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Cat Litter Help – Best Cat Litter Reviews, Comparisons, and Rankings

We all love our cats.  Each one has its own interesting personality and unique characteristics that make them stand out.  However, one aspect that all cats share is the need for a proper litter.  What is the best cat litter?  What are some good cat litter reviews that are easy to follow and answer all of the important questions?

While this may seem like a simple request, there are surprisingly has a lot of obstacles.  It isn’t as simple as just walking into the store and choosing the first litter you see on the shelf.  There are dozens of various ingredients that litters can be made of, several different shapes and sizes, variations in clumping ability, scents (or lack thereof), dust levels, price points, and many other variables that can make the litter purchase exhausting and overwhelming.

This is where we come in.  We provide the best cat litter reviews on the internet through easy-to-read and simple ratings and analyses of nearly all of the major litters on the market, spanning from the cheap non-clumping clay variety all the way up to the pricey 100% crystal examples.  These include popular brands such as Cat’s Pride, Fresh Step, Precious Cat, Scoop Away, Tidy Cats, and much more.  We hope that our effort will make your litter buying experience much less stressful and more importantly that you’ll find a litter that works best for your cat or cats.  We base our reviews off of what is available online but always be sure to check your local stores to compare prices and availability.  And, as always, if you would like to see a particular review or us to provide our input on a specific litter feel free to contact us at any time!

Top Budget-Priced Cat Litters

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Quick Action
cat's pride fresh & light quick action

Our Rating:

 5 star

Pros:  Extremely effective clumping, fights odors with ease, mess-free, affordable

Cons:  Minor tracking with multiple cats

Read Review of Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Quick Action

Precious Cat Ultra
precious cat ultraOur Rating:

 4.5 star

Pros:  Some of the best clumping out there, handles both feces and urine odors for several days, mostly dust-free, fantastic price

Cons:  Can be overwhelmed by moisture, caking can be an issue

Read Review of Precious Cat Ultra

Top Mid-Price Cat Litters

Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Fragrance-Free Clumping

nature's miracle intense defense fragrance free clumping
Our Rating:

 4 star

Pros:  Very good at clumping, easily masks cat waste odors, simple cleanup

Cons:  Somewhat strong litter smell

Read Review of Nature's Miracle Intense Defense Fragrance Free Clumping

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Naturals

arm & hammer clump & seal naturalsOur Rating:

 4 star

Pros:  Great clumping, locks in odors, easy cleanup

Cons:  Somewhat poor tracking, time-sensitive performance

Read Review of Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Naturals

Top Premium-Priced Cat Litters

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Premium Unscented Hypoallergenic Multi-Cat

cat's pride fresh & light ultimate care premium unscentedOur Rating:

4.5 star

Pros:  Amazing clumps, locks in odors, basically no tracking

Cons:  Somewhat time-sensitive clump removal

Read Review of Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Premium Scented Multi-Cat

Ever Clean EverFresh

ever clean everfreshOur Rating:

 4 star

Pros:  Excellent clumping, completely covers cat odor smells, very little tracking

Cons:  Rather expensive, a bit too dusty

Read Review of Ever Clean EverFresh

Our cat litter reviews are based off of several important factors

There are tons of variables that one might consider when researching which cat litter will work best for their household.  This can be quite overwhelming and it can be hard to sort through all of the promises and guarantees a cat litter manufacturer might advertise.  We have come up with several key performance factors that we feel encompass a vast majority of what makes a cat litter good or bad.  These include clumping ability, scent, messiness, value, and finally an overall rating.  

Clumping ability is an overall metric on how well a litter will absorb and contain moisture both from feces as well as urine in the form of “clumps” or hardened masses of litter.  While this might seem like a novel concept, there are many variables at play here.  Some clumps might stay hard for short periods of time and then easily fall apart.  Some might clump but stay relatively soft and sensitive to movement.  Some clumps might take hours to fully harden while others may only take moments.  Some litters may have no issue dealing with feces but struggle greatly with absorbing moisture from urine.  Considering all of these and many other metrics, we have come up with an overall clumping ability rating for each litter we review.  In the case where a litter being reviewed is a non-clumping type, we simply ignore this rating so that it doesn’t help or hurt the overall rating of the cat litter.

“Scent” as defined here is actually a two-sided approach.  It refers both to the ability of the litter to absorb and contain the foul odors of cat waste for extended periods of time as well as the pungency of the litter itself.  This opens up many different factors.  Examples include “How long can the litter maintain the cat odor before it becomes noticeable?”, “Can a box of the particular litter handle high traffic for multiple cats?”, “If odor is present, how strong is it?  Is it struggling with feces or urine?”, “How artificial is the scented litter smell?  Would it affect cats with sensitive smells?” and the list goes on.  Since smell is a very subjective definition, we encourage people to read our analyses but ultimately trying a product yourself is the only true way to see if it aligns with what you are looking for.  Some people might love the smell of “forest scent” but others might despise it, for instance.

Messiness is a rather broad term, and takes multiple thoughts into consideration.  A litter’s messiness is dictated by several factors such as ease of clump removal (Do the clumps fall apart when trying to remove them?  Do the clumps tend to stick to one another or to to the side of the litter box?), dust levels, ease of tracking (Does the litter get kicked out of the box easily?  Does it have a tendency to stick to cat’s paws or fur?), required frequency of maintenance (If messes arise whenever you have to remove clumps, is this a daily occurrence?  Weekly?), among other things.  There are also differences between clumping and non-clumping litters, since with the latter you are simply expected to dump the entire box out when the litter is exhausted, which opens up its own challenges.  Through this analysis we can come up with an overall messiness rating.

The value rating is a representation of how good of a deal the litter is.  We don’t simply use a “cheaper is better” approach, or else the premium options that oftentimes use exotic materials and are intended for unique circumstances would have an unfair disadvantage from the get-go while subpar litters that happen to also be really cheap would be artificially inflated in regards to their ranking.  Rather, we analyze each product on a case-by-case basis and come up with a conclusion as to how much product and performance you are getting for your money.  We also compare a given item to similar competition from other companies (if they exist) to get a better relative idea of where it stands.  To help digest all of this information, we have also broken down the various litters into three different tiers according to price (budget, mid, and premium-tier).  You can learn more about this here.

After considering the four other factors (clumping ability if applicable, scent, messiness, and value) we can come up with an overall rating.  This rating is a summary of how “good” or “bad” we feel a litter is.  There is a lot of subjectivity with this, and two litters that both happen two be 3 stars might perform completely differently and have their own unique pros and cons.  For instance, there may be a crystal-based cat litter that costs several dollars per pound, has great odor performance but struggles with clumping that has the same rating as a budget clay-based litter that has great clumping but struggles with other factors.  Despite them both being 3 stars, they couldn’t be more different apart.  Because of this, we recommend to browse our various options and decide what looks promising to you in regards to both cost AND performance and purchase a package of it and try it yourself.

We sort all of our reviewed cat litters into simple and easy-to-follow categories

Cat Litter by Price Tier

We know many people are on a tight budget and cat litter can be expensive!  To help out, we create three different price tiers and sorted them by “dollars per pound”.  This helps to normalize comparisons between a 5 pound bag and a 40 pound box so that you can really see how much product you are getting per dollar spent.

Click here for a deeper breakdown of the various price tiers 

Cat Litter by Brand

We have categorized and filtered nearly two dozen different cat litter companies to individualized pages, making it easy to see all of the products a given company has to offer.  These include many of the large companies such as Tidy Cats and Arm & Hammer as well as some of the smaller, more specialized companies you might not have heard of like Ultra Pet and Perfect Litter.

Click here to view the huge list of all the cat litter companies we have reviewed

Cat Litter by Ingredient(s)

The type of materials being used in a given cat litter can be very important.  Because of this, we created various categories that are comprised of certain types of materials to make the research experience much easier.

Check out here for a larger explanation of the various material types tests and analyzes every major cat litter brand and various cat litter accessories to determine what the best product is that meets your needs.  When readers choose to buy our independently reviewed choices, we may earn affiliate commissions that help to support our writers and site maintenenance.