Top 5 Best Crystal Cat Litters [2019 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews]

Top 5 Best Crystal Cat Litters [2019 Buyer’s Guide & Reviews]

image of a kitty tray with silica

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 kitty 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 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.

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?

image of kitty litter tray with silica

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:

Increased cleanliness.

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!

Dust free.

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 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 box. It also traps odors effectively, too (no more faint whiffs of cat urine and ammonia in the air).

Often hypoallergenic.

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).

Lasts longer.

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 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 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.

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 are the best, 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:

Fresh Step Crystals, Premium Cat Litter, Scented

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).

Fresh Step Crystals, Premium Cat Litter, Scented, 8 Pounds
  • CRYSTAL CAT LITTER: Litter box maintenance made easier with odor locking litter crystals that absorb...
  • ODOR CONTROL CAT LITTER: These Fresh Step Crystals have 30 Days of Odor Control Guaranteed. Our...
  • ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT: 8lb bag of Crystals is the same number of uses as a 28lb bag of clumping cat...
  • LOW DUST LITTER: For cleaner surfaces and clearer air, we developed a low dust formula
  • FRESH STEP CAT LITTER: Fight litter box odors with scented Fresh Step Crystals that's created with...

Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Pros: fresh clean scent in addition to powerful odor-blocking control; produces little to no dust
  • Cons: scented litter may not be well-tolerated by sensitive kitties; can leave a sludge at the bottom of the box

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Non Clumping 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.

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Blue Non Clumping Crystal Cat Litter, 2-Pack - ZAC60-15711
  • COMPATIBLE LITTER BOXES: Works with any traditional litter box and the PetSafe ScoopFree Reusable...
  • CONVENIENT PORTIONS: Includes two pre-portioned bags of premium PetSafe crystal litter with original...
  • UNBEATABLE ODOR CONTROL: Absorbs urine and dries solid waste for 5x better odor control than...
  • LESS MESS: Premium PetSafe crystal litter is low-tracking and 99% dust-free
  • PRODUCT SUPPORT: PetSafe brand's U.S.-based Customer Care experts will be glad to help; call Monday...
  • EXPERIENCE: PetSafe brand has been an industry leading U.S. manufacturer of pet behavior,...

Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • 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

Fresh Magic Crystals Premium Crystal Litter

This kitty crystal brand is growing in popularity recently. One of the main reasons is because it has slightly larger crystal granules, 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).

While among the more expensive of the bunch, the odor control really does appear to be best of the best, so the price may be right for you.

FreshMAGIC Large Chunk Style Low-Dust Crystal Cat Litter, 8 lb. Bag, White Crystals, 4-Pack
  • SUPERIOR ODOR CONTROL with each crystal's millions of microscopic pores, which exhale moisture from...
  • TRACKS LESS with large, chunk-shaped crystals that don't roll around like round crystals
  • LOW DUST compared to other crystal litter. Contains no crystalline silica. Trace amounts of dust may...
  • TRUSTED BRAND-FreshMAGIC is the first crystal cat litter introduced in the United States and has...

Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • 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 (though some owners say it hasn’t proved a problem)

Just the Crystals Premium Cat Litter

Just the crystals, and nothing else! This crystal litter comes in two pre-measured bags to a box (4.4 lbs each), making it easy to pour and change out when necessary. Like other crystal brands, it pledges to over 5 times the odor control over traditional clay litters, and most reviewers seem to confirm this impressive feature.

In fact, Just the Crystals seems to beat out many other crystal granule brands as far as liquid absorption go. Plus, the product also was recognized by Animal Wellness Magazine as a “superior” product “promoting the wellness of animals.”

Just the Crystals 2-Pack. Longest Lasting Premium Crystal Cat Litter Absorbs More, Fragrance Free,...
  • Pre-measured for ultimate convenience in the ideal 4.4lb bags, TWO bags per box
  • Highest measured absorption of any crystal litter on the market
  • Cost competitive -- lasts 5X longer than clay litters
  • Best odor control, fragrance free, lowest dust

Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • 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: some users note that the product makes kitty paws turn blue; can be dusty and may not last as long as advertised

Ultra Pet Ultra Micro Crystals Cat Litter

Rounding out our top five is this product from Ultra Pet—you can’t miss it, because it comes in a bright pink box! 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 box like other litters tend to do.

Ultra Micro Crystals Cat Litter 5 pounds
  • Elimates Odors - Maximum Odor Control
  • Soft on Cat's Paws
  • Absorptive surface with 1000's of mini-channels for liquid waste absorption
  • Dries solid waste for odor control
  • Very Low Dust

Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Pros: long lasting (even in homes with 3 cats); low-tracking
  • Cons: many users find that this brand actually emits quite a bit of dust, so not great for lungs or eyes

How to Introduce Your Feline to Her New Crystal Litter

image of a curious feline

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:

  1. Place a new litter box filled with the new litter crystals next to your kitty’s current litter box.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!


  • December 15, 2018
Mary Nielsen

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.