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10 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks

ginger cat litter close-up_Yuliya Alekseeva_shutterstockBefore bringing home your new kitten or cat, you know that there is a ton of research to do, from what toys, bedding, and food to buy, to training and grooming requirements and more. But many new cat owners overlook the simple aspects, including the cat litter.

Not all cat litters are the same, and there are many different versions of these seemingly simple products available, from scented litters to clumping and non-clumping. Many owners opt for a non-clumping litter due to its ability to absorb more waste, odor-removal qualities, and lower cost.

There are a ton of different non-clumping cat litters on the market, and it can quickly become overwhelming to find the right one. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve created this list of in-depth reviews to help you choose the best non-clumping cat litter for your feline.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Feline Pine Non-clumping Wood Feline Pine Non-clumping Wood
  • Absorbs liquid twice as fast
  • 100% odor elimination
  • Free from harsh chemicals
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina Tidy Cats Non-clumping Cat Litter Purina Tidy Cats Non-clumping Cat Litter
  • Long-lasting odor control
  • Highly absorbent
  • Great for multiple cats
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Dr. Elsey's Unscented Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter Dr. Elsey's Unscented Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter
  • 9% dust-free
  • Perfume and deodorant free
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Purina Yesterday's News Non-clumping Cat Litter Purina Yesterday's News Non-clumping Cat Litter
  • Low environmental footprint
  • Low-tracking formula
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Fresh Step Febreze Scented Non-clumping Clay Cat Litter Fresh Step Febreze Scented Non-clumping Clay Cat Litter
  • Activated carbon pellets
  • Scented for further odor reduction
  • Low-dust formula
  • 10 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litter — Reviews 2021

    1. Feline Pine Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter — Best Overall

    Feline Pine Non-clumping Wood Cat Litter

    Made from natural and chemical-free pine fibers, this non-clumping litter from Feline Pine is our top pick overall due to its high absorption qualities and natural ingredients. Pine fibers are highly absorbent and will lock away odors quickly and effectively. The litter is clay-free, which means there are no irritating dust particles when you pour it into the litter box and when your cat scratches around in it. The new and improved formula from Feline Pine claims to absorb liquid twice as fast as the original formula, with 100% odor elimination. Plus, it is free from harsh chemicals, additives, or synthetic fragrances.

    While this litter is great for urine absorption, it is far less efficient with fecal matter because it does not dry it out like other litters tend to do. Also, the pine dust is very fine and can easily get tracked around your home.

    Pros
    • Made from natural and chemical-free pine fibers
    • Clay-free
    • Absorbs liquid twice as fast
    • 100% odor elimination
    • Free from harsh chemicals, additives, and synthetic fragrances
    Cons
    • Not effective for fecal matter
    • Easily tracked around your home

    2. Purina Tidy Cats Non-Clumping Cat Litter — Best Value

    Purina Tidy Cats Non-clumping Cat Litter

    The best non-clumping cat litter for the money is the Tidy Cats litter from Purina. It has an extended-release deodorizing system coupled with a triple odor protection technology to help keep your home odor-free. The formula is highly absorbent and ideal for homes with multiple cats and will keep your cat dry and comfortable so they are more likely to use their litter box. The extended deodorizing system is a great addition because it will keep your cat’s litter box smelling fresh and you won’t need to change it as often.

    Being a clay-based litter, this litter is likely to produce a large amount of dust while changing, which you and your cat could potentially inhale, and you will have issues with tracking too. Several users also report that the litter does not stop odor as well as it states with multiple cats. These small caveats keep this litter from the top position on this list.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting odor control
    • Highly absorbent
    • Great for multiple cats
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Produces a large amount of dust
    • Messy
    • Not 100% odor-free

    3. Dr. Elsey’s Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter — Premium Choice

    Dr. Elsey's Unscented Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter

    Designed to help avoid the respiratory issues associated with dust-producing litters like clay, this crystal cat litter from Dr. Elsey’s is hypo-allergenic, low in dust (99.9% dust-free), and free from plant proteins, perfumes, and deodorants. It is also infused with stress-reducing hydrolyzed herbal essences to help promote litter box use with your cat and keep their box smelling fresh. The litter traps urine and odor on contact for a fresh-smelling litter box and is 100% biodegradable.

    This litter is highly absorbent, but once soaked with urine, it turns cement-hard and becomes difficult to remove from the litter box. Several users also reported tracking after switching to this litter, as the silica particles tend to get sticky.

    Pros
    • 9% dust-free
    • Perfume and deodorant free
    • Infused with stress-reducing hydrolyzed herbal essences
    • 100% biodegradable
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Turns rock hard once soaked
    • Sticky particles cause increased tracking

    4. Purina Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Cat Litter

    Purina Yesterday's News Non-clumping Cat Litter

    If you want to do your part to reduce your environmental footprint, Yesterday’s News from Purina is a great choice, as it is made completely from recycled newspaper. The pellets are reportedly three times more absorbent than clay and 99.7% dust-free, so they are a breeze to scoop when changing and great for your cat’s respiratory health. This litter also has a unique low-tracking formula to keep your home free from messy tracking, and it is free from harmful chemicals.

    This litter breaks down quickly when soaked and becomes mud-like and difficult to clean. Also, the litter pellets are fairly large, so many are wasted when scooping out solid matter.

    Pros
    • Low environmental footprint
    • 7% dust-free
    • Three times more absorbent than clay
    • Low-tracking formula
    • Free from harmful chemicals
    Cons
    • Breaks down quickly when soaked
    • Difficult to clean

    5. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Fresh Step Febreze Scented Non-clumping Clay Cat Litter

    Using activated carbon to eliminate odors, the Febreze cat litter from Fresh Step is thus lighter and more absorbent — up to 30% lighter — than other clay litters. The litter traps odors by filtering them through the carbon pellets and for further odor reduction, has a scent that activates when stepped on. It also has a low-dust formula for easy cleaning and changing and better respiratory health for your cat.

    Several users report that this litter does not absorb moisture well and leaves a pool of liquid in the litter box because it is very fine, almost powder-like. The scent is also powerful and leaves your home smelling of Febreze.

    Pros
    • Activated carbon pellets
    • 30% lighter than other clay litters
    • Scented for further odor reduction
    • Low-dust formula
    Cons
    • Not highly absorbent
    • Strong odor

    6. Fresh News Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Fresh News Unscented Non-clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Made from recycled paper, this non-clumping litter from Fresh News provides superior absorption with outstanding odor control. The pellets contain baking soda, which neutralizes odors on contact and helps with faster absorption, and they are designed to keep their form when soaked to help reduce tracking. The pellets are made from 100% recycled newspaper and are thus 100% biodegradable, both of which are great for the environment. The litter is also 99% dust-free and 100% non-allergenic.

    While the pellets keep their shape when soaked, they still become sticky and hard and can easily be tracked around your home. The pellets are also large, making proper scooping a challenge and leading to wastage.

    Pros
    • Made from 100% recycled paper
    • Made with baking soda
    • 100% biodegradable
    • 99% dust-free
    Cons
    • Becomes sticky when soaked
    • Difficult to clean

    7. Frisco Summer Clean Scented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

    Frisco Summer Clean Scented Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter

    Frisco Summer Clean Scented crystal cat litter has a low-dust formula for optimum respiratory health and is made from advanced odor-locking crystals that absorb odors on contact. The litter reportedly controls odors five times better than clay litters, meaning you won’t need to change it as much, and a bag will last longer. The crystal litter is soft and gentle on your cat’s paws and is low tracking to help reduce mess, and it has an added fresh scent for further odor control.

    Several customers report that this litter does not effectively soak up urine, and the crystals thus become sticky and easily tracked around the home. The crystals are also large and difficult to effectively scoop.

    Pros
    • Low-dust formula
    • Advanced odor-locking crystals
    • Litter is soft and gentle on cat’s paws
    • An added scent for further odor reduction
    Cons
    • Doesn’t effectively soak up urine
    • Easily tracked
    • Large crystals are difficult to scoop

    8. Okocat Natural Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Okocat Natural Unscented Non-clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Made from reclaimed, clean white paper, the Natural Unscented Paper cat litter from Okocat is a natural option free from ink, dyes, and scents. It has a dust-free formula that is fortified with long-lasting odor control that absorbs moisture quickly and effectively. There are no artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, or dyes, and it is 100% biodegradable, so your cat will be getting a natural, chemical-free litter that you can be confident in using.

    Several customers report that this litter needs frequent changing because the pellets get water-logged quickly, which can easily get stuck to your cat’s paws and tracked all over your home. The pellets are also large, so there is a great deal of wastage while scooping.

    Pros
    • Made from clean, white recycled paper
    • Free from inks, dyes, and artificial scents
    • Dust-free formula
    • 100% biodegradable
    Cons
    • Needs frequent changing
    • Easily tracked
    • Large pellets are wasted while scooping

    9. Ultra Pearls Micro Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

    Ultra Pearls Micro Unscented

    Made with Silica gel crystals, Ultra Pearls Micro Unscented crystal cat litter will absorb moisture on contact and still leave litter dry to the touch. The moisture then evaporates, leaving the odor trapped in the crystal pellets and reducing changing and wastage. The crystals are soft and gentle on your cat’s paws, and the superior absorption will reduce tracking through your home.

    The litter creates a large amount of powder when pouring and can cause eye and respiratory issues for both you and your cat. When the crystals are thoroughly soaked, they become hard and difficult to clean from the litter box. Also, these pellets won’t last for more than a week before smelling and needing to be changed.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Rapid moisture absorption
    • Reduced tracking with non-stick crystals
    Cons
    • Creates a large amount of dust
    • Difficult to clean
    • Needs frequent changing

    10. PetSafe ScoopFree Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter

    PetSafe ScoopFree Non-clumping Clay Cat Litter

    The PetSafe ScoopFree Non-clumping clay cat litter is made using activated charcoal, which quickly absorbs moisture and rapidly neutralizes odors. It has paw-activated, scented pellets for instant odor reduction and a specialized low-dust formula for optimum respiratory health. It is coated with an antimicrobial agent that stops odor-causing bacteria in its tracks and weighs 30% less than other clay litter for easy cleanup.

    The pellets in this litter are fairly small and dusty and thus, prone to tracking, and they can potentially get stuck in your cat’s paws. Even though this claims to be a dust-free formula, the small particles of clay are not ideal for the respiratory health of your cat. The odor is also fairly overwhelming, and some customers reported that their cats would not use the litter box as a result.

    Pros
    • Made with activated charcoal
    • Paw-activated scented pellets
    • Weighs 30% less than other clay pellets
    Cons
    • Prone to tracking
    • Dustier than other clay litters
    • Pungent smell

    Buyer’s Guide

    There are several reasons to choose non-clumping litter over clumping varieties, but it depends totally on your unique situation, the number of cats you own, and your cat’s unique habits. That being said, here are a few reasons that non-clumping litter may be the better option for you:

    • Wet clumping litter can be highly dangerous for cats that are prone to eating litter, and kittens are especially known for this. Clumping litter has properties that make it expand — sometimes up to 15 times its original size — and this can cause serious gastrointestinal issues.
    • Non-clumping cat litter is generally cheaper, and since you are scooping out any fecal matter, it can last longer too. This also depends on how many cats you have, as frequent usage will require frequent changing, which may end up costing more.
    • Odor removal. Non-clumping litter is better at removing odors because it can absorb large amounts of urine. It typically includes baking soda or charcoal to further filter and remove odors.

    Types of non-clumping litter

    Apart from traditional clay litter, there are several other types of non-clumping litter available. These different materials all have their own pros and cons, and in the end, it comes down to your cat’s unique needs and your individual preferences. The most common types of non-clumping litter are made from the following:

    • Usually, in the form of pellets, clay litter is typically highly absorbent and is thus great for odor control. It is also 100% biodegradable and often contains activated charcoal for further odor absorption.
    • Typically made from recycled paper, paper pellets are a great environmentally friendly option because they are 100% biodegradable and made from sustainable sources. They are usually highly absorbent, fairly dust-free, and easy on your cat’s paws.
    • Usually made from pine particles, wood litter is highly absorbent, made from natural materials, and 100% biodegradable.
    • Crystal litter can absorb a large amount of moisture without becoming saturated and can thus last longer than other litter materials. However, it is not as easily degradable, can be harder on your cat’s paws, and is not ideal for multiple cats because it is prone to pooling with frequent use.

    Ultimately, there is no superior material for non-clumping cat litter, and each one has its benefits and pitfalls. When choosing the right litter, no matter the material, for your feline, it should:

    • Produce as little dust as possible
    • Produce minimal tracking
    • Efficiently control odors
    • Should be comfortable for your cat to use it

    cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    Made from natural and chemical-free pine fibers, the non-clumping litter from Feline Pine is our top pick overall due to its high absorption qualities, natural pine fiber materials, and efficient odor control. We also love that it is free from any harsh chemicals, additives, or synthetic fragrances.

    The best non-clumping cat litter for the money is the Tidy Cats litter from Purina. With its extended-release deodorizing system, triple odor protection technology, and highly absorbent formula, it is a great choice of litter at a highly affordable price.

    With all the different non-clumping cat litters on the market today, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your cat. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped clear some confusion so you can make the best choice for your feline friend.


    Featured Image Credit By: Yuliya Alekseeva, shutterstock