Advantages and disadvantages of most common cat litter types

How to know which type of cat litter is the best? Actually, you can’t. There is no such best cat litter, as they all have their pros and cons.

clumping cat litter pros and cons

Some cat litters are easier to use, some fight odor better and some may not be preferred by your cat. We recommend you to try a few of the most popular types yourself and make a decision which to use from your own (and your cat’s) experience.

We have already tried several and can share our observations about their advantages and disadvantages of most common types of cat litter, based on our experience.

Clumping clay cat litter pros and cons


  • Easy scooping – When contacting with liquid it turns to solid clumps that are easy to remove and throw out.
  • Economical – You can remove only solid clumps and the rest of the litter will remain in the litter box.


  • Dusty – Smaller particles of litter create large dust that is uncomfortable and unhealthy not only for cats but to humans as well.
  • Sticky – Particles may stick to your cat’s feet. It is dangerous as cats are licking their claws often, so they may swallow small particles. Also, they tend to fall off at a random location of your house. Bed, table tops and other.
  • Not flushable – as clay particles of this litter tend to expand when getting moisturized, this is not a good idea to flush it unless if you want to deal with clogs.
  • Messy – some cats may throw some litter out of a box. They stick to their paws and may drop off them all over the place.
  • Health problems – it contains sodium bentonite which expands a lot when moisturized. A cat may have some health-related problems by swallowing or inhaling some particles.

Silica cat litter pros and cons


  • Less dust – silica cat litter mostly contains large solid particles.
  • Absorbs a lot and quick – large quantity of urine may be absorbed even before it starts to smell.
  • Clean rarely – you have to remove only solid wastes, but you can change litter only once in a while.
  • Best choice for automatic cat litter box – silica granules do not stick to solid wastes, so automatic cleaning will sweep solid wastes only, but not still usable litter.


  • Pricier
  • Can absorb moisture from the room – as silica cat litter can absorb a lot it can also absorb moisture from the room if humidity is large.
  • Some cats may not like them – Granules have sharp edges and they make a crunchy sound when they are rubbing against each other that some cats may feel uncomfortable with.
  • Hygiene problems – As you only change whole litter only once in a while, silica granules that have absorbed urine may remain in the litter box for quite a long time. You may change them more often but this will sure rise expenses that are not so low already for silica cat litter.

Pine cat litter pros and cons


  • Good odor fighting – pine cat litter has a strong natural smell that overwhelms the smell of feces and urine.
  • Ecological – it is made of pressed sawdust that is all natural product and can be composted and do not make harm to the environment.
  • Flushable


  • Have to clean more often than other cat litter.
  • Messy – some cats may throw some of the particles out of a box.
  • Some cats may not like the pine smell – If your cat does not like it, you may try to mix it with his regular litter at first.

So those are pros and cons for most common types of cat litter. There isn’t a single best one, and each person can have own preferences. So it is up to you to judge which type of cat litter is the best.