Best cat litters in 2023, tried and tested by cat owners

For an odour-free litter zone

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Saskia Kemsley1 minute ago

Cats exist on their own, very particular and highly independent feline planet.

Their highly unique preferences and habits are far beyond the realm of human understanding, and with each passing year of companionship it becomes increasingly clear that our cats believe themselves to be our caretakers, rather than the other way around. This makes training cats and kittens a thankless task.

Whether you’ve grown up with cats in the family or are a first-time feline friend, the most daunting aspect of acclimatising both indoor and outdoor cats relates to their litter training. When one can hardly get a cat to sit still for long enough for a simple brush, how are we supposed to convince our feline overlords to use the loo neatly and conveniently? Novice or a seasoned pro, we’re here to break it down for you.

What is cat litter made from and how does it work?

The main ingredient in cat litter is clay – specifically bentonite clay. The most common bentonite clays used for cat litter are sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite, both of which can expand up to 15 times their original size. This effect is referred to as ‘clumping’, which is extremely helpful when it comes to removing waste from cat litter. The clumping effect can also help to absorb and trap any nasty odours.

Other cat litter is made from non-clumping materials such as wood pellets, as well as odour-trapping materials such as silica.

How do I ensure that my cat uses the litter box?

Many cats and kittens will have an instinctual desire to use a litter box, as it is within their nature to expel bodily waste in dirt and sand. It’s why they have a reputation for being smarter than our beloved dogs. No matter the cat’s age the vast majority will simply need to be shown where the litter box is, and how to get in and out.

However, some owners might need a little more help with encouraging their feline to use the litter box. If that’s the case, it’s recommended that you place the litter box in question in an area where you know that your cat feels safe.

Don’t place food or water bowls near the litter box, and ensure it is easily accessible. You might also want to consider placing the litter box far away from areas of the house which can be noisy, such as next to the rattling washing machine or near the boiler. If your home has multiple levels, you could additionally try placing a different litter box on each floor for additional convenience.

What should I consider before purchasing cat litter?

Ultimately, ensuring your cat uses the litter box will be a process of trial and error. You might find a litter and box combination which your cat immediately clicks with, or it might take you a few attempts to get it right. Either way, the most important element to consider is the material which the litter is made from.

  • Clay: the most common material used in cat litter due to its clumping ability. Relatively dust-free, bentonite clay doesn’t allow your cat to trail dirt throughout the house.
  • Silica: the most powerful odour-absorber, otherwise known as crystal litter. It doesn’t have to be scooped every day and can also be extremely helpful for monitoring your cat’s health. If your cat is particularly messy, silica litter can be harder to clean up.
  • Paper: the most inexpensive on the market, and also one of the most eco-friendly options available. Paper litter is the least effective of the bunch, with limited odour control and a significant lack of clumping.

Wood and plant-based: a useful option for cats who have trouble balancing on rougher terrain, as well as households with members suffering from allergies. Plant-based litter is ultra-soft and dust-free, making it a great first option for kittens.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, keep scrolling for a round-up of the best cat litters on the market which have been approved by cat owners across the globe.,

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World’s Best Cat Litter

World’s Best Cat Litter

Material: whole-kernel corn, clumping

This litter’s name isn’t pure coincidence. Beloved by cat owners across the globe, World’s Best Litter is 99 per cent dust-free and lightweight, offering a lower level of tracking throughout the house and far less mess. Though we wouldn’t recommend regularly flushing your litter, this option is flushable and safe for both septic and sewer systems. Despite its plant-based nature, the whole-kernel corn litter proves to be a brilliant odour-trapper and clumps quickly for easy disposal.

Buy now£31.34, Amazon

Katkin Scoop Litter


Material: colour-changing silica, non-clumping

This innovative option is the UK’s first health-monitoring silica litter. Powered by colour-changing silica crystals which correspond to urgent medical issues by reacting to the pH of your cat’s urine, you’ll never be blindsided by an unexpected feline health issue again. Though the system doesn’t offer a diagnosis, it certainly does help to spot and prevent early illnesses. Silica pellets are also odour-eliminating, long-lasting, fast-absorbing and easy to clean. Since this litter doesn’t clump, it’s best to give it a daily stir to maximise absorption.

Buy now£14.99, Katkin

Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter


Material: bentonite clay, clumping

A tried and true option from Purina which features ammonia blockers for ultimate odour-reduction, this litter is made from fast-clumping bentonite clay. Suitable for all cats at all stages of life, you simply can’t go wrong with a classic.

Buy now£28.63, Amazon

Ever Clean Clumping Cat Litter

Ever Clean

Material: bentonite clay, clumping

Manufactured using bentonite clay, Ever Clean litter produces extra-large and easy-to-scoop clumps. Using activated carbon technology, this litter is also capable of trapping and eliminating odours rather than just masking them. We’re also big fans of the low-dust formula for limited tracking.

Buy now£16.37, Amazon

Catsan Hygiene Cat Litter


Material: quartz and limestone, non-clumping

Designed to rapidly absorb liquids before long-lasting odour has even had the chance to develop, this litter has been uniquely crafted from quartz and limestone. While slightly dustier than alternative options, the non-bleached all-white colour of the litter makes it easy to track your cat’s health and general bowel movements.

Buy now£12.59, Amazon

Petkit Strong Clumping Cat Litters, 5 in 1 Mixed Cat Litter 2 Packs


Material: tofo, bentonite clay, activated carbon and odour-eliminating pellet, clumping

Aside from being incredibly chic and easy to store, Petkit benefits from combining a range of litter materials for an overall powerful effect. According to regular buyers, this litter is particularly fantastic when it comes to eliminating odour while remaining more cost-effective than silica.

Buy now£29.99, Amazon