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
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
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.
- Virtually dust-free
- Easy to clean
- No odor control
- Doesn’t clump
3. Flushable Option: World’s Best Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
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.
- 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
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
- Sticks to bottom of the litter box
5.Best Crystal Litter: PetSafe Scoop Free Non-clumping Crystal Cat Litter
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
- More expensive
- Best if used with a specific litter box
- Not for sensitive feet
Dust-Free Cat Litter Buying Guide
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?
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.
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.
Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.