Clay kitty litter may work just fine, but it isn’t good for the environment. You might worry about chemicals, or about whether the litter will break down over time.
Eco friendly cat litter can be just as effective as regular litter, but you don’t have to worry about it hurting the environment.
Thinking of making the switch? Here’s what you need to know to find the best eco friendly, natural cat litter.
Why use eco friendly, natural cat litter?
Regular clay cat litter can contain additives that harm the environment. Not only that, but when you throw away scooped litter, it goes right to a landfill, where it stays for a very long time.
Some eco friendly litter is biodegradable, and even those that aren’t are still better for the environment.
Natural cat litter doesn’t have the chemicals that regular litter does, which makes it ideal for cats that accidentally consume litter when cleaning their paws (especially kittens).
How to choose the right eco friendly cat litter
If you’re ready to switch to eco friendly cat litter, here’s what to look at to find a good fit for you, and your cat.
Does it clump?
Natural cat litter comes in both clumping and non clumping forms. Many cat owners prefer clumping litter, since it’s easier to clean.
However, clumping litter isn’t for every cat. For instance, kittens really shouldn’t have clumping litter until they’re older, since they often accidentally ingest some.
Cats can get picky when it comes to the feel of their cat litter. When it comes down to it, if they’re not comfortable, they avoid using it.
Most cats prefer a finer texture, rather than large, hard chunks of litter. You know your cat best, so keep their preferences in mind.
Dust and odor control
Whether natural or not, some litters have excellent dust and odor control, while others have barely any.
Litters that produce very little or no dust are always best. As dust gets kicked up, your cat inevitably inhales some of it. Even with natural, eco friendly cat litters, it’s best to help your cat avoid it.
On your part, litter box odor is unpleasant at best. Find a litter that has some form of effective odor control, or use odor control crystals to keep the smell away.
Did you know there’s eco friendly, flushable cat litter too? Keep in mind not all natural cat litters can be flushed, but it’s a bonus if you can.
Likewise, there are biodegradable cat litters, so even if you have to toss them out, you know they won’t spend a century hanging around a landfill.
Scooping litter is never fun, but it’s better when you know how to properly dispose of it.
What kinds of natural cat litter are there?
Coconut is a popular natural cat litter option. It absorbs liquids very well, and it’s biodegradable too.
This type of litter is usually made out of husks and fibers from coconuts, so it doesn’t use extra natural resources.
2. Recycled paper
This is a choice you can feel good about, since it doesn’t expend any extra natural resources.
Cats seem to enjoy litter made from recycled paper, since it’s soft and fine to the touch. The downside is that it does need to be changed frequently, and typically doesn’t clump.
However, it’s more affordable too, so it balances out.
Walnut cat litter is fine grained, so cats do take to it pretty well. It’s also more difficult to see clean vs dirty litter because of the color, though. It doesn't let off much dust, but it can get tracked since the grains are so fine.
On the other hand, it does clump better than many natural litters.
You need to keep an eye on corn litter, since it can be susceptible to mold. However, it does offer really good odor control, and it clumps well too.
Corn litter makes harder clumps (which makes scooping easier), so it’s a top choice for natural litter.
Wood litter traps odors well, and even lends a natural fragrance depending on what type of wood is used.
There are a variety of options with this litter, and you’ll see it come in clumping and non clumping form, as well as pellets and chunky granules.
Wheat is another material used in natural cat litter, since it forms clumps and contains odors naturally.
It’s also a totally renewable source, so there’s no guilt over wasting resources.
1. Best Flushable Natural Litter: Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
This litter is made from wood that would otherwise be discarded, so you can feel good about the material. It clumps really well, and the pellets are surprisingly absorbent.
Another bonus to the pellet texture is that there’s really no dust, even if your cat is an avid digger. Wood is a great material for natural litter, since it holds odors and moisture.
The result is a litter that keeps even the stinkiest messes contained for a long time. Bonus: it’s even flushable, and won’t clog your pipes!
- Flushable, biodegradable, with eco friendly packaging
- Holds odors and moisture very well
- Forms strong clumps
Cons:Tracking is common
2. Best Clumping Litter: World’s Best Cat Litter
World’s Best has a great reputation, natural litter or not. That said, when it comes to eco-friendly, natural cat litters, it’s definitely one of the best out there. Made from corn, the litter is biodegradable and even flushable (yes, it’s septic safe too).
When it comes to the actual litter box, it’s one of the best clumping litters. The clumps form pretty much right away, which means very few stick to the sides of the box. Plus, it keeps odors at bay, even if you have multiple cats.
- Makes good clumps on contact with liquid
- Septic safe, flushable
- Fine texture that cats like
- Seems to create more dust
3. Best Value: Feline Pine Natural Cat Litter
Feline Pine is one of the most budget friendly natural cat litters out there. Don’t worry, you don’t lose any effectiveness with the lower price tag.
Since it’s made of natural pine fibers, it has a fresh natural scent, and absorbs litter box odors very well. They do have clumping formulas available, although the original formula is non clumping.
That makes it ideal for kittens under three months, and other cats that may accidentally ingest litter.
There’s virtually no dust, so you know your cat can breathe easy.
- Odor control and pine fresh scent
- Good for kittens
- Great value and very budget friendly
- Should not be flushed
4. Best Wheat Litter: Wheat Scoop Natural Fast-Clumping Wheat Cat Litter
This litter is good for the environment, and it’s good for sensitive cats too. There’s no dust or additives to irritate cats with allergies or respiratory issues.
It’s even safe to use for kittens, or cats in recovery. The natural starches in the litter make it clump quickly, which is a big money saver in the long run.
Another bonus is that when you’re done scooping, you can get rid of it (almost) however you want. It can be conveniently flushed, taken to the trash, or even composted since it’s 100% biodegradable.
- Safe for sensitive cats
- Easy to dispose of
- Clumps quickly
- Clumps aren’t as hard
5. Best for Multiple Cat Homes: Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Litter
The litter box is already a chore, and with multiple cats, it can be a big burden. The Blue Buffalo natural litter keeps odors in the litter, and prevents them from seeping out.
It’s made of walnut shells, making it a renewable option, and one that stays fresh for a long time. The litter absorbs way more than you’d think it would, so multiple cats can use it without running into another cat’s old litter.
Because it absorbs so well, it also lasts longer than most litters.There’s no dust either, so it’s great for cats with allergies.
- Good for multiple cats
- Controls odors very well
- Lasts longer than most litter
- Color makes it hard to see dirty litter
The Top Pick!
When it comes to natural cat litter, it should be convenient to use, for you and your cat. The less dust the better, since you don’t want your cat getting it into their lungs.
As pet owners, the way it clumps is just as important as how well it controls odors. Litter duty is a pain, and the best cat litters can make it a little more bearable.
Of course, we can only choose one winner for the best eco friendly, natural cat litter.
So which one wins this round? World’s Best Cat Litter gets the title for being so easy to dispose of (it’s flushable and biodegradable), easy to scoop, and clumps so well. Of courses, odor control is a huge bonus.
The fact that cats can seamlessly switch to this litter from another is the cherry on top.