What every best Cat Litter has:
- Low dust.
- Low tracking.
- No scent.
Wirecutter researches cat litter, talks to experts, tests 10 litters with "fake waste," then tests four litters with a "panel" of a few dozen cats to find the best choice along with some alternatives to consider. Litters that didn't make the final cut are named, along as why they fell short. The review centers on clay clumping litters, but some non-clay alternatives are discussed.
In addition to a wealth of information on the do's and don'ts of cat ownership, veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson discusses specific cat litters she has tried over the years. Analysis here is in-depth and based on years of real-world use. It's worth noting that Pierson strongly feels that a clumping litter "is the only sanitary way to maintain a litter box."
At first glance, we were tempted to dismiss CatLitterHelp.com as yet another affiliate-marketing-driven, anonymous site that was more concerned with generating clicks than offering real help. However, a deeper look revealed that the editors here appear to have actually reviewed the products covered (with the help of their cats, of course) and that they offer some helpful insights into characteristics of products that would matter to cats and their owners, including odor (including odor of the litter itself), clumping ability, messiness and more. Reviews seem fairly balanced, with pros and cons listed for each product.
When it comes to cat litter, there's a good assortment of choices listed at Amazon. While not all brands are extensively reviewed, many receive hundreds of user comments, and some get thousands. Most reviews are just a few lines long, but others are fairly extensive, including some with comparisons with other brands/varieties or reports on long term usage.
Chewy is another online retailer with lots of litters listed. While you won't find quite as much user feedback as at Amazon, many popular brands still attract hundreds and even thousands of reviews. Most write-ups are brief, but some go into decent detail about their -- and their cats' -- experience with the product.
PetSmart sells the major brands of cat litter and is another good destination for user feedback. Though some longer reviews can be found, more are on the brief side. Many brands generate a significant number of reviews, but some of those come from manufacturer web sites and can be seen elsewhere on the Internet as well.
Petco is another big-box pet retailer. As with PetSmart, lots of cat owners leave reviews of products, including cat litter. Comments aren't extensive, but still give a good indication of owner and cat satisfaction.
Pet blogger Daniela Caride compares eight cat litters, giving each a letter grade and brief review. A comparative chart at the end of the write-up makes it easy to compare each product by specific attributes.
Cat author and activist Caroline Golon offers her take on the pros and cons of different types of cat litter. Examples of each type are given, but whether or not those are based on testing, personal experience, or another basis is not well explained. She also offers information on how to transition a cat from one brand or type of litter to another. Her bottom line advice is that "While many litters offer benefits like odor control and clumping abilities that make life easier for humans, the most important thing is how your cat likes it."
You can find lots of tips and suggestions regarding cat litter at Catster, but this older article by Golon is among the most helpful. Here, Golon recommends five types of cat litter that she calls "some of the more unique offerings on the market." Analysis here is fairly brief -- just a paragraph or two for each listing -- though opinions are based on Golon's personal experience. Pros and cons are easily identified, and there are lots of pictures, though there isn't much discussion of cost or economy.
Retailer Walmart carries the more mainstream varieties of cat litter, though many products have amassed a large number of user reviews -- some well into the thousands. Owner feedback is generally cursory, however, especially compared to user reviews at Amazon.
Animal shelter worker and pet sitter Elsie Nelson gives her take on cat litters based on her personal experience. While she touts the environmental advantages of plant-based litters, she also provides information on clay-based products she thinks are good choices as well.
Dr. Karen Becker does not recommend specific cat litter products, but does provide a good overview of the different types of litter, and their pluses and minuses. She also notes that while their human companions might prefer something else, preference studies show that "cats prefer unscented clumping litter with no odor control additives."
This site dedicated to all things cat related includes a section where users can post reviews of cat litter that their cat has tried. Reviews tend to brief, and most litters get far fewer reviews here than what can be found at retailer-related sites such as Amazon and Petco. Still, some additional valuable insights can be gleaned, and articles about cat litter in general as well as forum discussions elsewhere on the site can be somewhat helpful.
Cat nutrition blogger Anne Jablonski doesn't typically review cat litter, but breaks from the norm with her personal take on SmartCat. After a three week trial, Jablonski reports that she and, most important, her cats are thrilled, adding, "I've found the cat litter of my dreams."