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Cat Litter Crystals vs Clay: What is best? (Guide/Review)

What is the best crystals or clay cat litter? This is the best litter (Click here for its availability on Amazon). Also, keep reading to see why I say this.

Quick comparison of cat litter (crystals vs clay)

Description Image My Rating
01. Fresh Step Crystal (Best Option)
Click here for the price on Amazon
5 stars
02. Fresh Step Clay Litter
Click here for the price on Amazon
03. Cat’s Pride Clay Litter
Click here for the price on Amazon
4 stars


Clay vs crystal cat litter Guide

Before you decide what is best for you, let me explain some of the advantages and disadvantaged of clay and crystal litter. This will help you to see what works best for you.

Advantages of crystal litter

  • Lightweight
  • Controls odor well
  • Low dust


The beauty of crystals is the weight. They are nice and light making it easy for you to refill and carry around from the shop to your vehicle.

Controls odor well

It is great for controlling odor and often comes scented to help it further.

Low dust

Some other types of litter, such as clay (more on this later), is quite dusty. Well, this is where crystal litter excels, it is not dusty like this. Which makes it less messy and manageable.

Disadvantages of crystal litter

  • dangerous if ingested (when cleaning paws)

Dangerous if ingested (when cleaning paws)

The crystal particles are effective but they are not intended to be ingested. As you would assume. But, this may occur when your kitty has the crystals on her paws and then attempts to clean and like her paws. So, this needs to be considered.

Advantages of clay litter

  • Absorbs moisture fast
  • Absorbs the smell

Absorbs moisture fast & the smell

The great thing about clay litter is it can absorb moisture fast. This makes a big difference when you are concerned with the smell. Because once the urine is absorbed it reduces the awful smell it makes.

Disadvantages of clay litter

  • Quite dusty

Quite dusty

One of the biggest known issues with clay litter is the dust it creates. This will vary depending on what brand you have. But, overall it is pretty dusty stuff. So, if you are concerned about the area around the litter tray make sure you are prepared when using this stuff.

My best 3 cat litters (crystals vs clay – Review)

In this section, I will share with you three of my best cat litters. In particular, comparing clay and crystal litter options. For each one, I will explain what I like and dislike to make it easier for you to choose the best one for you.

01. Fresh Step Crystal Litter (Best Option)

Click here for the price on Amazon


  • Good for odor control (scented – last for up to 30 days)
  • Reduces litter dust
  • Lightweight product
  • Easy to clean up
  • Unused litter will slip through most scoopers (reusable)
  • Traps urine on contact (absorbant)


  • The crystals do have some slightly sharp edges
  • There will still be some tracking
  • The litter is quite noisy (crunching sound)

What I like about this Fresh Step Crystal Litter

The thing I love about this crystal litter from Fesh Step is the scent, it can lock down litter odor for up to 30 days and have that darn thing smelling like a flower, well, maybe not that sweet, ha!

If you are sick and tired of litter dust, then stop stressing. Once this is in your life, kiss it goodbye, mwah! It reduces the dust like a charm.

If you are weakling, like me, you will appreciate the weight of this stuff, to get to the point, it is lightweight. So, it is easy to throw it around.

The cleanup is simple, mainly because it is nice and absorbent. It traps urine on impact, making it too easy. The great thing is, the unused litter will naturally slip trough most scoopers. Meaning, you get to reuse those bits, are you with me?

In summary, if you are looking for a crystal-based litter that is lightweight, smells great and absorbent, this is the one for you.

What I dislike about this Fresh Step Crystal Litter

The reality is, this litter does have some slightly sharp edges, in my opinion. Not crazy though, but may annoy your kitty sometimes, if that makes sense.

You are likely to get some tracking around your home with this. Meaning, your kitty will trail around bits of crystal litter in her paws around your home, gross!

Also, more of a minor nitpick to be fair, the sound. It is a bit noisy. I mean the crunchy sound when she makes contact with it, make sense?

02. Fresh Step Clay Litter

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  • Reduces tracking
  • The scent released once her paws touch it
  • Absorbs moisture in an attempt to trap the odor
  • Lightweight (approx 30% less than other litters)
  • No need to scoop daily (can dump the entire litter weekly & refresh)
  • Easy to clean (if you replace entire box)


  • Quite dusty
  • Doesn’t clump with urine, so can get smelly
  • Difficult to sift

What I love about this Fresh Step Clay Litter

This clay litter from First Step helps to reduce the tracking around your home, which is great. It is scented, which helps to control the odor.

When I say scented, I also mean to state that it is quite clever in this department. Why? Well, it triggers the scent when your kitty steps on it, are you with me?

It absorbs moisture to help to control the odor and keep your home smelling better. Most cat owners will appreciate the weight of this litter. When you think of clay, most assume it will a ton, right? Wrong!

Right Step claims that it weighs approximately 30% less than most other alternatives, which is great news if you have to lug this around your home or refresh the litter tray, right?

With this litter you must understand it’s not clumping, so, you can forget the daily scooping activity. You will typically dispose of the entire tray after a week or so. This makes it easier to clean than sifting through the litter (Click here for my best sifting litter trays) for clumps.

In summary, if you are looking for a clay litter that does not clump, lightweight and has a great scent, then this will be great for you.

What I do not love about this Fresh Step Clay Litter

This is clay litter and unfortunately one of the things about it is the dust. It will be one of those cons that you have to accept for this type of litter.

As I mentioned earlier, it does not clump. So, you may get some urine that collects it there. And, you can’t sift it like a clumping litter, so if you a sifting fan change your expectation or think of another option.

03. Cat’s Pride Clay Litter

Click here for the price on Amazon


  • Absorbs moisture (up to 100% of its weight)
  • Lightly fragranced (to keep it fresh smelling)
  • Wastes less than most clumping type litter (Replace the box after a week or two)
  • Keeps odor under control (if changed regularly enough)
  • No scooping required


  • The scent is not that strong
  • Quite dusty

What I appreciate about this Cat’s Pride Clay Litter

This clay litter form Cat’s Pride claim that it can absorb up to 100% of its weight. This is great because stale urine smells really bad and a real pain to get rid of. It is lightly fragranced. But, I have to say not over the top fragrance, are you with me? More of a subtle fragrance.

With this litter, the chances are you will have less waste. Instead of the litter clumping up and scooping out the clumps daily. You typically replace the tray over a longer period of time.

The light fragrance seems to keep the odor under control, but this is assuming that it has been changed regularly. And, I just love the fact that no scooping is required.

In summary, if you like clay litter that is not overpowered with fragrance, absorbs moisture and helps to reduce litter waste, then this sounds great for you.

What I do not appreciate about this Cat’s Pride Clay Litter

If you prefer a stronger scent, to mask the odor, then you will be unhappy with this. As I mentioned, it is lightly fragranced instead.

Also, like most clay-based litters, it is quite dusty. I would say that may be an understatement if you get me?

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer some questions that are related to cat litter and general behavior. If you have more questions related to this feel free to contact me.

Q: Will kittens naturally use clay litter?

Yes, regardless if the litter is clay or crystals kittens will still know how to use this litter naturally. This behavior is built into their DNA, or another way of saying it is, it is instinctual.

This is passed down from their mother and goes back deep into their ancestors who had to survive in the wild and hide their scent and tracks.