Cat owners know how persnickety their feline friends can be about, well, everything. But there are two things that cats are extremely picky about: litter and food. Ensuring you have the optimal litter for both your home and your kitty’s needs can be extremely important. Especially if you don’t like cleaning up unwanted messes behind your favorite chair. Viewpoints reviewers agree that there are three key features of cat litter that will keep both owners and pets happy: dust, odor and clumping quality. Buying a cheaper brand of litter may be enticing, but our reviewers warn that these inexpensive brands produce dust, allow unwanted odors and do not clump well. Check out the biggest issues for Viewpoints reviewers.
Litter dust can be a major issue, especially if you think about what it actually is. The only real ways to find out how dusty litter is (since they almost all claim to be dust-free) is to read reviews or try it out yourself. Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter, rated 90/100, is well-liked for its lack of dust, as are several options from Fresh Step and Tidy Cats. Generic brands are much cheaper, but you may find yourself coughing while scooping and even cleaning your walls, floors and furniture much more often.
“There is no dust – even when I pour in a full bag of litter into the litter box.” – bonluc, Reviewer since 2007
“The cats don’t seem to track it around any more than any other litter. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of dust either.” – jiejie197777, Reviewer since 2009
Let’s face it: Litter boxes are not the most pleasant pieces of furniture in your house. A major concern for both owners and cats is smell. Not only from animal waste but also the smell of the litter itself. Some pet experts recommend to slowly transition new litter in order to allow your feline friend to adjust to the new smells and odor blockers. However, particularly if you live in a small space, odor control can be very important. Look for odor blockers, carbon features and read reviews to see what other people have to say. Most litters will claim to suppress odors but not all litters are made the same. Fresh Step Scoopable Litter with Odor–Eliminating Carbon, rated 98/100, is a Viewpoints favorite for its odor control.
“Fresh Step ROCKS! It’s the best that I’ve tried for controlling stinky cat box odors.” – prozacwoman, Reviewer since 2007
“Carbon helps neutralize the odors before they leave the box. It contains a patented antimicrobial agent to help fight the growth of odor-causing bacteria as well.” – LDRWeber, Reviewer since 2009
There are many different styles of litter which will clump differently. Reviewers say that Fresh Step Scoopable Litter with Odor–Eliminating Carbon is again among the best because of how well it keeps clumps together to help ensure your litter box is clean. Clumping litter also cuts down on scooping time, making your life easier. A good clumping litter will reduce how often you need to change out entire batches of litter and clean the box.
“It clumps and stays in ONE clump!” – Ladybird, Reviewer since 2008
“My cat also prefers the clumping litter to the sand litter.” – hippychick63, Reviewer since 2007
Almost all of the top-rated brands on Viewpoints are on the pricier end, but people say they’re willing to pay more to cut down on dust and unwanted odors. The cheaper brands tended to be the lowest-rated types of litter. A little extra out of pocket costs will make your life easier and keep your feline friend happy. Owning a pet is supposed to be enjoyable, and there is nothing enjoyable about inhaling less expensive litter dust while cleaning up litter pieces that have tracked halfway across the floor. Have a favorite cat litter? Review it!
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with pet products, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.