Last Updated: October 23, 2020

Best Dust Free Cat Litter

Best Dust Free Cat Litter

Clay litters often get a bad rap, but there is no better substitute for getting the dirty work done. For the easiest clean-up with the least amount of dust, we found Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Litter to be the best choice of the many dust-free litters available. 

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Best Overall Scented
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clay Cat Litter
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clay Cat Litter Best Overall Scented
$20
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Won’t stick to sides and bottom
  • As close to dust-free as possible
  • Added scent controls odors
  • Quick absorption means less litter wasted
  • Doesn’t track outside the box
  • What we Dislike
  • Not made for use in automatic litterboxes
  • Scented litter may irritate allergy sufferers
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

While many brands offer clumping clay, Arm & Hammer edges out the competition with a reputation for customer satisfaction. Our winner produces a product as dust-free as possible while also absorbing quickly to avoid tracking and litter box residue. The added scent is a must-have to those tired of smelling their cat’s little “gifts”. Arm & Hammer’s Clump & Seal Scented Clumping Clay Litter is a cost-effective solution for most litter box set-ups and for homes with multiple cats. The biggest drawback to our winning brand is its incompatibility with automatic litter boxes, where a lightweight alternative would be a better option. Additionally, scented cat litter may irritate allergy sufferers or sensitive cats.

Fresh Step Multiple Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter
Fresh Step Multiple Cat Scoopable Clumping Cat Litter
$14
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Clumps on contact to minimize mess
  • Hard clumps are easy to scoop
  • Performs well in multi-cat households
  • What we Dislike
  • Scent can be overly strong to sensitive human and feline noses
  • The formula is light on dust, but not dust-free
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Can’t stand the aroma of cat waste? Fresh Step includes Febreeze additive to help offset the smell. This could be a negative for humans with allergies or felines with sensitive noses looking to avoid perfumed litter. Fresh Step is still a strong performer in the clay category because the hard clumps formed are easy to scoop and preferable in multi-cat environments.

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Attract Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Attract Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$16
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Cats are attracted to catnip-like herbs to encourage litterbox use
  • Great for kittens learning to use the box and cats with behavioral issues
  • What we Dislike
  • Humans might be turned off by the smell of the cat-attracting herbs
  • More dust than other litters
  • More likely to cling to paws and track out of the box
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter is made for cats with litterbox avoidance. The blend of herbs mixed in the litter naturally attract cats like their catnip cousin. For shelters, homes with training kittens, or frustrated owners of cats with behavioral avoidance, this is a godsend. For everyone else, the strong herb smell could scare away human company. Cat Attract also produces more dust than others on our list and is known to cling to paws.

Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$15
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Blocks bad smells with carbon odor absorbers
  • No artificial scent to trigger human allergies
  • Lack of artificial scent is more attractive to cats
  • What we Dislike
  • Tracks litter out of the box
  • Charcoal in the litter can cause streaks on floors
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Tidy Cats isn’t always so tidy, especially compared to its clay clumping competitors. Customers report litter tracked out of the box, and while the carbon odor absorbers effectively block unpleasant smells, they also can cause streaks on floors. However, it’s not heavily scented. Humans might find a little mess worth it to avoid the artificial fragrance of scented litters and to make the box more attractive to cats with sensitive noses. The large bucket with a hinged lid is useful after the litter in it is used up for future litterbox cleanups. 

Best Overall Non-Scented
Boxiecat Premium Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Boxiecat Premium Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Best Overall Non-Scented
$25
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
$25
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Long-lasting, even with multiple cats
  • Hard clumps are easier to clean up
  • Natural ingredients more attractive to cats
  • What we Dislike
  • Larger clumps compared to other brands are harder to scoop
  • Litter clumps on the surface
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Boxiecat doesn’t have the brand recognition of other clumping clay litters, but this is a good value brand for most cat guardians. Users report long-lasting, odor-free results even in a multi-cat household, while natural ingredients are easier on feline family members. In return for affordability, Boxiecats loses points for producing larger clumps harder to scoop and forming on the surface, causing liquid to pool.

Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$15
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Works well in automatic litterboxes
  • Controls odors well, even in multi-cat environments
  • What we Dislike
  • Packaged in large, heavy bag that is harder to handle than boxed litters
  • Produces more dust than other brands
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Like Boxiecat, Frisco is a lesser-known brand that’s effective without breaking the bank. This clumping litter is made of all-natural clay and specially formulated to neutralize odors quickly. Best of all, the litter is hypoallergenic and contains no added fragrances. Consumers praise the odor control and minimal tracking, but Frisco’s formula fails to reduce dust as effectively as its higher-priced competitors. For those looking for a low-price litter that won’t clog their automatic boxes, this will do the trick. But if you’re looking for a product convenient to transport and pour, consider a more expensive option in better packaging.

Cat's Pride Natural Care Unscented Clumping Cat Litter
Cat's Pride Natural Care Unscented Clumping Cat Litter
$10
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Lightweight and long-lasting
  • Ideal for multi-cat homes
  • Easy to pour plastic container
  • What we Dislike
  • Doesn’t clump as well as other litters
  • Not available in larger buckets
Product Details
Type of Litter Advanced Clay
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

This is a great product that weighs less than traditional clays litters but does come in smaller jugs so it may not present the best value for all buyers. Some may find the 15 lb jug easier to carry and maneuver and the wide spout makes it easy to pour. This hypoallergenic formula is a good choice for cats and owners with allergies, with no dyes or perfumes.

Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter
$19
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Unscented formula benefits humans with allergies
  • Works well in multi-cat households
  • What we Dislike
  • Strong clumps can be hard to scoop
  • Wet litter can stick to the bottom of the box
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Unlike its Cat Attract brand, Precious Cat has produced this litter without scent, and it scores well for humans with allergies. Its hypoallergenic formula made from natural ingredients is ideal for cats with respiratory issues, too. The Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter performs well in multi-cat households because it is mostly dust-free and doesn’t track across floors. In return, the strong clumps formed can be harder to scoop compared to other litters. Neat freaks beware, wet litter can stick to the bottom of the box, too.

World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula
World's Best Cat Litter, Clumping Litter Formula
$27
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Flushable formula for easy disposal without harming septic systems
  • Completely free of silica dust and ideal for humans and felines with respiratory difficulties
  • Made from whole kernel corn and environmentally friendly
  • What we Dislike
  • Can get moldy if not changed regularly
  • Clumps more likely to break apart than in clay litters
  • More dust than other formulas leads to more mess on floors – and cats
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Creating a biodegradable litter from whole kernel corn is pretty impressive, but still not enough to give World’s Best Cat Litter an accurate title. This litter has bragging rights for convenience because customers can flush it without damaging a fragile septic system. This is an attractive option for apartment dwellers and those looking to get rid of their cat’s little gifts immediately. The trade-off is a litter that’s less effective at controlling odors overall, so you might be flushing a lot. While World’s Best is free of silica dust to keep lungs safe, it creates more dust overall than clay products and even gets moldy if ignored for too long. Buyers’ success with this litter will depend on how much time they want to put into monitoring the litterbox. 

Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Ever Clean Extra Strength Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
$13
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Long-lasting odor control with activated charcoal
  • Moisture lock creates extra strong clumps to prevent liquid waste from reaching the bottom of the box
  • Antimicrobial agents prevent growth of bacteria
  • What we Dislike
  • Doesn’t clump as well as other litters
  • Lightweight litter more likely to be kicked out of the box
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Are you that guilty owner who misses the occasional daily litterbox scooping? Ever Clean might be the litter for you – microbial agents added to the litter prevent the growth of bacteria, making it longer-lasting between clean-ups. The added charcoal properties also effectively absorb odors without heavy artificial scents. A special moisture lock forms clumps to prevent liquids from gathering at the bottom of the box, but users report that Ever Clean doesn’t clump as well as other litters they’ve tried. While the lightweight litter will help kitties with sensitive paws, it’s also more likely to get kicked out of the box if your cat is a digger.

Best Husk/Shell Based
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter Best Husk/Shell Based
$23
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
8/10
  • What we Like
  • More absorbent than clay-based litters
  • Works well in multi-cat homes
  • Great odor control
  • What we Dislike
  • More likely to leave residue than other brands
  • Won’t work in automatic litterboxes
  • Can stain litterboxes and surrounding areas brown from settled powder
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Naturally Fresh is the only clumping litter on our list made from ground walnut shells. The manufacturer lists this litter as three times more absorbent than clay-based litters, leading to improved odor control. The high rate of absorption makes this brand a welcome choice for multi-cat households. Buyers will have to contend with more residue from the walnut shells that can leave a mess of brown powder. There is a little more dust with this litter than we expected but it isn’t nearly as unpleasant as clay dust. The shells also will not work in automatic litterboxes.

Best for Post Surgical Care
Yesterday's News Original Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
 Yesterday's News Original Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter Best for Post Surgical Care
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Newspaper material in pellet-form doesn’t produce dust
  • Recommended for post-surgical care
  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • What we Dislike
  • Pellets can become saturated, leading to odor
  • Requires more frequent cleanings than clumping litters
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Yesterday’s News is today’s preferred brand for veterinarians treating cats recovering from surgeries or wounds. Because the litter is made from recycled newspaper in pellet form, it is gentle on a cat’s skin and causes urine to sink to the bottom of the box, keeping kitty clean while avoiding inflammation caused by clumping litters. Owners with kittens enduring spay/neuter surgery, adult cats with surgical needs, or cats with skin issues will find Yesterday’s News an ideal choice because of its hypoallergenic and dust-free properties.  The trade-off is how quickly the paper pellets become saturated, meaning more clean-ups and frequently replacing litter, or even worse, stronger odor. Clean pellets get scooped up with soiled pellets, leading to more waste. But if keeping your kitty’s area clean is important, this is probably not your biggest concern.

Best Budget
Feline Pine Original Unscented Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter
Feline Pine Original Unscented Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter Best Budget
$13
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Superior odor control with no artificial fragrance
  • Easily throw away soiled pellets without the hassle of cleaning residue off the box
  • Sold in larger bags than most litters
  • What we Dislike
  • Doesn’t absorb urine as well as other brands
  • Hard to scoop out soiled pellets without wasting clean litter
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Feline Pine is often used at shelters because this litter comes in larger bags than competitors’ while also being more affordable. It doesn’t hurt that Feline Pine Litter is as close to dust-free as you can get, making it ideal for multi-cat environments. The pellets are made from sustainably sourced pine designed to absorb liquid and neutralize odors without artificial fragrance added. Buyers can look forward to simply throwing away soiled pellets without the dirty work of removing residue from the box. Be warned that the downside to pine is less absorption of urine and losing clean pellets during the scooping process.

Fresh News Cat Litter
Fresh News Cat Litter
$18
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Baking soda controls odors
  • Gentle for declawed cats or arthritic cats
  • Environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled paper
  • What we Dislike
  • Consists of large pellets that don't clump or absorb liquid as well as other litters
  • Unused litter gets scooped up with soiled litter
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

Have a declawed kitty or one sensitive to paw discomfort? Fresh News Cat Litter is made of large pellets consisting of recycled paper and the best option on the market for paw sensitivity. For buyers looking to avoid clay, Fresh News is a great alternative for odor control because baking soda has been added to the paper pellets. This litter is also environmentally friendly for those concerned about the waste created by years of clay litter use. The downside to recycled materials is that they don’t absorb liquid well, so be prepared for lots of scooping, as well as the waste of unused litter getting stuck to and thrown out with soiled litter.

Best Silica Based
Pretty Litter
Pretty Litter Best Silica Based
$22
Review manufacturer prettylitter
on prettylitter
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Silica gel crystals absorb better than other types of litter
  • Lighter than other litters, making it easier to transport and pour
  • Designed by veterinarians and scientists to easily alert owners to common feline illnesses
  • Safe if accidentally ingested, an attractive option for kitten guardians
  • What we Dislike
  • Only available by subscription
  • Kitties with sensitive paws might be bothered by the crystals
Product Details
Type of Litter Clay Alternative
Clumping

Scented

Our Review

PrettyLitter is a new product designed by veterinarians and only available online through a subscription. If you want a break on daily scooping, consider PrettyLitter because the crystals absorb liquid, so only feces need to be scooped throughout the month without having to replace litter. The crystals also rate highly for odor control and pose the lowest risk of harm to your cat if accidentally ingested because the crystals don’t expand like other litter types. Customers also can enjoy smaller, lighter bags of litter designed to last a full month because of how absorbent the crystals are. But without clumping action, cats can quickly saturate the crystals if they urinate in the same spot daily (and, if we’re being honest, most do).
The extra cost and effort of a subscription might be too much for some, and that is why this is not our best overall unscented litter.

However, the expense and hassle is worth it to owners worried about their cat’s health, especially those kitties with urinary/gastrointestinal issues. The silica gel crystals in PrettyLitter are designed to change colors to indicate a variety of illnesses. PrettyLitter is an ideal option for cats prone to urinary health problems, kittens prone to eating litter, and for owners who aren’t the best at frequent scooping. However, this litter can be a little uncomfortable for delicate paws, so steer clear if your cat is declawed or suffers from skin sensitivity.

Best Products Best Dust Free Cat Litter
Product Name Best for Rate
Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Scented Clay Cat Litter Best Overall Scented 9
Boxiecat Premium Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter Best Overall Non-Scented 8
Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Cat Litter Best Husk/Shell Based 8
Yesterday's News Original Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter Best for Post Surgical Care 7
Feline Pine Original Unscented Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter Best Budget 7
Pretty Litter Best Silica Based 8

How to Choose:

We love our cats, but we don’t love their litter box offerings. Cat litter is big business with dozens of varieties on the market and our preference often boils down to individual needs. Most can agree that dust-free is optimal to minimize mess, not to mention our cats’ and our own exposure to unhealthy inhalants. But our choices don’t stop when we shed the dust – you’ll find clumping litters, scented litters, odor-minimizing litters, hypoallergenic litters, and even litters made from clay alternatives.

How do you narrow down the best fit for your situation? We’ve boiled it down to these factors to consider:

Clay or Alternative Material:

 Talk to cat owners for recommendations, and you’ll find many are diehard about their preference for clay litter or environmentally friendlier alternatives. Clay might spend more time in a landfill, but in return, it is more effective at absorbing waste and forming tighter clumps. If you don’t mind putting in some extra work to help the earth, look for a biodegradable alternative such as pine, walnuts, or recycled newspaper.

Odor Control – Scented or Unscented:

 When it comes to covering foul litterbox odors, there are two noses to consider: yours and your cat’s. Some litters on our list have added fragrances like Febreeze and perfumes, but not everyone is tolerant of additives. You might appreciate a bathroom smelling like flowers, but your cat might not, and that dislike could turn into litterbox avoidance. Make sure the litter doesn’t have an overpowering smell because studies have shown that cats prefer unscented litters.

 If you can’t bear the thought of what your house will smell like without perfume to mask the stink, look for a litter with natural odor control. Several brands use ingredients like charcoal, baking soda, or natural pine to absorb odors. These could be a compromise to keep you sane without sending your cat on an unauthorized potty break.

Clumping or Non-Clumping:

 Clumping litters can frustrate users because clumps that break apart make a mess. When done right, clumping litters are superior to those that don’t, because clumps attract dirty material without wasting clean litter. Look for brands that form strong clumps that won’t fall through the scoop and preferably form smaller clumps that can be easily scooped into a bag. If you just can’t get behind a clumping litter, check out the alternatives that are absorbent enough to avoid frequent litter waste.

Hypoallergenic:

 Are you prone to sneezing around your cat’s box?  Certain litters are made from natural ingredients without added chemicals, and some are flushable without harming your septic system. If you (or your cat) are allergic, or if your cat has skin issues sensitive to artificial ingredients, these hypoallergenic products could be a game-changer.

Type of Litterbox:

 If you bought a $10 plastic bin when your cat moved in, you have a wide variety of litters from which to choose. On the other hand, if you own an expensive automatic litterbox to take care of the mess for you, your options are more limited – look for a lightweight litter specifically formulated to not clog up your machine.

Age, Health and Number of Cats:

No two cats are the same, and you’ll want a litter that will work well for your specific cat or cats. Did you just take home a kitten training to correctly use a litterbox? You might consider a brand designed to attract them to do their business where you want it. On the other hand, if you have a senior cat prone to urinary problems, you might choose to spend extra on a litter designed to change colors in the event of a health concern. Owners with a declawed cat or one with arthritic paws might do better with a lightweight litter. For those with more than one cat hoping to avoid litterbox drama, look for the best value litters designed to last a long time and to work effectively in multi-cat environments.

Litterbox maintenance:

Your cat may have to use the box, but you’re the one who must clean it. You’ll want a litter that doesn’t form residue on the box and one that absorbs liquid instead of letting it sit on top or sink to the bottom. Clumping litters make life easier, and clay litter won’t get moldy if you miss a few days of cleanup. Litters that are truly dust-free also will be easier to clean without irritating your lungs or creating more work if your cat tracks dust out of the box. Look for quick-absorption litters that will keep your cat from getting stained paws or litter debris throughout the house.