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With so many cat litter brands out there, it can be tough to choose one. We’re here to help you sort through the options and figure out which non-clumping cat litter brand is best.
At a Glance: Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters to Buy
How We Tested:
- We purchased the best non-clumping clumping cat litters on the market today
- We spent a few weeks testing the cat litters on several cats
- We did not receive these product in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money
Why Should You Trust Our Recommendations?
You care about your as if he were your own child, so we understand that you want what’s best for him. We’re cat owners and pet lovers ourselves, so we know how it goes. We also know that there are an unbelievable number of cat litter reviews out there so it can be difficult to know who to trust.
We’ve tested dozens of cat litter brands, so we know what to look for and can pass that information along to you.
All of the brands recommended here have been tried and tested personally, though we’ve also read other user reviews and have evaluated the information provided by the manufacturer. Not every cat litter on this list will be the perfect fit for your cat, but hopefully the information we’ve provided will help you make the right choice.
The 10 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters
Because all cat litters are not the same, it’s hard to say whether one is truly the best. We’ve done our best to summarize the key features of each and to recommend them in specific categories so you can quickly find the best litter option for you and your cat. Here are our to picks!
#1 The Best Affordable Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Cat’s Pride Premium Fresh & Clean Clay Litter
- Materials: Clay
- Price Per Pound: $0.21/pound
- Key Features: Highly absorbent, controls odor, affordable price tag
Easily one of the most affordable brands of cat litter in general, Cat’s Pride offers several different formulas including this Premium Fresh & Clean non-clumping clay litter.
It is highly absorbent, helping control urine odors before they start without the use of heavy perfumes and fragrances. It soaks up liquid very quickly and the affordable price means it’s not a big deal to change out the box once a week or more.
We found that it was a little dustier than some brands and did track to some degree, despite having larger granules than some brands. Overall, it’s a good choice for people looking for an affordable brand or one they can change often.
- Highly absorbent for liquid waste
- Helps control urine odors
- Slightly larger granules than some
- A little dustier than some brands
- Tracks to some degree
#2 The Best Odor Control Non-Clumping Litter: Purina Tidy Cats Non-Clumping 24/7 Performance
- Materials: Clay
- Price Per Pound: $0.26/pound
- Key Features: Long-lasting odor control, multi-cat friendly, eliminates urine odor
Clumping cat litter typically forms hard clumps to lock in moisture and odor. Non-clumping cat litter needs to be emptied more often but it can still control odor.
This Tidy Cats Non-Clumping 24/7 Performance formula is a great example because it offers triple odor protection against urine, feces, and ammonia. It is also a great option as a multi-cat litter because it offers around-the-clock odor protection.
This formula is very absorbent, capable of handling large volumes of liquid, though you will need to change the litter more frequently if that happens.
Liquid may pool on the bottom of the litter box if this litter isn’t changed often enough and, as a clay litter, it did have some dust and tracking.
- Long-lasting odor control for urine and ammonia
- Absorbs large volumes of liquid
- Multi-cat litter
- Some dust and moderate tracking
#3 The Best Recycled Material Non-Clumping Litter: Purina Yesterday’s News Original Formula
- Materials: Recycled paper
- Price Per Pound: $0.66/pound
- Key Features: 100% recycled materials, highly absorbent, eco-friendly and biodegradable
If you’re looking for a natural litter or recycled litter, consider Purina Yesterday’s News. They offer several recycled paper litters including this original formula. Made from 100% recycled newspaper, this litter is very absorbent – it absorbs up to 3 times as much liquid as clay litters.
Because it is made from paper, it is virtually dust-free and the pellets are a little larger to reduce tracking. Though not a clumping formula, it’s a little easier to scoop this litter than some others because the paper pellets darken when dirty.
Some liquid may pool on the bottom of the box if you don’t change the litter often enough, however, so it may not be the best option for multi-cat households unless you have extra litter boxes.
- Highly absorbent for liquid waste
- Made from 100% recycled newspaper
- May need to be changed more often
- large pellets may bother some cats
#4 The Best Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Cat Litter
- Materials: Pine
- Price Per Pound: $1.03/pound
- Key Features: Absorbs liquid quickly, locks away ammonia odor, all-natural materials
- All-natural pine materials, absorbs liquid very quickly
- Very low dust and low tracking
- More expensive than other options
- May develop unpleasant odor if not scooped often
A chemical-free and clay-free litter, Feline Pine Original non-clumping litter is made from 100% natural pine. Made in larger granules, this litter absorbs liquid like tiny sponges, soaking it up very quickly.
It controls urine odor fairly well but is a little less effective for solid waste. We loved that it is an all-natural litter and it was a very low-dust formula.
Plus, the larger granules prevented tracking for the most part. One downside to this litter is that the combination of urine and the pine materials can create an unpleasant odor, but this can be remedied by emptying the box often.
#5 The Best Walnut Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Pellet Non-Clumping Cat Litter
- Materials: Walnut shells
- Price Per Pound: $0.64/pound
- Key Features: All-natural walnut materials, highly absorbent, virtually dust free
Many natural litter brands use paper or grain-based materials but Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh uses 100% natural walnut shells. This litter is highly absorbent which helps control odors from urine, feces, and ammonia.
The dust-free formula is great for cats with sensitive noses and lungs, plus it is free from chemicals and toxins.
Though this formula was lower in dust than many, the pellets tracked to a fair degree. We also found that urine combined with the walnut materials became unpleasant over time, but it shouldn’t be an issue if you scoop out dirty litter once a day.
- Made from 100% natural walnut shells
- Highly absorbent for liquid, very low dust
- Some issues with tracking
- Unpleasant odor combined with urine
#6 The Best Lightweight Non-Clumping Cat Litter: CatSpot Coconut Non-Clumping Cat Litter
- Materials: Coconut
- Price Per Pound: $3.59/pound
- Key Features: All-natural materials, highly absorbent, lightweight and biodegradable
Clay litter can be very heavy, but so can other natural materials. This CatSpot Coconut non-clumping cat litter is extremely lightweight while also being natural and biodegradable.
Made from 100% coconut materials, this formula doesn’t contain any of the chemicals or artificial ingredients found in other litters. It is a great option in hypoallergenic cat litter as well because it is clay-free and virtually dust-free as well.
Not only is this litter natural, but a 5 pound bag absorbs as much liquid as a 20 pound bag of clay litter.
The only challenge we found with this litter is that it was difficult to separate dirty from clean litter and the price was a little higher, making it difficult to replace the litter as often as would be ideal. This litter is only available on Amazon, not Chewy.
- Made from 100% natural coconut materials
- Highly absorbent formula
- Virtually dust-free
- Difficult to separate out dirty from clean litter
#7 The Best Silica Crystal Non-Clumping Cat Litter: SoPhresh Odor-Lock Silica Crystal Litter
- Materials: Silica crystal
- Price Per Pound: $1.33/pound
- Key Features: Odor-lock crystals, highly absorbent, dries fairly quickly
One of the issues with non-clumping litter is that it needs to be replaced more often than clumping litter. Crystal litter is unique because it absorbs liquid extremely quickly and doesn’t stay as wet as many clay and natural litters.
This combined with the odor-locking powers means that it may work well as a multi-cat litter and may not need to be replaced as often. There is some concern about silica dust for crystal litter, but we didn’t find this formula to be particularly dusty.
We did notice, however, that the crystals crackled when exposed to liquid – it could be a little off-putting for some cats. This litter is only available on Amazon, not Chewy.
- Made from non-toxic silica gel
- Absorbs liquid and odors quickly
- Fairly low tracking
- More expensive than average litter
- Crystals crackle with liquid contact
#8 The Best Dust-Free Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Natural Paper Dust-Free Non-Clumping Litter
- Materials: Paper
- Price Per Pound: $2.51/pound
- Key Features: All-natural paper materials, highly absorbent, soft and lightweight
Some paper cat litters come in large pellets which can be a little uncomfortable on your cat’s feet, but Okocat Natural Paper litter is much softer.
Made from natural paper materials, it is free from synthetic fragrances and chemical additives in addition to being dust-free. This paper litter is highly absorbent and offers impressive odor control for a paper litter.
The granules absorb up to two times their wet in liquid, plus the unique texture keeps the litter drier than some paper litters. We liked that the granules were smaller and lighter than many paper litters, though there was a little bit of tracking.
It was harder to scoop out solid waste than some litters, but it wasn’t a significant issue.
- Made from all-natural paper materials
- Aabsorbs twice its weight in liquid, lightweight granules
- Solid waste can be a little tricky to scoop
- More expensive than average litter
#9 The Best Multi-Cat Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Fresh Step Premium Non-Clumping Litter with Febreeze
- Materials: Clay
- Price Per Pound: $0.37/pound
- Key Features: Superior odor control, refreshing Febreze scent, weighs 30% less
If you’re looking for an instant action cat litter that offers superior odor control, consider Fresh Step Premium Non-Clumping Litter with Febreze.
This clay scented litter is surprisingly lightweight compared to other clay litters and still more affordable than most natural non-clumping litters. It absorbs liquids very quickly and traps odors for long-lasting odor control.
Powered by Febreze, this litter offers paw-activated freshness, so the box always smells clean and fresh for your cat. As a clay litter, it was a little dustier than some and there was some tracking as well.
- Superior odor control with the power of Febreze
- Weighs 30% less than other clay litters
- A little bit dustier than most natural litters
- Some cats may be sensitive to fragrance
#10 The Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter System: Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter System
- Materials: Proprietary materials
- Price Per Pound: $2.14/pound
- Key Features: Low tracking, 99% dust-free pellets, refillable pee pads
When it comes to non-traditional cat litter, they can be very hit or miss. The Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter system uses specially designed pellets that are low-tracking, 99.9% dust free, and made to dehydrate solid waste.
Used in conjunction with the Breeze litter box system, liquid waste passes through the pellets onto a refillable pee pad below. This litter box system is unique and many cat owners like it. We liked the pee pad refills and the design of the litter box itself.
The pellets, however, were a little large and hard for comfort and they were difficult to scoop unless the solid waste had time to really dehydrate.
Overall, however, it could be a good choice if you’re looking for a cat litter box your cats might dedicate solely to liquid waste. You’ll need to buy pee pad refills but won’t have to replace the pellets themselves as often.
- Liquid soaks through into refillable pee pads
- Pellets dehydrate solid waste
- Helps control odor
- Requires special pellets and pee pads
- Some cats dislike the size and texture of the pellets
Is Non-Clumping Litter Right for Your Cat?
Many cat owners prefer clumping clay litter because it is affordable and is easier to scoop. Most clumping litter is made from bentonite clay.
It forms hard clumps around cat urine and sticks to solid waste, making it easy to scoop and dispose of. One of the primary concerns about clay cat litter, however, is that the process through which it is extracted can be damaging to the earth.
Though natural cat litter does exist in clumping varieties, it often doesn’t compare to the clumping ability of clumping clay litter. For this and other reasons, many cat owners prefer non-clumping litter since they just empty and refill the litter box once a week anyway.
Not all non-clumping cat litter is eco-friendly or biodegradable – there are still formulas made from bentonite clay and similar materials. There are, however, still some benefits to consider. Non-clumping cat litter is good at removing odors from cat litter because it absorbs large volumes of liquid. Many non-clumping formulas also include deodorizers like baking soda. Depending on the materials from which it is made, non-clumping litter can actually be less expensive than a clumping formula.
What to Look for in a Non-Clumping Litter
A clean litter box is every cat’s dream. Cats are naturally fastidious animals, so they clean themselves constantly.
As a cat owner, it’s your job to keep the litter box clean to ensure that it’s a pleasant environment for your cat to do his business. If it isn’t, he may start doing it somewhere else. We’ve tested and evaluated dozens of cat litter brands to bring you our top picks, but first we want to give you an idea what you should be looking for in a non-clumping cat litter.
Here are some things to look for in the best non-clumping cat litter:
- Contains odor. It’s difficult to say that any is completely odor-free, but non-clumping litter absorbs liquid well which helps prevent odors from becoming too overpowering. For extra odor protection, you might look for a cat litter formula that contains deodorizers like baking soda.
- Very absorbent. Non-clumping litter typically does well in absorbing liquid but large volumes can start to pool on the bottom of the box if you don’t empty it often enough. An absorbent litter is particularly important for multi-cat litter.
- Low dust. Clay litter is often very dusty and it can be bad for your cat to inhale the dust. Many natural cat litters are closer to dust free but not all of them are. Natural cat litter made from materials like recycled paper tend to be low dust more than clay.
- Low mess. Dust is part of the equation when it comes to cat litter clean up, but you also have to consider tracking. Smaller particles tend to track more than larger ones, but larger granules can be uncomfortable on your cat’s feet.
- Scented/unscented. A scented cat litter can help mask odors but there’s also the potential for it to irritate your cat’s nose and lungs. You can consider it for cats who aren’t sensitive but be mindful of artificial fragrances versus natural ones.
Now that you understand the difference between clumping litter and non-clumping cat litter, you’re ready to see our recommendations. Take our recommendations with a grain of salt, knowing that your cat’s litter preferences are unique.
Frequently Asked Questions
Picking the best cat litter is one tough, especially when choosing between a non-clumping and clumping variety, but that’s only half the battle. Once you’ve chosen from all the cat litter brands, you still have to think about the details. Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about cat litter.
How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need?
If you hate scooping the litter box, adding extra boxes may mean scooping it less often. Having several options for your cat to choose from can also be a benefit in that it may prevent non-use of the litter box. The general rule is to provide one litter box per cat, plus one extra. You also need to think about where you’ll place the litter boxes. You don’t want them to be in the middle of your living room, but they should still be easily accessible. It doesn’t hurt to place one on each floor of your house and make sure your cat never has to go too far to access a litter box from wherever he is.
How Much Litter Should You Use?
This is largely a matter of preference, though the general recommendation is at least 2 to 3 inches. If your cat tends to dig a lot and fling litter outside of the box, you may want to add a little more. Because you’ll be emptying the entire litter box instead of scooping clumps, however, you want to find the right balance between using enough litter and not wasting too much extra.
How Often Should You Empty the Litter Box?
Because you won’t be scooping clumps of litter, it’s best to empty the entire litter box, clean it, and refill it. You may be able to scoop out solid waste and some of the wet litter, but you really need to empty the box and refill it with fresh litter about once a week. If you have more than one cat, you may need to do it more often unless you provide multiple litter boxes.
The biggest decision you need to make about cat litter is whether you want a non-clumping or clumping formula. From there, you still have to choose from dozens or even hundreds of different options. All non-clumping cat litter products are not created equal. They are made from a variety of materials, many of which are eco-friendly and biodegradable. This is a key difference from the average clumping litter.
When it comes to picking a cat litter, the best type of litter for you is one that suites your cat’s preferences and is easy for you to afford. Hopefully the recommendations we’ve made above help you find the right cat litter for you and your cat.