Two kittens close up

Many cat owners prefer felines over dogs because the former tend to need less maintenance in general. That’s because cats instinctively know how to clean after themselves.

You can help your feline friends along by providing them with a litter tray. Cats will naturally relieve themselves on the litter because it mimics how their ancestors used to do it in the wild. That is, take a dump in the sand and cover it up to mask the smell.

However, if your cat doesn’t like his litter tray due to the smell, texture, or some other reason, he will go to the loo elsewhere in your house. Which isn’t good, of course.

That’s why, as an owner, one of the most crucial decisions you need to make it what cat litter to use. If your cat takes a liking to them, they will use it every time. You’ll get a cleaner house with fewer cat droppings scattered about.

So today, we’ll help you along by going through some of the best cat litters in the UK you can purchase for your pet.

How to Choose the Best Cat Litter

Choosing the perfect cat litter for your feline friend boils down to two main things you need to consider. The first is the type of cat litter, and the second is what type of ingredient the cat litter is made out of.

We’ll discuss these more below.

However, one thing you need to realize is that there is no one “right” cat litter for all cats. Your feline friend will be partial to one type or the other. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to find out except to try and experiment!

Aside from that, there are also some cat litter considerations for you as an owner. For example, is being environmentally friendly vital to you? Then you want to get something that’s biodegradable. There is also cat litter that minimizes odours, so that would be a deal-breaker if bad smells are a big problem for you. 

Types of Cat Litter

Cat litter can be grouped into two main categories, each with a further two subcategories to form four different variables.

Clumping vs Non-Clumping

Clumping refers to the way some cat litter form into a big mass that can be quickly scooped. Clumping cat litter makes cleaning the litter box effortless and economical because they tend to form into these scoopable balls.

When your feline friend urinates on one part, the wet part clumps together so you can easily throw it away and replace it with fresh litter. This also tends to trap the smell of urine, reducing bad odours from forming.

A minor danger with clumping litter is that it might be an attractive thing for kittens to chew, which can cause digestion problems. For younger kittens below five months old, it’s better to use the non-clumping variant.

Non-clumping litter cannot form balls when wet, so they’re not as easy to clean. But they do have the advantage of being much more absorbent than the clumping type.

What this means for you is that you don’t need to change out litter as often. However, this can leave urine smell sitting on the litter box for longer. Good non-clumping litter brands should have some kind of odour control to mitigate this limitation.

So to recap, clumping cat litter is better for reducing smells, while non-clumping cat litter requires less maintenance. What you choose, of course, depends on what your preference is.

Scented vs Unscented

Some cat litter is scented to help mask the bad smell from the litter tray. If you’re using a non-clumping type and odour is becoming an issue, using a scented variety can help make things more manageable.

However, some cats are bothered by scented litter, so you might need to swap them for an unscented type if required. The good news is that some unscented litter can provide odour control using natural ingredients like carbon or plant extracts.

Switching Cat Litter

In your quest to find the perfect cat litter, you’ll inevitably try a few brands or types before you get to one that your cat really likes. Switching, however, is tricky. Your cat might not like the new litter and avoid her tray entirely.

The key is to do a slow transition. Fill the tray with the new litter gradually over a week or so. This is especially true if the texture or scent is a radical change.

You can also invest in a few extra trays and lay out different brands of cat litter in each. Observe your cat, see where they often go, and you’ve found your winner!

Cat Litter Ingredients

There are many, many different ingredients used in cat litter. Each would have their unique properties, as well as advantages, disadvantages, and best situations to use them. For example, some are naturally clumping, while others have odour control properties. Of course, there are more environmentally-friendly choices than others.

We’ll list down some of these common cat litter ingredients and their pros and cons.

Clay

Best for: owners who want to change cat litter less frequently

Clay is a typical cat litter ingredient that can form quick clumps, so cleanup is relatively easier than most. They have excellent odour control properties, even in their unscented form. A scented clay litter can add even more smell masking ability.

The big drawback of clay is that it’s a non-biodegradable material, so you need to take extra care when disposing of them. It also creates lots of dust particles, so it might not be ideal if you have people with asthma or allergies living with you. For people who want to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, clay might not be a perfect cat litter to have. 

Silica Gel

Best for: minimal litter maintenance over the long term

Silica is a common ingredient that you’ll often see included in food packaging and electronics. It’s a highly absorbent material, which is superior at keeping moisture off your litter tray. Dust-free and trackless, it’s ideal for people with respiratory problems.

Silica can be successfully reused for up to a month, so it can be an economical even if the upfront cost tends to be expensive than other cat litter. However, silica can cause indigestion if your cat accidentally swallows it, so that’s something you need to carefully watch out for.

Recycled Paper

Best for:  cats recovering from surgery or injury

This is a very environmentally-friendly material made from recycled paper that’s cut into small pieces. Paper is naturally non-clumping and creates no dust. It’s also one of the cheaper kinds of cat litter, and one of the best litter for training since it creates no dust or particulates.

The con of recycled paper is that it’s very basic, offering nothing beyond being absorbent. It has no odour control and might require frequent changing compared to other litters.

Wood or Pine

Best for: environmentally-friendly owners

Wood or pine is a by-product of leftover timber. It’s a versatile cat litter that can be used for more than just in your litter tray. You can also use it as mulch in gardening and landscaping. 

As far as cat litter material goes, this is one of the most natural you can get. It’s a non-clumping biodegradable and environmentally safe. Its pine scent naturally deodorises your litter, and it’s dust-free as well.

The only drawback is the pine scent, which some may find offensive. But if you can get past that, wood is a fantastic cat litter material.

Walnut

Best for: reducing the smell of urine

This litter ingredient uses crushed walnut shells, which creates a highly absorbent bed for your litter box. It’s available in both clumping and non-clumping variants, depending on your preference. It’s biodegradable and sustainable since it comes from a renewable source (walnuts). It also produces no dust or tracking.

One of the best advantages of walnut cat litter is its ability to eliminate ammonia, which is what makes urine smell so bad. It’s also low on maintenance, and you can leave it up to a month before it needs to be swapped.

The clumping version, however, doesn’t readily clump, unlike clay. So this is something you need to keep in mind.

Wheat

Best for: owners who want a sustainable and naturally clumping cat litter

Wheat comes from the same starchy ingredient used in baking. It’s naturally absorbent and naturally clumps when wet, forming dough balls. It’s also a dust-free, biodegradable, and sustainable litter material.

The problem with wheat is that it’s more susceptible to pests since it’s a food source. You have to be much more careful with storing these grains than any other type of cat litter.

Best Cat Litter in the UK 2020

World’s Best Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: Clumping
  • Scented: No
  • Material: Corn

When a company claims they’re the best, we’re usually sceptical. But in the case of World’s Best Cat Litter, it does seem to live up to its name.

This cat litter is made of corn granules, which is a highly absorbent material. Corn’s structure is composed of many tiny pores, which do an excellent job of capturing urine and preventing the smell from escaping. You’ll see (or, rather smell) this first hand when you won’t notice any scent even after repeated peeing by your cat.

The cat litter also forms into nicely compact balls that don’t fall apart when you pick them up. They’re surprisingly light for their appearance, too, so you don’t need a whole sack of it as you do with clay. They’re easier to carry as well.

And picking them up is super easy as well. A simple shovel or even a gloved hand is all you need to clean up your litter tray. A good thing is that this litter can be flushed directly down the toilet without clogging, saving you a trip to the dustbin.

Corn is also a healthy alternative to clay because it’s dust-free. It’s perfect for asthmatic cats or for those with allergies. Plus, it’s healthy for the environment as well, since corn is a naturally biodegradable and sustainable source.

One 3 kg bag will last up to 30 days on average, so this cat litter is a very economical choice. 

Overall, there’s nothing much to hate and everything to love about World’s Best Cat Litter. We also think it’s the best eco-friendly cat litter in the UK due to its usage of corn. Highly recommended.

Pros

  • Clumps nicely into a ball, making cleanup a breeze
  • Can be safely flushed down the toilet
  • Dust-free and track free
  • 100% natural and biodegradable ingredients

Cons

  • The upfront cost is higher

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0

Pettex Pampuss

Specs

  • Type: non-clumping
  • Scented: natural pine scent
  • Material: wood chips

If you’re looking for something a little more economical, Pettex Pampuss is one of the cheapest cat litters in the UK that you can buy. Cheap, of course, doesn’t mean it’s inferior. This cat litter delivers excellent performance despite the price.

This cat litter is composed of 100% recycled wood clippings, with nothing else added. For environmentally conscious pet owners, you’ll be happy that this is a very sustainable and ecological litter ingredient. It’s dust-free, too, so great for allergic cats. 

There is no glue or additives used in the forming of these wood granules. The material is naturally absorbent and can hold up to twice their weight in moisture. Wood doesn’t clump together when wet, so you might want to take this into consideration.

It has a natural pine scent that, at least for us, smells like a delightful garden. On its own, it’s capable of masking the smell of urine, even if left for days in the tray.

One thing to note is that the wood chip is sized a little chunkier than most. Cats who love to dig and hide their poop might find it hard to do with this type of litter. Also, you have to be careful when flushing away poop with a few stray wood chips attached. They expand in water, so a few of them will inevitably cause a blockage.

Personally, we believe you can’t go wrong with the Pettex Pampuss cat litter. It’s a budget option that’s great for the more attentive cat owners.

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly cat litter
  • 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly material
  • Great at minimizing odours

Cons

  • Risk of blockages due to wood chips that quickly expand in water

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

Catsan Hygiene Premium Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: non-clumping
  • Scented: no
  • Material: sand and chalk

Catsan Hygiene is a premium, high-performance cat litter that ticks all the boxes when it comes to safety, absorbency, and ease of cleanup. It’s dust-free without any loose fibres, which makes it great for sensitive cats. In fact, we think it’s one of the best litters for kittens in the UK.

Catsan excels at eliminating cat litter odours. The secret of its performance is the 100% natural chalk and sand granules. Each bit has thousands of micropores that trap moisture and aroma, effectively neutralising bad smells. It’s pretty useful, really – sometimes we don’t even realise that our cats have already peed in the litter.

The granules themselves have a neutral smell, unlike wood which can pick up a distinct aroma that’s not always pleasant. These granules also have antibacterial properties which can help prevent any unwanted growth. 

We also prefer the bright white appearance of the litter, as it makes it easier to visually see cat droppings. You can easily spot discoloured cat pee early on, which is a sign of an underlying health problem.

While Catsan is dust-free, there might be some dust when you initially pour it in the tray, but this isn’t a long term problem.

Now some caveats. While Catsan works fantastically at masking pee, it doesn’t do so well with poop smells. That’s because the granules don’t adhere much to cat droppings, so the scent leaks out. On the flip side, you can pick up poop cleanly without many of the granules sticking to them.

Speaking of the granules, they can become a problem when they manage to leave the tray (sometimes, your cat can accidentally kick some out). They hurt a lot when you walk on them, so this can be a nuisance.

But all of these aside, Catsan is really high performing as advertised. Granted, it comes with a higher price tag. But for its odour eliminating properties and ease of cleanup, it may be well worth the price. 

Pros

  • Completely masks pee aroma
  • White colour makes spotting poop and pee easy
  • Antibacterial properties
  • 100% natural ingredients

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Doesn’t hide poop smell too well

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

CJ’s Premium Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: non-clumping
  • Scented: no (natural wood scent)
  • Material: wood

If your cat loves wood-based cat litters but wants an upgrade, CJ’s Premium Cat Litter is the bag to pick. It can lay claim to being one of the better wood pellet cat litters you can buy for your pet. 

What makes CJ so special is that it uses virgin pine softwood. It forms softer pellets that are much more comfortable for your cats to step on. In our experience, cats preferred them over harder wood cat litters.

We can tell that the wood used here is top-notch. It has a natural wood aroma, without a robust offensive pine smell use by cheaper alternatives. They also tend not to stick to your cat’s paws, so less chance of it littering around your house.

Pine softwood, as its name suggests, is a softwood that’s very absorbent. It’s actually one of the most absorbent materials ever known, up to 5 times that of clay. It effectively traps urine and moisture, and with its antibacterial properties, eliminates odours in the process. Despite being soft, it doesn’t get mushy at all when wet.

While it’s not dusty, it does grind down to sawdust which can become a problem. This usually doesn’t happen, but you might encounter this when the bag gets shipped to you. Just be wary of it when pouring for the first time. 

Since it’s made of wood, CJ’s Cat Litter is 100% biodegradable. You can reuse it as compost, or possibly as mulch for your garden.

One small complaint is the bag, which leaves a lot to be desired. Users have complained that the sack gets quickly damaged while in transit.

But, all things considered, CJ’s Premium Cat Litter is one of the best non-clumping litter that performs much better than most alternatives. If you or your cat loves the look, feel, and smell of natural wood, go for this one.

Pros

  • Virgin pine softwood is comfortable for cats to step on
  • Pleasant, natural wood aroma
  • Effectively neutralises urine aroma
  • Antibacterial properties

Cons

  • Shoddy packaging
  • Higher upfront cost

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

Breeder Celect Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: non-clumping
  • Scented: no
  • Material: recycled paper

Breeder Celect Cat Litter is made of recycled paper pellets, which makes it suitable for sensitive cats or those with health conditions. This includes cats that are recovering from surgery, those that have injuries or suffering from asthma. 

The 99% recycled paper pellets are fully absorbent, which helps keep your cat’s litter tray dry. They produce zero dust or particles, which is why they’re so well suited for cats with respiratory problems. Even when they’re wet, they won’t disintegrate unlike most paper-based cat litter in the market. They just get darker, which is a helpful indicator that you need to replace them.

The paper pellets are also 100% biodegradable and easy to dispose of. It has neutral smells and can completely mask the aroma of urine in your litter tray.

We also have to mention the package and the obvious attention it received. It has a handle that makes it convenient to carry around, plus an easy pour spout that gives you more flow control.

A drawback is that paper is not as effective at masking the poop smell. It can’t seem to absorb the moisture off cat droppings as far as we’ve seen. The result is that it will stink up your house if you don’t remove them immediately.

Despite this, Breeder Celect Cat Litter is a good alternative for cats with special needs. It also helps that this litter is reasonably priced.

Pros

  • Highly absorbent material
  • 100% biodegradable with a neutral aroma
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Limited aroma control for poop

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0

Nature’s Calling Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: clumping
  • Scented: no
  • Material: walnut shells

Nature’s Calling Cat Litter is one of the most environmentally-friendly cat litters in the UK. It’s made from walnut shells, a highly absorbent material that’s also 100% biodegradable and sustainable.

Walnut shells are fantastic for several reasons. One, it has a fast clumping action that forms together within 15 minutes of getting wet, making cleanup super easy. The clumps are flushable, without any risks of clogging up your toilet (they disintegrate when you drop them in if you’re worried)

It’s also highly absorbent without getting wet or mushy. And they last longer. One bag of cat litter can last for 30 days on average. It’s dust-free and results in minimal tracking, so it works well with a large variety of cats. 

The shells are also the most potent material at removing ammonia, the compound that gives urine its distinctive smell. In fact, it’s twice as effective at doing this than other cat litter like clay and wood. The result? You get less of that offensive odour. They’re one of the best litters for smell removal.

This cat litter, however, shares a common problem with wood-based types – it has a darker colour. It makes it harder to spot poop, especially at night. Yes, poop is solid so you can easily discern it from the rest, but what if your cat has watery poop? Experience wise, this litter doesn’t clump as easily with that. This can be a challenge and a nightmare to clean up at night.

But overall, Nature’s Calling Cat Litter is the best clumping litter, in our opinion. It’s superior compared to the usual types like wood or clay. Walnut shells are also a sustainable source that gets renewed yearly, so it’s ecologically responsible.

Pros

  • Very effective at removing urine smell
  • Lasts up to a month, making it very economical
  • 100% biodegradable

Cons

  • Darker colour makes it harder to see cat droppings

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

Ever Clean Extra Strong Cat Litter

Specs

  • Type: clumping
  • Scented: yes
  • Material: clay

If your cat’s poo and pee smell are especially unbearable, you might need something more substantial to get rid of it. Luckily, you have the Ever Clean Extra Strong Cat Litter, freshly scented for your smelling pleasure!

The material used in this cat litter is clay, which is usually a so-so material. But Ever Clean added a few extras here and there to really take the performance up a notch.

First, this cat litter is freshly scented to give a pleasant aroma to your tray. It’s also paw-activated, meaning it will only release a scent when your cat is in the litter tray.

But masking is only one part of Ever Clean’s odour elimination strategy. The other one is by using activated carbon, a well-known technique in removing bad odours in fridges. It works by trapping aromas into each granule.

This combination of masking and scenting leads to almost zero odour, even with repeated use by your cat. It’s quite useful that Ever Clean claims you can use a package for up to two months without having to change it. In our experience, though, it was closer to three weeks. Your mileage might vary depending on how often your cat goes to the loo.

The clay material is also of better quality than most clay-based cat litters. It’s super fine and clumps exceptionally well, so cleanup is easy. However, it does have a tendency to stick to the sides of the tray when wet.

The big downside to the Ever Clean is that it’s expensive compared to other brands. But if you can afford it, it’s a brilliant product and one of the best litter for odour control you’ll ever use.

Pros

  • Superior odour removal and adds a clean, fresh scent
  • Clumps easy and fast for quick removal
  • Smells and stays fresh for longer

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Non-biodegradable

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0