Cat Litter: 5 Natural Alternatives to Clay Litter

While most cats are perfectly happy with the typical clay cat litter, some pet parents prefer to go with a greener option that’s better for the environment. Clay litter may not be the healthiest for your cat either, especially if he licks it off his paws and ingests it. Here five types of safe, natural alternatives to clay litter that are worth trying.


Sawdust, a byproduct of lumber mills, is used to make pine cat litter. It comes in two forms: regular and clumping. The regular formula is made with larger granules, which some cats don’t care for, and it can also be hard to scoop. It doesn’t clump at all, which makes it perfect for automatic litter boxes. The clumping version has smaller granules, which most cats are okay with, it clumps well, and it’s easy to scoop.


Cat litter can be made from dried corncobs or even dried corn kernels. It has good points and bad points. On the plus side, it’s not perfumed, which is better for your kitty’s sensitive respiratory system. Surprisingly, it also clumps really well. The biggest drawback is that it does stick to their feet, so it can track a lot. You’ll be doing some extra clean up around the litter box if you use corn litter.


Walnut cat litter is made out of walnut shells, which is great because usually, the shells would just go in the trash. It provides decent odor control and some formulas clump really well. It’s not as dusty as some other natural litters and doesn’t track as much either. It is flushable but be aware that the walnut shells may stain the inside of your toilet.


Paper cat litter is made from recycled paper, so it’s very friendly to the environment. It is a pelleted litter, which some cats don’t like, but it’s also just about dust free, and it doesn’t track. This litter doesn’t clump, so it may be easier to change out the litter regularly than it is to try to scoop it.


Wheat cat litter is made from wheat that isn’t suitable for human consumption. It has a similar feel and look to regular scoopable cat litter, and most cats don’t have issues with switching over. Sadly, it is a little dustier than clay litter and, again, it tracks easily.

Cats are finicky creatures, and it may take some experimenting to find a natural litter that both you and your cat are happy with. Your best bet is to purchase a small bag and put it to the test. Choosing a product that’s safer for you, your cat, and the environment will be worth it in the long run.