A lightweight litter for cats that won’t break your back to pour? For cat parents accustomed to toting, scooping, and cleaning heavy traditional cat litter, it sounds almost too good to be true. Yet, over the past 75 years, cat litter has slowly evolved to accommodate the needs of a growing market. Among the many litter varieties pet parents can choose from are high-performance options that weigh only a fraction of most average kitty litter options. And leading the pack is Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter.

If you’re wondering if there’s a catch when it comes to this type of cat litter, so were we. That’s why we researched the many varieties of the leading brand and put three types of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter to the test.

Tidy Cats Litter: What the Brand is All About

The Tidy Cats brand truly is the industry trailblazer. It has been around since 1954, when it was introduced by Ed Lowe, the original inventor of kitty litter. For the past 70 years, Tidy Cats has grown exponentially and is now America’s #1 top-selling cat litter brand.

Innovation has always been part of the Tidy Cats success story. The brand offers a wide variety of cat litter options designed to suit just about every preference — clumping or non-clumping, scented or non-scented. There’s even a Tidy Care Comfort formula designed specifically to feel and smell better to cats.

cat watching person scoop from litter box

Tidy Cats has also set its sights on sustainability. By 2025, the company aims to operate all its factories with renewable electricity and offer recyclable packing on 100 percent of its products.

But perhaps the biggest benefit to cat parents (and their aching backs) came with the introduction of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter, which is designed to offer all of the benefits of clay-based cat litter at half the weight of the leading clumping cat litter.

The Scoop on Tidy Cats Lightweight Cat Litter

While there is certainly no shortage of lighter weight cat litter options on the market today, Tidy Cats was among the first to perfect of these clay-based cat litters, when it first introduced Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter in 2013.

With such a long legacy of developing innovative cat litter options, it’s no surprise that this easy-on-the-arms formula has since scooped up our title of Best Overall Lightweight Cat Litter. So we were eager to explore the full range of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter options.

cat exiting a litter box

Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter Formulas

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The brand currently offers seven Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter varieties, including:

Two unscented options:

Perfect for pet parents with a sensitive sense of smell and cats who don’t like scented litter, these unscented formulas contain no perfumes and dyes. Instead, they use natural activated charcoal to absorb odors.

Two Glade-scented options:

These scented options feature light, pleasing aromas from Glade, a leading air freshener brand. But if you’re concerned that the litter will just cover up bad odors, there’s no need to worry. This litter also contains a 14-day ammonia blocker that does the heavy lifting to combat litter box smells.

A formula designed for continuous odor control:

Promising continuous odor control for up to 10 straight days, this litter employs clay and deodorizers to block unwanted smells, even in multi-cat homes.

A formula designed for immediate odor control:

This formula tackles smells on two fronts: Deodorizers get to work the minute smells happen, and ammonia blockers prevent smells from developing or lingering later on.

A formula designed to target and control four specific offending odors:

Intended for households with multiple cats, this scented litter uses natural clay and minerals plus a deodorizer to target the most notoriously noxious smells associated with cat waste — fecal, bacterial, urine, and ammonia odors.

Tidy Cats Lightweight Cat Litter FAQs

For some helpful insight on this lighter kitty litter option, we rounded up answers to the questions pet parents most commonly ask about Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter.

What is Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter made of?

Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter is composed of a proprietary combination of clay and minerals. The core of this litter is perlite, a naturally occurring mineral formed from lava to create a type of absorbent volcanic glass. Tidy Cats combines it with sodium bentonite to heighten absorption.

How often does Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter need to be changed?

Tidy Cats recommends scooping the litter box daily, but a full change-over of the litter is suggested about every two weeks. Some cat parents opt to tailor that frequency to the number of cats they have and other variables, like how often kitties displace litter from the box.

cat standing in litter box

What sizes does Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter come in?

Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter is available for purchase in 17 lb. boxes or resealable plastic pails, as well as easy-to-use recyclable plastic jugs in 6 lb. or 8.5 lb. sizes. 

Is Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter good for cats?

Yes, Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter is thoughtfully designed to be both safe and non-toxic for cats, while also effectively managing litter box waste and odors. According to Tidy Cats, it’s the brand most often recommended and personally used by veterinarians for cats[1] .

Putting Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter to the Test

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

For this review, we product-tested three Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter formulas:

I have two 3-year-old domestic shorthair cats — Cosmo and Stella — who are sisters and generally pretty easygoing. Still, when it comes to changes in a food or litter routine, some cats can be finicky at best, and fiercely resistant at worst.

Luckily, we already use traditional Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Cat Litter, so we weren’t too concerned about the shift to this formula.

lightweight litter review for cats

For the other litter varieties, we slowly added them to our cats’ existing litter over the course of a few days. Surprisingly, Cosmo and Stella transitioned to the new scented litters smoothly; however, my husband and I had some issues adjusting!

Tidy Cats Lightweight Free & Clean Unscented Cat Litter

Considering we already use the heavier version of this formula in our home, we felt comfortable jumping right in and completely changing the cat litter in our litter box over to the lighter weight formula as our first litter test.


  • The transition to this litter was effortless; scooping was markedly easier.
  • We noticed right away that this litter clumps well.
  • The highly-absorbent litter worked like a champ to combat smells.
  • No overwhelming artificial perfumes or air fresheners.

Things to Consider

  • The granules really are feathery light, and that meant a bit more litter tracking than usual.
  • Lightweight is pricier than regular clay cat litter. But if your budget can bear it, it is a big convenience.

Tidy Cats Lightweight With Glade Clean Blossom Cat Litter

From the start, we were a little apprehensive about testing this formula, since my husband is highly sensitive to perfumes and dyes. As such, we typically avoid scented litter. But I know that scents and strengths vary, and it’s often hard to tell from the description whether the aroma will be overwhelming or subtle. So we figured we’d give it a shot.

Again, our cats had no issues getting used to the scented option. We were expecting the litter to be heavily perfumed, since Glade is well-known for its home air fresheners and fragrances. However, we found the pleasant floral scent to be fairly understated. While it was still too pronounced for our non-scented-loving noses, the smell would likely appeal to cat parents who regularly buy scented cat litter.


  • As with the other formulas, we found the this litter super easy to transport, pour, scoop, and dump.
  • Though we prefer unscented, the mildness of the Glade scent surprised us. In fact, we preferred it to the smell of the Tidy Cats Lightweight 4-in-1 Strength Cat Litter.
  • Our cats didn’t seem to notice the change to their kitty litter at all.
  • Available in two scents (Clear Springs and Clean Blossom)

Things to Consider

  • If your cats are used to scented cat litter, you may be able to swap it right in for your regular brand. Otherwise, introduce the litter gradually.

Tidy Cats Lightweight 4-in-1 Strength Cat Litter

Though our two little cats don’t really generate enough waste to put this multi-cat formula to the test, we were curious to see if it stood up to its specific odor-fighting claims. According to Tidy Cats, its Lightweight 4-in-1 Strength formula targets the biggest culprits when it comes to litterbox odors — feces, bacteria, urine, and ammonia.

Well, we didn’t smell those particular odors, so the product definitely delivers what it promises. However, within an hour of mixing this litter into our unscented litter, its scent became too much for us to tolerate.

two cats standing by lightweight litter from Tidy Cats

What’s advertised as a “complex floral scent” smelled more like fruity bubblegum to our noses. Again, we are particularly sensitive to smells, so maybe this wouldn’t bother someone more accustomed to scented litters or in households where the litter box is kept out of the way or in a separate room. 

And perhaps that scent, along with the odor neutralizers in the formula, are what helps this litter overcome the smell of litter box waste so effectively. But we did want to mention it because it caught us by surprise, especially when compared to the more delicate aroma of the Glade-scented formula.


  • All these formulas seem to be consistent in performance, as well as ease of clumping and scooping. So no matter what formula you try, you can count on that.
  • We didn’t smell any fecal or bacterial odors, nor did we detect any hint of urine or ammonia.

Things to Consider

  • The scent was strong and might be too pungent for some pet parents.

Weighing in on Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter: Our Verdict

After testing out three different Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter formulas, we can attest that the products we tried definitely lived up to the brand’s product claims. Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter is overall great at absorbing, clumping, and managing odor. Above all, it is so much easier to manipulate this litter. No longer does it take a bodybuilder to carry containers weighing as much as a small child from the store to the car or refill the litter box. Even scooping requires less effort.

kitten in lightweight litter box

Lightweight litter is perfect for someone who can’t manage heavy lifting, as well as any cat parent who’d rather spend their time enjoying their kitty rather than hefting heavy litter.

The lighter litter granules do have a tendency to track, but we didn’t notice any additional dust. And, most importantly, our cats seemed to adjust to it well.

With household expenses on the rise these days, it’s important to note that you will pay more for the convenience of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter. However, it’s just as effective as traditional heavy clay cat litter when it comes to superior odor-control and easy clean-up, yet it weighs half as much.

So, if your budget can bear it, Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter can definitely make caring for your cat easier on you…and your back!

The author received compensation from Great Pet Care for their services in writing this article.