Cleaning your cat’s litter box can be a real chore. And if you’re anything like me, you’re probably tired of the piles of dust that so often form every time you change or refill your cat’s litter.
We’ve all been there, but taking the time to find the best dust-free cat litter for you and your cat might just be the game changer you’ve been looking for in minimizing mess while remaining practical and healthy for you and your furry friend.
With so many different types of cat litter on the market today, my search for the best dust-free cat litter options has lead me to try my fair share of different brands over the last little while. Through trial and error I have learned a lot about what’s available, what works and what doesn’t and I’m so excited to share it with you here today.
Our Top Picks.
Why Buy Dust-Free Cat Litter?
One of the first things I consider when deciding which litter I’m going to purchase is how easy it will be to clean. With a busy schedule, I think we can all agree that one of the last things you want to be doing is chasing your cats around the house, tidying dusty paw prints from counters and floors and sneezing through clouds of dust everytime you change the litter box.
Dust-free litter has become a must for me when it comes to avoiding messy litter box changes. Not only does dust-free litter offer a much cleaner approach, but its way healthier for you and your kitties too.
The dust clouds that form when using many common brands of cat litter can be dangerous to both you and your cat’s respiratory systems, especially if either of you are already predisposed to allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Whether it’s for the health benefits or the mess reducing power of dust-free litter, this type of cat litter has become a non-negotiable aspect of my pet care routine.
Can Cat Litter Really Be Dust-Free?
This is a tricky question. While most dust-free cat litters on the market aren’t technically 100% dust-free (although some brands will tell you that they are), there are many brands that offer 99% dust-free options that help immensely in minimizing the dust created around the litter box area.
These no dust litter (or low dust cat litter) options can help to avoid coughing, sneezing and allergic irritations by reducing allergens and irritants for both you and your feline friend, all while keeping your home clean with less dust floating in the air and clinging to surfaces.
Clumping vs. Non-Clumping Litter
When it comes to dust-free litter, there are both clumping and non-clumping options available. For the most part, dust-free litter options are typically of the clumping variety as the agents found in this type of litter tend to reduce the amount of dusty ingredients found in the formula.
While I’ve tested both clumping and non-clumping types of dust-free litter myself, I’ve found my personal favorites to be the clumping variety. They make clean-up easier and clumping litter often lasts a lot longer as you’re usually able to go more time between having to change the litter box in its entirety.
However, I will say that while clumping litter definitely helps in increasing the lasting power of most dust-free litters, one thing that has become really important to me is ensuring that the litter has good odour control.
Because clumping litter clumps together when it has been moistened, deodorizing sprays which have been my go to in the past are sometimes impractical because the moisture can cause the litter to combine.
In order to avoid this unnecessary clumping, finding a cat litter that traps and eliminates odour without any third-party interceptions has become even more important to me in minimizing those unpleasant litter box smells.
The Pros and Cons of Dust-Free Cat Litter
In my opinion, the pros of dust-free cat litter far outweigh the cons that these products have but with that being said there are definitely a few things to consider when deciding whether or not dust-free cat litter is right for you and your pet.
Purchasing a low dust litter tends to be better for our health as well as the health of our feline friends. In addition as I’ve mentioned before, dust-free cat litter is frequently far less messy than some other dustier litter options.
We’ve all seen how much our cats love to dig and shuffle around in their litter boxes and opting for a dust-free litter can help to significantly decrease the dust and debris that gets stirred up whenever our pets use the washroom.
One of the cons of dust-free litter may just be that your cat doesn’t like it. I think we can all agree that cats can be fussy and if they decide they don’t like something, there’s often no convincing them otherwise. So if your cat doesn’t like the dust-free option you’ve chosen, it might mean having to test a different brand or perhaps returning to your previous dustier cat litter.
In addition, some dust-free cat litters can present themselves as the more costly option when compared to litters that contain more dust. This can also contribute heavily as a deciding factor in choosing which litter is right for you and your cat.
Common Ingredients in Dust-Free Litter and What They Mean
Before getting into the breakdowns of my top five dust-free cat litters it’s important to understand the different types of litter that are available and how they differ from one another.
One of the most overwhelming parts about trying to find the right cat litter is deciphering what all the ingredients mean on the box. From silica gel crystals to more natural ingredients, clumping to non-clumping clay, determining how these ingredients change the composition of the litter you are buying can be confusing and difficult to understand.
I’ve broken down some of the most common types of dust-free litter and what exactly these categories of ingredients can mean for you and your cat in order to help give you a better understanding before making your next litter purchase.
Clumping Clay vs. Non-Clumping Clay – The main difference between clumping and non-clumping litters can be found in their ingredients. Most non-clumping litters are comprised of the ingredient calcium bentonite a type of absorbent clay that will absorb moisture until it reaches the point of saturation. In contrast, non-clumping litters are typically made up of the ingredient sodium bentonite, which varies from calcium bentonite in its ability to clump together when it becomes moist.
Silica Gel Crystals – Silica gel crystals are typically made from a “sodium silicate that is processed with oxygen and water.”This process creates a type of small bead that is typically capable of absorbing nearly 40 times its weight in moisture. While this more synthetic formula for cat litter may seem more risky for your cat’s health, the truth is the silica crystals are developed to be completely safe for you and your favorite feline friend!
Natural Materials – Finally, natural materials make up the last major category of cat litter ingredients. Whether you’re looking at paper-based, wood-based or other plant-based litters like corn or wheat, there are tons of natural options on the market. Quite often these natural ingredients are made from recycled materials like newspapers, so looking into the treatment and whether or not the litter is free of dyes and ink is important to consider! One of the biggest pluses to this type of litter is that they are often biodegradable which makes them a more environmentally friendly option than some other varieties.
How to Choose the Best Dust-Free Cat Litter
When choosing the best litter for you and your cat, there’s lots of considerations that you need to take beyond whether or not the litter is dust-free or not.
For instance, odour control, clumping abilities and whether or not the formulas are hypoallergenic can play a large factor in deciding whether a litter brand is a good fit for your household or not.
I’ve tried my fair share of dust-free cat litters and after much trial and error, I’ve put together my top five picks here in this article alongside their features, pros and cons.
I hope this post helps you to decide which brand might be the best fit for you and your cat. Let me know in the comments which brands you’ve tried and if any of your favorites weren’t mentioned here!
Our Top Picks For The Best Dust-Free Cat Litters
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Best Value Dust-Free Cat Litter
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Litter is one of the first dust-free cat litters that I tried and it’s definitely one of my favorite picks from this round-up. It’s really great for minimizing mess and my two furry boys seem to really enjoy it too.
Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Litter uses a combined formula that features heavy non-tracking granules from their Classic Litter mixed with a medium grain clay that not only helps with clumping but also helps drastically in minimizing dust and tracking throughout the house.
Their 99.9% dust-free formula is also hypoallergenic so it’s a great option if you or your cat has any sort of allergy sensitivities as well. Furthermore, the ingredients used in their formulas are all natural, so if you’re looking for a clay litter that incorporates a natural approach to their formula than this one might be a great option for you.
Dr. Elsey’s has a few great litter options and one of the best parts about them is how reasonably priced they are. It’s also good to note that this litter is really great on odour control, not just covering up the scent like some scented or odour-free brands but seemingly eliminating the odour altogether! I’m not kidding when I say that no other litter brand squashes litter box smells like Dr. Elsey’s does.
One thing I will note though, is that you should be careful that you put enough litter in to leave some room between moisture and the bottom of your litter pan. I’ve found sometimes when moisture sinks to the bottom this litter will stick to the bottom of the litter box and it can be a real task to remove it all!
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Litter
Best Overall Dust-Free Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer has been one of the most well known cat litter brands for as long as I can remember. While many of their more traditional litter varieties feature quite dusty formulas, their Clump & Seal – Multi-Cat Complete Odour Sealing Clumping Litter boasts a 100% dust-free formula that’s the closest I’ve found in any brand to actually meeting this total dust-free criteria.
While each of the options I’ve reviewed in this article are incredible dust-free options that my cats have all enjoyed using, Arm & Hammer’s Clump & Seal – Multi-Cat Complete Odour Sealing Clumping Litter is definitely a personal favorite.
Having my two boys, the multi-cat formula works great for absorbing the added moisture of having more than one cat in the household while the odour sealing formula is something that I really appreciate as there’s nothing worse than litter box smells drifting through your house.
I will say, if you’re looking for a scent-free litter option however, this brand does carry a light scent. While I personally find it to be subtle, fresh and helpful in reducing odours, I know some cats (and their humans) are a lot more sensitive to scented litters and it can be a dealbreaker.
Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
Quick Clean Dust-Free Cat Litter
Purina Tidy Cats is another great dust-free cat litter option. Completely unscented and free of fragrances and dyes, this litter is a great option if you or your cat has any sort of sensitivities that might be triggered by additives.
What’s really unique about this litter is that it uses the power of activated charcoal to trap and eliminate odours. The activated charcoal not only works to minimize odours but it’s also a great formulation when it comes to forming tight litter clumps that don’t break apart during scooping and changes.
The formula is 99.9% dust-free and definitely helps a lot in minimizing litter box mess. In fact, I found this litter to be one of the easiest for litter changes. Between its clumping abilities, odour elimination and its dust-free ingredients, pouring new litter during a full litter box change was a breeze.
However, one thing I did discover was that while this litter does a great job at being dust-free, the tracking that occured was a different story. While I’ve definitely experienced worse tracking with some other litter brands, I will warn that this litter did cling to paws a bit more than I would have liked and finding granules of litter on the couch and throughout the house wasn’t entirely uncommon while we were using this brand.
World’s Best Cat Litter with Clumping Formula
Natural Dust-Free Cat Litter
You know that with a name like World’s Best Cat Litter a brand is promising a lot with their product, and the World’s Best Cat Litter with Clumping Formula definitely delivers.
The 99% dust-free and lightweight litter formula is great for keeping messes to a minimum and I found that it does a really great job of not sticking to paws and fur and getting tracked around the house.
The litter is made from a naturally compressed corn formula that traps odours without the nasty ammonia smell that can sometimes escape from clay litters. Pair that with its ability to easily clump into compact balls and it’s not hard to believe that a little bit of this litter will go a long way.
One aspect of this litter that I am weary of however is that it claims to be flushable and septic safe. While some litter brands (especially natural ones) are designed to be able to break down and handle being flushed down a toilet, cat feces often contains a toxin called toxoplasma gondii which can be dangerous to both humans and animals, including sea life, if water in our systems gets contaminated and makes its way out into ocean spaces.
In fact, this bacteria is why many doctors recommend that pregnant and sick people avoid cleaning the litter box altogether whenever possible. While many litters like this one may suggest that they are flushing friendly, I really recommend that you strongly consider the consequence this may have on our environment and fellow wildlife before choosing this route for your choice in litter disposal.
Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Solutions Clumping Cat Litter
Ammonia Blocker Dust-Free Cat Litter
Boasting a 99.6% dust-free formula, the Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Solutions Clumping Cat Litter is the last brand I’m featuring in this round-up of my favorite dust-free cat litters!
The lightweight formula is really where this litter wins in comparison with its competitors. Measuring in at roughly half the weight of other leading clumping litters, this is a great option if you’re having to carry home litter from the grocery store and don’t want to haul some of the heavier brands!
Another feature that I really love about this brand is how it doubles-down on odour protection and elimination. Combining Glade Tough Odor Solutions technology with a powerful Ammonia Blocker, I really did find that the ammonia smell that litter boxes can so often emit was minimized for nearly two whole weeks when using this brand.
One complaint I do have about this litter however is that it tends to stick to kitty paws pretty easily. Over the course of trialling this brand (as well as the other line of Purina litter mentioned above) I found that quite a bit of litter was being tracked throughout the house on the paws of my two boys, not a lot, but definitely enough found that I was discovering bits of litter in some sneaky places throughout the apartment. Not a dealbreaker, but definitely something to consider.
So which litter is best for you and your cat? My personal favorite would have to be, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal – Multi-Cat Complete Odour Sealing Clumping Litter. It is the least dusty cat litter of all the options reviewed and in my eyes the best dust-free cat litter on the market today.
The light scent coupled with its odour eliminating qualities really helped to stop the litter box smells in their tracks and its solid clumps made changing the litter box a quick and easy task each day.
While the other brands reviewed here also do an awesome job at minimizing odour, the ease of cleaning coupled with how little the Arm & Hammer litter was tracked around the house really set this brand apart from the others reviewed here.
If you’re not sure which option sounds right for your household, my recommendation is to try out a few different brands for yourself and see which one you and your cat like the best. Feline’s are notoriously fussy animals and it’s not uncommon for cats to be picky about the type of litter they like in their litter box. Sometimes trial and error really is the best way to find a brand that works best for you and your cat’s lifestyle.
Do you have a favorite brand that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments so I can try it out! I’d love to hear which litters you and your cat are loving right now and whether or not you tried any of the one’s from this post. Don’t be afraid to get in touch!
I have had lots of cats throughout my life and they bring such joy and love to us!
I’m so happy to have discovered you post about cat litter. I’m using a local pet-store brand that is lightweight clumping and scent free. It’s great other than the fact that it is Very Dusty. It’s the main reason I’m thinking of trying another brand. I appreciate you sharing the pros and cons of some of the top brands out there. I agree that there is so much to choose from and it helps to hear about what others have tried.
Once again, thanks for sharing!