Hello there! My name is Casey, a long-time cat owner, and former veterinary technician and in this article, we are reviewing the top 5 best cheap cat litters.
When it comes to welcoming cats into our homes we typically think about all the fun times, the love and snuggles we may receive and of course the hilarious antics that most felines perform.
In the back of our minds though, we think about their needs. Food, water, perhaps a bed to call their own, a scratching post and toys. Then, of course, there is the litter!
Kitty litter is required if you want any type of indoor kitty, while some can be trained to go strictly outdoors or even use the toilet, it’s always best to have a backup option just in case.
In comes the litter! In this article, we are going to discuss the different types of the most popular brands of kitty litter on the market today, available at BOTH Amazon and Chewy.
So regardless of where you do your most shopping, you’re sure to find a reliable source of having your kitty litter delivered right to your doorstep.
What to Look for When Buying Cat Litter
When first starting out it can be a bit overwhelming to decide on which type of kitty litter to buy!
There are so many options on the market that it can be difficult to determine what’s right for you and your household – Not to mention your kitty’s preferences!
We often look for the most cost-effective cat litter so as not to spend an arm and a leg on our kitty’s bathroom supplies. So when looking at a cheaper litter there are a few things to keep an eye out for!
1. The Dust Level
You’ll see many litters advertise low to zero dust. This is preferable as dust can really irritate our kitty’s noses and long term exposure to dust can cause chronic upper respiratory issues!
We definitely don’t want this, so when shopping for your litter, keep an eye out for those that are marked as low dust.
2. Clumping vs. Non-Clumping
Here is a biggie for many cat parents. To clump or not to clump.
My personal preference is clumping, as I like to go ahead and scoop out the litter every couple days, however, many pet parents prefer to do a single cleaning once a week via a full litter change.
The latter method typically involves less litter used and pan liners for a quick and easy lift and discard.
3. Litter Material
First-time kitty parents are often only aware of clay litters on the market unless an advertisement is seen!
Alongside clay, there are silica crystals, corn cob, recycled paper, wood, coconut husk, walnut, and even wheat based litters!
There are many options to choose from when looking at different littler materials.
4. Odor Control
Here is another BIG consideration for kitty parents! Great odor control means only having to deal with your cat’s bathroom habits during the scheduled cleaning.
Nobody likes to smell freshly dropped feces or ammonia from urine, so finding an affordable litter that provides great odor control is an absolute must.
5. Cat Preferences
Here is one that many kitty parents often forget about until there is an issue! If your little furbaby begins turning her nose up at the litter, then that means bad news for your home!
If adopting a new cat, be sure to check what type of litter they had used before and get something similar in texture.
The Top 5 Best Cheap Cat Litters
So now that we have a list of things to look for when choosing a cost-efficient cat litter, it’s time to review the different litter brands available on both Amazon and Chewy.
#1 Tidy Cats
When it comes to cheap cat litter options one of the most popular and best is the Tidy Cats brand. This is a clay-based litter that is available in non-clumping, clumping, and even lightweight formulas.
The Tidy cats brand is owned by Purina, a well-known company that manufactures many pet-related products including food, treats, and of course kitty litter!
The first Tidy Cats cheap litter is the non-clumping formula, great for a full change litter box method, this formula is an affordable 40lb bag.
As stated above this is a non-clumping clay-based litter that boasts a 99.6% dust free formula, making this a great option for cheap cat litter.
Clay is a great choice for absorbing urine so as to keep the box clean and comfortable for your cat to continue use.
While this particular formula is designed for multiple cats, it can quite easily be used for a single cat household as well.
It does a decent job at keeping odors under control with the inclusion of their extended-release deodorizing system.
Overall, if you’re looking for a cost-effective non-clumping relatively dust-free clay litter, then this is one of the top choices.
#2 Yesterdays News
Another great option from Purina, the Yesterdays News litter is made from recycled paper and consists of paper pellets.
Much like the Tidy Cats litter, Yesterdays News is also a non-clumping formula and has a variety of options when it comes to fragrances.
You can find this litter on Amazon in a generous 30lb bag, and if you’re wanting to give it a try before going big, definitely consider grabbing the 5lb or 15lb bag from Chewy.
They additionally offer a 30lb bag if you and your cat enjoy it!
The Yesterdays News cat litter pellets boast a 99.7% dust free formula.
The pellets allow for low tracking, so you don’t need to deal with seeing bits of kitty litter after your cat does their business.
Paper, as a rule, is highly absorbent, so your cat’s litter box will remain dry for continued usage.
My personal experience with paper pellets is that they disintegrate or crumble after absorbing enough moisture.
So for those cat parents who like to do an occasional scoop before a full box change, this is an ideal litter for urine removal.
When it comes to odors, the Yesterdays News litter does a great job with urine and an okay job on feces.
Unfortunately, you’re more likely to smell feces with this pellet litter, especially if your cat doesn’t like to bury with the pellets.
#3 Fresh Step
Do you recall those TV commercials where they had an artistic rendering of a cat pawing into litter, the frangrances wafting out with flowers and freshness?
Fresh Step has always boosted its product for its capability to restrict odors and instead release fresh and pleasant fragrances every time your cat steps onto the litter.
Fresh Step little can be found in a variety of formulas, fragranced vs. non-fragranced and even size differences.
Much like Tidy Cats, this version of Fresh step is a non-clumping clay-based little with reduced amounts of dust.
What makes Fresh Step different is the inclusion of activated charcoal for odor control, and the addition of fragrance releasing technology to keep the kitty box area smelling fresh.
While I personally don’t have any experience with the Fresh Step litter brand, users have reported loving the odor control capabilities with this product.
Some cat parents did, however, note that there is more dust than they prefer.
#4 Scoop Away
Another great affordable cat litter is the clumping formula from Scoop Away.
It’s all in the name with this brand as their clay-based litter is built to stick and allow for cat parents to get the litter box nice and clean in between litter changes.
Scoop away can be found in a variety of formulas, including different fragrances, packaging, and packaging sizes!
Scoop away perhaps has some of the boldest claims when it comes to their litter’s performance. With claims that the litter can last up to 10 days in the busiest of litter boxes, it definitely deserves a try!
Odor control is obtained with the clumping formula alongside plant extracts to keep smells where they blog – away from your nose!
Much like Fresh Step, Scoop Away additionally has paw activated fragrance release technology along with low dust for your cat’s health.
Again I don’t have any personal experience with the Scoop Away brand, however, users have reported that the claims of never needing to dump – Just scoop and replace as needed – are true!
Much like most other clay-based litters, if you dump a huge amount out at once there is a bit of dust, with Scoop Away there seems to be more than usual with big dumps, however when used as intended (little dumps at a time,) then the dust isn’t an issue at all as it does not stir up during use or scooping.
#5 Arm & Hammer
One of the most trusted brands across multiple product ranges is the Arm & Hammer.
Known for their baking soda as not just a cooking ingredient but a deodorizer as well, many cat parents have sprinkled some baking soda into their cat’s litter pans for the specific purpose of adding a kick of deodorizing power.
It’s really no surprise that Arm & Hammer is one of the top choices when it comes to affordable cat litter.
Featuring a clay-based formula, Arm & Hammer has added in their infamous baking soda to their clumping formula to help prevent and restrict odors.
We all know baking soda does wonders for our refrigerators, and since the 1970’s it’s also done wonders for litter box odors too.
If you and your cat are looking for non-fragranced littler, then this may be a top choice as many of the Arm & Hammer options boost about their products being free of perfume and dyes.
When it comes to cat parents, this option not only is less affordable than the others but has some seriously mixed reviews.
Many either love it or hate it, some commenting on the grain texture being too rough, while others claimed it doesn’t hold together as well as other brands clumping variations.
It may be worth a try to see how you feel about it, as I said many have laid claims to it being the best litter they’ve ever gotten!
The Pros Vs Cons Of Cheap Cat Litter
The larger brands of cat litter that don’t specialize in a single litter type – Such as the specialty brand like Yesterdays News – will typically have a range of products varying in both quality and cost.
When it comes to kitty litter, you really do get what you pay for. One of the pros of getting a cheap littler is that yes, it is affordable and it can be used for more than just your cat’s litter box.
Many cheap, non-clumping litters can be used to clean up chemical spills in the driveway – such as oil or antifreeze. The multi-purpose use is great for many cat parents.
One thing that can be considered a ‘con’ when it comes to getting a cheaper litter option is the fact that the variety is a bit restricted.
Depending on your budget, you may be stuck with a non-clumping litter option, or a less than stellar option that doesn’t really provide the best odor control.
However, if you prefer to change your cat’s litter pan with a complete dump and refill method, then this may not be so bad. Just sprinkle in some baking soda and you’re good to go.
If you prefer to scoop your litter, then you may be disappointed with the results of the low-cost clumping litters. It all really depends on the brand.
Final Thoughts: Best Cheap Cat Litters
Ok, so we’ve taken a closer look at what to look for in cat litter along with some of the more popular brands with their low-cost affordable options and some pros and cons of using a cheap litter vs an expensive option.
The best method of shopping for cat litter is to choose your standards – Clumping, non-clumping, odor control, fragrances.
Honestly, at the end of the day, this is your cat’s bathroom. Shop for your cat’s litter like you would your own toilet paper.
You want something that is gentle on their paws, gets the job done for its intended use, is affordable and of course, your cat likes it too.