No one likes to think about cat litter, but it’s incredibly important. Not only will the right brand help keep your home smelling fresh, but it can make a huge difference in your cat’s happiness and behavior. Cats can be incredibly particular when it comes to their litter boxes. Using a product your cat dislikes often results in problematic behavior such as inappropriate areas of urination and defecation around the house.
While there are many options available, some owners prefer to use unscented cat litter because they find the fragrances added to scented products overwhelming or due to other reasons, such as allergies. With the ideal litter and regular cleaning, your cat can find the box more appealing. Read on for our reviews of the best unscented cat litter available.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Kitty Poo Club||
|Best Value||Arm & Hammer Unscented Clumping Clay Litter||
|Premium Choice||Dr. Elsey's Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter||
|Cat's Pride Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter||
|Fresh Step Lightweight Unscented Clumping Clay||
The 11 Best Unscented Cat Litters
1. Kitty Poo Club Litter Subscription — Best Overall
Our overall pick for the best unscented cat litters is offered through the Kitty Poo Club Subscription. You will never reach for a fragrant litter again with this unique cat litter service. Kitty Poo Club delivers recyclable, quick change litter boxes directly to your door and offers unscented litter options with their monthly subscriptions.
This subscription service allows you to customize your plan based on your cat’s litter needs and size. You can choose from two boxes, one for cats up to 20 pounds, and the other for cats who exceed 20 pounds.They offer a variety of unscented litter options, such as clay, silica, soy, and diatomite.
Each month you will be shipped a package containing the litter of your choice, a brand new litter box and any addons you might need, like a scoop and litter mat, to help keep your cat’s litter area tidy and clean.
Kitty Poo Club Subscription may not be desirable to all cat owners, but we find the convenience and a fresh set up pretty hard to beat.
2. Arm & Hammer Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter — Best Value
Arm & Hammer Ultra Last Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter delivers high-octane odor control at an affordable price, and it’s our choice for the best unscented cat litter for the money. It features super absorbent micro grain granules that soak up urine and associated smells.
It also contains baking soda for powerful odor control. Its effective low-dust formula keeps tracking to a minimum. The litter forms hard clumps that make urine removal a snap, but you’ll need to add a bit of litter every day to replace what’s removed.
3. Dr. Elsey’s Unscented Clumping Clay Litter — Premium Choice
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented is an outstanding high-quality choice that’s hypoallergenic and 99% dust free. It’s the perfect option for allergy sufferers or those who want to minimize the amount of litter tracked through the house.
It forms easy-to-scoop hard clumps when wet that remain close to the litter’s surface, making it easy to keep your cat’s litter box urine and smell-free. It features medium-grain clay that won’t clog self-cleaning and mechanical litter boxes, but it’s not the best choice for urinary tract infection-prone cats. Dr. Elsey’s comes in a variety of sizes, from 20 to 40 pounds.
4. Cat’s Pride Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
Cat’s Pride Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter is a great lightweight choice that’s almost entirely dust free. It weighs 15 pounds but delivers the same number of uses as most 20-pound products.
Cat’s Pride features a dual-clay blend that will keep the litter odors under control for at least 10 days. Its Max Power technology instantly absorbs moisture and smells, and every jug you buy helps a shelter cat. The company donates 1 pound of litter to a shelter every time someone buys Cat’s Pride. It isn’t for you if you prefer non-clumping litter, and at 15 pounds, it can be heavy to carry.
5. Fresh Step Unscented Clumping Clay Litter
Fresh Step Lightweight Simply Unscented is an excellent option if you’re looking for a clumping product, and it’s our choice for the best overall unscented cat litter. Not only does this innovative litter lock in smells with activated charcoal, but it also prevents bacteria from growing, helping to keep things fresh and clean.
The product is 30% lighter than Fresh Step’s regular unscented options, making it much easier to lift, transport, and pour. It’s fragrance-free and doesn’t contain dyes, and its powerful ClumpLock Technology locks in moisture and urine odor. Unfortunately, the product can be expensive, and it’s not ideal if you’re looking for a non-clumping option.
6. Litter Pearls Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter provides odor control in a non-clumping package. It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for an unscented non-clumping product with the power to soak up moisture and keep smells under control.
Litter Pearls features silica gel crystals with a sand-like consistency and is entirely crystalline silica free. The naturally occurring product quickly absorbs moisture to protect against odors. This non-toxic product delivers up to 2 months of use per box. If your cat is new to this litter, take the transaction process slowly. The manufacturer recommends a slow change over the course of 2 months.
7. Dr. Elsey’s Crystal Cat Litter Senior Formulation
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter Senior Formulation is one of the best products on the market for older cats! Its micro-particles and dust adhere to feces to keep things hygienic and limit smells. It’s designed to minimize both urinary tract infections and kidney disease.
The hypoallergenic silica particles soak up urine on contact to improve your cat’s urogenital health and reduce odors; t also inhibits the growth of bacteria, which contributes to improved feline kidney and genital health. The product is virtually dust free and helps limit tracking. Each box lasts approximately 2 weeks, and while the litter may become discolored, the odor control should still work.
8. Okocat Mini Pellets Clumping Wood Cat Litter
Okocat Mini Pellets Unscented Clumping Wood Cat Litter is a high-quality “flushable” biodegradable option. It’s made of wood fiber and is GMO, dye, fragrance, and synthetic chemical free, making it great for your cat and the environment. It’s 99% dust-free, providing a virtually tracking-free experience while also delivering solid clumping action to help keep urine smells to a minimum.
Its large natural wood pellets limit dust, reduce tracking, and quickly absorb moisture. While the product is marketed as flushable, putting cat waste into the water supply is hazardous to human health and impacts marine life.
9. Okocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Pellet
Okocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Cat Litter delivers hard-to-find features; it’s a non-clumping, paper-based product that’s unscented and biodegradable. Each 12-pound box contains enough sustainably sourced paper pellets to fill your cat’s litter for at least 1 week, and 7 pounds of the litter is equivalent to approximately 20 pounds of regular cat litter, making this a fantastic option for those who can’t carry heavy packages.
While it’s 99% dust free, it appears to be prone to tracking. The litter contains no artificial colorants, fragrances, or synthetic chemicals. It’s biodegradable and is marketed as “flushable,” but it’s generally not advisable to flush any cat waste down the toilet.
10. Tidy Cats Instant Action Unscented Non-Clumping
Tidy Cats Instant Action Unscented Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter is an affordable option that combines several attractive features. It’s unscented, non-clumping, and provides your cat with paw-pleasing clay litter. The product features odor control technology that kicks in when exposed to moisture.
It’s virtually dust and tracking-free and is available in various sizes from 10 to 40 pounds, making it an excellent option for single and multi-cat households. Some cats dislike the consistency of the wet clay after it’s been in the box for a day or two.
11. Arm & Hammer Litter Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer Litter Super Scoop Clumping Clay Cat Litter is a fragrance-free product featuring super absorbent clay. It’s formulated with odor-neutralizing material and has baking soda to provide even more odor-fighting power. It’s 99% dust free and designed to keep tracking to a minimum.
The litter clumps quickly to lock up odors virtually on contact, and it provides outstanding odor control without added fragrances that can be difficult for cats and their humans to tolerate. It comes in 14 and 40-pound options, and it’s neither flushable nor biodegradable.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Unscented Cat Litter
There are several brands on the market that offer various features, which makes it challenging to select the ideal product. Read on for tips on picking a suitable cat litter for your needs.
The Benefits of Unscented Cat Litter
Most products, including crystal and clumping litters, come in scented and unscented versions. Scented litters are great at masking odors, particularly the ammonia-tinged urine smell. But covering up odors is not the same as removing or absorbing them. However, many unscented litters feature products such as baking powder to help neutralize, but not mask, smells.
Cats have sensitive noses; their sense of smell is 14 times stronger than ours. As a result, some cats don’t like the strong fragrances often associated with scented cat litter.
When a cat uses a litter box filled with a scented product, it often tracks the smell into the rest of the house. The scent can be particularly irritating if you’re sensitive to fragrances.
Clumping, Non-Clumping, and Flushable/Biodegradable Options
There are two major types of litter currently on the market: clumping and non-clumping options. There are also clumping and non-clumping biodegradable and “flushable” choices available. Below we’ll cover the ins and outs of the various types of litter.
Clumping litter is mostly made of bentonite clay, a super absorbent product that can soak up almost 15 times its weight in liquid. Clumps are formed when a cat pees into bentonite clay-based litter, making it easy to scoop out the smelly urine.
Many owners find that regularly removing urine from their cat’s litter box reduces odors. The way that ammonia interacts with the chemical properties of the clay drastically cuts down on the distinctive cat pee smell.
Some cat owners find that clumping litter can be particularly dusty and is prone to tracking. It also provides fewer uses per box than other types of litter, making it one of the more expensive options.
Crystal/Silica Non-Clumping Litter
Non-clumping options are also trendy due to the mix of practicality and affordability they provide. The silica absorbs moisture but doesn’t clump together for easy removal.
When your cat pees in the non-clumping litter, the silica soaks up the moisture and absorbs the smells, but you cannot remove the urine-soaked litter from the litter box.
To keep things clean, most non-clumping litter manufacturers recommend scooping out your cat’s poop every day. You’ll also need to stir the litter daily to bring the still absorbent litter to the top.
Unfortunately, the smell is really the only way to know when it’s time to empty the litterbox. Several products on the market include particles that change color when the litter needs changing to help you keep track of changes.
Both scented and unscented crystal/silica non-clumping products are available. Unscented choices often feature products like activated charcoal and baking soda to reduce odors. Silica/crystal non-clumping products are the most affordable options since individual boxes usually cost less than clumping products. Many owners find they need to change the litter less frequently so they don’t have to purchase as many boxes per month.
Flushable and Biodegradable Options
Several manufacturers offer “flushable” cat litter. Most are made of biodegradable products such as corn, sawdust, newspaper, walnut shells, and even dried tofu. The products come in scented and unscented, clumping, and non-clumping options.
Many people turn to flushable litters for convenience. Dumping regular clumping or silica-based litter into the toilet is not recommended since it can destroy the plumbing in your home and wreak havoc in your community’s sewers, often causing blockages that result in flooding and sewage backups.
Because clay and silica products are designed to absorb up to 15 times their weight in liquid, they quickly expand and create problems when flushed. Flushing regular cat litter is not an option, making “flushable” products appear like a pretty good deal!
Yet many people find that “flushable” products cause more than their share of problems for those with septic tanks. Some pet owners with new water-saving toilets have discovered their environmentally-friendly units don’t produce enough water to sweep “flushable” litter away.
The health concerns make flushing any cat litter, even “flushable” options, less than ideal. Water authorities are equipped to treat human waste and often can’t adequately treat the zoonotic parasites and bacteria in cat waste.
The EPA classifies animal waste in water as a pollutant. So, flushing cat waste is a danger to the animals in your environment and the people in your community. Most experts recommend against flushing anything except toilet paper, and human waste down the toilet.
The most significant benefit to the “flushable” brands is their biodegradability. Silica and clay-based choices aren’t environmentally friendly, and used kitty litter ends up in landfills.
Not only does the litter degrade on its own, but you can also compost the non-soiled bits and use them to nourish non-edible plants in your garden! While these products tend to be on the expensive side, there are a few non-flushable, biodegradable choices that are surprisingly affordable.
While you may want to provide your cat with biodegradable litter that’s great for them and wonderful for the environment, it’s important to remain realistic when it comes to the cost. Most cats live for anywhere from 15 to 20 years, and one 15–20 pound box of cat litter often lasts no more than 7 to 10 days.
While you may want to purchase that fantastic dried tofu option, keep in mind that cat litter is a recurring expense that adds up over the years, and it’s vital to provide clean cat litter. Buying an expensive product and trying to stretch out its number of uses will only lead to a cranky cat who’ll most likely choose to take a pee anywhere but in a stinky litter box.
“Flushable,” biodegradable options tend to be the most expensive options not only because you tend to use more but because of the types of materials used. They’re often only available online or in specialty stores. Clumping litters are the second-most expensive choice, followed by silica/crystal non-clumping products.
Your Cat’s Preferences
Most cats prefer one type of litter, and many are happy to show their displeasure when provided with the “wrong” option. It’s usually best to stick to one kind of litter once you’ve determined your cat’s preference. If you decide to switch, make sure to transition slowly, adding a bit of the new product and removing a little of the old every day for 7 to 10 days to allow your cat to become accustomed to the new litter.
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Kitty Poo Club Litter Subscription leads the pack in our reviews due to its convenience and powerful clumping action. Arm & Hammer Ultra Last Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter takes the prize for the best value for the money and is packed with baking soda for robust odor control.
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter is a high-quality choice that’s hypoallergenic and 99% dust free, making it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Lastly, Cat’s Pride Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter is a powerful brand that delivers at least 10 days worth of use per box.
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- The 11 Best Unscented Cat Litters
- 1. Kitty Poo Club Litter Subscription — Best Overall
- 2. Arm & Hammer Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter — Best Value
- 3. Dr. Elsey’s Unscented Clumping Clay Litter — Premium Choice
- 4. Cat’s Pride Lightweight Clumping Cat Litter
- 5. Fresh Step Unscented Clumping Clay Litter
- 6. Litter Pearls Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
- 7. Dr. Elsey’s Crystal Cat Litter Senior Formulation
- 8. Okocat Mini Pellets Clumping Wood Cat Litter
- 9. Okocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Pellet
- 10. Tidy Cats Instant Action Unscented Non-Clumping
- 11. Arm & Hammer Litter Clumping Clay Cat Litter
- Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Unscented Cat Litter