The 10 Best Clumping Cat Litter Brands

For even the pickiest felines

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Collage of clumping cat litters surrounding a striped cat.
Chris Canton/Jasenka Arbanas/Getty Images

Compared to housebreaking a dog, training a cat to use a litter box is relatively painless. That is, of course, unless your feline is finicky about litter or has health issues that cause more frequent bathroom breaks. Cat parents have two types of litter to choose from: clumping and non-clumping. Clumping litter turns urine and feces into scoopable clumps. It also tends to track less and better contain odors. Most litter boxes are compatible with it—some boxes, like the Litter Robot 4, even require it. When it comes to clumping litter, there are almost too many options to choose from. We researched some of the best so you can pick from the cream of the crop. Our favorite is Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter Ultra because of its allergy-friendly low-dust formula and high odor control. But keep reading if your cat has allergies, is a kitten or you want to experiment with some plant-based options.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Alex Crow, MRCVS, is a licensed veterinary surgeon at Pet Health Guru. Dr. Crow lives and works in the UK where he offers pet advice to pet parents so they can provide the best lives possible for their pets.

The Best Clumping Cat Litter At-A-Glance


Best Overall

Dr Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter Ultra

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Best Flushable

ökocat Natural Wood Cat Litter - Original

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Best Low-Dust Option

Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Cat Litter

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Best Eco-Friendly

World's Best Unscented Clumping Cat Litter

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Best Quick Clumping

Boxiecat Natural Premium Clumping Cat Litter

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How We Chose the Best Clumping Cat Litter

We considered all of Dr. Crow’s guidelines when searching for the best clumping cat litters. We also took user reviews with images into consideration, especially to get a better sense of the size and texture of the litter granules. Dr. Crow himself recommended several clumping litters on our list.

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Bag of clumping cat litter with happy cat on label.
  • What We Like: Eco- and allergy-friendly formula, high odor control, low dust
  • What We Don't Like: Medium-grain may annoy some cats
  • Litter type: 100% bentonite clay
  • Packaging: 20- and 40-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented

This litter is made entirely from bentonite clay, which means good clumps. Dr. Elsey’s does, however, work hard to keep dust at bay and says this formula is 99.9 percent dust-free (and hypoallergenic). The brand is veterinarian-owned and Dr. Crow likes it for its eco-friendly ingredients and allergy-friendly formula. The grain is medium-sized, which helps clumping but may annoy cat paws. Available in 20-pound ($13) and 40-pound ($21) bags, this litter is a solid choice for any cat household. It’s Amazon’s No. 1 Best-Seller in cat litter and Dr. Elsey’s top-selling product.

best clumping cat litter okocat 1
  • What We Like: Plant-based formula, lightweight, compostable, biodegradable
  • What We Don't Like: Pricier than other options
  • Litter type: Wood fiber
  • Packaging: 10-, 13- and 20-pound boxes; 26-pound bag
  • Scent: Unscented

Our favorite part about ökocat’s Natural Wood Cat Litter is its sustainable ingredients. Made from natural wood fiber, this product doesn’t produce the dust most clay litters can’t eliminate entirely. This litter produces solid clumps that can be flushed if you want. According to the company, “Wood fiber naturally prevents enzymes from bonding with liquid and waste to stop the creation of ammonia and odor.” Meaning excellent, natural, unscented odor control. If your cat isn’t a fan of walking on this litter, try ökocat’s Super Soft Natural Wood Clumping Litter for a smoother texture but the same odor and clumping quality. While this clumping litter is pricier than other options, we think it’s worth it if your cat loves it.

best clumping cat litter arm and hammer clump
  • What We Like: Superior odor control, low dust guarantee
  • What We Don't Like: Heavy boxes only
  • Litter type: Clay, baking soda
  • Packaging: 18-, 27-, and 37-pound boxes
  • Scent: Light scent (hypoallergenic)

Households trying to avoid triggering allergic reactions should test our Arm & Hammer’s Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Litter. Its light, hypoallergenic scent and dust-free formula boasts excellent odor control. The company even trademarked the phrase “No Cloud of Nasties” to show how serious they are that this litter isn’t going to produce plumes of dust every time you refill the box. Baking soda crystals are key to this litter’s odor control, which is guaranteed for two weeks, making it a great option for multi-cat households.

best clumping cat litter love worlds best

Best Eco-Friendly

4. World's Best Unscented Clumping Cat Litter

World's Best

  • What We Like: Biodegradable, eco-friendly, soft grain texture feels good to cats
  • What We Don't Like: Soft grain texture might track more, pricier than other brands
  • Litter type: Corn
  • Packaging: 8-, 15-, 28-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented

Another eco-friendly, flushable clumping litter is World’s Best Unscented Clumping Cat Litter. Dr. Crow recommends it for just that reason, plus the softer texture is gentle on cat paw pads. World’s Best says this formula is lightweight and completely free of synthetic fragrances and chemicals. Both the brand and Dr. Crow approve of its odor control and quick-clumping capabilities (we’re talking clumping as soon as the pee hits the corn). One drawback is its higher price point.

best clumping cat litter boxiecat

Best Quick Clumping

5. Boxiecat Natural Premium Clumping Cat Litter


  • What We Like: Quick-clumping, award-winning and vet-backed formula
  • What We Don't Like: Pricier than other brands,
  • Litter type: Pure premium clay
  • Packaging: 16-, 28-, 40-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented

Boxiecat says their Natural Premium Clumping Cat Litter forms “instant Flat Top” clumps that not only make scooping a cinch but prevent pee and poo odors from emanating around your home. Another 99.9 percent dust-free formula, though the formula is pure clay, so some dust is to be expected. But, this brand is definitely doing something right because they won the 2022 Modern Cat Best Cat Litter Pick award. Boxiecat doesn’t use harsh, harmful chemicals or scents. Vet-recommended, portions of sales from this litter are also donated to help cats in shelters. Boxiecat recommends one 16-pound bag per cat, per month.

best clumping cat litter purina tidy cats
  • What We Like: Easier to carry and refill litter boxes, ammonia blocker, good clumping
  • What We Don't Like: Not low-tracking
  • Litter type: Clay, activated charcoal, mineral product
  • Packaging: 8.5-pound jug; 17-pound box
  • Scent: Unscented

The tubs with handles make this lightweight litter easy to pour into your litter box, which we appreciate. I use this with my Litter Robot 4, which requires a clumping litter. I’ve tried the scented version and this is much better (I’m not a fan of anything with fragrance, actually, and this does a good job keeping odors at bay). In fact, if you scoop regularly, the ammonia blocking ingredients will keep odors away for 14 days. The 8.5-pound tub holds as much litter as a 20-pound tub typically does. As with any litter, there will be some tracking, which is my only complaint.

best-clumping-cat-litter: a jug of purina tidy cats litter with a yellow and red packaging.
  • What We Like: Strong clumping and odor control
  • What We Don't Like: May be some dust, scent could deter cats
  • Litter type: Clay
  • Packaging: 14- and 20-pound jugs; 35-pound pail, 40-pound bag
  • Scent: Lightly scented

If you’re dead-set on a scented litter, Dr. Crow recommends Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Cat Litter. “The advanced formula traps odors and makes cleanup easy, while the pleasant scent helps to mask any lingering smells,” Dr. Crow says. This formula generates strong, well-formed clumps and is low-dust (note, this litter doesn’t boast the 99.9 percent dust-free promise other versions do, so there may be some dust plumes when you refill). The only real drawback is the scent. Even if you appreciate it, make sure it doesn’t scare your cats away.

best clumping cat litter frisco by chewy
  • What We Like: Affordable, good odor control
  • What We Don't Like: Could get dusty, clumps get stuck if not scooped regularly
  • Litter type: Natural clay
  • Packaging: 20- and 40-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented

Dr. Crow recommends Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter for multi-cat households because it clumps well in high-traffic litter boxes. However, he notes that if not scooped regularly, these clumps could start sticking to the bottom of the box. If you can stay on scoop schedule, this won’t be a problem. Unscented is best in multi-cat households in case one cat has sensitivities or is more affected by smell than others. Keep it neutral to make everyone happy. We also like the price point on this litter, which will set you back just $10 for a 20-pound bag.

best-clumping-cat-litter: white and red bag of cat litter with a picture of a brown cat laying down on the front packaging.

Best for Litter Box Avoidance

9. Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Clumping Litter

Dr. Elsey's

  • What We Like: Texture is designed for hesitant cats, natural attractant
  • What We Don't Like: Could get dusty, not ideal for kittens
  • Litter type: Clay
  • Packaging: 20- and 40-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented, natural herbal attractant

Though unscented, this clumping litter from Dr. Elsey’s does include a natural herbal attractant that lures cats to the litter box. Litter like this is recommended if you are training your cat to use a litter box or have been noticing your cat pooping or marking outside the litter box. (Definitely check in with your vet if this behavior doesn’t stop, as it could be the result of an underlying health issue.) Beyond the herbs, we like that this formula is 99 percent dust-free and generates hard clumps that are easy to scoop. Dr. Elsey’s also says they’ve created a clay grain with an “ideal texture and particle size” to encourage cats to use it. Perhaps the best part? Every bag comes with tips on how to best approach litter box training and use.

best clumping cat litter smart cat all natural

Best for Kittens

10. Pioneer Pet SmartCat Natural Litter


  • What We Like: Eco-friendly, 99 percent dust-free due to grass composition, quick-clumping
  • What We Don't Like: Some users complain it tracks too easily
  • Litter type: Grass
  • Packaging: 5-, 10- and 20-pound bags
  • Scent: Unscented

Perhaps the most unique clumping cat litter on our list is Pioneer Pet SmartCat Natural Litter. Made entirely from all-natural American-grown grass seed, this clumping litter is biodegradable, eco-friendly and soft on kitty’s paws. This is why we like it for kittens. The small granules aren’t going to bother tiny, sensitive paws. It’s also unscented and absorbs odors without the use of synthetic chemicals or fragrances. Plus, this grass-based litter weighs much less than clay clumping litters, so picking up bags and refilling boxes is easier on your body. The only real complaint we found was users complaining that it tracks easily. So, if you go this route, add a litter mat to your order.

What to Consider When Shopping for Clumping Cat Litter

Dr. Crow, a licensed veterinary surgeon at Pet Health Guru, says there are five main factors to consider when shopping for clumping cat litter. Prioritize according to your cat’s unique needs.

  • Clumping ability: Not all clumping cat litter clumps the same way. This may require some trial and error, but make sure clumps are easy to scoop and don’t crumble. It’s also ideal if the litter clumps quickly, so you’re not left with mini clumps or wet litter lining the bottom of your box.
  • Dustiness: Clay litter can get very dusty. Many litter brands are working on this and have formulated their litter to be low-dust, though any clay litter will likely produce some dust. The less dust in the air, the better your home air quality. (Look for non-clay options if you really cannot stand the dust.)
  • Odor control: As mentioned above, clumping litter is better at odor absorption. Ingredients like baking soda and activated charcoal may improve odor control.
  • Cost: Dr. Crow encourages finding a litter that fits into your budget and your space. If you can stock up and buy in bulk, go for it. If you need to purchase smaller bags every few weeks because you lack tons of storage space, go for it.
  • Environmental impact: Whenever possible, find a litter made with sustainable materials that don’t harm the environment. Some litter is flushable which reduces the amount of trash you toss.

Finally, if you’re switching up brands, don’t make the classic litter box mistake of introducing new litter too quickly. Gradually switch out the old litter with the new. It may be wise to purchase the smallest bag or box of new litter available to make sure your cat likes it before you stock up.

Is Scented Cat Litter Bad for Cats?

You’ll notice most of the litter on our list is unscented. This is because scented litter is often formulated with harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances that can be harmful to you and your pet. Plus, some cats won’t use scented litter because it masks the smell of their waste, which is how they mark territory and know where to go.

Dr. Crow adds that some scented litter can cause respiratory problems in cats. “[Scented litter] can irritate their nose, throat, and lungs, leading to sneezing, coughing, and wheezing,” he said. It can also lead to allergic reactions in kitties who have sensitive skin.

If you try a scented litter, pay close attention to your cat’s behavior and paw pads to ensure there are no negative side effects.

“While scented cat litter can help maintain a pleasant-smelling home, it's crucial to prioritize your cat's well-being above all else,” Dr. Crow told us.

What's the Difference Between Clumping and Non-Clumping Cat Litter?

Clumping cat litter forms clumps around poop and pee in your cat’s litter box. Non-clumping cat litter simply absorbs urine and lets feces sit. Clumping litter is often better at trapping odors, which makes it a smart choice for multi-cat households.

Dr. Crow adds that clumping litter makes it easier to clean the litter box, but tends to be dustier than non-clumping litter. So, if your cat has allergies or respiratory issues, your vet may recommend switching to a non-clumping litter or changing materials (lots of clumping litter is made with clay, which causes more dust).

You should provide kittens with non-clumping litter until they get used to using their litter box. According to Dr. Crow, kittens are more likely to eat the litter than adult cats, and clumps can make litter more appealing.

How Often Should Cat Litter Be Changed?

Litter boxes should be changed daily. If you live in a multi-cat household, you may need to scoop a few times a day, depending on how messy the boxes get. A dirty or full litter box is a huge deterrent to cats. They prefer clean, fresh places to do their business.

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Sarah Ashley

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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...
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