These Clumping Cat Litters Make It *So* Easy To Maintain A Clean Box (& They'll Fight Odor, Too!)

Adorable grey cat near litter box indoors. Pet care

For those living with feline friends like I do, choosing a clumping cat litter is not as simple as adding any inexpensive option to your cart. The best clumping cat litters are all clay-based, which in contrast to non-traditional litter materials (like walnuts or grass) is the most effective at controlling odors. These clumping formulas are also low-dust and will form solid clumps of waste so that all you're left with in your box is clean litter. Which particle size and scent (fragranced or unscented) you choose will come down to personal preference.

Odor-Control & Scent

Clumping cat litter is already known for having better odor control than the non-clumping kind, but to ensure foul smells at bay, even more, you may also want to look for formulas with baking soda or charcoal included. Both of these ingredients absorb moisture and neutralize odors, making for an even cleaner box.

Of course, going with a scented litter may also help mask smells, but keep in mind that that you could end up choosing a perfume that your kitty doesn't agree with. So, be mindful of their behavior and adjust if it seems they are avoiding the litter box.

Granule Size

Particle or granule size is also a matter of preference. Personally, for my cat, I like the smaller particles (found in finer, sandlike formulas) because I've found that wet stuff sticks together much more easily making them a cinch to scoop and discard. Other feline owners may, however, go for heavier gauge, medium-sized granules because they're more difficult for your kitty to kick out of the box and thus there's generally less dust and less tracked around the house.

Finally, as a cat owner, you know that the maintenance of your litter box is a regular job, so the best clumping cat litters then should also work for your wallet. The picks below were all chosen with that in mind. Most are under $0.80 a pound and available in large bags that will last you at least a couple of months with regular cleaning.

Find the best solution for you and your feline below.

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The Overall Best Clumping Cat Litter

Price per pound: $0.48

The all-natural, clay formula of Dr. Elsey's premium kitty litter has a huge following, with more than 10,500 five-star reviews. Reviewers are especially impressed by the litter's ability to neutralize odors, with one writing, "for the first time in 10 years my house doesn't smell like cat poop." Dr. Elsey's litter also has excellent clumping power, locking in moisture into hard lumps that are easy to scoop. The medium-sized granules are heavier weight, so they won’t track easily on your kitty's paws and the litter is 99.9% dust free, unscented, and hypoallergenic. If you'd like to try out the product before committing to a 40-pound bag, the litter is also available in an 18-pound size.

One cat lover's praise: "This is absolutely the best litter I've ever used and I've been using litter for about several decades! It clumps well and holds together while scooping even when the clump is still a little damp. I have 3 cats using 2 large pans and we can go 4-5 weeks before we do a total clean out..."


A Clumping Cat Litter That’s Strong Enough For Multiple Cats

Price per pound: $0.73

The patented formula of this Arm & Hammer cat litter seals up odors on contact, stopping them before they start, which you and your cats will appreciate. The fine, sand-like texture of micro-granules of clay helps clumping and is more attractive to cat's sensitive paws . The unscented litter also contains baking soda, which acts as a natural deodorizer and won't hurt your kitties. The litter is also 100% dust-free and has more than 1,300 five-star reviews on Amazon.

One cat lover's praise: "I've tried a ton of cat litters for my 2 cats and nothing works to help odors stay away, until I got this one. I researched and read a million reviews. This one does exactly what everyone has said it would do and I'm thankful. I have 2 cats that constantly eat which requires multiple bathroom visits.This litter has allowed me to have my house back and is worth every penny."


The Best Dust-Free Cat Litter For Allergies

Price per pound: $0.79

Another great formula from Arm & Hammer, the Cloud Control litter has dander shield technology that helps reduce airborne dander when scooping. In addition, the cat litter is 100% dust-free and has a light fragrance that excludes 26 known scent allergens. The fine particles feel good on sensitive paws and as with the other pick, this clay litter uses baking soda to act as a natural deodorizer and clumps easily.

One cat lover's praise: "My cat loves to dig and even with different litter mats there’s be lots of dust and tracking - none of that with this! I wiped down surfaces before switching and don’t see the normal layer of gross litter dust. Also seems to make super strong clumps that don’t break apart and scoop easily. My cat took to it right away too (he hated the pine and wheat type ones) Kudos for making a truly dust free, effective litter!"


The Best Unscented Cat Litter With Activated Charcoal

Price per pound: $0.62

All the cat owners in my family (myself included!) use the Fresh Step cat litter and love it. The activated charcoal in this clay litter traps odors, without the use of artificial perfumes. I find the finer, sandlike size of the granules in this litter to be great at clumping, locking in liquid and odor on contact. It's also 99% dust-free. One of my favorite features, is the packaging.

One cat lover's praise: "I've always bought the scented litter because I assumed it made things smell better, but boy was I wrong. This one does a much better job of absorbing the smell and smelling like absolutely nothing (whereas the scented one would always smell of "cat litter scent"). It clumps nicely and is easy for our automatic litter box to clean. The cat loves it!..."


The Best Kitty Litter With An Ammonia Blocker (& It's Lightweight!)

Price per pound: $1.24

Though it's more expensive per pound than the others, this clay litter by Tidy Cats is half the weight of most other brands, so a single 17-pound box will last twice as long. The formula's Ammonia Blocker prevents ammonia odor from forming for at least two weeks and the addition of Glade Clear Springs scent to the litter keeps other smells at bay. It's also more than 99% dust-free. With more than 1,100 positive ratings this Tidy Cats litter is one of the most popular options on Amazon, with lots of reviewers commenting on how much easier it is to scoop and how well the fine-sized particles clump (even given the litter's much fluffier, airy consistency).

One cat lover's praise: "I tried to go back to the regular weight as it was on sale, and NEVER AGAIN. The freshness of the lightweight lasts for like a month due to the tight clumps, where as the regular weight lasted about 2 days before the litter started getting dull and smelly even with regular cleanings."


You May Also Like: A Mat That Traps Cat Litter Particles

Another one of my family's favorites, this Gorilla Grip mat keeps litter from tracking all over your place. The mat's grooves and mesh design capture litter, both the particles your fur ball kicks out of thee box and those stuck to their paws. Though it's durable, it's also super soft and pleasant for your cat to step on. It can be vacuumed and washed with soap and water, and it's available in four sizes, and comes in nine colors.

One cat lover's praise: "Gorilla Grip cat litter mats are the best. I have several and they last forever! In addition to doing the job for which they are intended, they've been pooped on and peed on and barfed on (you cat owners know what I mean) and they clean up easily and are just like new. I recommend getting the largest one you can accommodate. Give kitty enough area to walk on it so you don't find kitty litter in your bed anymore."


You May Also Like: A Cat Litter Scooper With It’s Own Caddy

This scoop and caddy set is a product I wish I'd know about years ago! The caddy attaches to the side of the litter box for a genius storage solution that keeps the scoop out of sight. Both the scoop and the caddy have an antimicrobial, nonstick coating that controls odors caused by bacteria, which is very helpful if you don't have time to wash the scoop clean after every scoop. Reviewers like how sturdy the scoop is and I'm not the only one digging this product, as the set has more than 1,700 rating on Amazon.

One cat lover's praise: "This scoop is simple in design but works wonderfully. It's sturdy enough to break up and lift heavy litter clumps no problem which is my primary problem with some scoops. It is also nonstick, within reason, which prevents any need to really bang the scoop against the side of the litter box which always inevitably scatters grossness everywhere. I love the caddy as well. Get this scoop!"