Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats

According to a 2015-2016 study by APPA (American Pet Products Association), the average cat-inclusive household in the United States was home to two cats. Multiple pet households are on the rise, and it’s important to recognize that homes containing two or more cats have their own set of unique needs.

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As your feline family grows, so does the amount of litter box activity and the potential for problems like inappropriate urination. Multi-cat homes, especially larger ones, are often stereotyped as smelly, dirty places – and the kernels of truth in this stereotype are the all-too-common litter box problems that are even more likely when you live with multiple cats.

One of the primary reasons for inappropriate urination is an unclean litter box or unappealing litter. Choosing the right litter can be your first step towards fostering a happy, harmonious, and fresh multi-cat home.

In this article, we’ll identify the most important things to look for in cat litter, analyze the qualities of a few popular product types, and review our picks for the top 5 best litters for multiple cats.

Quick Look : Top 5 Best Litters for Multiple Cats

LitterPriceRating
World's Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping FormulaWorld’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula
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$.93/lbA+
Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat LitterBlue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Multi-Cat Quick-Clumping Cat Litter
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$.76/lbA+
Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat LitterDr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
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$.33/lbA+
Cat's Pride Premium Fresh & Light Fragrance Free Multi-Cat Scoopable Cat LitterCat’s Pride Premium Fresh & Light Fragrance Free Multi-Cat Scoopable Cat Litter
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$.66/lbA
Ever Clean Multi-Cat Clumping Cat LitterEver Clean Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
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$.72/lbA

What makes a litter good for multiple cats?

High Absorbency

Litters made for multiple cats typically are more absorbent than those marketed for general use. This means that they will soak up more urine, make better clumps, and create a generally more manageable litter box.

Yes, there are non-clumping litters out there. But unless your cats have demonstrated a preference for this type of litter and dislike using clumping varieties, a clumping litter is a better choice. Clumping litter is easier to clean up, manages odors better, and keeps the litter box feeling clean for a longer amount of time.

In multiple studies, cats have shown a marked preference for clumping litter.

Extreme Odor Control

These litters are better at controlling odors – so important in a multiple cat home!

The right litter can help to neutralize odors through effective absorption and the right materials. Some litters contain deodorizing ingredients like carbon or baking soda. Although cats are not particularly fond of these odor-fighting agents, they typically prefer carbon.

Litters that contain chemical fragrances are seldom a favorite with cats. While they may smell good to some humans, they’re offensive to your cat’s olfactory sense. A good unscented litter is the best choice.

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Low Dust and Minimal Tracking

Look for a litter that doesn’t create a cloud of dust every time you pour it into litter box. High-dust litters can irritate respiratory problems and can contribute to litter tracking.

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Litter boxes in multiple cat homes get a lot of kitty foot traffic – so it’s a good idea to find litter that won’t stick to your cats’ paws and make crunchy trails through the house. This consideration can present a bit of a conundrum, as the fine-grained litters that cats prefer tend to track the most.

Experiment with a few different varieties, and think about using a litter mat to control tracking.

3 Basic Types of Litter

Now that we know what a good multiple cat litter can do, let’s check out the three primary types of litter and see how each of them adapts to multi-cat use.

It’s a good idea to experiment with a few different types of litters before settling on one to serve your household. You may find that each of your cats has a unique litter preference – one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to provide multiple litter boxes.

Clay (Clumping and Non-Clumping)

Clumping clay litter is the original commercial cat litter.

Prior to the creation of “Kitty Litter” in the late 1940s, indoor cats made use of simple substances like sand, sawdust, wood shavings, and sometimes even ashes. But in 1947, budding entrepreneur Ed Lowe found a new use for fuller’s earth, which his father’s company sold as a non-flammable alternative to sawdust for absorbing oil. It turned out that fuller’s earth (bentonite clay) could control odors and absorb moisture far better than any of the previously-used cat litter materials.

Clumping clay litter is still the most popular type of cat litter on the market today.

Clumping clay litter is made with sodium bentonite, which expands several times its original volume when it gets wet. It’s an effective clumping agent that creates hard, cohesive clumps in the litter box.

Its tendency to expand when in contact with moisture, however, makes it dangerous for your cat to ingest. If your cat or kitten consumes clumping clay litter during regular grooming or for any other reason, it could lead to intestinal blockage. Young kittens are naturally more prone to litter ingestion and should use a non-clumping litter.

Pros

  • Clumping clay litter is a favorite among cats
  • Effective odor control
  • Great clumping ability – easy to scoop

Cons

  • Creates silica dust, which can cause health problems and tracking
  • Clumping clay litter is dangerous for your cat to ingest
  • Non-biodegradable, and the clay is obtained through strip mining

Silica Gel Crystals

These crystals are made from silica gel, which consists of silica dioxide sand, water, and oxygen. It’s the same substance most commonly found in the desiccant packets that protect many moisture-sensitive products.

This type of litter completely absorbs moisture and controls odor without clumping.

Because it’s such a powerful absorbent, silica litter lasts longer than other products. Most silica litter products can be changed as infrequently as once a month, although a multiple cat home will demand greater frequency.

Silica litter is virtually dust-free and easy to manage, both because it’s so lightweight and because it requires less maintenance than any other form of cat litter. It’s less prone to bacteria and mold growth than other types of litter.

The biggest problem with this litter is that it doesn’t hold up very well to heavy use. Urine pooling is a common problem in multi-cat homes. Even if you change it regularly, it’s more expensive than other litters, and in a heavy-use home, the difference can add up quickly.

Pros

  • Typically locks in odors better than any other variety
  • Easy to take care of
  • Lightweight and dust-free
  • Low tracking
  • Creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria and mold growth

Cons

  • While price varies from brand to brand, it’s usually more expensive than other litters
  • Cats often don’t like the texture of the crystals
  • Doesn’t hold up to heavy use

Natural and Biodegradable

This classification covers a wide variety of litters that share two fundamental qualities: they’re biodegradable and free from chemical ingredients. A few popular types of natural litter are those made from walnut shells, wood, corn, paper, and grass

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These may be clumping or non-clumping and come with a range of odor control abilities.

If your multiple cat home includes kittens who can’t use a clumping clay litter, biodegradable clumping litters are a safer alternative. Although quality varies among products, walnut and paper litters tend to create the least dust, while corn litter is usually the best clumper.

These are a good option for those who are looking for a litter that is good for the environment and is completely safe for your cat.

Pros

  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly
  • Some varieties have effective odor control
  • Some brands offer great clumping ability

Cons

  • Usually less cost-effective, especially for heavy use in a multiple cat home

Top 5 Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats

All of the products below satisfy the fundamental requirements for multiple cat homes: great odor control, clumping ability, low dust, and minimal tracking. Because clumping clay and clumping biodegradable litters perform best for multiple cat homes, you’ll find three clay choices and two biodegradable litters. While silica gel crystal litter may be a good choice for some households, it typically doesn’t impress in multi-cat homes and you won’t find any on this list.

Top 3 Best Clay Litters for Multiple Cats

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter Review

A clumping clay litter designed for multiple cat homes

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter

This formula was designed specifically to satisfy the needs of multiple cat homes. This clumping clay litter is recognized for its superior clumping ability and excellent odor control. According to the company, this litter is 99.9% dust free. Numerous customer reviews mention that the litter produces much less dust than other clay cat litter formulas.

The litter has heavy non-tracking granules of a medium size. It’s compatible with sifting or mechanical cat litter boxes, and most importantly, cats seem to like the paw-feel. Cats and humans also appreciate that the litter is unscented.

One of the biggest draws of this litter is its economical price. You can purchase a 40-lb bag of this consistently praised litter for under $14. – Buy It

Pros

  • Great performance at a low price
  • Free from chemical fragrances that might irritate your cat
  • Cats like the paw-feel of the medium grain clay
  • Effective clumping action and good odor control
  • Produces less dust than other clay litters

Cons

  • Any clumping clay litter is a risky choice for cats who may consume their litter – not recommended for young kittens

Cat’s Pride Premium Fresh & Light Fragrance Free Multi-Cat Scoopable Cat Litter Review

A lightweight clumping clay litter for multiple cat homes

Cat's Pride Premium Fresh & Light Fragrance Free Multi-Cat Scoopable Cat Litter

If you prefer a clumping clay litter that’s easy to carry around and pour into your cat’s litter box, this multi-cat formula from Cat’s Pride may be a good choice for you. According to the company, it is up to 25% lighter than other leading clumping clay brands. The litter comes in an easy-to-handle jug rather than a hefty bag or box.

Despite being lighter than many other similar litters, this product is a heavyweight when it comes to clumping and odor control. It’s designed to satisfy the needs of a multiple cat home and creates hard, cohesive clumps. It’s fragrance-free and has great odor control abilities.

Besides not emitting harsh artificial scents, the litter claims to be 99% dust-free to keep you and your cat breathing easy. – Buy It

Pros

  • A lightweight litter perfect for those tired of lugging around heavy bags of litter
  • Clay clumps well and controls odors effectively
  • Cats generally like the texture
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • While most reviews are positive, a number of customers say that the litter produces large clouds of dust.
  • Any clumping clay litter is a risky choice for cats who may consume their litter – not recommended for young kittens
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Ever Clean Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter Review

A clumping clay litter designed to stop multi-cat odors

Ever Clean Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

This litter utilizes a combination of minerals and clays to capture, inhibit, and eliminate offensive smells. The formula’s odor control system consists of three agents: carbon to to grab ammonia and stool odors, an antimicrobial to inhibit bacteria growth, and plant extracts that purportedly eliminate odors entirely.

In addition to extra odor fighting ability, this litter clumps well and is 99% dust-free.

While human reactions to scented litters vary, cats generally prefer unscented products. The packaging indicates that the product is lightly scented. Customer reviews generally don’t complain about the smell, although some say that it is overwhelming.

Along with its “super premium” status, Ever Clean cat litter is more expensive than most other clumping clay products on the market. – Buy It

Pros

  • Powerful odor control ability
  • Creates solid clumps that are easy to scoop out
  • Cats like the texture of the litter

Cons

  • A lightly scented formula – cats prefer unscented litters
  • Despite the 99% dust free claim,  numerous reviews suggest that this formula emits a lot of dust
  • Any clumping clay litter is a risky choice for cats who may consume their litter – not recommended for young kittens

Top 2 Best Biodegradable Litters for Multiple Cats

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

Natural, biodegradable walnut cat litter

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

The second biodegradable cat litter on our list is this product made from walnut shells. This concentrated formula was designed for multiple cat homes and offers superior absorption, tight clumping, and good odor control.

According to Blue Buffalo, this walnut litter absorbs 3X more than the leading brand of clay litter. The fibrous material of walnut shells naturally neutralizes odors and clumps when it comes into contact with liquid waste.

One of the biggest complaints about this litter is its color: walnut litter is naturally a dark brown color that can make it difficult to see waste while scooping. Another effect of the dark color is that it makes tracked litter obvious. Some reviewers say that it looks like coffee granules tracked around the house.

That said, cats like the fine texture of the litter and it’s one of the best litters for those who dislike dust. It’s a 99% dust-free litter that will keep you and your cat breathing comfortably. – Buy It

Pros

  • Virtually dust-free
  • Clumps effectively
  • Excellent odor control
  • Cats like the texture of the litter
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Dark granules make it difficult to differentiate between clean and dirty litter
  • Tracks quite a bit

World’s Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula Review

Natural, biodegradable corn cat litter

World's Best Cat Litter Scoopable Multiple Cat Clumping Formula

Those seeking an effective clumping litter that’s made from biodegradable ingredients will appreciate the excellent clumping ability and odor control provided by this corn litter. The concentrated formula is designed with multiple cat homes in mind.

Cats like the texture of the corn kernel litter, but it can be a bit dusty and tends to track around the house. This could be a problem in a high-traffic litter box.

Another drawback of this litter is its relationship with aflatoxin mold – warm, moist corn is a prime breeding ground for aflatoxin mold. Although the manufacturer does inspect the litter for contamination prior to it leaving the facility, a problem could arise once the litter is in use in your home. It’s important to store the litter in a cool, dry place, and – as always – to keep the litter box clean. – Buy It

Pros

  • Excellent clumping ability
  • Effectively keeps the box smelling fresh
  • Safe to flush
  • Cats like the texture of the litter
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • May create dust and track around the house
  • There’s a risk of aflatoxin mold growth

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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