Best Litter for Cats 2024

Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 05/17/2024, edited: 05/17/2024

Best Litter for Cats 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.


As a mom of two boy cats, I know the litter struggle firsthand. We have gone through dozens of different brands since bringing our boys home. Finding the right litter is like finding a needle in a haystack.

There are so many different brands, scents, and variations to choose from, and I've found very few that perform well. Like most pet parents, I expect my litter to eliminate odors, make scooping easy, and smell fresh for at least a couple of weeks with regular scooping.

Unfortunately, no litter is pur-fect, but there are a few that come pretty close! We've done some digging (and testing with our very own pets) to find the best of the best. We've narrowed it down to our top 5 brands that outperform the competition and keep our bathroom smelling nice and clean.



Overview

Arm & Hammer Hardball No-Mess Scooping, Clumping, Lightweight Multi-Cat Litter

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5

Arm & Hammer Hardball is my holy grail litter, and let me be clear: I was VERY skeptical of its claims initially. My husband encouraged me to try it because it was lightweight, and he always has to carry and pour the 40lb boxes of litter I normally buy. The box we bought was 10.5 lbs but was supposed to be comparable to over 20 lbs of litter.

The performance of this litter blew me away! The clumping ability is unmatched (bye-bye crumbles!), it doesn't smell even if you forget to scoop for a day, and it lasts for weeks before you have to start fresh. Before I was changing my litter at least weekly, but sometimes every other day (which I hated because it was so wasteful!)

This product comes in a multi-cat version (my favorite) in 7 and 10.5 lb boxes, and a garden bloom scent in 8.5 and 16.5 lb boxes.

The only downside to this product is that it isn't widely available at my local grocers or Petsmart. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will expand to more stores, but luckily, I can also get it online.

Arm & Hammer Hardball Multi-Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Hardball Multi-Cat Litter

Why Wag! loves Arm & Hammer Hardball 

  • Controls odors for weeks with regular scooping
  • Super tight clumps that make scooping incredibly easy
  • Plant-based formula made with extruded sorghum, agglomerated wood, mineral and starch granules, and paraffin wax
  • Basically zero dust

Considerations & concerns 

  • Hard to find in stores
  • Pricey for the weight (but remember it is a 60% lighter, lightweight formula!)
  • Medium tracking - but still much better than traditional clay litter!

What pet parents say about Arm & Hammer Hardball 

"This litter is incredible. We used the slide prior to this, and the slide is great. However, the slide litter doesn't even come in as a close second to this hard ball litter. It does everything they say it does. We have barely gone through the litter compared to the slide. We are saving money using this, and cleaning the litter box is so much faster, and no more wet, nasty litter stuck to your scoop. No more crumbles of urine that didn't clump up properly. We have 7 rescues currently (we foster) and we can clean the hardball litter in half the time it takes with any other [litter]. 

We have also used two large boxes of the slide litter against two of the large bags of hardball. Hardball litter is still full and has no smell at all. The other box barely has any litter left in it. Hardball litter does not use up all up all the litter like other litters do. It lasts three to four times as long, so you [save] money buying the hard ball litter. It has a consistency like sand. The cats like it better. They use the litter box with the hardball litter more. It does have a floral scent to it that I didn't love, but that went away after about three days, and now we smell nothing. It's fantastic and my home doesn't smell like I have 7 cats living here :):) BUY THIS TODAY! Donate a bag to a rescue. [They] will love it."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Church & Dwight Co., Inc.




Feline Pine Cat Litter

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5

Feline Pine is the eco-friendly litter we use at the shelter where I volunteer, and if it can tackle the smells of 15 litterboxes in one room, it can handle the odor for your cats! 

While this litter is nearly unmatched at masking odors, it isn't without its flaws. Since this litter is comprised of compressed pine pellets, it is tricky to scoop and doesn't clump, but I don't mind. The compressed pine has an amazing natural pine scent and no added chemicals or perfumes (which we love!) 

At the shelter, we did have a couple of cats that had issues with this litter due to environmental allergies, but most cats adjusted to it quite well (although it can be confusing at first for cats that are used to a finer litter like clay or corn-based.)

Feline Pine Cat Litter

Feline Pine Cat Litter

Why Wag! loves Feline pine 

  • Great natural, fresh scent
  • Dust free
  • Low tracking (and easy to clean up when your kitty does throw their litter!)
  • Chemical and fragrence free
  • Made with sustainably sourced materials

Considerations & concerns

  • Non-clumping
  • Can be an adjustment for cats
  • May trigger environmental allergies in humans and cats

What pet parents say about Feline pine

"Previously, we were using regular cat boxes with clumping and non-clumping litter, and we were having a hard time finding something to control the smell. Despite frequent scooping and dumping, our house consistently [smelled] like a litter box. We have a lot of cats, so [there are] a lot of boxes throughout the house. I was recently told about this pine litter, and slowly, we started switching over. I immediately noticed a huge difference with the smell. Of course, the cats took a few days to get used to it. [They] like to kick some of the pellets out of the box when they use it, but the mess is few and far between considering what it was like with clay. Using sifting boxes is a lot easier, too! It makes cleaning the 12 boxes we have a smoother process."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Church & Dwight Co., Inc.




PrettyLitter Scented Cat Litter

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4.5

PrettyLitter was the first litter of its kind when it came on the market in 2015. This revolutionary formula centered around silica litter that changed colors when reacting with urine. 

Normal urine turns the litter green or yellow, while orange, red, or blue can indicate changes in pH and the presence of blood. This technology can help with the early detection of certain health conditions like urinary tract infections, metabolic acidosis, and kidney disease.

It's important to remember this is not a diagnosis tool and should not replace regular vet checkups. 

This formula uses silica to absorb moisture (yes, the the same stuff that comes in the "do not eat" packets in snacks and vitamin bottles!) It doesn't work like a traditional clumping litter in that the silica absorbs the moisture, and the water slowly evaporates. The silica helps to trap odors but doesn't clump, so you will still have to scoop out the solids! 

The only downside of PrettyLitter is silica can break down into dust, which can irritate or contribute to certain respiratory conditions.

PrettyLitter Scented Cat Litter

PrettyLitter Scented Cat Litter

Why Wag! loves Pretty Litter 

  • Can help monitor your pet's health
  • Lightweight
  • Low waste formula

Considerations & concerns

  • Silica dust can exacerbate certain respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD and can be harmful if inhaled directly.
  • Some parents warn their litter has changed color to indicate conditions their cat did not have

What pet parents say about PrettyLitter 

"Recently, Perfect was diagnosed with cancer, and I didn't know what to do. As she dropped weight, she began developing incontinence issues. She stopped using her little box, and I was afraid that her cancer was getting worse. I read an article that said her tolerance for things she didn't mind before cancer could actually bother her now, so I decided to try Pretty Litter. The fact that it would change colors to let me know if her condition was worsening in some way was comforting, but I wanted her to be comfortable with going in her litter box again. 

Long story short, she visits her litter box 3-5 times a day and leaves other areas alone. When I examine the color, I'm so thankful that it has been the "typical" level. It brings down a level of anxiety before vet visits. I had no idea that one bag is made to last two months! That's outstanding. Since this was my first time using it, I placed 2 bags in her litter box, and it [did] her (and me) just fine! Thank you for a great product!"

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright PrettyLitter, Inc.




Great Choice Maximum Strength Clumping Multi Cat Clay Litter

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4
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Best budget-friendly cat litter

Great Choice Maximum Strength Clumping Multi Cat litter is my absolute favorite budget litter. It tackles odors very well and it's super affordable‚ÄĒin fact‚ÄĒI find that it out performs many more popular (and more expensive) brands.¬†

This litter definitely stands up to my two boys who always seem to be in the litterbox and I find it clumps pretty well for the most part. 

That being said, there are a couple of things you should knowe about this brand. First and foremost, it is a Petsmart exclusive product, so you won't find it at your local grocery store. This can be a little inconvenient for me to go to the pet store just for cat litter, but when I go, I always stock up. 

My second caveat is that it is extremely dusty, but this is only an issue when I'm first pouring the litter, and it seems to settle quickly. Even with the imperfections, I find it is one of the best litter brands I've ever used!

Great Choice Maximum Strength Multi Cat Clay Litter

Great Choice Maximum Strength Multi Cat Clay Litter

Why Wag! loves Great Choice Maximum Strength 

  • Super affordable
  • Tackles odors well when scooped regularly
  • Comes in several varieties and sizes.

Considerations & concerns

  • Petsmart exclusive brand produced by Simmons Global Pet Food.
  • Quite dusty
  • Sometimes the urine clumps crumble when scooping

What pet parents say about Great Choice Maximum Strength 

"I have three cats and [was] using other litter before I came across this one at my local Pet Smart. I am very happy with this litter, the performance is amazing. There is no smell and it clumps very well. I am using less litter because it clumps, leaving zero waste behind. The litter looks cleaner longer and does not have a nasty ammonia smell. I get it within 2 weeks of cleaning the litter box completely, [as] I did with the other brand. I am more pleased with the price of this litter and will keep buying this brand from now on."

Read more reviews on Petsmart.

Image sourced from Petsmart. Copyright PetSmart LLC.




Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide Clumping Multi-Cat Clay Cat Litter

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4

This litter is a cult favorite and a personal favorite of my best friend, who has 6 cats. 

This is my go-to backup brand when I can't find Arm & Hammer's Hard Ball formula, and it is great in a pinch since it's available at a wide variety of retailers. 

While it doesn't perform as well as their Hard Ball formula for combatting odor (my top performance metric), but it does make clean-up a breeze due to the nonstick formula. (Honestly, who wants to spend 10 minutes scraping hardened litter out of their cat's pan?!) 

The packaging claims to be 99.9% dust-free, and it is significantly less dusty than some brands, but certainly not totally dust-free. Luckily, the scent is pleasant and smells much less powdery than some other scented brands. 

For ease of use, this litter gets an easy 10 out of 10. I just wish it was a little more effective at combatting odors. I also love that it comes in 4 different sizes, from 14 lbs to 38 lbs.

Arm & Hammer‚ĄĘ Clump & Seal Slide Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer‚ĄĘ Clump & Seal Slide Cat Litter

Why Wag! loves Arm & Hammer‚ĄĘ Clump & Seal Slide¬†

  • Doesn't stick to the box at all
  • Many different sizes and price points
  • Pretty low dust
  • Available at most big box stores and grocers.

Considerations & concerns 

  • Expensive
  • I found it doesn't combat odors as long as some of my other preferred brands
  • High tracking

What pet parents say about¬†Arm & Hammer‚ĄĘ Clump & Seal Slide¬†

"This is the best litter I've used--it clumps well, has little to no dust, and this multi-cat (purple box) formula has almost no scent. Previously, it had an annoying, cloying scent that I eventually found unbearable. I switched back to try this again and am pleasantly surprised [that now there is] no perfume smell! The one drawback is the absolutely TERRIBLE design of how the box opens. I find it impossible to pull the tear strips, and it is hard to get all the litter out. To open the box, I now take a utility knife and cut a pour spout. The boxes I buy in stores do not have this bad type of pour opening, just the ones I buy online!"

"This litter really does prevent sticking to the box. Easy to scope and makes cleaning litter box much easier. My car had no difficulty transitioning to this new litter [and I've been using it] for over 2 years."

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

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