As time goes on, more and more people are looking to do their part to reduce our species environmental impact on the planet. There are countless little ways we can do this, and a trend that’s rapidly growing in popularity is the use of recyclable sustainable cat litters.
There are a few contenders in terms of eco-friendly litter materials – but paper seems to be leading the way at the moment (just about).
Today we’re going to look at several reasons people would choose a paper litter (environment related and feline-related) and we’re going to look at some things you should be looking out for when shopping around. At the end of this article, we are going to impartially review 4 paper cat litters that we’re comfortable recommending, and we’re going to tell you which product we think is the best out of the lot.
Let’s get started.
Why Choose A Paper Cat Litter
We’ve kind of covered the environmental angle in the introduction above – so we’re not going to go into much more detail about that here. Just know that there are other materials out there that can compete with paper in terms of eco-friendliness (like wood and walnut shells), but paper is generally considered to be the most eco-friendly. This is because it’s always made from recycled materials, and the litter itself is recyclable too.
Paper cat litters are also beneficial for practical reasons aside from environmental concerns too, one of the biggest of which is the rate of absorption. Paper litters can hold up to 500% of their own weight in liquid before becoming completely saturated. This means that they often last longer than other litters, and you’ll end up using less litter per kitty – which also makes it better for the environment.
They are also super low dust products too as there’s no dust involved in the creation of paper cat litter at anywhere in the process. Paper doesn’t often degrade down into dust like clay either – so when you’re pouring it out or cleaning the tray, you won’t be breathing in a cat pee infested sandstorm of dust…
Which is nice.
What To Look For When Buying A Paper Cat Litter
Let’s take a look at the 2 main things you should be taking into account specifically for paper cat litters (ignoring all the standard obvious things you’d be looking for in any litter).
Most paper litters are non-clumping pellet based products. If this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your personal preferences. Non-clumping litters are generally harder to clean and can be a little smellier, but on the other hand, clumping litters can cause issues for cats that like to lick clumps off their paws.
Many of the best paper litters on the market are going to be low tracking products, but some of the lower quality products can be a nightmare. This is because paper is much lighter than materials like clay, and cheap granule based products (or even cheap pellet products) can cause issues. Check that you’re getting a product with a decent pellet size to minimize these problems.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Paper Cat Litter
- Pro – Good for the environment
- Pro – Low dust formulas
- Pro – Flushable
- Pro – Super absorbent
- Pro – Efficient and economical
- Con – They’re usually non-clumping
- Con – Cheaper lower quality products can track more than other materials
Overall Best Paper Cat Litter
So now we know a little bit about why you’d want to choose a paper litter, and we know a bit about the kinds of things a smart buyer should be looking out for. Let’s take a look at some product recommendations in our review section.
Despite paper being a reasonably popular material to make litter from, it’s still quite a niche product. There are not that many to choose from, and some are much better than others. That being said we’ve still managed to find 4 excellent products that we are comfortable recommending to you guys.
We’re going to list 3 runners-up below, but in our opinion, the best paper cat litter on the market right now is Okocat’s Natural Paper Dust Free Cat Litter.
This is a super absorbent paper litter that can hold up to 200% of its own weight in liquid before it’s fully saturated – which means the litter lasts longer than other materials. It’s also a low dust litter too (like all paper litters).
The clumps have been designed to be intentionally firm on the outside and softer on the inside. This is what allows the product to be dust free while retaining its famously strong clumping action. Clumping paper litters are an unusual and rare product, which is one of the main reasons this is our overall pick…
Clumps form super quickly when waste hits the paper thanks to how dry the material is. When the clumping is finished drying times are quick too which locks away smells before they have the chance to propagate throughout the room. Additionally, when the clumps have dried completely – they’re solid as a rock and won’t break apart when you’re cleaning out the tray.
As this is a completely biodegradable litter that is made without any nasty chemicals or compounds it’s suitable for flushing down the toilet instead leaving it to fester in a bin. The awesome odor-lock technology that Okocat has developed ensures that any smells inside the clumps are going to stay away from your nostrils for up to 7 days – which means you need to clean the trayless frequently than you would with other litters.
We know that all of this stuff we’ve been saying about this product sounds a little bit too good to be true – but there is one downside, the price.
This isn’t a cheap litter, it’s a premium product that provides premium performance at with premium price tag. It costs around $15 for a 12lb box, which isn’t ridiculously expensive when you think about the quality of product you’re getting, but it’s certainly not cheap.
Either way, we strongly recommend you consider this product if you’re looking for something that’s going to outperform basically every other product on the market (paper or otherwise). If you’ve got the budget for it, you’re going to notice the difference.
3 More Really Good Paper Cat Litters
Despite the product above being better than pretty much every other paper litter in the world, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s quite expensive. Below we’re going to list 3 other options that might not quite have the same level of performance of the Okocat product, but they’re still more than capable of getting the job done to a high standard.
Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter By Yesterday’s News
We love getting the chance to recommend what is probably the best-named product in the entire cat litter industry. Yesterday’s News is a product that has been created by the world famous Purina, and as the name suggests it’s quite literally made from yesterday’s news (recycled newspaper).
Despite being an unscented litter that’s completely free from artificial chemicals and compounds – it’s pretty darn good at keeping odors to a minimum. It’s a super quick acting super absorbent litter that is 3 times more absorbent than some of the leading clay litters on the market. Like all paper litters, it’s a low dust formula too (99.97% dust free) which makes it a great choice for those of us with allergies.
The only issue you might have with this litter is that it’s non-clumping, which means that cleaning up the tray can be a little less pleasant and efficient. It also means that you’re not going to get the “locking away” effect that clumping litters benefit from either.
However, if you’re looking for a pellet based non-clumping paper litter – this is the product for you. It’s not bad value either – especially when you consider it’s a Purina product. You’re looking at paying around $14 for a huge 30lb bag, which makes it one of the cheapest ways to save the planet one bag of litter at a time.
Yesterday’s News Softer Texture Fresh Scent Cat Litter
No, you’re not seeing double, this is a very similar product to the litter we talked about above – but it has some interesting and significant differences that we thought made it worthy of its own section.
There are two main differences you’re going to notice – perhaps the most obvious of which is that this is a scented litter. This is quite a big bonus in our opinion because the only thing that slightly lets the original Yesterday’s News product down a bit is that it has not got the benefits of clumping or a scented perfume to help with odor control.
Now don’t get us wrong, the product above is still a great litter for keeping things smelling fresh (considering the materials and price) but this product just does it better. The perfume used in the scent is reasonably light and unobtrusive, yet it’s strong enough to mask any small amounts of ammonia that might be released from your cat’s pee.
The other main difference is the size and feel of the pellets as the paper used in the manufacture of this product is much softer (it’s still recycled). This makes the pellets themselves much softer and their slightly smaller size makes them feel much more like a traditional clay litter underneath your cat’s paws. This means that if you’ve got a “selective” kitty that only likes clay but you want to use paper litter – this product should solve the problem.
Aside from that the products are basically identical. This litter still retains the impressive absorption capabilities of the product above and it’s still a non-clumping formula that’s basically dust free. It’s a little bit more expensive coming in at around $15 for a 24lb bag, but let’s be honest here – that’s still a bargain for a Purina product…
Fresh News Cat Litter
The final product on our list today has the second best name in the cat litter world – Fresh News. As you’ve probably guessed, this is another product that is made from recycled newspaper (with an excellent marketing department).
It’s a non-clumping litter that’s free of nasty chemicals and additives. One of the things we really liked about this product is the way they have included baking soda into the formula to help with keeping smells at bay.
As you probably know (if you’re reasonably domesticated), baking soda is one of the best cleaning agents known to mankind, it has almost limitless cleaning potential. Fresh News is using it here for its bacteria-killing properties that help the litter kill the microbes in your cat’s pee that create the horrible ammonia smell we all hate – without resorting to strong chemicals.
It’s a super absorbent litter that can retain up to 3 times more moisture than some lower quality standard material litters (like clay) and as it’s a paper product it’s a super low dust litter too. The non-clumping “feature” could be a bit of a problem for some people, but the pellets do retain their form when they become wet (instead of disintegrating). This means that you’re going to be able to visually see the litter that is dirty and removes it in a similar way to clumping litter.
At around $15 for a big 25lb bag it’s easy on the wallet, and at this price, we think you’d be crazy to not at least consider it.
So there you have it, that’s all there is to know about the world of paper cat litters.
It’s hands down one of the most eco-friendly products on the market, and in this day and age, we should be doing all we can to ensure that we impact the environment as little as possible. By using completely recyclable materials and creating a recyclable product with them (using delicate and eco-friendly processes) you’re going to be doing one more little thing in your life to do your part for the bigger global picture.
All of the products we’ve talked about today are going to be great for you and great for the environment.
We highly recommend all of them as they are all more than worthy of your consideration.