5 commonly used types of cat litter : make the right choice(2023)

types of cat litter

Before we find out about types of cat litter, let us explain what cat litter is. As we know, cats cannot be as well trained as dogs. Therefore there are few things we need to be careful of while pet parenting a cat. Indoor cats are not easily exposed to soil for excretion. And keeping that in mind litters were introduced to the market. Cat litter is used for their excretion, helps to bury the urine and feces. Litters are a boon for the cat parents which makes their life much easier.

There are owners who have their own preferences for the types of cat litter they want to use. With so many options available, cat owners tend to be very selective in their litter preferences for their cat companions.

In this article, we have explained the different types of cat litter and the factors that help in choosing the right cat litter for your cat.

1. clay cat litter

 Clay litter is the most popular type of cat litter amongst the cat owners. Its low dust or dust free feature makes it convenient for pet owners. Clay litters come in 2 different textures. One has large pieces of clay and the other one consists of fine clay particles. Both of them absorb the urine and feces and convert the litter into a soft texture which can be scooped out easily.

The two different types of clay litters are clumping and non clumping. Clumping litters are preferred by many as it is easy to be scooped out however non clumping litters have to be removed entirely everytime your cat dumps in there.

Pros– Pocket friendly and easily available

Cons– Clay litters are not environmentally friendly and are quite messy around your house.

2. Silica gel cat litter

Silica gel litters are long lasting types of cat litter and parents don’t have to scoop it out of the litter as it traps the urine and absorbs it completely. It has excellent odor control and many cats prefer Silica gel litters over clay litters. It is not as dusty as clay and is preferred by both owners and cats.

Pros– It has color changing indicators which helps owners to monitor their cat’s health and it becomes easily identifiable if there is any business done on the litter.

Cons– The price as compared to clay litter is high but there are times when owner don’t mind it much since it lasts longer

3. pine cat litter

Pine litters tend to have a natural ability to remove the odor. They are extremely lightweight and low-dust, as they are made from pine trees. Pine litter absorbs the wastes extremely well and forms a very soft clump without leaving any after odor.

They come in both clumping and non-clumping varieties. The Clumping variety looks almost similar to saw dust and the non clumping one comes in pelleted texture.

Pros– Completely safe and can reduce major environmental hazards. 

Cons– Tends to be heavy and quite dusty.

4. Paper pellet cat litter

Paper pellet cat litter lacks clumping capabilities, yet it has excellent absorbency. Numerous brands opt for recycled paper to create this variety of litter. Although it is naturally low-tracking, some cats may not prefer the texture of pellets.

Pros– Excellent Absorbency and Odor Control, The soft texture of paper pellets is gentle on a cat’s paws, making it a comfortable option for them. Paper pellet cat litter is lightweight, making it easier to handle and manage during litter box maintenance. 

Cons– Not all cats may be comfortable with the texture of paper pellets, as some may prefer finer or softer substrates, which can lead to aversion or reluctance in using the litter box. Paper pellet litter can be more expensive than other types of cat litter, making it less budget-friendly for some cat owners.

paper cat litter

5. corn/wheat cat litter

These cat litters are made up of wheat/ corn kernels which are easy for cleanup and are flushable. Corn and wheat cat litter are made from renewable resources, making them an environmentally friendly choice. As biodegradable materials, they decompose naturally over time, reducing the burden on landfills and contributing to a more sustainable waste management system.

Pros– The clumping ability in corn and wheat cat litter simplifies litter box maintenance and keeps the litter box fresher for a longer duration.

Cons– Corn and wheat cat litters may be more appealing to pests like ants and rodents compared to clay litters. Cat owners in areas prone to pest problems should take this into account and consider proper storage and preventive measures.

corn/wheat cat litter

7 factors to consider before choosing a cat litter

Few of the factors that determine the preferences are Price, quality, odor control, amount of dust, absorbency and safety. Well, these factors differ from one individual to another. It also depends on whether your cat will like it or not.

1. Clumping/Non clumping ability

Clumping litter forms solid clumps when it comes into contact with liquid waste, making it easier to scoop out waste and maintain a cleaner litter box. This feature reduces the frequency of complete litter changes and enhances odor control.

Non-clumping litter are usually made up of clay, silica, wood, paper which doesn’t form solid clumps but can still be effective in absorbing moisture and controlling odors. Non-Clumping litters can be a suitable choice for cats who prefer softer textures or for owners seeking a more budget-friendly option.

2. Scented Vs unscented

Cat litters may come with added scents to mask odors, but some cats may have sensitivities to certain fragrances, so unscented options are also available. It’s essential to consider your cat’s preferences and potential sensitivities to scents.

3. long lasting types of cat litter

Long-lasting cat litters can stay effective for an extended period, reducing the frequency of litter changes. The extended lifespan of long-lasting cat litter means less frequent maintenance for cat owners. With less need for litter box cleanings and replacements, cat owners can enjoy a more convenient and hassle-free litter box management experience.

For cat owners with busy schedules or those frequently traveling, long-lasting cat litter is a practical choice. Its ability to maintain effectiveness for an extended period allows owners to focus on other responsibilities without worrying about frequent litter box changes.

4. Absorbency

Good cat litter should be absorbent enough to soak up liquid waste, keeping the litter box dry and minimizing odor. The absorbency of cat litter is crucial for managing moisture effectively. Absorbent cat litter is particularly beneficial for cats with urinary health issues.

The ability to quickly absorb urine can help prevent the accumulation of moisture, promoting a healthier litter box environment and reducing the risk of bacterial growth. Opting for a highly absorbent litter ensures a more pleasant experience for both cats and their owners.

5. Non Toxic

Cats are known to groom themselves, and sometimes they may ingest small amounts of litter during the grooming process. Non-toxic cat litter is designed to be safe for ingestion, ensuring that even if your cat accidentally swallows some litter, it will not harm them.

Some cats may have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials or fragrances found in traditional cat litters. Non-toxic litters made from natural materials are generally hypoallergenic and suitable for cats with sensitive skin or allergies. 

6. Dust level

Low-dust or dust-free types of cat litter reduce the amount of airborne particles, making it healthier for both cats and their owners, especially those with respiratory sensitivities. It is an excellent option for sensitive cats or individuals with allergies.

There are cat litters who may have added dust control measures to further minimise dust production during use. Hence it is an important feature to be considered.

7. Environment Friendly

For eco-conscious cat owners, biodegradable or natural cat litters made from sustainable materials are a preferred choice. These litters break down naturally over time, reducing their impact on the environment.

what can you do if your cat doesn't like using litter?

In our experience, Generally cats do prefer soft and unscented cat litter, but individual cats may have distinct preferences. If you have multiple cats, consider using types of litter designed for multi-cat households, often containing additional odor-control components.

1.If your cats prefer low or unscented options, seek out litters that utilize alternative odor-fighting technologies, like activated charcoal. 

2.An alternative approach is to place two different litter boxes side by side and observe which one your cat prefers to use. There are pet parents who have even tried mixing two different litters in a new box. That is mixing the old litter with a new one in increasing proportions over a week. Make sure to maintain the old box with the original litter, preserving your cat’s familiar scent. If you see your cat not using the new mixed litter box, know that it was a bad idea.

3.If you notice your cats peeing or pooping outside the litter box, it may be due to infrequent cleaning. Ensure you scoop solid waste and clumps at least once daily and perform a complete litter change and box cleaning once a week.There are pet parents who have experienced their cats pooping next to the litter boxes. That basically means they are not a fan of the types of cat litter used or the litter is not clean enough for them to poop or pee.

Basically finding the right types of cat litter for your cat is a hit and trial method. Once you discover a litter your cat enjoys, stick with it! Cats are creatures of habit with distinct preferences, and they tend to be happier when their routines remain consistent. Avoid frequent changes in their lives to ensure their contentment.


If you’re on look out for the ideal types of cat litter to use for , it’s important to consider the background of different litters you have already used and opt for the one that you believe your cat will find the most comfortable, with natural-based substrates being a great option. Take your cat’s preferences, any potential sensitivities, and environmental concerns into account when making your decision.