Best Cheapest Cat Litter for Odor Control and Easy Cleaning

Best Cheapest Cat Litter

When the smell of cat litter permeates your whole house, and every litter cleaning exercise is punctuated by dust-induced sneezing fits, you start to think that having a cat isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Fortunately, you don’t have to throw your cat out with cat litter to resolve your problems.

It is possible to find a dust-free, safe, and odor-neutralizing cat litter that doesn’t break the bank! 

We’ve ranked the following products on their affordability, odor elimination, and clumping abilities.

Product

Details

Best Overall

Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter

  • Item Weight : 42 Pounds
  • Material:  carbon

 

Runner Up

SWheat Scoop Wheat Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 36 Pounds
  • Material: biodegradable wheat

Value for Money

Arm & Hammer Fresh Cat Litter

  • Item Weight:20 Pounds
  • Material: Baking soda

Best for Allergies

Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 26 Pounds
  • Material: Walnut

Beginner’s Choice

Dr. Elsey’s Clay Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 40 Pounds
  • Material: Clay Litter

Best for Odor Control

World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter

  • Item Weight: 28 Pounds
  • Material: Corn

Most Versatile

Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 14 Pounds
  • Material: Clay

Best for Multiple Cats

Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 40 pounds
  • Material: Clay

Honorable Mention

Nature’s Miracle Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter

  • Item Weight: 1 Pounds
  • Material: Cotton

Best Cheapest Cat Litter

While compiling the list, we discarded those options that cats refuse to use because they smell like a bunch of talcum-powdered grannies at a bar mitzvah. We also removed those that get caught in your cat’s paws and tracked all over your furniture.

All the remaining products proved to be a high enough standard that our grumpy feline, Boudica, conceded to use them instead of the pot plants!

1. Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Using natural clays and activated carbon for odor control, this cheap cat litter is completely natural, which means Boudica can use it without irritating her sensitive paws. It also means I don’t have to put up with the nasty aroma of an added fragrance

Instead of struggling with a 42lb box, this cat litter comes in handy 10.5lb bags, so you can pour it into the cat litter box without doing any weight training first.

 

the best cat litter for odor

Although there is some dust when you first pour it out, the larger granules mean it settles quickly. This feature will also limit tracking and enables the litter to form tight clumps that make for easy cleaning. 

This clay litter hardens quickly, so you won’t get any pesky lumps sticking to the bottom of your litter box. 

Pros

  • Excellent clumping litter
  • Low dust formula
  • Limited tracking

Cons

  • More expensive than cheap cat litters 

Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter

The price of “Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

2. sWheat Scoop Wheat Cat Litter

Swheat Scoop Wheat Cat Litter

I love this natural litter because it’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly, which means I can add it to the compost rather than throw it in the trash. 

Boudica was a little hesitant about using this at first, but she soon got used to the heavier texture and seemed to enjoy the fact that she could use it without creating dust clouds. 

The larger granules also meant she didn’t track it throughout the house after every visit.

best odor control cat litter

It’s not quite as absorbent as premium choice clay litters, which means some clumps glue themselves to the bottom of the litter box, making it harder to clean. 

On the plus side, this affordable cat litter can last up to three weeks if you remove the waste litter daily, meaning you save money in the long run.

Pros

  • Dust free
  • Low tracking
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not as absorbent as some clay cat litters
  • Not as absorbent as some clay cat litters

sWheat Scoop Wheat Cat Litter

The price of “sWheat Scoop Wheat Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Arm & Hammer Fresh Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Fresh Cat Litter

I’m a big fan of natural products and have always liked how Arm Hammer has embraced the versatility of baking soda as a household cleaner and deodorizing system.

Arm & Hammer litter is one of the best cheap cat litters around, offering effective and natural odor control at an affordable price. 

what is the best cat litter for odor

While I appreciate saving money as much as the next person, I did struggle with the fact that the added baking soda means Boudica tends to leave a trail of powdering white paw prints behind her after every visit. 

Another drawback is that it’s much cheaper to buy it in a 40lb box, which is unwieldy and heavy to lift. You can solve this problem by decanting it into smaller containers, but it’s still inconvenient. 

Pros

  • Great odor control
  • Best cheap cat litter

Cons

  • Tracks more than a low-tracking clay litter 
  • Large box makes it difficult to pour 

Arm & Hammer Fresh Cat Litter

The price of “Arm & Hammer Fresh Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

I sneeze a lot for all sorts of reasons, and this is one of the few budget cat litters that doesn’t irritate my sinuses. Better still, it doesn’t make Boudica’s eyes stream like other litters do.

Boudica was also happy to use it right from the start because it imitates the natural materials she would instinctively use to do her business. 

Made with 100% natural walnut shells, it’s virtually dust free, which is good news for humans and cats with allergies, and its odor protection is pretty good too. It tends to develop a slightly earthy smell when wet, but this disappears as it dries out. 

best kitty litter for smell

Another benefit of this litter material is that it contains no hazardous chemicals, so is safe for cats (and dogs) with an appetite for cat litter! 

Although the walnut shells enable it to form solid clumps, it’s not quite as good at clumping as a natural clay litter, but it still gets the job done. 

Pros

  • 100% natural litter 
  • Completely dust free 
  • Hypoallergenic 

Cons

  • Not as good at clumping as natural clay litters 
  • When wet, it develops an earthy smell some pet parents may dislike

Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

The price of “Naturally Fresh Clumping Walnut Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

5. Dr. Elsey’s Clay Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Clay Cat Litter

This versatile clay litter is easy to use and compatible with most automatic litter boxes, making it ideal for the first-time cat owner. 

Although not designed for cats prone to urinary tract infections, it’s almost as good as Elsey’s precious cat ultra for controlling the problem. 

Its excellent odor control and clumping clay make it suitable for use in small apartments, and means you can keep your cat’s litter box clean and fragrant with minimal effort.

Even after a week of heavy use (Boudica had a stomach upset), there were no unpleasant odors.

best clumping odor control cat litter

Unlike some clumping cat litter, this one forms small rock-like lumps rather than one big, sticky clump, making it much easier to clean, even if your cat’s having some problems in the digestion department! 

The only downside was that Boudica tracked this budget cat litter all over the house, meaning we went through it quicker than we would with a low-tracking alternative.

Pros

  • Compatible with automatic litter boxes
  • Great at controlling odors
  • Good clumping action 

Cons

  • Easily tracked, increasing your cleaning chores and reducing the cost-effectiveness 
  • Large box lacks handles, making it difficult to pour 

Dr. Elsey’s Clay Cat Litter

The price of “Dr. Elsey’s Clay Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

6. World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter

World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter

This high-quality litter is made of natural corn kernels and controls odor more effectively than other natural litters.

Because it’s natural, it’s flushable, and even septic-safe. 

One of the things I love about natural litters is that I can scoop out the dirty litter and replace it with fresh without experiencing an hour-long sneezing fit. 

best odor control litter box

It’s one of the best low-dust cat litters, and because it’s made with natural ingredients, suitable for both cats and cat parents with allergies. 

It’s not perfect, however, and because it’s lightweight, tracks more easily than heavier clay litter alternatives.

As its name suggests, however, it does clump well and produces minimal dust, even when scooping. 

Pros

  • 100% natural and flushable 
  • Great at controlling litter box odors
  • Excellent for pets and parents with allergies

Cons

  • Lightweight kernels mean it’s more easily tracked than clay cat litter 
  • Lightweight kernels mean it’s more easily tracked than clay cat litter 

World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter

The price of “World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

7. Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter

World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter

I’m not usually a fan of scented cat litter, but this one smells like fresh litter rather than the awful soap you find in budget motels! 

Better still, the Febreze scent doesn’t linger because it’s paw-activated, so you only get a whiff of it just after your cat’s left you a little present.

It has a low-dust formula and uses ClumpLock technology to create tight clumps that are easy to remove

Although it’s not recommended for multiple cats, it works pretty well, with great odor control (thanks to its ammonia block technology) and good clumping.

cat litter for odor control

Unfortunately, the gravelly texture means it sticks to your cats’ paws and seems to end up everywhere! 

Similarly, the low-dust formula doesn’t mean it’s completely dust free, and it could aggravate respiratory conditions in sensitive cats.

Pros

  • Excellent odor control and pleasant scent 
  • Suitable for single or multiple cats
  • Good clumping cat litter

Cons

  • Not suitable for cats with respiratory conditions 
  • Gravelly texture means it’s easily tracked

Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter

The price of “Fresh Step Febreze Scented Clay Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

This clumping clay litter has a dirt-like texture that makes it easy on your cat’s paws, making it suitable for declawed cats and those with cracked or sensitive feet. 

The texture also makes it an excellent clumping cat litter that bundles waste into small, tight clumps that won’t fall apart even if someone heavy-headed (like my husband) is doing the scooping!

 best cat litter for odor control

On the downside, it does tend to create quite a lot of dust, especially when pouring. That also means your cats are likely to track it everywhere they go, which in Boudica’s case, includes the top of a very expensive display cabinet!

It has an excellent deodorizing system and stays smelling fresh for several days if you scoop regularly. 

This cheap cat litter is both clumping and great at controlling odors, making it ideal for multiple cats and a house with more than one litter box.

Pros

  • Effective clumping clay cat litter 
  • Impressive odor control 
  • Suitable for sensitive paws

Cons

Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter

The price of “Frisco Fresh Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

9. Nature’s Miracle Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter

Nature’s Miracle Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter

I tend to steer clear of cat litter that contains bentonite because I’ve got dogs that have a habit of eating everything except what I put in their bowls! 

However, this clumping litter is the exception, and something about the odor protection or texture seems to keep my dogs at bay. 

The odor control of this absorbent cat litter is extremely effective, and the lack of dust makes scooping almost pleasurable (but only almost!). 

Before you get too excited, though, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, its clumping action isn’t great, and some litter tends to accumulate at the bottom of the litter box, no matter how diligent you are about scooping. 

Another issue is that the urine clumps tend to fall apart, making cleaning the box much more challenging than with clay cat litter. 

Nevertheless, it’s still a good budget cat litter, which is why we’re giving it an honorable mention. 

Pros

  • Effective odor control
  • Super absorbent
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Clumping action could be better
  • More difficult to clean as litter sticks to the bottom of the litter box

Nature’s Miracle Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter

The price of “Nature’s Miracle Defense Scented Clumping Cat Litter” varies, so check the latest price at

Choosing the Best: The Best Budget Purchase Kitty Litter

When shopping for the best cheap cat litters, it’s tempting to prioritize a low price over everything else. Unfortunately, this can be a false economy. 

You could end up going through a bag of non-clumping litter in half the time it would take to finish off the same amount of premium clumping clay, meaning it costs you more in the long run.

Finding the best budget cat litter isn’t all about price, and you should bear the following criteria in mind before you hand over your hard-earned bucks:

Scent 

It can be tempting to find strong-smelling cat litter that masks the unpleasant smells that occasionally emanate from the bottoms of our feline friends, but this isn’t always the best approach. 

My cat is particularly sensitive to artificial scents and will poop on the floor rather than use a heavily scented litter box. Apparently, she’s not alone.

A cat’s sense of smell is “14 times better” than that of humans, so if your cat litter smells to you, it will bombard your cat’s nose with an array of confusing artificial stimuli.

This may prevent your cat from using the litter box, meaning you end up finding little poop soldiers in unwelcome places. 

According to veterinarian Laura Pletz, a better approach is to look for cat litters that contain natural odor-controlling substances like charcoal or baking soda. These will absorb unpleasant smells, rather than trying to mask them, making them more appealing to your cat. 

Texture

A heavier textured or gravelly cat litter is less likely to stick to your cat’s paws than a finer, more powdery litter material. That means less housework for you unless the cat litter is so rough that she chooses to do her business elsewhere. 

Feline behavior specialist Dr. Pam Perry says, “most cats prefer fine-textured clay litter” because it’s similar to the sand or soil they would use in the wild. 

Although a finer texture increases the chances of tracking, if it improves your cat’s life, it’s probably worth putting up with the extra cleaning. 

Clay or Natural Material

Although clay cat litter tends to be cheaper than natural litters, it also produces more dust making it unsuitable for cats and cat parents with sensitive noses and allergies. 

Clay litters aren’t particularly good for the environment either, so if you’re looking for something sustainable, a natural litter, like SWheat Scoop’s Wheat Cat Litter or Naturally Fresh’s Clumping Walnut Cat Litter, is a better option. 

Another benefit of natural cat litters is that they’re easier to dispose of. Many can be flushed away, or added to your compost heap, without causing any damage to the environment. 

Clumping or Non-Clumping 

Making a choice between clumping or non-clumping cat litter may seem like a no-brainer. After all, the best clumping cat litter makes it so easy to scoop out both liquid and solid waste by bundling it into firm lumps. 

Unfortunately, clumping cat litter isn’t necessarily good for your cat because it produces so much dust. Cats will ingest this dust when cleaning themselves and through accidental ingestion. Once in the stomach, the clumping litter reacts to the fluids inside, causing hard clumps to form.

This reaction can create solid lumps inside your cat’s stomach, causing diarrhea and potentially fatal blockages.

That’s not to say you should only consider non-clumping litter for your cat. Cats that are used to using a litter box are less likely to consume clumping clay dust than kittens that are just starting their litter box journey. 

In fact, many experts, including Dr. Karen Sueda of the VCA West Los Angeles Hospital, recommend “a fine-grained, clay-based clumping litter” because most cats prefer it, and it makes life easier for cat owners. 

The right cat litter for one household may not be ideal for the next, and it could take a little trial and error before you find your purr-fect fit!

Is the Litter Safe? 

The best budget cat litter is safe for you, for the environment, and for your cat. That means it should be low dust, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and with good odor control. 

While there are some outstanding products out there, there are also some clumping clay litters that contain sodium bentonite. If this nasty substance gets into your cat’s lungs or stomach, it can form a mass that could cause dehydration or prevent nutrient absorption.

Very dusty budget cat litters are also problematic, exacerbating asthma in cat owners and irritating the sensitive respiratory systems of cats prone to pulmonary disorders.

Other cat litters are perfectly safe for cats and their owners but terrible for the environment. As a rule, clay cat litter is not biodegradable and, as it often ends up in landfill, will simply sit there for hundreds of years. 

If you’re as worried about the environment as you are about your cat, consider natural litters like SwheatScoop’s Natural Wheat Litter which is both compostable and biodegradable. 

Conclusion

Buying the cheapest cat litter on the market isn’t necessarily the best way to save money on cat litter. Some premium choice brands are so effective at absorbing waste that you use less litter, which reduces your costs in the long run.

Ever Clean Clumping Clay Cat Litter is made from natural materials, uses activated carbon to control odors, and is pleasantly affordable, making it the best cheap cat litter. 

Other outstanding products include the environmentally-friendly World’s Best Clumping Corn Litter, and Dr. Elsey’s Clay Cat Litter, which is easy to use and compatible with most types of automatic litter boxes. 

Finding a budget cat litter that doesn’t make me sneeze and that Boudicca is willing to use has been an uphill battle, but we hope our experiences make your journey toward the perfect cat litter a lot smoother. 

Nicky Hoseck
Nicky owns a variety of pets, from dwarf goats to dogs and horses, and spends much of her time researching the best ways to keep them healthy and happy. She’s passionate about natural medicine and loves discovering new ways to treat physical and behavioral problems without the use of pharmaceuticals. She’s been looking after animals all her life and is committed to responsible pet ownership. She loves sharing her experiences and learning more about how to improve the lives of animals, both domestic and wild.

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