Clumping cat litter is by far the most common and recognized litter feature. Generally speaking, clumping cat litters quickly trap liquid and moisture while absorbing even the most obnoxious of smells. Non-clumping cat litters can be difficult to scrape off your kitty’s box if liquid falls to the bottom without becoming absorbed by clumping technology.


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Clumping cat litters are known for keeping your home smelling fresh regardless of how many feline friends you have. There are several other benefits of using a clumping cat litter as well. Here we outline all of the benefits and what to look for when choosing the best clumping litter for your cat. We also have some phenomenal recommendations for you, so you don’t have to do the dirty work (in regards to research or stressfully cleaning the litter box). Let’s begin!

5 Benefits of Using Clumping Cat Litter

Cat parents are attracted to clumping litter for several different reasons. A cat litter with the clumping feature has easily become the most popular type of cat litter. Here we explore why that is.

  1. Widely available: Clumping cat litter seems to be available in almost any brand. This makes it easy to choose the brand of cat litter you prefer. Even then, many pet brands offer a wide array of clumping cat litters under their name. And that leads us to our next point.
  2. Shopping convenience: Since clumping cat litters are the most sought after of all litter features, you can purchase a clumping litter wherever cat litter is sold. Even if you’re out for your weekly grocery shopping you can pick up a box of clumping cat litter in the pet aisle.
  3. Easy cleanup: The main attraction to using clumping cat litter is the ease of which you can scoop it. Tight clumps form in the litter to make scooping a breeze. When you can quickly scoop your cat’s litter without a crazy mess, the entire process becomes less stressful.
  4. Odor control: When your cat uses their litter box, their elimination is almost immediately surrounded by the clumping litter. When this process occurs, it helps to trap and eliminate those odors, offering superior odor control.
  5. Cost-effective: Clumping cat litter is typically a good choice for your wallet. Since it is so widely available in almost any brand you can imagine, it’s a cost-effective option for cat parents on any budget.

Different Types of Materials Used for Clumping Cat Litter

The most common clumping litter material is traditional clay, but the choices are quickly expanding. Many flushable and biodegradable cat litters now have clumping properties. Popular clumping cat litter materials include:

Wood, corn and walnut based cat litters are generally biodegradable and can be flushed down the toilet for convenient disposal. Be sure to always check the instructions on your cat litter’s container, however. If using a clumping cat litter sounds like a great solution for your feline friends, let’s take a closer look at the key components to look for a in a good clumping litter.

5 Key Components to Look for in a Clumping Cat Litter

Aside from picking a clumping litter from your favorite brand, there are several components to consider when choosing the best clumping cat litter for your kitty.

  1. Material: As stated above, there are a plethora of materials you can choose from when purchasing a clumping cat litter. While clay is the most common, there are other eco-friendly choices available to you. Other clumping litter materials aside from the ones we listed include paper, grass, cedar and wheat.
  2. Disposal: If you want a cat litter than you can compost or flush via a septic or sewer system, then you will need to buy one made from an appropriate material. Clay litters are not typically flushable, so you will want a more natural cat litter. Only litters made from 100% natural resources are biodegradable. And for convenient flushing, you will have to purchase a cat litter that is made to do so.
  3. Scented or Unscented: Many natural clumping cat litters do not come scented (some have a clean, natural pine scent), but there are a multitude of clay litters that do have scents. Febreze has partnered with several cat litter brands to bring you scented litters which eliminate odors and offer a fresh smell. You can even buy a clumping cat litter with Hawaiian or tropical scents. It simply depends on preferences and your cat’s allergies or respiratory health.
  4. Granule Size: Yes, this is a thing. Different granule sizes have benefits depending on your cat and how you want to dispose of the litter. Large and paper granules are great for cats with long hair, while tiny granules are softer on paws and can more than likely be discarded via flushing. Large granules won’t work in mechanical litter boxes like small ones will.
  5. Special features: Some clumping cat litters include special features such as attractant (great for kittens who are training to use the litter box), dust-free properties for cats with allergies or asthma, and natural essences for stress reduction.

Since we’ve explored all of the possibilities surrounding clumping cat litter, it’s time to get into our recommendations.

7 Best Clumping Cat Litters

Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Biodegradable and flushable
  • Tiny granules are gentle on paws
  • Patented Odor Shield Technology
  • Lightweight
  • High absorbency

Overall Best: This Okocat clumping litter is an excellent choice for cats of all ages, and even post-surgical cats. The tiny granules are incredibly soft for even the most sensitive paws. Whether you have a kitten, adult or senior cat, this clumping cat litter is a great option.

We like Okocat litters because they are safe for the environment. The tiny wood granules in this cat litter are safe to flush because it’s 100% natural and will easily break down in the sewer system. This means ultimate convenience when it comes to cleaning your kitty’s litter box. With small granules also comes the benefit of being lightweight.

Okocat litters are created with Odor Shield Technology for high absorbency and high yield, which means that it takes less litter to create a tight clump, and you save money in the end. Litter is unlikely to be wasted, as clumps are formed without the need for unnecessary litter coverage.

Pros:

  • Super soft on paws for kittens, seniors, and kitties with sensitive paws
  • Clumps can be flushed via a sewer or septic system
  • High absorbency for tight clumping
  • Even the packaging is biodegradable
  • No chemicals, toxins or additives

Cons:

  • Not best for cats with long hair

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Low-tracking granules
  • Good for multi-cat households
  • Ideal for scooping and mechanical litter boxes
  • Creates hard clumps

Runner-Up Best Clumping Cat Litter: Dr. Elsey’s cat litters are formulated by Dr. Elsey himself, who is a cat-centric veterinarian with over 35 years’ experience. This particular clumping cat litter is made from heavy, medium-grain clay for low tracking. While it is a clay litter, this Dr. Elsey’s option is 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic.

This is a multi-cat formula clumping litter, meaning it will effortlessly absorb odors even if you have more than one feline friend in your home. Dr. Elsey’s litter formula will form tight litter clumps before liquid and moisture seep to the bottom of your litter box.

Pros:

  • 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic, great for your cat’s respiratory health
  • Formulated by an experienced veterinarian
  • Forms tight, hard clumps for easy cleanup
  • Good choice for mechanical litter boxes
  • Works well in multi-cat homes

Cons:

  • Not biodegradable or flushable

Frisco Unscented Odor Defense Clumping Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Patented odor defense system
  • Superior clumping action
  • Good for multi-cat households
  • Unscented for cats with allergies or asthma

Best Budget-Friendly Clumping Cat Litter: The root cause of litter box odor is ammonia – a pungent smell which is commonly created in the litter box. This Frisco clumping cat litter works to reduce that smell with its odor defense system. It doesn’t use any perfumes or fragrances to cover the smell, so even the most sensitive cats will feel great using this litter.

Our Frisco budget-friendly clumping cat litter choice quickly absorbs liquid and odor, creating tight clumps for easy scooping and tidy cleanup. The clumps help to neutralize and eliminate odors, even if you have an entire kitty crew to care for. This clumping cat litter is a low-dust formula that will give your cat a natural feel when doing their business.

Pros:

  • Great for sensitive cats
  • Cost-effective
  • Fast, absorbent clumping action
  • Good for multi-cat homes
  • Uses less litter per clump

Cons:

  • Not biodegradable or flushable

3 More Top Rated Clumping Cat Litters

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter

This Fresh Step clumping cat litter is a top pick among cat parents because it’s budget-friendly and offers excellent odor control. Febreze works with Fresh Step’s ClumpLock Technology to quickly absorb moisture and lock in tough odors. The formula is low-dust and low-tracking for even the messiest kitties. Fresh Step makes all of their cat litters with your feline’s health and happiness in mind, and we trust that this particular clumping litter is a dependable choice when deciding on a good clumping cat litter.

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

This is a great clumping cat litter if you prefer an eco-friendly option. The walnut-based litter naturally neutralizes odor, while remaining virtually dust-free. Since it’s made from renewable resources, this Naturally Fresh cat litter is biodegradable and made without unnecessary chemicals or toxins. The blend of walnut shells will quickly form tight clumps from moisture on contact, making cleaning your cat’s litter box easier than before.

World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula

The World’s Best clumping cat litter is made from naturally-compressed corn. The small granules create little to no dust, and are free of silica dust and chemicals. Tight clumps form after your cat uses their litter box, and you can easily scoop them for low maintenance cleanup. We like that World’s Best cat litters because they are eco-friendly. This clumping cat litter is also biodegradable and can be flushed via a septic or sewer system.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a scoopable and clumping litter? – Generally speaking these litter types are the same. When a cat litter is deemed to be a clumping formula, that means it’s easily scoopable, and vice versa. Sometimes it simply comes down to how the brand labels their cat litter. More often than not, a cat litter that is clumping is also scoopable. Sometimes the differences may be amount of odor control, material of the litter or other factors.
  • What causes clay litters to make tight clumps? – Sodium bentonite, or bentonite clay, is what creates those tight clumps in your litter box. However, some cat litter types do not contain sodium bentonite, and instead use natural properties to make the clumps.
  • How often do I need to completely change out clumping cat litter? – It’s recommended that you scoop your cat’s litter box 1-2 times daily, and completely change it out about every two weeks.
  • How do I know if clumping litter is good for multiple cats? – A cat litter that is good for a multi-cat household will have excellent odor absorbency characteristics, low tracking and quick clumping technology. A clumping cat litter with low-dust that is easily scoopable will be best for homes with more than one cat. It’s also best to have at least one separate litter box per cat in your household to encourage proper litter box usage.
  • Does clumping cat litter work in mechanical litter boxes? – Some clumping litters are appropriate for sifting and mechanical litter boxes, but you always want to read the instructions and labels on the brand of litter that you choose. Cat litters comprised of larger granules aren’t normally good for mechanical boxes.

Conclusion

Clumping cat litter is designed to effortlessly remove urine and feces from your cat’s litter box. The clumping process helps reduce wasted litter and makes for easy, daily scooping. It’s important to replenish your kitty’s box with fresh litter after scooping the clumps and disposing of them. And even though you can scoop your cat’s litter box daily doesn’t mean you don’t need to completely change out the litter and clean the box every couple of weeks.

It’s best to keep your cat’s litter box in a well-ventilated area. This will help keep the air clean and fresh, which is best for cats and humans. Cats with respiratory concerns or allergies may need their litter cleaned more frequently than others, and they may benefit most from natural, unscented litter. Remember to always wash your hands after handling or cleaning cat litter as to avoid spreading bacterial disease.

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