Skip to content
things to know about natural cat litter

4 Things to Know When Choosing Natural Cat Litter

This post may include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Cats can be finicky about their litter boxes. The truth is, I’m fussy about my cat’s litter box too! So when it comes to choosing the best natural cat litter for my kitty, Olivia, I’m pretty particular. 

my cat olivia
My sweet Olivia loves her natural cat litter.

I need a natural cat litter that makes clean up quick and easy. But, most importantly, I want to make sure that the litter I’m choosing is a good choice for my cat. After all, she’s the one who has to use it every day! In addition to choosing a litter that Olivia likes, it’s important that her litter doesn’t expose her to any health risks. The fact that she uses her litter box faithfully tells me that I’m on the right track.

But that wasn’t always the case. There was a brief period of time when Olivia decided to do her business on my bath mat! It took a little sleuthing to figure out what was going on and resolve the issue.

If your cat stops using the litter box, let’s talk about four possible reasons why. Then we’ll talk about how to go about finding the best natural cat litter your cat will love.

4 Reasons Your Cat is Not Using the Litter Box

Any cat parent whose kitty stops using the litter box knows how frustrating that can be. It’s messy and smelly for you and your cat!

But it may also be a sign of a serious medical condition. So if you’re having trouble getting your kitty to use the litter box consistently, or if she was using it but then stopped for some reason, you’ll need to talk to your vet to rule out any serious health problems. Some cats experience frequent urination due to kidney disease or feline hyperthyroidism. In cases where health isn’t an issue, here are four reasons your cat is not using the litter box:

how to choose a natural cat litter pin

1. It’s in the Wrong Spot

When deciding where to put your cat’s litter box, it can be easy to think in terms of what’s most convenient for you. But it’s best to ask yourself, “Where would my cat prefer?” Just like us, cats like privacy when they do their business. Make sure to choose a well-lit, low-traffic area away from food and water bowls. Be sure that it’s easily accessible too. If you have a senior cat who has trouble getting around, make sure the box is in a nearby place.

2. Your Cat Wants More Litter Boxes

If your cat is not using the litter box, she may be trying to tell you that she wants more than one option. Interestingly, most cats prefer a multi-box household. And if you have multiple cats, then you’ll definitely need more than one litter box. Here’s a good rule of thumb: one box per cat in your family, plus one. So if you have one cat, plan for two boxes. If you have two cats, plan for three boxes. If your cat isn’t using the litter box, then this simple fix may help.

3. It’s Time for a Bigger Litter Box

Again, ask yourself, “What would make my cat more comfortable?” Most of us don’t appreciate being crammed into a tiny bathroom. The same goes for our cats. Most litter boxes are on the small side, so pay attention to the size when you choose your kitty’s box. She’ll need enough space to feel comfortable turning around in her box. The ideal size can be measured from the length of your cat’s nose to the tip of the tail, plus another fifty percent.

Your Cat Wants Natural Cat Litter

The type of litter is one of the most important factors when it comes to figuring out why your cat is not using the litter box. First, you want to choose a litter that’s safe for your cat. Other factors such as clumping litter vs. non-clumping, odor control, and fragrance are all important to make sure you and your kitty are happy. What works for one cat, may not work for another.

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing Natural Cat Litter

Choosing the best natural cat litter really boils down to a few important factors:

Does it Control the Odor?

Cats are just as turned off by a smelly litter box as we are by a smelly bathroom. Their keen noses will sniff out of a dirty litter box even before we do. If your cat can’t stand the smell of her box, chances are she’ll do her business somewhere else. So be sure to choose a litter with superior odor control. In addition, I recommend scooping out dirty litter twice a day to keep the smell of the box up to your cat’s exacting standards.

Is This Litter Non-clumping?

Easy clean-up is high on my list of properties when choosing a natural cat litter. Look for a litter that clumps really well. Most cats prefer not getting their paws dirty. A strong clumping litter means that dirty litter stays together in a tight scoop-able chunk. That also makes it possible to remove more of what smells. Otherwise, the dirty litter will just get mixed back in, leaving behind a tell-tale odor.

Is This Natural Cat Litter Dust Free?

As your cat digs and kicks up their litter, the dust can be irritating to both you and your kitty. In fact, it can pose a serious health hazard, triggering feline asthma! Some cat litters also contain sizeable amounts of silica dust, which can cause other respiratory issues in you and your cat. Thankfully, many natural cat litters are far less dusty than traditional clay litters. So they’re safer for you and your fur family. 

Is it Scented or Unscented and Which Does My Cat Prefer?

Cats have an amazing sense of smell. As a matter of fact, it’s about 40 times stronger than ours! While this is great for tracking down prey (or sniffing out the goodies you’ve hidden around the house for them) it’s not always a good thing when it comes to the litter box. Many litters are heavily perfumed in order to mask unpleasant odors. What seems like a nice fragrance to us may be completely overpowering to your cat. That’s why many cats prefer scent-free litter. If you use one that’s scented, it’s best to choose a very mild fragrance. This way, your kitty won’t feel overpowered by the scent every time she does her business.

Why I Love World’s Best Cat Litter

It’s no secret that I’m a loyal user of  World’s Best Cat Litter™. World’s Best Cat Litter is available in several scent-free formulas, but I personally use the Lavender Scented Multi-Cat Clumping Formula. I love this stuff! There are no synthetic chemicals or perfumes. The lavender fragrance is very mild, and not overpowering to Olivia’s sensitive nose. It passes her feline sniff test! But I can personally attest that all the formulas from World’s Best Cat Litter are amazing. And no matter what you specifically need from your litter, World’s Best Cat Litter has the solution.

WORLD'S BEST CAT LITTER Multiple Cat Lavender Scented Litter
  • Lightweight and naturally scented with no fake scents or artificial perfumes
  • Long-lasting odor control, quick clumping, easy scooping
  • Septic safe and flushable litter made from whole-kernel corn

Do You Need More Odor Control?

My winner for Best Litter for Odor Control is World’s Best Cat Litter Lavender Scented Multiple Cat Clumping FormulaOr try their new lotus blossom scent: World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula.

When it comes to odor control, I’ve never used anything that works like World’s Best Cat Litter. It’s made from the concentrated power of corn, so odors stay trapped deep inside the litter until it’s time to scoop it out.

Since it’s made from corn and not from clay, World’s Best Cat Litter doesn’t contain any nasty silica dust either. As a matter of fact, it’s 99% dust-free. I notice this immediately because there’s no dust cloud lingering in the air after I pour new litter into the box, so I know Olivia can breathe easy too.

WORLD'S BEST CAT LITTER Multiple Cat Lotus Blossom Scented Litter
  • Natural lotus blossom scent - no fake or artificial perfumes
  • Great for multiple cats
  • Fast-acting for no chiseling or scraping

Are You Looking for the Best Clumping Litter?

World’s Best Cat Litter Clumping Formula

Thanks to World’s Best Cat Litter’s amazing clumping ability, scooping is a breeze. It forms super compact clumps that stay together when I scoop them out. And it doesn’t stick to the sides of the litter box, so I don’t have to chip and chisel to get every last trace of dirty litter out.

Is Your Cat Not Using the Litter Box?

This is what you need: World’s Best Cat Litter Picky Cat™ Formula. This multiple-cat clumping litter combines the long-lasting power of corn with a natural, plant-based ingredient that naturally attracts cats to the litter box. This litter formula is also purr-fect for newly adopted cats, kittens, senior cats, or any fussy feline!

Or try this: World’s Best Cat Litter Attraction Action® Formula. This formula offers a natural, plant-based additive that safely draws your cat to the box. 

Switching to natural cat litter is one of the best decisions I made for my cat Olivia, and for me too! Choosing the right natural kitty litter not only keeps kitty happy, but prevents odors, and makes clean up super easy.

Download your free monthly cat health checklist.

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience working with pets.

Through this blog and her book, Pampered Pets on a Budget, Kristen has helped millions of pet parents solve problems and provide the best care for their dogs and cats.

Working alongside hundreds of pet professionals, including veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers inspired Kristen to become a pet parenting “guide”, providing readers with reliable information about health, wellness and lifestyle for dogs and cats and the people who love them.

A dogged advocate for pet adoption and rescue, Kristen has featured over 1,000 adoptable dogs and cats from the SPCA on live television and radio appearances to get them adopted. Her blog, has been featured in over 100 media outlets – including the New York Times, USA Today, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, Women's Day, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Pop Sugar and more.

To stay up to date on the latest health and lifestyle trends for pets, Kristen regularly attends the top veterinary and pet product conferences, where she’s often a featured speaker.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Lavender is toxic to cats. Especially in oil form over a plant. How does that work with lavender scented litter?

    1. Hi Kendra,

      Thanks for writing and bringing up an important issue.

      World’s Best Cat Litter Lavender Scented litter is safe for your cat or I wouldn’t write about it! The level of essential oil contained in the litter is extremely low—just enough to keep your rooms smelling fresh, but not enough to be harmful to your cat’s health.

  2. I’m in Penrith Cumbria UK and likewise my two girlies prefer a natural litter. We have some excellent litter made from Barley straw which does not clump and as an added benefit once any solid matter ( ie faeces) are removed on a daily basis it can be used as a soil conditioner in the garden. Urine breaks down to ammonia and nitrogen and the spent staw pellets humous.

    1. Jonathan, what a great way to keep things all natural! It sounds like your kitties are very happy with your natural litter. And your garden is benefitting too. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top