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10 Best Kinds of Cat Litter for Picky Cats – Reviews & Top Picks

Sphinx cat using pitter

Before you welcome a cat into your home, you want to ensure that you have all the necessary things needed for your cat. Cat food? Got it! Food and water dishes? Check! A super cute cat bed that conveniently matches your own bed? Double check! What about cat litter? You’ve bought a big bag on sale that should last at least a month. Everything is set up for your new cat.

But as the weeks go on, you notice the cat is not using their litter pan. You are puzzled. You put the litter pan in a private place. You checked it daily for cleanliness. You also ensured that the litter pan was easy for the cat to climb in. What’s going on? Your cat might not like the cat litter. This problem needs to be resolved quickly! The article reviews the best cat litter on the market for picky cats.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Dr. Elsey's Clumping Clay Cat Litter Dr. Elsey's Clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • Effective herbal scent
  • Comfortable litter particle texture
  • Formula is hard-clumping
  • Best Premium
    Second place
    BoxiePro Air Lightweight Cat Litter BoxiePro Air Lightweight Cat Litter
  • Probiotics in litter
  • Eco-friendly
  • Enticing for cats to use
  • Best Budget
    Third place
    Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter
  • No dyes or fragrances
  • Contains activated charcoal
  • Perfect for fussy cats
  • Best Eco-Litter
    sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter
  • Eco-friendly
  • Dye, scent, and artificial ingredient free
  • Biodegradable, flushable
  • Best Scented Litter
    World's Best Clumping Corn Cat Litter World's Best Clumping Corn Cat Litter
  • Very pleasant lavender smell
  • Eco-friendly litter
  • Flushable, safe for septic & sewer tanks
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    The 10 Best Kinds of Cat Litter for Picky Cats – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter – Best overall

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

    Litter Material: Clay
    Scented: Yes
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: No

    The recommended choice of litter for cats who are fussy about their cat litter is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Litter. This litter has a natural herbal scent used to attract cats to use it. Along with the scent, the texture and size of the litter particles make the litter comfortable for even the pickiest cats. Dr. Elsey’s formula is hard clumping, so it works for a sifting or mechanical litter box.

    This particular formula is not hypoallergenic and could be more dust-free. Overall, the herbal scent is the selling point of this litter, which can make training your cat a lot less stressful.

    Pros
    • Effective herbal scent
    • Comfortable litter particle texture
    • Formula is hard-clumping
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • A bit dusty

    2. BoxiePro Air Lightweight, Deep Clean Probiotic Unscented Clumping Cat Litter – Best Premium

    BoxiePro Air Lightweight Deep Clean Probiotic Clumping Litter (1)

    Litter Material: Barley, grass
    Scented: No
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    Premium cat litter might seem like an extravagant spend for your cat, but sometimes the more expensive cat litter is the best choice for you and your pet. Therefore, we recommend BoxiePro Air Lightweight Deep Clean Probiotic Unscented Clumping Cat Litter. BoxiePro Air Lightweight is made from barley and grass, making this brand lighter than cat litters made from clay.

    The plant-based make of this litter is enticing to cats because it creates a more natural environment that they are comfortable using to relieve themselves. However, because this litter is so lightweight, your cat might track the litter outside the pan. Placing a mat or towel underneath the litter pan can help reduce tracking in your house.

    Pros
    • Probiotics in litter
    • Eco-friendly
    • Enticing for cats to use
    Cons
    • Litter gets tracked

    3. Fresh Step Advanced Simply Unscented Clumping Cat Litter – Best Budget

    Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Clay
    Scented: No
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: No

    Fresh Step is a well-known cat litter brand, so this is the recommended budget cat litter for your picky kitty. Fresh Step’s Advanced Simply Unscented Clumping Cat Litter is a good choice for cats because it is unscented and contains activated charcoal that helps absorb the ammonia smell in urine. Those two elements make this litter pleasing for fussy cats because strong unnatural scents designed to mask odors might be too overwhelming for their sensitive sinuses.

    One issue with this particular litter is that while it says it is virtually dust-free, some dust clouds were noticed when pouring the litter and scooping. Your cat’s paws can also track this litter.

    Pros
    • No dyes or fragrances
    • Contains activated charcoal
    • Perfect for fussy cats
    Cons
    • Litter gets tracked easily
    • Not dust-free

    4. sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter – Best Eco Litter

    sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter.jpg

    Litter Material: Wheat
    Scented: No
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    Most people are more aware of their ecological footprint, and that also applies to your pets. House cats need litter but are there eco-friendly options on the market that are good quality for picky cats? Our recommendation is sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter. Is this cat litter made of wheat? Indeed! Wheat starch has excellent odor absorbing properties, making this an eco-friendly cat litter option. It is biodegradable and even flushable!

    However, because it is made from wheat starch, this litter is dusty and can be easily tracked around the house. It is recommended that an old towel or a mat be placed under the litter pan to reduce mess.

    Pros
    • Eco-friendly
    • Dye, scent, and artificial ingredient free
    • Biodegradable, flushable
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Dusty and can be tracked by cats

    5. World’s Best Lavender Scented Clumping Corn Cat Litter – Best Scented Litter

    World's Best Lavender Scented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Corn
    Scented: Yes
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    Not all scented cat litters have an overwhelming and unnatural aroma. Some can be scented in a very pleasant way for both your cat and you. The World’s Best Lavender Scented Clumping Corn Cat Litter is one of those cat litters and comes recommended. This corn-based litter is infused with all-natural 100% lavender oil, making it biodegradable and even flushable safe for most septic and sewer tanks.

    The combination of the oil and the fast-clumping litter formula greatly help with the smell of the cat’s waste. One consideration with this litter is that some cats might not like the lavender fragrance because it is scented. This litter can also get tracked outside the cat’s litter pan.

    Pros
    • Very pleasant lavender smell
    • Eco-friendly litter
    • Flushable, safe for septic & sewer tanks
    Cons
    • Some cats might not like the smell
    • Can be tracked in the house

    6. Naturally Fresh Herbal Attraction Scented Clumping Walnut Cat Litter – Best Litter for Kittens

    Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Walnut shell
    Scented: Yes
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    It is never too early to spoil – and house train – your kitten. Naturally Fresh Herbal Attraction Scented Clumping Walnut Cat Litter is designed to attract kittens and senior cats to use a litter pan when they need to relieve themselves.

    This finely ground walnut shell litter is low-tracking and infused with a natural herb blend that will make even picky kittens attracted to use this litter. You can also feel optimistic about your environmental impact when using this litter because it is sustainably grown, flushable, and made with non-GMO materials. One issue with this litter is that it does not clump as well as litter made with other materials.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Low dust
    • Best for kittens
    Cons
    • Weak clumping ability

    7. ÖKOCAT Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter – Best Wood Litter

    Okocat Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Wood fiber
    Scented: No
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    For picky cat owners, sometimes using a simple and natural litter is often the best choice. If you think your finicky cat would be more inclined to a wood-based litter, ÖKOCAT Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter comes recommended. Wood-based litter has its benefits for both the cat and the environment. The wood fiber is naturally scented, so cats with sensitive noses will not be deterred by an artificial aroma that other litters might mask smells.

    The litter also is eco-friendly; it is biodegradable and plant-based. One concern involving this litter is that the blend of wood fibers can make some cats sneeze, which might deter them from using the litter.

    Pros
    • Eco-friendly and plant-based
    • Low dust litter
    • Naturally scented
    Cons
    • Wood-based litter can make cats sneeze
    • Litter is flammable

    8. Fresh News Recycled Paper Original Pellet Multi-Cat Litter – Best Pellet Litter

    Fresh News Recycled Paper Litter

    Litter Material: Recycled paper
    Scented: No
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    Some cat owners do not have much luck with other litters in terms of tracking and being dust-free. This is why pellet litter is becoming a popular choice. Fresh News Recycled Paper Original Pellet Multi-Cat Litter is our recommended choice for pellet litter. The pellets are made from 100% recycled paper and baking soda and absorb liquid effectively.

    Cat owners are also drawn to paper pellet litters because they do not stick to cats’ paws, reducing extra clean-up. These paper pellets do not clump, so odors are not as easily absorbed as they would be with other litters. You might best use this litter with a covered litter tray with a charcoal filter.

    Pros
    • Does not track outside pan
    • Dust-free litter
    • Absorb liquid effectively
    Cons
    • Litter does not absorb odors

    9. So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter – Best Crystal Litter

    So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Silica gel crystals
    Scented: No
    Clumping: No
    Biodegradable: No

    If your cat leaves extra pungent gifts behind, sometimes a crystal-based litter is the best option for the cat. Out of the crystal litter choices on the market, the recommended brand is Petco’s So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter. The non-toxic silica gel crystals absorb your cat’s urine for about a month before having to change the litter.

    However, if you have multiple cats, the litter will need to be changed more frequently. Some cat owners were concerned about the size of the crystals, as they are larger than other brands. If your cat has sensitive pads on its paws, it might not like the feel of this litter.

    Pros
    • Does not track outside pan
    • Good urine absorption
    Cons
    • Not eco-friendly
    • Crystal particles are large

    10. Natural Paw Tofu Cat Litter – Best Tofu Litter

    Natural Paw Tofu Cat Litter

    Litter Material: Dry tofu, corn
    Scented: Yes
    Clumping: Yes
    Biodegradable: Yes

    Yes, there is cat litter made of tofu! While there are several brands of tofu-based cat litter on the market, Natural Paw Tofu Cat Litter is recommended. This litter is sometimes a crystal-based litter is the best option, leaving a trail of litter like some other varieties. Natural Paw Tofu Cat Litter is also eco-friendly – it is biodegradable, flushable, and compostable.

    The litter comes in two different scents: lavender or charcoal. Some people would have preferred to have an unscented option, but that choice is not available in this brand. If you have a large litter tray or multiple litter trays to fill, using this brand does get expensive.

    Pros
    • Eco-friendly
    • Good urine absorption
    • No tracking
    Cons
    • No unscented option
    • Pricey

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    Why Choosing the Right Litter Is Important

    Cat using cat litter
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Cat litter is often not given enough thought and consideration because it is something you will use for a short time and then throw away. However, creating a clean and attractive place for your cat to relieve itself is vital for their comfort, and your own. If a cat is unhappy with or deterred from the litter for any reason, it will find other places to urinate or defecate. This will not be as problematic if your cat is allowed to get outside through a pet door. But if your cat is an indoor cat, they might use your carpet or your clothes to relieve themselves. Not using a litter pan is one main reason cats get sent to shelters: their previous owners believe they cannot be housebroken.

    Choosing the suitable litter for your cat is essential for your cat’s comfort and your peace of mind. It might take buying a few different litters to find out which one your picky cat prefers. But once you find the right litter, your cat will thank you!

    Tips When Choosing Cat Litter

    Siamese cat beside litter box
    Image Credit: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock
    • Try unscented litter. Very strong or unfamiliar smells could be the main reason why your cat is avoiding using the litter. Even if the smell is pleasant to you, it might be too overwhelming for the cat. Some litters that are scented are designed to mask odors. If you want to try a scented litter, look for natural herbal scented litter.
    • Think about the texture. There are many different litter textures on the market. Are you unsure about which one would be more comfortable for your cat? Think about your own feet. Is it more comfortable to walk barefoot on fine sand or on gravel? If your cat has sensitive pads, coarser litter might not be the best choice. However, the finer texture you select could mean more dust.
    • Consider your litter tray. With finer-textured litter, your cat could more easily track the litter around your home. Think about putting the litter in a pan with textured edges or steps to help brush off the excess litter. Or use a textured mat underneath the litter pan.
    • Environmental impact. There are a lot of litters on the market that are biodegradable and compostable – all within your budget. Since the litter needs to be disposed of after use, having litter that will decompose or can be flushed is an eco-friendly option.

    Final Thoughts About Picky Cats and Litter

    Choosing the right cat litter for your picky cat can be hit or miss. This is the time when we wish our cats could talk and tell us which litter they prefer. Until cats can talk, it is recommended that you get two different types of litter to see which one your cat uses. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter is a good choice if you want to try a lighted scented litter. If you want to try an unscented eco-friendly litter, sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter is another good choice. Happy litter shopping!


    Featured Image Credit: Kokorina Mariia, Shutterstock

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