Best Natural Cat Litters
Natural cat litters have recently become very popular with the emphasis on eco-friendly solutions to our daily tasks and consumables. We define “natural” in the context of this site as being made of non-clay materials that are natural and/or biodegradable. Historically, cat litter has traditionally come from various types of clay. These clay litters can be harsh to the environment in both the manufacture process to make them as well as the disposal of them. They can also commonly have very strong artificial perfumes injected into them as also be more prone to having high dust levels.
Beyond the eco-friendly aspect of them, natural cat litters can also have other ingrained benefits that aren’t present in clay litters. Some of these potential benefits include:
- Much lighter weight
- More pleasant litter smell
- Greater absorbency
- Less dust
However, there are some cons that many of these natural products also possess. While not necessarily true of all examples, many natural solutions will have cons that include:
- More expensive
- Can struggle with odor control
- Not as good at clumping
- Can track easier
Which Natural Cat Litter is Right for Me?
The first thing to consider when you begin shopping for a natural cat litter is to determine what your priorities are in terms of performance. Are you willing to give up some clumping ability or do you want to retain great clumps? Do you feel the need to have an artificial scent in your litter to assist with odor control (for example, in a multi-cat litter box)? How concerned are you with the cost? Do you or your cat have any unique allergies that might be catalyzed by using non-typical litter materials? These are just a few examples of considerations that should go through your mind.
When browsing all of the various natural cat litters on the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Not only are there tons of different materials used but then combinations of materials and various brands and types within those material specifications. To make things easier, we are including a few of our top picks depending on the type of material. All of these recommendations will have different pros and cons so we encourage you to read our more detailed reviews to get a better idea of what you are really getting.
World’s Best Cat Litter Lavender Scented Multiple Cat Clumping
A great clumping product that fights odors off with ease by the usage of corn and wood fibers coupled with the addition of lavender oil. Cleanup is not a major issue due to the strong clumps and good moisture absorption and the price is reasonable enough to warrant a buy. It is available in 7, 8, 14, 15, and 28-pound bags, is comprised of wood fiber, corn kernels, and lavender oil composition, and is available in the mid-priced tier.
Pros: Some of the best clumping out there, great litter scent, easily masks cat odors, easy cleanup
Cons: Corn has some tracking issues
Healthy Pet ökocat Pine
One of the few eco-friendly litters we have tested that actually seem to thrive despite not using conventional (and typically better-performing) materials. Great scent, good ease of use, and a great price make this a recommended buy. It is available in 7.8, 12.4, and 18.6 pound boxes, is comprised of pine pellets, and is available in the budget-priced tier.
Pros: Pleasant litter smell, absorbs nearly all cat smells, great price
Cons: Doesn’t clump so have to watch more closely, light tracking
Healthy Pet ökocat Natural Paper Dust Free
Like many of the other eco-friendly litter options on the market by going with abnormal materials it sometimes comes at the cost of performance. While this product doesn’t do anything inherently bad, there are lots of small issues that add up and take away from it being a recommended choice. It is available in 5.1, 8.2, and 12.3 pound boxes, is comprised of paper, and is available in the mid to premium-price tiers.
Pros: Handles liquids very well, essentially scentless litter smell, does good job of capturing odors short-term
Cons: Can struggle clumping solids, light weight so it tracks easily
Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping
A so-so litter for those that are looking for a cheap option. It has mediocre clumping ability and the scent can be off-putting but it does a decent job of locking in cat smells without making an absolutely terrible mess. For the price you can’t really complain. It is available in 10.5 pound bags, is comprised of corn fiber, and is available in the budget-price range.
Pros: Affordable, acceptable at masking odors, little dust
Cons: Poor clumping, a lot of tracking
Swheat Scoop Multi-Cat
The multi-cat formula seems to have bumped up the odor control and clumping ability a bit compared to the standard Swheat offerings but the fact that there is still a large wheat grain component hurts it. And also this slight improvement in performance also comes with a slight increase in price. It is available in 7, 14, 25, and 40-pound bags, is comprised of wheat, and is available in the mid-priced tier.
Pros: Litter smell is subtle, does a good job of locking in feces smells
Cons: Strong ammonia smell can come out from urine, clumps are somewhat weak, tracking is a concern