7 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter Picks (2022)

Posted in: Cat Litter - Last Updated: March 16, 2022 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Litter 
Last Updated: March 16, 2022  
Author:  Rebekah Carter

As a cat parent, you want to give your kitties nothing but the best. Nutritious food, engaging toys, and a cozy bed to relax in. One of the most important investments of all – is the right cat litter. 

Non-clumping cat litter is the most “traditional” form of cat litter, known for being lightweight, less dusty than clumping cat litter, and ideal for minimizing tracking. While some people love the clumping capabilities of other cat litters, some swear by the benefits of non-clumping alternatives.

tabby cat exiting a cat litter box enclosed

There are even a huge range of different types of non-clumping cat litters, from wood pellets, to odor-eliminating crystals. So, with so many cat litter options, how do you choose the best non-clumping cat litter for your cat? Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you.

Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat

Our choice is the Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat, the best Overall Non-clumping Litter you can buy for your cat!

Fresh Step Non-Clumping Premium Scented Cat Litter with Febreze Freshness, 14 lbs.

Our Top Picks Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters of 2022

The best non-clumping cat litter for you will depend on several factors, including how much you want to spend, what kind of materials you’re looking at, and which features you consider to be crucial. Here are just some of our top picks.

1. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat (Best Overall)

Designed with ultra-fresh Febreze built-in, this scented, non-clumping cat litter is an excellent pick if you want to keep horrible odors to a minimum. The unique design traps and eliminates odors with premium clay – one of the best materials if you want something highly absorbent. 

The interesting thing about this cat litter is it comes with a unique “paw-activated” formula, which releases Febreze freshness with every step. The low dust formula also minimizes tracking, so you can avoid having to constantly clean up little footprints around the house.

Fresh Step Non-Clumping Premium Scented Cat Litter with Febreze Freshness, 14 lbs.

Pros:

  • Paw-activated fresh scent
  • Superior odor control (lasting up to 7 days)
  • Ultra-absorbent clay formula
  • Excellent low-dust performance

Cons:

  • Scent isn’t ideal for ultra-sensitive cats
  • Can be a little expensive

2. Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance (Best Value Pick)

If you’re keen to keep costs low, you can get a hefty bag of Tidy Cats non-clumping cat litter for a really reasonable price. This ultra-absorbent cat litter is specially designed to support homes with multiple cats, so it’s great if you’re worried about excessive odors. 

The 24/7 formula promises around-the-clock odor control, with plenty of absorption, so you don’t have to constantly empty and refill the litter box. The design also includes “freshness crystals” which are infused into the clay to help maintain a nice deodorizing effect.

Purina Tidy Cats Non Clumping Cat Litter; 24/7 Performance Multi Cat Litter - 20 lb. Bag

Pros:

  • Excellent absorption and odor control
  • Extended-release deodorizing performance
  • Low tracking with minimal dust
  • Fantastic around-the-clock performance
  • Designed for multiple cats

Cons:

  • Some issues with quality control between bags
  • Odor control doesn’t last as long as some alternatives

3. Pretty Litter Ultra-Premium (Best Premium)

If you believe your cat deserves absolutely nothing but the best (and they probably do), then it’s worth checking out the Pretty Litter cat litter. This unique non-clumping cat litter is one of the best on the market, offering the perfect combination of odor control and excellent absorption. 

Pretty Litter is made with special crystals, which can actually change color to help show you if anything is wrong with your cat’s urine. The crystals react to different chemicals in your cat’s urine, so you know instantly if your feline friend has a urine infection or a similar problem.

ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat, 40 lb

Pros:

  • Excellent for medical care
  • Unique crystal formula
  • Excellent absorption
  • Perfect for getting ahead of urine issues
  • Up to 80% lighter than most cat litters

Cons:

  • Very expensive for just a small bag
  • Can take a while to figure out what the colors mean
Non-clumping-cat-litter

Some Alternative Picks

Now you’ve seen our top three section for the best non-clumping cat litters, let’s explore some alternative options. We’ve chosen these cat litters as the “runners up” in our list, thanks to their excellent performance and affordability.

4. Cat’s Pride

A premium-style clay cat litter with non-clumping qualities, the Cat’s Pride cat litter is excellent for absorbing all kinds of moisture and odor. This fantastic litter is best-known for being a powerfully absorbent product, capable of taking on up to 100% of tis weight in moisture. 

The Cat’s Pride cat litter comes in a value-packed 20-pound bag, so you won’t have to stock up quite as often as you would with other smaller litter options. There’s also a light fragrance added to the mix, but no harsh chemicals or overpowering fragrances to worry about.

Cat's Pride Premium Clay Cat Litter, 20-Pound Bag

Pros:

  • Great for high-power absorption
  • Fresh and clean scent
  • Good value for the amount you get
  • Great odor control
  • No dangerous chemicals

Cons:

  • Quite difficult to scoop because of the size of the granules

5. Yesterday’s News by Purina

As mentioned above, non-clumping cat litters come in a wide variety of different styles and materials. If you’re looking for something dust-free and chemical-free, the paper-based “Yesterday’s News” by Purina is a good pick. Available in a soft and regular texture, the Yesterday’s News cat litter is excellent at absorbing moisture – it can even absorb up to 3 times more than clay. 

Completely natural and free from unwanted chemicals, this cat litter is intended to minimize tracking, and has no tiny particles to worry about. There’s also no fragrance with this cat litter, which is ideal if you’re buying for a cat with a sensitive nose.

Purina Yesterday's News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter, Unscented Low Tracking Cat Litter - 30 lb. Bag

Pros:

  • Good for more sensitive cats
  • Excellent value for a 30 pound bag
  • Absorbs more moisture than standard clay
  • Natural, organic choice for litter
  • Little to no dust

Cons:

  • Some limitations in odor control

6. PetSafe Sensitive Unscented

Another great pick if you want to minimize the dust coming from your litter boxes, crystal cat litter is ideal for all kinds of sensitive cats. The PetSafe sensitive crystal cat litter comes in a range of options, including a “sensitive” blend for cats who might not respond well to dyes and perfumes. What’s more, this crystal litter works well with all litter boxes and trays. 

To make your life a little easier, the PetSafe litter comes in pre-portioned bags, so all you need to do is open the bag and pour it into the box. The solution also helps to dry solid waste and absorb urine up to five times better than many clumping clays.

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter - 5x Better Odor Control Than Clay Litter - Less Tracking, Dust For A Fresh Home - Non-Clumping - Two 4.3 lb Bags Of Litter (8.6 lb Total) - Fragrance-Free

Pros:

  • Completely dust-free
  • No tracking to worry about
  • Great for sensitive cats with no perfume or dye
  • Works with any litter box
  • Easy to use with pre-portioned sizing

Cons:

  • Can be quite expensive
  • Some issues with odor control

7. Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Platinum

With absolutely no harsh chemicals to worry about, the Arm & Hammer “Feline Pine” cat litter is a great choice for any pet owner in search of a more natural solution for their cat’s bathroom. The naturally absorbent pine pellets are great for keeping your cat’s litter box as fresh and dry as possible. There’s also minimal dust to worry about, because the pine pellets are naturally dust-free.

With excellent odor control, the Arm & Hammer litter actually freshens your home with its natural pine scent. What’s more, you can rest assured no new trees are cut down to make these products. All of the wood is recycled, so you’re not having a negative impact on the planet.

Feline Pine Platinum Non-Clumping Cat Litter 18lb.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to pour design
  • Natural pine pellets are great for absorbing moisture
  • Low dust for minimal tracking
  • Good odor control with no added fragrances
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to scoop

Why choose the best non-clumping cat litter?

Non-clumping cat litter is the ideal alternative to expensive, clumping cat litter, for people who want to keep costs low, and cat happiness levels high. The best non-clumping cat litter can actually help you to save money because you don’t have to spend as much on unique formulas. 

best-picks-for-non-clumping-cat-litter

A non-clumping litter is also usually a good choice for the environment, as many are made from natural ingredients like recycled wood or clay. While clumping cat litter does have the benefit of making it easy for you to clean messes out of your litter trays regularly, there are a lot of reasons to consider choosing non-clumping instead. 

Some of the biggest benefits of non-clumping cat litter include:

  • Absorbent performance: Just because non-clumping cat litters don’t “clump” around messes doesn’t mean they don’t absorb moisture. Many of these litters are designed to be highly absorbent, soaking up more moisture on average than their clumping alternatives.
  • Low dust: Dust is one of the most common problems with clumping cat litter. With non-clumping litters, you don’t have to worry as much about dust. This means there isn’t as much mess to clean up around the litter tray, and you don’t have to worry about dust getting into your airway (or the airway of your cats), when the dust is disturbed.
  • Low mess: Aside from being mostly dust-free, the majority of non-clumping cat litters are designed with bigger granules than their clumping alternatives. This means the litter is less likely to create a mess. Because the dusty litter doesn’t stick to your cat’s paws as easily, it’s also less likely you’ll need to deal with tracking.
  • Scented/Unscented: Similar to clumping cat litters, non-clumping alternatives come in a wide range of varieties, including scented and unscented options. If you have trouble with odor control, you can access non-clumping litters with natural deodorizers built-in. Sensitive cats can avoid the scents too.
  • Some cats don’t like clumping: Cats are unusual creatures. They all have their own preferences, just like us humans. Some kitties are naturally drawn to clumping cat litters, while others hate it. You’ll need to do some experimentation to figure out what works best for your kitty.

On the other hand, there are some potential downsides to non-clumping cat litter too. For instance, it usually has a shorter litter box life, because you can’t simply remove the “clumps” to keep your litter tray smelling fresh. You will need to replace the entire box every time, and this could mean that you end up spending more time and money on the litter tray.

Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat

Our choice is the Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat, the best Overall Non-clumping Litter you can buy for your cat!

Fresh Step Non-Clumping Premium Scented Cat Litter with Febreze Freshness, 14 lbs.

Important Features to Consider

Choosing the right cat litter can be a complex process. You’ll need to think about a number of different factors, including the age of your cat, and their unique preferences. For instance, the ideal non-clumping cat litter for a kitten will be very different to the perfect cat litter for an adult cat.

Some points to consider include:

  • The price range: In general, non-clumping cat litters are usually a little cheaper than their clumping alternatives. However, this isn’t always the case. The exact amount you’ll spend on your cat litter will depend on how much you’re buying, what brand you prefer, and the material used in the litter. For instance, crystal-based cat litter is usually a lot more expensive than non-clumping cat litter made with wood pellets, paper, or clay.
  • Ease of use: Non-clumping cat litters can be easier to pour into the litter box initially, thanks to their lightweight nature and lack of dust. However, you’ll also need to make sure the litter is easy enough to scoop. Some litters are more problematic than others due to smaller granules, or the capacity to stick to the inside of the litter box.
  • Eco-friendly design: One of the biggest benefits of non-clumping cat litters, is they’re usually better for the environment. Many of the top products on the market, made from things like clay, recycled wood pellets, and even paper, are biodegradable. Make sure you check the label to see just how eco-friendly your choice is.
  • Odor management: Ensuring your cat litter can handle the smells of your kitty is one of the most important things to consider when you’re choosing a litter. Ultimately, you need something that’s going to absorb the smell quickly and effectively. If your cat litter also contains a deodorizing substance, like baking soda, this can sometimes make it a lot more effective at scent management.
  • Absorption: As mentioned above, most non-clumping cat litters are great at absorbing moisture – but this isn’t always the case. You’ll need to check all of your options carefully to see how much moisture they can absorb. If the liquid in your cat little tray starts to pool on the inside of the box, this is usually a good sign you should be changing it.
  • Extra features: Some cat litters come with extra features to consider. For instance, the Pretty Kitty cat litter can detect if there are any issues with your cat’s urine if you’re willing to pay a premium for the knowledge. There are also litters which come with things like “sensitive” formulas, which are perfect for cats which have a negative reaction to various scents or dyes.

Notably, you should also think about the cat litters your cats prefer. In many cases, cats will develop an affinity for a certain kind of cat litter. Some might prefer certain materials over others, such as crystals, or paper. Keep this in mind when making your choice.

wood pellet litter in a pink litter tray

FAQ

Still have questions about non-clumping cat litter? Let’s try and answer them.

What is a non-clumping cat litter?

A non-clumping cat litter is the “original” type of cat litter, made without any dusts or clumping products designed to attract moisture and make parts of the litter stick together. There won’t be any clumps for you to clean out at the end of each night if you use a non-clumping litter, but you may need to clean the full litter tray more often.

How do non-clumping cat litters work?

A non-clumping cat litter works very similarly to a standard clumping litter, just without the clumps. Using a highly absorbent material, the litter absorbs any moisture from your cat’s waste, and helps to eliminate smells. You will usually only need to remove solid waste from the tray once per day.

Is non-clumping cat litter better?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for the perfect cat litter. The right choice for you will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, and your cat’s preferences. A non-clumping litter can be the better choice if you’re looking for something environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and dust-free.

Do cats like non-clumping cat litter?

Some cats prefer non-clumping cat litter because it’s less likely to stick to their paws. Non-clumping litter also doesn’t have the same amount of dust, which can cause irritation and respiratory problems for cats over time. However, some cats prefer clumping litter.

How often do you change non-clumping cat litter crystals?

This depends heavily on the kind of crystal cat litter you’re using. Some non-clumping crystal litters can last up to four weeks if you’re removing the solid waste from the box regularly. However, you will need to keep an eye out for any signs the litter is no longer absorbing your cat’s waste.

Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat

Our choice is the Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat, the best Overall Non-clumping Litter you can buy for your cat!

Fresh Step Non-Clumping Premium Scented Cat Litter with Febreze Freshness, 14 lbs.

Non-Clumping Cat Litters: The Verdict

Non-clumping cat litters can be a perfect choice for a wide range of cats. It’s also a good pick for owners who want to avoid the headaches of dusty litters. Our top choice for the best non-clumping cat litter is the Fresh Step Febreze Scented cat litter

Not only is this litter wonderfully absorbent, but it’s also very good at minimizing odors, thanks to the paw-activated fresh scent crystals. If you’re looking for a way to keep your home smelling fresh for as long as possible, you’re sure to love the Fresh step litter.

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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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