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10 Best Budget Cat Litters in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

british cat inside litter box

Cat litter is part of life for cat owners. Yes, it can be messy and troublesome to deal with, but our kitty kings and queens require it. Considering how much cat litter a pet owner must purchase during their cat’s life, choosing a great budget cat litter is the best way to save money and keep your cat happy.

If you’re looking for the best budget cat litter available, this review is for you. We’ve taken a look at the best of the best in hopes of helping you make an informed choice that not only helps your bank account but keeps your cat happy and healthy.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fresh Scent Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fresh Scent
  • Value size package
  • Great odor control
  • Clumps well
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • Offers 40 pounds of litter at a great price
  • Clumps well for budget litter
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • 100% dust-free
  • Clumps well
  • Features slide formula for the easy cleanup
  • Best for Kittens
    sWheat Scoop Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter sWheat Scoop Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter
  • Environmentally safe
  • Easier cleanup
  • Safe for all life stages
  • Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • Good odor control
  • Great clumping
  • The 10 Best Budget Cat Litter – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fresh Scent – Best Overall

    Arm & Hammer Litter Super Scoop Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 40 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Our pick for the best overall budget cat litter is Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fresh Scent. This clay cat litter is ideal for cat owners who are looking for an affordable cat litter that doesn’t break the bank when purchasing. Arm & Hammer gets the job done with this cat litter. There are no bells and whistles. It simply clumps well, absorbs moisture, and keeps clumps hard until you scoop them free of the litter box. If you keep the litter box cleaned daily, this litter should be long-lasting. The 40-pound box is also priced affordably for pet owners who choose to buy in bulk or have multiple cats in the home.

    The biggest downside we found with this litter is the smell. If you are sensitive to stout aromas this litter may be a bit much for you. Keep this in mind when purchasing.

    Pros
    • Value size package
    • Great odor control
    • Clumps well
    Cons
    • Heavy scent

    2. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter– Best Value

    Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 40 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Our choice for best value budget cat litter is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. This cat litter offers cat parents on a budget the best of all worlds. This litter offers great clumping to make scooping your cat’s litter box easier. Dr. Elsey’s also offers great control of feces and urine to keep your cat’s box looking tidier. By using a basic formula, this litter keeps things simple and offers your cat a nice litter box to use when the time arises.

    The downside we noticed with this litter is the clay scent associated with it. While it’s good that they don’t use any perfumes or dyes, the smell is somewhat noticeable. This litter can also be dusty. Some bags are low on dust while others are extremely dusty.

    Pros
    • Offers 40 pounds of litter at a great price
    • Clumps well for budget litter
    Cons
    • Clay smell
    • Some bags exhibit lots of dust

    3. Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-Cat Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter– Premium Choice

    Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-Cat Scented cat litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 28 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Our premium choice best budget cat litter is Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. With this cat litter controlling dust is a breeze. The 100% dust-free formula helps keep your home cleaner while the slide-away design makes cleaning the litter box simpler. Clumps are solid and take place quickly. This will make life better for your cat as they won’t be dealing with overly messy litter boxes when they need to use the potty.

    Unfortunately, this litter isn’t great at controlling odors. It is also slightly more expensive than other litters on this list.

    Pros
    • 100% dust-free
    • Clumps well
    • Features slide formula for the easy cleanup
    Cons
    • No odor control
    • Expensive

    4. sWheat Scoop Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter – Best for Kittens

    sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter

    Material Wheat
    Weight 25 pounds
    Life Stage All

    The sWheat Scoop Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter is our pick for budget cat litter that is best for kittens. Made from natural wheat, this litter is considered safe in the event of accidental ingestion. This makes it a great choice for a home with kittens or older cats. This litter offers clumping, without the incredibly hard clumps pet owners spend time trying to remove from the litter box. Clean up is also easier with this type of litter making it ideal in homes where multiple cats are involved.

    The downside to wheat litter is the lack of odor control and the price. If you choose this environmentally friendly litter you will be paying more money.

    Pros
    • Environmentally safe
    • Easier cleanup
    • Safe for all life stages
    Cons
    • More expensive than clay
    • Offers no odor control

    5. Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 42 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    The Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter is made from natural clays and minerals to give pet owners high-quality clumping at budget prices. The great clumping of this litter keeps urine from soaking to the bottom of the litter box. Instead, it is clumped for an easy clean-up and longer litter life inside the box.

    Owners with concerns with dust are also in luck with this litter as it is relatively low in dust and keeps homes cleaner. Unfortunately, the dust that is created is quite sticky and can make more mess than you’d expect.

    Pros
    • Good odor control
    • Great clumping
    Cons
    • Makes sticky dust

    6. Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter

    Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Clumping Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 21.5 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Nature’s Miracle Intense Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter offers a great price and several advantages to pet owners. This litter clumps very well and makes scooping clumps relatively easy. Odor control is also another great aspect of this cat litter. While the scent of the cat litter may be a bit strong for some, it locks away urine and feces smells to make your cat’s litter box a better place.

    The biggest downsides to this cat litter are the stickiness and dust. Nature’s Miracle can stick to the walls of the litter box, leaving you with the added cleanup. This formula is not dust-free and can become quite messy when changing your cat’s box.

    Pros
    • Clumps easily
    • Great odor control
    Cons
    • Sticks to box walls
    • Emits heavy dust

    7. Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

    Frisco Multi-Cat Fresh Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 40 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Litter offers cats and their owners the benefit of a strong odor defense for their home. Great at locking in unwanted odors, this litter also clumps very well. This makes cleaning and scooping easier while helping keep moisture from reaching the bottom of the box where big messes can be made. Frisco is also a very soft litter on your cat’s paws. Your cat will feel more comfortable when relieving themselves and less likely to use the potty in other parts of the home. The fine granules are also ideal for use with automatic litter boxes.

    The biggest con associated with this cat litter is the dust. While it advertises itself as low dust, this just isn’t the case. Those who are sensitive to this should be careful when changing the litter box.

    Pros
    • Offers dependable odor control
    • Absorbs moisture well
    Cons
    • Relatively high in dust

    8. Purina Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Material Paper
    Weight 31 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Purina Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter is an ideal choice for pet owners on a budget who want to use environmentally safe materials in their litter box. Made from recycled paper, this litter is eco-friendly and minimizes the odors caused by your cat’s litter box. The paper used is highly absorbent and helps with your cat’s urine. There is no dust involved with this cat litter which makes it cleaner around the house. This material also makes going potty more comfortable on your kitty’s paws.

    Unfortunately, due to this litter being made from paper, clumping is not possible. This means cleaning up the litter box can be difficult and messy. Instead of clumping, the paper becomes mushy and difficult to deal with.

    Pros
    • Made from recyclable materials
    • Minimizes odors
    Cons
    • Cleaning is difficult

    9. Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

    Naturally Fresh Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

    Material Walnut
    Weight 26 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter is another budget-friendly litter for pet owners who are concerned with the environment. Made from real walnuts, this cat litter counters the odors associated with urine and feces. It is often considered the best natural litter for controlling unwanted odors and unpleasant smells. This cat litter is also considerably low on dust, but not completely dust-free.

    Beyond the great odor control, you may find a few faults with this litter. When your cat uses this litter, you must immediately scoop to take advantage of the clumping qualities. If not, the clumps will diminish and make cleaning more difficult. You’ll also find issues with tracking. The walnut shells can attach themselves to your cat’s paws easily and make their way around your entire home.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly
    • Safe for the environment
    • Great odor control
    Cons
    • Hard to clean up
    • Issues with tracking

    10. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter

    Fresh Step Febreze Scented Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Material Clay
    Weight 35 pounds
    Life Stage Adult

    Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter is a great choice for families who want extra odor control while sticking to their budget. By combining Febreze with cat litter, freshness can be activated each time your cat scratches in its box. This litter also used activated carbon to help control urine and feces odors to offer a double layer of protection.

    This litter is quite dusty. This is due to the powderiness of the litter. When your cat scratches, sensitive owners may have issues. The same can be said for cats with allergies. Messes around the litter box are all too common and will leave you constantly cleaning up after your feline. You’ll also notice the granules in this litter are a bit large. Your kitty may get them stuck in their paws and accidentally carry them throughout the house after visiting the box.

    Pros
    • Low-cost litter
    • Odor control formula
    Cons
    • Very dusty
    • Creates a mess on floors

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    Buyer’s Guide

    When choosing a budget cat litter a great price is a must. When debating on whether you’re getting a good deal for the money, it’s important to look at all the variables. This will help you make the best decision for not only your bank account but your cat as well.

    Is the Litter Safe?

    Ensuring that any litter you put into your cat’s litter box is safe should be the most important consideration before making a purchase. As you saw in our reviews, several budget cat litters are dusty or made from different materials. If your cat has allergies, you should try to choose a litter that is safe and will not make their medical issues worse. If you’re unsure, ask your veterinarian for suggestions.

    person changing cat litter
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Size Does Matter

    While you may see an affordable price on a cat litter, keep the size of the package in mind before making a purchase. Budget litters can often be bought in large quantities for the same price as a small package of the more popular brands. Buying larger boxes or bags of litter can often save you even more money in the long run. Especially, if you choose one of the budget litter options above.

    Look for Performance

    Yes, you’re looking to buy a cheaper-priced cat litter, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t do its job. If you use a budget cat litter and find yourself replacing the litter every other day, are you saving money? When trying out different litters, choose the one with the performance you like and feel comfortable using in your home.

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    Conclusion

    If you’re in the market for the best budget cat litter on the market, this review will help. Our overall best litter, Arm & Hammer Super Scoop offers all the qualities you’d expect in a budget litter without the fancy extra. Our choice for best value litter, Dr. Elsey’s is perfect for combining performance and price in one. If you want the best your budget can afford, our premium choice, Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Clumping Litter may be right up your alley. Whichever litter you choose, make sure your cat is comfortable with it and both of you will be happy in the end.


    Featured Image Credit: Natasha Zakharova, Shutterstock