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Have you noticed that your cat has started sneezing, itching its face, or struggling to breathe? If so, your cat has likely got an allergy, and cat litter is a much more common culprit than you would initially imagine.
My cat was eight years old before she developed a litter allergy, and when she first starting showing symptoms I was stumped! I had no idea that my cat could be allergic to the litter that I had used for her whole life! But, having switched to a hypoallergenic cat litter, her symptoms disappeared, and she became happy and healthy once more.
Hypoallergenic cat litter can play a huge role in your cat’s overall wellbeing. Your cat will be using their litter box multiple times per day, and if every time they do their business they are left spluttering and struggling for breath, they aren’t going to be happy for long. Plus, they associate using their litter box with a negative experience, they are more likely to stop using it altogether.
Knowing that finding a great hypoallergenic cat litter is something so many owners are after, I decided to review the best cat litter for cats with allergies out there. This way, our furry friends can be happy and healthy.
My Top Pick
The best cat litter for cats with allergies is the World’s Best Cat Litter. This hypoallergenic cat litter is 99.9% free from dust, unscented, 100% biodegradable and flushable, and lasts up to twice as long as regular cat litter. It also has next to no litter tracking, and thanks to its super-fast absorption, scooping your cat’s litter box has never been easier.
Having tried and tested this litter myself, I can confirm it completely stopped my cat’s allergies and made her happier and healthier. I also love it in terms of easy cleaning, and I can breathe easily when changing my cat’s litter too.
You can find the full review for this incredible product further down the article, along with some other great allergy free cat litters.
Best Hypoallergenic Litters for Cats with Allergies
Before I go into my in-depth product reviews, here are all the features that the best cat litter for allergies should have. These features will help reduce cat allergies, as well as helping to ensure litter clean-up is as easy as possible.
- Dust-Free: Litter dust is one of the most common causes of litter allergies in cats, and so all hypoallergenic cat litter should be 99% dust-free. The less dust released into the air when your cat uses their litter box, the less it will trigger an allergic reaction or exacerbate any respiratory conditions.
- No Sodium Bentonite: Sodium bentonite is a chemical used in ordinary clumping litter to make the litter clump. However, this chemical is another common irritant, so steering clear of this ingredient is advised for cats with allergies.
- Unscented: The strong fragrance of some litters designed to mask the smell of urine and feces can also be what your cat is allergic to. Frangrance free cat litter is therefore much more hypoallergenic.
- Pellet Size: Where possible, larger pellets of litter are best as they are not as easily tracked around your home and are less likely to get caught in your cat’s fur, especially if they’re long-haired. However, if you have a mechanical litter box, you may prefer smaller grains.
- Biodegradable: Many cat litters nowadays are also biodegradable, which makes for super easy cleaning as you can simply flush your cat’s waste and clumps of litter down the toilet, not to mention how much better biodegradable litter is for the planet! Therefore, when searching for a cat litter for allergies, this is another desired feature of mine.
With all things considered, here are my reviews for the best hypoallergenic litters for cats with allergies.
1. World’s Best Cat Litter (Best All-Rounder)
The best cat litter for allergies and my personal favorite brand is the World’s Best Cat Litter. As far as me and many other cat owners worldwide are concerned, this cat litter really does stand up to its name!
Firstly, this cat litter is lightweight and 99.9% dust-free. This is great for two reasons: (1) you and your cat can both breathe easy and allergies caused by dust will be diminished, and (2) there will be less mess caused by litter tracking. Win-win!
Aside from this great feature, this hypoallergenic cat litter is also fragrance-free which is great for any cat with scent allergies. Also, despite the lack of smell, your home will still be kept smelling fresh thanks to the clever odor control features of the litter. It absorbs liquids rapidly to prevent nasty odors from escaping into your home.
This litter’s rapid absorption also makes cleaning straightforward as your cat’s urine will quickly form clumps that can then easily disposed of. Because it litter absorbs liquids so quickly, there will be no more chiseling and scraping the base and sides of your litter box, and mess is kept to a minimum. Plus, being made from whole-kernel corn, it is flushable, biodegradable, and great for our pets and our planet!
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, this litter is also fantastic as it lasts twice as long as most other types. In fact, even if you have two cats, one bag will last upwards of 67 days! Therefore, despite this litter being more expensive than other brands, it does pay off in the long run. I couldn’t recommend this cat litter allergies more!
- 9% dust-free, ideal for pets with dust allergies
- Unfragranced to prevent scent allergies
- Effective activated carbon odor control
- No litter tracking
- Easy scooping thanks to the rapid absorption
- Made from whole-kernel corn which is 100% biodegradable and flushable
- Lasts 2x as long as most other cat litters
2. Bolux Flushable Clumping Tofu Cat Litter (Best for Dust Allergies)
The pellets are large, rod-shaped, and packaged in a vacuum, making this cat litter truly 100% dust-free. This will completely alleviate any allergies caused by dust, but is also a great option for any cat as using dust-free litter will minimize the risk of your feline developing or exacerbating any underlying respiratory conditions.
As well as being great for your cat, your home will also be free from litter particles. Thanks to this litter having no dust, there will be no litter tracking around your home! However, the litter particles are extremely lightweight which means you may find a little more mess around your cat’s litter box after use.
That being said, cleaning the litter box itself is extremely easy. All liquids will be absorbed quickly to form clumps for easy scooping, and being both flushable and 100% biodegradable, it is also easy to dispose of any waste. In fact, this cat litter is made from tofu, which is a unique approach for cat litter but works wonders, especially for environmentally-conscious owners.
You also don’t need to worry about nasty odors escaping around your home when using this litter, as despite being free from artificial fragrances, it uses activated carbon absorption to help combat odors. This is an effective way to keep bad smells at bay without triggering an allergic reaction in your cat.
- 100% dust-free and great for cats with dust allergies
- 100% biodegradable and flushable
- No litter tracking around your home
- Effective odor control using activated carbon technology
- Free from all artificial fragrances
- Very lightweight and can be kicked outside the litter box more easily
3. SOMORE Natural Pea Cat Litter (Best Eco-Friendly Option)
Another great option for cats with allergies is the SOMORE Natural Pea Cat Litter. Made from 100% peas, this cat litter is not only hypoallergenic and free of chemicals but is also completely harmless if accidentally ingested.
This cat litter is great for any cat with dust allergies and can help to prevent feline respiratory diseases from developing thanks to it being 99.9% dust-free. While being great for your cat’s health and happiness, dust-free litters also prevent litter tracking, which is a plus for you too!
This litter also clumps quickly which makes it straightforward when scooping up your cat’s waste daily. Also, I love that this hypoallergenic cat litter is biodegradable and compostable thanks to it being made from 100% natural ingredients. This means you can flush your cat’s clumps of waste down the toilet, making the clean-up even easier!
The only downside of this cat litter is that it doesn’t control odor as well as other cat litters as it has its natural scent only and no additional odor-control mechanisms. However, according to the manufacturer, the litter can still keep odors at bay for up to a week, depending on how frequently your cat uses its litter box.
- Free from chemicals and made from 100% natural sources
- 9% dust-free to prevent dust allergies
- No litter tracking, keeping your house clean
- Biodegradable and flushable for straightforward disposal
- Controls odors for up to 1 week
- Natural smell only which most cat’s will not be sensitive to
- Harmless if accidentally ingested
- Does not control odors as well as other litters
4. Okocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Cat Litter (Best Non-Clumping Litter)
This litter is made entirely from 100% white paper fibers, which will not trigger allergies in cats. On top of this, this cat litter has a dust-free formula which is a must for all hypoallergenic cat litters, as well as being great for reducing litter tracking. Plus, it is non-toxic, with no synthetic chemicals, GMOs, or fragrances.
What’s more, this paper material also makes for a super soft litter that won’t hurt your cat’s delicate feet. Plus, it’s super absorbent. In fact, this cat litter can hold up to 200 times its weight in liquid, quickly locking away nasty smells and keeping the litter box smelling fresh.
As well as being good for you and your cat, this cat litter is also good for the planet. Thanks to it being made from paper, it is 100% sustainably sourced and is fully biodegradable, meaning you can flush the litter and won’t be contributing to overflowing landfills.
The only downside of this cat litter is that it is non-clumping, and so harder to clean up after your cat. Because of this, the bag of litter will also not last as long as clumping litters.
- Made from 100% paper fibers
- Dust-free, unscented, and free from chemicals and dyes
- Ultra-absorbent and can hold up to 200x its weight in liquid
- 100% sustainably sourced
- Flushable and biodegradable
- Soft on your cat’s paw pads
- Reduces litter tracking as no dust
- Non-clumping and harder to scoop up after your cat
- Each bag of litter does not stretch as far
5. Purina Tidy Cats Free & Clean Clumping Cat Litter (Best for Scent Allergies)
Firstly, this cat litter is 100% fragrance-free and made without any dyes. As fragrances are one of the most common allergy-causing features of cat litter, this litter will diminish all fragrance-related cat allergies.
However, the lack of fragrance doesn’t mean your cat’s litter tray will start to smell as this hypoallergenic cat litter has intelligent odor control using activated charcoal. Charcoal can absorb odors quickly and effectively, trapping them and preventing them from spreading around your home.
As well as being fragrance-free, this cat litter is low on dust. While not 100% dust-free, it does produce extremely low levels which should curb allergies in most cats. The litter particles are also quite large and heavier in size which helps to reduce litter tracking around your home, while also making it a great option for long-haired cats.
This is also a non-chemical clumping litter, which makes daily scooping of your cat’s litter tray easy. However, being made of clay it isn’t flushable nor biodegradable. Instead, you need to dispose of the litter in regular household trash, which is a slight drawback, especially for the environmentally-conscious.
- 100% fragrance-free and great for cats with scent allergies
- Low dust to reduce the chance of dust-related allergies
- Minimal litter tracking around your home
- Activated charcoal odor control
- Large particles great for long-haired cats
- Clumping litter to make daily scooping easy
- Not biodegradable nor flushable
- Not 100% dust-free so not suitable for severe allergies
6. Frisco Multi-Cat Unscented Clumping Cat Litter (Best for Multi-Cat Households)
This cat litter is dust-free and is extremely effective in neutralizing bad odors, preventing the smells from spreading around your home. Therefore, this litter is ideal for use in multi-cat households, as regardless of how often your cats use their litter box, there will be minimal mess trodden around your home, and smells are kept at bay.
The dust-free feature of this litter is also what makes it effective for cats with dust allergies, while also being better for you and your cat’s lungs. Additionally, as the litter is unscented, it is also ideal for any felines that are sensitive to perfumes or strong fragrances.
However, this is a clay clumping litter and is made from sodium bentonite. Cats that are sensitive to this chemical are therefore not advised to use this litter and are better off opting for a 100% natural or biodegradable product instead. That being said, if your feline suffers from dust or scent allergies only, this product will be effective.
Being made from clay, this cat litter also absorbs urine effectively and clumps quickly, trapping nasty odors while making daily scooping less of a chore. However, these clay pellets are small and lightweight and therefore not ideal for long-haired breeds as they could easily get caught in their fur. However, this does make the pellets soft and comfortable for your cat to walk on, which is a bonus for any cat with sensitive paws.
- Unscented and 99.9% dust-free
- Intense clumping action for easy cleaning
- Successfully neutralizes odors and blocks nasty smells
- Low litter tracking
- Soft pellets that are gentle on your cat’s paws
- Great for multi-cat households
- Not effective for sodium bentonite allergies
- Small pellets which can get stuck in the fur of long-haired cats
7. Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter (Best Litter for Odor-Control)
For unrivaled odor control, try the Fresh Step Advanced Clumping Cat Litter, which guarantees ten days of odor control.
This cat litter actively fights odors to keep your house smelling fresh by using activated charcoal. This is much more effective than simply masking litter smells with chemical or perfumed scents, and as the litter is unscented it makes it great for cats with scent allergies.
If your cat suffered from dust allergies, this litter is also a great choice as it is 99.9% dust-free, helping to keep those allergies at bay. Besides, while being great for both you and your cat’s lungs, dust-free cat litter also make less mess when you scoop and more, as well as helping to reduce litter tracking around your home.
Unfortunately, this is a clumping clay litter that uses sodium bentonite to form clumps. Some cats are allergic to this chemical, and therefore it is not the best for preventing all types of allergy. Plus, it is neither flushable nor biodegradable, which isn’t great for the more eco-friendly owner.
- 9% free from dust to prevent allergies
- Reduces mess and litter tracking
- Effectively eliminates odors using activated charcoal
- Clumps tightly for easy cleaning
- Non-biodegradable and not flushable
- Contains sodium bentonite
Litter Buying Guide for Cats with Allergies
As you can see, there is a huge variety in the type of hypoallergenic cat litter available. Hopefully, these reviews will help you weigh up the positives and negatives of each so that you can find a product that is great for you and your cat. To give you an extra helping hand, I’ve also put together this buying guide which should further point you in the right direction.
Here are all the things you should consider when choosing a cat litter for cats with allergies.
Type of Allergy
For a litter to be classified as hypoallergenic, it needs to cause fewer allergic reactions than other types of litter. However, cats can be allergic to the litter dust, the litter fragrance, or the chemicals used in the litter, namely sodium bentonite. Therefore, you need to choose a cat litter that is free from the specific irritant that is triggering the allergic reaction in your cat.
For example, some of the clay litters on this list are 99.9% dust-free and unscented, and while therefore effective in reducing allergies caused by dust and scents, they will not be effective against sodium bentonite allergies. On the other hand, my #5 product is free from scents, toxins, and chemicals, but is a low dust litter rather than being dust-free. Therefore, this litter wouldn’t be great for any cats with severe litter dust allergies.
You vet will be able to advise you exactly what is triggering your cat’s allergies through some testing. However, it is best to choose a cat litter that covers all bases, being free from dust, chemicals, fragrances, toxins, and dyes.
Also, bear in mind that you too may suffer from allergies. If you struggle to breathe when emptying and refilling your cat’s litter tray or get headaches from the scent, switch it up! Choosing a litter that doesn’t aggravate your cat is important, but it also shouldn’t cause you any issues either.
The material of the litter you use is also an important consideration, and I personally prefer cat litter that is made from 100% natural sources, such as paper, corn kernels, or pea.
Firstly, this makes it much easier for me to dispose of my cat’s waste as litter made from natural sources is usually 100% biodegradable. This means I can quickly and easily flush my cat’s waste down the toilet! Natural cat litters are also the more eco-friendly option as they can degrade over time rather than going into a landfill.
However, clay litters are also a popular choice and could be something you prefer. This is down to personal preference, but do bear in mind that clay litter will naturally have more dust and is more likely to contain chemical irritants. Because of this, they are not as hypoallergenic, but their effectiveness will be totally dependent on what it is that is causing your cat’s allergies and how severe they are.
Clumping or Non-Clumping
You also need to decide whether you’d rather use a clumping or non-clumping hypoallergenic cat litter. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages.
I prefer to use clumping cat litter as it quickly absorbs urine and makes it easy to dispose of clumps and feces daily. By removing soiled litter regularly and replenishing what I removed with fresh litter, the litter box will need to be completely emptied and cleaned less frequently. This means I can spend less time cleaning up after my cat.
On the other hand, soiled non-clumping litter cannot be as easily removed from your cat’s litter box, meaning you will need to empty, clean, and refill the tray more regularly. That being said, non-clumping litter is generally better at absorbing odors because of its ability to absorb huge volumes of urine.
All in all, the type of litter you choose is completely down to the preference of both you and your cat. If you do go for clumping litter, remember to not use sodium bentonite litter or crystalline silica litter if your cat suffers from chemical allergies.
The price of your cat litter is also important as you will be purchasing it regularly for the entirety of your cat’s life.
However, when comparing the price of different litters, it is important to not just look at the figure on the page. Check the weight of cat litter that is provided, and if a bulk-buy option is available. Generally, buying larger quantities of litter at once can keep costs down.
Also, it is important to consider how absorbent the litter is and thus how regularly you will need to empty, clean, and refill your litter box. Whereas some cat litter may seem more expensive, if it is more absorbent and long-lasting, costs will be less in the long run. Do some research to find a cat litter that is suitable for your budget.
Benefits of Using Hypoallergenic Cat Litter
So, you know what to look for in a hypoallergenic cat litter, but what are the benefits of using it over regular cat litter? As it turns out, there are several reasons why you should make the switch.
- Reduces Allergies in Cats: First and foremost, hypoallergenic cat litter is hugely beneficial for cats with litter allergies. With no dust, fragrance, or chemicals, hypoallergenic cat litter doesn’t contain the three major irritants, helping to keep your cat happy and healthy.
- Helps Cats with Sensitive Skin: When people think of allergies, they often initially picture coughing and sneezing. However, allergies can also present as rashes. Hypoallergenic litter is also the best cat litter for sensitive cats, as it will help to avoid rashes and skin irritation.
- Prevent Respiratory Flare-Ups: Some cats also suffer from respiratory conditions, which is a particular concern for senior felines. Litters that have a lot of dust are more likely to aggravate any underlying respiratory conditions. This makes dust-free hypoallergenic litter the best litter for cats with asthma and other respiratory conditions too.
- Reduces Allergies in Humans: People can also suffer from litter allergies, and so using hypoallergenic litter can keep your allergies at bay too! If you notice you get allergy symptoms when cleaning your cat’s litter box, they will likely disappear if you start using hypoallergenic litter.
- Improves Litter Box Use: If your cat is getting distressed every time they use their litter box because of litter allergies, they may stop using their litter box altogether! Because of this, hypoallergenic cat litter will encourage cats to use their litter box as they should.
What is Cat Litter Allergy?
Just as humans can have allergies to just about anything – pollen, dust mites, nuts, and other food sources just to name a few – cats also suffer from allergies. Litter allergies are usually caused by the dust or the fragrance in the litter which triggers an allergic reaction. For that reason, litters that have no dust and are fragrance-free are best for cats with allergies.
Also, it may be the chemicals in your cat litter rather than the dust or fragrance that is triggering an allergic reaction. The chemical sodium bentonite is used in many clay clumping litters and is what causes the clumps to form. However, it also has a damp smell which can irritate your cat’s lungs, causing an allergic reaction.
Many owners wrongly assume that cats are born with allergies, and so when cats develop allergies, they often go overlooked. However, cats can develop allergies to litter or any other irritants at any point in their lives. That being said, kittens and senior cats are more susceptible to litter allergies as they have a weaker immune system. Cats that already have existing allergies to other things are also more likely to become allergic to their litter, especially as they age.
Remember that humans can suffer from litter allergies too! Do you find your chest getting tight when you empty or clean your cat’s litter tray? You may notice other common allergy symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, or itchy skin and eyes. If this happens frequently when you clean the litter tray, you’re probably allergic to litter too!
What are the Symptoms of Litter Allergies in Cats?
Feline allergic reactions present themselves in a similar way to how allergies present themselves in humans. Therefore, if your cat has an allergy, they may display some of the following symptoms:
- Itchy skin and eyes
- Coughing and wheezing
- Runny nose
- Watery or bloodshot eyes
- Feline acne
However, these symptoms indicate your cat has an allergy of some type, but how can you determine whether it is being caused by their litter?
The easiest way to tell is by keeping a close eye on your cat. If their symptoms worsen after they have just used their litter box there is a high chance it is the litter that is causing irritation. Litter particles can also get stuck to your cat’s fur and trigger and allergic reactions even when they are not close to their litter box.
If your cat does have an allergy to the litter you’re using, it will likely get worse over time. Therefore, your cat may stop using their litter box altogether! This can be another tell-tell sign that your cat has a litter allergy, and you need to swap to a hypoallergenic cat litter.
What Should I Do If My Cat Has a Litter Allergy?
If you have been keeping an eye on your cat and believe they have a litter allergy, the first thing you should do is book an appointment with your vet. When taking your cat to their appointment, be sure to bring a sample of the litter you currently use along with you. This will help your vet determine what type of changes you can make to your litter to ease your cat’s allergies.
The vet will then examine your cat, as well as taking some samples of fur and blood to run an analysis on. These tests will be able to confirm whether your suspicions are correct in that your cat is allergic to their litter. They will also be able to work out exactly what in the litter is triggering the allergic response.
It will take a little while for the results of the allergy tests to come back. In the meantime, you can try changing your cat litter to any dust-free or unscented products and seeing if this helps ease your cat’s allergies. It is important to remember that allergens can survive up to two weeks in your cat’s body! Therefore, it may take a couple of weeks for you to notice changes, but stay patient.
Once your vet has the results back, they will be able to recommend certain litters that you should be avoiding and help you in choosing a great product for your cat. This will all depend on the severity of your cat’s allergies, along with what irritant is triggering them.
Q: Can cats be allergic to litter?
A: Yes, your cat can have an allergy to the scent, dust, or chemicals in the cat litter you use. Allergies can develop over time, so if you have noticed allergy symptoms in your cat, try changing their litter and see if their symptoms are alleviated.
Q: What are cat litter allergy symptoms?
A: If your cat is allergic to their litter, you may notice that they are coughing, sneezing, or struggling to breathe. They may also have itchy skin and eyes and so rub their face with their paws more, particularly after using their litter tray.
Q: What is the best cat litter for cats with allergies?
A: The best cat litter for cats with allergies is the World’s Best Cat Litter. This is a hypoallergenic litter that is free from dust, fragrances, and chemicals. It is also 100% biodegradable which makes it great for the planet and flushable.
Q: Am I allergic to cat litter?
A: If you have noticed yourself coughing, sneezing, struggling to breathe, or exhibiting any other common allergy symptoms when cleaning your cat’s litter box, then you may well be allergic to the cat litter you’re using. Just as the dust and fragrance can aggravate our cats, they can also trigger allergic reactions in humans.
Q: Can cat litter cause respiratory problems?
A: Yes, breathing in the dust from cat litter can cause respiratory problems, but only if the litter is made from sodium bentonite or crystalline silica. Dust from 100% natural cat litters is generally okay for inhalation and is less likely to cause respiratory problems unless inhaled excessively.
Q: What is the worst cat litter for allergies?
A: When it comes to cat litter, clay clumping litter is the worst for allergies. This type of litter typically creates a lot of dust which can cause respiratory issues and usually contains sodium bentonite which can also act as an irritant.
Q: What should I do if my cat has a litter allergy?
A: Firstly, take your cat to the vet and they will be able to run some tests and confirm that their allergies are caused by the litter. They will then be able to advise you on the types of litter you should be using and avoiding. Trial some of these and check to see if they reduce your cat’s symptoms.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
As cat owners, keeping our cats happy and healthy is so important to us. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep an eye on your cat and be aware of any allergy symptoms they have. If you think they do have a litter allergy, swapping to a hypoallergenic cat litter can really boost the mood and health of your cat.
The best cat litter for cats with allergies will be unscented, dust-free, and not contain sodium bentonite or any other chemical irritants. Even if your cat doesn’t suffer from litter allergies, you can’t go wrong by switching to a hypoallergenic cat litter. Try switching to one of the cat litters that I have reviewed and see how much both you can your cat will benefit!