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6 Best Natural Cat Litters (2023) – Wood, Corn, Wheat and Nut Options

Posted in: Cat Litter - Last Updated: October 24, 2022 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Litter 
Last Updated: October 24, 2022  
Author:  Rebekah Carter

Kitty litter is a must-have resource for pet parents looking after kitties. Unless you want your feline friends to make their bathroom wherever they choose, you’ll need to provide them with a litter box (or two), and litter they can dig in to cover their mess. 

There is a huge variety of cat litter to choose from in the market today, ranging from clumping to non-clumping formulas.

best-natural-cat-litter

Natural cat litters are glittermore attention in recent years, as they promise a more organic, eco-friendly, and safe solution for your cat’s bathroom habits. 

These products are particularly useful for cats with respiratory issues, allergies, and sensitivities to common chemicals. 

So, which is the best natural cat litter?

Our Top 3 Choices

Best Overall

ökocat Original Low-Dust Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter with Odor Control 13.2 lbs, Medium

ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Excellent odor control thanks to wood fiber
  • Clumping functionality for easy cleaning

Best Value

ARM & HAMMER Naturals Cat Litter, Multi Cat, 18lb Bag

ARM & HAMMER Naturals Cat Litter

  • Suitable for multi-cat households
  • Excellent odor elimination and control
  • High absorption rates

Premium Choice

Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter 5 Pound Bag

Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter 

  • Made with sustainable, recycled materials
  • 100% all-natural with no chemicals and toxins
  • Great for managing odors

Our Top 3 Picks

Examining some of the most effective natural cat litters on the market, we chose these three options as our overall top picks. 

We selected these cat litters based on their sustainability, performance, and ingredients, to ensure cats and pet owners get the best possible experience.

1. ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter (Best Overall)

ökocat Original Low-Dust Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter with Odor Control 13.2 lbs, Medium

Unscented, and soft enough to cater to delicate paws, the OKOCAT natural cat litter is an excellent choice for anyone interested in chemical-free litters. 

This plant-based clumping litter has a texture similar to clay, so it’s easy for kittens and cats to dig through. The wood fibers help to absorb liquid and minimize odors while reducing ammonia. 

What’s more, the product is 99% dust-free, which means it’s great for both cats and owners with respiratory issues. 

There are no artificial fragrances, perfumes, chemicals, dyes, and toxic components to worry about, and the clumping formula makes your litter box easier to clean.

Pros

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Excellent odor control thanks to wood fiber
  • Clumping functionality for easy cleaning
  • 99% dust-free for respiratory issues
  • Soft enough for sensitive paws

Cons

  • Not the best at clumping for solid waste
  • Can be difficult to sift

2. ARM & HAMMER Naturals Cat Litter (Value Pick)

ARM & HAMMER Naturals Cat Litter, Multi Cat, 18lb Bag

Arm & Hammer’s Naturals cat litter is designed to deliver an odor-free home, without chemicals. This product uses a combination of plant extracts, corn and baking soda to reduce odor issues. 

What’s more, it’s highly absorbent and capable of soaking up more than twice as much liquid as your standard clay litter. 

A low dust formula helps to reduce the issue of tracking in your home. At the same time, the specially formulated solution is lighter than traditional cat litter, making it easier to pour and carry. This solution is even carefully designed for multi-cat households.

Pros

  • Suitable for multi-cat households
  • Excellent odor elimination and control
  • High absorption rates
  • Low dust formula
  • Lightweight for easy pouring

Cons

  • Can have quite a strong smell
  • Does have some clumping issues

3. Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter (Premium Pick)

Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter 5 Pound Bag

100-natural, with fantastic odor control, this “Next Gen” cat litter combines phenomenal absorption rates with a compostable, and lightweight formula.

The green tea fresh design helps to minimize unwanted smells throughout your house, while the lightweight design makes the litter easier to pour, sift through, and clean. 

This product comes with built-in green tea and wood components to suppress the growth of bacteria and the formation of ammonia in the litter box. Plus, it’s sustainably sourced and created, so you don’t have to worry about your impact on the planet.

Pros

  • Made with sustainable, recycled materials
  • 100% all-natural with no chemicals and toxins
  • Great for managing odors
  • Clumping for easy cleaning and removal
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Not the best for tracking
  • The smell doesn’t appeal to everyone

Additional Picks for Natural Cat Litter

While the options above are likely to work well for a range of cat owners, they might not be ideal for everyone. 

If you’ve tried our top picks, and you’re not happy, or you want to look for an alternative type of litter, here are some additional suggestions.

4. Naturally Fresh Cat Litter

Naturally Fresh Cat Litter - Walnut-Based Quick-Clumping Kitty Litter, Unscented , 26 lb (23001)

This “Naturally Fresh” cat litter comes in a range of sizes, so you can buy in bulk if you’re looking to save cash. The ultra-absorbent formula means a single bag of this litter should absorb up to the same amount as 3 bags of regular clay litter. 

What’s more, the product is virtually dust-free, eliminating respiratory issues and tracking problems. 

Completely natural and environmentally friendly, this biodegradable product is based on a “walnut” formula, with no dangerous chemicals or additives.

Pros

  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Extremely absorbent
  • No scent to irritate your cats
  • Minimal dust for less tracking
  • Available in large bags

Cons

  • Not the best for clumping
  • Can be messy to pour

5. Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter

Feline Pine Original Cat Litter, 7-Pound Bags (Pack of 2)

Easy to clean and absorbent, the Feline Pine non-clumping wood cat litter is ideal for pet parents who prefer the simplicity and longevity of non-clumping formulas. 

The wood-based litter has no unwanted chemicals or additives to worry about, and you get two bags in a pack, so your purchase should last longer, even with multiple cats. 

The product promises a naturally fresh scent, without any extra fragrances added which could irritate your cat’s nose. There’s also fantastic odor control built-in.

Pros

  • Natural fresh scent
  • No chemicals or toxins
  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Non-clumping design for long-lasting performance
  • Easy to pour and carry

Cons

  • Not the best at reducing tracking

6. sWheat ScoopMulti-Cat All-Natural Clumping Cat Litter

sWheat Scoop Wheat-Based Natural Cat Litter, Multi-Cat, 25 Pound Bag

Another fantastic pick for pet parents with multiple cats to care for, the sWheat Wheat-based cat litter is great for managing odor. 

This ultra-absorbent and all-natural letter can help to reduce ammonia and cat urine odors, and it comes with a clumping design for easy scooping. You can even flush some of this litter down the toilet if necessary. 

The biodegradable wheat has natural enzymes and starches built-in, which trap odors on contact.

What’s more, you can rest assured that this lightweight product should be easier to lift and pour than many other cat litters.

Pros

  • Excellent odor control for multiple cats
  • Great all-natural formula
  • Easy clumping design
  • Fine and soft texture for an easy transition
  • Good for cat health

Cons

  • Quite a strong smell
  • Has some tracking issues

What is a Natural Cat Litter?

Natural cat litter is a popular alternative to most of the more common clumping and non-clumping litters on the market today. 

Rather than using clay and silica gel or silica dust, these cat litter are usually made with biodegradable and sustainable materials, such as wood, or sawdust. 

Natural cat litter can be an excellent choice for a pet owner concerned about the environment, because it’s easy to dispose of, without damaging the planet. 

Some products can even be flushed down your toilet. 

These products also don’t have any chemicals or added synthetic fragrances which could irritate a sensitive cat. 

Natural cat litter simply needs to use all-natural, biodegradable, and easily recyclable products, which have no problematic impact on the environment.

natural-cat-litter

Why Use Natural Cat Litter?

There are plenty of reasons why a pet parent might prefer to choose natural cat litter over a conventional commercial option.

Natural cat litters are better for the environment, with more sustainable ingredients and materials. 

They’re biodegradable, so they don’t take up space at a landfill, and they require very little production.

Natural cat litters are often considered healthier than its conventional counterparts too. Clay litters often contain chemicals that can lead to allergen problems among some cats. 

Many clay cat litters can also aggravate dust sensitivities among both cats and their owners. 

Notably, natural cat litters don’t cause any damage when they’re accidentally consumed by your cats either.

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Cats naturally wash regularly, which can mean they end up eating small amounts of litter over time. 

Natural litter shouldn’t lead to any medical issues.

How to Choose the Right Natural Cat Litter?

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the perfect natural cat litter. For most people, the decision will come down to personal preference, as well as the preference of your cat. 

Some felines are more comfortable using certain kinds of litter. Some points to consider include:

  • Texture: Some cats prefer large granules of litter which are easier to dig through. Other kitties may prefer to use a litter that is finer and softer. This is particularly common among cats with sensitive cat's paws. A good texture is an important consideration for your cat litter.
  • Odor control: Natural litters don’t come with added fragrances and chemicals, but they should still have a strong level of odor control. Some come with natural scents to help mask odors, while others use natural plant enzymes and fibers to help soak up moisture and prevent odor from stagnating in the litter box.
  • Price: Some natural cat litter can be a lot more expensive than others. Many biodegradable cat litters are available for a reasonably low cost. However, you’ll need to shop around to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Clumping litter is often more expensive than non-clumping alternatives.
  • Clumping: Whether you prefer clumping or non-clumping litter will depend on you. Clumping litter is easier to scoop, but some kittens and cats recovering from spaying and neutering are generally better off with non-clumping formulas.

Types of Natural Cat Litter

There is a huge range of different forms of natural cat litter in the market today. 

Some are based on nuts and grains like walnuts, while others leverage wood and sawdust. Some of the most common formulas you’ll find include:

  • Grass:  Grass-based cat litters mimic the kind of litter box experience your kitty would have in the wild. They’re made from grass seed and have a relatively coarse texture, and a natural wheat-like scent to mask odors. They’re also quite good for reducing dust.
  • Wood: Cat litters made from wood are highly absorbent, and come with a natural pine-style scent that can be appealing to homeowners. These products generally aren’t as good at clumping, but they’re fantastic at absorbing moisture.
  • Corn and grain: Corn and graincat litters use plant-based kernels from products like wheat and corn to manage odors and mess. They can form solid clumps, and they have a reasonably pleasant natural scent. They’re also completely non-toxic.
  • Recycled paper: Recycled paper is a common choice for some natural cat litter. This is a softer choice for kitties with sensitive paws. However, most recycled paper litters are non-clumping, and they’re not always ideal for eliminating odors.
Best-Natural-Cat-Litters

FAQs

How do I make homemade cat litter?

As natural cat litters become more popular, many people are beginning to create their own litter alternatives. You can create your own cat litter using recycled paper, baking soda, and similar natural ingredients. Wheat grains are also a good option.

What is natural cat litter?

Natural cat litter is simply any form of cat litter made with natural, biodegradable, and sustainable ingredients. The products are usually “natural” in nature, made with plant fibers and wood, rather than clay and chemicals.

Is there an alternative to cat litter?

You could always try training your kitty to go to the bathroom outside, and some pet parents even teach their cats how to use the toilet, although this is a difficult process not everyone can manage. Outside of these options, you can try potting soil, wood pellets, sawdust, wood shavings, and newspapers as an alternative to cat litter.

Which natural litter is best for cats?

This all depends on your cat and your preferences. Any natural cat litter should be better for your feline friend than a chemical-based alternative. Try looking for something that feels comfortable for your cat to use, and eliminates odors.

Best Natural Cat Litters: The Verdict

Our favorite natural cat litter overall is the ÖKOCAT super-soft wood clumping litter. It’s a clumping litter, so it’s easy to scoop and clean. 

Plus, there’s very little excess dust, and a fantastic level of absorbency to look forward to with this litter. The soft pellets are easy on sensitive paws, and the product is great for controlling odor too. 

Additionally, the lightweight structure makes the litter reasonably easy to lift and pour.

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About the author

Rebekah Carter is a dedicated animal lover. Her Savannah cat, Roscoe, has a lot of attitude, while her Maine Coon, Dukino, is full of love. When not writing, she’s looking after her cats and researching ways to help them live their best possible life. Her passion for animals and natural skill for writing led her to pursue pet blogging.

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