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7 Best Paper Cat Litters in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

black and white cat in litter box

When you’re searching for the perfect cat litter, you’ll want to find one that’s good for the health of your cat and one with which they’ll have no issues (because it’s no fun when kitty gets in a huff and decides not to use the litter box). You may also be worried about how environmentally safe your cat litter is. If you’re currently using a clay-based litter but have concerns, you’ve probably considered switching to a paper cat litter.

This type of cat litter is a newer type but is much better for the environment. Plus, it’s excellent for felines with sensitive paws and skin. Unfortunately, there are few options available when it comes to this type of litter—which should make for an easier choice, right?

Not exactly. There’s plenty to contemplate when it comes to choosing the best paper cat litter, so we’ve reviewed what’s out there so you can find the best fit.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
PURINA Yesterday's News Odor Control PURINA Yesterday's News Odor Control
  • Feature icon3x the moisture absorption of clay-based litters
  • Feature iconNon-toxic
  • Feature iconSuitable for kittens and adults
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Fresh News Paper Cat Litter Fresh News Paper Cat Litter
  • Feature iconGood price
  • Feature iconContains baking soda to help neutralize odors
  • Feature iconRecycled and biodegradable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    HARTZ Multi-Cat Lightweight HARTZ Multi-Cat Lightweight
  • Feature iconMade for multiple cats
  • Feature iconTurns blue after use
  • Feature iconLightweight
  • Petco Brand - So Phresh Multi-Cat Petco Brand - So Phresh Multi-Cat
  • Feature iconMade for multiple cat homes
  • Feature iconGood at odor control
  • Feature iconSuitable for cats with sensitive paws
  • Small Pet Select-Recycled Pelleted Paper Cat Litter Small Pet Select-Recycled Pelleted Paper Cat Litter
  • Feature iconPet-safe odor blocker
  • Feature iconNo tracking
  • Feature iconLightweight
  • The 7 Best Paper Cat Litters – Reviews & Top Picks 2022

    1. PURINA Yesterday’s News Odor Control – Best Overall

    PURINA Yesterday's News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Weight 30 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 9%
    Recycled Yes

    If you’re searching for the best overall paper cat litter, PURINA Yesterday’s News Odor Control should be your pick. The non-toxic paper pellets in this cat litter absorb three times the moisture of clay-based litter and are soft on paws. Plus, with no chemicals that can cause harm, you can use it for kittens and adult cats. It’s non-clumping, nearly entirely dust-free, and this unscented litter will help prevent your cat from tracking too much out of the litter box.

    Yesterday’s News is environmentally friendly—not only is the paper used recycled, but it’s shipped in a recyclable container. This litter also comes recommended by vets.

    Pros
    • 3x the moisture absorption of clay-based litters
    • Non-toxic
    • Suitable for kittens and adults
    Cons
    • Pellets can be hard to scoop
    • Some cats hated it
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    2. Fresh News Paper Cat Litter  – Best Value

    Fresh News Recycled Paper

    Weight 25 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 99%
    Recycled Yes

    Fresh News Paper Cat Litter is our choice when it comes to the best litter for the money. It’s cheaper than others on this list but has everything you love about paper litter. Its paper pellets have baking soda to help neutralize litter box odors and are made from 100% recycled paper, meaning it’s biodegradable and compostable, so you won’t have to contribute to landfills. The paper is received via their program that gives money to non-profits who collect recycled paper.

    Not only is this product dust-free, but it’s also non-allergenic, which means you’ll have a healthier home. Plus, it’s non-toxic, so your kitties will be safe from chemicals.

    Pros
    • Good price
    • Contains baking soda to help neutralize odors
    • Recycled and biodegradable
    Cons
    • Can be difficult to scoop
    • Few reports of people finding plastic mixed in with litter
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    3. HARTZ Multi-Cat Lightweight – Premium Choice

    HARTZ Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter

    Weight 9 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 99%
    Recycled Yes

    When it comes to premium paper cat litter, this Hartz product is the way to go. It claims to be the first paper litter designed for homes with multiple cats, plus it says 9 pounds of its litter is comparable to 33 pounds of regular cat litter! Not only does this litter clump and trap odors, but it turns blue after being used, so you know when it’s time to clean out your litter box. It also won’t stick to the pan.

    This product is made from 80% recycled paper, making it good for the environment, and is almost entirely free of dust, making it good for you and your cats.

    Pros
    • Made for multiple cats
    • Turns blue after use
    • Lightweight
    Cons
    • Can stick to cats’ paws
    • Can be difficult to scoop
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    4. Petco Brand – So Phresh Multi-Cat

    Petco Brand Crumble Paper Litter

    Weight 14 lbs
    Scent Fresh Scent
    Dust-free 99.9%
    Recycled Yes

    Another paper litter designed for homes with several cats, So Phresh is incredibly soft and suitable for kitties with sensitive paws. Baking soda and zeolite help trap nasty odors, while the fresh scent helps to cover them—pet owners who have used it claim it’s excellent at odor control. This litter says it is low tracking, so there shouldn’t be issues with your pets getting it all over your home. Plus, it’s super-absorbent and locks in moisture.

    This product is made from post-consumer recycled paper, so it’s good for the environment (although it does come in a plastic bag).

    Pros
    • Made for multiple cat homes
    • Good at odor control
    • Suitable for cats with sensitive paws
    Cons
    • Can be difficult to scoop
    • Some cats wouldn’t touch it
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    5. Small Pet Select-Recycled Pelleted Paper Cat Litter

    Small Pet Select Recycled Pelleted Paper Cat Litter

    Weight 20 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 99.9%
    Recycled Yes

    This paper litter is made from recycled paper and is non-toxic, so it’s environmentally friendly and safe for your pet. It uses a natural, pet-safe odor blocker instead of baking soda (though it doesn’t say what that blocker is made of) that pet parents seem to approve of. This product also promises it won’t stick to your cat’s feet, so there’s no tracking, plus it is soft on kitty’s feet. It also absorbs three times the moisture clay-based litters do.  Other perks of Small Pet are that it’s lightweight and dust-free.

    Pros
    • Pet-safe odor blocker
    • No tracking
    • Lightweight
    Cons
    • Complaints of pellets being too large to sift
    • Some cats hated it
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    6. ökocat Dust-Free Natural Paper Non-Clumping Cat Litter

    ökocat Dust Free Natural Paper Non Clumping Cat Litter

    Weight 12.3 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 99.9%
    Recycled No

    This next-generation biodegradable paper litter is made from sustainably sourced white paper fiber designed for extra absorbency and less weight. It uses a plant-based odor blocker that’s been formulated specifically to counteract the smell of ammonia. Not only is it extra absorbent, but it also absorbs moisture quickly, so it won’t stick to your pet’s feet. Because this litter is dust-free, it will be better for your cat’s lungs as well as your own. It also claims that with regular scooping, your base litter will last for up to a week.

    This product is free of GMOs, chemicals, inks and dyes, and artificial fragrances.

    Pros
    • Biodegradable
    • Long-lasting
    • Plant-based odor control formulated for ammonia
    Cons
    • Non-clumping
    • Some cats had difficulty adjusting to the litter
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    7. Frisco Unscented Non-Clumping Recycled Paper Cat Litter

    Frisco Unscented Non-Clumping Recycled Paper Cat Litter

    Weight 25 lbs
    Scent Unscented
    Dust-free 99.9%
    Recycled Yes

    Made from 95% post-consumer recycled paper, this paper litter absorbs nearly three times as much moisture as clay-based litters and contains baking soda to help neutralize odors. It’s quick absorbing so that smells won’t linger. Plus, it’s free of dust, chemicals, and fragrances, making it easier on the lungs.

    You can use this litter for a single cat or multiple cats, but they recommend daily scooping for the best results. It also comes in a bag that reseals for easy storage.

    Pros
    • Absorbs quickly
    • Free of dust, fragrances, and chemicals
    • Can be used for multiple cats
    Cons
    • Complaints of recent bags containing shredded paper along with pellets
    • Complaints of product smelling bad

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Like all types of cat litter, paper cat litter has its pros and cons. Before you make the switch, you should know exactly what to expect.

    Below, we’ll tell you the benefits and downsides, what to look for when purchasing, and answer people’s most frequently asked questions about paper cat litter.

    Benefits Of Using Paper Cat Litter

    You’ll find that using paper cat litter has plenty of benefits!

    • Absorbency: When you’re looking for a litter that absorbs urine quickly and efficiently, paper cat litter is much better than regular cat litters. Most offer three times the absorption rate of clay-based litters, so you know it gets the job done.
    • Dust-free: If you or a member of your home has asthma or allergies, you’ll appreciate paper cat litter for its lack of dust. Because it uses paper instead of clay, there won’t be any clouds to deal with when you’re pouring a new batch into the litter box.
    • Non-tracking: Since clay-based litters are composed of tiny granules, they have a tendency to get stuck in your cat’s paws which means you’ll find the stuff all over the house. With paper pellets, that problem is resolved.
    • No scraping: You know how sometimes when you clean your cat’s litter box, you end up having to scrape around the corners and on the bottom because the litter has clumped and gotten stuck? That’s another issue you won’t have with paper litter, so cleaning your cat’s litter box will be an easier job (though this type of litter works better if you clean every day).
    • Good for long-haired cats: If your feline has long hair, then clay-based litters can get stuck and matted in their fur. Using paper litter will alleviate the risk of your cat getting dirty each time they step inside the litter box.
    • Kitty’s health: Paper cat litter can be better for your kitty’s health. Just like you won’t have to breathe in any dust with this type of litter, neither will your pet making for easier breathing for all. Plus, paper litter is supposed to be more suitable for cats with sensitive skin and paws because it’s soft and doesn’t contain small pieces that can get stuck everywhere.
    • Environmentally friendly: If you’re concerned about the environment, this is definitely the litter for you. Paper litter is usually made from recycled materials. It is also biodegradable, so it breaks down and won’t contribute to landfill waste.
    • Multi-purpose: Have pets other than cats, like gerbils or rabbits? You can use paper litter in their enclosures too!
    calico maine coon inside litter box_Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

    Downsides Of Using Paper Cat Litter

    There are only a couple of cons to using paper cat litter (but the benefits far outweigh them!).

    • Harder to scoop: Most paper cat litters won’t clump, which will make them a bit harder to scoop out of the litter box. Sometimes the pellets can also be larger, making them more difficult to sift with the scoop.
    • Odors: A lot of paper cat litters will have baking soda or something similar to help counteract odors, but some will not. And since paper litter soaks up urine and easily soils, it may have some lingering smells, especially if you don’t scoop daily.
    paper cat litter
    Image Credit: Douglas Cliff, Shutterstock

    What To Look For

    When deciding upon a paper cat litter, you should take into consideration the following.

    • Material: If you’re a little picky about what your products are made of and where they’re sourced, be sure to check this carefully. Some paper pellets will have been made from recycled paper, but some will have been made from lumber of some kind. Some may be sustainably sourced, while others are not.
    • Ingredients: Does the brand you’re eyeing have ingredients other than paper? Some may add in an odor blocker of some kind, while others may contain polymer or even starch.
    • Absorbency: Always be sure to check how absorbent a litter is before buying. It will give you an idea of how often you’ll need to scoop.
    • Dust factor: Is the litter 100% free of dust or just nearly there? Being dust-free is one of the top reasons people make the switch.
    • Odor control: Most paper cat litters are unscented, so there won’t be anything to cover up the dreaded litter box odor, but a few do have scented versions, so pick your preference. You’ll also want to check and see if baking soda or another odor blocker has been added to make litter less smelly.
    • Clumping: Clumping paper litters are rare, so you’ll have a harder time finding one, but it will make scooping easier.
    • Size of pellets: If you have something other than a standard litter box—like a self-cleaning one—you may have difficulty using paper litter as the pellets are often on the larger side. However, some litters will have smaller pellets, so check the size and view pictures (if available) to see if they fit.
    red haired cat in litter box
    Image Credit: Tiplyashina Evgeniya, Shutterstock

    FAQs

    You probably have a few questions left about using paper cat litter, so we’ve answered the most frequently asked ones below.

    • Can’t I just use shredded paper? Well, technically, yes. But the shredded paper will be thinner than paper pellets, meaning it will become wet when it absorbs moisture which your cat will likely hate. Shredded paper will also be stinkier than pellets, so you’ll have to scoop more often.
    • How often does paper litter need to be changed? Unless you’re using a clumping paper litter, you should be scooping out your box once a day and changing the litter entirely once a week. If you have a clumping version, you can go a little longer without changing it out completely.
    • Is paper litter easy to dispose of? You can get rid of paper cat litter a few ways. Since it’s biodegradable, you can just throw it into a compost pile if you have one. Some litters will actually be flushable, but you need to read the bag carefully to make sure before attempting this, as some brands will have pellets too large to flush. You can also just throw it in the garbage.
    • Can I add something to control odor? Since a lot of paper cat litter brands are unscented or don’t have anything added to help neutralize odors, you might want to add something to help. The easiest solution is to add baking soda—which is non-toxic and safe for cats—or a litter box deodorizer.
    • How do I scoop paper litter? Because it typically doesn’t clump, plus comes with large pieces, you’ll likely end up having some difficulty the first couple of times you scoop out the litter box. The biggest help will be getting a different scooper with larger holes. Other than that, you should first collect any feces in the box while letting any still fresh pellets go through or roll off of the scooper. Then dig around the bottom of the box to find any pellets that have collected urine. Finally, add new pellets if needed.
    person changing cat litter
    Image Credit: Africa-Studio, Shutterstock

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    Conclusion

    There are some definite pluses to switching to a paper cat litter. Our reviews of the best products on the market lead us to believe PURINA Yesterday’s News Odor Control is the best overall. Not only is it vet-recommended, but it’s entirely recyclable down to the packaging. The best value litter is Fresh News due to its lower price but great qualities. And, if you’re looking for a premium choice, we recommend Hartz Multi-Cat Lightweight that is useful for multi-cat households and turns blue, so you know when to scoop.

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    Featured Image Credit: Tiplyashina Evgeniya, Shutterstock