Top Picks for the Best Natural Cat Litter
You love your cat like family and want the best for them. So you research the right kind of food and the most exciting toys, but have you thought about the best natural cat litter?
Natural and biodegradable cat litter is better for your cat and the environment. So if you’re ready to make the switch, check out our top picks for the best natural cat litter.
And don’t forget, while cats often take care of their business inside, dogs have to go outside to handle things. That’s why we’ve also put together this guide on the best biodegradable dog poop bags.
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you as well! You can also make a more sustainable switch when you choose one of these best eco-friendly toilet paper brands.
Is Clay Litter Bad for the Environment?
To put it simply, yes, clay litter is bad for the environment. Even worse, it could be bad for your health and the health of your cat!
Traditional litter is made of clay that’s obtained from strip mining. To strip mine the land, companies will raze entire forests to gain access to the clay underneath.
As you can imagine, this process is incredibly harmful to plant and animal life in the area. Plus, the pollution strip mining creates can spread for miles.
But environmental harm isn’t the only problem with clay litter. It can also contain hazardous substances like sodium bentonite and crystalline silica.
Sodium bentonite can be a respiratory irritant for cats and humans and is toxic if pets accidentally ingest it. Additionally, crystalline silica is a known carcinogen that has been linked to lung cancer.
Benefits of Natural Cat Litter
Natural cat litter has a lot of advantages over clay or silica gel cat litters. First, natural cat litter is healthier because it doesn’t contain artificial fragrances or chemicals that can cause allergic reactions in some cats and humans.
Additionally, natural litters are better for the environment because they’re biodegradable and they don’t leech chemicals into the soil. They’re also made from sustainable resources, such as quick-growing plants, upcycled food waste, and responsibly managed forests.
Plus, their natural scents and fibrous composition mean they’re just as good at minimizing odors as clay and silica gel litters. You’ll also appreciate that natural litters tend to have less dust.
If you have a kitty (or doggie!) who likes to sneak in the occasional snack from the litter box, a natural grain litter is safe for ingestion.
Now that you know why you should switch to natural cat litter and the benefits you’ll enjoy when you do, it’s time to take a look at the best natural cat litter for you and your feline family members.
Types of Natural Litters
There are four main types of natural cat litters: corn/grain, grass, walnut, and wood. Since they’re all made with a different natural product, they have different pros and cons you have to consider when you’re shopping for the one to suit the needs of your cat and your family.
Corn/grain litter is made of compressed corn kernels that can sometimes be combined with other grains, such as wheat.
- Pros: Made from grains, clumps well, produces very little dust, safe for ingestion, naturally minimizes odors
- Cons: Can have a rough texture that some cats won’t like
Grass litters are made from the seeds of grasses like sorghum. Since they generate very little dust, they’re a good option for cats with respiratory problems.
- Pros: Made from grass seeds, produces minimal dust, highly absorbent, naturally controls odors
- Cons: Tracks easily outside of the litter box
Walnut litters are produced from the absorbent shells of walnuts. Once processed, the shells turn into a highly absorbent litter.
- Pros: Made from walnut shells, produces minimal dust, tight clumping, highly absorbent
- Cons: Easily tracks outside of the litter box, doesn’t control odors as well as other options, people with tree nut allergies shouldn’t use it
Wood litters are made from plant fibers that come from either sustainably sourced forests or reclaimed lumber. Their natural pine scent offers some of the best odor control of all the natural options.
- Pros: Impressive natural odor control, produces minimal dust, sustainably sourced
- Cons: Least successful at forming tight clumps
1. Best Overall: World’s Best Multiple Cat Unscented Litter
- Pros: Made from compressed corn kernels, minimal dust, good odor control when cleaned frequently
- Cons: Odors can build up without frequent cleaning
World’s Best Multiple Cat Unscented Litter is a fantastic option no matter how many cats you have in your house. The corn-based litter absorbs liquids on contact to form solid clumps that are easy to scoop out.
The naturally safe litter contains no harmful chemicals, synthetic additives, and no artificial perfumes. Plus, since the litter is naturally free of silica dust, it’s lightweight, 99% dust free, and offers low tracking for less mess.
2. Best Grass Cat Litter: SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter
- Pros: Good odor control, very little dust, impressively tight clumps
- Cons: Easily tracks outside of litter box, more expensive than other options
SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter is made from GMO-free sorghum grass seed. This plant’s high starch content gives the litter its outstanding clumping abilities. It instantly absorbs liquids and forms solid clumps that are easy to scoop and remove.
The natural litter is fragrance-free, chemical-free, and biodegradable. The light wheat scent also helps to naturally minimize any odors.
It produces minimal dust, which is ideal for cats and people with respiratory issues. However, since the litter has small, lightweight granules, it does easily track outside of the litter box.
3. Best Walnut Cat Litter: Littermaid Premium Walnut Litter
- Pros: Made from discarded walnut shells, naturally minimizes odors, creates very little dust, clumps tightly
- Cons: Not suitable for people with tree-nut allergies, easily tracks outside of litter box, doesn’t absorb liquids as quickly as other options
Littermaid Premium Walnut Litter is one of the most eco-friendly cat litter options because it’s made from discarded shells of walnuts harvested for eating.
However, it’s important to note that the walnut shells might contain trace amounts of walnut proteins that could cause an allergic reaction to those who have a tree-nut allergy. If you have a tree-nut allergy, you should avoid using this type of natural litter.
The company grinds the shells into a fibrous and naturally absorbent material that clumps together for quick and easy clean up. While the litter is fragrance free, it still offers natural odor control.
4. Best Wood Cat Litter: Ökocat Super Soft Clumping Litter
- Pros: Made from sustainably sourced wood, natural pine scent absorbs odors, soft texture is similar to clay litter
- Cons: Easily tracks out of litter box, doesn’t clump as well as other options
Ökocat Super Soft Clumping Litter is made from wood fiber that comes from sustainably managed forests. The soft, lightweight granules have a very similar texture to clay litter, which makes it easy for transitioning and perfect for a cat’s sensitive paws.
The sustainable cat litter is free of artificial fragrance, synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, and GMOs. Since the litter comes from clean wood fiber, it’s 99% dust free for a healthier home.
Unlike clay litter, this biodegradable and compostable cat litter degrades quickly and cleanly. Plus, the wood fibers naturally stop the creation of ammonia while the light pine scent conceals odors.
5. Best Wheat Cat Litter: sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter
- Pros: Clumps quickly and very effectively, long-lasting odor control
- Cons: Pricier than other options, tracks outside of the litter box
sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter is a 100% biodegradable and veterinarian recommended litter made from renewable ground wheat. The manufacturing process exposes starch that creates solid clumps for easy scooping.
The natural litter doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients typically found in clay litter, artificial fragrances, or dyes. Plus, the natural enzymes in wheat help control odors and make this litter ideal for multiple-cat homes.
6. Best Budget Pick: Arm & Hammer Naturals, Multi-Cat Litter
- Pros: Reasonably priced, creates minimal dust, offers natural odor protection
- Cons: Easily tracks outside of the litter box, contains an artificial fragrance
Arm & Hammer Naturals Cat Litter uses corn fibers, plant extracts, and baking soda to quickly absorb liquids and control odors. It also contains mineral oil for dust control.
Since the naturally clumping litter is 50% lighter than traditional clay cat litter, it’s easy to carry and easy to pour. However, keep in mind that the lightweight formula also means the litter easily tracks.
Buyer’s Guide on the Best Natural Litters
If you’re interested in protecting your health, your cat’s health, and the environment at the same time, you can do so by making the switch to the best natural cat litter. Thanks to this comprehensive buyer’s guide, you now know which litter will suit your needs and keep your cat happy!
More Outstanding Eco-Friendly Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best natural cat litter? Interested in even more tips that can help you live a more sustainable life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- The Top Eco-Friendly Products for Dogs
- The Best Non-Toxic Cookware for Healthier Eating
- Where to Find Affordable Organic Groceries Online
- 55+ Genius Alternatives to Plastic