Natural Cat Litter Comparison – Part 2

Sat, Nov 15, 2008

Litter & Hygiene

Natural Cat Litter Comparison

This is a follow-up to my first natural cat litter comparison in which I tested Arm & Hammer High Performance, Swheat Scoop (regular strength), World’s Best Cat Litter (multi-cat strength), and Nature’s Miracle. If you haven’t read it yet, please also see the original post What’s In Your Litter Box to learn more about the dangers of clay and silica based cat litters and why natural litters are the way to go.

. . .

As the grand finale to Litter Week, I had to post about my recent findings in the world of natural cat litter. Since the last comparison, I found three more natural litters to test, all available at PetSmart. This time I tried PaPurr Scoop, Swheat Scoop multi-cat strength, and Feline Pine Clumping. Here are my observations:

PaPurr Scoop

I really like this litter but it is hard to find. I purchased it at one Petsmart in my area, but I have never seen it at any other stores. I also can’t find the manufacturer online, so if you have any information, please leave a comment. PaPurr Scoop really does look and feel like clay litter but it is made from recycled paper. The texture is like soft little beads and it is a bit dusty, but not nearly as bad as clay litter. It has a soft scent that smells like lightly scented paper, and it did a pretty good job at odor control. Good clumping, especially if liquids are left alone for awhile before scooping. This one is safe for flushing in small amounts because it is biodegradable.

Swheat Scoop Multi-cat Strength

Swheat scoop multi-cat strength seems to be slightly better than the regular strength. Better clumping but still a lot of dust, so I’m avoiding it because of my gluten intolerance. If you like Swheat Scoop, I’d go with the multi-cat strength.

Feline Pine Clumping

Feline Pine clumping litter is from the same company that makes the Feline Pine pellets. A lot of cats don’t like the pellets, including mine, so I was excited to try this one. This is one of my favorites because it has a pleasant scent of sawdust and it clumps reasonably well. It is very light and easy to carry, which is great, but that also means that it tracks easily. However, it doesn’t hurt when you step on it, like the pellets do. The cats seem to like the texture, but it’s not outstanding on odor control and I find that the clumps sometimes get stuck to the bottom of the box and you really have to scrape to get them off. I have to do a complete hose-down of the litter box more frequently when using this litter.

A word about the pine pellets

There are a few different brands, including the original Feline Pine pellets. These pellets break down when they come in contact with liquid and turn to sawdust. You are supposed to shake the box to let the sawdust settle to the bottom and scoop the solids. I thought it became a big mess and most of my cats hated the pellets, but lots of people and cats love them. If you do, you may want to know about the special litter box that was created for use with the pellets, the Feline Pine Self-cleaning Litter Box. It has a perforated upper compartment that lets the sawdust fall into the lower portion of the box, making things a little neater. This also extends the life of the pellets because they are not being thrown away with the sawdust, plus it reduces tracking because the sawdust is contained in the lower part of the box.

Arm & Hammer High Performance Has a New Name

Just a note, the Arm & Hammer High Performance natural clumping litter reviewed in our first natural litter comparison has changed it’s name and packaging. It is now part of the Arm & Hammer Essentials line, but as far as I can tell, it is the same corn-based litter but with a new, incredibly obnoxious scent. The old A&H High Performance had a strong perfume-y smell and the new Essentials litter has a different and even stronger perfume-y smell. At first I liked it because it’s kind of fresh smelling, but after living with it in the box, I just couldn’t stand it. Otherwise it performs about the same — light and fluffy texture, low dust, okay clumping.

Warning! Fresh Results Natural Litter is Not the Same Quality!

I found a natural corn-based litter called Fresh Results at Walmart for a really good price. It looked and smelled exactly like the Arm & Hammer natural litter, so I assumed they were the same. They are not! I really noticed a difference in the quality of the Fresh Results – very bad clumping and almost no odor control. It’s certainly better than the clay choices available at Walmart, but please know that this is not the best natural litter out there. It’s very disappointing because that was a great move for Walmart to put in a natural litter, but now people might switch back to clay after having a bad experience with natural litter.

New natural litters to try

I found some new natural litters at the pet expo, although they are not easy to find yet. Here are a couple that I have yet to test:

Green Tea Leaves Clumping Cat Litter

Green Tea Leaves clumping litter is wood-based plus it is made with green tea leaves that contain catechin, a natural tannin that helps fight odors and is anti-bacterial.

Close to Naturenow Organic Soybean Cat Litter

This one sounds great! It’s from The Organic Farm Store. The litter is 100% organic and all natural. It is made from soybean meal for superior clumping and granulated potato starch to enhance odor control. It is biodegradable and flushable and supposedly low tracking. I can’t wait to try this one!

What are you using?

Please leave your comments about these natural litters or any others that you have tried. If more of us show interest in natural cat litter, it should trigger the litter manufacturers to make improvements and continue developing new alternative natural litters that are healthy for cats, people, and the environment.

. . .

Please read the following posts to learn more about flushing cat litter:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin



77 Responses to “Natural Cat Litter Comparison – Part 2”

  1. 51
    Kitty Resq

    I have tried nearly every litter out there looking for the best one. Feline Pine is nothing more than wood pellet stove fuel and you can buy a 40-pound bag at Lowe’s or Home Depot (or your local feed store) for less than $5. Don’t waste your money on the Feline Pine. Feline Pine (or wood stove pellets) disintegrates when peed on and turns into sawdust. The sawdust tracks everywhere. World’s Best is extremely dusty. The label says “99% dust free”, but if you read the fine print, it says “silica dust”. If a black cat goes into a box with this litter, its feet will be encased in dusty boots upon exiting the box. My favorite litter is Nature’s Miracle, and the Wal-Mart brand is identical. Not all stores carry it, but this link is for the product and you can input your zip code to find out if your local store carries it.

    This litter has NO dust. It does track. The scent is a pleasant woodsy aroma, not some fake perfumey stuff. The clumps are not rock-hard, but I prefer this. It means my cats won’t have cement-like bits of litter stuck in their paws. Art and Hammer makes a similar litter, but it has a very obnoxious, heavy perfume. Cats don’t like perfume and this one gives me a headache!

    Nature’s Miracle (and the Wal-Mart version) is more expensive than many litters, but if you scoop daily, one bag will last a month. Really. It ends up being less expensive than other “cheaper” types.

  2. 52

    i breed smoke persians and have automatic littermaid litter boxes — i lover the WBC for that purpose, but have heard that there is a petsmart knock off of that brand for a lot less money — is that true? is there a clumping Exquisicats corn litter? has anyone tried it? — i always switch to yesterday’s news before a queen is ready to deliver because i once had a baby born in clay clumping litter (fortunately i was just around the corner and was (with lots of trouble) able to wash off all the clumping litter from his wet little newborn body — but i was wondering if i could just leave the WBC in for the queens, it seems it wouldnt be too bad getting it off of wet babies if necessary… In the boxes, some of my cats prefer the clay so i have a few with clay litter — for me the best has been ever clean — fresh step was the worst…

  3. 53

    Love the Green Tea Leaves clumping litter. No dust, no perfume, great odor control (for one cat for sure!) and easy to clean up. It doesn’t clump really well, but that doesn’t bother me as much as dust and perfume from clay litters. The one thing I don’t like about it, is that it is pricey.

  4. 54

    Hi Kate – The Noble Beast carries PaPurr Litter, they changed the bag so perhaps you did not recognize it. PaPurr is a Arizona company too. Also approached by Green Tea yesterday about carrying their litter, but it does seem pricey. About $9.00 for a 4 lb bag, wanna test it for us?

  5. 55

    I second Simone’s vote of confidence in the green tea litter! I live in New York City and get it from my two local pet shops, though I haven’t been able to find it at chains like Petco, so I imagine it’s not widely available yet. I used to use World’s Best, and I didn’t care for pellets historically, but the cashier at one of my shops recommended it, and I haven’t looked back since.

    It is very pricey, but it covers up odor like nothing else I’ve ever tried. Having a tiny apartment, this function is a big deal for me. It actually has a really pleasant woody (not cedar) smell. Plus, it is also super light, which means carrying it from the store is much easier than with a grain litter. I haven’t had much problem with tracking–I’d say it is actually less of problem than it was with World’s Best and Swheat Scoop (see below).

    Both my shops have been out of it for a week (I think they both use the same spotty distributor–again, hard to come by) and I bought some Swheat Scoop as a temporary replacement. I have to say it doesn’t even carry a candle to the green tea litter–I’m completely loyal at this point!

  6. 56

    I switched to Feline Pine pellets because my cats are allergic to grains, so the corn-based litters aren’t an option. I got the special litter box, which works well, and the sawdust is lightweight and incredibly easy to clean. Only issue is, the special box doesn’t come with a cover, and they do tend to kick the pellets out of the box. The manufacturer is too small to afford tooling a lid, but they were kind enough to send me links of other boxes/lids that would fit on top. I ended up buying a dog tent on Amazon that I believe the box will fit into (because it was better constructed than the kitty litter tents and less expensive!) so we’ll see. Anyway, I’m sticking with Feline Pine because – unlike the wood chips at the hardware store – the toxic (to cats) sap has been removed. And it’s really not that expensive – I go through it much slower than the clumping Arm & Hammer I used to buy.

  7. 57

    Have used Yesterday’s News pellets for years instead of clumping litters.
    Recently transitioned to these litter box solutions: 1) SmartCat Litter Box in some parts of the house; 2) combined Yesterday’s News with World’s Best Cat Litter (multi-cat formula) for boxes in other parts of the house. The Yesterday’s News helps control the extreme dusty-ness and corn powder smell of WBCL that impacts everyone’s airways. It doesn’t detract from the good clumping and flushability of WBCL. And there’s less tracking and less powder residue on paws. Yes, maybe there’s a bit more waste of unaffected litter when cleaning the box, but the combo seems to work for us.

  8. 58

    FYI: Arm & Hammer utilizes animal testing. Not sure how that works into this whole debate.

  9. 59
    Jean McCarthy

    I’ve been using Fresh for Life Multicat Litter which I get at Pet Value in Canada. They have a selection of choices, i.e. with herbs, lemon scent. Does anyone have any pros or cons on this? I just picked up a regualr clumping the other nite due to time constraint and my two fosters rather turned up their noses at it eventhough I’d just added some to top up their box. It appears that they like the Frest for Life brand…..very spoiled, fussy fosters now who were trained by my now departed loves for -17 and -20 years, sadly. They taught these 2 well!!

  10. 60

    I live in a medium sized apartment with two cats. I have been looking for a healthy, effective cat litter for months now without feeling satisfied.
    The size of the room I keep the boxes in is fairly small and right next to my living room, so odor control is HUGE for me.
    Feline Pine Scoop has a smell that I like, but it tracks everywhere and does a horrible job clumping.
    World’s Best Cat Litter has unmatched clumping capabilities and odor control as far as I’m concerned, but it definitely smells like a barnyard. If you can stand the smell, I recommend it.
    I have tried Yesterdays News, and Petco Naturals corn litter as well. Neither of those did well with odor control or clumping.

    I read this article and decided to hunt down the Green Tea litter.
    It is amazing! If your cats can stand medium-sized pellets I really recommend it! The pellets are soft, not like Yesterday’s News or original Feline Pine. You can actually crush them and make them smaller!
    The odor control is great, and the litter smells wonderful. It clumps well, there is very lttle dust and minimal tracking.
    The only negative things I can say is my little 10 week old kitten did try and eat it when I first poured it. But once my 2 year old popped a squat he got the idea of what its really for and we haven’t had any problems since.
    Make sure you have a scooper with large slots to scoop out their messes.
    I really recommend the Green Tea litter for anyone, but especially those trying to be health conscious fir their cats with limited space. It smells and works wonderfully.

    Continuing with my search for the best, I will be ordering the PaPurr Scoop ( litter to try it out. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    I’ll let

  11. 61
    Al amodeo

    Safety for my kitties is always my number 1 factor. I gave up on the plant based products like Arm & Hammer Essential and Greatest Cat litter because most corn is GMO (genetically modified organism) and don’t want it in me or my kitties. Wheat, which I have never tried, is also GMO. Clay is out for us for many reasons. I use the Feline Pine. It has many downfalls. It tracks like crazy, is dusty, clumps good at first but not so as it wears down, etc. I mix some new in with the old during the duration and when I do change out the litter and clean the boxes about every 10 days or so. I can get it on sale sometimes at my local supermarket for $2.74 for a 4 lb box. That is amazingly cheap. I stock up big time and wait for the next sale. I get rain checks too to extend the sale for me =o_o=
    Like I said, choices are few and tough but if safety for kittie is your primary worry, I haven’t been able to find another and better choice. Let me know if you have. I have 5 kitties that are great with decisions I make for them like switching them all to a homemade raw food diet. Less poop but more pee. Much healthier too beyond my imagination.

  12. 62
    Holly Davidson

    Al amodeo,
    Interesting – where do i find out how to make a “HOMEMADE RAW FOOD DIET”?

    I haven’t tried the Feline Pine clumping – somehow didn’t know they made it.I tried the World’s Greatest (seems okay) and Arm & Hammer (what an atrociously obnoxious smell) but I’m not keen on grain litters, especially corn;it takes a lot of water so it’s not that environmentally friendly.

  13. 63

    Perhaps you don’t scoop your box?

    My Honest Opinion on Cat Litter –

    Fresh Results Cat Litter – is the best in the Universe! It’s Natural, Biodegradable and the cats love it!

    This is the same exact product as Nature’s Miracle by 8 in 1 (Pro Pet). They sell that at Petco for $18+ a bag. Walmart sells it for $5.22 a bag, except they are now pulliing it off the shelves. (you can call and request it back in the stores!)

    I have stuggled to find a litter I can use for that cats that wasn’t clay and didn’t have perfumes because of my illness, this was the only product but now Walmart starting to pull it off the shelves. People think cheap means it doesn’t work, so not true in this case! I have 2 cats and one box. I scoop 2 times a day, and only change out the whole box maybe once every 6 to 8 weeks.

    I just add more litter as it gets low. The box never ever smells. This litter covers every single odor, lasts a very long time and the cats love it! They love digging in it and will actually cover their leavings! I have had cats for 30+ years and have tried everything, even down to sand! This is truly the best cat litter in the universe!

  14. 64

    I used World’s Best Cat Litter for years & I loved it. It clumps better than any litter I’ve ever tried. It does track a bit, but not as much as some of the saw dust/pine litters. The odor isn’t the best, but again I prefer it over the smell of pine. My only problem was I discovered that my cat had been eating it (I was wondering why she kept gaining weight).

    Since then I have tried “Feline Pine” Clumping= could not stand the powerful pine smell & the pine would stick all over my cats fur & in her sleeping spots (ie the brown pillows on my couch).

    Tried “Swheat Scoop” (wheat litter)= did nothing for cat urine odor & did not clump well at all.

    Currently using “Natures Miracle” Clumping Pine litter AND “Natures Miracle” Clumping paper litter= odor is not bad like WBC litter or Feline Pine, but when peed on they both form a sticky goo on the bottom of the litter box. Need a chisel to get if off.

    Has anyone ever tried “Feline Fresh” Pine litter??? I’ve read reviews that it clumps better, tracks less, and has better odor control than the other pine litters. I think I’ll try it and let you know. If not, next I’ll try the green tea one. Otherwise I may just go back to the World’s Best & just add baking soda.

  15. 65

    I have been using Purr and Simple for a while now. It is made from nutshells and comes in two varieties – pellets and clumping. It is also flushable. I use the clumping in a ModKat box for two cats. It works well, it is less dusty that World’s Best, odor control is good, and the cats seem to like it. It is dark brown though, so if you have a cat with a bladder problem you might not catch blood in the urine by looking at the lumps you scoop. I have also used President’s Choice (available at Provigo and Loblaw’s in Canada) which is made from corn and is lightly perfumed. The cats are ok with that one as well, but it tracks a lot more than the Purr and Simple.

  16. 66

    has anyone ever encountered a litter sand called “Cat’s Best”? it is made by a german company and it’s made of tiny wood pallets.
    I bought and used it for a year now when i lived back home in Israel, however i have recently relocated to the US and I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
    tried WBCL but it had so much tracking and dust it was awful and it didn’t contain the smell at all. we’re back to my old favorite clay made sand: Ever Clean, but i really feel bad for using it.

    if anyone has any rec` for a litter that will be great in a home that currently has 5 cats (three mine, two foster i brought from back home) I would love to hear about it.
    price is a small issue, i am college student, i will never cheep down on their cat food but litter is a different matter, if it is good enough.

  17. 67
    Xavier Silvertooth

    I cant stand her stupid ass but del toro is amazing!! He makes the most interesting and wonderful films. The orphanage was so creepy but had such a sweet ending for a horror film. He needs to keep it up and keep making great moviesReport this comment as spam or abuse

  18. 68

    My calico started licking the fur from her belly, to the point that she started giving herself sore spots. The vet suspected allergies, and we eliminated grains from her diet. The licking continued until I realized that I was still using Swheat Scoop litter! If your cat has a grain/corn allergy, be careful about your natural litters! I’m trying the Feline Pine clumping, but it doesn’t control odor enough. The litterbox is in my bedroom! Any suggestions for stink-free, wheat-free, corn-free and clay-free litter?

  19. 69
    Mary Ellen Carr

    In your studies you may want to try ‘Happy Cat’ cat litter. We will send you a free sample!
    The key ingredient in this unique cat litter is Zeolite, an amazing mineral with a unique molecular structure such that it absorbs and binds ammonia, moisture and toxins. It is the only true green cat litter product out there and lasts longer than the other brands. Also, when it is time to completely change the litter box, you can use it to fertilize the garden. Good for the environment, a truly green product!
    Happy Cat is a 100% Natural product without added chemicals or perfumes to mask smells. Most other kitty litter products need additives because their products start to release the smells soon after they have been soiled. Chemicals are usually added to kitty litter in the forms of glue to make them clump.
    Competitiors instruct you to remove the soiled litter to avoid odor re-contamination. You shouldn’t have to. The ideal kitty litter should continue to work. Happy Cat does! This is an important fact that truly sets Happy Cat apart from all the competition and allows our kitty litter to last longer the all others.

    Happy Cat is an odor eliminating product. Its unique all natural chemical composition absorbs the ammonia and its odors, leaving a clean and odorless habitat. This product is non scented. The molecular structure of clinoptilotite Zeolite allows the mineral to absorb 60% of its own weight in liquid. Most litters are made with clay,which absorbs on contact, but releases ammonia when drying. Happy Cat traps and holds ammonia and does not release it.
    Click this link for more details:
    Let me know if you want a free sample.

  20. 70
    Mary Ellen Carr

    Reference to the above previous post I commented on January 19th. I want to clarify by free sample was meant to be sent to Modern Cat in order to test the product. Not a free sample sent to anyone! Sorry about the misunderstanding. – Mary Ellen

  21. 71

    I posted earlier about using Purr and Simple litter. I have since switched my cats to a raw food diet and I no longer have an odor problem. There simply is no odor (when they were on various kinds of kibble a visit to the litter box could “perfume” my apartment rapidly and intensely – and with staying power). I have to remind myself to clean the box daily.

  22. 72
    Mary Sue

    I spoke with a company rep who told me that Pro Pet Fresh Results and Nature’s Miracle corn cob litters are exactly the same product, just with different names and packaging. The Arm and Hammer Essentials is not the same.

    The Happy Cat Litter sounds just like a new one I’ve seen in Walmart called Desert’s Sand. Desert’s Sand is the most expensive litter I have ever seen though it did get my 17 year old cat back to using the litter box. Now I just sprinkle a little on top of the Fresh Results and she’s fine.

    For those of you saying you can’t find Fresh Results in Walmart, you can order it on their website for home delivery or store pickup.

  23. 73
    Joan Laurie

    Pro Pet Fresh Results Cat Litter from Walmart @ $5.77/10# bag is the best cat litter I have ever used in twenty years of cat ownership! I have never been excited about cat litter before. I was tired of the clay dust covering so much of my house from the other 99% dust free litters. Well 1% must be a LOT of DUST!

    This FRESH RESULTS is amazing. I have three cats totalling 40# of cat and my house is fresh smelling. I bought three new litter boxes and just made the switch. It took less than two bags to start. NO DUST noticed at all. Not to mention it’s easy to carry and easy to scoop. My cats made the transition right away. I highly recommend it.

  24. 74

    FELINE FRESH is the best. i used to love feline pine, but a couple of years ago they changed the clumping litter and my cats rejected it. i read online that many people had this problem after the change. luckily a friend told me about feine fresh clumping. it’s like the old feline pine clumping. there is NEVER any ammonia odor and my house smells fresh. people come in and are surprised to find i have a cat. my two chihuahuas use it too!
    the downside? it’s hard to find! it lasts a long, long time, though, so it can be worth paying for shipping from online vendors… it’s also very light weight. some offer a buy ‘some’ get one free deal, too. i can’t recommend this litter highly enough.

  25. 75
    Denise Pokrny

    has anyone used fresh for life cat litter? i want to try it but not sure which type would be the best they have so many varieties. i need something with good odor control and minimal tracking as i live in a small apartment i’ve used shweat scoop and found it doesnt have the odor control for a very long time and WBCL is way too dusty. i’ve got paw prints all across every floor and carpet. =(

  26. 76
    K Poon

    I have been using Worlds Best for 5 years, and I have heard they recently changed their formula. For the past year, I have noticed BUGS (YES BUGS!) inside the bag and in my litter! Of course it makes sense that little made out of corn would have living organisms in them. This is just disgusting. I have enjoyed the flushable nature WB, but I agree with all the posts above, the dust and tracking is getting out of control. I value flushability, clumping, and odor control. Can anyone help? I am afraid of anything corn/wheat based because I’m afraid of geting bugs like in WBCL…. Thanks.

  27. 77

    FRESH RESULTS has been changed. For those of you who love Fresh Results corncob litter, beware of the new product. Same bag, litter looks the same, but it is not the same. There is almost no clumping and there is no odor control at all. I had been using it happily for years when it disappeared from Walmart shelves for about 2 months. It is now back and it is AWFUL!!!

Leave a Reply