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11 Best Dust-Free Cat Litters of 2023

CAt sitting in litter box with dust-free cat litter
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You have a cat, you love your cat, but you don’t love the mess that cat litter can bring. One of the biggest challenges with owning a cat and having a litter box in the house is litter that ends up on the floor (regardless of what kind you use). Even worse, the litter can produce dust, potentially causing irritation for members of your family, as well as your cats themselves — especially if they suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues

The solution? Dust-free cat litter, which promises to keep fine dust at a minimum or even non-existent. But, of course, this begs the question: what is the best dust-free cat litter? And also, is there actually such a thing as cat litter that’s completely free of dust?

In this article, we’ll go over the ins and outs of dust-free and low-dust cat litter so you can pick the best one for you and your cat.

What Is Dust-Free Cat Litter?

Dust-free cat litter is litter that produces less dust or powder than other types of litter. Dust-free litters are generally made from soft wood, paper, pellets, and clay and are usually heavier than traditional litter products. The weight of the litter makes it less likely to escape from the box, stick to furry cat paws, and produce a powdery mess that you’ll have to wipe or vacuum up.

However, the truth of the matter is there’s no such thing as 100 percent dust-free cat litter, says Andy Downs, sustainability manager at Only Natural Pet

“The best a cat owner can hope to achieve is low-dust, and in this area, there are several options,” Downs points out. “Low-dust options are healthier, generally cost competitive, and quick clumping.” 

Low-dust options may also be beneficial for humans or other pets that are affected by allergies, asthma, and respiratory challenges. 

Dust-free cat litter still requires routine maintenance like other cat litter that’s not considered dust free. 

Our Top Picks

How We Ranked Our Top Dust-Free Cat Litter Picks

Happy cat at home

Author’s note: As someone who has had four cats in my adult life (three currently), I’ve tried every type of litter on the market. My main concern is mess, as I have two small children under the age of 6 whose systems can be sensitive to dust and allergens. 

After personally researching and testing cat litter, as well as speaking to some experts, we narrowed it down to our top choices, also taking the following factors into consideration:

Dust-free percentage: Yes, we’ve covered the fact that no cat litter will be 100% dust-free, but many of the picks on our list have a percentage of at least 99%.

Safety: We took into consideration whether the cat litters on our list used any dyes, fragrances, or materials that could exacerbate symptoms in cats with allergies or other issues.

Reviews: We scoured reviews and pinpointed thoughtful ones that gave us a clear idea of what the cat litter offers, weeding out dust-free litter without high ratings and with low review counts. 

Price: As mentioned before, dust-free cat litter is naturally going to be more expensive than the standard kind, but we kept a close eye on cost to call out the ones that we thought were really worth the higher price tag. 

10 Best Dust-Free Cat Litters of 2023 

Here are our picks for the best dust-free cat litters of 2023.

Overall Best Dust-Free Cat Litter

Our Pick: World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula Unscented

World's Best Original Series Unscented Multi Corn Cat Litter

Yes, it’s a big claim to label your brand “world’s best.” But this biodegradable, corn-based litter does live up to its name, which is why it earned top marks and landed as our best overall dust-free cat litter. In fact, it’s the one that I’ve personally used for nearly a decade for my cats, who love the fact that it’s unscented (and so do we). Plus, it clumps, making digging for poop (which we flush down the toilet) and pee balls easy. (We do throw pee balls in the trash, even though they are flushable.) We also noticed that it’s quite effective with controlling odor, especially when cats know to bury their waste.

Pros

  • 99% dust free
  • Also comes in scented varieties, but unscented does a great job of masking odors (and there’s really no need to magnify the funk, right?)

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • We do sometimes notice some dust, but only towards the tail end of use, when there’s not much cat litter left in the box

Best Dust-Free Unscented Cat Litter

Our Pick: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Ultra Clumping Clay Multi-Cat Litter

Dr. Alex Schechter, veterinarian with Pure Paws of Hell’s Kitchen and Burrwood Veterinary, recommends Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter. “Unscented cat litter is an excellent choice for pet owners and puffballs with allergies,” he says. “Since unscented cat litters do not have any added fragrances or additives, they won’t cause your allergy symptoms to flare up. As unscented cat [litter is] hypoallergenic, it helps prevent asthma and is a good choice for finicky or allergic pets.” 

In addition to containing no perfumes or deodorants, this hard-clumping, dust-free, scent-free cat litter combines medium-grain clay and heavy, non-tracking granules, keeping moisture (aka pee) from reaching the bottom of the tray. 

Pros

  • 99.9% dust free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Great odor control
  • Can also work for mechanical litter boxes
  • Good price point

Cons

Best Dust-Free Cat Litter for Odor Control

Our Pick: Jonny Cat Fragrance Free Cat Litter

Jonny Cat Fragrance Free Cat Litter Bag

When it comes to odor control, Schechter also recommends this brand, which offers a clay-based litter. “It has the natural odor elimination that helps to keep your home smell free,” he says. “The formulation of the product also prevents bacteria formation.” As an added bonus, this dust-free, odor-control cat litter also has no fragrances or dyes.

Pros

  • Uses natural botanical ingredients that acts as an odor eliminator
  • Allergen free
  • No perfumes or dyes used

Cons

  • Not flushable

Best Dust-Free Color Changing Cat Litter

Our Pick: Genius Litter By Alpha Paw

Best dust free color changing cat litter

Alpha Paw’s revolutionary Genius Litter monitors your cat’s health with its super absorbent, non-clumping formula. Easily monitor your cat’s urine for any abnormalities with a color change in the litter. Yellow means no problems, red means blood, plus three other color indicators. Stay one step ahead of potential diseases or illnesses with this odor-eliminating formula. 

Pros 

  • Color-changing litter detects common signs of kidney disease.
  • Non-clumping micro-crystals produce less dust and lower tracking outside the litterbox.
  • Ultra-fine particles are easier to scoop versus traditional litter. 
  • Developed with veterinarians and industry professionals. 

Cons 

  • Use a separate litter box for multi-cat households to detect color changes in the litter.
  • A bit on the pricey side.

Best Dust-Free Natural Cat Litter

Our Pick: Okocat Natural Wood Dust-Free Cat Litter for Sensitivities

Okocat® Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter

Made of 100% wood fibers, this dust-free, non-clumping litter is fully flushable and biodegradable. Ideal for households with sensitivities and allergies, and cats with post-surgical needs, it’s unscented and comes free of chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. The paper-based pellets are soft and lightweight, and they absorb liquid really well. 

Pros

  • Free of chemicals
  • No dyes and fragrances
  • Blocks creation of ammonia for up to 7 days

Cons

  • Does not clump
  • Higher price point

Best Dust-Free Clumping Cat Litter

Our Pick: Only Natural Pet Non GMO Fast Clumping Seed Cat Litter

Only natural clump free cat litter

Made out of 100% GMO-free, farmed grass, this dust-free, clumping cat litter is a great choice because it contains no fragrance and chemicals, and it clumps really quickly. All in all, the convenient, low-dust litter is great at keeping odors at bay with a natural formula. 

Pros

  • Made of 100% natural grass
  • Clumps quickly
  • Easy to scoop

Cons

  • Higher price point

Best Dust-Free Cat Litter For Asthma

Our Pick: Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Respiratory Relief Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Yes, Dr. Elsey’s has made another appearance on our list, but this time with its respiratory relief cat litter, which is designed to be beneficial for both cats and people with asthma. Not only is this hypoallergenic, low-dust cat litter made without plant proteins, perfumes, or deodorants, it also contains natural essences that can relieve stress, which is crucial in cats with Feline Respiratory Disease. Many pet parents said that they noticed that this dust-free litter helped to keep their cat’s asthma from flaring up.

Pros

  • 99.9% dust free
  • No perfumes, plant proteins or deodorants
  • Contains stress-relieving natural essences
  • Great odor control

Cons

  • Some customers complained that the packaging is frustrating, with litter escaping from the seams during shipping

Best Dust-Free Cat Litter That’s Easy to Clean

Our Pick: Arm & Hammer Litter Slide Scented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Slide Clumping Cat Litter

In addition to making sure it produces low amounts of dust, one of the main things many people clock in a cat litter is the cleanup process.This clumping litter slid easily onto the list thanks to its special technology that prevents sticking for convenient cleaning. It’s also made with baking soda crystals that help minimize odor, offering 7 days of effective odor control.

Pros

  • 99% dust free and low tracking
  • Non-stick technology ensures the litter slides right out of the litter box when cleaning
  • Made with plant-based materials 

Cons

  • Some reviewers with multiple cats say they needed to use baking soda for odor control due to frequency of use

Best Dust-Free Cat Litter For Multiple Cats

Our Pick: Boxiecat Extra Strength, Scent Free Clumping Clay Litter

Boxiecat Extra Strength Premium Clumping Cat Litter

Because of its supreme probiotic-powered odor control and long-lasting use, this dust-free cat litter came out on top for households with multiple cats. Customers rave about the way it keeps odors contained and how easy it is to clean, which is a must when you have more than one furry friend running around. While it is a bit more expensive, one 28 lb bag is designed to last for one month with two cats, which many people find to be worth it in the long run.

Pros

  • 99.9% dust free
  • Great odor control
  • Produces instant flat-top clumps for simple scooping
  • Lasts 2x longer than the typical litter

Cons

  • According to some customers, the packaging is a little flimsy
  • Higher price point

Best Dust-Free Cat Litter for Kittens

Our Pick: PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Fragrance-Free Crystal Cat Litter

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter

When choosing cat litter for kittens, there’s always that tricky balance of selecting an option that works but is also safe for your tiny feline. We love this dust-free cat litter because it covers both of those bases. The crystal formula is non-clumping, making it safer for younger felines. Plus, it’s low dust and scoop free, which means less mess for everyone.

Pros

  • 99% dust free
  • Non-clumping crystals are safer for kittens
  • No fragrances or dyes

Cons

  • Some customers noted that the bag didn’t last as long as they thought it would
  • Higher price point

Best Sustainable Dust-Free Cat Litter 

Our Pick: Catalyst Soft Wood Cat Litter Healthy Cat Formula

Catalyst Cat Litter

Though Catalyst Pet only launched two years ago, their cat litter has become a fast favorite for many cat owners who have since replaced their clay-based litter. This completely sustainable litter, which has been engineered from upcycled softwood fiber that would otherwise be trashed, is lightweight, low dust, low tracking, and odor trapping. It also clumps for easy cleanup.

Pros

  • 99% dust free and low tracking
  • Completely sustainable litter from a brand with a Net Zero Plastic Footprint
  • Made of upcycled softwood fiber (using wood waste!)
  • Healthy cat, multi-cat household, and unscented options

Cons

  • Fairly new brand, so you may not be as familiar with it
  • Higher price point

Dust-Free Cat Litter Buyer’s Guide

Cat at home with owner shopping for dust-free cat litter

Now that we’ve gone over what makes dust-free cat litter effective, it’s also important to consider the following factors when shopping for the best option for your household:

  • Maintenance. Is the litter easy to maintain? Can you scoop easily and discard waste? You want a cat litter that’s simple to clean. You don’t want to have to dig too much, so something that is sift-friendly will be your best bet. 
  • Price. How much are you willing to spend on dust-free cat litter? Are you on a budget? If so, calculate how often you’ll have to replace the litter and how much each bag costs. Some item descriptions will note this, or reviewers might sometimes reveal it so you can estimate. 
  • Frequency of litter replacements. If you don’t want to change it too often, steer clear of non-clumping litter. With non-clumping litter, pee is collected in the box, so you’ll have to replace the litter and clean the box once per week. If you buy a clumping litter, as long as you scoop daily, you can go four weeks without having to replace and clean the box unless you have multiple cats in the household. In this case, just add some more litter here and there to keep it robust for your kitties. 
  • Special needs. Does your cat have any medical challenges or issues that make certain litters a bad option? For instance, if your cat or kitten is newly neutered or spayed, it’s important to use dust-free, non-clumping litter so there’s less likelihood of the litter getting stuck on the surgical site. If you have a cat with asthma, a dust-free litter is also a great option. 
  • Fickle cats. The most important factor — which you unfortunately won’t know when purchasing — is if your cat will like the litter you choose. By nature, cats can be picky. Be prepared to try more than one bag of different litter until you land on one that both you and your cat like. Start with smaller bags to test, and don’t commit to litter in bulk until you know for sure what will work. You may even want to set up two litter boxes with different litter at the same time and see which one wins. 

Tips for Using Dust-Free Cat Litter

Cat cozy in cat bed

When it comes to using dust-free cat litter, the type of litter box you have can help keep mess to a minimum. Get one with a cover to minimize dust and other debris coming out. 

A cat litter mat large enough to surround the box can also help stop dust and litter from spreading across the rest of your floor. These litter mats are designed to trap loose litter and dust, preventing them from ending up all over the place. You’ll just have to vacuum or fan the mat outside every so often.  

Since many dust-free and low-dust cat litters are most effective at first pour, the more often you replace the litter, the less dusty it will be. You should also watch how you pour litter into the box. Sometimes, it’s not even your cat who produces dust; it’s actually you when you first add litter to the box.

Additionally, whether you use dust-free litter or not, it’s important to keep the litter box as clean as possible, as often as possible. Cats don’t want waste in that box, so the cleaner it is, the happier they will be to use it. If you don’t clean it often enough, you may find your cat doing their business elsewhere. Oh, the horror!

Lastly, with all types of litter, it’s always good to check with your local municipality to see how you should dispose of cat litter. While some of the litters in this roundup are flushable, your town or state may not want that for various reasons, like keeping wildlife in the area safe from potential pathogens that can be found in waste.

No matter what you do litter-wise, make sure you work with your cat to give them the best litter box situation possible. Do your research to pick the one you think will work, but take their cues so you know which type of litter they like. Remember, you’re in this together.  

Why Trust Great Pet Care

This article was written by Ysolt Usigan, who is an experienced lifestyle editor and writer whose work has appeared in Shape Magazine, What to Expect, CBS News, Ask Men, and more. She is also the proud pet parent of three feline family members and has personally tried several of the dust-free cat litters on this list.

Additionally, Ysolt interviewed pet experts for information about and recommendations for dust-free cat litters. These experts include:

Additionally, our cat-loving editorial and product teams have over a decade of experience researching and reviewing pet products and have previously worked for some of the biggest brands in the pet industry including Petco, PetSmart, petMD, and Chewy.

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