One of the biggest problems for cat owners with allergies and sensitivities is cleaning out the litter tray. Many of the most common materials used in cat litter are quite dusty – despite the best efforts of some manufacturers to mitigate the issue.
Today we’re going to take a look at why some cat litter is always going to be dusty, and we’re going to look at things you can do to eliminate dust in your cat’s litter tray. To conclude, we’re going to talk about what we think are 5 of the best dust-free cat litter on the market today.
Let’s get started.
Why Choose A Dust Free Cat Litter
While there are hygiene and cleanliness concerns, the main reason people want to get dust-free cat litter is because of allergies and sensitivities.
Whenever you’re pouring, scooping, or otherwise interacting with dusty cat litter, it can cause a sneezing session that’s less than enjoyable (how often and how severe this depends on your allergies). Similarly, cats can have allergies that are brought on by dust in the same way as humans (with similar consequences).
The only way to make your life (or your cat’s life) that little bit easier is by trying to find a suitable low-dust or dust-free litter.
What To Look For When Buying A Dust-Free Tracking Cat Litter
Not all dust-free litters are made equally. There seems to be a wide range of definitions that manufacturers use to determine what is dust free and what is low dust – which makes the job of finding a good product all that much harder.
Some materials are inherently dustier than others, so they are a large factor that will determine how much dust you are potentially going to be exposed to.
Clay is one of the most common and effective litter materials – but it’s also one of the dustiest. If you’re considering clay litter, check if the manufacturer has done anything special to limit the amount of dust. Suppose they haven’t; ensure that you take any “low dust” claims with a pinch of salt.
Things like paper, corn, walnut, and grass are extremely low dust (or dust-free) materials. They also have excellent other properties like hard clumping and low tracking that make them well-rounded choices. However, they are usually more expensive than clay litter, but this added expense can be well worth it for the most severe allergy sufferers.
Silica cat litter is made from the exact same stuff that you find in the little packets you get inside boxes of electronics that say “DO NOT EAT” on them in big, bold letters. It got less dust than clay, but it is usually dustier than natural litter. The crystals can also be uncomfortable underneath your cat’s paws, and they have a reasonably high level of rejection.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Dust Free Cat Litter
- Pro – No allergic reactions
- Pro – Healthier for you and your cat
- Pro – House stays cleaner
- Con – Hard to find good products
- Con – Can be a little more expensive than normal litter
Overall Best Dust Free Cat Litter
Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter By Okocat
- Paper Pellet Cat Litter: Our next-generation, paper-based cat litter pellets are exceptionally absorbent, odor controlling, and naturally lightweight for added convenience and cleanliness
- Long-Lasting Odor Control: Natural paper-fiber litter pellets are fortified with long-lasting, plant-based odor control specially formulated to suppress the smell of ammonia
- Non-Clumping Litter: Pellet litter quickly absorbs all liquid keeping your cat's feet dry and making cleaning the litter box quick and easy
- Dust-Free: Our Dust-Free cat litter is made from clean paper fiber with no airborne dust, ideal for cats with respiratory ailments, homes with allergies or post-surgical needs
- Natural Cat Litter: Our paper cat litter is free of inks or dyes, artificial fragrance, harmful chemicals or GMOs; Unlike clay, our biodegradable cat litter degrades quickly and cleanly
Finding a good dust-free cat litter is a little bit tricky compared to some other categories of litter on the market. You’ll possibly already know that many brands like to talk about how they are “virtually dust free” when in fact, there’s plenty of dust to cause allergic reactions.
We like to think we know a thing or two about cat litter here, and we’ve done the hard work for you. Below we are going to list 4 excellent cat litters that we came across during our research that are dust free and will keep sneezes at bay. However, there was one super special product we came across that is our overall recommendation – The Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter By Okocat.
Now we’re going to start this section with the bad news – this isn’t cheap litter. It costs $15.99 for a 12.5lb box, which, as you probably already know, is a little on the pricey side, to say the least. However, if you suffer badly from allergies and want a product that will contain no dust and will give you no problems – this is an expense that may just be worth the additional investment.
As it’s made from recycled paper, there is no dust to be found anywhere in the manufacturing process (unlike clay and most other natural materials). The paper used is super absorbent and will outperform almost any other material of litter pound for pound in terms of efficiency – it can hold up to 200% of its weight in moisture. This means it lasts much longer than clay litters (or other natural materials) which helps a little bit with the economics of using this product – as you’ll end up using less.
This absorbency ensures that the clumping action of the litter is second to none. It’s such a dry material that clumps form super quickly, which is also helped by the fact that the clumps are firm on the outside yet soft on the inside.
The clumps that form are hard and will trap odors away inside them with ease. Despite being a little softer than clay clumps, they are very unlikely to break apart when you’re cleaning the tray, and you’re not going to get a bombardment of ammonia in your nostrils when you’re getting the job done.
It’s got built-in odor shield technology that is capable of locking away smells inside the clumps for up to 7 days – which is important, as this is unscented litter.
Despite being a reasonably light and small-grained litter, as it’s made from paper, it’s actually a low-tracking formula – so you won’t get too many nasty litter surprises around your home. It’s also free from artificial chemicals and other bad stuff that’s going to potentially cause allergies to flare up.
As it’s a biodegradable paper litter and there are no chemicals, it’s completely fine to flush dirty litter down the toilet when you’re done cleaning the tray – which means it’s not going to stink your house out festering in a bin either.
We know this isn’t a cheap product, and we’re going to list some more economical alternatives below. But this is hands down the lowest dust litter on the market – and if you or your cat has got a serious allergy problem, this is the product for you.
Below we’re going to discuss a few other excellent dust-free cat litters that we came across during our research. We still think that the litter above is the best product on the market, but the litters below are more than worthy of your consideration.
Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
- PREMIUM QUALITY: A combination of premium texture and granule size made with 100% bentonite clay for maximum clumping creates litter particles that are just the right size.
- LOW DUST: Ideal for cats and owners who suffer from allergies with a 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic litter formulation.
- HARD CLUMPING: Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom of the tray and forms hard clumps that won't break down, making it easier to scoop.
- SUPERIOR ODOR CONTROL: Formulated for single or multi-cat households with natural ingredients to keep your home smelling clean and fresh between litter box cleanings.
- LOW TRACKING: A unique formulation of medium grain clay helps keep litter in the box where it belongs.
There are not many clay products on the market that we are comfortable recommending in a dust-free cat litter article. This is mainly because the material itself is prone to creating at least a small amount of dust. However, this is certainly one of the better ones on the market, and as some cats will only accept clay litters – we wanted to include it.
Don’t let the paragraph above put you off this product; it’s 99% dust free, and the vast majority of cats and owners with allergies will not be triggered by it. If you’ve got a super sensitive allergy, however, one of the other products we’re going to talk about below might be a better option for you (or our top pick above).
It’s a quick-clumping litter that is made from heavy medium-grain clay. This means that it’s not going to track through your home, and it’s going to be easy to clean (without the clumps breaking down on you and giving you a stink bomb). You can’t flush this litter, but it is hypoallergenic and free from nasty chemicals.
At only $17.49 for 40 lbs, it’s one of the best-value products on this list. If you only need a product that’s “low dust” instead of “dust-free,” – it’s worth checking out.
World’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula
- OUTSTANDING ODOR CONTROL — More cats shouldn’t mean more smells — keep your cats happy with a natural litter with long-lasting odor control.
- QUICK CLUMPING & EASY SCOOPING — Multiple cats can most often mean more clean up — but not with this fast-acting natural litter that requires no chiseling or scraping.
- FLUSHABLE* - SEPTIC SAFE — Skip the trip to the trash with a lightweight litter that’s Tested and proven flushable* and safe for septic and sewer systems!
- LIGHTWEIGHT & 99% DUST FREE — Naturally free of silica dust, this lightweight cat litter offers low tracking and less mess — so you and your cats can breathe easy.
- PET, PEOPLE & PLANET FRIENDLY — A naturally safe litter made from whole-kernel corn that offers no harmful chemicals and no artificial perfumes.
Corn is well known to be one of the lowest dust litter materials on the planet. This is a 99% dust-free formula that is completely natural and entirely biodegradable. Sensitive kitties and owners will have no problems at all using this litter (or cleaning out the tray).
It’s an unscented litter and instead relies on the power of its clumping action to lock away the smells and keep your home fresh. When the clumps form, they’re super hard, and they’re not going to break apart on you when being cleaned out. As it’s made from a natural material, this is a flushable litter – which makes litter tray maintenance that little bit easier.
This litter has got everything you could want from a dust-free product. The clumping action is good; it’s suitable for multiple cats, it works with automatic and manual trays, and it’s great value as an added bonus (it’s only around $25 for a big bag).
Scoop Away Complete Performance Scented Scoopable Cat Litter
- One 42 pound carton of Scoop Away Complete Performance Scented cat litter, Fresh Clean scent
- Maximum strength formula handles the most extreme odors
- 10 day odor control guaranteed
- Tight clumping cat litter leaves behind virtually no stinky crumbles
- Low dust formula and 80% packaging material for easy litter box maintenance
This is the cheapest product on our list, and as such, you should set your expectations accordingly. However, despite the low price tag, it actually performs exceptionally well, considering it’s a clay litter. Being made from clay does mean there will be a little bit of dust – but there’s not much as it’s 99% dust free.
Again, this is a product that the super-sensitive among us will want to avoid, but mild allergies should not be triggered by the small amount of dust that is present.
It’s a scented litter that has been infused with natural plant extracts to mask the smell of your cat’s “business” when it hits the tray. The natural properties of clay mean that bacteria are eliminated on impact; it has also been infused with natural minerals to help the process along. The rock solid super quick clumping action of the material ensures that most of the smell is locked away promptly, which again is helped by Scoop Away’s “Ammonia Shield” technology.
At only $15.99 for a 40lb bag, it’s certainly a product worth thinking about if you’ve not got super serious allergies. If it works for you, you’re going to save a heap of cash over the long run.
Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter
- Out Clumps Clay Everyday
- "No Smell Can't Tell" Odor Control
- Made 100% out of Grass
- GMO-Free product, Fragrance-Free, 99% Dust Free, Chemical-Free, Biodegradable - Renewable
The final product we are going to be recommending today is an excellent litter from Pioneer Pet. If you haven’t already heard of them, Pioneer Pet is rapidly becoming one of the most popular and respected brands in the industry – they’re certainly one to keep an eye on.
This grass-based litter is an extremely low dust product. They say that it is 99% dust free on the box – but we think that this is an understatement. There’s virtually no dust at all.
The grass itself is super absorbent and will ensure that there are no pools of liquid that can fester at the bottom of the litter tray. It’s a litter that has quick clumping action and focuses strongly on locking the smells away before they become a problem, which is good, as it’s unscented and it has limited antimicrobial properties.
This litter is particularly good for fussy cats that reject clay and other natural materials in their litter tray. The granule size of this litter is super small and has a texture similar to super soft and creamy sand – and we’re willing to bet even the pickiest of our feline friends will enjoy doing their business on it.
It’s a well-priced litter at around $30 for a 20lb bag, which makes it a mid-range product, and if you’ve got the budget for it (and your cat is fussy about what’s underneath their feet), it’s well worth considering.
So there you have it; that’s all there is to know about the world of no dust (or low dust) cat litter.
Any of the products that we have talked about here today will help mitigate issues caused by any allergies in your household (feline or human). Our overall pick may be a little more expensive than some of the others, but if you’ve got a serious sensitivity – there’s nothing out there that can compete with it.
If, however, your allergies are reasonably mild, any of the products we’ve talked about today will keep the sneezes away. They are all worthy of your consideration.