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. 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. Best Overall Cat Litter Pellets: OKOCAT Original Premium Wood Clumping Cat Litter
In our review, the best cat litter pellets are OKOCAT Original Premium Wood clumping cat litter. It is 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 to use it and remove the waste.
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.”
This is a great pick for those cats or owners who are sensitive to chemicals, dyes, or fragrances. It is naturally unscented. The pellets are made with 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.
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.
3. Best Wood Pellets: Simply Pine Unscented Pellet Cat Litter
We simply love Simply Pine Unscented pellet cat litter. It is made of some of the most natural ingredients out there 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 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.
- 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
4. Best Paper Pellets: Yesterday’s News Odor Cat Litter
These pellets from Yesterday’s News are just what they sound like: recycled paper made into pellets. While they may not use actual newspapers, it still offers a softer feel on your cat’s paws than wood pellets. This makes it a great option for cats who are declawed or who have mobility issues, as well as kittens with small paws.
There are options available in scented and unscented. It can also come in clumping or non-clumping formulas. It even has a softer option for cats who have very sensitive paws. Most reviewers liked the original, non-clumping, unscented pellet litter. It has almost no dust and doesn’t track around the house. The pellets absorb 3 times the moisture of clay litter, making it a great option that saves weight and space.
The paper used in Yesterday’s News pellets is recycled. The packaging is also made with recycled paper products. For an eco-friendly choice, it’s hard to beat this option.
5. Best Pellet Litter System: Tidy Cats Breeze Cat Litter Box System
The Tidy Cats Breeze 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 option for your home.
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.
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
Good pellet litter should still 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.
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. 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.
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 to an auto-shipment can also result in a discount. It also takes the task of remembering to buy cat litter off your list.
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, or even walnut shells. Each option has its pros and cons, which we discuss here.
Wood Cat Litter Pellets
|Has the most options on the market||Harder on a cat’s paws|
|Can have a nice wood smell||May require more transition time for cats new to pellet litter|
Paper Cat Litter Pellets
|Scented and unscented options||Easier transition for many cats|
|Softer on a cat’s paws||Only a few options available|
Corn or Wheat Cat Litter Pellets
|A lot of options||Not great for absorbing odors compared to other pellets|
|Budget-friendly||May have more dust|
Walnut Shell Cat Litter Pellets
|Walnut shell cat litter pellets||Hard to find|
|Virtually no dust||Expensive|
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!”