9 Best Litters for Cats and Owners with Asthma in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks


Like humans, cats can suffer from asthma. When there is someone in the household that suffers from asthma, whether it be human or feline, you will want to do what you can to prevent any flare-ups.

Cat litters, particularly those with a high amount of dust can result in breathing difficulty and the potential for an asthma attack if inhaled. Finding the right litter is key to prevention; so, we have looked at the reviews and come up with the go-to list of best cat litters for both cats and owners that suffer from asthma.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

The 9 Best Litters for Cats and Owners with Asthma in 2021

1. Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Cat Litter – Best Overall

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Material Clay
Weight 20lb, 40lb
Clumping Capability Yes

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Litter is our best overall choice, as it is made specifically to help control respiratory disease in cats. While clay litters are typically the culprits for high dust production, Dr. Elsey’s formulated this litter to be hypoallergenic and low in dust.

This litter contains no perfumes, deodorants, or plant proteins. Clay litter can offer better odor control and clumping ability than some of the other types of litter and this brand does just that. Some users have reported that the odor control could be better, and they must clean frequently to avoid the ammonia smell in the urine.

Since this is a clay litter, it does still produce some dust, and this may be a no-go for some asthma or allergy sufferers. Overall, this litter does get great reviews, clumping ability, and compatibility with mechanical and sifting litter boxes.

Pros

  • Easy to scoop
  • Works with sifting or mechanical litter boxes
  • No perfumes or deodorants
  • Minimal dust

Cons

  • Still produces some dust
  • Issues controlling ammonia smell

2. Yesterday’s News Original Paper Cat Litter – Best Value

Yesterday's News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

Material Paper
Weight 5lb, 15lb, 30lb
Clumping Capability No

Yesterday’s News Paper Cat Litter will give you the best value for the money if you are searching for a litter that works well for asthma sufferers. In addition to being a great price, it is environmentally friendly due to being composed of recycled paper.

This litter is highly absorbent, and some reviewers have complained that it can be difficult to scoop due to how heavy it becomes when saturated. This type of litter is harder for cats to track outside the box and is very low on dust.

This litter does not clump and cat owners do advise that you must keep up on the litter box cleaning to avoid smells, as this choice has a harder time fighting off odors.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Great price
  • Low dust

Cons

  • Must be cleaned frequently to avoid odors
  • Heavy, difficult to scoop clumps

3. CatSpot Coconut Cat Litter – Premium Choice

CatSpot Litter

Material Coconut
Weight 5lb
Clumping Capability No

CatSpot Litter is derived from 100 percent coconut and therefore contains no chemicals and produces no dust. For this reason, it gets our pick for premium choice for cats or owners with asthma. This litter is lightweight and absorbs well. The manufacturer states that a 5-pound bag of CatSpot has the same absorbency as 20 pounds of clay litter.

This litter is hypoallergenic, lightweight, and contains no clumping agents or fragrances. Cats do take to this litter very well and typically transition easily if switched.

The downfalls are that it is a bit on the pricey side and can be easily tracked outside the litter box. Some users complained that it struggles to control the ammonia smell of cat urine, so frequent cleaning is a must.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Easily tracked outside the litter box
  • Struggles to control ammonia smell
  • Expensive

4. Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract Clay Cat Litter – Best for Kittens

Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Material Clay
Weight 20lb
Clumping Capability Yes

Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract Clumping Clay Cat Litter is designed specifically for the little ones that are 8 weeks to one year of age. This litter has the clumping capability, and the granules are meant to be the perfect size and texture for little kitten paws.

Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract contains a kitten-specific natural herbal attractant to encourage kittens to use the litter box. This litter gets our pick for being best for kittens not just for being made specifically for them, but for being 99 percent dust-free to control what is inhaled.

Some reviewers complain that this litter is much too heavy and while it may be lower on dust than some other clay litters, it still produces too much dust for their satisfaction. Some other reviewers did rave about the lower amount of dust, but this is something to keep in mind for very sensitive asthma sufferers.

Pros

  • Contains natural herbal attractant for kittens
  • Decent odor control when cleaned daily
  • Low dust for a clay litter

Cons

  • Heavy litter
  • Not 100% dust-free

5. World’s Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

World's Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter

Material Corn
Weight 8lb, 14lb, 15lb, 28lb
Clumping Capability Yes

World’s Best Unscented Clumping Corn Cat Litter is a natural cat litter made from whole kernel corn and is free of artificial perfumes and any harmful chemicals. This litter is environmentally friendly, flushable,  and safe for most sewer and septic systems.

This corn-based litter does have clumping ability and is fairly easy to scoop up when cleaning the litter box. This litter is lightweight and up to 99 percent dust-free, making it a great choice for those with asthma or that own cats with asthma.

Some cat owners did describe World’s Best at not being top-of-the-line regarding odor control. The biggest downside to this litter is that it is very easily tracked outside the litter box, resulting in the need for cleaning up around the house.

Pros

  • Flushable and safe for most sewer and septic systems
  • Free from harmful chemicals and perfumes
  • Easy to scoop

Cons

  • Not the best for odor control
  • Easily tracked outside the litter box

6. sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Wheat Cat Litter

sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Wheat Cat Litter

Material Wheat
Weight 12lb, 25lb, 36lb
Clumping Capability Yes

sWheat Scoop Natural Unscented Clumping Litter is composed of wheat and contains no harmful ingredients, dyes, or perfumes. This is another flushable litter option that is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

The wheat starch does form firm clumps to make litter scooping an easier task. There are wheat enzymes that are said to help neutralize litter box odors, but a lot of reviewers complain about the odor control of this litter. Overall, this litter is well-reviewed by cat owners and is a great, natural choice for any asthma sufferers.

This is another litter that seems to be easily tracked outside the litter box, which is inconvenient considering the cleaning that must take place when it is tracked throughout the house.

Pros

  • No dyes, perfumes, or harmful ingredients
  • Flushable
  • Biodegradable and environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Lacks odor control
  • Easily tracked outside the litter box

7. Feline Pine Platinum Natural Pine Original Cat Litter

Feline Pine Cat Litter

Material Pine
Weight 40lb
Clumping Capability No

Feline Pine Platiumum Non-Clumping Cat Litter made the list due to lack of dustiness. In this litter, the pellets are compressed, and some owners even noticed an improvement in their cat’s respiratory symptoms after switching to this litter

This litter is lightweight, natural, and free of harmful chemicals and fragrances.  Pine pelleted litters do break down and turn to sawdust after they become wet, so frequent clean-up is a necessity. Having a good sifting litter pan is a great idea if using this type of litter.

While this litter is great in a lot of ways, especially for those with asthma looking to avoid dust, there are complaints of the lack of odor control in the home and this is a very difficult litter to clean in comparison to some others.

Pros

  • No dyes, perfumes, or harmful chemicals
  • Dust-free
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Turns into sawdust when wet
  • Does not eliminate odors well
  • More difficult to clean and must be cleaned frequently

8. Boxiecat Premium Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Boxiecat Premium Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Material Clay
Weight 16lb, 28lb
Clumping Capability Yes

Boxiecat Premium is a natural clumping clay litter that goes through a dust suppression process to make it up to 99.9 percent dust-free for those that suffer allergies or any respiratory issues, such as asthma.

This litter is hypoallergenic and scent-free, so it contains no fragrances, additives, dyes, or fillers. Boxiecat is made in the United States and the company states that a 16-pound bag of this litter will typically last one cat approximately one month and the 28-pound bag can last two cats one month.

This litter does need to be cleaned frequently to avoid odors in the home. Cat owners have complained that the clumps left behind are very heavy and difficult to scoop.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • No fillers, dyes, additives, or fragrance
  • Goes through a dust suppression process

Cons

  • Must be cleaned frequently to avoid odors
  • Heavy, difficult to scoop clumps

9. Okocat Dust Free Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Cat Litter

Okocat Dust-free Non-clumping Litter

Material Paper
Weight 12.3 lbs
Clumping Capability No

Okocat is a paper-based litter that is composed of paper fiber that is fortified with long-lasting, plant-based odor control to suppress litter box odors. The lightweight pellets are soft and absorb liquids well. Because this litter is dust-free, it makes a great choice for those prone to asthma flare-ups or anyone in the home that suffers from allergies.

Okocat contains no dyes, chemicals, or GMOs. The biggest complaint from reviewers is that it can be very difficult to scoop up and cleaning the litter box can be more of a chore. The fact that it is made out of paper will require you to clean up frequently.

Pros

  • Dust-free
  • Controls odor well
  • No inks, dyes, harmful chemicals, or GMOs

Cons

  • Difficult to scoop
  • Must be cleaned frequently

Related Read: 10 Best Non-Clumping Cat Litters – Reviews & Top Picks

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Buyer’s Guide

Before You Buy

Whether it is your cat that has asthma, or you or another member of the household with the condition, you will need to consider certain things before making your purchase.

Material

Knowing the material, the cat litter is composed of is important.  Those that suffer from asthma or severe allergies, whether human or feline, are going to want to look for litter made with less harsh chemicals, extremely low dust levels, and no harsh perfumes. Excess dust can be especially irritating for those with asthma.

Clay litter is great for odor control and clumping but is one of the worst culprits in producing dust but there are some designed to avoid dust, as you have seen on this list. Crystal litters are another kind of litter that typically produces more dust. The common theme for a lot of asthma and allergy-friendly litters is those made from all-natural ingredients such as paper, wheat, corn, and wood.

Keep in mind that while low-dust clay litters can work great for this purpose, you may notice that they may not clump as well and may have a short efficacy compared to those types with higher amounts of dust

two-cats-looking-at-the-litter-box
Image Credit: Zoran-Photographer, Shutterstock

Cost

Any purchase will have you weighing the cost of the product. Of course, only you will be able to decide what kind of budget you are putting toward your cat litter. Make sure to look at the amount of litter you are getting for the price and the estimated length of use. It’s important to get good value for your money.

Your Cat’s Preference

Cats can be finicky and choosing a litter they will willingly use is essential. While some cats may use anything you put in their litter box, others may be hesitant to try new material or may not take well to a new texture. This could result in accidents outside the litter box in some cases.

If you start to notice your cat is refusing to use the litter box, ensure there are no other underlying health conditions or stressors that could be the root cause, and then consider the type of litter you are using. This could be trial and error so remember to have patience with your cat if you end up experiencing this.

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

Clumping Ability

Clumping litter can be very convenient when it comes time to clean the litter box. It binds any moisture together for ease of scooping and clean-up. Most top-of-the-line clumping cat litters are composed of clay, which as we know, is usually a producer of a lot of dust. If you want the convenience and odor control of clay litter and are an allergy sufferer, makes you are opting for a brand that is devoted to dust control.

Most natural cat litters cannot clump, and this does make cleanup a bit more of a challenge. The sWheat Natural Scoop is composed of wheat and does have clumping capability. Many cat owners find great success with natural, non-clumping litters though and it comes down to personal preference.

flushable cat litter

Cleanliness is Key

Remember that no litter can completely trump the need for frequent cleaning. Keeping your cat’s litter box cleaned regularly will be beneficial for both you and your cat. This does not just go for asthma, but overall health and well-being.

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Conclusion

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter is a great overall choice since it is designed specifically to help ease respiratory issues and offers the benefits of clay litter that some others cannot.

Yesterday’s News Original Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter comes at a great price, is eco-friendly, and is very low on dust.

CatSpot Litter may be a bit more on the expensive side but is all-natural, absorbs well, and is completely hypoallergenic.

Whether you are an allergy sufferer yourself or your cat suffers from it, finding the right litter can be a challenge. When searching for cat litter, knowing what to look for to keep dust and respiratory irritants to a minimum are key, and it’s a huge bonus to find a litter that keeps odors under control in addition to being easy to clean.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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