Bringing your fluffy new kitten home is an exciting and memorable time. While you might have picked up all sorts of toys and treats to help them transition into their new home, have you remembered the cat litter?
While cat litter probably isn’t on the top of most people’s lists, it’s something you don’t want to forget! Setting aside the time to choose the best cat litter for your kitten is time well spent.
But with so many options out there, where do you start? Do you want clumping, non-clumping, crystals, scented, or unscented? The sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming, but that’s where we come in. We’ve trialed and tested 10 of the most popular cat litters for kittens, and our reviews include everything you need to know, as well as the pros and cons for each one, so you can quickly decide which will suit your kitten best.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (updated in 2023)
|Best Overall||sWheat Scoop Clumping||
|Best Value||Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping||
|Premium Choice||Fresh Steps Non-Clumping||
|Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal||
|Fresh Step Lightweight Febreeze||
The 9 Best Cat Litters for Kittens
1. sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter — Best Overall
As the best overall cat litter for kittens, we highly recommend the sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter. While many clumping cat litters use chemicals such as sodium bentonite and silica, sWheat is made of 100% wheat, which makes it an excellent non-toxic choice for your tiny new kitten.
This litter also absorbs moisture much faster than most clumping litters, meaning you can remove only what you need to and leave everything else in the box. The remaining litter will still be clean and fresh-smelling, meaning you can leave more time between changing the whole litter box. This cat litter uses something called “noble ion technology” to neutralize cat odors.
All in all, we think this is the best litter for kittens out there.
2. Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter — Best Value
As the best cat litter for kittens for the money, we suggest the Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. The all-natural clay creates clumps that are easy to lift out. The special formula of this litter is designed to both rapidly reduce odors and prevent your cat from tracking litter around the house.
This heavy-duty litter is perfect for multi-cat households, so if you’re adding a kitten into your collection of cats, this is a great choice. The large bag will last for ages, even with multiple litter box cleanings per day. But you can also size up to a larger bag if you’re looking to stock up before your new kitten arrives. This litter is great for mechanical or sifting cat litter boxes, which is a timesaver when you have multiple cats!
3. Fresh Steps Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter — Premium Choice
As our premium choice cat litter for kittens, we highly recommend the Fresh Steps Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter. A bag of this ultra-lightweight litter weighs only 8 pounds, yet it is equivalent to 28 pounds of standard clumping cat litter. That’s amazing! That means if you and your new kitten live in an apartment without much storage space, this bag is an excellent choice.
With this non-clumping cat litter, rather than scooping out wet patches every day, you simply need to change the entire box every 20-30 days (maybe less if you have multiple cats). The only reason that this choice is not at the top of the list is that if you have multiple cats, it’s probably going to cost more in the long run to use this litter.
To conclude, when it comes to premium options, we think this is the best litter for kittens.
4. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Clay Cat Litter
The Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Clay Cat Litter weighs 50% less than Arm & Hammer’s regular cat litter, making it a great choice if you don’t want to keep big boxes of cat litter around the house. It’s guaranteed to lock in odors for an impressive seven days. This is thanks to the Arm & Hammer baking soda as a special ingredient!
This litter is scented, using micro granules that are activated by the moisture of your cat’s pee. While some owners enjoy this fresh scent, it could be a little overpowering for small kittens, especially if they’re particularly sensitive or have been used to an unscented litter box previously.
5. Fresh Step Lightweight Febreze Clay Cat Litter
The Fresh Step Lightweight Febreze Clay Cat Litter is an extra-strength formula that is perfect if you’re looking after multiple kittens and need a powerful litter to lock in odors. For this, it uses Febreze technology to release a pleasant fragrance every time your kitten steps into the box, as well as contains activated charcoal to eliminate odors for up to 10 days.
While the fresh Febreze scent is certainly pleasant for humans, bear in mind that some kittens will find the scent overpowering, especially if they’ve been used to an unscented cat litter at their breeder or rescue center. While this litter is advertised as mostly dust-free, no clay cat litter is completely dust-free, and we think this is actually dustier than most.
6. Arm & Hammer Slide Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
The Arm & Hammer Slide Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter is easy to clean, thanks to the fact that it’s designed to slide straight out of the litter box without the need for any scraping. It does this thanks to the EZ Clean Technology. It also contains Arm & Hammer baking soda to absorb and destroy odors.
The Clump & Seal technology means that it’s easy to clear up your kitten’s mess, as well as providing a guaranteed 7 days with no odors at all. Again, while this litter is advertised as dust-free, no clay litter is ever going to be 100% dust-free, so you should expect some dust and tracking as a result.
7. Petmate ScoopFree Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
The Petmate ScoopFree Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter is designed to be used specifically with the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter box. This is a great option if you’re looking after many messy kittens, as you’ll never actually have to see, smell, or touch the litter in the tray!
You simply insert the pre-filled tray into your kitten’s litter box, and that’s it! You can replace the tray every two weeks, more or less. While these trays are convenient, they’re not environmentally friendly, as you’ll have to throw away the entire litter tray liner each time you change the tray.
8. Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter
The Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter is a premium clumping litter that incorporates activated charcoal to help remove odors on contact. The unscented formula is great for sensitive noses, kittens and humans alike! This litter also contains antimicrobial agents that control the bacteria that create bad smells.
Ever Clean also promises to provide long-lasting freshness, odor-free for up to 10 days before you need to think about cleaning out your kitten’s litter tray. While this litter is unscented, it does contain plant extracts that are said to help eliminate odors, although you won’t smell these!
9. Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Clay Cat Litter
In second-to-last place, we have the Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Clay Cat Litter. This lightly scented litter uses a clinically proven formula to effectively neutralize even the worst smells coming from your cat’s litter box. It also forms firm clumps when wet, making it much easier to clean up.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Litter for Kittens
You know you need cat litter for your kitten, but what sort should you buy? While it might seem that all cat litters are the same, that’s not the case at all. Let’s take a look at the things you should look for when making your choice for best kitten litter.
Clumping or non-clumping?
Clumping litter collects into lumps when it’s wet. This makes it easier to remove wet patches and leave the rest of the litter clean in the box. Some owners worry that curious kittens might eat cat litter, which will then form a clump in their digestive tract. While this is extremely uncommon, it’s best to choose litter that is made from either crystals or clay when your kitten is less than 4 months old. This is only because the particles of these types of litter are big, so they are much less likely to get accidentally swallowed!
Non-clumping litter still soaks up your cat’s pee, but it’s trickier to remove, especially if you don’t get to it right away. It also means that as your cat scrapes around in their litter box after doing their business, they’re more likely to mix the wet litter into the still-dry litter. This can soon make the box smell like it needs emptying, even though there’s still plenty of clean litter in there.
There’s absolutely no veterinary reason to avoid clumping cat litter in terms of kitten safety. So, choosing clumping or non-clumping litter will come down to personal preference.
Scented or unscented kitty litter?
Scented cat litters will contain a kind of fragrance, either natural or synthetic. Cats and kittens have a sensitive sense of smell, so while the fragrance might seem subtle to you, it can seem strong to them. Some kittens won’t mind this at all and will continue to use their litter box regardless. Others may find the smell too overpowering. As a result, they might avoid the litter box and do their business elsewhere. The advantage of scented cat litters is, of course, that they mask the unpleasant smells found around a litter box, and this means you can go slightly longer between cleaning sessions.
Unscented cat litters don’t contain any fragrance and can be a much better choice for kittens who seem sensitive to smells. If you’re unsure, it’s safest to start with an unscented brand and then switch to a scented one at a later date.
How to switch cat litters
If you’re bringing home a new kitten from a breeder or rescue center, it’s a good idea to try and found out what brand they use, and purchase a bag of the same. Even if this might not be your preference to use in the long term, by sticking with what’s already familiar to your kitten, you’re giving them one less thing to have to adjust to as they settle into their new home.
Once they’ve been with you for a month or so and are happily using their litter box regularly, you can switch to a different type of cat litter if you choose. It’s best to do this gradually, rather than empty the whole old box and replace it with the new one. That can be too much for a little kitten to adjust to!
Instead, when cleaning out your cat litter box, use a third of the new cat litter in the base, and cover this with two-thirds of the old cat litter. Repeat this for a week, and then the next time you clean the box out fully, use half new litter in the bottom and half old at the top. As your cat mixes the litter around with use, they’ll become familiar with the scent and texture of the new litter while still having the familiarity of the old.
After another week, you can change the box out again, this time using two-thirds of the new litter on the bottom, covered with a third of the old litter. Finally, make a complete change using all new litter.
As a recap, we selected the sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter as the overall best cat litter for kittens. This non-toxic and environmentally friendly litter is made from 100% wheat, meaning it’s safe for little paws as they find their way around the litter box. Recommended by veterinarians, this litter effectively neutralizes odors and quickly soaks up moisture to keep your kitten’s litter box as fresh and clean as possible.
As the best value cat litter for kittens, we suggest the Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. This clay-based litter clumps well, effectively removes odors, and is great value for money. If you have multiple cats or kittens, this is going to save you some dollars!
We’re sure that from our reviews for the best 10 different cat litters for kittens, you’ll find the best kitty litter for kittens that perfectly suits your new furry friend.
- Looking for an overall great litter? Try: 10 Best Cat Litters: Reviews & Top Picks
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (updated in 2023)
- The 9 Best Cat Litters for Kittens
- 1. sWheat Scoop Clumping Wheat Cat Litter — Best Overall
- 2. Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter — Best Value
- 3. Fresh Steps Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter — Premium Choice
- 4. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Clay Cat Litter
- 5. Fresh Step Lightweight Febreze Clay Cat Litter
- 6. Arm & Hammer Slide Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- 7. Petmate ScoopFree Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
- 8. Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- 9. Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Litter for Kittens