Over the past few years, there has been a major push from consumers for eco-friendly and sustainable products. In fact, a 2021 study showed there was a 71 percent rise in searches for sustainable goods over a five-year span ,and a 2022 study showed that Gen Z is not only driving sustainable purchasing in their own generation, but among Gen X and Baby Boomers as well! 
If you’re one of those people looking for sustainable options, you might want to consider wood pellet cat litter. That’s right, there’s a cat litter that’s way more eco-friendly than traditional clay litters. Look at what sets this type of cat litter apart from the competition.
Our Top Wood Pellet Cat Litters
- Best Overall: ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter
- Best for Multiple Cats: Catalyst Upcycled Soft Wood Cat Litter
- Best for Odor Control: Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter
- Best With Baking Soda: Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Platinum
- Best Budget Option: ExquisiCat Naturals Multi-Cat Pine Pellet Litter
- Best Non-Tracking: Healthy Pet Simply Pine Cat Litter
What Is Wood Pellet Cat Litter?
Wood pellet cat litter is a type of cat litter made from wood shavings (usually pine) pressed into pellets. It’s used just like traditional litter – you put it in a box and scoop your cat’s waste after they use it. Some pellet litter even clumps like clay litter!
Benefits of Wood Pellet Litter
There are several things that cat parents like about using wood pellet litter. These include:
- It’s eco friendly
- It doesn’t create dust
- It can be healthier for some cats
Wood pellet cat litter may be a good option for cats with injuries because it is less likely to irritate open wounds.
“It’s good for cats that have asthma, as clay litter is usually scented and contains dust, which can become aerosolized and trigger a respiratory response,” adds Dr. Maranda Elswick, a Florida-based veterinarian and founder of The Meowing Vet, LLC.. “Wood pellet litter is typically unscented and is bigger, so it doesn’t break down into dust that can be inhaled.”
Potential Cons of Wood Pellet Cat Litter
While there are definite pros, pet parents should also be aware of some cons. These include:
- Not as effective at masking odors
- Tends to be more expensive
- Picky cats may not like the feel of it.
As Dr. Elswick mentions, wood pellet cat litter is typically unscented, which means it’s not as good at masking odors as clay litter. This is especially apparent with solid waste, which needs to be removed promptly to prevent particularly gnarly smells. It’s a bit more expensive than clay litter as well. There’s also the fact that some cats are notoriously finicky and may not take to wood pellet litter, especially if you’re introducing it to them later in life.
6 Best Wood Pellet Cat Litters to Consider
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Wood Pellet Cat Litter Overall
Our Pick: ÖKOCAT Natural Wood Clumping Litter
ökocat Less Mess litter is a clumping cat litter made from responsibly sourced natural wood fiber that has been de-dusted, meaning that area surrounding your litter box won’t be covered in a layer of dust after your cat does his business. The mini pellets are less likely to stick to fur or be tracked through the house than clay litter. The pellets also absorb liquid on contact, forming solid clumps that are easy to scoop. This wood pellet cat litter is biodegradable, compostable, and flushable.
- Free of artificial fragrance, synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, and GMOs
- Better for the environment than clay litter
- Reviewers note that this litter offers exceptional odor control
Things to Consider
- Price can fluctuate significantly
- The pellets are too large for some litter scoops, so you may have to invest in one with wide slats
- Some reviewers noted their cats had an allergic reaction to the wood
Best Wood Litter for Multiple Cats
Our Pick: Catalyst Upcycled Soft Wood Cat Litter
While Catalyst Cat Litter’s multi-cat formula is more of a wood chip litter than wood pellet litter, it touts many of the same benefits of pellets. It’s engineered from reclaimed pine sawdust and is manufactured with high-performance clumping agents that make boxes easier to scoop. The pine wood also provides natural odor control. Catalyst Cat Litter’s multi-cat formula is super lightweight, which makes it easy to transport, unlike heavy boxes of clay litter. And finally, it’s four times more absorbent than other leading litter brands.
- Pleasant and mild pine scent
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Sustainably produced
- Clumps well
Things to Consider
- Some reviewers say it sticks to their cat’s feet
- Can be pricey
Best Wood Pellet Litter for Odor Control
Our Pick: Next Gen Pet Green Tea Fresh Cat Litter
Not all wood pellet cat litter is made from pine. In fact, this one from Next Gen Pet is made from cyprus wood and it uses the natural scent of green tea for odor control – which is a nice alternative to pine or baking soda scents. Additionally, we like this wood cat litter because it clumps tightly and is easy to scoop and clean. It doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances or ingredients and it’s lighter than traditional clay litters.
- Fresh green tea scent controls odors effectively
- Clumps well for easy clean up
- It is flushable
- One bag lasts a while
Things to Consider
- You will still get some tracking with this litter
- Not a good option for cats that like to dig in the litter box
Best Wood Pellet Litter with Baking Soda
Our Pick: Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Platinum
Feline Pine Platinum uses baking soda to neutralize scents without harsh chemicals. Made from reclaimed pine – no new trees are cut down to make Feline Pine products – this wood pellet cat litter also offers a pleasant natural scent. It’s also low-dust and lightweight. The pellets are designed to be gentle on your cat’s paws. It is worth noting that this litter is not flushable and must be disposed of in the trash.
- Made entirely from reclaimed wood
- Low dust
- Baking soda helps neutralize litter odors
Things to Consider
- Some reviewers say the smell takes a bit of getting used to
- Not flushable and must be disposed of in the trash
Best Budget Wood Pellet Cat Litter
Pellet cat litter is generally more expensive than clay litter, but there are budget options, like ExquisiCat Pine Pellet Cat Litter. This safe, all-natural formula is made from 100% pine and does not contain chemicals, dyes, or additives. The pellets are compressed using high heat, high pressure, and steam, and the litter offers a fast-absorbing formula and provides long-lasting odor control. It can be used in single- and multi-cat households. It’s also just $19 for 40lbs.
- Budget price
- No chemicals, dyes, or other additives
- Reviewers note exceptional odor control
Things to Consider
- A bit harder to find than other pellet litters
- The pellets become larger when wet, which makes it a bit more difficult to scoop
Best Non-Tracking Wood Pellet Cat Litter
Our Pick: Healthy Pet Simply Pine Cat Litter
Healthy Pet Simply Pine is a small compact pellet litter made with natural, fresh-scented northeastern pine. It offers excellent absorbency and is 100% biodegradable. It does not contain any synthetic materials or additives. Health Pet Simply Pine pellets were designed to be low dust and they don’t get tracked around the house or stick to the litter box when cleaning. Reviewers also note that this litter has excellent odor control.
- All natural
- 3.5x more absorbent than clay
- Pellets don’t get tracked around the house
Things to Consider
- A few reviewers stated that their cats never took to the pellet litter and they had to go back to clay
Wood Pellet Cat Litter: Buyer’s Guide
The good news is that there is likely a wood-based cat litter out there that meets your cat’s needs. However, you need to narrow down what those needs are to choose the best one. Here are some of the factors you should consider before making a purchase.
Choose your type of wood litter. First, you must decide between the two main types of wood cat litter – wood pellets and wood shavings. Each has its own advantages. Pellets are low mess and less likely to be tracked around the house. Shavings clump better but are dustier and more likely to stick to your cat’s fur. Both options are natural and typically low in chemical additives.
Consider environmentally-friendly options. Another question to ask before buying is how eco-friendly the litter is. Some wood pellet cat litters are made from reclaimed wood, others are compostable or even flushable.
Factor in the price. Wood pellet cat litter also tends to be more expensive than clay-based litter, so you may have to adjust your budget if you’re accustomed to clay litter prices.
Keep the litter box clean. All that said, wood-based litter is typically less effective at controlling odors than clay-based litter, thus requiring more frequent scooping to keep smells under control.
Tips for Using Wood Pellet Cat Litter
There isn’t much of a learning curve when it comes to switching to wood cat litter. Like clay litter, there needs to be a good amount of clean litter in your litter box, it needs to be scooped daily, and the entire box must be changed on a regular basis.
Some brands give a timeline of how often to change litter, but in truth, how often you need to change the litter depends on how often it’s used and by how many cats.
Dr. Elswick says that wood litter can be harder to scoop and pet parents tend to go through it more quickly than clay litter because it’s not as good at controlling odor. She does add, though, that the main consideration should be if your cat uses it.
“If your cat’s not using clay litter, and reliably uses wood litter, it’s a godsend,” she notes.
Wood Pellet Cat Litter FAQs
Want to know more about wood pellet cat litter? Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions.
Are wood pellets safe for cat litter?
Wood pellet cat litter that is marketed specifically for use as cat litter is safe for your cat. However, it’s important to read labels and check ingredients before switching to a wood pellet litter option. And never buy wood pellets marketed for other uses. They may contain chemicals that are harmful to your feline friend.
Can you flush wood pellet cat litter?
Many brands of wood pellet cat litter are marketed as being biodegradable and compostable and some even encourage pet owners to flush the litter down the toilet. However, it’s best to weigh the potential risks to your plumbing with the convenience of flushing. If you have older plumbing, it may not be a good idea to flush wood pellet cat litter.
Does wood pellet cat litter smell?
Most wood pellet litter smells like wood chips (usually pine). Many brands note that enzymes in the wood neutralizes litter box odors, but it’s always best to stay on top of scooping to keep smells to a minimum.
What is the best cat litter box for wood pellets?
Almost any litter box can be used with wood pellet cat litter, but the one major exception seems to be self-cleaning boxes. Those typically require either clay litter or a special, proprietary litter. That said, you probably want a litter box that’s easy to clean, as you will have to be particularly diligent about scooping wood litter to keep on top of odors.
How to get cats to use wood pellet cat litter?
You can’t force a cat to use a certain type of litter. Some cats will take to wood pellet litter without much issue, but others simply will not use it. You can try the usual tricks, like litter attractant, or slowly transitioning from clay litter to wood pellets by gradually adding pellets to the litter box while phasing out the clay. But ultimately, the choice is up to your cat.
Where to buy wood pellets for cat litter?
Wood pellet litter is a bit harder to come by than traditional clay litter, but it can be found in most pet stores and online.