There are natural products available in virtually all pet care categories, including kitty litter. For many years, we only had the choice of clay or sand. Today, there are litters made from a wide range of natural products, including plant-based, wood, paper, seeds, nut shells, and even tofu! Many are considered to be safer for both pets and their caregivers, as well as being more environmentally friendly.

But how do you choose the best one?

Top 4 Types of Natural Kitty Litter

The following types of natural kitty litter are most popular among pet parents, although specific brand performance can vary widely. Always check with your Vet before trying something new, especially if your cat has allergies or other health conditions.

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1. Corn Cat Litter

Corn-based cat litter is reputed to be one of the most popular natural options among the cats themselves. Even cats who reject other natural litters seem to be willing to try the corn.

Cat caregivers love it because it’s:

  • Inexpensive
  • Biodegradable & renewable
  • Safe for cats prone to infections or post-surgery
  • Safe for kittens
  • Almost entirely dust-free
  • A natural deodorizer
  • A natural & quick clumper

Medium size corn granules are usually preferred by cats, which also reduces dust and tracking by comparison to smaller granules.

While corn-based cat litter is edible, doing so should be discouraged to avoid blockages or nutritional imbalance.

Example: World’s Best Cat Litter – Corn

2. Wheat Cat Litter

Wheat cat litter is a grain type, made from non-food grade wheat. It’s similar in consistency to clay kitty litters for an improved rate of transition for cats accustomed to clay.

Featuring:

  • Biodegradable & renewable
  • Safe for cats prone to infections or post-surgery
  • Safe for kittens
  • Clumps well, but can take longer to absorb
  • Natural wheat controls odors, but not as well as some other options

There can be fairly big differences in performance between brands. For example, some are more dusty and track more.

While wheat-based cat litter is edible, doing so should be discouraged to avoid blockages or nutritional imbalance.

Example: Wheat Scoop Natural Wheat Litter

Cat using natural kitty litter

3. Pine Cat Litter

Pine cat litter is a byproduct of the lumber industry, which is processed and utilized as shavings or compressed into pellets. Its use of waste products and lack of chemicals makes it a popular choice among eco-conscious cat parents.

Kitty litter made from pine is considered to be a better alternative to clay or other natural litters for a number of reasons:

  • Low dust prevents dangers from inhalation
  • OK for cats with allergies to grains
  • Safe for cats prone to infections or post-surgery
  • Safe for kittens
  • Natural deodorizer
  • Clumps naturally, but you won’t get hard clumps like other litters

Concerns about pine cat litter stem from pine essential oil, which is toxic to cats. However, manufacturers of pine pellet cat litter claim it’s oil-free.

A friend recommended pine kitty litter to us since his cat liked it. Ours did not.

Example: Feline Fresh Instant Odor Control Natural Pine Cat Litter

4. Grass Seed Cat Litter

Grass seed cat litter is exactly as its name implies.

“Mainly seeds of grasses and legumes are used (Poaceae & Fabaceae family) – wheat, maize, soybeans, etc., grown as major crops in the temperate zone,” writes Silviya S. Radanova in the study, Biodegradable Plant Based Cat Litter Fillers – Relevance of the Topic In Bulgaria. “The seeds are rich in starch, which captures moisture and easily forms lumps (Bietz & Lookhart, 1996; Vaughn et al., 2011)… Often the core and whole cob of seeds are used for production of cat litter.”

One of the best hard ‘clumpers’ of all natural kitty litter options. It clumps quickly and just as hard as clay cat litter.

  • Biodegradable & renewable
  • Safe for cats prone to infections or post-surgery
  • Safe for kittens
  • Almost entirely dust-free
  • Clumps naturally & quickly, reducing odors
  • More allergy-friendly

Grass seed kitty litter is one of the most expensive types on the market, but it’s still one of the most popular in the ‘natural’ category.

Example: Only Natural Pet Non GMO Fast Clumping Grass Seed Cat Litter

How Do I Switch Kitty Litters?

If you’re trying new cat litter for the first time, I recommend buying the smallest size possible to test it on your cat.

For the best chance of success, do a slow transition from the old litter to the new one. Use less of the old type and more of the new litter over the course of several weeks. Keep some of the old litter on hand for awhile so you’re ready for a sudden rejection.

Cats can be very fussy about their litter box, so be prepared to try several brands of multiple types. With time and patience, you should find one that’s OK with both you and your cat.

Have you successfully switched your cat to a more natural kitty litter? Please share your tips below!

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Natural Remedies for Hairballs (Trichobezoars / Bezoars) in Cats

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