Choosing a cat litter can be an overwhelming experience. You need a litter that is going to meet your requirements, but your cat has to enjoy using it too. Since these products each have differences in terms of what they offer, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Clumping and non-clumping varieties each have their benefits, and it comes down to what you and your cat prefer. Non-clumping litter offers a large amount of litter for a cheaper price. It also has better absorbency powers and has more odor control. When the litter is saturated with urine, an entire box change is necessary. Clumping litter may be easier to scoop without changing the entire box, but it costs more for less.
If you’re interested in a non-clumping litter, we created this list with reviews to help you see the options available and choose the best one for your cat.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
The 10 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters
1. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat Litter — Best Overall
Our best overall choice for non-clumping litter is Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat Litter. The activated carbon in this product makes it weigh less than other brands and eliminates odors. It absorbs quickly, and the litter filters the odor out of the waste as it passes through. The scent of Febreze is released every time your cat paws the litter. This is a low-dust litter for a cleaner home and air. It doesn’t stick to the box, so there’s no scraping involved. The bag is conveniently resealable.
There have been reports of the litter being too strongly scented for some people.
2. Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Cat Litter — Best Value
|Features||Odor-control, scented, multi-cat|
Our pick for the best value for the money is Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Cat Litter. This product uses an extended-release deodorizing system to keep odors away. It works to keep your home smelling fresh around the clock. The litter absorbs moisture, keeping the top layer dry and comfortable for your cat to use. This is also suitable for multi-cat households due to the long-lasting odor control that it provides. It gives your home triple protection against odors and can handle large amounts of liquid at a time.
This litter will need to be changed more often than clumping litter, however. The liquid will start to pool on the bottom of the box if it’s not refreshed often enough. There are also reports of this litter being dusty.
3. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Crystal Silica Cat Litter — Premium Choice
|Features||Odor-control, unscented, low tracking|
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Crystal Silica Cat Litter is made from silica gel that is infused with hydrolyzed herbs, making it our premium choice for non-clumping cat litter. The scent attracts cats to the litter box. This is an option for cats with long hair that is often gets filled with litter whenever they use the box. These particles will not stick to your cat’s coat. The silica gel traps odors instantly while absorbing urine. This litter is also hypoallergenic and non-toxic. It was developed by a veterinarian, Dr. Bruce Elsey, and his wife, Kathy. They hoped to make products that will help the owners of cats that have experienced issues using a litter box.
While the product itself is hypoallergenic, there are reports of this litter being dust-heavy.
4. Yesterday’s News Texture Paper Cat Litter – Best for Kittens
|Features||Odor-control, unscented, low tracking, dust-free|
Made from recycled paper, this Yesterday’s News Softer Texture Paper Cat Litter is best for kittens because it’s soft on their delicate paws but still highly absorbent. Cats can easily move the particles around while digging. This litter can be composted after use, making it eco-friendly and non-toxic. If small kittens should happen to ingest a piece, it isn’t harmful. It’s 99.7% free of dust, so kittens and cats of all ages can breathe easier. The paper makes this product three times more absorbent than clay litters.
There are a few reports of the litter dissolving when it gets wet. Over a long period, it could all become mushy and impossible to scoop. Regular, complete litter changes are required with this product.
5. Frisco Pine Pellet Wood Cat Litter
|Litter Material||Pine, wood|
|Features||Odor-control, unscented, low tracking, dust-free, multi-cat|
The affordable, non-clumping Frisco Pine Pellet Wood Cat Litter brings a pine aroma to your home while blocking out unpleasant odors. The natural pine combats the odors naturally, with no chemicals or fragrances added. An all-natural litter also means less dust and no dyes or additives. If your cat is sensitive to clay litters, this is a safe alternative. The pellets absorb three times their weight in liquid, so just scooping once a day will keep the box free from smells.
However, there are reports of the litter having a foul odor even when it’s clean. Some cats also refuse to use it because they don’t like the texture.
6. Naturally Fresh Pellet Walnut Cat Litter
|Features||Odor-control, unscented, natural, eco-friendly|
This Naturally Fresh Pellet Walnut Cat Litter is made of walnut shells to stop odors without the addition of chemicals. This non-toxic litter won’t stick to your cat’s fur, so there is less tracking with this compared to clay. It’s dust-free, which is ideal for cats with respiratory issues. Since this litter is made of walnut shells, it’s not soft in texture. The shells are approximately ½ to 1 inch long, and if composted, they are completely biodegradable.
This eco-friendly litter is reported to work well until it doesn’t, meaning the odors are nonexistent until one day, they are overwhelming. Frequent changes of this litter are required so buildup doesn’t have a chance to start. This could be used as an alternative to pine litter, and the shells don’t dissolve when they get wet.
7. Okocat Dust-Free Paper Pellet Cat Litter
|Features||Odor-control, unscented, natural, eco-friendly|
The soft texture of the Okocat Dust-Free Paper Pellet Cat Litter is soft on paws and free from any inks or dyes. The odor control in this formula is plant-based and fights urine and ammonia odors. The dust-free formula makes it easier for cats to breathe while using their litter boxes and for you to breathe while filling them. This litter is an option for cats that have just had surgery and can’t use clay litters. The highly absorbent pellets can hold liquid up to two times their weight. There is a low amount of tracking with this litter, but there are reports of it still happening. This litter is also flushable, making waste removal even easier.
8. Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter
Special Kitty Natural Clay Litter is made from 100% natural clay. The lack of added fragrances or chemicals makes this a healthy option for long-lasting odor control. People with respiratory issues will benefit from the low-dust formula. After about 5 days, the litter will take on a mud-like consistency after it absorbs liquid over that time. Regular box changes are necessary to keep the odors down and the litter dry. By adding baking soda to this unscented litter, you can add even more odor protection. This also works well for cats that are sensitive or allergic to scented litter.
Having this litter on hand will even help in situations of needing traction for tires stuck in the snow or to clean oil spills in the driveway. Just pour it on the oil and sweep it up!
9. Jonny Cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter
The Jonny Cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter uses an ingredient derived from fruit and vegetable extracts to provide long-lasting, natural odor control. No dyes, irritants, or perfumes are added. If your cat is allergic to additives in cat litter, this is a natural alternative. Like other non-clumping litters, frequent total box changes are necessary to cut down on buildup and odor. This formula recently changed from white to dark grey clay.
The biggest criticism of this litter is the new color. There are reports of black sand in the bag, which wasn’t the case when the litter was white. If the litter box is on a light-colored floor, the litter scatter is easier to spot due to this change, though.
10. Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Cat Litter
|Features||Odor-control, low dust, lightweight|
The Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Litter is highly absorbent to soak up and neutralize ammonia odors with the help of added baking soda. It’s not as heavy as clay litters. This litter is chemical-free and works for liquids. For solid waste, it doesn’t work as well at covering odors, but this isn’t an issue if the box is scooped daily. The large pellets are low-tracking. There are a few reports of the pine smell being unpleasant once it’s wet with urine, but regular litter changes will help with this. There are no added fragrances. For comparison, 40 pounds of this litter is equal to 114 pounds of clay litter.
Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters
Whether you choose to buy clumping or non-clumping litter comes down to the preferences of you and your cat. Clumping litter is easier to scoop and will give you more time between complete changes of the litter box. By scooping the clumped waste every day, the surrounding litter stays cleaner longer.
If you already empty and refill your cat’s litter box once a week, non-clumping litter is an option for you. It requires more frequent changes and regular scooping of solid waste to keep the odors under control. It’s highly absorbent of both liquids and odors. Cat owners who prefer non-clumping litter also usually like that it’s more affordable than clumping litter. You get more for your money per pound versus clumping litter.
If your cat tends to eat litter or you have kittens that eat anything because they’re babies, clumping litter is not recommended. This litter expands when it absorbs liquid. Once ingested, the expansion continues, which can cause serious health issues. Once the litter stops expanding, it can form a hard obstruction in your cat’s intestines.
How to Choose a Non-clumping Cat Litter
Cats are clean animals and like their litter boxes to be clean too. If the box isn’t clean enough for a cat, they may start to go elsewhere. When using non-clumping litter, the litter box needs to be thoroughly changed more often to get rid of the liquid that can pool on the bottom after a few days. If you regularly change your cat’s litter box, this isn’t an issue for you. If you are using clumping litter now and want to switch, know that the complete box refreshes have to happen more often.
Non-clumping litter absorbs liquids well and offers efficient odor control. Most of these litters have some sort of odor protection added to the formula, like baking soda. This gives the litter extra odor protection.
While non-clumping litter absorbs liquids well, it can only do so to a certain point. Once the litter has reached its capacity, the liquid will start to pool on the bottom of the box. The better absorbency power that the litter has, the less this will be an issue. Regular box changes will be needed with any non-clumping litter, but a higher absorbency will keep your kitty dry and comfortable between changes.
Neither you nor your cat should be breathing in litter dust. While clay litter is usually dusty, there are a few low-dust options available. Natural non-clumping litters are free of most dust, especially if they are made from paper or pine.
Small granules of litter tend to scatter easily, get stuck between your cat’s toes, and be hard to clean up. Large granules may be uncomfortable for your cat’s paws but track less.
While added perfumes and scents may work to help hide odors, it can also be irritating for you and your cat to inhale. If your cat has no allergies or respiratory diseases, though, added fragrances may be a suitable option.
The Amount of Litter to Use
Finding the right amount can be tricky with non-clumping litter because you empty the entire thing with each litter change. You don’t want to waste too much litter, but you don’t want to give your cat too little either. Filling the bottom of the box with 2–3 inches of litter to start and adding more from there if needed will help you determine the correct amount for your cat. If your cat likes to dig, more litter will be better.
Frequency of Litter Changes
Emptying the entire box, cleaning it, drying it, and refilling it sounds like a great deal of work, but since you won’t be scooping the box to remove the liquids, this is necessary. While some of the waste can be removed through scooping, the liquid will soak into the litter and be difficult to remove without completely scraping it out. Doing this at least once a week is recommended for odor and buildup control.
Our best overall choice for non-clumping cat litter is Fresh Step Febreze Scented Cat Litter. We like the price and that it’s scented with Febreze. It also has a high absorbency and works to control odors. Our value pick is Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Scented Cat Litter. This is good for multiple cats while offering odor control around the clock. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Crystal Silica Cat Litter is our premium choice. It was developed by a veterinarian and is hypoallergenic. We hope that our reviews have helped you decide which non-clumping litter would be best for you and your cat.