6 Best Cheaper Cat Litters: Our 2018 Buyers Guide

With households feeling the pinch on their wallets more and more these days, many people are searching to find any way possible to cut back on their monthly costs. Cat litter may not seem like a huge expense, but over the months and years, it starts to add up.

Even making a small saving on a purchase as regular as this can save you hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your cat.

However, the problem is that most of the products on the market that we would class as “cheap cat litter” are pretty darn terrible. They are either bad at clumping, very inefficient, not very absorbent, dusty, or downright smelly.

With that in mind today we are going to take a look at what you should be looking for (and avoiding) when shopping around for a cheap cat litter. We’re going to conclude by sharing the results of our research for this article and provide you with 6 recommendations of what we think are the best cheap cat litters on the market.

Let’s get started.

Why Choose A Cheaper Cat Litter?

While there are many great and fancy cat litters out there on the market, at the end of the day this is a material that is literally being used as a toilet. If you can find a product that does the job properly at a low cost, why wouldn’t you go for a cheap cat litter?

We can think of 1001 things we’d rather spend our money on.

What To Look For When Buying A Cheap Cat Litter

There are countless low-quality cheap cat litters on the market that you need to watch out for (cheap doesn’t always mean good value). Here are 3 main points:

Multi-Cat Litters

A litter that is suitable for multiple cats is usually much more absorbent than single cat litters. If you own two cats, this is obviously the kind of litter you want. However, if you own a single cat you’ll get much more “mileage” per pound of litter if you get a multi-cat formula.

Clumping Strength

Not all clumping litter is made equally. Lower quality litters can often form weak clumps that will break apart when you are removing the waste from the tray. Check you’re getting a hard clumping and quick drying formula before buying.

Dust

Cheaper litters generally don’t care all that much about dust. If you’ve got an allergic cat/family member then you’re going to need to hunt far and wide for a suitable cheap litter (or just use our recommended product below).

Pros And Cons Of Using A Cheap Cat Litter

  • Pro – You’ve got better things to spend your money on
  • Pro – You can still get a decent litter for a super low price
  • Con – Clumping may be worse
  • Con – Might be dustier
  • Con – Hard to find good brands
  • Con – Limited materials (usually only clay)

Overall Best Cheap Cat Litter

Frisco’s Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

So, hopefully, you now have a little bit of an idea of the kind of trade-offs you’re going to have to make with a cheap cat litter and the kind of things to look out for.

We’re going to be honest, the research required for this article in terms of product recommendations was tough. There are so many brands out there that put more effort (and money) into their marketing than they do into making their litter. As such, it’s not an easy task to differentiate the great value cat litters from the bargain bin cat litters.

But, we think we’ve succeeded.

Below you’re going to find 5 recommendations of cheap cat litters that are going to get the job done to a decent standard. However, there was one super special litter that we came across that we feel is very under-priced and will give you the biggest bang for your buck – Frisco’s Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter.

Frisco is a brand that is well known for providing near premium quality products without the premium price tag. However, this product goes above and beyond their already great reputation for value…

It is hands down the most capable and cost-effective litter on the market right now.

Like most of the products we’re recommending today, this is a clay litter – one of the most economical materials. Clay has been used as cat litter for countless years, yet it’s so effective it’s still extremely popular today.

Clay is naturally anti-microbial, which means that when your cat’s pee touches the litter the bacteria inside it (which cause the ammonia smell) are instantly attacked. This drastically reduces the amount of smell that is created and potentially released into your home.

The clumping action on all clay litters is pretty darn good, but this litter is even better thanks to its granule shape and size. The clumps form super quickly and dry within moments to create super solid rock hard balls that are not going to break apart when you remove them from the tray.

Cats usually love the feeling of clay litters underneath their paws, it’s a material that resembles most what they would be feeling in the wild. As such, all clay litters have a low chance of rejection. The granule size of this litter further improves upon this already impressive acceptance rate and cats seem to love it.

One of the biggest problems that we talked about earlier is the amount of dust that is going to be present in low quality (or even decent quality) cheap cat litters. Clay is one of the dustiest litter materials out there – which can cause issues down this side of the price spectrum…

However, Frisco has developed their own proprietary dedusting system which removes most of the dust before it reaches the bag –  which makes it a super clean and allergy friendly product.

Clay is naturally a low tracking material as it’s reasonably heavy, but again the granule size of this product helps reduce this even further. It’s not a flushable product, but it is hypoallergenic and free from many artificial chemicals you can often find in discount cat litters.

At only $13 for a 40lb bag, this is one of the biggest bargains we’ve seen in a long time. We highly recommend you put this product at the very top of your shortlist.

5 More Really Good Cheap Cat Litters

The Frisco above is the clear winner in the cheap cat litter category, but we did come across some commendable runners-up that are worthy of your consideration.

Tidy Cats Scoop Instant Action Immediate Odor Control Cat Litter

This great product from the world famous Purina is excellent value for money. It’s a clay litter that has the natural ammonia fighting properties we talked about in our overall recommendation above. The clumping action is just as quick, and the clumps that are formed are just as hard. This means that cleaning is super easy and it’s suitable for both manual and automatic litter tray.

It’s another low dust formula (that’s 99% dust free) and as it’s super absorbent it’s actually rated for use in homes that have multiple cats. So if you’ve only got one cat, it’s going to last a very long time – making it even more economical.

At around $13 for a 35lb box, it’s a little more expensive than the Frisco despite being a very similar product in terms of quality – but it’s still great value.

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter

There’s not much that this awesome product from Dr. Elsey’s cannot do, we find ourselves recommending it in several cat litter categories (and it almost made our top spot today). Again we’re dealing with another clay litter here, so there’s a low chance of rejection from your feline friend and there’s all the natural antimicrobial goodness inside too.

It’s a medium grain litter which means that it’s a little bit smaller than some of the other litters on this page. This can mean that clean litter tracks a little bit more around the home – but it’s still more than acceptable. The benefit of this grain size, however, is that it forms bigger, heavier clumps. So dirty litter is never going to leave the tray – which if we’re honest is much more important than keeping clean litter away (for obvious reasons).

It’s a little more expensive than the 2 products above at around $17 for 40lbs, but it’s still more than worthy of your consideration.

Tidy Cats Scoop Glade Tough Odor Solutions Cat Litter

This time Purina has joined forces with Tidy Cats to combine their decades of research and development into a single brilliant value product.

This is the first scented litter on our list, and for good reason too…

Many low quality and cheap scented cat litters actually make the smelly problem of cat pee worse. The perfume is often not strong enough to mask the smell completely and you get a sickly sour combination of cheap air freshener and cat pee rush up your nostrils whenever you get near the tray.

This is not the case with this litter, the fragrance is strong, concealing, and will keep smells away. Because it’s a clay litter this product also benefits from the strong clumping action that will lock smells inside the clumps. The bacteria-killing properties of the material ensure things stay that little bit fresher for longer too.

It’s around $13 for a 35lb bag, which is about on par with some of the cheapest products we’ve mentioned today. If you’re a scented cat litter kind of person, this is one for you.

Fresh Step Triple Action Scented Clumping Cat Litter

While we’re on the subject of scented cat litter, we thought we’d mention the only other scented product in this price bracket that we are comfortable recommending. It’s a clay litter that is infused with activated carbon to give it brilliant bacteria killing power. The clumps that form will lock away the smell, and the carbon will work with the clay to ensure no further ammonia is generated.

It’s infused with natural plant extracts to provide a reasonably light and fresh perfume to the litter box. Normally this would not be a strong enough scent in our opinion, but with the activated carbon killing more bacteria than other products on this page – it’s more than enough.

It costs around $16 for a 42lb bag, which is more or less the same price per pound as the scented product from Purina above. We’re sure that either of them will provide impressive results considering the price.

Tidy Cats Scoop 24/7 Performance Continuous Odor Control Cat Litter

The final product on our list is another product from the tag team combo of Purina and Tidy Cats. This is another super absorbent multi-cat formula which is going last much longer than many other litters pound for pound.

It’s a clay litter, so by default, we’ve got the benefits of hard clumps and the bacteria-killing properties we’ve talked about several times above. The interesting thing about this litter is the tidy lock system that has been developed to keep smells inside the clumps for longer. This litter works 24/7 to keep smells tightly secured away for several days.

This means you need to clean your cat’s litter tray less frequently, and you can spend more time hanging out with your feline friend (instead of dealing with their “business”). It’s around $13 for a 35lb bag, which places it among the cheapest products on this list.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s about all there is to know about cheap cat litters.

We hope you can now see that while it’s difficult to find quality cat litters down this side of the price spectrum – it’s not impossible. Any of the products we have listed here today are more than worthy of your consideration and will keep your home smelling fresh on a budget.

But that being said, we do strongly recommend trying our overall pick first…

It’s miles ahead of the rest in terms of value for money.

Sean Green

Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your pets.

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