Best Types Cat Litter

The 5 Best Cheap Cat Litter

A close-up shot of wood-pellet cat litter. In the litter are 7 US monetary bills (2 five dollar bills, 2 ten dollar bills, 1 twenty dollar bill, and 2 hundred dollar bills).

It’s no secret that having a cat costs money. The initial investment of all of the supplies, adoption fee, and the ongoing, lifelong costs can quickly add up. Even though your kitty is worth every penny, looking for ways to save money can benefit your budget. One way to save some money is by using a cheap (but good) cat litter.

Since cheap is a relative term, this guide focuses on cat litters that cost under $0.75 per pound (at the time of this writing).

1. Best Overall Choice: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter

Precious Cat Unscented Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
99. 9% dust free and low tracking.
Uses natural ingredients for odor control.
Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom and makes it easier to scoop.

Here’s a low-cost cat litter that seems to have it all. Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter is a clay-based, clumping litter that is also low dust. It claims that it is 99.9% dust-free, making it an excellent choice for cats and people with dust allergies. Low dust also means less mess.

Speaking of less mess, this cheap cat litter is also tight clumping, making it easier to scoop to remove more waste. It is made to clump around liquids before they get the chance to reach the bottom of the litter box, creating that cement-like stickiness that can be so hard to remove. This cheap cat litter also locks in odors, not mask them, to keep your house smelling clean. This cat litter is less tracking. The medium-sized litter granules are formulated to not stick in between your cat’s toes and track around the house. On top of all that, Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter is formulated for multi-cat households, meaning it can maintain freshness with many uses.

The label on Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter says to layer 3-4″ in the bottom of the litter pan. Any less, and it won’t clump as promised, leaving a sticky mess to scrape out. The only drawback is this litter might not take care of odors as well as other products.


  • Tightly clumping
  • Low dust
  • Less tracking


  • Can become sticky if not enough litter is used
  • Less odor control than other litters

2. Best Odor Control: Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter 24/7 Performance

Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
Tidy Max ammonia blocker blocks ammonia odor for up to 2 weeks.
99.9% dust-free.
Tidy Max Moisture Activated Power Pieces provides outstanding moisture control to the litter box.

Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Cat Litter is tough on litter box odors. It takes a three-step approach to lock odors away so that your house smells fresh and clean and your cat won’t turn up their nose at their litter box. The first step is the Tidy Max Ammonia Blocker which helps to neutralize the ammonia smell. The second step is Absorptive Power Pieces activated on contact with moisture to lock away wetness and odor in a tight clump. The third step is a continuous odor control system to lock away odors and neutralize them around the clock.

This cheap cat litter is also low dust and tight clumping to prevent allergies and stuck-on messes. If that doesn’t seem like your perfect cheap cat litter, look into other cat litter products from Tidy Cat: Instant Action, which works to control odor on the spot, Tidy Cat with Glade, which provides a pleasing scent, or 4-in-1 which is meant for those tough litter box smells or multi-cat households.

Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance and other Tidy Cats Cat Litter products are scented, which can be overpowering for some, especially when first opening the bag. If you or your cat has a sensitivity to strong scents, this may not work for you. Also, as with all clumping litter, not putting enough in the litter box can make clean-up more difficult by creating a sticky mess on the bottom of the pan.


  • Triple-approach odor control
  • Low dust
  • Low tracking


  • Possibly overwhelming fragrance
  • Creates sticky mess if enough isn’t used

3. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter- Best for Multiple Cats

ARM & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
100% dust-free.
Specially formulated to seal and destroy odors before they leave the cat litter box.
Plant-derived particles help create rock solid clumps for easy scooping.

If you have a lot of kitties or your litter box smells like you do, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter may be a good fit for you. This litter is clay-based with plant materials to form a tighter clump that locks in odors and helps keep the bottom of your litter box clean. Moisture-activated Micro-Granules clump tightly around waste to ensure no leakage, making it easier scooping and cleaning. This is definitely something that you want in a multi-cat litter.

Along with locking in odors, this cheap cat litter also uses Arm & Hammer baking soda to neutralize odor. They believe in their product so much that they guarantee an odor-free litter box for at least seven days or your money back (at the time of this writing). This litter is also considered 100% dust-free, so it shouldn’t irritate allergies or create a dusty mess in your home.

This is another fragranced cat litter that can be too much for some cat parents and cats alike. This cheap cat litter may not be for you if you can’t stand a strong, perfumy scent.


  • 100% dust-free
  • Odor control and clumping ability for multi-cat households
  • 7-day odor control guarantee


  • Possibly strong perfumy fragrance
  • Different texture than previous formulas

4. Best Non-Clumping: Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter

Special Kitty Unscented Natural Clay Cat Litter
Fragrance free and highly absorbent.
Made from 100-percent natural ground clay.

Special Kitty Natural Clay litter is a simple, no-frills cat litter. It is a non-clumping yet highly absorbent formula that will help lock away moisture and odors without creating a stuck-on mess in your cat’s litter box. It also has no added fragrances or colors and is nearly dust-free.

Non-clumping cat litter needs to be used properly to have the best odor control. This cat litter needs to be emptied every day to provide the best results. Since it is non-clumping, scooping is hard to do. Even though all of the cat litters on this list are relatively cheap, this product is even less expensive.

This cheap cat litter is non-clumping and clay-based, so even though it claims to be dust-free, there is still plenty of dust to go around. This can be a problem for cats with respiratory issues or allergies. Also, it does have to be changed every day, which might not be on everyone’s want-to-do list.


  • Inexpensive
  • Highly absorbent
  • Simple formula


  • Needs to be changed daily
  • Dusty

5. Most Eco-Friendly: Fresh News Recycled Paper Multi-Cat Litter

Fresh News Recycled Paper, Original Pellet Multi-Cat Litter
Over 99% dust free and 100% non allergenic, giving you a cleaner litter box and home.
Recycled Paper Litter has super absorbent strength, almost three times more than clay.
Made with 100% post consumer paper from recycling centers, it is safe for all animals and is biodegradable.

Fresh News is a pelleted form of cat litter made from compressed recycled newspaper. It is highly absorbent, dust-free, and hypoallergenic. It is also easy to clean up and has minimal tracking. It also doesn’t clump, so there is no scooping necessary. All you have to do is remove the wet pellets or dump the entire litter box every couple of days to control odors.

Since this cat litter isn’t made from clay, there is no chance it will make a sticky mess on the bottom of the litter box. It also won’t produce dust or a clay smell. Unlike other pelleted brands, Fresh News pellets retain their shape.

For cat owners that are used to scooping, this cat litter may take some getting used to. With no clumps to identify waste, it may be hard to determine what needs to be scooped and what doesn’t. Your best bet is to use smaller amounts and dump the entire litter box frequently. Even though this cat litter doesn’t track much, it can be easily kicked out of the litter box if your cat is a vigorous scratcher.


  • Easy to clean up
  • Eco-friendly
  • No clay smell


  • No clumping to determine what needs to be scooped
  • Can be easily kicked out of the litter box

Best Cheap Cat Litter Buying Guide

The paw of a white cat can be seen stepping on a small stack of US monetary bills. Only the top bill can been seen, which is a 100 dollar US bill.

You’re probably well aware that all cat litter is not created equal and that the pricing can vary greatly. Price is often an indication of the quality, but it is not always the case. With this in mind, here is what to look for in cheap cat litter so that you and your cat aren’t left wanting more from their litter box.

Commonalities of Cheap Cat Litter

Less expensive cat litters are more than likely going to be made of clay. Cat litters made from plant material, crystal beads, or newspapers are going to cost more simply because they are more expensive to produce.

The majority of cheap cat litters will also be non-clumping. Non-clumping cat litters can still work well as long as you use them properly. Using smaller amounts of litter and dumping and cleaning the entire box daily is the best way to reduce odors.

With a budget-friendly price, cheap cat litters do have a few downsides. First of all, they may create more dust and tracking. Tracking can be reduced by using a mat or rug under the litter box to catch any errant litter. To prevent dust, be sure to pour your litter in a well-ventilated area.

Clay litters may not trap smell as well as other litter, and they may smell like, you guessed it, clay. Frequent cleaning is the best way to eliminate any litter box odor or use additives like baking soda to cut down on the smell.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Cat Litter

With lower-priced cat litters, you can forget the bells and whistles. There are also going to be limited options of any eco-friendly materials. This basically leaves you with clay cat litters, but there’s still plenty to choose from there.

Let’s look at some of your options:

Scented or Unscented: This one is highly dependent on your personal preference. Some people don’t like an overpowering perfume smell, while others appreciate a little something besides the smell of clay, or worse, cat urine. Many cheap cat litters will provide you with either option. Also, remember your cat’s preference for this as well. Some cats may turn up their nose at a floral smell.

Clumping or Non-Clumping: Most cheap cat litters will be non-clumping. Clumping does allow you to scoop in between box cleanings, but it also may clump between your cat’s toes. Non-clumping requires a complete change of litter to get rid of wastes but may be friendly to your cat’s feet.

Odor Control: Some litters lock in odors better than others without masking them. As a general rule, cheaper cat litters will not be as good at this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find one that works for you.

Texture: Cat litters come in different sizes and even shapes. Some can be quite large, while others are smaller. Both have advantages and disadvantages, including getting stuck between toes or being uncomfortable for your cat to step on. Do a little experimentation to see what your cat prefers—most of the time, kitties like something with a texture close to sand.

Cost: This one may seem a little weird since this guide is about cheap cat litters, but it’s important to figure out your cost per use. This is because some cheaper cat litters may require you to use more, and some of the more expensive cat litters can get by with less, making the actual cost per use about the same.

Final Thoughts

You love your kitty, but the lifelong costs of food and cat litter can quickly add up. Choosing one of the best cheap cat litters may be a way of reducing your overall cat care costs. I hope that this guide will help you choose the best cheap cat litter for you, your cat, and your budget.

The 5 Best Dust Free Cat Litters

Blue cat litter box on a brown table filled with brown cat littler and a blue scoop


Which Dust Free Cat Litter Is the Best?

You may love your cat, but their litter box makes you want to run and hide. It’s not so much the cleaning of the litter box; it’s the thin layer of litter dust that coats everything within a 10-foot radius. Not to mention the cloud of fine dust you inhale every time you refill it. A good solution is finding a cat littler that doesn’t produce tons of dust. Let’s take a look at some of the best dust free cat litter on the market today.

1.  Best Overall:  Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Platinum Cat Litter

ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
A great, dust free cat litter that forms rock hard clumps for easy scooping.

You may already be a fan of Arm & Hammer cat litter’s odor control using baking soda, and now you can be a fan of a dust-free version. Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Platinum cat litter is made from plant material instead of clay, so it is dust-free.

However, this plant material is still clingy and forms a tight clump around all liquid and solid waste, making it easy to scoop and remove. With their tried and true baking soda formulation, odors may be reduced as well. This litter is backed by a guarantee that your house will smell less like a litter box in seven days or your money back.

In addition to using plant materials for less dust, there is also moisture activated Micro-Granules that further seal the clumps together so that your cat tracks less litter around the house.

Even with the guarantee, some cat parents still have trouble with litter box odor. Some had trouble with the scent of the litter itself being overpowering. Either way, with the better clumping technology of this litter, frequent cleanings are made easier, so smell can be less of an issue.


  • Zero dust
  • Plant instead of clay-based
  • Less tracking


  • Still some odor issues
  • Scented version may be overpowering


2.  Best Eco-Friendly Option:  Purina Yesterday’s News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter

Purina Yesterday's News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter, Unscented
Made with recycled paper that is highly absorbent.

Good choice for those who prefer full litter box changes instead of scooping.

Yesterday’s News from Purina is an eco-friendly twist on traditional cat litter. This cat litter is made from recycled newspaper compressed into pellets, so there’s no chance for dust. These pellets absorb liquids and swell so that they are easier to scoop. It surrounds and sticks to solid waste as well. The size of the pellets also makes it less likely to stick between your cat’s toes and be tracked around the house.

This cat litter is so free from dust that it is often prescribed for use following a declawing procedure or any other injury to the toes and paws. The pellets are gentle and clean, helping those new surgery sites to heal. This cat litter can also be used in small quantities, allowing for a full litter box dump and cleaning each day to help reduce odor.

While Yesterday’s News is highly absorbent of waste, it doesn’t do much for absorbing odor. It does come in scented versions that will help mask those litter box odors, but we all know what that’s like. Because of this, more frequent litter box cleanings may be required.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Virtually dust-free
  • Easy to clean


  • No odor control
  • Doesn’t clump


3.  Flushable Option:  World’s Best Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula for Multiple Cats
Best choice for those looking for a natural (whole-kernel corn) litter without any harmful chemicals or artificial perfumes.

For a natural clumping cat litter that is virtually dust-free, look into World’s Best Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter. This product is made from corn, so it’s sustainable and naturally absorbent without the clay dust that most clumping cat litters contain. This also means it’s flushable, so no more garbage bags full of clumped litter to haul to the dumpster. In the long run, however, it’s probably better to dispose of it in the trash than your toilet.

This litter clumps quickly, meaning it traps odors fast as well. The clumps are tight and easy to scoop, locking the odor in with it, and it doesn’t leave that cement-like goo stuck to the bottom of your litter pan. This is excellent news if you have multiple cats and litter boxes to take care of.

A downside of this cat litter is that it is made of corn, so cats with corn allergies could be affected. While corn allergies are relatively uncommon, you might not want to take a chance if you have a sensitive kitty. Also, coming from an organic source means that it can attract bugs, and some cat parents have opened their new bags of World’s Best Cat Litter to find it “littered” with bugs.


  • Natural
  • Flushable
  • Clumps tightly with odor control


  • Not for cats with corn allergies
  • May attract bugs


4.  Best Budget-Friendly Option:  Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Good choice for odor control and easy to scoop clumps.

This clay litter is almost completely dust-free. The difference between Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter and other clay clumping cat litters is it uses heavier weight clay particles instead of the small, dust promoting variety. This helps to create a tight clump without creating a dust cloud every time it’s touched.

The particle size prevents that “sticky mess” we’re all used to with clumping clay litters, so it is less easily tracked around the house. Even though it’s less sticky, it does its job well. This litter will still form a tight clump that is easy to scoop and helps lock in odors. This cat litter is also free from any fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals, so it works great for cats with allergies or other sensitivities. It’s also a good litter if you’re on a budget.

This litter may track less mess, but it tends to form that clingy layer at the bottom of the litter box. This may be remedied by keeping the litter a little deeper so that it has time to clump before reaching the bottom of the pan. It still might take a little extra elbow grease to clean, though.


  • Less tracking
  • Less expensive
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Sticks to bottom of the litter box


5.Best Crystal Litter:  PetSafe Scoop Free Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter

PetSafe Scoop Free Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter
The best choice for convenience when used together with the Self Cleaning Litter Box.

Another option for dust-free litters are ones that use crystals the like this PetSafe Crystal Cat Litter. This litter is made from moisture and odor absorbent crystals-not clay, wood, or newspaper. These crystals are large enough that they won’t stick between kitty toes to be tracked around and are virtually dust-free. These crystals may be large, but they are lightweight, making a large bag easier to manage than other cat litters.

The crystals in PetSafe Scoop Free are so absorbent that they will lock in moisture from liquid waste and even dry out solid waste to make it easier to scoop. This absorbency goes for odors as well, and it can effectively lock in smells even in multi-cat households.

This cat litter is designed to be used with the ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box, but regular litter boxes would work too. However, the crystals’ longevity seems to be shorter if it’s not used with the self-cleaning box. This means that the odor absorbency might not last if used with the self-cleaning litter box. Also, since they are crystals, they may have some rough edges that may be tough for older kitties or those with sensitive paws to use.


  • Highly absorbent
  • Non-tracking
  • Lightweight


  • More expensive
  • Best if used with a specific litter box
  • Not for sensitive feet


Dust-Free Cat Litter Buying GuideA grey and black cat stepping out of a blue litter box filled with brown litter

Cats in the wild just use dirt or sand, so how could there be so many choices out there when it comes to cat litter? It may be hard to understand how something so seemingly simple can have so many different options. When it comes to dust-free cat litters, the benefits should speak for themselves. Here are things you should be aware of when looking for the best dust-free litter for you and your cat.


What is Dust Free Cat Litter?

Most traditional cat litters use silica clay. It’s very absorbent, but being a product made from dirt, it comes with its fair share of dust. For a cat litter to be dust-free, it is usually made from another substrate or has additional ingredients to bind up that dust. With this in mind, dust-free cat litters can be made from wood shavings, newspaper, walnut shells, corn, or clay, to name a few. They may have a different texture than traditional clay litters and be clumping or non-clumping. They will also have varying degrees of odor control.


Why Choose a Dust Free Cat Litter?Pour light brown cat litter into a light blue cat litter box

This may seem obvious-no dust, right? This means no more cleaning the area every time you fill the litter box. Also, less dust inside the litter box means fewer particles sticking to your cat’s feet to be tracked around the house. Less dust means a cleaner home, not just a cleaner litter box.

Dust-free isn’t just about cleanliness. It also can mean less respiratory irritation. The silica dust from normal clay litters can irritate your cat’s airways, causing respiratory issues like asthma. Some cats may be so sensitive to this dust that they cough, sneeze, or wheeze after every litter box use, causing further irritation.

While this isn’t an issue for every cat, those who have a respiratory illness or respiratory condition can be affected greatly. That goes for you too. It’s hard not to breathe in some of that dust cloud when you fill or scoop the litter box, and those dust particles can cause irritation or inflammation in your lungs as well.


How to Choose the Best Dust Free Cat Litter

There’s more than one option when it comes to dust-free cat litter, so it’s not always easy to pick the best one. Here are some features that you can choose from.


Clumping vs. Non-Clumping

Depending on the dust-free substrate, it may or may not naturally clump. Some will have additional ingredients to help them stick together around liquid or solid waste. They will also vary on the time that it takes to clump. Some will clump almost instantly, while others take a few seconds. The amount of time it takes to clump will also affect the odor control and whether you’ll have that sludge at the bottom of the litter box or not.

If you like to scoop, go for a clumping litter. If you would rather dump the whole box at once, use a non-clumping version.


Odor Control

Different litter substrates are going to have different odor control abilities. Some won’t have any odor control and will frequently need box cleaning, while others will have added ingredients to lock-in that odor. If you’re a frequent scooper, you may get by with less odor control. If you have multiple cats or don’t want to clean the litter box every day, look for an odor control option.


Scented or Unscented

Scented cat litters usually don’t get rid of odors, but instead, mask them with something else. Some of these scents are subtle, while others may be a little strong.



Most clay litters have similar textures, but when you get to using other substrates, those textures can be varied. Some are pelleted, while others may vary in shape. If you have a picky kitty, you will need to pay attention to these textures. The texture will also play a role in whether the litter tracks outside of the litter box. Generally speaking, the bigger the litter particles, the less tracking, but also the less willing your cat will be to using it.


Cost and Convenience

Cat litters can be expensive. Buying the most expensive litter doesn’t mean it’s the best for you and your cat. You’ll want to look at your cat’s preferences in textures and scents and choose something that will work for both of you. In most cases, this will take some experimentation to figure out.



Dust-free cat litter may be an excellent choice for a cleaner home and a must if your cat has respiratory issues. These cat litters come from a variety of sources, so to start with, find one that’s similar to your current litter to keep your cat interested. You can then experiment with others from there.