Unless you can train your cat to use a toilet, Kitty needs a place to poop. It’s one of the joys of owning a pink-tongued, playful, pouncing fuzz ball: The cat box.
Don’t you hate it when you walk into your home and wham!—you’re greeted with the stench of urine? No matter where you hide Kitty’s litter box, the stink finds a way to permeate the house. It wafts down the hall from the laundry room. Up from the basement. Downstairs from the corner bedroom.
That’s why choosing a cat litter is so important. For most people, odor control tops the list. But it’s also important to find an effective litter that doesn’t crumble, stick to the bottom of the box or follow Kitty all over the house.
On a budget? Check out these five odor-eliminating, mess-free brands that cat owners love—all for under $10!
1. Arm & Hammer Essentials: Natural Clumping Litter
Price: $8.68 at Walmart for 10.5 lb bag
We all know baking soda kills odors in your fridge instantly, so whoever decided to build a cat litter around it was a genius. Made from natural corn fibers, this litter is also dust-free (no sneezing from scooping or Kitty pawing and digging). It absorbs urine like a beast and somehow manages to keep the clumps lightweight. Arm & Hammer also makes a litter deodorizer for about $4, so if you prefer using pellets but want to do more to kill the smell, a deodorizer is a superb choice.
What’s the Cat Opinion? Purrrrfect.
2. World’s Best Cat Litter: Clumping Formula
Price: $8.49 at PetSmart and Petco for 7 lb bag
Some cat owners describe using World’s Best as an ethereal experience—like buying a bottle of exotic perfume. Made from safe, all-natural, earth-friendly ingredients, this cat litter clumps and you can flush it. Petco reviews are outstanding: 4.8 out of 5 stars because it’s safe, easy to clean and works wonders for cats with allergies. The downside? Staying cheap means buying smaller bags. Larger bags cost around $31.
What’s the Cat Opinion? The unique smell might take some getting used to, so let me sit and stare at it for a while and then formulate an opinion.
3. Tidy Cats: Scoop for Multiple Cats
Price: $8.99 at PetSmart for 20 lb bag
If you’re a kitty hoarder, these huge 20-lb bags are serious bang for your buck. Cat owners everywhere love Tidy Cats. It’s been the leading brand for years. They have so many effective choices, too: From 24/7 freshness to Instant Action, their products get it done. The clumping litter works fantastically for big cats with big bladders. Reviewers rave about how long it lasts between cleanings, but they also warn you to wait until the urine is dry before scooping.
What’s the Cat Opinion? A-meow-zing!
4. Fresh Step: Multiple Cat Scoopable
Price: $8.07 at PetSmart for a 20 lb bag
More than 3,000 cat lovers gave this litter 5 out of 5 stars on PetSmart.com. Why? Because it’s made to hide the fact you have cats. No more gagging when you get up close to scoop a dirty box! The fresh aroma releases with each scoop or step from Kitty. In case you have a sensitive nose, Fresh Step has many other awesome choices, like Extreme Unscented for $9.99. The downside? It’s a bit dustier than other litters and might stick to Kitty’s feet.
What’s the Cat Opinion? I demand this litter right meow!
5. Feline Pine
Price: $8.94 at Walmart or $9.89 at Petco’s online store for a 20 lb bag
So you’ve probably heard a lot of people are switching to pellet litter because it’s natural, safe and less messy. Cat consumer reviews proclaims Feline Pine to be the most recommended brand out there—it’s biodegradable (so it can be flushed or used as mulch), absorbent (the pellets dissolve) and doesn’t have any harsh artificial fragrances. A bonus: it’s safe for kittens and post-surgical cats. The downside? This brand doesn’t clump.
What’s the Cat Opinion? You want my paws to touch that? (Because some cats don’t like the texture, try adding a thin layer of normal litter on top of the pellets.)
Remember: Smelly-good, scoopable cat litter is great, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect dumping old litter and scrubbing your cat box with soap and water at least once a month. While some brands offer litter that’s “virtually maintenance-free for a week,” scooping daily is the best way to keep Kitty healthy.
By Deanna Morono