Looking for ways to reduce your cat’s carbon pawprint? As I argue in our eBook on sustainability in the cat industry, switching to an eco-friendly cat litter is the best way to mitigate your cat’s impact on the planet.
Clay-based cat litter is detrimental and extremely harmful to the environment. The methods by which it is manufactured pollutes local ecosystems and contributes to irreversible soil erosion.
You don’t have to buy the absolute best eco-friendly cat litter, but you should make an effort to buy better. Sometimes that little extra effort can make a positive difference.
The change that happens over time from supporting eco-friendly pet businesses might be slow, but you can have a fast and direct impact on the local environment around you when you opt to use a compostable, eco-friendly cat litter.
Here are the 10 best eco-friendly cat litters that are popular and readily-accessible today.
Why Switch to Eco-Friendly Cat Litters?
When I was a little girl, I used to throw my cat’s clay cat litter out into the yard. The grass turned yellow and died, and the soil was wet with clay litter cement for years. It never degraded naturally.
Eco-friendly litter is biodegradable and compostable
With biodegradable or eco-friendly cat litter, you can be guilt-free when composting even in your own backyard or garden. You can set up a composting station just for that, actually. Or, you can simply toss the litter waste in a biodegradable bag and it will degrade naturally in the landfill (make sure to use compostable bags).
You influence markets in the cat industry to go green
What’s more, when you buy eco-friendly cat litter, your money and “consuming power” isn’t supporting the harmful mining methods (strip-mining) that are used in excess to extract minerals used in clay-based cat litter.
And on top of that, most eco-friendly cat litters come in eco-friendly packaging, whereas non-sustainable litter comes in plastic buckets or tubs (think Tidy Cats buckets), so your impact is even bigger when you opt for eco-friendly cat litter.
Eco-friendly cat litters offer better value
And lastly, switching to eco-friendly cat litter is way easier AND much cheaper than you’d think.
Most eco-friendly cat litters cost the same as clay litters – sometimes cheaper, sometimes a hair above the norm – but they last much longer, so in the end, you’re wasting less while saving money! What’s not to love?
A Closer Look: 10 Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litters
The way we consume cat products has a great influence on what the pet industry puts out. So, if you continue to buy harmful cat litter, the big corporations will continue to fund their environmentally-irresponsible manufacturing methods and pollutive production.
But you can make a simple choice today that will impact tomorrow. Should you wish to become a better eco-friendly cat parent, start by choosing an eco-friendly cat litter that works for you. And your cat!
Take a closer peek into these top 10 environmentally-friendly kitty litters. (Not ranked in any particular order).
1. sWheat Scoop
- 100% biodegradable wheat
- $25 for approx. 36 lbs of litter
- Buy on Amazon
sWheat Scoop is a proud eco-friendly cat litter, as their manufacturing method is a sustainable alternative to clay-based litter. Yet, you still get the nice clumps and odor-free features that attract many a cat parent to clay litter in the first place.
What’s more, sWheat scoop promotes themselves as flushable-friendly. However, we don’t recommend doing that as there are risks associated with flushing cat waste. Composting or disposing of it in biodegradable containers work just as well, if not better.
2. Feline Pine
- Natural pine chips and baking soda
- Costs roughly $28 per a 40 lb bag
- Check on Amazon
Feline Pine is another leading eco-friendly cat litter. It’s actually one of the first sustainable cat litter alternatives that Paul and I turned to back in 2015 when we adopted Yoda.
Although Feline Pine is manufactured by clay litter giant Arm&Hammer, it’s at least a greener, more environmentally-friendly version.
The Feline Pine cat litter is made from natural pine wood and mixed with baking soda for extra odor protection. Some people and pets, especially sensitive cats, might find the natural pine perfume too strong for their liking. It didn’t seem to bother our cat though, but we’ve since upgraded to plain wood pellets.
- 100% reclaimed and recycled wood fiber
- Budget-friendly at $14 for approx. 20 lbs
- Buy on Amazon
Because it’s made from reclaimed wood and lumber material, no new trees are felled and all content is highly recyclable and renewable. The packaging also features a natural cardboard box rather than a plastic tub or bag, which is an extra eco-friendly gesture!
Okocat’s natural wood litter is churned into small, soft pieces, so it feels natural to your cat. It also weighs half as much as clay litter – another reason to go eco-friendly!
4. Naturally Fresh
- 100% natural walnut shells
- Costs $25 per 26 lbs
- See on Amazon
Just one bag of Naturally Fresh cat litter replaces the equivalent of three bags of clay litter. Not to mention, it costs half as much, is much lighter, and is a thousand times better for our environment.
Choose from their line of quick-clumping, non-clumping, ultra odor control, or multi-cat cat litter options. Such an eco-friendly cat litter is hard to beat, but it is a little more pricey than other competitors.
5. World’s Best Cat Litter
- Natural whole-kernel corn
- Price: $28 per 28 lbs
- Buy on Amazon
World’s Best is one of the more commercial eco-friendly cat litters. You might’ve already heard about it or at least seen it advertised. Nonetheless, it remains a popular choice for sustainable litter as it’s made from natural corn and plant ingredients.
The brand prides itself on having one of the best natural odor-controlling litters on the market. On top of that, it features low-tracking, which can be a pain for many cat owners. But to test that claim, you’ll first have to try it!
6. Nature’s Miracle
- Natural corn litter
- Approximately $18 for 18 lbs
- Check on Amazon
Nature’s Miracle is a leading brand of natural cleaning products such as its natural pet stain and odor removal solutions. However, Nature’s Miracle eventually released their own line of eco-friendly cat litter.
Nature’s Miracle’s ingredients feature all-natural whole-kernel corn that then undergoes heat-processing to produce a natural, chemical-free clumping litter.
It’s not the best eco-friendly cat litter alternative compared to others. But it is much better than clay litter and costs just one dollar per pound.
- Sustainable Hinoki wood and green tea cat litter
- Expensive at $25 per 11-12 lbs
- Buy on Amazon
The natural ingredients work to naturally eliminate bacteria from your cat’s litter – reducing in less odor and less litter waste overall. However, the green tea aroma might make your kitty turn their nose up compared to other natural litters.
If other eco-friendly cat litters don’t work for you, try Weruva.
8. Cat’s Best
- Recycled wood pulp and plant fiber cat litter
- Price N/A | Not available in the USA (but for our UK + World readers – this is a great option!)
Cat’s Best is a European-based cat litter brand that makes cat litter from recycled wood pulp and plant fiber. It’s one of the better eco-friendly cat litters we’ve tried, but alas, it’s not available in the United States.
- 100% organic coconut cat litter
- Costs $17-18 per 5 lbs
- Buy on Amazon
CatSpot is a pop-up cat litter that features earth-friendly coconut bits. And it’s organic! This litter is a non-clumping litter like others, but it still works like a charm to effectively cover cat poop and urine odors.
Being 100% all-natural, this litter is ideal if you plan to compost your cat litter.
10. Generic Wood Pellets
- Recycled natural wood pellets cat litter
- Price varies
Last but not least, the best eco-friendly cat litters are ones that feature just plain, natural wood pellets.
By far, natural wood pellets are our eco-friendly litter of choice. It does a wonderful job of covering odors naturally while clumping pee perfectly.
It’s hard to say where you can find a bag because we find huge bags of it in random stores, like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or even smaller convenience stores. Labeling might suggest it as “pet bedding” but it’s actually just small, cylinder wood pellets that work wonders as an eco-friendly cat litter.
Earth-Friendly Cat Litter Tips
As a general rule of thumb, try following these pro-planet tips for managing your cat’s litter waste.
- Use an eco-friendly litter
- Compost your litter in a garden or backyard
- Use biodegradable waste bags (not plastic)
- Avoid contaminating water systems
- Scoop out pee and poop daily
- Repurpose your leftover cat litter bags and boxes
- Keep your cat indoors as much as possible
More Ways to Be Earth-Friendly
In addition to switching to an environmentally-friendly cat litter, you should also consider other areas in your cat’s life that you could improve
Our Eco-Friendly Cat Care Guides
Learn more ways to incorporate eco-friendly alternatives in your home. Here are some of our most popular articles.
- 7 Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Gifts for Cat Lovers (& Cats)
- Eco-Friendly Cat Toys | Our Tips + Selection
- 8 Ethical & Eco-Friendly Cat Foods
- How to Make Homemade Cat Shampoo
- Eco-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Cat Litter