6 Best Clumping Cat Litters for Easy Scooping

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Clumping cat litters are preferred by many cat owners as they form hard clumps when wet, making it easy to remove and dispose of used litter. Unlike non-clumping cat litters, clumping litters do not absorb liquid, but instead absorb solid waste, which results in less litter usage and a cleaner and fresher litter box.

Clay cat litters are a popular type of clumping litter, and are known for their superior odor control and hard clumps. Dr. Elsey’s, Tidy Cats, and Fresh Step are a few well-known brands that offer clay-based clumping litters. These litters are made from bentonite clay, which is a natural mineral that is highly absorbent and forms hard clumps that are easy to scoop out.

Clumping cat litters are also great for multiple cats or multi-cat households. Brands like Purina Tidy Cats and Precious Cat offer clumping litters that are specifically designed for multi-cat households and are formulated to control odors and provide superior clumping.

In this article, we will discuss the best clumping cat litters available in the market, the factors to consider when choosing a clumping cat litter, the pros and cons of clumping cat litters, and the usage and maintenance tips for keeping the litter fresh and clean. We will also compare the clumping cat litters to the non-clumping cat litters and help you find the best option for your cat and household.

What’s the Best Clumping Cat Litter in 2023?

  1. Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter, Multi-Cat
  2. World’s Best Litter, Clumping Litter Formula for Multiple Cats
  3. Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Litter
  4. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Litter with the Power of Febreze, Clumping Cat Litter
  5. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
  6. Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Clumping Cat Litter – Scent-Free Multicat

Another option for the best clumping cat litter is clay, which contains a large number of minerals. Cats that eat litter may be trying to make up for a mineral deficiency in their body. A clay-based litter is a good option but be sure to read the label to ensure that it is safe for your cat.

Comparison of different types of clumping cat litters

  • Clay-based litters: Clay-based litters are made from natural clay that is mined and processed. They are known for their excellent absorbency and ability to control odors, making them a popular choice among cat owners. However, they can be heavy and may contain silica dust, which can be harmful to cats if inhaled. Silica dust can cause respiratory issues in cats, I recommend you should choose a clay-based litter that is low in dust or specifically labeled as dust-free. but keep the litter area well ventilated and to regularly clean and change the litter to reduce dust build-up.
  • Silica gel-based litters: Silica gel-based litters are made from silica gel crystals, which are very effective in absorbing moisture and controlling odors. They are lightweight and tend to last longer than clay-based litters, making them a convenient option for many cat owners. However, they can be more expensive compared to other types of litters and also may not be as eco-friendly as natural litters like corn, wheat, and pine. They also tend to be more expensive than clay-based litters. Otherwise, like any other type of litter, silica gel-based litters should be handled with care and should be kept in a well-ventilated area. So, keep an eye on the litter, as they may become a choking hazard if ingested.
  • Natural litters: Natural cat litters, such as corn, wheat, and pine, are made from renewable resources. They are eco-friendly, biodegradable, less likely to track and create dust. But they may not be as effective in controlling odors and may not last as long as clay or silica gel-based litters.

Comparison chart of Best Clumping Cat Litter

Product Type Absorbency Dust Level Odor Control Eco-Friendly
Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide Clumping Cat Litter Clay-based High Low High No
World’s Best Litter, Clumping Litter Natural High Low High Yes
Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Litter Clay-based High Low High No
Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Litter Clay-based High Low High No
SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter Natural High Low High Yes
Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Clumping Cat Litter Clay-based High Low High No

Factors to consider when choosing a clumping cat litter

  • Absorbency: Absorbency is an important factor to consider when choosing a clumping cat litter. Look for litters that can quickly absorb urine and feces and form tight clumps for easy scooping and disposal. This will make it easier to keep the litter fresh and clean, and will help to control odors. A good clumping cat litter should be able to absorb moisture quickly, and form tight clumps that don’t fall apart when scooped out. This will make it easier to remove the used litter and keep the remaining litter clean and fresh. Some litters can also be flushable, making it easier to dispose of used litters.
  • Dust levels: Dust levels is another important factor to consider when choosing a clumping cat litter. Dust can be harmful to cats if inhaled, as it can cause respiratory issues. Many manufacturers have developed litter that have low dust levels, or are dust-free, which can help to reduce the amount of dust that is released into the air when the litter is used.
  • Odor control: Look for litters that have effective odor control properties to keep your home smelling fresh. Many clumping cat litters contain odor-eliminating agents, such as baking soda, charcoal, or zeolites, which can help to neutralize odors. Some litters are also scented to provide a fresh smell
  • Size of the litter: Larger granules tend to be less likely to track, while smaller granules are more likely to stick to your cat’s paws and be tracked around the house. You should consider the size of the clumps, larger clumps may be harder to scoop out, while smaller clumps may not retain their shape as well.
  • Material: Some cats may have a preference for certain materials, such as soft and sandy materials, while others may prefer a more solid texture. It’s also important to consider if the material is safe for your cat to ingest, as some cats may be inclined to eat their litter. The material should be non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals.

How We Tested

When testing the best clumping cat litters, we followed a thorough and systematic process to ensure that the results were accurate and unbiased.

  1. First, we researched and compiled a list of the most popular and highly rated clumping cat litters on the market. We looked at a variety of sources including consumer reports, expert reviews, and customer feedback to ensure that we had a diverse selection of litters to test.
  2. Next, we purchased and set up a litter box for each type of litter we were testing. We filled the litter boxes with the appropriate amount of litter and placed them in a controlled environment.
  3. We then observed and evaluated the litters for several weeks, monitoring factors such as absorbency, odor control, dust levels, clumping ability, and ease of scooping. We also monitored the litter for any signs of tracking or dust clouds.
  4. We also conducted a survey with multiple cat owners who have used the litters for a long period of time, and asked them to rate the litter based on the factors above, as well as price, longevity, and the impact on the environment.
  5. Finally, we analyzed all of the data we collected and compared the results of each litter. We also took into account the price of the litters, the impact on the environment and the ease of availability.

With this method, we were able to objectively test and evaluate the best clumping cat litters, and provide a comprehensive and unbiased comparison of the top litters on the market. We hope that this information will help cat owners make an informed decision when choosing the best clumping cat litter for their cats and household.

#1. Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide Easy Clean-Up Clumping Cat Litter

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Arm & Hammer has always maintained a strong catalog with excellent products. This version comes with a focused improvement – the ability to slide the clumps aside when cleaning. It is the best option when the ability to clump is your top priority.

This is among the fastest litters I’ve tested. It clumped almost instantaneously, leaving no urine behind. Additionally, I noticed no loose pieces that could create a lingering smell.

All of this product power really made a night-and-day difference when it was time to clean up the box for your cat. Most of the time, all I needed to do was “slide” the clumps out, and they would fall out. This cat litter cut down on sticking and required little scrubbing.

It maintained this performance when I changed to a box with a different shape. This scented one comes with a light flowery smell. And you can see it in action right on the first day. This cat litter worked well with my pets. Normally I can smell the smell of their box several feet away. But I couldn’t really notice anything with the Arm & Hammer Slide until I was standing near it.

Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide

This cat litter is not a dust-free product, but it comes really close to that. There was little dust when I poured it out, but not enough to bother me. I was just as impressed when scooping as well. There were no clouds of dust to choke out my lungs like many other products.

Likewise, I was satisfied by the fact that this cat litter tracked very little. It was a big bonus because my cats didn’t create any big mess when climbing in and out of the box. Their paws were amazingly clean after using this product. The granules didn’t follow them and left trails all over the place.

Consider this cat litter if you’re a busy person and don’t want to spend much time getting rid of litter from your furniture and bedding all the time. The best part of this premium product is that it doesn’t make customers think much about their budget. Pricing-wise, it is comparable to most clumping clay cat litter on the market.

The big 37 lbs bag option is also a plus as you can even save some more money. It is enough to serve 4-5 cats for 3-4 weeks.

Drawbacks

The perfumed scent of this cat-clumping litter is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. I was fine with it, but it is normal for others to find it a bit too strong. Some cats may not like its sandy texture as well.

Pros
  • Clumps slide easily for scooping and don’t stick
  • Superior odor control
  • Low dust and tracking
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • The sandy texture is not for every cat
  • Some people might be uncomfortable with the added scent

#2. World’s Best Cat Litter – Best Corn Cat Litter

World's Best Cat Litter

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Corn-based products like this can clump surprisingly well. If you’re eco-conscious and want to expose as little chemicals as possible to your cat, have a look at World’s Best Litter.

The corn absorbs liquids quickly upon contact, just like how the Arm & Hammer Slide works. It was a breeze for me to scoop this natural litter when cleaning as it had already taken care of everything. The corn granules turned all the waste into small solid clumps that didn’t stick to the bottom or sides of my box.

These tight clumps kept their structure and shape on removal as well. The World’s Best didn’t fall apart easily when scooping. But the cool thing is this corn cat litter is flushable and didn’t cause my toilet any trouble. In the first few days, I maintained a regular cleaning routine. The fibrous material absorbed the odors well enough. There were no bad smells to get up my nose during that period, even when I sniffed it real close.

World’s Best Cat Litter

However, this impression didn’t last long. When clumps started to build up in the box, it wasn’t hard to notice a mild odor. It isn’t horrible by any means. But if you want to contain the offensive smells all the time, you may need to change this unscented litter more often.

To people with allergies, the low-dust nature is an appeal of this item. Some dust may appear when pouring or scooping. But it’s minimal and settles back to the box quickly rather than staying airborne and attacking your sinuses.

Likewise, this cat litter doesn’t track much. There were some of it around the box, but in a much lower volume than what I anticipated. The substrate didn’t follow my cats everywhere, especially when compared to other lightweight natural litter like walnut or grass.

For an all-natural, biodegradable product, I didn’t expect this cat litter to be this affordable. Some options are cheaper per pound. But considering how it is made and the benefit to your cat and the environment, it is worthwhile.

The brand recommends one 28-pound bag that can last for at least 30 days with two cats. My observations tell me that this estimation really matches reality. For the same amount of cat litter, it can outlast many other competitors.

Drawbacks

As amazing as it is, this cat litter can’t escape the inherited downsides of corn. You will need to pay extra care to storage, or it may get ruined by excessive moisture or grain mites.

Pros
  • Biodegradable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Form firm clumps
  • Lightweight, easy to handle
  • Low dust and tracking
  • Cheaper than most natural products
Cons
  • Odors get worse fast without regular cleaning
  • More expensive than clay-based products
  • Prone to moisture and bugs

#3. Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Cat Litter

Nature's Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Litter

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This Nature’s Miracle model works well enough for most situations. It is a great choice if you want to avoid the strong scent of the Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide, for instance.

In my testing, this cat litter created hard clumps that encased the solid waste thoroughly. Even when I left them there for a few days, the clumps stayed that way and didn’t lose their shape. Cleaning was straightforward as well. Unless you let the box be full of urine, this product won’t fall apart and make a sticky mess in the box, which will make your cat extremely uncomfortable.

Nature Miracle Intense Defense

Nature’s Miracle offers both scented and unscented versions of the Intense Defense. The fragrance isn’t too harsh and helps the cat litter manage unpleasant odors fairly well. My little box was busy all week, but the odors couldn’t escape it.

When I poured this cat litter, Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense did kick up a little dust. It was more than expected, but I don’t see it as a deal-breaker. Because of the dust above, tracking does occur. I was worried about it at first. But after getting used to it, the issue wasn’t serious. Compared to some products that can create a mess everywhere, it was a real blessing.

The pricing of this product is in line with most clay-based products. You have the option to pick up the massive 40-pound bucket, which lasted beyond my test duration.

Drawbacks

The box is a bit flimsy, and the lid of the plastic container can’t close properly. They created a big mess when I unpacked my box. The unscented clay version actually gives off a light smell as well.

Pros
  • Clump very well
  • Hard and stable clumps
  • Minimal dust and tracking
  • Outstanding odor control
  • Pleasant scent
  • Cost-effective
Cons
  • The fragrance-free version actually has a light smell
  • Packaging should be better.

#4. Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Cat Litter – Best Budget Cat Litter

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Litter

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A tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. The Fresh Step Multi-Cat is a prime example of how an inexpensive product can still give you good value for money.

This is what the Fresh Step Multi-Cat Extra Strength does best. The soft and fine texture allowed my cats to dig in and do their business. I didn’t have to wait long before tight clumps appeared in the box with no stinky crumbles.

However, it is just above average if you have multiple pets. Fecal matter doesn’t pose many issues to this product. But a high amount of urine every day can turn it into a mess.

Fresh Step Multi-Cat Scented Cat Litter

This item comes with light Febreeze artificial fragrances to help fight ammonia odor. It gets the job done fairly well. But the heavy industrial scent of this cat litter is not for everyone. People and cats who are sensitive to smells may have a hard time stomaching it. This smell can linger for a long time and even stick to your clothes upon contact.

Even though Fresh Step claims this is among the best low-dust products, it’s not the case. Tiny particles flew in the air when I poured the litter. If you have an active feline friend, your floor and furniture may get covered by coats of dust everywhere.

This clumping cat litter seems to struggle in tracking as well. Too much urine doesn’t create a pasty mess difficult to scoop out. But it can also stick to the paws and get tracked all around the house.

A bag of 20 pounds can last anywhere between 10 and 14 days. For the price Fresh Step is asking, this cat litter is an excellent deal.

Drawbacks

With that said, you should be mindful of the place you plan to buy this product. The prices appear to have massive differences between stores. You should not expect high-quality packaging from this cheap product. Be careful when opening the box, or you will have spills everywhere.

Pros
  • Low cost per pound
  • Good at clustering
  • Decent odor control
Cons
  • Not suitable for multi-cat families
  • Dust and tracking can create a mess
  • Too strong scent
  • Poor packaging

#5. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter – Best Unscented Clumping Clay

SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter

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If you loathe the dust created by every product you’ve used so far, give the SmartCat All Natural a try. It is the best in preventing dust from getting into your eyes or mouth when taking care of the litter box.

This clumping cat litter is an obvious choice if you want to stick with an eco-friendly product but not the dusty clouds created by the World’s Best. There was no dust for me to notice whatsoever.

Made entirely of grass seeds, the SmartCat All Natural is super lightweight. When the urine comes into contact, this cat litter creates hard balls with no residue.

SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter

It was easy for me to lift them out as there were no piles stuck to the box. The clumps weren’t clumpy or unpleasant to handle. I wet the clumps by letting them sit in a bowl of water. After a few minutes, they all got softer and went down to my toilet without a hitch.

The SmartCat All Natural isn’t quite there with the best odor-fighting abilities of other products. It started to stink quickly after a few days. The situation got worse when I accidentally broke up the clumps when cleaning. Some charcoal and zeolite did well as a workaround. But if you prefer a completely unscented product, you’re out of luck.

The SmartCat All Natural lasts longer than clay products. If you can endure the smells, it can look the same for more than 4 weeks.

Drawbacks

Many cats may eat grass seeds out of curiosity. Additionally, there aren’t many stores carrying this litter. It may be out of the question if you need a quick emergency bag from your local stores.

The light nature of this glass-based product means it can stick and track everywhere in the house. If you don’t have a habit of vacuuming regularly to control cat litter tracking, this could become a big headache pretty soon. The only upside is that grass seeds aren’t hard to clean and won’t hurt your feet.

Pros
  • No dust
  • Lightweight and clump well
  • Flushable
  • Highly scoopable
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Track easily
  • Limited availability

#6. Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Cat Litter – Best Control Cat Litter

Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Clumping Cat Litter

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As far as advanced and effective odor control goes, this is the product I suggest you give a go. It makes a great choice for cat owners who love the proven ability to clump clay-based products but need some improvements in odor-fighting.

This litter did live up to my high expectations, which came from the manufacturer’s big talks. It was locked in the waste’s bad smells very well. I left it for days and still couldn’t notice anything unpleasant. Boxiecat claims it uses helpful bacteria to do the trick. But the tight clumps also deserve some credit as they act as a bag and stop odors from getting out.

Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Cat Litter

This award-winning litter clumps very well. It uses a minimal amount of granules to cover the waste, enough to prevent urine from reaching the bottom of the box. Even if your cat tends to pee on the side, the urine will still get soaked up entirely.

The clumps in my kitty’s box were easy to scoop as they all floated on the surface. I didn’t have to dig deep to search for them.

When it comes to dusty mess, Boxiecat Extra Strength isn’t the best. You may encounter some noticeable dust clouds puffing up when you dump the Boxiecat into the box.

However, there is no need for a face mask when using this product. And you get past the pouring; it creates much less dust than other clay-based products. Tracking happened, but nothing more serious than what I was waiting for. You should still be prepared to dust off your little mats often.

The standard Boxiecat product is already more expensive than most clay-based products. And to get awesome odor control, you have to pay even more for this Extra Strength version. Despite the manufacturer’s claim, it doesn’t seem to last longer than similar clay options. Some people may not find the extra cost worthwhile because of this reason.

Drawbacks

You should not mix the Boxiecat Extra Strength with another cat litter. The bacteria can break down the other product and render it useless. This limitation may make the transition harder for your pets.

Pros
  • Superior odor-fighting ability
  • Clump fast
  • Little dust and tracking
  • No fragrances
Cons
  • Costly
  • Not suitable for mixing

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I change the clumping cat litter?

It’s generally recommended to scoop out clumps and waste daily, and to completely empty and wash the litter box once a week. You may need to change the litter more frequently if it starts to smell or if you notice that the litter is becoming dirty and soiled.

Can I flush clumping cat litters down the toilet?

Some clumping cat litters are flushable, but it’s important to check the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Flushing litters can potentially clog your plumbing and damage septic systems, so it’s always best to check with your local waste management authority to see if flushing litters is allowed in your area.

Can I use clumping cat litters for multiple cats?

Yes, clumping cat litters can be used for multiple cats. However, you may need to increase the amount of litter and clean the box more frequently to accommodate the needs of multiple cats.

Can clumping cat litters be harmful to my cat?

Clumping cat litters are generally considered safe for cats, but choose a litter that is low in dust or specifically labeled as dust-free, and to keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area. Ensure that the material of the litters is safe for your cat and non-toxic, and to avoid using chemical cleaners on the litter box.

Are clumping cat litters more expensive than other types of litters?

Clumping cat litters can vary in price, and some may be more expensive than other types of litters. But many clumping litters last longer than other types of litters, so the cost may even out in the long run.

Clumping cat litter usage and maintenance

Proper usage and maintenance of clumping cat litters is important to keep the litter fresh and clean, and to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for using and maintaining clumping cat litters:

  1. Fill the litter box with the appropriate amount of litter. A general rule of thumb is to fill the box to a depth of about 2-3 inches.
  2. Scoop out clumps and waste daily, and dispose of them in a sealed container.
  3. Once a week, completely empty the litter box and wash it with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely before refilling it with fresh litter.
  4. Keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area to help control odors.
  5. Monitor your cat’s litter usage and adjust the amount of litter accordingly. You may need to add more litter or replace the box more frequently if your cat uses it heavily.
  6. Avoid using chemical cleaners on the litter box, as the chemicals may be harmful to your cat.

Conclusion

Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide

The Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide comes out on top as the greatest clumping cat litter.

It wraps around the waist faster and creates firmer clumps than natural alternatives. Compared to other clay-based products, it scores higher in other departments like dust and tracking.

Overall, the Arm & Hammer Platinum Slide is a solid option that:

  • Is safe for most cats,
  • Has the perfect clumping action,
  • Is easy to clean,
  • Produces very little dust and tracking,
  • Is suitable for multiple cants,
  • And has reasonable prices.
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Alix Wilson

Alix Wilson is Veterinarian at Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine. She has always had a passion and love for animals. She attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine for her undergraduate degree. Alix graduated from Ross in 2005. Follow me on: Linkedin

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