Calling All Cat Parents, These Non-Clumping Litters Are Purrrfect For Your Kitten

Small gray kitten in plastic litter cat on floor
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Cat experts recommend using a non-clumping litter formula for the first few months of a kitten's life, but with a seemingly endless array of options, it's hard to know which one will be the best fit. Though many of these litters are made from plant-based materials (like pine or paper), the best non-clumping cat litters for kittens will not just be safe for tiny felines, but will also be incredibly absorbent, light enough for small paws to dig, and easy to clean up. If you prefer clay, there's even a non-clumping option that still meets all of the above criteria.

The first thing to decide on when you're shopping for the right litter is the material. In case your curious kitten inhales — or accidentally eats — the litter inside their box, you'll want to opt for a substance that's as safe as you can get. In other words, one that's made from a non-toxic source. Which you choose will come down to your personal preference, though there are some high-level differences.

Paper litter is known to be super soft on paws. Pine or wood-based pellets are low-dust and easy to scoop. Coconut litter may be the most expensive of the group but it's also very lightweight and absorbent, which means you can use much less to cover your litter box needs. Similarly, clay-based litters for kittens are also lightweight, but in order to ensure they're safe for your fur baby, you'll want to look for the traditional (non-clumping) kind that's made of larger particles that won't stick to soft fur and are much harder for them to eat.

In terms of odor control, you'll find the best formulas for kittens are mostly unscented. If you prefer to have extra protection against smells, though, you can look for odor-absorbing additives like baking soda or fragrance.

There are few things in life that can bring the same joy that a playful kitten can, and keeping them happy with the best cat litter will set you both up for a peaceful co-existence. Learn more about four great options from Amazon below!

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The Best Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

Price per pound: $0.67

The recycled paper pellets in Yesterday's News litter is highly absorbent, lightweight, and gentle on tiny paws, so kittens can move them around easily as they dig. The paper litter is 99.7% dust-free and is very low tracking, with no small particles that can get kicked out of the box. Veterinarian-recommended, this pick is fragrance-free and won't harm furry friends if swallowed. The reviews on odor control are mixed, but with more than 800 five-star ratings, most pet owners still love this eco-friendly, clay alternative. Available in a 30-pound bag.

One cat parent's take: "I've been using this litter for my foster kittens since clumping litter is discouraged. The kittens always take right to it and I was very surprised that it absorbs so much of the pee smell. I change it at least every other day and I love that I can just toss it in the yard waste/compost pick-up."


The Best Kitten Litter Made From Pine

Price per pound: $0.68

The highly-absorbent pine in this non-clumping cat litter naturally locks in odors, without any artificial ingredients or smells that may irritate a cat's senses. This Platinum formula does have some additional odor-control in the way of baking soda, but it won't hurt your kitten if ingested. The pine pellets turn to sawdust when wet, though you’ll need to scoop out solids every day to keep the litter box clean. The low-dust formula is also available in a smaller 20-pound bag.

One cat parent's take: "We first tried this when we adopted a shelter cat and they gave us a free bag. I didn't think the kitten would like it because of the pellets. We have two automatic litter boxes and kept this in a regular litter box in a separate room while he was getting adjusted. Believe it or not it traps the smell and is easy to scoop out. If there is a lot of urine in the box you can dump the whole box and it doesn't stick to the bottom of the box. Great for kittens."


The Best Non-Clumping Clay Litter For Kittens

Price per pound: $0.50

Since it's the clumping action, not the clay itself that can be a problem for kittens, this Fresh Step clay litter is a perfectly safe choice for your little pal. The high-absorbing, natural clay formula is made with activated carbon, which traps and eliminates odors. The fine particles are easy for kittens to move around, though expect a little dust. The lightweight formula means this 14-pound bag is equivalent to a 20-pound bag of other clay litters. Just keep in mind that this is the only pick on this list that includes fragrance — a Febreze scent that's activated by tiny paws digging in the litter— but that means it has an extra dose of odor control.

One cat parent's take: "I have been using this litter since it came out. My now 14-year-old cat will only use this... Fresh Step has the best fragrance, covers the smells right away, and I use one 7-pound bag every 10 days. It is the most economical to use, too."


The Best Kitten Litter Made From Coconut

Price per pound: $3.60

Though significantly pricier than other picks, a 5-pound bag of this lightweight coconut litter has the same absorbency as 20 pounds of clay litter. The 100% natural coconut formula is safe enough to be dumped in the garden or compost pile (once solids are removed). The dust-free formula is fragrance-free and reviewers recommend giving the box a stir a couple of times a day, so that the coconut litter can better absorb any urine smell.

One cat parent's take: "I have two 5 month old male kittens and they have used this litter sense I got them. I have no problem with them using it. I will say a hooded litter box is better. Easy to clean up and the odor is minimal if you sift it daily. What I love most is being able to dispose of it so easily. When the mail lady drops it by I say "Can you believe that is a months worth of cat litter?"