10 Best Cat Litters for Picky Cats in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks


Some cats are quite picky about their litter. They seem to like best the litter that they used as kittens. If you make too big of a change from that original litter, the cat may not recognize it and thus, not use it.

Usually, this means you need to use the same litter that they grew up with. In many cases, this is clay litter, as it’s the most common option.

However, some litters are naturally better for picky cats. Here, we reviewed 10 of the best cat litters for picky cats.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

The 10 Best Cat Litters for Picky Cats – Reviews & Top Picks

1. Frisco Unscented Odor Defense Clay Cat Litter — Best Overall

Frisco Unscented Odor Defense Clay Cat Litter

For most picky cats, Frisco Unscented Odor Defense Clay Cat Litter is the best option. It has an odor-defense technology that prevents ammonia smells from becoming overwhelming. There are no fragrances, perfumes, or dyes included, which is helpful for picky cats. It is also helpful for humans with sensitive noses, since fragrances can often be overwhelming.

This litter is made out of clay, which most cats have no problem with. It clumps and absorbs liquids quickly. Therefore, it makes scooping and cleaning much easier, and the ammonia smell doesn’t have an opportunity to permeate the air.

The clumps also use less litter, saving you money over time. This litter does not create huge clumps like some other litters do.

As a low-dust formula, this litter is perfect for cats sensitive to dust, and it won’t make respiratory illnesses worse. Due to these features, this is easily the best overall cat litter for picky cats.

Pros

  • Low-dust
  • No fragrances
  • Made from clay
  • Clumping
  • Clumps use minimal amounts of clay

2. Frisco Multi-cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter — Best Value

Frisco Multi-cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter

For homes with multiple cats, we recommend Frisco Multi-cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter. This litter is quite inexpensive.

With its de-dusting system, this litter is also practically dust-free. However, since it is made from clay, a small amount of dust may be present. This formula is designed to fight odors, but it is unscented and does not include any artificial fragrances. It is also low-tracking, which can be extremely helpful in multi-cat households.

This formula is completely hypoallergenic. It does not include any plant dyes, perfumes, or fragrances. It also doesn’t have any plant proteins, which cats are sometimes allergic to.

This litter is clumping, so it quickly forms clumps. It is great for sifting and mechanical boxes.

The only downside is that this litter does track more than some others on the market. It still qualifies as “low-tracking,” though. It is easily the best cat litter for picky cats for the money.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Low dust
  • Inexpensive
  • Designed for multiple cats
  • Clumping

3. Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter — Premium Choice

Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter

If you have a bit more money to spend, you may want to consider Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter. This cat litter is all-natural and made with 100% walnut shells. Some cats may not like walnut litter because it differs from clay. However, if they are willing to use it, you may find that it is one of the best options out there.

This litter has malodor counteractant, which helps eliminate urine and fecal odors. It is also low on dust. Since it isn’t made from clay, natural dust doesn’t occur nearly as much. This feature makes it a good decision for picky cats and those with respiratory problems.

Furthermore, this cat litter does not include any chemicals, toxins, clay, corn, or grains. It is completely safe for your cat and low in ingredients.

The only major issue is that this cat litter is quite expensive. For this reason, it is only best for families that have extra money to spend on litter.

Pros

  • Low dust
  • Free from chemicals and toxins
  • Strong odor control
  • Hypoallergenic

4. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clay Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clay Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clay Cat Litter is hypoallergenic and made to be almost completely dust-free. Therefore, it is quite suitable for pickier cats. It doesn’t have many of the substances that cats are often sensitive to.

The clay is medium-grain so it doesn’t track as badly as some other litters do. This formula is suitable for multi-cat households. It traps moistures and odors, which makes it a good fit for cats that don’t like to use the box after other cats. Furthermore, it is great for sifting and mechanical litter boxes.

The clumping of this litter isn’t the best, though. It can be a bit difficult to clean, which may be a problem for cats that are sensitive to odors and liquids.

Pros

  • Medium-grain
  • Dust-free
  • Clumping
  • Controls odors

5. Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Clay Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Clay Cat Litter

The Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal Clay Cat Litter is designed for multi-cat households, but it can work well in any household, especially if your cat is sensitive to smells. It has a blend of micro-granules that help seal odors as soon as your cat is done in the box. Natural baking soda also neutralizes odors.

With these two features, this clay cat litter is better at sealing up odors than most other brands on the market. It also clumps quite well. This feature helps improve cleanliness and makes cleaning up much easier.

This litter is advertised as low-dust. However, many users reported that it was dustier than some other options. Therefore, it may not be the best for those with respiratory issues.

Due to the micro-particles, this litter is quite soft. If your feline is sensitive about how their litter feels, this feature should be extremely helpful.

That said, the packaging of this litter is disappointing. It has no handle at all, which makes it difficult to haul around.

Pros

  • Micro-particles for a softer feel
  • Baking soda added
  • Clumps well

6. Yesterday’s News Original Paper Cat Litter

Yesterday’s News Original Paper Cat Litter

Yesterday’s News Original Paper Cat Litter is made out of recycled paper pellets. Therefore, it has a smaller ecological footprint than most other cat litters out there, making it a suitable choice for environmentally conscious pet parents.

This litter is extremely low-tracking. It is also not that dusty, likely because it is made with paper and not clay. It is nearly three times more absorbent than clay. Therefore, it can be used longer and controls odors quite well.

Furthermore, this litter isn’t that expensive, especially for a litter that isn’t clay.

That said, the lack of any added fragrances or anything of that sort does make it a bit less helpful at controlling odors. The pellets do absorb liquid, but they don’t do much to fight the odor.

Furthermore, this litter is difficult to clean, which means that it tends to stink more.

Pros

  • Low-tracking
  • Made from paper
  • Absorbent

Cons

  • Difficult to clean
  • Doesn’t control odors well

7. Frisco Summer Clean Crystal Cat Litter

Frisco Summer Clean Crystal Cat Litter

Frisco Summer Clean Crystal Cat Litter is made with crystals instead of the typical clay, though it does feel similar to clay.

These crystals are designed to absorb liquids and neutralize odors on contact. They are extremely efficient at their job, though they do not clump.

This litter is low in dust because it does not use any clay. The crystals stay together quite well, which limits the overall amount of dust. For those with sensitive respiratory systems, this feature is a must.

That said, this litter isn’t as soft as some other options, which may turn some cats off. Furthermore, the crystals are quite large, which makes them track a bit easier than some other options out there. It also hurts bare feet when it gets tracked around the house.

Pros

  • Neutralizes odors on contact
  • Low-dust
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Tracks more than other litters
  • Hurts to step on

8. World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter

World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter

Corn pellets like the ones used in World’s Best Multi-Cat Corn Cat Litter can be useful for a variety of different reasons. They are often safe for septic and sewer systems. Therefore, you can flush your cat’s feces straight down the toilet without having to worry about it. This feature makes cleaning up much easier.

However, the corn may be a bit strange for picky cats. It can be a great litter, but your cat may refuse to use it, which makes it practically useless. That said, this litter is free from chemicals and perfumes, so some cats use it just fine and even like it better than traditional clay litter. It depends on the reasons behind your cat’s pickiness.

This formula is clumping, which makes it easy to scoop. It’s also much lighter than most clay litters.

However, this litter does not control odor as well as some others. Without any perfumes or other odor-control ingredients, this litter gets stinky fast.

Pros

  • No added chemicals or perfumes
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Corn is off-putting for some picky cats
  • Doesn’t control odors well

9. Tidy Cats Free and Clear Cat Litter

Tidy Cats Free and Clear Cat Litter

For the most part, Tidy Cats Free and Clear Cat Litter is a great option for picky cats. It is completely free from fragrances and dyes. It also includes charcoal to absorb odors and prevent the stinky smell from spreading throughout your house. In fact, it comes with a 10-day odor control guarantee — if you use it as directed.

This litter is also low-dust. It doesn’t produce a cloud when you pour it out, like some other cat litters do. Since it clumps, it is quite easy to clean.

That said, this cat litter does not come in solid packaging. It tends to break and develop leaks. Furthermore, this litter does track somewhat. The tracking isn’t as bad as some other litters, but it is still quite evident.

Pros

  • Low-dust
  • Good odor-control

10. Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-cat Clay Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-cat Clay Cat Litter

As the name suggests, the main purpose of Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Multi-cat Clay Cat Litter is to be easy to clean. It is designed to slide right out of the litter box. While it does do this quite well, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best option for your feline.

First, this litter is scented. While this does help cover odors, some cats are more sensitive to fragrances than others. Therefore, you may want to consider your own cat’s sensitivities before buying.

Second, this litter is extremely heavy, and the packaging isn’t the best option for such a heavy litter. You need a great deal of strength to lift it, especially when you’re cleaning out the litter boxes.

Finally, it also needs to be turned and cleaned daily. Otherwise, the clumps on top don’t provide anywhere for your cat to bury their solid waste. While this isn’t necessarily a huge problem, it can be quite annoying.

That said, this litter is practically dust-free. This is always a nice feature because it prevents the litter from negatively affecting your home’s air quality.

Cons

  • Scented
  • Heavy
  • Requires extensive cleaning

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Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a cat litter under normal circumstances can be difficult. However, when you have a picky cat, things can be even more complicated. After all, you have to find a litter that works for you and your picky feline.

There are many different features that you need to consider when it comes to choosing a cat litter for your picky cat. Here, we go over everything that you need to consider.

Clumping Litter
Image Credit: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock

Scented vs. Unscented

Generally, scented cat litters are often better at covering up the smell of your cat’s business than unscented cat litters. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re the best option, especially when your cat is picky.

Many picky cats are sensitive to fragrances. In many cases, they may refuse to use a litter box if the added fragrances are too strong.

Many people are sensitive to scented litter too. Keep this in mind when choosing a scented or unscented litter for your feline.

Texture

For many picky cats, it’s all about the texture of the litter box. If it doesn’t feel like it’s “supposed” to feel, then the cats will often not recognize it as a cat litter at all. Of course, this can cause all sorts of problems.

Most of the time, cats prefer litters that are similar to those that they’re used to. Since it’s so common, clay litter will be preferred by most cats. Therefore, if you choose a clay litter, your cat may like it more than some other litters out there.

However, there are expectations to this rule. Some picky cats aren’t sensitive to texture, but others may only like certain clay litters.

Clay litters can be made with all sorts of different sizes of granules. Some cats will only use granules of a particular size.

It’s difficult to know what litter your cat might like. You can’t exactly ask for their opinion, after all. However, you can look at the litters that your cat already likes and choose a similar option. If your cat typically uses clay litter, you should probably buy another clay litter.

cat sitting in litter box
Image Credit: Mila Naumova, Shutterstock

Dust

Many felines and people are sensitive to dust. Those with respiratory problems are particularly prone to issues with overly dusty litter. They don’t have to directly interact with the litter either. The dust from a litter box in one room can sometimes be enough to contaminate all the air in your home.

Of course, your cat is likely going to have the biggest problem with the dust. After all, they have to dig in the litter to use the bathroom, thus churning up more dust.

If they’re particularly sensitive to dust, it’s essential to choose a low-dust formula.

Odor Control

A litter isn’t that useful if it doesn’t provide much odor control. If you choose a scented litter, most of the odor control will come from the added fragrances. However, if you choose an unscented litter, different methods will likely be used, such as added baking soda or charcoal.

Either way, the important part is that the odor is controlled and minimized. You will need to clean out the box regularly to accomplish this, but the type of litter that you choose is also essential.

Some cats are more sensitive to ammonia smells than others, especially in multi-cat households. Some cats may refuse to use a box if it smells like another cat. Therefore, you must choose a litter that has decent odor control.

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Conclusion

There are many cat litters out there, but only a few are suitable for picky cats.

For most picky cats, we highly recommend Frisco Unscented Odor Defense Clay Cat Litter. This cat litter is made from clay, which most picky cats prefer. It is also low-dust and doesn’t track that much. Plus, it clumps, which makes it easier to clean.

If you’re on a budget, take a look at Frisco Multi-cat Unscented Clay Cat Litter. This formula was designed for multi-cat households. It clumps efficiently and is hypoallergenic for sensitive felines.

Some felines may prefer Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter. It is low in dust and free from chemicals, making it a great option for your feline.

After checking out all these reviews, you should find the perfect cat litter for your picky cat.


Featured Image Credit: Yuliya Alekseeva, Shutterstock

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