What Cat Litter Do You Use?

Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny

Charlie in litter box
Charlie in litter box

In addition to the cat food department, I am interested in knowing what cat litter you use.  I know a lot of folks are fans of World’s Best Cat Litter – but it didn’t work for us.  I know there are concerns about clumping litters.  However, I find that they work best for us.

Here are some questions:

  • Do you use biodegradable cat litter?
  • Do you use clumping litter?
  • How do you buy your litter?  In bulk or one bag/jug at a time?
  • Why do you like or dislike the litter you use?
  • How often do you clean your boxes and why?

The cat litter debate is similar to the food debate for me in that there doesn’t seem to be one good answer other than the one that works for you and your kitty to live in harmony.

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43 thoughts on “What Cat Litter Do You Use?

  1. marigold says:

    We have tried all kinds of litter and agree with Patti’s comments above – Dr. Elsey’s litter is the best.

    Either the long hair cat formula or ultimate clumping works extremely well for my 3 year old male Ragdoll who has a strange habit of using only the very front part of his litter bin. Other litters become sandy, wet and need to be completely changed out after just 4-5 days.

    Dr. Elsey’s clumps up like concrete and is very easy to keep clean and fresh. When we travel in the summer, we take the Long haired litter crystal formula because it’s very lightweight and easy to dispose of. It does not clump, it absorbs urine, so it does not stay clean as long as the regular Dr. Elsey’s clumping formula, but it’s also excellent for long-haired cats and my cat likes both formulas.

  2. Rachel Brunner says:

    I use Tidy Cat 24/7. For multiple cats. It clumps better than any I’ve ever used and is dust free!!! My breeder was using Fresh Step when I brought my 2 kittens home in November. The first thing I noticed about that litter was the awful perfumy smell and the dust!! Then I noticed the kittens sneezing and smelling like that aroma of the litter. I decided to Google Fresh Step. There were lots of reviews from users complaining of the same thing I wasn’t happy with. There were some that reported upper respiratory infections from all the dust. I now had some validation! I read lots of reviews on the Tidy Cat 24/7 and decided to make the switch. I also shared my findings with my breeder and she has also switched.

    Hope this helps

  3. Patti Johnson says:

    We use Dr. Elsey’s Precious Clumping Cat Litter (which I learned about through the most excellent information you provide here on Floppycats!). I scoop her two litter boxes twice a day and just bag up the “deposits” and put them in our normal trash schtuff. I buy the 40 lb bags of the litter from Amazon.com or Chewy.com (whoever has the best price at the time I need it). I lurve the way this litter has virtually no dust and it clumps hard and tight. Works really well and we have no litter box odor at all. I fully clean both litter boxes every two months (full dumping of old litter in trash, washing out litter boxes with hot soapy water & drying them and then fill them up with fresh litter).

    That’s My Litter & Litter Box Story! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  4. Makayla says:

    I use Yesterday’s News Crumble litter, which has softer pellets than their original litter and is great for Noodles’ little paws. I love how it’s made from recycled newpaper – good for the enviroment and it’s the safest and best kind I found (I would’ve considered walnut if it weren’t for the price). There’s absolutely NO dust when pouring or scooping, though there is a little bit of dust when the box is emptied out because eventually after a few days or so the used litter turns into dust. According to the description, a 26.4lb bag is equal to a 40lb bag of clay litter in volume! It also absorbs ammonia odors really well – of course, poo is a different story for our stinky little boy! 🙂 There’s also no tracking but because he loves to dig in his box a TON and we don’t have a high-sided or hooded litter box, some of the pellets get kicked out. Luckily though, even with carpet and pellets lodged in the corner, they’re easy to pick up. Highly recommended for 1 or 2-cat households! 🙂

    • Makayla says:

      Oh, and I also think they have a scented litter but I’m not sure if they still do and I could only find it in stores. It’s also great as a post-surgery litter, when we picked up Noodles they even recommended it to us.

  5. BJ Batchelor says:

    I recently read through this post/blog (?) and I found I’ve been using a litter that hasn’t been discussed – Cats Pride.

    I’ve used Cats Pride Premium which is unscented, scoopable and flushable. It’s tanner and much finer grained than Scoop Away or Fresh Step and it doesn’t seem to track — at least not so obviously anyway! The label doesn’t come out and say if this is a plant-based litter but it feels and pours more like clay. Unfortunately, their webpage or Facebook page, aren’t exactly chocked full of information, but they do offer coupons! (I’m not all that concerned about our litter being flushable as our area is still on septic systems.)

    Recently Cats Pride has introduced a new variety called Fresh & Light that’s packaged in a green tinted plastic jug. Fresh and Light is not flushable but it’s selling point is that it’s supposed to 25% lighter and who doesn’t like lighter?. This litter is “clay” colored and white it’s not as fine as the flushable variety it’s still finer grained than the other well known litters and I seem to like that even though I can’t really say why.

    Both types are billed as being suitable for “sensitive or allergic cats” and neither type is as dusty as the widely sold clay clumping litters. My one cat IS sneezing less but that could be due to our area’s drought (south Florida) and the fact nothing is growing, much less blooming here.

    The biggest deciding factor is my cats have no objection to the Cats Pride litters. I can’t speak too much about their odor control powers as our cat boxes are kept outside on our large lanai. This Florida screened room has primarily become THEIR catio as I have it decked out with all manner of cat trees and perching spots. My Maine Coon girl only comes inside to eat and say hello!

    FWIW, I gave up on pet store litter boxes some time ago. At Jenny’s suggestion we switched to the extra large, clear, plastic storage tubs. They’re cheaper, so I can afford to replace them more often, and they are lots bigger. I have two Maine Coons, a 15 lb buff, bulls-eyed tabby who’s a tall, long-legged, LEAN boy cat and my new little Ragdoll kitten, Angel Mae, who’s well on her way to becoming a very big, fluffy girl. :3 Traditional litter boxes were just TOO small for my line-up of fluffy linebackers!

    Listed by age – BJ, Casey, the buff tabby, Buffee Moon, the Maine Coon girl, Cody the Maine Coon boy and Angel Mae my seal mitted Ragdoll darling

  6. Erica says:

    I use fresh step odor shield, and it works pretty well. I think it’s the best supermarket brand out there. However, I’ve never tried tidy cats. If I remember correctly, Arm and hammer stuck to the bottom of the pan a lot. I like scoop away as well, but it’s pretty dusty. World’s best somehow made my cat’s leavings smell worse, though it did clump well. The litter that I found clumps better than anything else I’ve used, is everclean. It didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan either. I don’t use it because it’s only at petsmart and petco, which I can’t always get to, but it was amazing. I’ve heard that fresh results, which is like nature’s miracle, is a good less expensive biodegradable litter. I think I’ll stick with clay based, though.

  7. Catmom says:

    I prefer all natural kitty litters. Swheat Scoop comes in 40# bags and has both regular and multiple cat formulas. They both clump very well and have no scent what so ever. NO DUST and a nice sand-like texture. My 4 cats took to it very quickly. So far it has neutralized the odor extremely well and all of my litter boxes are in my basement which can get somewhat damp on occasion. As long as the boxes get scooped out on a regular basis, the Swheat Scoop will last a good 30 days before having to be replaced. I also haven’t had a tracking problem with this litter, just the usual small amount that gets kicked out just outside of the boxes. It does not stick to my cat(s) paws either so I haven’t found it all over the house like the pine litters I’ve used in the past. Go to the Swheat Scoop website and print off a coupon and use it on the smallest size bag to try it out. Place the litter in just one of your boxes to see how your cats take to it and to test the clumping and odor control aspects. I also love the fact that you can buy this brand just about everywhere, even Target stocks it.

  8. Linda says:

    I don’t know of any litter that will absorb odor if a cat doesn’t cover the poo. I do think that the best clay scoopable with the least dust is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra. That is what I’ve switched back to. Petco brand would be my second choice but their quality for some reason isn’t consistent and some batches are dustier than others.

    • Jordan says:

      The Breeze litter system absorbs odor even when the poo isn’t covered. The pellets draw out all of the liquid, and all the pee goes to the absorbent pad underneath, so no mixing of the 2 different odors! I love it 🙂

  9. Roger says:

    Everyone, I have read all the previous reveiws…currently I use Scoop Away…due to cost…but I would spend the extra to find one that isnt so dusty. I hate the dust that amounts when cleaning/scooping the litter…so I need one that clumps, dust free, and can be scooped every other day at times. I have a sitter when I am outta town..but can only be here every other day…now..that isnt so bad as I have 16 cat litter boxes for the 8 cats when I am outta town for a week or so. Any suggestions? I am thinking about the Worlds Best, but does it last as long as a 40lb scoop away? Will it absorb odors that cats fail to cover up? That is my biggest problem is I have a couple cats that juts wont cover their poo…so any suggestions for a litter to absorb that ?

  10. Linda says:

    Interesting discussion. I like several others have tried everything from clumpable clay, to Sweat Scoop, WBCL, Feline Pine Scoopable and am now back to clay. Dr Elseys Precious Cat Ultra is my favorite. I had tried an experiment putting it in the box upstairs and a box of WBCL and a box of Feline Pine Scoopable downstairs. NO one chose to use either of the boxes downstairs which meant that all three were using one box. Interesting because I used WBCL exclusively for a long time but it got to be very dusty AND it stunk I thought. I even had my best friend mention that it smells like grain even before it’s used. One caveat with any of the grain based litters….DO NOT store them in your garage or any place where it gets very hot. Theoretically they could develop and release mycotoxins as they are grain based products and that is where these toxins grow. Mycotoxins have been implicated in many of the dry pet food recalls and it’s because they are products containing grains.

    So then I changed it to Fresh Step unscented clumpable in the two downstairs(there was a sale) and I won’t make that mistake again! I don’t know how you can say it’s unscented as it definitely smells perfumey to me and it’s SO dusty! These boxed will be changed back to Dr. Elseys or possible Petco Gold which I’ve heard some good things about. I’m going to check it out later this week. My vet point blank told me to use scoopable clay as in studies that’s what cats prefer….the finer and more sand like the better.

  11. GlamKitty says:

    I switched to World’s Best a couple of months ago (after reading about some problems with the pine I’d been using), and it’s a winner! It tracks considerably less than the pine did, clumps extremely well (something the pine *didn’t* do), and is virtually dust-free (unlike traditional litters). Best of all, any that winds up in my Raggie’s digestive tract is bound to be much less harmful to him than clay would be. Yay!

  12. Tiffany says:

    I have always worried about clay litter causing mesothelioma. I know when I was throwing clay that it is a threat to people. Its not to clay itself it is the dust that comes off the clay that causes it. I’m just not sure where to go in regards to the litter to put into the cat box. I’ve never used anything other then fresh step. I worry about how my cat will take to a different litter. I would love to try America’s Best.

  13. Nancy says:

    When my cats were kittens I used World’s Best. I was afraid they would eat their litter experimenting with their surroundings. My only complaint with World’s Best was the cost. Right now I buy Tidy Cats non-clumping litter. I replace their litter regularly. I thoroughly clean their boxes twice a week and scoop at least twice a day. The best way to cut down on smell, is to keep the box as clean as possible. When the box is clean the litter is too.

    The best scooping cat litter I’ve ever used was Dr. Eisley’s, but I provide it only when I’m traveling for the sitters’ ease.

    I know clay isn’t Earth friendly but I rather still buy clay and spend the money on better quality food for my fur-babies.

  14. jeannie says:

    I came on here looking for why my cats is sneezing so much. Just got him a little over a week ago at the local animal shelter; he wasn’t sneezing when we got him but developed a continual sneeze starting on his 5th day here. The Fresh Step scented is what we’re using and I’m beginning to think it’s that.

    On the tracking- of -litter line of thought, I’ve always used a plush bath mat by our cats litter box and it collects all the litter that gets on their paws so they don’t track it. It’s well worth the expense; sometimes the local Salvation Army or Goodwill have them cheap. They shake out well.

    • admin says:

      Jeannie – thanks for the tip on the plush bath mat – I use something similar actually, but didn’t even think of including that, so I appreciate the tip.

      As far as the sneezing so much – it could be the litter, but I think it might also be herpes, especially since he is a rescue. Has he been checked out by a vet? L-Lysine will help with the sneezing if it is herpes.

      Thanks for commenting,

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for the plush bathmat idea, Jeannie. I already use those under our litter boxes but mats beside them might make a difference. Checking for herpes is a great idea–there could be allergies, too, though. Some cats have respiratory problems and strong scents or dusty litter can make them much worse. A dear friend’s cat could hardly breathe…had symptoms like human asthma but, when his litter was changed, he recovered just fine. Poor little Mikey almost died before his owner learned what the problem was! Please keep this in mind, too.

  15. Carrie Wehmeyer says:

    I use Tidy Cats 24/7 clumping litter. We have six cats and use a Litter Robot, so it has to clump. Everyone tolerates it well, we have a mat (Scoop Away brand) in front of the robot that keeps most of the litter off their feet. I have tried everything in the past, including World’s Best. Many years ago, I used chicken crumbles. They really seem to be the same thing as World’s Best, but are about three dollars per fifty pound sack.

  16. Harriet says:

    I use Cansan and it does clump but only slightly. The cats seem to love it though. Digging around in it, i sometimes think they mistake it for a playpen rather than a toilet.

  17. caroline says:

    Hi everyone
    Ok now the one above alarms me – I always use a wood pellet one – it collapses into sawdust as it gets wet. I think its good because you can see at a glance how wet it is and if they did pee or not – you know at once if they didn’t do anything.
    The sawdust can then be put on the garden which has the added bonus that it stops one of the local cats doing his business in my garden all the time. I did not know there was any problem with cats and sawdust. I may have to look at this again, but have a cat that is so fussy and set in his ways that he probably won’t use any other litter – like he won’t try any other food!
    There is a mat as he leaves the tray, so he doesn’t often have any sawdust on his feet, so hopefully he hasn’t ingested any.

  18. Nan says:

    Just a warning, which you should check out for yourself. I won’t use any pine and cedar-based litters as I feel they are may be harmful to cats (not to mention many other small critters as well – has been linked to cancer in lab rats and lab rabbits).

    Specific to cats, it goes back to their lack in the feline liver of a crucial enzyme needed to detoxify from plant materials. Now I know some of you are going to immediately say that they aren’t eating it so what’s the big deal? However, they ARE breathing in the volatile oils that give these litters their scent AND cats do ingest some litter while grooming, both actions requiring detoxification capabilities that cats, as obligate carnivores and hence lacking this crucial detox enzyme, just do not have.

    Here’s one article of why they are a no-no. http://www.rabbit.org/care/shavings.html
    Still, I think it worthwhile to do a search on your own and read all the pros and cons to make up your own minds.

  19. Beth says:

    We live in Western South Dakota, bentonite country, where lots of clay litter is produced. I use a combination of clay non-clumping litters: Tidy Cat and Fresh Step. Fresh Step absorbs liquid and odor best but scatters too much. I pour it on the bottom of the litter boxes and put Tidy Cat on top. It gets mixed up a little by our kitties (they prefer the Tidy Cat for some reason) but this top layer cuts down the scattering.
    I have tried scoopable to avoid buying carloads of litter, just don’t like it. Too much dust by far, also it sticks to long-haired cats’ furry paws and ends up in our bed.

  20. Geo says:

    I’ve tried many brands of litter and to my surprise the best of the bunch has been Special Kitty clumping litter from Walmart. (28 lbs. in the green box @$6.99)
    I find it to be much less dusty than Fresh Step, for example. Sometimes I mix it with Tidy Cats or Arm & Hammer clumping litter but it works perfectly fine by itself.

  21. Amy Nievera says:

    We tried a couple of different brands, including World’s Best. World’s Best, unfortunately, was mixed with Feline Pine so I can’t give you a clear answer on how it did. The mix of World’s Best and Feline Pine wasn’t too bad odor-wise but it tracked everywhere and stuck on to the cats’ fur.

    We’re currently on our second box of Ever Clean. It tracks a little bit but it falls off the cat paws while on the litter mat, unlike Feline Pine where we had trails leading a good foot out of the litter box. I believe Ever Clean is a clumper. My roommate buys a box at a time.

  22. GlamKitty says:

    I had always used Scoop Away with my two previous boys, so I started Boomer off with that. But, while it worked well (minimal dust, good clumping), he got SO many litter clumps stuck to his bloomers and to his large and excessively-furry (litter trap!!) feet! 🙁
    Figuring he was ingesting a lot more litter than could possibly be good for him, I did a little research and ended up with FELINE PINE (clumping). It’s certainly more “natural”, meaning any that winds up inside of him through grooming will probably do less harm. There are nowhere near the number of clumps stuck to his pants or his feet with the Feline Pine, either, which is just what I was hoping for! (Another bonus? Cleaning out/moving the litter pan is SO much easier with this stuff; it really is almost weightless!)
    The only downside–and this is a biggish one– is that it tracks a good deal more than the normal clumping litter did; there are teensy little pieces of pine everywhere! But, in the name of “what’s better for my baby”, I’m gonna stick with it. 🙂

  23. Alissa says:

    I use mainly Swheat Scoop with a bit of World’s Best and Arm & Hammer mixed in for odor control. Seems to work pretty well!

    • Jenny | Floppycats.com says:

      Alissa – I love the mix a bunch together idea – do you open all the bags and mix them altogether and then store them in a plastic contrainer or how do you do it?

  24. June says:

    I use Tidy Cats Small Spaces. I had a multi-cat household, but have only one kitty. I have tried many brands of litter, but Tidy Cats is what Lucy used as a kitten and the only one she is willing to continue using. She’ll yowl in protest and not use the box at all unless Tidy Cats is in it. I buy one jug at a time because it is all I can carry. The Small Spaces line is excellent for odor control.

  25. Rebekah C says:

    We switched fron clay clumping litter to Sweat Scoop, a wheat product, after we couldn’t get Jasper to stop sneezing. The Sweat Scoop took care of the sneezing, but despite having litter mats outside the box, the darn litter bits get tracked everywhere. I’m going to look into the Purina Breezes since the commenters above seem so happy with it!

  26. Michelle Spayde says:

    I’ve tried them all for our mult-cat household; especially after having multiple litters of foster kittens at a time!

    My ALL TIME favorite is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra. No nasty perfume smell, and just AWESOME scooping/odor control. <They may still have a rebate to try their product (on their website)

    There is also one other that has a very light herbal scent and is all natural called LitterClean. I've only ever seen it at Sam's Club, and it's a great deal at under $11 for 40lbs. Love, love, LOVE it!

  27. Barbara says:

    I use clumping. It is the HEB store brand here in Texas. It is very clean as clumping litters go. The major brands all seemed to have so much dust floating around, so I decided to try it. It is much cleaner. 28 lbs for $6.38.

  28. Robert Gingrich says:

    I have tried almost every type there is, and always come back to the clumping clay litters. Most of the grain litters do not really clump into hard clumps. I personally like the Fresh Step clumping litter albeit they do track it out and the floor has to be swept with a small broom I keep close by. Not a big problem in my view. I have never found any non-clay litters that I would want to use on an on-going basis.

    I do want to endorse the Omega Paw Roll and Clean litter box. If you haven’t seen this, it is a good one. My three cats love it and it is super easy to clean–just roll it to the right, and back to the left, and take out the tray that holds the “clumps”.

    • Tiffany says:

      I’m going to buy two of those litter boxes. I love the idea of just tipping the box to get the clumps out of the litter box. Plus it seems like that recommended cleaning the litter box twice a day would be a lot easier and would make that cats a lot happier. I cannot wait to try it.

  29. Darcy B says:

    We tried the ground corn, newspaper, lots of health food store choices—but they all made my kitty sneeze —all day long. The best thing about breeze is no small particles–for me means no sneezing. This is the only litter that we had no allergy problems–the silicone pellets were great but they gave me a skin rash.

  30. Melanie says:

    We use Worlds Best. The litter box is the powder room so it’s really convenient to be able to flush the clumps throughout the day. I buy the Multiple Cat formula but did even when I only had one cat. It smells better and seems to track less.

  31. Darcy B says:

    I also use the breeze system and I love it!!! —No more litter all over the house –my kitty has lots of extra toes and these seemed to allow litter to get stuck and make it all the way into every room in the house. I love the system—it has made cleaning the cat box so much easier!

  32. Kat says:

    I set Easter up with Purina’s Breeze litter system because I was tired of his fuzzy paws dragging cat litter all over the house. Breeze is advertised to be a low mess, low odor system, and my husband and I instantly noticed a difference!

    I’m not sure what the pellets are made of; they feel like clay, but they’re not traditional clay. They are cat friendly and are designed to be anti-odor and anti-tracking. The pellets allow liquids to pass through them to a separate odor collecting pee pad, which I have to change once a week. The pellets need to be changed once a month.

    I scoop once a day. Combining this with the Litter Locker means that we have a virtually odor free litter system. Easter does occasionally track a couple pellets out of the box, but that is so much more manageable than having to break out the dust buster daily to get at the cat litter. This system is a little more expensive to maintain, but I believe that it is totally worth it! Easter certainly seems to enjoy it.

  33. Jackie says:

    Now I look at the questions…duh. Yes, the litter is biodegradable, as it’s just ground corn. It is clumping. I buy one eight pound bag at a time.

  34. Jackie says:

    I do use World’s Best Litter for Angel. She has sneezy allergies and this is the only kind she can use. For some reason she’s not tooo stinky, not roses, but not too deadly. I’m home all the time so I can clean each time as soon as she uses it. I think that makes a big difference.

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