Thriving Cat

What Is The Best Clay Cat Litter

What Is The Best Clay Cat Litter?

I normally use pine cat litter and don’t like clay litters. I never thought I would find a clay litter I like, but I may have now. We just adopted a new kitty (our 4th) and she is used to clay litter so we got some to ease her transition. I wanted a lightweight litter and one that was good at odor control. I also wanted one that didn’t have strong perfumes. I hate the smell of cat litter!

I picked up a jug of Tidy Cats Lightweight Free And Clean Unscented cat litter with Odor Absorbing Charcoal. It actually works! I was a bit shocked.

Why It Works

It is lightweight. It covers cat box smell and it doesn’t reek of perfume! This litter met all my requirements!

The activated charcoal is in little pieces the same size as the clay bits. It must really work since it smells so much better than a regular litter box! I am very impressed! Why try to mask litter box odors with strong chemical scents (that linger on your poor cat’s fur and feet) when you can neutralize the odor naturally? When cat’s groom they ingest the dust from litter also, thereby ingesting those same chemicals and perfumes from low quality litter. This is not healthy!

If you want a clay cat litter I would absolutely choose this variety. You and your cat will be healthier and your home will smell better!

Lighter Than Other “Lightweight” Litters!

This litter is 40% lighter weight than other “lightweight” litters such as Arm and Hammer brand or Fresh Step. So you get a lot more litter per pound or a much lighter container to carry than other “lightweight” brands! Since we live on the third floor of our building, this a great bonus!

Why Is Pine Litter a Top Choice?

I am impressed with Tidy Cat Lightweight Free and Clear with odor control, however, my top choice will always be a pine cat litter. There are many reasons pieces of natural pine wood make a great litter.

*Pine litter is natural, made from scrap wood and is also lighter in weight than regular clay litter. It does a good job of controlling odor naturally without any added perfumes or chemicals.

*It is safe for cats and safe for people since no chemicals are added.

*It is also lower in dust than most clay litters.

*Best of all you can flush it…you can’t do that with any clay litter since those will clog up your pipes. You don’t want to flush all of the pine litter at once, but you can scoop and flush each day.

*Pine litter is also antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral!

*Corn and wheat based litters can attract bugs….YUCK! When I used corn based litter I saw beetles in it!

*Pine litter does not attract insects and can actually deter them.

Try a Box of Pine Litter Today

If you want to try a pine litter there are many options including pellets and smaller pieces. Some clump, some do not. My favorite pine litter is Okocat brand. Here is their clumping variety, Okocat Featherweight:

I always used the regular Okocat Cracked Pine (non clumping) but that is now only available as an add on item from Amazon. You have to buy something else then you can add a box of the litter to your order. I assume this was to cut down on shipping charges since it was such a good deal to get this with free shipping!

If you are still using old-fashioned clay litter, I urge you to try one of these wonderful products. They will make your house cleaner, smell better and be healthier for you and your cat! You won’t have to lug boxes of heavy clay around either!

Try This Cat Box to Prevent Litter Tracking

My biggest complaint about clay litter is that it tracks all over! If you find yourself sweeping or vacuuming litter every day check out my review of a better litter box option. This is what I use to prevent litter from tracking. Cat box to prevent litter tracking.

Please leave your questions or comments below on the subject of what is the best clay cat litter! I believe this is Tidy Cat Lightweight litter but I would love to hear what you think of these litters or any questions or thoughts you may have on this or any other cat topic.

Happy Cats!


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  1. Steve

    We are still trying to get our 2-year-old cat to use a litter pan, so I am looking at different options. Our other cat who passed away a few years ago was not picky at all, just used whatever we bought at Costco. Finding litter for our 2-year-old has been a challenge. Thankfully he takes after the dog and just goes outside. It would be nice to have him litter trained though, so we can leave him in the house when we are away for a weekend.

    I didn’t realize clay litter was available. You do make a very compelling argument for pine as well though. At least now I have some options! I love the fact that you can flush the pine litter, something again I have not done. I used to just scoop out the “used” litter and put it in a garbage bag. Is the clay litter flushable?

    This process has been such a chore to train our cat to use a litter pan. Our other cat, it was so easy. Thanks for sharing this, as always you have some great information. I love that you share your personal experiences!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Steve!
      No, the clay litter is not flushable. It still leaves a gluey mess at the bottom of the box even with this lightweight kind. I don’t know if that was made worse by the fact I started adding the pine litter to it however since I was trying to transition her over to the pine. Adding the pine may have impeded the clumping action of the clay. In my experience all clay litters make a messy box though. Cleaning it is a pain but I found spraying some straight alcohol on the residue at the bottom of the box worked. If I use clay again I think I will use the plastic litter box liners for that purpose.

      I still much prefer the pine litters however. Okocat brand is my favorite and specifically the cracked pine. Unfortunately that is a little harder to get from Amazon now. You can still order the small box for only $5.99 though. We got the large boxes since we had multiple cats and it was just cheaper that way. The large boxes now are way overpriced. I don’t know if they are phasing that variety out. There are other varieties of Okocat however such as their clumping. If you live near a PetSmart store, I would recommend picking up a bag of ExquisiCat brand Pine or Pine Cobble litter. The Pine is in pellets, the cobble is just in smaller pieces. That brand is more cost effective than Feline Pine which is available at regular stores.

      Our cats have always been fine with whatever kind of litter we got as well. It was a matter of finding odor control, low dust and not one that attracted bugs like the corn or wheat!

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find a litter that works for your kitty.

  2. Curtis Henderson

    Why is litter so complicated? Can’t they just make one that meets all of our requirements and cleans itself as well as empties and replaces itself? Just kidding, but wouldn’t that be great. We have tried many different kinds as well, since we have 6, yes that’s right 6 inside cats. We love them all but I wish they could just go in the toilet like the rest of us.
    Thank you for an informative article. I will check this litter out and the pine also.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Curtis,
      I love your humor here! Yes, I agree! I have to say I really prefer pine and my husband does too. If we have to use clay this is the one we will use however.

      We have 4 cats now, I can’t really imagine keeping up with 6!

      Thanks for stopping by,

  3. Vince

    We had a clay litter when we had a cat and found it made a lot of dust. Did yours do so as well?

    I think pine is where we are going to move to for our next cat.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      This variety of clay litter has much less dust than regular clay litter. However, I could still smell it so there is still some there. I really do prefer the pine!

      Thanks Vince,

  4. Kathleen

    The TRUTH about cat litter!! Finally!! Thank you! It is crazy all the clumping stuff is just awful and disgusting and it is the majority of litters! I am so happy to hear there are other natural options and something that is going to work and not be a mess or a complete waste of money. My latest litter was the natural pellet kind and it smells like manure! My cat won’t touch it. I am absolutely on board with the pine option and can’t wait to get something more refreshing not just for the CAT! I appreciate your help in solving this issue. Many better days ahead.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Kathleen,
      Yes, I really, really, really don’t like clay litter. If you have to use it then this variety I found seems to be superior however. Otherwise I would stick to pine. There are claims that pine can have natural chemicals that are dangerous to cats but I suspect this is a bit misleading (I sure hope so since I have been using it for many years!). I think concentrated pine products (cleaners) would be much different than ground up wood! The studies claiming harm were also not on cats but on small rodents that live IN their bedding. Clay dust is very bad for cats and people to breath and there are claims by veterinarians it can contribute UTI’s in cats as well.

      If you live near a PetSmart store you can get their ExquisiCat brand pine litter. That is cheaper (and seems to work better than Feline Pine). My favorite is still Okocat however.


  5. Heather

    I am glad you are getting a more natural kitty litter. Those stinky ones are horrid. Then smell bad before the cat ever goes – it can’t be good for their lungs – it seems like that odor has to be toxic.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Heather,

      Yes, I greatly prefer the pine litters. They are great! I hate the dust and smell from clay litters and it can’t be healthy.

  6. Melissa Hazlett

    Hello Jessica.
    Wow I didn’t realize this made such a difference. My daughter has 2 cats and we have been trying also to find a cat littler like you mentioned. I am going to throw this idea her way so she can see the benefits as well. I am like you I don’t like the perfumey smell that most all other cat litters have. This would be a nice change.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Melissa,

      It makes a huge difference! I was just cleaning the cat box out last night and was so happy to be back to the pine litter. It just slides right out! No mess! I still wipe the box down to disinfect it but there is no sticky, awful mess left in the box like you get with all the clay litters.

      I am sure your daughter will like it.

  7. Jenny azcat

    This is a review of the Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight 24/7 Performance Clumping Litter.

    Summary – I have two indoor cats and we find this is a great littler. In terms of the smell, it is certainly more powerful than others we have used, however, we do not find it offensive and would describe the smell as more of a perfume vs. fresh-light scent. What I personally like about this litter more than others is how well it deals with the ammonia smell. When cleaning my other litters, the smell was borderline nauseating. This makes it just about odorless in terms of ammonia. Dust level would be on par with others. Certainly not dust free, yet not bad as far as I am concerned. Lastly, I would say this is messier than heavier litters. Not sure if this is due to it being light and clinging to feet on the way in and out of the litter box. Not a big deal in my opinion though. Price is on par and would certainly recommend. (Especially to those with multiple cats.)

    Is lightweight. One 17lb container would equal a 35lb container of normal litter.
    Scented and good for multiple cats.
    Does an excellent job with keeping ammonia smells down.
    Does a good job clumping.
    The container is reusable. Was it out real good and use it to store things in. Also nice to use to complete a full litter box swap out.
    Handle makes it easy to use and does not cut into the hand.

    A little messier than normal weighted litter.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Jenny,
      I agree with your observations. I like this litter for a clay litter. I will always be partial to pine litter however and that is my first choice.
      Thanks for your detailed review here!


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