Clumping vs Non Clumping Litter

One of the most important decisions you have to make as a cat owner is to choose which litter type to use for your cat. Not long ago, the decision was not so difficult as there was only one kind of litter that dominated the market - the non clumping litter. But with the growing popularity of the clumping litter these days, you need to make an informed decision.

The choice of clumping vs non clumping cat litter depends a lot on your cat’s preferences and your own lifestyle. If you ask the right questions, the decision becomes quite easy. Let us first look at each type of litter and why it may or may not work for you.

Clumping Cat Litter

Relatively new to the market, the clumping cat litter has solved the needs of people with a busy lifestyle. Do you have a cat that pees a lot? Or, do you hate the amount of time it takes to scratch out the litter and clean the box every week?

Then the clumping cat litter is a great solution for you. The big advantage of clumping litter vs non clumping ones is that it allows for easy and fast removal of cat poop and urine. Made from calcium or sodium bentonite, it forms a tight clump as it absorbs urine, and traps odor. This leaves your home feeling fresh. While cleaning you can leave the clean litter as it is, and remove only the soiled clumps along with any feces. That’s litter box maintenance made easy for you.

However, there are certain disadvantages of using a clumping litter vs non clumping ones. First, it is more expensive and second, you have the problem of dust and tracking. That said, clumping litters hold about three-fourths of the cat litter market.

Non Clumping Litter

Non Clumping cat litters have been around for decades. Not because they are the best cat litters, but because they were the first ones on the market. The non clumping litter is made of clay, but there are more material choices available to you like wheat, corn, pine etc.

It works great at absorbing urine but once saturated, the smell can be disgusting. In fact, it is one of the signals that it is time for you to change the litter. It is also difficult to spot the cat poop in the wet litter, and you need to replace it completely. This also reduces the lifetime of your cat’s litter box. There’s also the risk of digestive problems if your cat is in a habit of ingesting litter.

Well then, why get such a product? For the simple reason that it is cost effective if you have no problems cleaning it at regular intervals. And some cats like the non clumping litter more than the clumping one.

Clumping litter vs Non Clumping - Which one is right for you?

So, what is the best cat litter? There are actually two factors that should help you decide - You, and Your cat. When making the decision, look at all the pros of clumping vs non clumping cat litter and ask yourself the following questions.

  • What does your cat like? Does it prefer the clumping vs non clumping litter? This should be the most important question you need to ask. Your cat needs to be happy after all!
  • If your cat doesn’t have a particular preference, then it comes to you. Are you ready to regularly monitor your cat’s litter box? Or are you willing to spend some extra money to save some time?

If you are still not able to decide, we recommend that you try the clumping litter first. If your cat likes it stick with that, else you can always switch to the non clumping one.


Clumping Litter


  • Easy to clean

  • Needs less monitoring

  • Better odor and urine control

  • Soiled litter can be easily separated from clean litter

  • Lasts longer


  • Costly

  • Is prone to dust & tracking. However, newer products in this category claim to be 99% dust free.

Non Clumping Litter


  • Less expensive

  • Traps urine better

  • Less trackable


  • Stinks when litter is saturated

  • Difficult to clean

  • Needs a lot of monitoring on your part

  • Life of your litter box is reduced

  • You cat may ingest it and have digestive problems

Considering everything, the clumping vs non clumping litter is an easy decision - Get the litter that suits both you and your cat. For most people, it is the clumping cat litter. The only reasons you should look for a non clumping litter are money, and if your cat doesn’t like the clumping litter.

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