What do the Categories Mean?
In an attempt to simplify the many different variables and choices that exist when it comes to cat litters, we have broken down the way will display and rank cat litters according to three different metrics. These metrics are cat litter by price tier, cat litter by brand, and cat litter by ingredient(s). These are the most commonly searched for criteria that we have come across so be filtering them for you we hope it will make your litter research much simpler. We break down the specifics of category below:
Cat Litter by Price Tier
One of the biggest considerations that a buyer typically makes when choosing a cat litter (or any item, really) is how much it costs. There is a rather wide variance on how much cat litters can cost. Variables such as the type of material used, the size of the bag, how established the company is, shipping costs, difficulty in obtaining, and many others play a role in determining this metric.
Since there are different quantities, shapes, and sizes of cat litter containers the easiest way to analyze this is by considering the relative cost in dollars per pound. This puts a 40 pound bag of cat litter on the same level as a 5 pound box. The other important note here is that we are basing these values off of online prices (generally Amazon) with localized shipping cost. You may see some prices and think to yourself, “What a minute! I can buy that in my local grocery store for a lot cheaper!“. And you are probably right. Since cat litter tends to be quite heavy shipping costs play a part. The benefit is that you don’t have to personally drive to the store and lug the heavy bag back home and instead can have it delivered to you, and online will have a much larger selection than any store you come across. The con is that this comes at a price. Only you can decide if the extra cost is worth it. Even if you decide to purchase from the store our reviews still apply and we hope they will guide you in your purchase either way.
Also since prices fluctuate we won’t list specific prices but rather break them down into price categories that you will typically pay. Their may be overlap between some of these but they are a good starting point. We encourage you to do research from potential sellers and go with the option that is the best price for you.
To simplify things, we have broke down the price ranges into three categories: budget, mid, and premium. Their ranges are as follows:
budget: The cheapest option. These will be some of the more affordable litters that you can purchase online.
mid: A step up from budget. Not the cheapest but are noticeably more expensive than an average budget litter.
premium: The highest tier. These will be some of the more expensive litters that you will find online.
Further details of each and links to their respected lists can be found below.
Budget-Priced Cat Litter
The budget-priced cat litters are the cheapest tier that we have. They are typically clay-based and come from larger, more-established companies that can afford to drive down the price. There is a variety of clumping and non-clumping options. While there are reasonably-priced, many of these litters still perform extremely well. They might not have some of the more unique attributes that litters with more exotic materials have, but they still can get the job done with a lot less impact on your wallet.
Check out all of our budget-priced cat litter reviews here.
Mid-Priced Cat Litter
The mid-priced cat litter tier is for products that are typically a step up in cost from the budget level. At this price we start to see other materials mixed in with clays and even some non-clay litters. There are more eco-friendly options at this level as well. Most of these litters clump in some form and some of the more specialized features so as hypoallergenic and flushable come into play. If you are willing to spend a bit more there are some great-performing litters in this category, especially for multi-cat and sensitive cat households.
Head on over to our extensive list of mid-priced litter reviews located here.
Premium-Priced Cat Litter
The premium-priced cat litter tier are the most expensive, and will generally be higher-priced than both the budget and mid lines. These litters can be made of all sorts of materials such as crystals, silicon, pine, etc., and quite a few are intended for special circumstances such as cats that might have breathing difficulties or long-haired types. You will almost exclusively find litters that have some sort of clumping feature or a more advanced odor-elimination process, and many of these will be offered by smaller companies that you might not find in the budget offerings. You don’t have to spend this kind of money for a great litter, but for those willing to open up their wallet they will enjoy certain aspects you can’t find in cheaper tiers.
You can read up on all the different premium-priced litter options here.
Cat Litter by Brand
There are A LOT of different cat litter brands. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing: It is good in that there is a lot of competition which means product output will be better and it also means that there are many different selections to choose from that range in price, materials used, and performance capabilities. It is bad in that it is very easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out what the best choice for you and your cat are. With so many options where does one even begin in figuring out what works best? Fear not, because that is where we come in. We have scoured the internet and retails stores high and low to create the most encompassing cat litter review by brand that you will find anywhere on the internet!
Simply click on any of the links below and it will take you directly to that specific brand and what they have to offer in regards to cat litter as well as our custom review for that product.
Cat Litter by Ingredient(s)
One of the largest variables that exist with different types of cat litter are what ingredients a given example is made out of. There are literally dozens of different ingredients that can be used and exponentially more combinations of multiple ingredients being used. While conventional clay is by far the most popular ingredient found in cat litter, even that can be complicated with the plethora of clay hybrid litters that you can find on the market today.
Each type of material has its unique pros and cons that range from cost, odor masking capabilities, clumping potential, weight, dust levels, tracking levels, smell, hypoallergenic specifications, environmental friendliness, and many more. With all of the different choices to choose from it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed when trying to narrow down your choices.
Have no fear! That is where we come in. To simplify things, we have broken down all of the different types of cat litters into 4 general categories: Clay, clay hybrid, crystals, and natural. Each is broken down into greater detail below, along with a handy link directly to that page.
Clay is by far the most common material found in cat litter. There are several different types of clay, but for simplicity purposes we group them into one. Clays are popular for many reasons: they are typically the cheapest, they clump well, they can hold quite a bit of moisture, the material is easily obtainable, and many others. They also have their difficulties: they are heavy, can be dusty, can track easily, can smell bad, and the list goes on. If you are looking for a reliable litter and your top priority is your pocket book then going the conventional clay route may be your best bet.
You can read up on our many clay litter reviews here.
Clay hybrid cat litters stick with the popular and proven clay foundation and then add some extra ingredients to the mix. Oftentimes these ingredients are added to help improve or modify an aspect that clay generally struggles with. Common additives are crystals, plant extracts, and baking soda. Similar to completely clay litters, there is a nice mix of clumping and non-clumping choices. The prices for these typically are a bit higher than complete clay since clay is generally the cheapest part of a cat litter. If you are someone who enjoys the proven ability of clay but are wanting something a bit more potent or unique then a clay hybrid might be something you should look into.
You can check out our listing for reviews off all of the clay hybrids.
Crystals are a very unique offering in that they completely get away from clays or natural products like wood or paper and instead deal with more exotic ingredients like silicon. These litters have very specialized attributes which include being extremely lightweight, being excellent at odor absorption, being able to retain significant amounts of moisture, and being near scentless. This comes at a cost, however (literally): they are typically extremely expensive. Also most do not clump which might be a dealbreaker for some. However, their box life tends to be on the longer side so in the end it might not be as big of a blow on your wallet as you think since you don’t need to replace it as often.
Check out here for a full list of the crystal-based cat litters on the market.
Natural cat litters encompass products that contain primary materials that are biodegradable, eco-friendly, all-natural, recyclable, etc. Common examples of this include wood, plants, corn kernels, wheat, newspaper, and many others. Some of these perform surprisingly well when it comes to odor fighting, fluid absorption, and clumping ability while others can struggle. Part of the selling point of these products is that they are better for the environment and people that have that is one of their top priorities when shopping for a cat litter will likely be willing to take a slight blow on the actual performance in order to meet that objective.
There are tons of really interesting options out there so head over here to read up on what is available.