
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Best Clumping Cat Litters

The 5 Best Clumping Cat Litters

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The best clumping cat litter acts fast and creates firm, easy-to-scoop clumps. It combines clumping ability with minimal dust and a price you can afford. After researching the industry and identifying the qualities that set good clumping litters apart from the rest, I’ve chosen five of the best scoopable cat litters on the market. 

The following lineup includes clumping clay litter, biodegradable clumping litter, lightweight litter, and more. Before we get into our reviews of the five best clumping cat litters, let’s learn more about the qualities that set them apart.

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Clumping Cat Litters

Overall Best
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

1. Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Runner Up
Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

2. Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Best For Odor Control
Ever Clean Extra Strength, Clumping Cat Litter

3. Ever Clean Extra Strength, Clumping Cat Litter

Best Biodegradable
World's Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

4. World's Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

Best Dust Free
Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

5. Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

Type
Clumping Clay
Type
Clumping Clay
Type
Clumping Clay
Type
Clumping Corn
Type
Clumping Grass
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Key Strengths
Overall great performance at a low price
Key Strengths
A high-performance clumping litter with activated carbon for odor control
Key Strengths
Contains activated carbon and an antimicrobial agent for fragrance-free odor control
Key Strengths
Overall great performance
Key Strengths
Forms excellent clumps

What Are The Qualities Of The Best Clumping Cat Litter?

Clumping litter can be clay, wood, corn, or wheat, but regardless of what it’s made of, the best products exhibit a few high-performance qualities. These qualities make it easy for you to clean the box, extend the life of each boxful, and reduce the amount of odor in your home.

The Best Clumping Cat Litter Clumps Quickly To Keep Urine From Reaching The Bottom Of The Litter Box.

Clumping speed is vital. A slow-clumping litter allows urine to seep down to the bottom of the litter box, go sludgy, and turn into cement. Fast-clumping litter forms clods that rest near the surface of the litter and come out with a flick of the wrist. 

It’s hard to predict how quickly a litter clumps before you try it. That’s why I relied on customer reviews, product testing, and personal experience to tell me about the clumping speed of each litter reviewed here. 

Regardless of how quickly your cat’s litter clumps, you may end up hacking at bottom-sludge if you make one simple mistake—not putting enough cat litter in the box. If there aren’t at least a few inches of it between your cat and the plastic, even the best cat litter can’t create a good clump. Instead, you’ll get sludge or cement. 

It Neutralizes Odors Without The Help Of Added Fragrances.

If odor control is your priority, clumping cat litter is your friend. Because it allows you to pick out the smelly stuff, clumping litter stinks less and lasts longer than most non-clumping products. The best clumping litter neutralizes odors without leaning on crutches. Heavy added fragrances may mask odors, but they also irritate some cats and people.

The Litter Doesn’t Produce A Lot Of Dust.

Whether clay, corn, or cassava, clumping cat litter can be dusty. While some amount of dust is almost inevitable regardless of what type of litter you choose, I looked for low-dust products. Instead of relying on the label to tell me that the litter was 99.9% or 99% dust-free, I read customer reviews to find the lowest-dust clumping litters on the market.

Our Top Picks For The Best Clumping Cat Litters

Overall Best
1.

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Product Info

  • Type: Clumping Clay
  • Made In: United States
  • Key Strengths: Overall great performance at a low price
Pros
  • Quickly creates firm, easy-to-scoop clumps
  • The clumps don’t crumble or break
  • Known for good odor control
  • Relatively low dust compared to other clumping clay litters
  • Controls odors without added fragrances
Cons
  • Comes in a heavy, large bag that makes it hard to pour
Nothing clumps better than sodium bentonite clay. Clumping clay litter is strong, reliable, and relatively cheap. But many clumping clay litters pair their performance with problems. You’ll find clumping clay litters that clump too slowly, produce too much dust, or contain headache-inducing fragrances.

This litter from Dr. Elsey’s is free of those flaws. Instead, it has everything you’d want in a clumping cat litter with none of the things you want to avoid. It has relatively large granules that aren’t saturated quickly, allowing it to create cohesive, scoopable clods. The granule size also helps the litter to stay in the box. The granules don’t stick in your cat’s paws or track as much as do some other products.

And at under $0.50 per pound, it’s one of the cheapest products on the market. It provides top-of-the-line performance at an accessible price.
Runner Up
2.

Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Product Info

  • Type: Clumping Clay
  • Made In: United States
  • Key Strengths: A high-performance clumping litter with activated carbon for odor control
Pros
  • Creates solid, scoopable clumps that don’t stick to the bottom of the box
  • Uses activated charcoal to neutralize odors
  • Relatively low-dust compared to other clumping clay products
Cons
  • Tends to track and scatter
This clumping clay litter from Tidy Cats does several things well. It’s an unscented litter that contains activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal. This porous substance neutralizes without masking and, unlike added fragrances, it doesn’t irritate cats or people.

The litter’s dense granules are comfortable under your cat’s paws. When it comes into contact with urine, the litter forms tight little clumps that are easy to scoop.

On the negative side, the granules are lightweight and will probably scatter out of the box a bit. The litter’s also prone to tracking, so you may want to pair it with a good litter mat.
Best For Odor Control
3.

Ever Clean Extra Strength, Clumping Cat Litter

Product Info

  • Type: Clumping Clay
  • Made In: United States
  • Key Strengths: Contains activated carbon and an antimicrobial agent for fragrance-free odor control
Pros
  • Advanced odor control
  • Has a paw-friendly texture
  • Unscented formula won’t irritate cats or people
  • Creates firm, cohesive clumps
Cons
  • One of the dustiest litters on this list
If an odorless litter box is your number one goal and you’re willing to spend a little bit more to achieve it, consider this litter from Ever Clean.

In addition to creating firm, cohesive clumps, this litter takes a few extra steps to fight odors. Activated carbon and an antimicrobial help to neutralize odors and keep them from forming. The litter captures ammonia and stool odors, and inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

The litter has a fine-grained consistency that cats seem to enjoy, but it tends to be on the dustier side. It may not be a good choice for dust-sensitive homes.
Best Biodegradable
4.

World's Best Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

Product Info

  • Type: Clumping Corn
  • Made In: United States
  • Key Strengths: Overall great performance
Pros
  • Provides good odor control
  • Creates easy-to-scoop clumps
  • One of the best-trusted products on the market
  • More affordable than the average biodegradable cat litter
Cons
  • Tends to be on the dustier side
What if you want a great clumping cat litter but don’t want to use clay? A lot of biodegradable litters claim to clump as well as clay, but few live up to those promises. This litter from World’s Best Cat Litter is one that does—or at least comes close.

The litter is made from compressed corn particles and an “all-natural plant ingredient” that neutralizes odors. It doesn’t contain any fragrances or other potentially-irritating additives.

According to both the company and customer reviews, the litter is quick-clumping and makes cohesive, easy-to-scoop clumps that don’t crumble or collapse before they reach the trash.

The litter is affordable compared to other biodegradable products.
Best Dust Free
5.

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Unscented Clumping Grass Cat Litter

Product Info

  • Type: Clumping Grass
  • Made In: United States
  • Key Strengths: Forms excellent clumps
Pros
  • Has a soft, fine texture that’s gentle on cat paws
  • Provides good odor control
  • Creates firm, easy-to-scoop clumps
  • Doesn’t contain any irritating fragrances or other additives
Cons
  • One of the most expensive cat litter products on the market
Let’s say your dream litter is lightweight, low-dust, strong-clumping, and made from biodegradable, environmentally-friendly plant materials. In that case, this litter from SmartCat could be the product for you. It’s made from lightweight grass seeds, which produce virtually zero dust when poured into the litter box.

When it comes into contact with urine, this grass-based litter creates firm clumps that are a breeze to lift out. It’s relatively strong in the odor control department, too.

Overall, this is a cat-friendly, user-friendly litter that performs on par with clumping clay. That said, it’s a bit more expensive than equivalent clay products and some other biodegradable litters.
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Mallory Crusta is a blogger and adventurecat enthusiast who brings you the facts about cat products, wellness, and care. She's the co-founder of Wildernesscat, a resource for savvy cat guardians who want to give their felines richer, healthier lives. Visit Wildernesscat for product reviews, radically natural nutrition tips, and lifestyle inspiration
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