Best Dust Free Cat Litter: Top 5 Low Dust Litters to Help You Breathe Easy

Cat litter doesn’t have to emit a cloud of dust when you pour it into the litter box.

If you cough and choke when you pour litter into your cat’s box or sense a lingering coating of dust in your nostrils after cleaning it out, your cat’s litter has a dust problem. When your cat starts coughing in the litter box, it’s definitely time for a change.

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Dusty litter isn’t just annoying – it can lead to real health problems for both people and cats. And if you or your cat suffers from feline allergic bronchitis (asthma), dusty litter will cause irritation and could trigger an asthma attack.

If you aren’t already convinced that a dust-free litter will make your life easier, let’s go in depth on what’s bad about dusty cat litter.

When we talk about dusty litter, we’re typically talking about clumping clay. This type of litter is popular for good reasons – it’s convenient, clean, and cats like it – and it tends to be dustier than other varieties of litter. Clumping clay litter also contains substances that can lead to health problems.

Quick Look : Top 5 Best Low Dust Cat Litters

LitterPriceRating
Yesterday's News Original Formula Cat LitterYesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$.49/lbA+
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat LitterDr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$.65/lbA+
Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat LitterOkocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.96/lbA+
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat LitterDr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.68/lbA
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Kitten Attract Training Cat LitterBlue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$.76/lbA-

Clumping clay cat litter contains crystalline silica, which can lead to respiratory problems for both you and your cat. People who work around large amounts of crystalline silica dust are well aware of the health threat – it’s classified as a human lung carcinogen and can lead to silicosis. While the amount of silica dust you’ll inhale as a litter box scooper is far less than that encountered by someone working in a quarry, it’s a good idea to protect yourself and your family from excess dust exposure.

And if you, one of your human family members, or your cat suffers from asthma, the effect of dusty cat litter is obvious and intense. People and cats suffering from respiratory issues can experience irritation and consequent wheezing and coughing. For asthmatic pets and people, finding the right litter is imperative.

The discomfort and health effects associated with dust inhalation are perhaps the most obvious reasons to seek out a dust-free litter, but they aren’t the only ones.

When you use dusty clumping sodium bentonite clay litter, the dust that gets stuck on your cat’s fur and paws can lead to more serious problems. When your cat grooms his or herself after using the litter box, they will consume some of this dust. Sodium bentonite clay expands up to 18 times its original volume when in contact with moisture and can become a cement-like mass in your cat’s intestine. This is particularly dangerous for kittens, who have small digestive tracts that could easily become blocked. Because of the risk posed by sodium bentonite clay, kittens shouldn’t use clumping litter until they’re 3-4 months old.

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Finally, besides consuming a little bit of litter each time they clean off those dusty paws, your cat will leave a trail through the house. A low-dust litter minimizes tracking and helps to keep your home clean.

How do you choose a dust-free litter?

Cat litter manufacturers know that people hate dusty litter, so virtually every litter on the market claims to be a low-dust product. If you’ve been searching for a truly dust free litter for a while, you know that these claims are easy to make and hard to live up to.

Fortunately, there are a few key things that you can point out to identify a low or no-dust litter. Remember, you have a number of different types of litter to choose from and a world of varied formulations.

Let’s take a look at a few different types of litter and think about how to choose one with minimal dust.

Types of Dust Free Cat Litter

Pellet Litter

If you’re serious about choosing a completely dust free litter, pellet litter is your best bet.

Recycled paper litter is a popular variety of pellet-style litter, and it is essentially dust free. Pellet litter is also less prone to tracking than fine-grained litter and won’t create dusty trails everywhere your cat goes.

While this type of litter is dust free, it isn’t perfect. Cats prefer clumping litter – clumping formulas keep the litter box feeling and smelling cleaner. You’ll need to take time to change out the litter box more often than when using a clumping litter.

Cats also prefer fine litters and may reject a pellet-style litter.

Clay Litter

It’s in clay’s nature to be dusty, so it’s virtually impossible to find a brand of clay litter that’s completely dust free. Having said this, there are some low-dust formulas that really are better than the rest. Clay litter made with heavy granules typically produces less dust than does lightweight litter.

Given the virtual impossibility of finding a completely dust free clay litter, you might ask why anyone would stick with this variety rather than seeking dustless alternatives. Clumping clay litter is as popular among cats as it is with humans. It promotes the clean environment that they instinctively desire.

Silica Gel Crystal Litter

Silica litter produces less dust than any clay litter does, but it’s not completely dust free.

If you and your cat like the low-maintenance absorbency of silica gel crystal litter, it’s a good low-dust choice. Choose carefully – most silica gel litter products have coarse, harsh crystals that are uncomfortable under your cat’s paws.

Other Types of Litter

Other biodegradable non-traditional litters, like those made from wood, walnut, corn, and grass, produce varying, usually negligible, amounts of dust. From the best to the worst, none of these create anything near the quantity of dust you’d see plume from a bag of dusty clay litter.

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Remember, heavier granules create less dust. Lightweight litter is more likely to track through your house and stick in your cat’s fur.

Top 5 Best Dust Free Cat Litters

Now that we know what to look for, here’s a list of the top five best dust free cat litters on the market today. While it’s impossible to guarantee that these litters will never create a trace of dust, each of the products listed below has a great reputation for being almost or completely dust free.

You’ll notice that some of the litters were made specifically with your cat’s respiratory health in mind – these are good options for cats with asthma or other respiratory issues.

If your cat has respiratory issues, remember that they may be allergy-related. If you suspect that your cat may have respiratory problems caused by allergies, avoid corn, pine, and wheat litters.  These could irritate your cat’s respiratory system as much as dust. Unless you have ruled out these specific allergens, it’s better to opt for a hypoallergenic litter.

Additives like deodorants and fragrances may also irritate your sensitive cat. Besides the fact that cats generally prefer them, unscented litters are gentle on your cat’s respiratory system and help to keep them breathing easily.

All of the products on the following list are unscented products that are gentle enough for sensitive cats.

Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter Review

Pellet litter made from recycled paper

Yesterday's News Original Formula Cat Litter

This non-toxic litter is made from recycled paper and is completely biodegradable and safe to flush.

It doesn’t contain any additives that might irritate your cat and is unscented, which cats prefer. Although this litter doesn’t clump, it’s highly absorbent. According to Yesterday’s News, the pellets are 3X more absorbent than clay. Boxes filled with non-clumping litter require a little more maintenance than those using clumping litter.

The litter is 99.7% dust free and is commonly recommended for cats post-surgery who need a litter that’s gentle and won’t contaminate their wounds. Besides creating virtually zero dust, these pellets won’t track around the house.

This litter is safe to flush. – Buy It

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and free from irritating additives
  • Made from biodegradable recycled materials
  • 99.7% dust free
  • Good odor control
  • Pellet litter is low-tracking

Cons

  • Doesn’t clump – requires more maintenance to stay fresh

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter Review

Clumping clay litter made specifically for cats with respiratory issues

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter

This clumping clay litter was designed for cats with respiratory problems. Despite being a clumping clay litter, this product manages to produce almost no dust – according to Dr. Elsey’s, the litter is 99.9% dust free.

To further promote good respiratory health, the litter is hypoallergenic and contains natural stress-relieving essences. It is free from perfumes and deodorants that could irritate your cat.

This popular cat litter is well-regarded in the cat community, not only for its minimal dust production, but for its superior odor control and clumping ability. The litter is easy to scoop and keeps waste odors to a minimum. – Buy It

Pros

  • 99.9% dust free
  • Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free
  • Contains natural essences to reduce stress
  • Excellent clumping and odor control
ALSO READ:  What is the Best Clumping Cat Litter?

Cons

  • A heavy litter that might be difficult to carry and pour
  • Made with sodium bentonite clay

Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter Review

Pellet litter made from recycled paper

Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter

This litter is made from recycled paper and creates absolutely no dust, making it perfect for even the most sensitive cats and people.

Although this pellet-style paper litter doesn’t clump, it utilizes “Odor Shield” technology to trap odors within the pellet fibers. The exterior of the pellets is hard, while the interior is soft and absorbent to effectively trap odors. According to Okocat, the litter controls odors for up to an entire week – longer than most other litters.

This litter is biodegradable, so it won’t build up in landfills the way that clay litter does. It’s also flushable, making cleaning out the litter box a little bit simpler.

The product is free from additives, including fragrances and deodorants that could irritate your cat. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it perfect for cats with respiratory issues. – Buy It

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and free from additives that could irritate your cat
  • Dust free
  • Good odor control
  • Pellet litter is low-tracking
  • Made from biodegradable recycled materials

Cons

  • Not a clumping litter

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter Review

Silica gel crystal litter made specifically for cats with respiratory issues

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Gel Cat Litter

For those who prefer silica gel litter, this formula from Dr. Elsey’s offers a virtually dust free product designed specifically for cats with respiratory issues. It is hypo-allergenic with no plant proteins and is free from other potential irritants like added fragrances and deodorants. The gentle litter includes natural stress-reducing essences.

Like all silica gel crystal litters, this product absorbs urine and odors on contact. You’ll need to scoop out solid waste and stir the litter daily to maintain freshness. If you have multiple cats, they’ll go through this litter quickly, but a single cat can use it for up to about a month without excess liquid buildup.

Unlike most crystal litters, this product has a fine sand-like texture that is gentle on your cat’s paws. – Buy It

Pros

  • Low-maintenance silica gel crystals
  • Virtually zero dust
  • Made to reduce stress
  • Hypo-allergenic

Cons

  • Not cost-effective for multiple cat households

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter Review

Clumping litter made from walnut shells

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter

This litter is virtually dust free, and like the other choices in this list, it’s free from irritating additives like fragrances and deodorants. The unscented litter uses the odor neutralizing power and absorption ability of fibrous walnut shells to keep the litter box fresh. Walnut litter naturally clumps tightly, making it easy to scoop out liquid and solid waste.

Because it’s made from 100% natural, biodegradable, and renewable ingredients, this litter is easy on the environment.

Although the walnut litter produces almost no dust, it does tend to track a bit. The dark brown granules are easy to spot on the floor and may scatter across the room and around the house. Another common complaint is that the brown color makes it difficult to identify waste in the litter box. – Buy It

Pros

  • Virtually dust free
  • Made without irritating additives and fragrances
  • Clumps well and provides great odor control
  • Cats like the paw-feel of this litter

Cons

  • Dark brown litter tracks easily

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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