Cats are notoriously finicky about the surface they poop on. Dust free litter, non clumping litter, natural, or crystal gel litter—there’s a seemingly endless selection. Finding the best litter for a picky feline takes trial and error.
We’ve spent 40 hours researching and reading everything we could on dust free kittty litter.
Here’s our picks for the 5 best dust free cat litter
- Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
- Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
- World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Litter Formula
- ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
What is dust free cat litter?
Every cat owner is familiar with that mushroom cloud of dust that forms as you pour litter into the litter box. It gets everywhere and can irritate both eyes and lungs.
Dust free cat litter is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a kind of cat litter that doesn’t create dust when you’re cleaning it or when your kitty kicks and digs. It’s made so it reduces and/or completely eliminates residual dust.
This dust free litter for cats is usually made of specific base materials, depending on the manufacturer. While a few are naturally dust free, some brands add an ingredient or two that keeps the dust at bay.
Remember, with dust free cat litter, you have to scoop the clumps out daily and clean it out regularly. Consider adding a cat litter disposal system next to your litter box. This helps encourage daily litter cleaning and helps to keep it fresh longer.
Benefits of dust free cat litter
Anyone can benefit from dust free cat litter. It’s a favorite with cat owners who suffer from allergies and asthma. Here are some ways dust free litters can help you:
Kinder to your kitty
Cats aren’t immune to the effects of inhaling dust. In some, it can lead to conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma (1). Cats, like people, are susceptible to respiratory illnesses that can become chronic.
Asthma develops when the airways that lead to the lungs become inflamed. This could be due to many factors like pollen, mold, pre-existing conditions, obesity, stress, and cat litter dust (2).
Although any cat can develop asthma, certain breeds, like Siamese and Himalayan, have an increased risk. Opting for dust free cat litter can help reduce the impact on your kitty’s health.
Symptoms of asthma in cats
Cats with asthma may show signs similar to what we’d see in humans. These include:
- Signs of difficulty breathing.
- Coughing and hacking.
- Rapid breathing.
- Open-mouthed breathing.
- Vomiting up foamy mucus.
- Chronic low-grade coughing.
- Blue lips and gums.
- Overall fatigue and lethargy.
The signs vary in intensity. They can occur spontaneously or elicited when pressing lightly on the throat area. During an asthma attack, your kitty may hunch their body close to the ground while extending their neck forward (3). Then they might proceed to wheeze or cough.
Treatment of asthma
Veterinarians usually treat feline asthma with prescribed corticosteroids as it reduces inflammation in the lungs. Some may use bronchodilators to open up the airways (4).
Corticosteroids are often prescribed alone, whereas bronchodilators usually aren’t since they don’t treat the inflammation that’s causing asthma. Both drugs come in either oral, injectable or inhaled form.
Better for people with allergies
If you, or other members of your household, suffer from nasal allergies, dusty litter makes it hard to have a kitty. Coming home to a dusty environment can make you sneeze and feel uncomfortable. This is no good for allergies or asthma (5).
Using dust free litter will help reduce irritation and allergens. Clumping litter, for example, prevents dust by forming a ball when it comes into contact with something moist, like cat pee. This makes it easier to scoop out without having to sieve through the dry litter and creating more dust.
Less dusty cat litter means a cleaner home. Besides the dust particles floating in the air, it reduces the amount of litter spread by your cat. After a visit to the litter box, your kitty’s paws collect dust, which they track around the house.
Dust free litter reduces litter dust getting tracked around your house because it doesn’t coat cats paws with powder. This also makes clean-up around the litter box easier, especially if you add a cat litter disposal system right next to your litter box.
Finding the best dust free cat litter
When researching the best dust free litter, consider these point:
Before anything else, you should consider the base material of the litter. There are three general substances: silica, clay, and biodegradable. All are worth trying, and there are dust free versions of each.
Silica-based litter is designed to be dust free. It’s highly-absorbent, capable of holding up to 40% of its own weight in liquid. It made of small silica gel granules with tiny pores that soak up moisture. It is made from sodium silicate sand that’s been processed with water and oxygen.
But silica-based litter can be dangerous for your kitty if they eat any accidentally while cleaning their paws (6). It is similar to desiccant pouches used to keep moisture from spoiling snack foods. The ones that read “DO NOT INGEST” in all caps. If your cat ingests silica-based litter it could cause intestinal obstruction and a trip to the vet. Because of the controversy around silica gel crystal cat litter, we will not be reviewing it in this article.
Clay-based cat litter
Clay-based litter comes in two types. Clumping or non-clumping. Both types are 90-99% dust free. Check the dust rating on the package before you buy.
Clay can be harmful to your cat if ingested. This is especially true for kittens. As it enters the stomach and touches moisture and liquids, it expands, which could prevent your kitten from absorbing nutrients from its food or create a gastrointestinal obstruction.
Biodegradable or natural cat litter is dust free naturally. This type comes in various base materials such as corn, walnut, wheat, or coconut. One drawback is that these materials can attract bugs depending on the climate you live in. Still, they’re easy to dispose of and are much better for the environment.
Cats are masters at creating funky odors, and many brands formulate their cat litter to eliminate or mask them. This is usually done by adding odor controlling substances to the litter. Dust free litter, on the other hand, relies on fewer additives to control smells.
Some include ingredients that aid in clumping liquids and feces, thereby containing the odor. Others have amounts of baking soda, fragrances, activated charcoal, and other substances that mask smells.
Easy to scoop
Litter box duty is no fun. But, finding litter that’s easy to scoop makes it a bit better.
How often you need to clean the litter box it depends on the brand of litter you choose. With certain cat litters, you only need you to gently agitate the litter box and the clumps separate. Other types of cat litter need daily scooping, like clumping cat litter. Find one that works for you.
Your cat’s preference
Not all kitties are willing to go on just any material. It’s essential to find one that makes your cat feel comfortable. Most cats prefer unscented, clumping clay. This is also easy to clean and keeps odors at bay.
The best dust free cat litters
Dust free cat litter is a great choice for you and your cat. Based on our criteria above, we found the best dust free cat litter, plus four extras for you to check out.
If you or someone in your house has asthma, then we recommend the Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter. It’s rated to be 99.9% dust free. It’s based on a hypoallergenic formula including natural components, keeping your lungs clear.
The hard-clumping clay makes it less likely to develop significant dust particles, which is excellent for those suffering from allergies. In addition to this, the multi cat formula offers superior odor control that prevents the litter box from stinking up your home.
The litter consists of medium-grain clay that creates hard clumps when it comes into contact with liquids. It prevents moisture from pooling at the bottom of the litter box, making daily clean-ups easier.
Dr. Elsey recommends that you remove clumps twice daily and change the litter every month. It’s super easy to do thanks to the hard clusters that are resistant to breaking down. It even works with self-cleaning litter boxes.
- 99.9% dust free and non-tracing.
- Hypoallergenic formula.
- Creates hard clumps, less likely to break down.
- Works to prevent pooling of liquids.
- Compatible with general litter boxes and self-cleaning litter boxes.
- Odors are still noticeable if not cleaned regularly.
For natural cat litter, we suggest the ökocat. This is a plant-based, low dust cat litter that provides a healthy, easy-to-clean solution.
The material used is biodegradable and flushable, made from sustainably sourced natural wood fiber. It’s kind to the environment and easy to dispose of. The wood fibers are precision-cut, allowing them to absorb liquids upon contact. It’ll then form solid clumps that are easy to scoop out. Bonus is that it’s a great unscented litter option.
Because of its high absorption rate, the liquid never reaches the bottom of the pan, preventing pooling. You need to clean out the clumps daily—but with frequent maintenance, the litter will last up to seven weeks.
Another fantastic point is that it’s 99% dust free. Before packaging, the manufacturer screened and de-dusted it, providing a less dusty pour. It’s also free of fragrances, chemicals, GMOs, and dyes making it a great choice for unscented litter.
What we appreciate is the odor control it offers. The wood fibers work to naturally prevent liquids and enzymes from bonding, which, in turn, stops the formation of ammonia and smells. The formula is also naturally lightweight and easy to handle and pour.
- Natural, biodegradable wood fiber litter.
- Forms solid clumps that are easy to scoop.
- Free of harmful substances.
- Prevents odor formation.
- The litter can lead to tracing as it may stick to fur.
The Purina Tidy Cats is the best cat litter for odor control. It comes with activated charcoal that traps smells, so that your visitors will see your cat before smelling them.
The activated charcoal will prevent odors for up to 10-days, or until you change the litter. It activates as soon as moisture touches it, drawing out all the unpleasant smells.
Purina formulated this litter to form solid clumps as they come into contact with cat pee and poop. This makes it easier to scoop out in one piece as opposed to smaller bits, meaning you’ll get it done a lot faster.
What attracted us to this litter, however, is the promise of 99.9% dust free material. It provides a clean pour, minimizing that notorious mushroom cloud of kitty litter.
- Traps moisture using activated charcoal.
- Formulated to create solid clumps when in contact with moisture.
- Easy to scoop out.
- 99.9% dust free and clean pour.
- Some tracking as your kitty leaves the litter box.
- The 40-pound box is difficult to open.
If you’re running a multi cat household, you need the best cat litter for odor. We highly suggest that you check out this option from World’s Best Cat Litter. This is a natural formula providing long-lasting odor control.
What makes this great for several cats is that one bag goes a long way. World’s Best estimated that when shared by three cats, one bag of litter will easily last 45 days or more.
Besides odor-control, the litter forms clumps quickly. This allows you to easily scoop them before significant build-up occurs.
This low dust cat litter is made from whole-kernel corn, which is 99% dust free, fully flushable, and contains no harmful substances like chemicals and perfumes. It’s septic safe, and won’t clog up your systems.
- Provides great odor control.
- Excellent for multi-cat households.
- Creates clumps quickly.
- Made from natural materials that are flushable.
- Creates a fair amount of tracking.
- Not a litter texture for every cat.
Arm and Hammer cat litter dust free is specially formulated to seal and prevent odors. It’s made of plant-derived particles that help produce solid clumps, making it effortless to scoop and minimize airborne particles.
The moisture-activated Micro-Granules create a tight seal around the cat waste. Then Arm and Hammer mixed in baking soda that destroys sealed-in odors upon contact, keeping it all fresh without chemicals.
What’s more, it’s 100% dust free, making it the lowest dust cat litter on our list.
- Seals odors using baking soda.
- Forms hard, easy-to-scoop clumps quickly.
- Produced from plant-based particles.
- 100 percent dust free.
- The litter is heavy.
- Litter has a distinct smell to it from the package.
Cat litter is essential with indoor cats—otherwise, they’ll just use the rug—but the wrong kind can have an impact on both you and your cat’s health. Some litter creates a lot of dust, which can lead to conditions like feline asthma, as well as human asthma, and allergies.
Choosing the best dust free cat litter is an excellent way to avoid this. And although all the litters we reviewed today are worth a try, our winner is the Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter.
The Dr. Elsey’s cat litter is 99.9 percent dust free. It’s based on a hypoallergenic formula that minimizes airborne particles and makes it virtually a completely dustless cat litter. It also works wonders at trapping odors while being easy to scoop.