You are currently viewing A Guide to Different Types of Cat Litter

A Guide to Different Types of Cat Litter

Cat litter is essential for your feline friend, especially if you have an indoor cat. Litter allows your cat to scratch and bury their waste, an act that’s so natural to cats that most don’t need to be litter box trained – they naturally gravitate toward the texture of cat litter.

While all cat litter is made with these natural instincts in mind, there are a variety of cat litter materials to choose from, depending on your cat’s preferences and needs. Read on to learn which type of litter is right for your cat litter boxes.

Clay Cat Litter

Clay cat litter is the most common option for cat owners today and is readily available in all pet stores.

There are different varieties of clay cat litter, depending on your preference. You can buy clumping litter, which clumps together when it absorbs moisture to make it easier for you to scoop, or a non-clumping litter. You can also choose between scented and unscented, as well as low dust formulas.

Pros

  • Easy to find
  • Affordable
  • Clumping cat litter for easy clean-up

Cons

  • Not environmentally friendly
  • Heavy weight
  • Messy and causes dust

Crystal Cat Litter

Made from sodium silicate sand that’s processed with oxygen and water, silica gel crystal cat litter is an increasingly popular option for many pet parents because of its absorbency. It can absorb 40 percent of its weight in liquid.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Super absorbent
  • Odor control

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional clay litter
  • Some cats don’t like the texture
  • The silica gel can be toxic to your cat if they ingest it

Paper Pellet Cat Litter

Paper litter is often made from recycled paper materials. It’s a great option for cats with allergies to typical cat litter dust, or kitties that are recovering from surgery because it’s soft and not likely to infect your cat’s stitches.

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Soft texture
  • No dust

Cons

  • Requires more frequent cleaning
  • No natural odor control
  • Doesn’t clump

Pine Cat Litter

Pine pellet cat litter is, as the name suggests, made from pine trees. There are two types of pine litter that you can choose from: clumping and non-clumping.

Clumping pine litter looks more like sawdust, and it will clump together when it absorbs moisture. Non-clumping pine litter is made with pine pellets, and the pellets will break down into sawdust when they absorb moisture.

Pros

  • Natural pine scent fights odor
  • Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
  • Can be bought in bulk for affordability

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean
  • The pine scent can be too strong for some pet parents
  • Some cats don’t like the texture

Corn Cat Litter

Corn litter is made from ground-up dried corn kernels, so it’s a more natural option than some litters like clay and silica gel.

Corn litter naturally clumps, making it an easy swap for many pet parents in place of traditional clumping clay cat litter. Corn litter, however, is susceptible to mold growth that can be dangerous for your cat.

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Clumps for easy clean-up
  • Absorbs odor

Cons

  • Can develop mold that’s toxic to cats
  • Lower level of clumping than some litters
  • Can be expensive

Walnut Shell Cat Litter

Made from crushed walnut shells, this natural cat litter is known for its high absorbency and odor control. It also has a similar texture to clay litter, making it more appealing to picky cats. Because this litter is made from nuts, however, it’s possible to attract rodents or insects with its scent.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Highly absorbent and clumping
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • The dark color makes it harder to scoop
  • Can attract rodents or insects
  • Can produce dust

Coconut Shell Cat Litter

Similar to walnut shell cat litter, this litter is made from crushed coconut shells that have been ground into dust. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly cat litter option, this litter is one of the best choices because it’s zero waste. You can dispose of coconut litter in your gardening soil or your compost bin.

Pros

  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Dust-free
  • Scent-free

Cons

  • Harder to find than other cat litter options
  • Can be more expensive
  • Doesn’t clump

Grass Cat Litter

Grass litter is a newer natural cat litter option that isn’t as readily available at most pet stores. This cat litter is made from dried grass seed that’s been ground into a softer material for your cat to use.

Pros

  • Good odor control
  • Naturally clumping and lightweight for easy clean-up
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Easily trackable outside the litter box
  • Some cats have a grass allergy
  • Harder to find and more expensive than other options

Tofu Cat Litter

Despite what the name suggests, tofu cat litter isn’t made from the common protein ingredient. Instead, it’s made from the same food-grade pulp of soybeans that tofu is made from. The pulp is formed into soft, lightweight pellets.

Pros

  • Clumps and is flushable for easy clean-up
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Absorbs odors well

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other litters
  • Can grow mold if the litter isn’t stored properly
  • Not readily available

Wheat Cat Litter

This cat litter is made from processed wheat that’s been ground into a texture similar to traditional clay litter. When it absorbs moisture, wheat litter becomes more of a sawdust texture and clumps together for easy scooping.

Pros

  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Odor-absorbing
  • Naturally clumping and is flushable for easy clean-up

Cons

  • Can attract pests
  • Lower level of clumping than other litters
  • Not readily available

Which Type of Cat Litter is Right for You?

While cat litter is necessary for your indoor cat to stay happy and healthy – and for your home to stay clean – the type of cat litter you choose is entirely up to you and your cat’s preferences.

Feel free to try different litters with a slow transition in between. You can monitor your cat’s behavior to see what textures they prefer, and then stick with the litter they respond to the best. With so many different options, you’re bound to find one that your feline friend enjoys!