If you are short of time and just want to check out our top pick go look at Feline Pine Cat Litter.
When it comes to cat litter you are inundated with choice – dust-free, clay or pine, tracking or non-tracking… the list goes on! How do you make head or tail of it? The starting point is often to decide if you want non-clumping or clumping cat litter. Once this decision has been made you can narrow down the choices open to you. In this piece, we are going to look at the best non-clumping cat litter available. We have already checked out the best clumping cat litter. We’ll start by looking at the pro’s and con’s of choosing non-clumping, look at the different material options available and then go through the best five options available on the market.
Five Best Non Clumping Cat Litter Choices
- Feline Pine Non-Clumping Cat Litter
- Purina Tidy Cats Non Clumping Litter
- Petsafe Scoopfree Premium Crystal Cat Litter
- Purina Yesterdays News Unscented Non Clumping Cat Litter
- Catspot Coconut Non Clumping Cat Litter
One of the major benefits of this type of litter is that you don’t have to fish about in it on a daily basis. You are not removing clumps and topping up daily. Generally, you fill the tray and the litter absorbs moisture and odor until it is spent. You know when it is spent because you can smell a bad odor off it. For some people, this lack of daily interaction with the tray is a big positive.
A Better choice in multi-cat households
Following on from the low maintenance point, this stuff is usually better where you have multiple cats as you just empty the whole tray once the tray starts to pong. You are not removing clumps several times a day and refilling. In a multi-cat house, non-clumping can bring better time management benefits.
Non-clumping is often made of cheaper materials than clumping so you can get more volume of material for the same price. Additionally, often you might get non-clumping litter materials which absorbs more liquid than a clumping alternative for the same volume of material. The effect is that it works out more affordable by the way it performs rather than the price on the packet.
Better for the environment
Potentially, depending on the material used, non-clumping can be a good environmental choice. Non-clumping might be an organic byproduct of an agricultural or industrial process such as corn stalks, coconut shells/husks or even recycled paper – all of which could be composted in your backyard. You can give common waste material a second use before disposing of it in an environmentally friendly way. Often clumping materials are specialist clays that need excavating for the singular purpose of providing cat litter…
Usually lighter in weight
Not all of us want to be attempting to lift heavy sacks about the place. Natural non-clumping litters made from husks, chippings, or shredded paper are often lightweight by volume when compared to clumping litters.
Tracking is a serious, nasty problem. Many non-clumping litters don’t track easily because they are made of larger fragments that don’t get held by fur or trapped between kitties toes.
Again, simply the nature of the material used means that dust control is often easier with a non-clumping variant. Many chips, peelings, pellets simply don’t dust up as much as clay options. If you or your cat suffer from asthma or you worry about the issues that might arise from inhaling dust, non-clumping alternatives can be the best choice.
Fewer Potential Health Issues
In terms of clay litter clumping clay might cause a problem if your cat gets dust on their coat and then grooms the clay dust off. Some feel that clumping clay ingested in this manner can give rise to health problems in cats in the manner of causing blockages and the like…
Some non-clumping materials might not be as absorptive or odor-controlling as specially formulated clumping litters. It is difficult to know how well crushed walnut shells might compare with clumping clay or even recycled paper until you try. Then again some natural non-clumping litters insist they absorb x5 more than clay….
Can’t spot used litter easily
With clumping litter the used litter is obvious – the clump can be removed and the tray topped up. With non-clumping spotting used litter is harder so you tend to change a whole box once the odor becomes apparent – this may mean changing the whole litter tray more regularly.
Types of non-clumping litter
Non-clumping litter is made of a wide variety of materials all of which seem to have individual basic properties that you should consider when choosing what to buy :
A basic absorptive litter. Not very environmentally friendly – it has been dug up specially to create litter, won’t flush and is not compostable. Usually comes with dust and tracking issues. Heavy to use but probably light on the wallet in terms of till price.
Very absorbent, great odor control, expensive, not environmentally friendly, good dust control, potential tracking issues. Heavy to move around but promises longer life due to amazing absorption and odor control issues. Might need to wean your cat on it….
Lighter than clay, cheaper than crystals, good natural odor control, and no chemical fragrances. Usually dust free and few tracking issues. Fine absorption properties Often consist of formed pellets which can take some getting used to. Compostable, biodegradable and usually from renewable timber sources – high scores on environmental issues.
Crushed walnut shells/Coconut Shells etc
As with pine, except missing that natural forest fragrance. Sometimes has dust and tracking issues as the crushing process doesn’t create a perfect particle size and these generally aren’t turned into pellets. Can be good for cats with sensitive feet because it isn’t pelletized. A cheap alternative to crystals and offers good value for money due to the absorption powers by volume of litter is good.
Cheap, compostable, good for the environment and flushable. Not so hot on odor control, or absorption but generally dust free and free from tracking issues.
Often the best way to assess which material might make a good choice is to check out user reviews. Sometimes the wackiest stuff actually works a treat and the promising stuff falls flat. I feel getting the right choice is often trial and error and you might find that mixing litter types gets the best result.
Here are some of the best non-clumping choices out there right now and some of the qualities that users have identified :
Best 5 Non Clumping Choices
Purina Tidy Cats is a traditional, budget, no-nonsense, non-clumping clay granule cat litter. The clay granules absorb odor and moisture and claim to be 99% dust free and designed for low tracking. If you are looking for a base model at a low till price this is it.
It has good ratings from users. They generally find the price appealing and accept that it might not be the best, the most dust-free, most environmentally friendly or outperform others but cats like it and it does a reliably adequate job.
- Low tracking
- Deodorizing granules which work
- Low dust
- Very competitive on price
- Cats adapt to using it well
- Not very environmentally friendly
- Doesn’t perform as well as other on absorption
- Heavy bags
- Some tracking issues
If the odor really just ruins your day then this silica-based crystal litter is the market leader in odor control. It is more expensive than traditional litters but users think it really does make a big difference. Some even mix this litter with a traditional litter to harness the odor control abilities of this stuff!
This stuff is like a scaled-up version of the silica crystal packets you get in product boxes when the manufacturer doesn’t want humidity affecting the product before it gets to you.
It comes in portioned bags – it is sealed into plastic bags to maintain maximum absorption, you open a bag and place it. The silica then absorbs liquid and locks in odor for up to 5 times longer than normal clay clumping litters.
Users claim this stuff is the ultimate litter – last long, no dust, no tracking, and great odor control. You have to pull out solid waste and mix the crystals for longevity.
- Amazing odor control properties
- Highly absorbing granules
- Long-life – fewer changes
- Lavender or original scent
- Low tracking and dust-free
- Strongly recommended by users
If you really want something that is a bit more environmentally friendly than clay or crystals then Purina’s Yesterday’s News recycled paper litter might be a good choice for you. The recycled paper has been turned into pellets that offer great absorption, relatively dust-free, are hypoallergenic and have few tracking issues than clay due to the pellet size.
On the other hand, not all cats get on with the pellets – it is a texture thing. So if you know your cat has sensitive feet this might not be the choice for you.
Users claim this stuff is much more absorptive than clay and is easier to clean out so if you want to do your bit for the planet and your cat can get used to the pellets this litter could be a good choice.
- Environmentally friendly recycled paper pellet litter
- Highly absorptive compared to clay (x3 more absorption)
- Low tracking due to pellet size
- Odor control without false fragrances
- Dust-free – no dust clouds when changing tray
- Very highly rated due to absorption, odor control, and dust-free
- Easy to clean and no smell.
- Not every cat can get along with the pellets
If an environmentally friendly litter is essential, Feline Pine Cat litter deserves your attention. This is a pine pellet litter made from timber sourced from renewable sources. Additionally, it is biodegradable and compostable, making it a great choice for the environmentally-conscious buyer.
Everyone knows the smell of pine and this litter comes with a natural pine fragrance. The litter is also treated with baking soda. The result is a fresh-smelling litter tray with great natural odor control.
The pellets are dust-free and don’t track. They are highly absorbent with the manufacturer claiming that the 40lb bag is the equivalent of 114lbs of clay in terms of absorbency.
Given its credentials, it is no wonder that users low the odor control and fragrance and the resulting long life you can get out of this litter as a result of that freshness factor.
- Pine pellet natural cat litter – pine from renewable timber sources
- Natural odor control, with baking soda additive
- Highly absorbent
- Pine fragrance
- Half the weight of clay litter 40llbs equivalent of 114lbs of clay litter
- Truly Dust-free
- Biodegradable, compostable
- Very good for the environment
- Doesn’t track
- Customer love the odor control and long life – surprised how far 40lbs can go
- Cats might need encouragement to swap by initial mixing with clay until they understand.
Another environment-friendly offering – funny how disposable organic material makes good litter – from Catspot is this USA made coconut litter.
Made from shells and husks, this is a biodegradable and compostable litter that is lightweight, dust-free, hypoallergenic.
Touted to contain the same absorbency in 5lb as 20lbs of clay, once you are done you can spread it on your flower beds for disposal.
Owners really like this stuff although some are a little critical of tracking issues.
Another good option if you want to do your bit for the planet.
- Only uses coconut husk/shells – no chemical or additives so fewer allergies
- Biodegradable, compostable direct to a flower bed
- 5lb bag has the same absorbency as 20lb clay
- Hypoallergenic, lightweight and dust-free
- Good for allergy sufferers, lightweight, cats seem to like it, easy to dispose of and environmentally friendly
- Some reports of tracking issues and some reports of odor control issues but that might be owners not changing enough.
For us, the Feline Pine Cat Litter would be our choice. I like the environmental credentials and the ability to dispose of it on my property. I appreciate that it comes from renewable sources, but most of all I just like the natural smell of pine. The feedback is tremendous confirming it does what it purports to do and that just makes me trust the product more – our favorite choice!