Last Updated on: November 18, 2020
The worst part of owning a cat may well be lugging home the giant box of kitty litter from the store. The boxes are huge and unwieldy, and the thin plastic carrying strap can dig into your palms, causing no small amount of pain and suffering.
The idea of a lightweight kitty litter, then, understandably holds a lot of appeal.
These litters have more going for them than just being easy to lug around, however. They’re also less likely to create dust and they tend to last longer than their heavier counterparts.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can just grab the first lightweight litter you see. Some perform much better than others — and in the reviews below, we’ll show you exactly which ones those are.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Lightweight Cat Litters
1. Purina Tidy Cats LightWeight Cat Litter – Best Overall
Purina Tidy Cats boasts a low-dust formulation, so you won’t have to deal with a fine layer of kitty litter all over your furniture after filling the box. That helps you keep the rest of your home as tidy as your cat’s bathroom.
Despite its clean nature, it’s effective at blocking odors too, especially ammonia. There’s an ammonia blocker inside that prevents smells from forming for at least two weeks, so you can get a little lazy without paying the price. It clumps well, too, forming nice, tight balls that are easy to scoop. This lets you pick up all the mess your cat leaves behind in a single pass, without leaving your scooper wet and messy.
The biggest negative we found with Purina Tidy Cats doesn’t have to do with the litter at all — it’s the box it comes in. It’s hard to open cleanly, which makes pouring it a pain. Once it’s poured, though, it’s the best lightweight litter we found, bar none.
2. Feline Pine Cat Litter – Best Value
If you’re worried about your back, your wallet, or your planet, don’t be — Feline Pine is gentle on all three.
This low-cost option is likely the best lightweight cat litter for the money. It’s made of sawdust shavings, which naturally soak up odors without the use of chemicals or perfumes. Even better, these particular shavings are from reclaimed lumber, so no trees had to die for your kitten to use the bathroom.
There are two bag sizes: 20 or 40 pounds. While those may seem like massive options, the bags are easy to carry and pour, and you’ll find that the clumps it makes are lightweight and easy to remove.
Despite its lightweight nature, the stuff doesn’t fly very well, so if you have a tabby who loves to be thorough when covering up her mess, you don’t have to worry about her kicking litter out of the box.
The biggest issue with Feline Pine is that it tends to flake when it comes in contact with fecal matter. As a result, if any touches the sides of the box, you’ll have a sticky mess to clean up. That’s annoying, but it’s only enough to knock it down to the #2 spot — no further.
3. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter – Premium Choice
SmartCat All Natural is a great option for users who are tired of dealing with dust and clay, as it’s made purely of grass seed. The end result is a litter that clumps well without sending powder all over your home.
It’s especially good for those who don’t like dealing with wet clumps of urine, as it hardens until all the moisture is absorbed. This creates a hard ball that comes out easily and isn’t likely to fall apart between the box and bag.
Grass seed weighs half as much as clay, so you’ll find that a 20-pound bag of this stuff lasts about twice as long as a similarly-sized bag of traditional litter. That’s good because it’s probably at least twice as expensive as the regular stuff.
One other issue we found with the SmartCat All Natural was the fact that the animals tend to track it all over the place, so if you buy it, make sure you have a mat outside the box (or invest in an indoor lawnmower). That’s an easy fix, though, so it’s not worth knocking this litter down more than a spot or two.
4. World’s Best Cat Litter
World’s Best doesn’t quite live up to its lofty name, but this is nevertheless a quality litter that’s worthy of your consideration.
One of the biggest selling points for this option is it’s safe for your septic tank, allowing you to flush clumps as needed. This cuts down on waste that goes to landfills, while also eliminating any smelly litter sitting around your house.
The bag claims that this is a dust-free formula, but we didn’t find that to be the case. You’ll still have a bit of a mess to clean up every time your cat covers up after herself, and it does little to control odors, so you’ll want to flush it ASAP.
World’s Best does clump very quickly, though, so you shouldn’t have to wait very long after she finishes her business before you can clean up. She’ll probably wonder why you’re lurking around the bathroom, though, so expect a few judgmental stares on her way out.
5. ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
Made of fallen timber and unused lumber, Ökocat Natural Wood is an eco-friendly option that’s capable of blocking ammonia odors for up to a week. That’s impressive, but as we’ve seen from some of the options above, it’s hardly unbeatable.
You can flush it if you like, or it breaks down quickly and cleanly in landfills. There are also no chemicals or other additives that could harm you, your cat, or the Earth, so it will leave your conscience as clean as it leaves your litter box.
Using wood also ensures that there’s no dust to breathe in, making it a smart choice for users with respiratory issues. However, the problem with this is it’s almost too lightweight. It gets everywhere, including stuck to your pet’s fur. The smell of pine is fairly overpowering, too (granted, it’s better than other smells that could be coming from your litter box, but still).
Ultimately, Ökocat Natural Wood is very good litter, but we can’t recommend it over the great options ranked above it.
6. Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Multi-Cat Litter
Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light is fortified with baking soda for additional odor control, so you may not even notice when your cat has used the bathroom. Even better, the company donates a container of litter to an animal shelter for each one it sells, allowing you to feel good about your purchase.
This is a multi-cat formula, so the clay is thick enough to handle heavy traffic. Of course, that means it’s also a little heavier than some other options shown here, and it just barely qualified for a “lightweight litter” list.
You’ll also see more dust than you will with some non-clay options, and of course, it’s not flushable, so you’ll need to keep a trash bag or Litter Genie close by.
Overall, Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light is a fairly basic litter. It won’t be the best or worst you’ve ever used, and so a #6 ranking feels about right for it.
7. Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
If you can’t handle smelling cat waste (but also don’t like being overwhelmed by perfumes or baking soda), then Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping is a good compromise. It uses activated charcoal to trap odors, so you can leave the box unattended for up to 10 days before the smell starts to become overwhelming.
This also makes it good for controlling bacterial growth inside the box, so if you’re guilty of being lazy about cleaning it out, this litter will help reduce the risk that your feline friend will get sick as a result.
That’s all well and good, but while Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping may keep your cat healthy and smelling nice, it’s not a very good litter. It gets muddy and sticky when wet, so you may need to trade your scoop in for a shovel.
Also, the dust is overwhelming. Expect everything in the same room with the box to be covered in a fine layer of silt after a few days. And while there aren’t any perfumes in it, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an odor — and a fairly strong one at that. It’s not necessarily a bad smell, but neither is it subtle.
While it has its charms, Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping ultimately fails at the most basic requirements of the job.
8. Boxiecat Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Boxiecat Premium definitely delivers on being lightweight, as it’s only about 60% as heavy as your average clay. Unfortunately, being lightweight is only part of the battle, and this litter struggles in most other ways.
It does little to stop odors, so it will stink up your entire house if you’re not Johnny-on-the-spot with cleaning it out. We guess the good news is if you leave your cats at home while you’re at work all day, at least the smell will greet you when you walk in the door.
While it does clump, it tends to clump excessively. That means you’ll have to empty the entire box frequently, or else the whole thing will cake over. This takes up more of your time and money than is necessary, in our opinion.
The good news is that the litter itself is completely unscented, so as long as you’re quick on the draw with the scoop, you can keep your home odor-free. As soon as you lapse for a few minutes, though, that benefit will go right out the window (which you probably had to open to deal with the poop smell).
9. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal definitely does not live up to its name, as its clumping abilities are the weakest thing about this litter. Rather than making fully-formed, stable clumps, it creates loose piles that are a pain to remove, as they’re prone to falling through the slots of your scooper.
However, if your kitty likes to dig to the bottom of the box before relieving herself, you might need a hammer and chisel to break the resulting clump free. It forms liquid cement when it hits the sides or bottom of the container, apparently.
It has a very strong aroma, which combats odors somewhat, but at the cost of replacing them with another foul smell. This gives you no respite from the nastiness, as keeping the box clean does nothing to make your home smell better.
On the bright side, it makes very little dust, especially for a clay-based option. That’s certainly helpful, but it’s not enough to move Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal off the near-bottom of our list.
10. HARTZ Lightweight Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter
While it’s purportedly a multi-cat solution, a bag of HARTZ Recycled Clumping Paper has barely enough litter inside for one feline, let alone several.
This litter is mostly made of recycled paper, so it’s extremely light and creates little dust. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t get all over your house — you’ll just have little crumples of paper to deal with rather than dirt.
It does nothing to deodorize the mess, so you’re going to either have to be quick with a scoop or learn to live with the smell. It’s not terribly absorbent, either, and you’ll need to clean the entire box regularly if you don’t want the smells to linger.
The good news about that is one bag doesn’t last long at all, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to clean an empty box. The low price may be attractive at first, but considering how often you’ll have to re-purchase this litter, it’s hardly a bargain.
HARTZ Recycled Clumping Paper is an interesting idea and one we hope they’ll continue to experiment with. As presently constructed, though, it’s not really worth your time or money.
Purina Tidy Cats isn’t just a great lightweight litter — it’s a great litter, period. It forms neat, tightly-packed balls that won’t fall apart or dirty up your scooper, and it won’t leave your entire house covered in dust (any more than it already is, anyway).
Feline Pine is another fantastic choice and a budget-friendly one at that. Made of recycled wood, it’s gentle on the environment and naturally odor-absorbent, so you can save the planet and your nose at the same time.
We know that finding a high-quality kitty litter is much harder than it needs to be, so we hope these reviews have made the process a bit less stressful. Most of the options above should perform admirably in your litter box, and they may even meet your cat’s approval.
We won’t tell you how she’ll express that approval, however.
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Lightweight Cat Litters
- 1. Purina Tidy Cats LightWeight Cat Litter – Best Overall
- 2. Feline Pine Cat Litter – Best Value
- 3. SmartCat All Natural Clumping Litter – Premium Choice
- 4. World’s Best Cat Litter
- 5. ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
- 6. Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Multi-Cat Litter
- 7. Fresh Step Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
- 8. Boxiecat Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- 9. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Lightweight Cat Litter
- 10. HARTZ Lightweight Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter