7 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters With Our 2019 Budget-Friendly Pick

Non-clumping cat litter was introduced in the 1940s and it was first made from a familiar material – clay. Clay non-clumping litter is still popular and widely used today because it’s budget-friendly and effective in odor absorption. Non-clumping cat litter is available at any store that sells cat litter, adding convenience to its use.

Clumping litter makes cleaning your cat’s litter box a simpler, less messy process. But have you considered that perhaps there are benefits to using a non-clumping kitty litter? In this article we’re shedding light on how you may actually prefer non-clumping litter for odor control and other components. We’re also sharing recommendations for good non-clumping cat litters. Let’s get digging!

5 Benefits of Using Non-Clumping Cat Litter

You may be surprised to find out that there are several benefits of using a non-clumping cat litter. Although clumping litter is nice because it’s easy to scoop and clean, there are some nice hidden benefits to purchasing a non-clumping litter instead. Let’s go through them.

  1. Does not contain sodium bentonite: Non-clumping litter does not contain sodium bentonite, which is the agent used to create the hard clumps in clumping cat litter. Instead, the main component in non-clumping litter is calcium bentonite. This brings us to our next point.
  2. Can absorb more odor: Calcium bentonite is known to absorb more liquid and moisture than sodium bentonite, which is found in clumping litter. So although clumps are nice for scooping, non-clumping litter may be better at controlling tough odors.
  3. Additional odor control: Non clumping cat litters often have additional odor absorbing properties such as baking soda or charcoal. These elements assist in keeping your cat’s litter box smelling fresh.
  4. Your cats may prefer it: Simply put, your cats may not like the rock-hard lumps that are made via clumping litter. Kitties may feel more comfortable using non-clumping litter so the clumps don’t get in their way.
  5. Produces very little dust: Since non-clumping kitty litter doesn’t have sodium bentonite in it, it produces little to no dust, making it potentially healthier for your cat.

Now let’s talk a little bit more about why a cat parent would choose a non-clumping litter over a competing clumping option.

Why would a non-clumping litter be better than a clumping litter?

What makes clumping litter attractive to cat parents is the convenience of being able to scoop up tight clumps for discarding. You see a hard clump in the litter box, you scoop it up, then trash it or flush it. Simple, right?! Of course! And this is why clumping litters are so popular. But non-clumping litters should not be discounted.

Since non-clumping litter does not contain sodium bentonite, you won’t get a dusty cloud and residue when you pour the litter or when your cat covers up their elimination. Sodium bentonite is the agent which forms clumps, but it also causes dust. Non-clumping litter won’t give you tight clumps to scoop up for convenience disposal, but it also won’t give you dust.

Non-clumping litter absorbs more moisture than clumping litter. Why? The main element in non-clumping litter, calcium bentonite, absorbs odors and liquid much more effectively than sodium bentonite. To put it simply – clumping litter will give you easier cleanup but non-clumping litter will be better for odor control.

5 Components to Look for in a Good Non-Clumping Cat Litter

We’ve piqued your interest in non-clumping litters, and below we discuss some important components to look into when choosing the best non-clumping litter for your cats.

  1. Eco-friendly: If you are interested in contributing to the welfare of our Earth, you may want to consider purchasing an eco-friendly non-clumping litter. These types of litters will be biodegradable and made from natural resources.
  2. Large pellets: Large pellets, which are generally made from paper, wood or pine, are the best for cats with long hair. Larger pellets also tend to offer layers of maximum absorbency.
  3. Small grains: Cats often prefer non-clumping litter because clumps won’t get in their way. They may also appreciate small granules because it gives a natural, dirt-like consistency which is easy to dig in. Also, the smaller the granule, the better it will work in a mechanical litter box.
  4. Hypoallergenic: If your cat has respiratory problem, asthma or allergies, you’ll want to choose a hypoallergenic non clumping cat litter.
  5. Non-tracking: Traditional clay non-clumping litters can easily track throughout the house on your cat’s paws. However, some non-clumping litters offer low-tracking benefits based on the material that the litter is made from.

Overall Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter Brands

Okocat Natural Wood Pine Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Biodegradable
  • Flushable
  • Strong odor control
  • Natural pine scent
  • Absorbs up to 500% of its weight in moisture

There are two types of Okocat natural wood cat litter, but here we highlight the non-clumping version. Like all Okocat litters, this one is free of chemicals and additives. It is lightweight yet offers high absorbency, locking in up to 500% of its weight in moisture. The natural wood pellets are dust free, which is great for allergy sensitive kitties.

Okocat is our favorite eco-friendly cat litter brand. All of their cat litters are biodegradable, and this non-clumping natural wood litter is flushable. The litter comes in a lightweight box with a handle and easy pour spout. When it’s time for a new box of litter, don’t worry – the packaging is also biodegradable! Your cat will love the softness of this natural non-clumping litter, and the planet will also be appreciative.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Superior odor control
  • High yield and absorbency
  • Natural pine scent without added fragrances
  • Soft on paws

Cons:

  • May get stuck in the fur of long hair cats

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Dust free
  • Herbal enzymes to reduce stress
  • Absorbs odor and liquid on contacts

Best Runner-Up Dust Free Non-Clumping Cat Litter: This non-clumping silica gel cat litter is a high rated choice for cats who battle respiratory concerns and allergies. Its dust free and hypoallergenic properties make it an excellent pick for sensitive kitties. Even though this cat litter is made from silica gel, it is still biodegradable! Silica gel granules have tiny pores that immediately absorb moisture for superior odor control.

Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief non-clumping kitty litter is unique because it consists of natural essences which help reduce stress in cats. Any cat can benefit from this litter, but it’s especially helpful for senior cats or cats struggling with health issues. You won’t find any perfumes or deodorants in this high-quality cat litter. Dr. Elsey’s is veterinary formulated, and we highly recommend it as a fantastic non-clumping cat litter.

Pros:

  • Dust free
  • Hypoallergenic silica gel formula
  • Herbal enzymes for stress reduction
  • Effective odor control
  • Biodegradable
  • Works with mechanical litter boxes

Cons:

  • Not flushable

Frisco Crystal Summer Clean Scent Multi-Cat Non-Clumping Cat Litter

Key Benefits:

  • Odor-locking crystals
  • Low tracking
  • Dust free
  • Gentle on paws
  • Summer clean scent

Best Budget-Friendly Non-Clumping Cat Litter: Silica gels make for phenomenal non-clumping litters because of the way that the crystals work. Each granule has tiny pores which absorb liquid on contact. You can scoop out your cat’s feces, then quickly give the litter a stir. The silica gel crystals will soak up any moisture or liquid. This Frisco non-clumping cat litter as our favorite budget-friendly choice for this process.

The silica crystals are low tracking and will also be gentle on your cat’s paws. Much like a majority of silica gel litters, this one is dust free, great for cats with asthma or allergies. You can use this non-clumping kitty litter in a mechanical litter box, which is a nice perk! Plus the summer clean scent will add a nice hint of freshness to your kitty’s litter box space.

Pros:

  • Softs on paws
  • Odor absorbing crystals
  • Dust free
  • Low tracking
  • Fresh scent
  • Good for mechanical litter boxes

Cons:

  • Not eco-friendly
  • Not recommended for cats with long hair

4 More Top Rated Non-Clumping Kitty Litter Brands

Fresh Step Scented Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter

This is a cost-effective non-clumping cat litter with maximum odor control. CarbonPLUS technology provides superior odor neutralization, making this litter great for multi-cat households. This Fresh Step non-clumping cat litter is made from clay, but it’s lightweight and is formulated with antimicrobial agents to prevent bacteria from growing in your cat’s litter box.

Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter

Paper pellet cat litters are a great choice when picking out a non-clumping litter. This one in particular is natural and biodegradable. The paper pellets are extremely absorbent and work to control odor through Odor Shield Technology. Odors and moisture are trapped within the lightweight paper fibers. Okocat natural paper non-clumping cat litter is eco-friendly and dust free – perfect for kitties who have respiratory concerns.

Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter

This non-clumping cat litter is made from recycled newspaper. This eco-friendly cat litter is virtually dust free and your kitty won’t track it all over the house. The paper pellets are more absorbent than clay to keep tough odors under control. This non-clumping cat litter option is good for the wallet and better for the environment.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Long Hair Litter

For a non-clumping cat litter that will work well for your cats with long hair, we suggest this silica gel litter from Dr. Elsey’s. The gel granules are infused with essences that will help draw your cat to use the litter box. The larger particles won’t get matted in your cat’s beautiful fur after the tiny pores work to trap liquid and absorb troublesome odors. We also recommend this non-clumping cat litter because it’s biodegradable, hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the benefit of using a non-clumping litter vs. a clumping litter? – The main benefit of using a non-clumping litter is the odor absorption. Non-clumping litter contains calcium bentonite which is superior for absorbing liquid and odors. Calcium bentonite is more effective at controlling odors than sodium bentonite, the main element in clumping litter. Another notable benefit is that sodium bentonite is the main cause of litter dust, so without it, non-clumping litters are virtually dust free.
  • Is non-clumping litter flushable? – Non-clumping litter can be deemed flushable if it is 100% natural and biodegradable. The granules must also be small enough as to not clog pipes. Only flush your cat litter if the packaging and instructions specifically state that it is okay to do so. If you aren’t sure whether or not your cat litter is flushable, we’d suggest refraining from disposing of it via sewer or septic system.
  • Can you mix clumping and non-clumping litter? – If you’re transitioning your cat from using one litter to the other, it’s okay to slowly mix them over time in order to complete the change. However, if you’re looking for the odor absorption of non-clumping litter with the convenience of clumping litter technology, you won’t likely get the result you’re hoping for. If you want tight, solid clumps for easy cleanup, we suggest sticking to a clumping litter.
  • Are sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite toxic to cats? – No. Both calcium bentonite and sodium bentonite are not toxic to cats, otherwise they wouldn’t be safe to use in cat litter. These two elements are completely safe for your cat. However, if your cat accidentally ingests a large amount of kitty litter, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you may find yourself considering a non-clumping litter instead of your current choice. Luckily there are plenty of high-quality non-clumping litters for cat parents to choose from! If odor control and a dust free litter box experience are on the top of your priority list, a non-clumping cat litter may very well be your best bet!

It’s important that you keep your cat’s litter box in a well-ventilated area. It’s recommended that you scoop your cat’s litter box 1-2 times daily, and completely change out the litter every two weeks. Remember to wash your hands after handling or cleaning your kitty’s litter, as to prevent the spread of bacteria.

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