Best Crystal Cat Litter in 2023: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Let us discuss what would be the best litter for your beloved feline companion.
When it comes to cleaning and taking care of your cat's litter box, there's really no sense in re-inventing the wheel. Because at the end of the day, no matter what type of cat litter you use you probably want the same thing as every other committed cat owner:
A cat litter that works well, is well-tolerated by your feline friend, and doesn't cost you a ton of money, time, and energy.
For some cat owners though, traditional clumping or non-clumping cat litters just don't seem to be a good fit. If you've been dissatisfied with the products you've used so far, then you may want to try a newer and more innovative option:
Crystal cat litter. This article will help you find the best crystal cat litter out in the market today.
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Best Selling Crystal Cat Litters
PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter
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Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter
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Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Crystal Silica
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ZenKitty Crystal Cat Litter
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Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
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Top 5 Best Crystal Cat Litter Reviews
Now that you have a better idea of the good and bad side of crystal litters, it's time to figure out which brand is best for you should you decide to give it a try.
We've combed through prices and reviews to determine which brands out there offers the best crystal cat litter, and in our research we've come up with the following five. Take a look and see if any jump out at you as a possible contender:
- PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter
- Fresh Step Crystals Premium Crystal Cat Litter
- Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Crystal Silica
- ZenKitty Crystal Cat Litter
- Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
1. PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter
For a non-clumping crystal cat litter, this product from PetSafe works wonders. It helps dry out solid waste in addition to absorbing urine, making clean up much easier and faster. It comes in two pre-portioned bags for easier handling, and pledges to be 99% dust-free and low-tracking.
Additionally, PetSafe is an industry leader in pet behavior, containment, and lifestyle products, and they're known for great customer service.
- Pros: comes from a reliable and trusted US-based brand; low-tracking (and for the little ones that do jump out, they seem easy to vacuum up); good at absorbing odors; works well in self-cleaning litter boxes
- Cons: pools of slushy urine can form at the bottom of the litter box if it becomes too saturated (but this can be mitigated by stirring the litter a bit each time you remove the solid waste); some owners have found recent purchases have been dustier than old ones
2. Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter
These kitty crystals from Fresh Step are great at stopping odors from seeping out of the litter box and into your house. And it has a nice fresh scent on top of it—many users say that house guests can't even tell there's a litter box in the home!
While the product guarantees 30 days of freshness, most owners end up changing it after about 2 to 3 weeks (at least if they have two or more cats).
- Pros: fresh clean scent in addition to powerful odor-blocking control; produces little to no dust
- Cons: scented cat litter may not be well-tolerated by sensitive kitties; can leave a sludge at the bottom of the litter box
3. Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Crystal Silica
This kitty crystal brand is growing in popularity recently. One of the main reasons is because its formula is infused with hydrolyzed herbs, which attracts the felines towards the litter box.
Second reason is the granule size. Dr. Elsey's claim that they have the right particle size, especially for long-haired cats, which makes them less likely to track and emit dust.
Another factor in the plus column for a lot of owners is that it's unscented (since scented products can be irritating to sensitive noses or skin).
- Pros: larger-sized crystals means low dust and very low tracking; doesn't stick to the litter box like other brands tend to do; unscented yet still absorbs odors well; lasts a long time; cats adjust quickly to it
- Cons: large crystals may feel uncomfortable on sensitive paws
4. ZenKitty Crystal Cat Litter
Just crystals, and nothing else! This crystal litter comes in an 8 pound which lasts a month. Like other crystal brands, it pledges excellent odor control over traditional clay litters, and most reviewers seem to confirm this impressive feature.
It comes in a lovely pink hue crystals which is very pleasing to the eyes, plus it is soft on your cat's paws. It releases a fresh scent after every use, leaving your home smelling fresh.
- Pros: convenient and easy to handle; much less expensive (yet just as if not more effective) than other crystal litter brands; powerful odor absorption
- Cons: can be dusty and may not last as long as advertised; other owners find the crystals too small.
5. Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
Rounding out our top five is this product from Ultra Pet—you can't miss it, because it comes in a bright purple packaging!
It features very soft and small crystal granules that are easy on cute little paws. Another bonus is that it doesn't seem to form a sticky sludge on the bottom of the litter box like other litters tend to do.
It is made with super absorbent, non-toxic silica gel micro crystals, which makes it easier for you to scoop out.
- Pros: long lasting; low-tracking; odor free
- Cons: many users find that this brand actually emits quite a bit of dust, so not great for lungs or eyes; it doesn't work on automatic cat litters.
What Is Crystal Cat Litter?
First introduced to the market in the late 1990s, crystal cat litter is made primarily of silica gel.
Never heard of it? Well, you've definitely seen it before:
Silica gel is in those little “dessicant — do not eat” cachets that come in packages of products (like medications, vitamins, and shoes) which can be become damaged if they come in contact with moisture.
The gel is made of three ingredients: silica dioxide sand, oxygen, and water. And it turns out that it's exceptional at absorbing moisture—tiny pores in the gel allow it to absorb up to 40 times its weight in liquid! As kitty litter, silica gel literally looks like little blue or white crystals. You simply pour this into your litter box and let it do it's thing.
Here is a great video from “BrainStuff – HowStuffWorks” explaining exactly how silica gel in general works.
What Are The Benefits Of Crystal Cat Litter?
Cat litter crystals may look a little strange, and they're certainly unique from your typical litter. But there are plenty of pet parents who swear by them.
The following points are the main benefits of using this type of product:
The silica gel won't stick to your cats paws and coat as easily as some other types of litter does. Many brands of crystal litter also pledge minimal to no tracking—so less of it comes out of the box and more of it stays in the box where it can do its job!
For any household that has cats or humans with respiratory concerns (like allergies), a crystal litter product can be a huge help. It's virtually dust-free, so it won't spew up particles into the air when your cat goes in to scratch away and do her duties.
Easy to maintain.
Here's how crystal cat litter works: the silica granules absorb liquid waste completely (you can tell it's working when they go from blue to yellow). All you have to do is remove the solid waste and stir around the remaining crystals to avoid areas of over-saturation. And some silica kitty litters are even safe to flush down the toilet for extra-easy clean up.
High absorption and odor protection.
Remember how we said that silica can absorb up to 40 times its weight in liquid? Yeah. That's a lot of urine.
Crystal cat litter soaks up liquid exceptionally well—giving you a minimal to no mess litter box. It also traps odors effectively, too (no more faint whiffs of cat urine and ammonia in the air).
For some animals with sensitivities, crystal cat litter can be less irritating on their paw pads and skin. And if YOU have sensitive skin, then these crystals may be easier for you to handle…although you won't have to handle it too often (see next point).
The main benefit of crystal litter is that it requires changing and cleaning far less often than traditional litter. In fact, most quality crystal litters will last up to 1 month in a single-cat home! You can also usually get away with using far less crystal litter than traditional litter—allowing you to stretch out your dollars and avoid having to lift super heavy bags of litter, if that's a concern for you.
Are There Any Concerns to Using Crystal Cat Litter?
Now, before you go completely revamping your litter box, you should keep in mind a few precautions when it comes to kitty crystals. These may or may not apply to you and your household, but it's worth being aware of them before purchasing.
Let's take a look:
Cats often don’t find it comfortable.
Litter crystals are harder than other types of litter granules. Because they're hard and prickly, this can feel uncomfortable for some cats. The obvious problem with this is that if your cat finds its litter uncomfortable, she won't want to use it! (Keep reading though—toward the end of this article, we'll talk about a simple and easy way to introduce new litter to your pet so she'll be more likely to get used to it).
Don’t use it with declawed cats.
Litter crystals can be especially challenging and uncomfortable for declawed cats. And since scratching is such a natural instinct, a declawed kitty will have a hard time scratching and moving around the crystals.
Not recommended for multiple cats.
If you have two or more cats or even just one large cat who produces a large amount of urine, crystal litter probably won't be the right fit for you. That said, a lot of the pet owners who reviewed these crystal products say they can use it successfully with multiple cats—they just have to change out the litter a little more often.
It can be expensive.
All other things being equal, silica crystal cat litter is almost always more pricey compared to traditional clumping or non-clumping litter brands. If you're on a tight budget, this product may not be feasible for you.
That said, a lot of it comes down to perceived value. Many cat owners who swear by crystal cat litter say that the extra price is well worth the amount of time and effort they save by not having to clean out the box as often.
Can be dangerous if eaten.
Silica gel on its own isn't considered toxic.
However, products containing silica gel (like some cat litters) often have added chemicals in it, such as cobalt chloride—which can be harmful if ingested. For this reason, using silica gel litter crystals with young kittens (who are notorious for putting things in their mouths) or any cat who tends to gnosh on things may not be the best idea.
Silica gel granules can also cause gastrointestinal upset, like vomiting and diarrhea. And since the whole point of a good cat litter is to keep your furball comfortable and eliminate (rather than cause) messes, then you really need to make sure your cat won't be tempted to eat it.
How to Introduce Your Feline to Her New Crystal Litter
So, you've considered the pros and cons of crystal cat litter. You've read through the reviews and have selected the best one for your animal.
Now you have to figure out how to actually introduce it to her!
Here's the thing:
Cats, like lots of us, are creatures of habit. They often can be pretty wary and particular when it comes to change—especially with something as important and instinctual as where they relieve themselves! So, if you want to improve your chances of successfully switching out your old litter to your new crystal litter (and avoid having that purchase go to waste), then try these steps:
- Place a new litter box filled with the new litter crystals next to your kitty's current litter box.
- Put some of the new crystal granules in with your kitty's old litter. This gives her a chance to get used to the new feel and texture.
- This may sound weird, but…let her old litter box stay dirty. Cats are clean by nature, and they like to go in a clean box. Keeping her old box dirty and keeping the new box clean should encourage her to start using the newer litter.
- Eventually, when your cat is regularly going to the new litter box, simply remove the old one. If you want, you can clean it out and save the box as a back up!
Other ways to get the most out of your new crystal litter is to put it in a well-ventilated area, but not near an open window since this could expose the litter to moisture. Instead, try putting it near an air conditioner or a fan—this can keep the air around it drier.
You also don't want to put the litter in a room an area that tends to get humid like a bathroom or laundry room. Otherwise, the crystals may end up absorbing moisture from the air and not last as long.
Lastly, make sure your kitty is eating good quality food, since this will make her waste easier to remove from the crystals. Avoid foods high in crude fiber and by-products.
In the right home and with the right felines, crystal litter can be a great fit. While more expensive than traditional options, many users find that the cost is well worth it, since it saves so much time and works so well at absorbing odors.
If you've been thinking about switching out your kitty's litter, hopefully this review will help. And remember: as long as you're aware of the pros and cons of crystal litter granules, then trying out this innovative product could lead to some beneficial results for you and your four-legged companion! Hope our post regarding the Best Crystal Cat Litter for 2023 helped you with your decision!
- How Toxic Are Cat Litter Crystals? and The Benefits and Drawbacks of Litter Crystals at Vetinfo.com
- Cobalt Chloride: Colorful Moisture Detector at americanchemistry.com
- How to Choose a Cat Litter Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T at www.petfinder.com
- CAT LITTER 101 at PetMD
Is Crystal litter safe for cats?
Crystal cat litter is entirely non-toxic and has no such clumping or expanding chemicals. Your cat is at no risk from licking cat litter crystals, which gives you peace of mind as a responsible pet owner. Cat litter crystals are also super light, because their made of silica gel.
How often do you change crystal litter?
Once a day or every other day, I stir the crystals with a scooper to evenly distribute the saturated crystals with the fresh ones. This prolongs the life of the litter and requires fewer litter changes.
Is crystal cat litter environmentally friendly?
Silica litter prevents bacteria with crystals that absorb urine and help dehydrate feces, making your cat's litter box too dry to sustain any growth. This helps prevent kidney problems and UTIs in cats. Environmentally, silica litters will biodegrade and are non-toxic, making them a better choice than clay.
Is crystal cat litter better?
However, non-clumping litter is often cheaper than clumping, and some cats prefer it. Silica gel crystals. Crystal litter is highly absorbent, controls odor well, and is almost dust-free. Some people even say it tracks less than other types of litter.