Hygiene

Best Non-Tracking Cat Litter

Is your cat's litter making a mess around the home? Try one of these non-tracking litter options.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: May 21, 2024 | 8 min read

Cat tracking litter out of litter box.

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Are you looking for the best non-tracking cat litter? As any cat parent knows, cat litter can get super messy super quickly. It would be different if the mess were confined to the litter box, but those little pebbles have a way of sticking to tiny paws and finding their way into every nook and cranny.

There’s nothing worse than walking across the floor only to feel crumbly cat litter beneath your feet—well, except for a run-in with our favorite stackable plastic brick. Still, cat litter has a certain gross factor that makes pet parents go to great lengths to prevent tracking.

Tracked litter can harbor pathogens that can make humans sick—all the more reason to find cat litter that doesn’t track. While no cat litter guarantees zero tracking, many options exist to reduce tracking.

At A Glance: Best Non-Tracking Cat Litter

Our Rating

Best Overall

Arm & Hammer Feline Pine

Our Rating

Runner-Up

Skoon

Purina Tidy Cats Original Breeze Litter System
Our Rating

Best Set

Purina Tidy Cats Original Breeze Litter System

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What Is A Non-Tracking Cat Litter?

While no cat litter guarantees zero tracking, many low-tracking options are on the market. A low-tracking cat litter is one your cat doesn’t easily carry out of the litter box, making it less likely to track throughout your home.

How much a litter tracks will depend on the following:

  • Particle size: Larger pellets are less likely to cling to your kitty’s paws or fur. Sand-like granules tend to track more.
  • Particle weight: Heavier litter is less likely to stick to your cat’s paws. If your cat likes to kick up litter, a heavier-weighted pellet won’t travel as far.
  • Particle texture: Smooth particles typically track less than coarse particles because they won’t cling to fur or paws.
  • Dust: More dust = more tracking. Dust can coat your cat’s body and track all over the house. Dust can also get kicked up and land on surrounding surfaces.

Other Factors That Affect Litter Tracking

While litter variety plays a huge role in tracking, it also depends on the individual cat. For example, if your cat is an overzealous digger, litter might end up everywhere, no matter which brand you use. Long-haired cats are also more likely to track litter throughout the house than their short-haired counterparts. The size and shape of your cat’s paws may also play a role.

I have the trifecta: a long-haired cat with huge paws who loves vigorously digging in the litter box. I’ve found a few solutions to my litter box tracking. First, I’ve placed my litter box in a separate room from the main living area (a walk-in closet). This way, most of the tracking is contained in that area.

Second, I use a high-walled, covered litter box to prevent scatter. Actually, I made a DIY litter box using a Rubbermaid container—and cut a hole in the side for entry—but you can buy something similar (like this top-entry box from Iris USA or this side-entry box from Modkat). Finally, I use a litter mat to catch any litter that makes it outside the box. I’m currently using the Pieviev Cat Litter Double Layer Urine Proof Trapping Mat, which is washable and covers a 36×30-inch area.

pieviev double layer trapping mat

Buying Guide: Things To Consider

Sure, you’re looking for the best non-tracking cat litter, but there are plenty of other factors to consider when picking out a litter.

  • Cleaning: Clumping litter is typically easier to clean than non-clumping. Some brands offer flushable litter.
  • Eco-Friendly: Environmentally-conscious shoppers will look for products that are biodegradable, compostable, and made from sustainable-harvested materials.
  • Non-Toxic: This list excludes litter made with harmful ingredients.
  • Odor Control: Some materials control the smell of urine better than others.
  • Price Point: Consider how much you will pay for litter each month.
  • Texture: Cats typically prefer soft and fine particles over large, firm pellets. 
  • Weight: Lightweight litters or those available in smaller containers tend to be easier to handle.

Top 3 Non-Tracking Cat Litters

Winner: Arm & Hammer Feline Pine

Arm & Hammer Feline Pine
  • Minimal tracking, low dust
  • Non-clumping
  • Lightweight
  • All natural and non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Litter: $0.54/lb.

Feline Pine litter has a lot to love. It’s made from compressed pine sawdust, giving it a natural pine smell. Feline pine uses kiln-dried shavings reclaimed from lumber production. The formula is free of artificial chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Plus, the soft shavings are highly absorbent and kitten-friendly. Feline Pine Platinum adds baking soda for added odor control.

Users love that it naturally smells fantastic, is low in dust, and doesn’t track around the house like other litter. What’s not to love? The pine pellets dissolve into sawdust when wet, causing sawdust buildup in the litter box. A sifting litter box is beneficial for this type of litter—if you don’t mind the extra step. (View our picks: best sifting litter box for pine pellets.) Other than that, some reviewers complain that their cat doesn’t like the texture, especially if they’re transitioning from a finer litter.

Feline Pine’s greatest strength is its price. At $0.54 per pound, it’s the most affordable litter on this list. (For an even-greater deal, purchase a generic wood pellet/equine bedding from your local farm supply store. Just make sure the pellets are kiln-dried so they’re safe for your furry friend.)

Our Personal Experience

feline pine cat litter bag open

Feline Pine is the top choice of litter in my house. I have used this litter with my cats for years. I had a cat that made a massive mess in clay litter, to the point that I always had a stinky, gross mess to take care of. After trying a LOT of other kinds of litter, I settled on Feline Pine. I find that it is much more effective at odor control, especially if I add a little baking soda. It is also low tracking. While some does track, it is far less than any clay litter I have used. Sometimes my cats will toss a pellet or two out of the box. Using a taller or enclosed litter box helps with this. The tracking is minimal and very easy to vacuum up. There is more tracking as the litter gets used, but even then, it is not a lot. It smells far better and is less messy than traditional clay litter. I highly recommend this litter.

Danielle DeGroot, Love Your Cat Writer and longtime cat owner

Runner-Up: Skoon

Skoon litter
  • Non-tracking, low dust
  • Highly absorbent
  • Non-clumping
  • Lightweight
  • All-natural, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Litter: $29.95 for 8 lbs. = $3.74/lb.

Skoon makes its litter from uncalcined amorphous Diatomaceous Earth (DE). If you’re unfamiliar with DE, it’s made from single-celled organisms called diatoms (fossilized algae). The sponge-like, porous structure of diatoms make them excellent at absorbing, trapping, and destroying bad odor. (Note: unlike crystalline DE, amorphous DE won’t irritate your cat’s nasal passages or cause breathing problems. Learn more on the science behind DE on Skoon’s website.)

Skoon’s litter is composed of small pebbles that are naturally antimicrobial—fighting against bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. The large particle size ensures pellets won’t get stuck to your cat’s paws. It’s free of artificial chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Reviewers say it absorbs urine almost instantaneously, making it suitable for multi-cat households. (The litter is also safe for kittens.) Skoon has four varieties: unscented pebbles, lavender-scent pebbles, lemon-scent pebbles, or unscented fine grain. According to Skoon, the fine-grain variety works with most automatic litter boxes.

Like other large-particle litters, your cat might not like the paw feel of Skoon. Other cons? You’ll need to buy a special scooper and stir the litter box regularly to prevent urine from collecting at the bottom of the box. It’s also the most-expensive litter on this list, which is why you don’t see it in the number-one spot.

Best Set: Purina Tidy Cats Original Breeze Litter System

Purina Tidy Cats Original Breeze Litter System
  • Non-tracking, virtually dust-free
  • Non-clumping
  • All-natural and non-toxic
  • $36.59 for system
  • Litter: $15.39 for 7 lbs. = $2.20/lbs. (Chewy.com)
  • Cat Pads: 10-pack for $10.04 (Chewy.com)

The Tidy Cats Breeze Litter System is an excellent way to reduce tracking and dust. The kit comes with a Breeze litter box, litter scoop, a 3.5 lb bag of litter pellets, and four Breeze pads. The high-walled box and lipped edge prevent scatter, and the pellets are smooth and won’t cling to your cat’s paws or fur. Liquid waste travels through pellets and absorbs into the cat pad, while the pellets catch solid waste. The pellets are made from zeolite, a natural mineral. Zeolite is known for its high porosity and absorption capabilities, making it excellent at odor control.

Each litter box pad prevents ammonia odor for seven days. To save money on litter, reviewers recommend reusing the zeolite pellets in a process called “recharging.” After washing the pellets, soak them in a 5 percent salt water solution for 24 hours. This causes the zeolite to release the ammonia it absorbed so that it can be reused.

If you’re not interested in cleaning dirty litter, remember that refills on pellets and pads can get expensive. The pads and pellets aren’t biodegradable, and the large pellet size can make scooping solid waste more difficult. If you try the system and your cat doesn’t like the texture of this litter, remember that this litter box can be used with other litter pellets.

3 Other Low-Tracking Cat Litters

Remember, the best low-tracking litter is one that your cat will use. We’ve included three more low-tracking cat litters, so you have plenty of options to suit your feline’s needs.

Fresh News Recycled Paper

  • Low tracking, virtually dust-free
  • Baking-soda infused pellets for odor control
  • Non-clumping
  • Lightweight
  • Natural and non-toxic, 100% non-allergenic
  • Biodegradable and compostable
  • Litter Price: $20.98 for 25 lbs. = $0.84/lb.

Fresh News paper litter might be a good option if your primary concern is tracking and dust. Fresh News makes its litter from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. The pellets are large and smooth to prevent clinging to paws and fur.

Fresh News is safe for kittens and is free of artificial chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Veterinarians often recommend this litter to cats with allergies, respiratory issues, or wounds. The multi-cat formula contains zeolite for added absorbency and odor support.

While this non-clumping litter is easy to clean, the pellets will become mushy if not scooped quickly. Picky cats might not like the texture of this litter. Some reviewers also say the odor control of this product is weak.

Tuft+Paw Really Great Cat Litter

Tuft + Paw Really Great Cat Litter
  • Low tracking, low dust
  • Clumping
  • Highly absorbent
  • Lightweight
  • Natural and non-toxic, flushable
  • $29 for 9.5 lbs. = $3.05/lb.

Really Great Cat Litter from tuft + paw uses five ingredients: soybean fiber, corn starch, corn flour, guar gum, and charcoal. It’s low tracking and low dust. The pellets are thin, light, and soft—suitable for even the pickiest kitty.

Why tofu litter? It’s highly absorbent and clumps quickly for easy cleanup. It’s free of harmful toxins and is eco-friendly. This litter is biodegradable and compostable. The added charcoal offers extra odor control. While the pellets are soft, they are still large enough to be less likely to stick to your feline’s fur and paws.

The main drawback of Really Great Cat Litter is its price. For multi-cat households, the price might be unreasonable. Tofu litter is also susceptible to mold is not stored properly. If your cat is new to tofu litter, they might try to eat it. This makes it a no-no for kittens. While flushable, you should always check with your municipality before flushing cat feces.

Catit Go Natural!

Catit Go Natural!
  • Low tracking, very low dust
  • Clumping
  • Highly absorbent
  • Natural and non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable
  • $29.00 for 12.2 lbs. = $2.39/ lb.

If you want clumping cat litter without the dust, Catit is for you. According to Catit, this litter clumps naturally without a speck of dust and is highly absorbent at a ratio of up to 300 percent. Catit makes its litter from recycled pea outer fibers and mixes it with clumping agents like starch, corn powder, and guar gum. The litter particles are smooth and cylindrical to prevent tracking; they’re also soft to be gentle on your feline’s paws.

Catit claims that it produces tighter clumps using less litter (so you will get more use out of a single box). It is also flushable—but make sure it’s okay with your municipality.

The biggest complaint among reviewers is the litter’s fragrance. The litter comes in two varieties: vanilla and lavender. The scents are strong and might not be suitable for sensitive noses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What About Clay Litter?

While there are options for low-tracking clay litter, I didn’t include them in my top picks due to health and environmental concerns. Silica, a common ingredient in clay litter, can be carcinogenic if inhaled. There are two types of silica-based litters: crystalline silica and amorphous silica gel. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that crystalline silica, found in low-quality cat litter, is associated with elevated lung cancer rates.

Sodium bentonite, a powerful absorption agent in clumping clay litter, can be dangerous if accidentally ingested (such as your cat licking their fur or paws). Sodium bentonite swells up to fifteen times its natural size when exposed to liquid, so it may cause digestive problems or even blockages if eaten.

From an environmental standpoint, clay strip mining can affect natural habitats and pollute water sources. Clumping clay litter is also not biodegradable.

How Often Should You Change Cat Litter?

Typically, changing the litter tray every 2 to 4 weeks would be best. Our article on how often to change cat litter covers everything your need to know.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the best non-tracking cat litter is one your cat will actually use. Cats can be finicky creatures. Even if it seems like the best choice, it might not be the best choice for your feline. Curious about other ways to reduce tracking? View our recommendations for the best air purifier for cat litter dust.

lost cat sign posted on a tree

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