8 Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Brands that are Paw-sitively Purr-fect
Who says low-waste living is only reserved for those with opposable thumbs?
Eco-friendly cat litter is the foundation of any conscious cat parent’s zero waste kit(ten)—especially considering two million tons of litter waste gets channeled into landfills in the U.S. every year
Not only that, but a lot of conventional cat litter is full of fillers, dust, and chemicals that aren’t good for you, the air in your home, or most of all, your feline friend.
This may seem dim and dreary, but don’t let it get you meow-n!
We’ve rounded up some of the best eco-friendly cat litters to ensure the only nasty stuff inside that litter box is something that came from your cat.
Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.
The Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter We’re Meowing About
Tuft + Paw is fully transparent on the ingredients—which never includes fragrances or chemicals—in their tofu-based affordable eco-friendly cat litter.
For fully plant-based cat litter, Pet Sustainability Coalition member ökocat offers recycled wood fiber litter that’s free from fragrances, dyes, and added chemicals.
Naturally Fresh uses walnut shells from their family walnut farm to make their sustainable kitty litter.
Make sure to scat down to the tail end of the article to see how we found the best eco-friendly disposable cat litters.
The Full List Of Environmentally Friendly Cat Litter Brands
- Tuft + Paw | Visit Store
- Fresh News | Visit Store
- Naturally Fresh Cat Litter | Visit Store
- World’s Best Cat Litter | Visit Store
- ökocat | Visit Store
- sWheat Scoop | Visit Store
- Katkin Scoop | Visit Store
- SmartCat by Pioneer Pet | Visit Store
1. Tuft + Paw
Tuft + Paw’s Environmentally Friendly Cat Litter
Price Range: $29–$79
You’ve heard of tofu as a meat replacement, but what about a litter replacement?
Tuft + Paw is a feline-focused brand that produces eco-friendly kitty litter out of a soybean byproduct from the tofu industry that would otherwise go to the landfill.
That’s combined with only four other chemical-free ingredients: corn starch, corn flour, guar gum, and charcoal.
It’s a low tracking, dust free, and clumping litter that is plant based and biodegradable, and the soybean fiber byproduct makes for a soft surface for cat’s paws.
From what we can tell, Tuft + Paw’s litter comes in a plastic bag that we’re not sure is easily recyclable. We’re checking with the brand for more details, so stay tuned.
About Tuft + Paw
If you purchase a Tuft + Paw product—whether it be their “Really Great Cat Litter” or feline furniture—with the intention of donating it to a cat shelter, that product is automatically 50% off.
The brand makes an effort to source recycled materials when possible for their products, and each cat furniture piece includes a partial cost breakdown, so you have visibility into how much is spent on materials and labor.
2. Fresh News
Fresh News’ Recycled Paper Cat Litter
Price Range: $14–$30
Extra, extra! Read all about it!
Breaking news—Fresh News produces 100% post-consumer paper litter.
The litter is 99% dust free and low tracking, with built-in baking soda to facilitate natural odor control, so your cat can enjoy their litter box while taking care of the business page.
In addition to being made from recycled materials, Fresh News litter is also a compostable litter.
Fresh News says that composting their litter over the average pet’s lifetime diverts about 3,000 pounds of litter from the landfill—that’s nothing to meow at.
However, before you toss cat feces into any type of indoor compost bin or outdoor pile, be knowledgeable of proper procedure and uses for the compost.
You can read more on the most eco-friendly way to dispose of cat litter at the bottom of this article.
About Fresh News
Fresh News’ most unique feature is their PaperGator program, an effort that pays nonprofits to collect paper products for recycling.
It’s a win-win-win. Communities get more ways to recycle paper goods, nonprofits get an additional fundraising stream, and Fresh News gets another source of post-consumer paper to make their compostable litter with.
Have a different type of pet?
Fresh News also sells small animal litter and bedding.
Also available on Amazon
3. Naturally Fresh
Naturally Fresh’s Eco-Friendly Natural Cat Litter
Price Range: $20–$33
Naturally Fresh is a brand that turns walnut shells from their family farm in California into biodegradable cat litter with sustainable odor-control.
Like other plant-based cat litter, Natural Fresh’s walnut cat litter is also compostable and biodegradable.
Naturally Fresh claims that their litter neutralizes odor better than clay, pine, corn, and wheat (without toxic fragrances), and that their litter absorbs 3x better than clay litters.
Its solar-powered production also uses 42% fewer fossil fuels, 97% fewer mineral resources, and produces 130% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than that of clay litters.
Plus, the walnut trees the shells come from act as a carbon sink for absorbing CO2.
What’s nut to love?
About Naturally Fresh
The manufacturing process of Naturally Fresh’s litter produces minimal transport emissions due to a 16-mile production radius.
Naturally Fresh regularly donates litter to cats in need, and specifically partners with shelters that pursue both sustainable practices and animal welfare.
While their litter comes in a plastic bag, they’ve committed to switching to recyclable packaging by 2025.
Also available on Amazon
4. World’s Best Cat Litter
World’s Best’s Eco-Friendly Clumping Cat Litter
Price Range: $10–$70
World’s Best is an activism focused brand committed to providing a litter that both you and your cat will love, helping out cat shelters and new pet parents in the process.
Their dust free litter is made out of corn, with no chemical additives.
As one of the best eco-friendly clumping cat litters, it is more dust free and absorbing than traditional clay clumping litter, making that litter box easier and safer to clean.
While corn is biodegradable, we’d like to see more information from World’s Best regarding how their corn is sourced, particularly since corn can be a problematic crop when it comes to water usage and soil stewardship.
About World’s Best Cat Litter
World’s Best’s website is chock-full of resources for current and prospective cat owners, from guidance on how to choose the right shelter to pros and cons of adopting a senior special needs kitty.
They also pledge to #GIVEACRAP through their Give Litter initiative, by promising to donate up to 3 million pounds of litter to the 3 million+ cats that get taken to animal shelters every year.
If you post a picture of you and your cat with the custom photo frame, then World’s Best will donate 5 pounds of litter to a shelter.
Also available on Amazon
ökocat’s Sustainable Cat Litter
Price Range: $16–$29
“Öko” is the German equivalent of the English “eco”—so ökocat means “eco cat.” It’s the perfect name for a brand that prioritizes eco-friendly litter for katzen.
Their sustainable paper litter is made from natural wood fibers that are screened and de-dusted, with no artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, dyes, or GMOs.
The litter also controls odors before they start by absorbing liquid on contact, which prevents enzymes from binding with liquid and waste and fosters a fresh smelling litter box.
The wood fibers ökocat uses complies with the standards set by all three major forestry certifications: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Their production process upcycles millions of pounds of paper and wood fibers that would have otherwise gone to the landfill, and over 50% of the water used for the manufacturing process is recycled and reused.
ökocat is affiliated with the Pet Sustainability Coalition, an organization that is committed to advance sustainable practices in the pet industry.
Sustainability messaging is added to all product packaging to increase awareness of pet sustainability and recycling options.
They’re committed to the wellbeing of their employees through education partnerships with local colleges, a comprehensive benefits package, and a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm to market program.
Also available on Amazon
6. sWheat scoop
sWheat Scoop’s Corn-Based Earth-Friendly Cat Litter
Price Range: $15-$50
Looking for an environmentally friendly kitty litter?
Don’t sWheat it—or rather, do sWheat it.
sWheat scoop is an eco-friendly cat litter brand that uses renewable wheat and corn. The litter is biodegradable and dust free.
The natural enzymes and starches in wheat makes a natural clumping litter that controls odor—without added chemicals.
While sWheat does use plastic packaging, they have an ongoing partnership with Plastic Bank, an initiative that helps keep plastic out of oceans and builds up local communities.
About sWheat Scoop’
Beyond information on the sustainability of their litter, sWheat Scoop doesn’t provide insight into their supply chain or labor practices, so we are reaching out to the brand to learn more.
Also available on Amazon
7. KatKin Scoop
KatKin’s Eco-Friendly Clumping Cat Litter
Price Range: Unknown. Subscription plan prices are quoted based on your specific cat’s needs.
“Meet the UK’s first health-monitoring cat litter” courtesy of KatKin.
This Scoop Health litter features special color-changing technology designed to detect pH irregularities and identify urine health problems.
Their other sustainable litter is Scoop Tofu, a clumping litter made of a soybean byproduct. It’s dust free and soft on cats’ feet—good for litter boxes for more sensitive cats.
80% of the soya bean is used to make tofu, while the other 20% usually goes to waste. KatKin uses that 20% byproduct to make a soft, non-toxic and biodegradable cat litter that’s good for your pet and the planet.
The eco-friendly cat litter bags are curbside recyclable, so no need to drop it off at a special recycling location.
UK-based KatKin is primarily known for their custom cat food subscriptions.
Their easy yet comprehensive quiz will help ensure your cat is matched with the best food for their breed, age, and more.
Unfortunately, their products are not available individually, but must be purchased as part of the subscription plan.
You can refer your favorite shelter to KatKin and they will provide them with a unique discount code.
The shelter can then share the discount code with new cat parents and for each one that uses the code, KatKin donates £20 to the referring shelter.
8. SmartCat by Pioneer Pet
SmartCat by Pioneer Pet’s Eco-Friendly Cat Litters
Price Range: $13–$30
SmartCat by Pioneer Pet has two lines of eco-friendly cat litters: a natural grass cat litter, and a corn-based litter.
Both low-dust, natural clumping litter lines come from renewable resources, and are fragrance free.
But watch out: Pioneer Pet also sells a clumping clay litter, which is less eco-friendly than their grass and wheat options.
It appears the litter comes in plastic packaging, and it is unclear whether the packaging can be recycled.
About Pioneer Pet
Unfortunately, other than the all-natural claim on their plant-based cat litters, Pioneer Pet doesn’t provide much information about their sustainability practices.
While plant-based, biodegradable litter is a great start, we would love to know more about how they manufacture the litter and be reaching out to ask.
Also available on Amazon
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What Is The Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter?
As conscious pet parents, we often have more questions than we do cats. Is cat litter bad for the environment? Or are there more eco-friendly ways for your cat to do its business?
If so, what is the most eco-friendly cat litter?
Being eco-friendly with cat litter starts with choosing sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to cat litters you’re used to.
Conventional cat litter usually comes in two main varieties: clay cat litter and crystal cat litter (also known as silica litter).
Traditional clay litter uses either sodium bentonite or calcium montmorillonite clays that are often sourced via strip mining, a process that severely damages local ecosystems and depletes non-renewable resources.
Plus, clay litter tends to cement itself to the side of the litter box, and that’s no fun to clean.
Okay then what about crystal litter—is silica cat litter eco-friendly?
Unfortunately, crystal (silica) litter is typically made from sand and other minerals, which are also non-renewable.
While crystal litter can be used in automatic litter boxes, it’s not biodegradable and produces silica dust, a known carcinogen when inhaled—which your cat probably does each and every time it buries its business.
Plant-based cat litter is eco-friendly, though, because it is biodegradable and renewable—and there are plenty of options to choose from.
When it comes to plant based cat litter, there are a wide variety of different types, ranging from walnuts to soy to corn to paper.
Pros & Cons Of Eco-Friendly Natural Cat Litter Types
The best cat litter type is a biodegradable litter made out of an industry byproduct.
This reduces the amount of natural resources that are consumed, and ensures that the litter will break down and restore its organic matter to the earth.
Tofu and walnut shell cat litter are both produced using byproducts of the food industry, and they are both biodegradable. However, walnut litters are (obviously) not suitable for households with nut allergies. They also won’t biodegrade as quickly as less fibrous substances.
Recycled paper litter doesn’t consume new natural resources, and it is biodegradable, but recycled paper has more alternative uses than soybean and walnut byproducts, meaning it could be used for other types of products just as well.
Other plant-based cat litters—such as wheat, corn, and grass seed litter—are also biodegradable and renewable.
However, production consumes new resources as opposed to using a byproduct of another industry and unless a brand is transparent about the agricultural practices used, these could be promoting unsustainable farming additives like GMOs and chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Wheat and corn can also set off allergies.
Ultimately, you can make the best choice for you and your cat based on allergies, product availability, price, and your chosen disposal method.
Is Cat Litter Biodegradable?
Cat litter can be biodegradable, but it depends on what kind.
Is clay cat litter biodegradable?
Clay and silica litters are mineral based, so even in the proper conditions, those cat litters will not break down nearly as quickly as plant based cat litters.
Plant-based litters, on the other hand, break down at much faster rates.
What Is the Most Environmentally-Friendly Way to Dispose of Cat Poop?
One of the most important parts of maintaining a litter box for your feline friend is knowing how to dispose of eco-friendly cat litter in a safe and environmentally-conscious way.
After your kitty uses the litter box, there are three primary ways to dispose of soiled litter and cat waste:
1. Throw it in the trash
Putting cat litter in the trash will send it to the landfill. Landfills aren’t designed with the proper oxygen flow needed for decomposition, so while a biodegradable litter might break down eventually, it will not decompose nearly as fast in a landfill as it would in the compost heap.
2. Flush it
Humans produce waste and cats do too—can you flush eco-friendly cat litter down the toilet?
Flushing cat litter is another option, and it is a way to dispose of green cat litter in a way that allows the litter and cat waste to break down, but it is heavily discouraged in many municipalities due to potential water contamination issues. Indoor cats are far less likely to carry parasites and germs than outdoor cats, but flushing still puts local wildlife at risk.
3. Compost it.
Composting cat litter is a way to return the biological matter from the litter to the earth so at first glance, this probably seems like the most eco-friendly way to deal with cat litter.
But wait, is cat litter compostable? Or are “compostable” cat litters a bunch of greenwashing?
Biodegradable litters will theoretically break down in a compost pile, but unfortunately, composting litter at home is not that simple.
Because of the potential health risks with using carnivorous animal waste in compost, follow all composting best practices and local regulations to ensure that the litter is composted safely.
To kill potential parasites and pathogens, it’s recommended that cat feces decompose for a minimum of six months in higher-heat settings (AKA hot compost) or two years in regular home composting settings.
Even then, it should be composted entirely separately from your regular household compost and its yields should never be used as fertilizer on usable or edible plants (like your vegetable garden).
How We Chose The Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter
Much like the meaty vegan cat foods debate, we had to scratch more than the surface to learn how to be eco-friendly with cat litter.
And that’s starts with being conscious about the brands you’re buying from.
When we looked for the best eco-friendly cat litter, we paid close attention to the renewability of litter ingredients and biodegradability, first and foremost. The best litter ingredients are biodegradable and sustainably sourced (ideally from industry byproducts).
To protect your cat’s lungs and your indoor air quality, they should also be dust free or produce very little dust.
Eco-friendly cat litter bags were another consideration and aside from some recyclable bags, overall improvement is still needed here.
We also looked for transparent information regarding what goes on under the litter box lid (AKA the manufacturing of sustainable cat litter). Ethical sourcing practices and renewable-powered manufacturing were some ways the brands here are doing better.
Lots of brands also promoted the welfare of our furry friends beyond the home by supporting animal-related charities and shelters with donations.
Final Thoughts On Eco-Friendly Kitty Litter
If you’re anything like us, you probably love your feline companion (and maybe your zero waste dog) more than some humans in your life.
But whether your favorite nickname for your cat is Chomk, Smol Bean, or Magnificent Fluffy Princess, one of the best ways to support your cat living their best life is providing a sustainable natural cat litter.
These options are more sustainable for the planet, and are often a healthier option for both your cat and your entire household—especially when paired with other eco-friendly pet products.
Don’t paw-castinate—you, your cat, and the planet deserves better!