What Are the Different Types of Cat Litter?

Trying to decide which type of cat litter to choose for your feline family can be quite an overwhelming task. There are many different options, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common litter types.

Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Clay litter is the most commonly used litter type and accounts for over 80% of the cat litter purchased in the US. It is available in clumping and non-clumping formulas and is made from clay that has been strained into a variety of granule sizes and dried.

Non-Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Non-clumping clay is the second most used type of cat litter in the U.S. (15% of litter purchased). Veterinarians don't recommend it because it can't be cleaned. Because it doesn't clump it simply gets dirtier as time goes on and has to be tossed regularly. Often it is not cost effective. Shelter's often use it because they throw out litter multiple times a day.

"Alternative" cat litters account for approximately 5% of litter purchased in the U.S.:

Corn Cat Litter

Corn litter is made from milled corn cob and/or whole kernel corn, and is available in both clumping and non-clumping formulas.

Pine Cat Litter

Pine litter can range from large pellets or chunks of pine wood to pine shavings and is available in both clumping and non-clumping formats.

Wheat Cat Litter

Wheat litter is made from milled wheat and is a clumping litter.


Walnut litter is made from ground walnut shells and is available in both clumping and non-clumping formats.

Silica Cat Litter

Silica gel or crystal litter is made from silica gel that is dried into granules and is not a clumping litter.

Paper Cat Litter

Paper cat litter is typically made from recycled paper. It can be used in a shredded format or processed with water and formed into pellets and does not clump.

While there are alternative forms of litter, these are the most commonly used types of litter among cat lovers. Each type of litter has its advantages and drawbacks and our article on how to choose the right litter for your kitties can help you determine which litter will be the most inviting for your feline family.