Looking for the best crystal cat litter options? Taking the time to choose the right kitty litter promotes more than just a no-stink house. Details like the best bathroom setup down to the size of the litter box, the location, and the substrate can do wonders for your cat’s mental and physical health – and keep them from peeing everywhere in the house.

Fortunately, there are tons of cat litter options that will make your cat purr (or at least happily use her litter box). In fact, says Dr. Lindsay Butzler, consulting small animal veterinarian for PetMeds, “there are more types of litter than you might think.”

Crystal cat litter is one of those options, and it comes highly recommended by cat parents and veterinarians alike. A silica gel-based option, crystal litter for cats has become widely popular thanks to new health-monitoring options, lightweight, and an astonishing ability to soak up urine and hide any odors. But no matter how good a cat litter sounds to us cat caretakers, your finicky feline still has the final say.

In this article, we’ll cover the ins and outs, sharing our favorite picks, as well as tips for buying and using it.

Our Top Picks

7 Best Crystal Cat Litters of 2024 

From clumping to non-clumping, microcrystals to larger ones, here are our top crystal cat litter picks.

Best Overall Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: Fresh Step Crystals Health Monitor Cat Litter

best crystal cat litters option for cat litter boxes

Fresh Step’s unscented crystal cat litter helps pet parents monitor their cat’s urine pH levels to help understand their health. This technology causes crystals in the litter to change colors depending on the cat’s urine pH level. 

This feature is useful for proactively monitoring your cat’s urine pH level from home, which might alert you to early signs of illness. Complete, easy-to-follow instructions are provided with each bag of Fresh Step and include a QR code to access further online information. When the litter color changes, refer to the online health monitor or the back of the bag for the guide. 

Ammonia-blocking technology ensures odors are controlled for up to 30 days. The non-clumping formula is gentle on paws, easy to use, and lightweight. For maximum performance, dump and refill every 20 to 30 days or as needed for your cat. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight, non-clumping crystals absorb moisture 
  • Minimizes dust
  • Gentle on cat paws
  • The formula’s pH indicator checks for early signs of illness
  • Designed to lock in odors 

Cons

  • It may not be the best choice for multicat households 
  • Only available in one 7-pound bag size at this time

Best Home Delivery Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: PrettyLitter Cat Litter

Pretty Litter Cat Litter for litter boxes

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If you’re looking for a cat litter that does more than soak up urine, hide smells, and reduce allergies, then look no further than health-monitoring PrettyLitter

An ingenious creation that was thought up by a fellow feline father after being inspired by his cat’s urinary woes, this ultra-absorbent cat litter does all that in addition to helping you stay on top of your cat’s health. Almost immediately after cats do their business, the soft microcrystals change color depending on the pH of the urine and if any blood is detected. 

“Having an idea of a cat’s urine pH can put you on the lookout for any abnormal symptoms like frequent urination, urinating outside of the litter box, or even blood present in the urine — all signs of a possible UTI (urinary tract infection),” says Dr. Gina Ushi Phillips. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your cat’s pH can naturally fluctuate from day to day, so be sure to talk to your vet about normal and abnormal pH variations.

On a personal note, I found peace of mind switching to this all-in-one kitty litter when fearing my cat had a UTI. Just remember that this litter is not a substitute for a checkup with your veterinarian.

Pros

  • Gives you a head start on monitoring your cat’s urinary health
  • Microcrystals are soft on the paws
  • Lightweight
  • Unscented
  • Super-absorbent and non-clumping for long-lasting use

Cons

  • Fine material can track
  • Higher price point

Best Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

With its unscented, low-dust formula, instant absorption, and convenient cleanup, there’s a lot we love about Ultra Pet Clumping. Reviewers rave about this litter, too, from its clumping abilities to odor control for single and multi-cat households. Plus, thanks to its super-clumping abilities, it lasts longer than you might expect.

Pros

  • Immediate absorption
  • Odor trapping
  • Clumping and scoopable
  • Unscented
  • Good price point

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the litter clumps a little too hard, so you may need to add a liner
  • A litter mat is recommended due to tracking

Best Budget Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter

PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Crystal Cat Litter

Technically, this duo litter pack is for use in the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box and tray refills, but it can also be a budget-friendly litter option for traditional boxes, too. Whether you choose to splurge on the self-cleaning litter box or not, the litter absorbs and locks in any urine smells. Reviewers happily report that single-cat households can go weeks between refills with routine scooping (or automatic raking) of solids.

Pros

  • Good price point 
  • Long lasting
  • Can be paired with a self-cleaning litter box system
  • Great odor control
  • Available in scented and unscented

Cons

  • Some reviewers note that the crystals are larger than other silica cat litter brands, making them painful to step on

Best Unscented Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: Litter Pearls Tracksless Crystal Cat Litter

Litter Pearls Tracksless Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

If you’re looking for an unscented cat litter that also keeps odors at bay and is easy to clean, this safe, non-toxic option from Litter Pearls is an excellent choice. The ODORBOUND odor control helps neutralize ammonia smells for less stink, whether you have one or multiple cats using the litter. This litter is also low-tracking to keep it from getting all over the place, and it can be used by cats of all ages, from kitten to senior.

Pros

  • Unscented
  • 30-day ODORBOUND odor control
  • Simple maintenance
  • Great for cats of varying ages
  • Low tracking

Cons

  • Some customers say this litter produces a lot of dust
  • Some report that the odor control doesn’t last as long as they’d like

Best Crystal Cat Litter For Odor Control

Our Pick: So Phresh Odor-Lock Clumping Micro Crystal Cat Litter

So Phresh Scoopable Odor-Lock Clumping Micro Crystal Cat Litter

Available in aesthetically pleasing blue or pink silica gel, Petco’s So Phresh Micro Crystal Cat Litter absorbs liquids, then locks them in with its clumping abilities. The ultra-fine crystals are soft on the toe beans, plus you won’t break a sweat bringing it home from the store—this popular litter for cats also made our list of best lightweight kitty litters.

Pros

  • Microcrystals are soft on the paws
  • Clumping and scoopable
  • Quickly abords liquids and locks in odors
  • Lightweight
  • Unscented
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Clumps crumble easier than traditional clay litter
  • Fine crystals can track

Best Non-Tracking Crystal Cat Litter

Our Pick: Dr. Elsey’s Crystal Attract Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Crystal Cat Litter

One con of this type of cat litter is that the super-absorbent material loves to latch onto moist kitty paws and track outside of the box. If you’re looking for a cat litter that won’t end up all over the house, then Dr. Elsey’s is the litter for you. Designed to be a great option for long-haired cats, this kitty litter has a slightly larger particle size than Dr. Elsey’s other litter options, though it’s still soft on the paws and tough on odor. This litter is also said to be one of the best non-tracking litters out there, according to many pet parents.

Pros

  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Eco-friendly herbs attract cats to the litter box
  • Non-tracking
  • Great odor control
  • Gentle on kitty paws
  • Good price point

Cons

  • Some reviewers note that this litter produces more dust than others

What Is Crystal Cat Litter?

Crystal cat litter (also called silica crystal cat litter) is a safe litter substrate made of amorphous silica gel – a compound of water, oxygen, and silica dioxide sand. This litter for cats is considered non-toxic thanks to the randomized cellular structure of amorphous silica gel. 

It’s important to note that this differs from toxic desiccant silica gel packets, which are made of an orderly structured crystalline silica gel [1].

Crystal cat litter keeps litter boxes fresh with their super-absorbing silica crystals. Some formulas clump, while others only require stirring to fully absorb liquid.

How We Ranked Our Picks

Cat looking up next to rug

In addition to testing out a few options ourselves and speaking to experts in the field, we considered the following:

Safety/efficacy. From ingredients to crystal size to clumping vs. non-clumping, we paid attention to all of the details that make each of our picks safe and effective.

Cleaning/maintenance. No matter what type of cat litter you choose, one thing all pet parents want to know is how easy it is to clean. We made sure to keep that in mind as we made our choices.

Ratings and reviews. Since it never hurts to look for a second (or third…or fourth) opinion, we sifted through countless reviews to get a feel for what other pet parents were saying about each selection.

Price. And finally, while this cat litter in general is known for being more costly than other types, we made sure to take the price point into account, highlighting both lower-cost options, as well as those that may stretch your wallet a bit more.

Pros and Cons of This Type of Cat Litter

Box of crystal cat litter

“The primary consideration when choosing a kitty litter is whether your cat is going to use it,” Dr. Butzler says. For many pet parents, there are a few reasons why this type of cat litter stands out from the rest:

  • Lightweight
  • Low- to no-dust
  • Highly absorbent
  • Clumping options
  • Health-monitoring options

“A huge benefit of crystal cat litter is the lack of dust. If cats have allergies or asthma, crystal cat litter with less dust and debris is worth trying,” Dr. Bultzer says.

The downside is that it can come with a hefty price tag. But with super-absorbent silica gel, this litter typically stays fresher longer than some other types of litter.

As with all kitty litters, there’s a chance your cat won’t appreciate the texture of crystal cat litter. Silica can vary from microcrystals to larger ones, with microcrystals closely resembling the feel and texture of sand. But because of their small size and affinity for bonding with moisture, crystal cat litter is known for tracking, so purchasing a litter mat might be necessary when using it.

There’s also debate over whether this type of cat litter is an eco-friendly cat litter solution. According to information provided by the University of California Berkeley, “Because oxygen and silicon are abundant elements, the natural formation of silica is quite common in the earth. Sand is a common example of naturally occurring silica.” 

But when it comes time to get rid of used litter, it should never be flushed down the toilet, only disposed of in the trash.

Crystal Cat Litter Buyer’s Guide

Cat looking out the window

While all crystal cat litter is made with cat-safe silica gel, not all formulas are made the same. So, how do you know which one will be best for your cat? Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you’re choosing the right crystal cat litter. 

Particle Size

Particle size matters when it comes to selecting a crystal cat litter. “Cats prefer unscented, fine-grained, litter because it’s the most like sand,” says Samantha Bell, cat enrichment and behavior expert at Best Friends Animal Society. Fine particles like PrettyLitter are soft on the paws, but the microcrystals may be more likely to track. Large ones can be rough on the paws—and human feet—if tracked outside of the litter box. You may want to consider something in the middle: large enough to reduce tracking but still soft on the paws.

Scented or Unscented

Like Bell mentioned, cats typically prefer unscented cat litter over scented ones. This could be because they have about millions more olfactory receptors than we do, making smells more overwhelming than we might recognize. But there are exceptions like Dr. Elsey’s, which uses the scent of natural herbs to encourage cats to come to their litter box.

Ease of Cleaning 

Crystal cat litter comes in both clumping and non-clumping options. Because silica gel is super absorbent, these litters are known for quickly soaking up urine and its smell, without the need for clumps. If removing poo and stirring liquids into the absorbent crystals doesn’t sound like a preferred cleaning method, opt for a clumping litter like Ultra Pet Clumping Crystal Cat Litter, or utilize an automatic litter box like the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box.

Tips for Using Crystal Cat Litter

Cozy cat at home

Looking to switch from an existing litter to crystal? It can be a breeze with a few useful tips.

Ease your cat into it. Before tossing the old litter and litter box, set up a new litter box with your preferred crystal litter, keeping the old one in place. “Be certain that your cat knows both are available,” Bell says. “Clean both boxes for a time, as necessary. Eventually, clean the box you are removing less often and the one you want to keep more often.”

Follow your cat’s lead. After keeping both boxes going for a bit, try fully transitioning to the new litter type – but only if your cat is happily using this type of litter. If your cat is avoiding their new litter type, they might never adapt, which means it’s time to try another option.

Keep it clean. Whatever litter you choose, Bell says it’s important to tend to your cat’s litter box daily. Remember, cats can pick up on smells and bad odors way before we can. So, scoop or stir the box daily and deep clean it every time the litter is refreshed. Because scratches in plastic can make bad smells nearly impossible to get rid of, Bell recommends tossing old litter boxes that show wear and tear.