8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in 2021! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat?

Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter

Most, if not all the time, when something does its job, then, it’s good enough. So, when your feline friend’s best non-clumping cat litter provides a refuge for him when nature calls, then, there should be no reason to change it.

As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, as a cat owner, you know that’s not the only factor to consider when choosing a cat litter.

In this article, you’ll learn whether or not a non-clumping cat litter is for you, and what are the best non-clumping cat litters in the market today. 

WHY 20,000+ READERS HAVE TRUSTED US FOR YEARS

Here at FelineLiving.Net we have a dedicated mission to provide cat owners like you with well-researched information so they can provide the best care and nutrition to their cat.

Our readers rely upon the cat food reviews, articles and recall alerts that we research and publish. We also routinely update and review our own reviews ensuring that any changes by manufacturers are brought to your attention.

FelineLiving.Net is maintained by Mary Nielsen & her staff. Mary is an animal lover of both cats and dogs. She and her staff are passionate about animals and work hard to provide you with a wealth of information for you and your cat.

Should You Use a Non Clumping Litter?

Shifting to a non clumping clay litter might bring several surprises for cat owners who have been using a clumping clay cat litter ever since.

Perhaps, they might even think that the non clumping clay cat litter is not working properly. And it’s perfectly understandable coming from their experience.

Also, such belief may be rooted in their understanding that a cat litter is working properly when it effectively clumps cat urine and solid waste. And that’s simply not the way non clumping litters work.

As its name implies, a non-clumping cat litter is exactly as that – it doesn’t clump and it doesn’t work in the same way as clumping clay litters. However, it is also because of this very reason why many cat owners prefer this type over other litters.

Non clumping clay cat litter also features certain qualities that make them desirable for many pet lovers. And some cats prefer it for some reasons that we may not fully understand, but we simply know that they are comfortable with it because they use it more often than other clay litters.

Of course, there are other factors involved as to why a non-clumping litter may be the right choice for your cat. And these reasons are related to your cat’s age and life stage behaviors, your budget, your cat’s safety, the environment, and your feline companion’s preference.

Some cats, especially kittens under four months of age, are prone to litter pellets ingestion. And this can be problematic if you are using clumping clay cat litter as each granule or pellet can expand when soaked by your cat’s liquid waste, or any liquid for that matter.

To give you a visual reference, the clumping clay litter can expand up to 18x of its original shape when wet. You can just imagine what it can do inside your kitten’s tiny digestive tract.

This rapidly expanding wet clumping litter won’t just cause uncomfortable gastric problems to your cat, but it can even lead to intestinal obstruction. It is for this reason why many vets and experts recommend that you use non-clumping kitty litter.

Moreover, kittens are not the only ones at risk for the after-effects of ingesting clumping clay litter. Some adult cats eat litter intentionally, and this is often true for those with a medical condition called pica.

For cats with this problem, the ingestion of inedible materials is their body’s way of making up for mineral deficiencies.

Additionally, healthy cats of any age can also end up consuming even dirty litter. While they are grooming, your cats can accidentally or unintentionally ingest dust or litter that was trapped in their paws or fur.

At times, large amounts of clay litter can be trapped in your cat’s paws, which can lead to constipation and other problems when ingested.

If your cat ends up of ingesting one or two clumping clay litter granules, it’s highly unlikely that it will compromise your cat’s health and safety.

Nonetheless, this is one of the reasons why many cat owners don’t want to gamble and so they simply resort to a non-clumping natural cat litter.  

Another reason why there is a consistent demand for non-clumping cat litters is their price points. Generally, these litters are more affordable than the clumping types.

The higher cost of a clumping cat litter may not be a big deal if you only have one cat. However, for pet lovers with multiple cats at home, it’s a totally different story.

Finally, while most cats like clumping clay litters, some are more comfortable in using litters with a non clumping formula.

So, if you are curious whether your cat would end up loving the one over the other, feel free to compare the performance of both litters.

After all, cats can have individual preferences. And as cat parents, we already knew this as evidenced by their proclivity to certain types of foods.

The same thing can happen with cat litters. Once you’ve found something that works for you and your cat, then, stick to it.

Litter avoidance can be a nightmare for you and your cat, not to mention that it can also have some drawbacks to his health.

And it just so happens that frequently changing cat litters is one of the reasons why some cats would suddenly stop using their litter box.

8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 1

Our 8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters

IMAGE PRODUCT  
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 2
Feline Pine Original Wood Litter
  • No messy cloud of dust
  • Chemical and clay free litter
  • Uses highly absorbent pine fibers
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 3
Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance
  • Extended-release deodorizing system
  • Continuous, long-lasting odor control
  • Designed to accommodate multiple cats
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 4
Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter
  • 99.9% Dust free
  • Traps odor instantly & then eliminates moisture
  • Changes color to tell you when your cat has a potential health issue
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 5
Purina Yesterday's News Original Paper Litter
  • Low-tracking formula
  • Made with pellets of recycled paper
  • Eco-friendly litter is 3x more moisture-absorbent than clay
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 6
Fresh Step Febreze Scented Litter
  • Weighs 30% less than other clay litters
  • Low dust makes for cleaner surfaces and air
  • Contains activated carbon to eliminate odors
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 7
Okocat Unscented Paper Pellet Cat Litter
  • A paper-based litter
  • 100% dust-free white paper pellets
  • Contains long-lasting, plant-based odor control
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 8
Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Enhanced Pellets
  • 99.9% Dust-free
  • Perfect for multi-cat household
  • Has an Active Clean scent that controls fecal odor on contact
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 9
Fresh Step Fresh Scented Crystal Cat Litter
  • Long-lasting crystals lock in odor better
  • Absorbs moisture on contact while leaving a fresh scent
  • Unused crystals can last up to one month in the litter box
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 10
  1. Feline Pine Original Wood Litter
  2. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance
  3. Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter
  4. Purina Yesterday's News Original Paper Litter
  5. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Litter
  6. Okocat Unscented Paper Pellet Cat Litter
  7. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Enhanced Pellets
  8. Fresh Step Fresh Scented Crystal Cat Litter

1. Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 11
Its highly-absorbent pine fibers work like thousands of tiny sponges to absorb liquid and lock away ammonia odors in a snap.

Keep your home smelling fresh as if you are surrounded by pine trees with Feline Pine Original Wood Cat Litter.

This natural cat litter is made from 100% highly-absorbent pine pellets that act like a thousand minuscule sponges absorbing liquid and blocking ammonia odors in a snap.

Feline Pine’s low-dust formula doesn’t use clay, so you and your feline friend won’t have to inhale the irritating dust each time you pour the litter into the clean litter box.

Plus, it uses the strong odor-fighting powers of 100% natural pine pellets, instead of relying on harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances.

Also, as expected with litters that use larger granules, this all-natural pine litter leaves no messy dust and has minimal tracking. It is also cheaper than other biodegradable and natural litters in the market.

However, you do need to empty the cat litter regularly to best prevent the accumulation of strong odor as caused by the mixture of the pine pellets and dried urine. You also need to scoop solid wastes every day.

2. Purina Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 12
It has an extended-release deodorizing system that works to keep unpleasant odors at bay near your cats' litter boxes, and the triple odor protection technology keeps your home smelling fresh and clean.

Spend more cuddle time with your feline buddy without being bothered by the strong scent of soiled cat litter – thanks to Purina Tidy Cat’s use of extended release deodorizing system.

This non-clumping clay litter offers triple long lasting odor control against the scents of urine, feces, and ammonia. 

This litter offers long-lasting round-the-clock odor protection so you can change it completely even once a week and it can still keep odors under control. The granules are also not that small, so you can expect minimal tracking and dust.

This non-clumping formula also makes it easy to clean up the litter box, and the highly absorbent natural clay litters feature a triple odor protection technology that is extremely useful for multi cat households.

3. Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 13
PrettyLitter's color changing, fresh litter will let you know if your feline friend is experiencing a potential health issue before urgent medical care is needed, saving you money, stress and potentially your cat’s life.

Pretty Litter Health Monitoring Cat Litter is not just your ordinary non-clumping cat litter, because aside from being environmentally friendly and surprisingly economical, it also helps detect potential health issues concerning your feline buddies.

Cats are known to be notorious for hiding their illnesses, so as a cat parent, you’ll be grateful for Pretty Litter’s ability to detect changes in urine pH as these can warn you when something is wrong with your cat.

And it does this by changing color from blue, dark yellow, orange, to red, to alarm you when you should get your cat tested before his condition worsens.

Ultimately, this silica litter can help you with vet bills, not to mention that it can help save your cat from the perils that await him if you act even just a day or a few hours later.

This cat litter also features an advanced odor control system. Its ultra-absorbent silica gels absorb urine and eliminate bad odor quickly.

It is also lightweight, and contains fine granules that are great for older cats, and are comfortable even in the sensitive paws of your fussy pussy cats.  

4. Purina Yesterday's News Original Paper Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 14
Made of recycled newspaper, these pellets leave a smaller footprint on the environment than traditional clay. Best of all, this eco-friendly product is three-times more absorbent than clay, and 99.7% dust free.

You read it right – this cat litter is made from recycled material. In particular, it is made using recycled newspapers, phonebooks, and magazines, which makes it virtually dust-free with minimal tracking.

And since it repurposes these biodegradable materials into usable paper pellets for your cats, we could not emphasize enough that it’s good for the environment and safe for your feline buddy.

This paper cat litter is highly absorbent as you would expect with most, if not, all types of paper. And in comparison, it is 3x more absorbent than clay litters.

This natural non-clumping cat litter is also unscented, so, it is great for cats with sensitivities or allergies to artificial or even natural fragrances.

5. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 15
This non-clumping formula uses activated carbon to eliminate odors and weighs 30% less than other clay litters. It absorbs liquids quickly and traps odors by filtering them out.

Tired of sniffing your cat’s room that smells like a litter box? Then, it’s high time that you switch to Fresh Step Premium Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter with superior odor control. And compared with other clay litters, this scented litter is surprisingly lighter.

A 35-pound bag of this litter is equivalent to a 50-pound bag of other non-clumping litter brands, which makes it a more affordable option and a promising choice for multi cat households.

The fine clay litter particles are also more comfortable for the paws of your kittens, and with its cheaper price, it is definitely a more cost-effective option for multiple cats households.

Additionally, this litter formula makes use of activated carbon, which traps and eliminates odors effectively.

Powered by Febreeze, this scented litter features paw-activated fragrances that ensure your cat’s litter box always smells fresh each time he uses it.

6. Okocat Unscented Paper Pellet Cat Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 16
Cleanup is easy thanks to the soft, lightweight pellets that absorb all liquid. The pellets are made from sustainably sourced, responsibly rescued natural wood fiber, making them both biodegradable and flushable.

While paper litters are virtually dust-free, some brands feature larger pellets that are uncomfortable for cats with sensitive paws.

Good thing that Okocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clamping Paper Pellet Cat Litter offers softer pellets that are made from natural paper materials and are free of inks, dyes, and scents.

This dust-free litter is made with natural paper fibers and features a long-lasting odor-control system that helps fight the strong scent of ammonia. And with its ultra-absorbent, lightweight pellets, cleanup is also much easier.

Additionally, the materials used are eco-friendly natural wood fibers, which make this litter biodegradable and flushable in your toilet.

Okocat Dust-Free Paper Pellet is an ideal litter choice for cats with respiratory problems, and homes with post-surgical needs, allergies, and respiratory issues.

7. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Enhanced Pellets

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 17
The pellets allow urine to pass through, keeping solid waste on top for hassle-free scooping—no more urine clumps here! Has an Active Clean Scent that controls fecal odor on contact!

If you are looking for a non-traditional cat litter option, then, you should give Tidy Cats Breeze Enhanced Litter Pellets a try. This pellet is specially designed to go with Tidy Cats BREEZE Litter System that you have to purchase separately. 

What’s different about this litter is that it is made from mordernite zeolite, a natural mineral that allows liquid to pass through and be locked away in the pad lying underneath the litter box. As a result, the solid wastes stay on top for hassle-free scooping.

Plus, the litter’s Active Clean Scent controls the fecal odor that comes in contact, so you won’t have to worry about a strong scent from the solid wastes that have accumulated on top before your next scooping schedule.

With the materials used, this litter is also dust-free and features minimal tracking, which makes it a perfect choice if you have multiple cats who love to run around after using their litter box.

8. Fresh Step Fresh Scented Crystal Cat Litter

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 18
Absorbs moisture on contact so consider it a great way to keep your paw-tner happy, healthy and, above all, clean. Unused crystals can last up to one month in the litter box.

If you only have one cat, a single 8-pound bag of Fresh Step Premium Crystals cat litter can last you up to two months.

This litter makes use of long-lasting crystals that lock odor 5x better than traditional clay litters. What’s more, the fine crystal sands are softer and more comfortable on your cat’s paws.

This super lightweight crystal litter is also easier to carry, scoop, and clean. And its low-dust property makes changing the litter box cleaner and safer for you and your cat as you won’t be exposed to air filled with microscopic dust particles.

You can definitely relate especially if you’ve been using a clumping clay cat litter for a while.  

best cat litter mat

What Should You Look for In a Non-Clumping Formula Cat Litter?

If there’s one thing cats dislike the most, it would have to be a dirty litter box. If you don’t want your cat to do his business somewhere else, you should always keep his litter box clean.

This way, you are providing your feline friend a safe and relaxing haven while he is releasing his solid and liquid wastes.

Another important consideration to ensure that your fastidious cats have what they need to relieve themselves comfortably is the type of cat litter that you are using – which can either be clumping or non-clumping.

Below are things to look out for when shopping for the best non clumping cat litter:

Good Odor Control

Whether you believe it or not, it’s not only you who hates smelling the foul odor of dirty litter, your cats dislike it, too.

And while it is somewhat impossible for a soaked cat litter to be free from urine odors, it is very much possible for a cat litter to neutralize odor.

In particular, a non-clumping absorbent litter can absorb liquid very well thereby controlling odor before it gets too overpowering.

This is crucial since cats have a very strong sense of smell. So, whether you have sensitive cats or not, you should find cat litters that control odors effectively.

This is one way to prevent litter avoidance in cats and to keep your house smelling good all the time.

Additionally, you may also want to look for a non-clumping formula that contains litter deodorizers like baking soda and activated carbon.

You may also be tempted to choose scented cat litters, but remember that cats dislike perfumes or artificial fragrances.

So, it’s best to purchase the unscented types or those that are lightly scented. And as always, pay attention to your cat’s reaction when introducing a new type of litter.   

8 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in [year]! Should You Use a Non-Clumping Litter for Your Cat? 10

Low Dust

Picking a cat litter with minimal dust is also important since the inhalation of too much dust can trigger respiratory problems both in humans and cats.

And while clay litters are often dusty, certain brands offer non-clumping clay litter that features low dust formula.

Cat litters that are made using natural materials like recycled paper and wood or pine pellets are virtually dust free. Crystal cat litter also produces less dust than clay, but it doesn’t feature a dust free formula.    

Low Mess or Low Tracking

Each time your cat leaves his litter box, granules or pellets may stick to his paws, which he can then scatter around your house. So, if you want to keep your floors clean, you should look for a low-tracking cat litter.

Generally, cat litters that are made of fine sands or granules track more than those that are made of large granules.

And this is where the predicament lies: cats prefer fine, sand-like litters. This can be attributed to the fact that larger litters often get stuck between their sensitive paws, which makes them uncomfortable.

And of course, we can also say that it’s part of their inclination to want something that resembles the fine sands in the wild.

Hence, you may want to manage your expectations when sticking with your personal choice of a low-tracking litter over your cat’s preference for finer litters that tend to mess or track a lot.  

Cat Appeal

At the end of the day, your cat’s preference should win over yours because if he won’t use it, then, the litter won’t serve its purpose, as well. Most cats prefer clay litter more than any other types, but still, some felines can have unpredictable preferences.

Some cats love paper litter, while some cats dislike the feeling of walking over large pellets. Additionally, a crystal litter that is made from silica gel crystals may not clump, but some cats are not comfortable with it.

Generally, your best bet is one that features fine, soft, and easy-to-dig litter that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients and is comfortable to your cat’s paws and nose.

Best Litter Box Furniture

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Many Litter Boxes Do I Need?

As a general rule of thumb, you should have one litter box for each cat in your house and one litter box for each floor.

So, if you are living in a two-story house with only one cat, you would need a total of two litter boxes for him to encourage litter box usage.  

If you have an older cat or a kitten, the more that you need to place at least one litter box for each floor in your house. Or if your house only has one floor, you should place your litter box at an area where your cat stays most of the time.

How Do I Teach My Kittens to Use the Litter Box?

Kittens usually learn to use the litter box when they are three to four weeks of age. In most cases, their mother teaches them to use the litter box, though they can also get some guidance from you. Surprisingly, you don’t really need to do a lot of work.

Simply teach your kitten where the litter box is, and he will just follow his instinct to pee and poop in the sand next time.

A technique that works with most cat parents is placing their kittens inside the litter box after each meal. Just like us humans, kittens have an urge to eliminate body waste after a full meal.

Why Has My Cat Stopped Using His Litter Box?

Cats are tidy creatures, which is definitely an advantage for them. Once they are litter-trained, most would not eliminate outside of their litter boxes. Well, of course, except for the unneutered male cats with the habit of spraying on walls and furniture.

So, if you notice your litter-trained cat suddenly stopped using his clean litter box, it can only mean that something is wrong. In most cases, it can be due to an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, intestinal parasites, or urinary tract disease.

However, it can also be stress-related, such as when you just transferred to a new house or apartment. Litter avoidance can also be caused by a sudden change in his cat litter, or his litter box is placed in a high-traffic area or is situated too close to his food or water.

How Often Should I Empty the Litter Box?

It depends on how many cats you have, as well as the type of cat litter you are using. Most cat litters have directions on how often you should empty your litter box, so, we suggest that you follow as directed.

Generally, you should empty, wash, and refill your cat’s litter box once a week.

What are the benefits of non-clumping litter?

Non-clumping absorbs more of the waste, while the clumping litter traps more of the odor. Non-clumping usually requires changing out the litter at least once a week, while clumping requires less changing.

Is non-clumping litter unsanitary?

Non-clumping litters don't clump around your cats 'solids', so they can get spread around and contaminate the rest of the litter, which isn't only unsanitary but can also be dangerous as cat poo may carry Toxoplasmosis or other harmful bacteria.

How long do cats need non-clumping litter?

It's best to avoid clumping litter until your kitten reached four months old as it can cause stomach upset or blockages if ingested. Try to use non-clumping litters or pelleted litters until your furbaby is older.

What happens to urine in non-clumping litter?

The majority of cats, when they have used a litter tray, will throw litter around the litter tray (and even sometimes outside it!). That means, that if a non-clumping litter is used, all the urine-soaked particles of litter are mixed up with the clean particles of litter.

  • Updated October 5, 2021
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.