For even the most experienced cat parents hypoallergenic cat litter can be a bit of a mystery. If your kitty is experiencing the signs of a litter dust allergy it might be time to start looking for some natural solutions to the problem.
But what is hypoallergenic cat litter exactly? Is it corn? Or paper? Or even pine chips? How the world could those materials possibly keep the stench of the spectacularly smelly waste your adorable fur ball deposits in their litter box on a daily basis, at bay?
Hypoallergenic litter is more effective (and affordable) than you might think. Here’s the scoop on how to find the best hypoallergenic litter and our five favorites!
(Psst. Our choice winner for the best hypoallergenic litter is Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter. But more on that below. Let’s dig in!)
Table of Contents
Top five picks for the best hypoallergenic cat litter:
- Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter
- Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter
- Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
- ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
- World’s Best Cat Litter
The best hypoallergenic cat litter
To find the best hypoallergenic cat litter brands, we researched dozens of litter types.
Whether your kitty is suffering from allergies or you’re simply tired of dealing with all the litter dust, we recommend Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter.
This 99.9 percent dust-free cat litter consists of lightweight medium-grain clay. As moisture touches it, it forms hard clumps that make scooping easier.
- 99.9 percent dust-free
- Medium-grain clay forms hard clumps
- Excellent odor control
- Unscented litter, no added scents or chemicals
- Clay litters are not biodegradable, flushable or eco-friendly
- May create a dense, concrete-like substance on wet paws
- The texture might be too rough for some cats
Because this is a multi-cat formula, it offers superior odor control. Plant-derived ingredients attack smelly urine and feces odors, which keeps the inside of your home smelling fresh. This litter is all natural and free from artificial fragrances and other toxic substances.
It’s suitable for various litter boxes, even automatic, self-cleaning litter boxes.
Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Litter is an eco-friendly option for cat parents. It’s an unscented, non-clumping, 99.7 percent dust-free litter made with recycled paper shaped into pellet litter.
- Eco-friendly, recycled paper litter
- 99.7 percent dust free and low tracking
- Highly absorbent material
- Fine texture, which many cats prefer
- The non clumping litter is tricky to scoop
- Requires frequent cleaning to prevent odors
What’s impressive about this paper litter formula is that it can absorb three times the moisture volume compared to usual clay-based litter. This paper litter contains no small particles, which works to minimize tracking and keep the litter box perimeter clean of paw prints.
It’s also reasonably efficient at removing odors. Due to its high absorption rate, cat urine doesn’t pool as much, which reduces the accumulation of bad smells.
Some cat parents have also found their cats easily adapt to using this litter.
If you’re searching for the best cat litter for odor control, we suggest looking at the Purina Tidy Cats Tidy Max 24/7 Performance Clumping Cat Litter.
The 99.9 percent dust-free litter Purina has created here offers a Triple Odor Protection, which includes its Tidy Max Ammonia Blocker and Power Pieces. This works to eliminate ammonia smells from your cat’s urine while also keeping the litter dry.
- Triple power odor protection for up to two weeks
- Keeps the litter dry and prevents urine from pooling
- Easy to scoop clumping litter
- 99.9 percent dust-free
- The litter has a distinct smell to it despite it being unscented
- May stick to the litter box
This unscented clumping clay litter is highly absorbent making scooping a breeze, which, in turn, helps you stay on top of litter box cleaning duties.This also minimizes tracking, keeping the litter box area (and your house) clean.
Its triple power formula keeps the litter box fresher for longer and lasts up to two weeks when used as the instructions recommend.
ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter is another option for pet parents who want to be kinder to the environment. This is a plant-based litter offers a cleaner and healthier solution for your cat and your home.
- Eco-friendly, sustainably sourced wood fiber
- Natural odor control
- No artificial additives
- Biodegradable and flushable
- Pre-treated to be dust-free
- May cause tracking
This litter’s natural wood fiber makes this one of the most powerful non-clay litters for odor control. The wood material prevents the bonding of enzymes from your cat’s urine and feces, combating bad smells before they begin to form. It’s extremely efficient and contains no chemicals, artificial fragrances, or other harmful additives.
We appreciate that ökocat uses sustainably sourced wood that’s safe to dispose of and kind to the environment. It’s both biodegradable and flushable!
Another great benefit is that ökocat de-dusted the wood fibers, reducing dust particles when your kitty digs and scratches in the litter.
The precision-cut wood fibers readily absorb urine upon contact, forming solid clumps quickly and efficiently, making it effortless to scoop and flush. The high absorption rate also means that this litter lasts longer in the pan. ökocat estimates it should remain usable for up to seven weeks!
World’s Best Cat Litter is a fantastic option for multi cat households. This all natural 99 percent dust-free litter is made of whole-kernel corn, which offers complete odor control without any added scents. This also means this litter is free from harmful silica dust that can otherwise wreak havoc in a cat’s respiratory system.
- Excellent odor control for multi-cat homes
- Made of natural whole-kernel corn
- Unscented litter, no added scents or chemicals
- 99 percent dust-free
- Flushable and septic safe
- Clumps quickly
- Requires frequent cleaning
- Often sticks to the inside corners of the litter box
- Urine tends to crumble when you scoop it
Finding a cat litter that doesn’t track is difficult, but the World’s Best comes close. The corn is lightweight and doesn’t stick to your kitty’s paws.
Cleanup is also quick, as the corn-based litter rapidly forms solid clumps of urine and feces so scooping them up should be a breeze. What’s more, you can even flush it down the toilet! It’s septic safe and won’t clog up your sewer system.
Why is it important to find the best hypoallergenic cat litter?
Just like humans, cats are very particular in their choice of a toilet. Sometimes it’s due to unsanitary conditions, and other times, it’s because of the litter itself.
Choosing the wrong litter can entice your otherwise well-behaved kitty to go on the floor next to the litter box. Cats are sensitive to smells and textures, and they’re seldom open to change. Once you find that sweet balance that works, it’s essential to stick with it.
Does your cat have allergies, or does someone in your family suffers from sneezing and coughing when they clean the litter box? Kitties that have a cat litter allergy may completely ignore the box.
Cats have over 200 million odor sensors in their nose, making their sense of smell 14 times stronger than ours!
What are cat litter allergies?
Cat litter allergies are often linked to litter dust. Litter dust can cause respiratory flare-ups in both humans and cats. A cat’s nose is only about 8 inches from the ground, so litter dust can become a real problem for sensitive cats.
Felines can develop asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), among other respiratory ailments.
Harmful parasites, like Toxoplasma gondii, can also spread through litter dust when you scoop and clean the litter box. This can pose an added risk to pregnant women.
Dust-free cat litter is much kinder to you and your cat’s lungs.
Symptoms of cat litter allergy
Cats that are allergic to cat litter may have the following symptoms:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Itchy skin
- Red or watery eyes
- Puffy face
- Feline acne
- Runny nose
Tips on how to clean the litter box
- Scoop feces and urine out of the litter box daily
- Use a cat litter disposal system
- Change clumping litter every one to two weeks
- Scrub the box every time you change the litter using a mild detergent
What is the best cat litter for felines with allergies?
Types of cat litter are an almost endless story of confusion and mystery because there are so many kinds to choose from. Here’s a quick run-through of the most common hypoallergenic litter types:
Hypoallergenic materials that are starting to become more popular include recycled paper, corn, wheat, grass, pine, and walnut shells. What’s attractive about these litters is that they’re biodegradable and natural for cats.
Most of them are highly absorbent and work well at controlling odors. Manufacturers generally also treat such materials to be as dust-free as possible.
What is biodegradable litter?
Biodegradable litter will break down in the landfill if thrown away. Pine, paper, wood, grass and corn litter are all biodegradable. Clay-based litters are not biodegradable.
Types of hypoallergenic litter
Hypoallergenic litter is typically made of non-clay materials. This could range from organic matter like pine chips, grass, and corn, to man-made materials like recycled paper or silica (also known as quartz sand).
Clay clumping litter can help with odor and comes in all kinds of varieties. It’s inexpensive, readily available, and has reasonable odor control. However, clay litters are not biodegradable, not flushable, and are not environmentally friendly. The most popular clay litter is made from bentonite clay.
Grass-based litter also clumps and does very well with controlling odor. It’s dust-free, lightweight, biodegradable, chemical, and fragrance-free. It’s often made from non-GMO American grass.
Pine Litter Chip
This wood-based litter comes in clumping and non-clumping formulas. This litter has great order control. It’s flushable, scoopable, and biodegradable and often contains no added fragrances or chemicals. It’s good for inconsistent litter box cleaners or scoopers.
Pine pellets are a little different than pine chip litter. These pellets gradually break down when they come in contact with your cat’s urine. After the pellets have broken down you can scoop the solid waste out then, it’s time to replace your entire pan of litter. With this litter you can toss the unsoiled leftover pellets under nonedible plants, trees, or compost piles in your yard. This litter is also good for inconsistent scoopers.
Paper litter can be a great hypoallergenic litter. It’s often made from recycled material making it one of the more environmentally friendly options out there. It’s often unscented and contains no dyes or added chemicals. However, it’s not quite as effective at clumping and requires frequent changing which can add up over time.
Corn litter does clump and requires scooping. Corn litter is sustainable, biodegradable, and flushable making it a solid choice for hypoallergenic cat litter.
Wheat litter is another eco-friendly option. It’s made of wheat, which is excellent at absorbing moisture and trapping odors. Wheat also contains enzymes that break down the ammonia in cat urine. This natural litter option is safe to flush down the toilet.
What are aflatoxins?
The downside to wheat litter and corn litter is that both can harbor mycotoxins called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins come from a fungus that grows on wheat, corn, and corn byproducts.
In addition to being toxic when ingested at high levels, aflatoxins have also been shown to cause cancer and other severe health issues in pets, such as liver damage.
Even though aflatoxin poisoning happens mostly when cats eat contaminated food, we recommend choosing a bentonite clay or paper litter over corn or wheat litter.
Choosing the best hypoallergenic cat litter
There are some essential points to consider to ensure you pick the best hypoallergenic cat litter for your cat. Here are a few:
Natural odor control
Entering a bathroom that reeks of waste will undoubtedly make you run the other way, and cats are no different. This is why it’s essential to keep the litter box clean and tidy. Choosing the right hypoallergenic litter can help keep bad smells at bay by providing natural odor control.
However, avoid scented litter. These are most likely too powerful and artificial, making your kitty look elsewhere to relieve themselves.
Odors aside, cat litter texture is often why kitties choose to poop outside the box. Feline paws are very sensitive to textures and vibrations coming from the surface. Because of this, they’ll reject any litter that doesn’t feel right.
Of course, preferences differ between cats, but most prefer textures that make it easy for them to dig, kick, and scratch.
Cats are desert animals, meaning that their forefather’s litter box was a huge area of sand. This texture is usually what appeals to most indoor kitties.
Dusty kitty litter can pose a significant issue both for cats and their owners. Like us, felines can develop asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), among other respiratory ailments.
The right dust free cat litter is a lot kinder to your kitty’s, and by extension, your lungs. It’s also more sanitary since it eliminates the risk of harmful airborne parasites, like the Toxoplasma gondii, that can spread through litter dust when cleaning. This is especially a concern for pregnant women.
Two examples are the Arm and Hammer cat litter dust free and Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping cat litter, which we review further down.
Litter tracking is the bane of many cat parents. Simply put, this is when your kitty’s furry little paws trap litter and dust and spread it all throughout your home. It can be quite discouraging after cleaning it up for the 100th time.
Investing in a litter mat that removes residue and deposits from your cat’s paws is one way to reduce litter tracking. But the best way is to avoid clay-based litters entirely and choose a hypoallergenic litter instead.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, cats aren’t the best at adapting to change, especially when it comes to their food and litter. Of course, there’s never a guarantee that your cat’s favorite litter will always be available.
But, do your best to commit to staying consistent with both the brand and the type of litter you use. Randomly changing the litter too often can make your cat reject the litter box.
Don’t let your kitty’s feline litter dust allergies leave you feeling discouraged. There are so many fantastic hypoallergenic litters on the market today that won’t harm your kitty’s sensitive respiratory system or sense of smell. And even better, they can combat odors without any of the harsh chemicals or fragrances in traditional litter!
From organic materials found in nature like corn, wheat and pine chips, to man-made materials like recycled paper and silica, there’s a type and texture that even your fussy feline will dig!
For anyone suffering from allergies, we recommend Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter. This option provides a 99.9 percent dust-free, natural hypoallergenic litter, suggesting it’s excellent for families with sensitivities and any kitty that has a cat allergy.
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Last update on 2021-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API