The Best Cat Litter Pellets That Actually Work

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: May 27, 2024
© Lightspruch/Shutterstock.com

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Key Facts

  • The #1 Best Overall cat litter pellets are Okocat Original Cat Litter.
  • When you’re shopping for cat litter pellets, keep the following factors in mind: scent, cost, and absorption.
  • There are pros and cons to wood and zeolite pellets (the two types featured in this review). We’ve listed these in two tables for your convenience.

Having a pet is a rewarding, messy experience. While cats are great at keeping themselves clean, the same can’t be said of their litter box. Generally, cats are very picky when it comes to the cleanliness of their litter box. As a cat owner, you need to empty it daily. Some cats even prefer that you empty it as soon as they are done doing their business.

Trying a pellet-style cat litter is a great way to keep the odors at bay and make litter clean up a bit easier. Many cat litter pellets are made of all-natural materials that are more sustainable than clay litter and better for your cat’s health and yours, too. For those cats with allergies or sensitivities, switching to a pellet litter can drastically improve their quality of life.

Not all cats will get used to a pellet cat litter right away. If you want to transition your cat from traditional clay cat litter to pellets, try mixing some together. You can also sprinkle the clay litter that they like over the pellets so that your cat clearly understands its purpose.

Here are the top cat litter pellet options in a variety of materials for you to consider.

  1. Okocat Original Cat Litter
    • Small pellets absorb cat's waste
    • Prevents ammonia odors
    • Easy to scoop
    • Clumps like clay litter
    • Fragrance-free — Great for cats and owners who are sensitive to fragrance, chemicals, or dyes
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping
    • Non-clumping
    • Made from pressed sawdust
    • Available in money-saving 20 lb. and 40 lb. sizes
    • Dust-free
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Simply Pine Natural Cat Litter, 20 lb
    • Larger sized pellets
    • Free from fragrances and chemicals
    • Virtually dust-free
    • Pellets absorb waste and odor
    • Easy to remove with a conventional kitty litter scoop
    Check Amazon
  4. Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
    • This affordable system includes everything you need to start using pellet kitty litter: litter box, pads, pellets, and a scoop
    • The pellets absorb liquid waste
    • The absorbent pad collects any excess liquid
    • Simply scoop out solid waste
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals’ Top Picks for the Best Cat Litter Pellets

#1 Best Overall Cat Litter Pellets: OKOCAT Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter

In our review, the #1 Best Overall cat litter pellets are OKOCAT Original Premium Wood clumping cat litter. It’s most similar to clay clumping litter but uses small pellets to absorb your cat’s waste. The litter prevents ammonia odors that develop when your cat urinates and is easy to scoop when it’s time to empty the box. It clumps like traditional clumping clay litter. You can use the exact same scoop and exact same litter box.

Clumping litter is not common in pellets or all-natural litter materials, making this a top option for those who want the benefit of all-natural litter but the convenience of clumping litter. “This litter clumps better than any other natural product I’ve found, and better than a lot of clay-based ones, as well,” said one cat owner. “There are rarely any little bits that fall off the main clump ball.”

Because it’s naturally unscented, this is a great pick for those cats or owners who are sensitive to chemicals, dyes, or fragrances. The pellets are made from wood fibers that are eco-friendly as well. If you don’t want to worry about chemicals in your home or around your pet, this is our top recommendation.

The odor-absorbing performance of this litter gets top marks from us and from reviewers, even those with multiple cats. “Wow. Some of the best I’ve encountered, either with natural, clay, or unnatural (e.g., silica-based),” said one reviewer. “It works remarkably well without heavy masking scents.” Many litters just cover up the smell of pet waste with chemical fragrances. OKOCAT clumping wood litter actually absorbs it.

As with any product, there were also some negative reviews. A few said that the product tracked and some said that it was dusty.

Pros and Cons of OKOCAT Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter

ProsCons
These cat litter pellets clump like clay and you can use the same scoop and same litter box as well.Some reviewers said that the product tracked.
The litter prevents ammonia odorsA few reviewers said that these pellets were dusty.
It’s unscented so it’s ideal for cats and owners that are sensitive to chemicals, dyes, or fragrances.
The pellets are made from eco-friendly wood fibers.
It absorbs odors.
#1 Best Overall
Okocat Original Cat Litter
  • Small pellets absorb cat's waste
  • Prevents ammonia odors
  • Easy to scoop
  • Clumps like clay litter
  • Fragrance-free — Great for cats and owners who are sensitive to fragrance, chemicals, or dyes
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Budgets: Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter

For the biggest bang for your buck, try the Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter. It works similarly to our top pick, the OKOCAT wood cat litter. Feline Pines presses wood sawdust into litter pieces that absorb waste, although it doesn’t clump. It is great at odor control and is very absorbent.

You can opt for a bulk purchase to save even more money. Feline Pine is available in 7-pound, 20-pound, and 40-pound bags. Keep in mind that you will need to get the litter from the bag to the pan, which may require lifting the bag to pour. This litter is not as dust-free as some other options. Minimizing the dust is easier when you are able to pour slowly and control the litter.

A few reviewers said that it didn’t control odors.

Pros and Cons of Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping Wood Cat Litter

ProsCons
This pellet cat litter is made from pressed sawdust.It’s not as dust-free as some options.
It absorbs waste, but it does not clump.A few reviewers said that it didn’t control odors.
It effectively controls odor and is very absorbent.
It’s available in 7-pound, 20-pound, and 40-pound bags.
Best Budget
Feline Pine Original Non-Clumping
  • Non-clumping
  • Made from pressed sawdust
  • Available in money-saving 20 lb. and 40 lb. sizes
  • Dust-free
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Wood Pellets: Simply Pine Unscented Pellet Cat Litter

Simply Pine Unscented pellet cat litter is made from reclaimed, sustainable pine remnants that are kiln-dried and is free from fragrances, chemicals, or anything that could bother you or your cat. The larger pellet size works for cats already used to pellet litter (or that are just not picky).

This is a great option for pet owners or cats who hate litter dust. It is virtually dust-free. The pellets absorb liquid and can be easily removed from the box. Solid waste that is buried will stay there and can also be removed using a scoop. We recommend using an absorbent pad at the bottom of your litter box to catch any waste that falls through. While the pellets are great at trapping waste and odors, some can still get to the bottom of the pan. Having a pee pad underneath will make that clean-up much easier and faster.

Some reviewers said this litter doesn’t control odors.

Pros and Cons of Simply Pine Unscented Pellet Cat Litter

ProsCons
This pellet cat litter is made from kiln-dried pine and is free from fragrances and chemicals.This litter does not clump.
The pellet size is larger than others included in this review.You may choose to place a weewee pad at the bottom of the pan to catch any waste that falls through the pellets.
It’s virtually dust-free.Some reviewers said this litter doesn’t control odors.
The pellets absorb liquid and can be easily removed from the box.
You can remove solid waste with a scoop.
Best Wood Pellets
Simply Pine Natural Cat Litter, 20 lb
  • Larger sized pellets
  • Free from fragrances and chemicals
  • Virtually dust-free
  • Pellets absorb waste and odor
  • Easy to remove with a conventional kitty litter scoop
Check Amazon

4. Best Pellet Litter System: Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System

Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System has everything that you need to get started using pellets for your cat’s litter. This includes the litter box, absorbent pads, Breeze pellet litter, and a scoop. The included litter normally lasts one cat for one entire month. This is plenty of time for your cat to adjust to the pellet litter and for you to decide if this is the right option for your cat and for you.

Breeze pellets are made of Zeolite, a family of non-toxic minerals. They are virtually dust-free and anti-tracking.

To clean the box, just scoop out solid waste. The pellets absorb liquid waste. Some can make it down to the bottom of the box. The absorbent pad catches any extra liquid. This also helps trap the odors in the pellets and reduces the overall smell and tracking in your home.

One of the best things about going with a pellet litter system is that it includes everything you need to give pellet litter a try. If you want something that you can buy without having to make multiple purchases or trips, this is our top recommendation. It is also an affordable option. For cats who are new to pellet litter, it can be helpful to try it for a month before deciding if it’s what they prefer for the long term.

Quite a few pet parents wrote lengthy reviews about why they didn’t like this litter box system. Most of the reviews have to do with how the litter box is engineered. We recommend that you read these negative reviews prior to purchasing the system.

Pros and Cons of Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System

ProsCons
This system includes the litter box, absorbent pads, Breeze pellet litter, and a scoop.A number of pet parents wrote lengthy reviews about why they didn’t like this litter box system. Most of these reviews had to do with how the litter box is engineered. We suggest that you read these reviews before purchasing this system.
The litter included should last one cat one month.
You scoop out solid waste.
Liquid waste is absorbed by the pellets, though some will make its way to the bottom of the box where it will be captured by the absorbent pad.
Best Pellet Litter System
Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
  • This affordable system includes everything you need to start using pellet kitty litter: litter box, pads, pellets, and a scoop
  • The pellets absorb liquid waste
  • The absorbent pad collects any excess liquid
  • Simply scoop out solid waste
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Good pellet litter should trap waste and odors as well as traditional clay litter. Some even perform better! When deciding which is best for you, consider the scent, cost, and absorption.

Scent

Pellet litter can come in scented or unscented varieties. Keep in mind that even unscented pellet litter often has a smell. For example, wood litters often smell like wood products, such as pine. Paper litters tend to have a weaker smell. Many pellet litters are great at absorbing the odors of your cat’s waste, a perk that all cat owners appreciate.

Cost

Pellet litter tends to be more expensive than budget-friendly clay litter. Pet owners also change it out more frequently, resulting in needing to purchase more litter. You can find a great deal through shopping sales and promotions. In addition, subscribing for auto-shipment can also result in a discount. It also takes the task of remembering to buy cat litter off your list.

Absorption

Cat litter pellets trap liquid waste by absorbing it, often doubling or even tripling in size. Some disintegrate into dust. Most systems use an absorbent pad underneath the pellets to catch any extra drops of liquid or solid waste. It is important to look for a pellet cat litter that can absorb efficiently. This makes it easier to clean and keeps the litter box odor-free.

The Different Types of Cat Litter Pellets: Pros and Cons Compared

The main difference between various cat litter pellets is their material. You can find cat litter pellets made from wood, paper, minerals, or even walnut shells. Each option has its pros and cons. Since our top pics are all wood and zeolite, we’re only going to provide the pros and cons for these two.

Wood Cat Litter Pellets

ProsCons
Has the most options on the marketHarder on a cat’s paws
Can have a nice wood smellMay require more transition time for cats new to pellet litter
Durable

Zeolite (Mineral-Based)

ProsCons
Controls odors well.These pellets are not biodegradable
It has a proven track record (it’s been widely used since the 1980’s)Some pet parents feel like the size and shape of zeolite pellets are uncomfortable for cats to step on
It attracts and binds to odors, thus eliminating them

Verified Review: User Experience

OKOCAT wood cat litter was a great option, especially for those who were new to pellet litter. “After using this litter for about 3 months, I don’t have enough superlatives to describe how good it is, and can’t imagine ever going back to clay litter,” wrote one reviewer. Cat owners often commented on how well it trapped odors that are all too common with clay cat litter: ammonia, poop, chemicals, harsh fragrances. The OKOCAT option got top reviews for its clumping as well as its odor-absorption.

On the affordable side, reviewers using the budget-friendly Feline Pine litter were also happy with its odor-absorbing qualities and that it didn’t track all over the house. “I love this cat litter!” said one. “Very easy to clean, it doesn’t get tracked on the floor and it totally hides the urine smell of cats!”

About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

The Best Cat Litter Pellets That Actually Work FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are wood cat litter pellets eco-friendly?

Wood cat litter pellets are renewable, biodegradable and sustainable. The most eco-friendly way you can dispose of used wood cat litter pellets is to put it in your compost pile.

Are zeolite kitty litter pellets biodegradable?

Zeolite is an organic mineral, but it is not biodegradable.

The best way to dispose of zeolite kitty litter is to throw it in the trash. Do not flush it or put it in the compost pile.

 

 

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