Kitty Kare Korner Peeing/Pooping Product Recommendations

Three Budget-Friendly Cat Litters That Smell Like Roses … Almost

Discover my top three picks for cat litter that doesn’t stink … no, really!

When someone says “cats smell,” I get so mad. Cats don’t smell. Dirty cat litter boxes smell. Well, I have three cat litters here that don’t smell and they aren’t clay litters. No, really! And not only that, they’re more affordable, less messy, and last longer than clay. Through so much trial and LOTS of error, I have narrowed my brands down to the three cat litters below. They are pee-smelling terminators.

These are the cat litters I currently use at Liz’s Kitty Boot Camp for my 4 foster cats and 4 resident cats. You’ll learn details, pros, and cons about each cat litter. None of these companies are paying me – I’m just giving you the real deal on why these litters rock.

Bronze: ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter (Super Soft)

Box of cat litter
I like the Super Soft version bc it’s gentle on paws.

My cats really love this litter, and I feel like of the three cat litters I use, it’s the closest to clay for them. But I don’t have to deal with the nasty smell and dust.

Material: Reclaimed timber that’s pine, spruce, and fur.

Price at Time of Post: $17.87 on Amazon

Box Size: 16.7 lbs.

Wood litter
Wood pieces in the litter box.

ökocat Pros

  • Fabulous odor control – you can only smell pee if it’s overdo for a scooping, but in that case, as soon as you scoop, you’re good
  • Most of the time, it doesn’t stick to the pan, which means you don’t have to dump out the box and clean as frequently as other litters
  • Lasts because it quickly absorbs.
  • No clay dust.
  • No smell (fragrance free).
  • Lightweight.
  • The type I use is designated as Super Soft, which is really great for cats with sensitive paws or seniors.
  • Works with any type of litter box.

NOTE: The ökocat box and marketing says biodegradable and flushable. I don’t trust flushing anything, so I don’t, but if that’s a feature you want, according to the packaging, you can flush this litter.

ökocat Cons

  • Sometimes the pee clumps stick to the litter box.
  • While there is no dust, the wood fibers do gather by the box. The vacuum sucks them up easily, but I do have to vacuum the area every 2-3 days.

Liz’s Kitty Boot Camp Usage Info for ökocat

# of Litter Boxes: 3

Box Type: 2 Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Advanced High-Sided Corner Cat Litter Box, 1 random XL Big Lots plastic litter box (I can’t find the exact one)

Silver: The Good Earth Natural Litter (100% Grass)

Bag of grass cat litter
Meet grass cat litter. It’s ah-mazing.

I recently discovered this cat litter, and it works so well I use it in my main living areas and never smell it. Although it hasn’t taken over my love for my Gold choice, it’s inching up there.

Material: Grass

Price at Time of Post: $18.99 on Amazon

Bag Size: 10 lbs.

Grass litter
Grass litter in box.

The Good Earth Pros

  • Insanely amazing odor control, even better than ökocat, and possibly better than my Gold choice below – no pee smell, good with #2s
  • Quickly absorbs, and the lumps get harder with time.
  • No clay dust.
  • No smell (fragrance free).
  • Lightweight.
  • Works with any type of litter box.
  • Seems to last FOREVER. I scoop and top off or refill, but I don’t go through the 10 lb. bag as fast as you would think.

The Good Earth Cons

  • Sometimes the pee clumps stick to a plastic litter box. However if you scoop at the clump from different directions, you’re able to get it up.
  • Although no dust, it tracks around the box. One of my boxes has steps which catch a lot of the litter pieces.
  • I wish it was available in a bigger bag.

Liz’s Kitty Boot Camp Usage Info for The Good Earth

# of Litter Boxes: 2

Box Type: 1 Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box, 1 iPrimio Ultimate Stainless Steel XL Cat Litter Box (the best litter box!)

Gold: ExquisiCat Naturals Pine Pellet Cat Litter

Bag of pine pellet cat litter.
Pine pellet litter is great for odor control.

My personal favorite of all the cat litters with a combo of odor control, affordability, and easy maintenance.

Material: 100% pine

Price at Time of Post: $13.99 at PetSmart

Bag Size: 40 lbs. (smaller available)

ExquisiCat Pros

Pine pellets in sifting litter box
Notice the dust in the corner – that’s from pee.
  • Great with odor control. Just smells like pine! I have it in a number of smaller rooms with closed doors, and you really don’t smell anything.
  • Quickly absorbs pee and pellets turn into dust (wood dust, not like clay dust).
  • Biodegradable.
  • One bag lasts a loooooooong time.
  • Doesn’t track, but sometimes the pellets end up outside of the box during burying.
  • It’s so inexpensive, it’s insane. Friends of mine also get pine pellets from Tractor Supply for even less.
  • While you still need to clean the entire box every now and then, it’s not very frequent.

ExquisiCat Cons

  • Can only be used with a sifting litter box, and the issue with that is most have holes that are too big. The box that doesn’t is an Arm & Hammer one, but it’s not very large so it can be difficult for larger or older cats to get into and out of.
  • Not gentle on paws, so seniors or cats with arthritis won’t be fans.
  • When you sift it, some of the pine dust gets around the area of the box.
  • Solids need to be scooped semi-frequently.
  • Pellets are heavy. Sometimes I get lighter bags just because they’re easier to carry and I have more control when I pour.

Liz’s Kitty Boot Camp Usage Info for ExquisiCat

# of Litter Boxes: 4

Box Type: 4 Petmate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan

Also a Must-Have: Litter Genie

I currently have three Litter Genies at Boot Camp, two Litter Genie Pluses and one Litter Genie XL (big boy). How did I ever live without them? You basically scoop, dump in the Litter Genie, pull back this plastic hatch, and the stinky #1 or #2 falls into a bag. Once you close the hatch, no smell. Trust me, the Litter Genie will make your life so much better! I prefer the XL because it’s a bigger, but you may decide that the regular one is a perfect size if you only have one or two cats and one litter box location.

Final Note: Be Kind to Seniors

Woman with tabby cat in lap
Don Vito is my soul kitty and he just turned 16.

My journey to find a better litter was really for my super senior, Don Vito. He’s a 16-year-old cancer survivor who struggles with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and kidney disease. His IBD is so bad, he needs a daily steroid (prednisolone) to take down the inflammation in his gut so he can absorb nutrients.

Although cats tolerate steroids very well, long-term usage can stretch ligaments, and Vito walks on the flat part of his back legs. He doesn’t seem to notice it, but when it’s time to go into the litter box, it isn’t happening. He wants to go in, but it’s too difficult because he can’t squat and lift his back legs up while he pees – so the pee gets on his legs and the litter sticks to them.

I’ve tried different litters and boxes, even plastic totes he could just walk into. He’s not feeling it. So, he goes on Glad for Pets Black Charcoal Puppy Pads that are positioned right outside of the litter boxes he can access. I also have reusable washable ones I use sometimes. Literally anything for the Don.

Be kind to your senior cats when it comes to litter boxes, cat litter, and all the behaviors surrounding it. Many times, chronic health conditions make it difficult for them to go to the bathroom the way they once did. Work with your vet to find solutions that work for you and your cat.

Get More Product Picks

I hope you found my picks helpful. Looking for other products I love? You might like these recommendations:

Cat Water Fountains – Who said they can’t be fancy and affordable?

Cat Shelves – Yes, you can get shelves that are sturdy, easy to mount, loved by cats, priced just right, and aesthetically pleasing. Thanks, ContempoCat.

Cat Wheels – The cat item you didn’t know you needed from OneFastCat.

Catnip Toys – Make your cats go crazy with my favorite brand of catnip toys: Yeowww!

By LizsKittyBootCamp

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a cat behaviorist who provides advice and insights on cat behavior.

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