Cat lovers know their favorite pets can be kind of silly. While they look like regal lions and lionesses while perched in wait, that effect is spoiled as soon as they fall in the toilet or try to eat cardboard.
However, cats are clean animals that can be picky about their litter boxes. A cat who disapproves of how you’ve been keeping her litter box will let you know by choosing a new “litter box,” usually your carpet or furniture.
Nowadays, some cat owners are fans of crystal cat litter, which uses silica gel to trap the odors of cats’ urine and feces. If you’re thinking about trying this space-age hygiene solution, you might be confused by the vast range of crystal cat litter on the market.
Our reviews are here to help. We tested the best crystal cat litter brands and came away with a clear winner. Read on to find out about the best brands for your best pal.
A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Value||PetSafe ScoopFree Crystal Cat Litter||CHECK PRICE|
|Premium Choice||Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter||CHECK PRICE|
|Frisco Summer Non-Clumping Cat Litter||CHECK PRICE|
|Dr. Elsey's Long Hair Non-Clumping Crystals||CHECK PRICE|
The 10 Best Crystal Cat Litters
1. Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter – Best Overall
When we test cat litter, we look for a few vitally important traits: it should eat odors, be comfortable for cats and owners, and not track all over the house. Fresh Step swept all those categories. It’s incredibly light, lets almost no odor escape, and maintains a pleasant aroma even if not changed for over a month, making it our top choice for the best overall crystal cat litter.
The crystals are larger than the grains of traditional clumping litter. They won’t get stuck on your cat’s fur and wind up all over the house. The only drawback is that the crystals are still sharp, so if your cat has sensitive feet, they might disapprove of Fresh Step’s litter.
2. PetSafe ScoopFree Crystal Cat Litter – Best Value
We determined ScoopFree Premium to be the best crystal cat litter for the money. It comes in several disposable trays, each containing 4.5 pounds of litter, which is enough to keep the litterbox self-cleaning for over a month. When you’re ready to change it, you can throw away the whole tray without seeing or smelling cat feces.
The reason we didn’t put it at the top is that we’ve noticed ScoopFree declining in quality over time. When we’ve tested it before, it’s self-cleaned for months, but now we wouldn’t use it for that much more than one month.
3. Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter – Premium Choice
Crystal cat litter is more expensive than other types, but Litter Pearls is more of a premium option than most. If you’re willing to pay more, however, you’ll get one of the best-performing long-term crystal cat litters. It stays dry and odor-free for up to 2 months.
The small crystals are designed to feel like sand, which are more comfortable on cat paws than other silica litters. Unfortunately, the size has tradeoffs. Other than the price, Litter Pearls sits at #3 because its sand-like grains are much more likely to track, meaning you’ll have to put in more work to clean outside the box.
4. Frisco Summer Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
Frisco’s “summer clean” scent has a nice aroma all on its own. Those of us with cats might scent our homes with it even if there wasn’t any ammonia smell to cover up. It’s one of the best odor-eaters we’ve tested and does a great job of keeping that “cat smell” from pervading your home. It’s also effectively self-cleaning and can be left alone for a while.
On the other hand, cats are sometimes reluctant to use this litter. The crystals are larger enough to be uncomfortable than our #1 pick. It can also be painfully dusty and has been known to stain litter boxes occasionally.
5. Dr. Elsey’s Long Hair Non-Clumping Cat Litter Crystals
Do you have a long-haired cat that drives you mad with tracking fur out of the litterbox on their luxurious coat? Dr. Elsey’s aims to be the solution. It’s full of extra herbs and scents to attract cats, with a grain size that manages not to stick to their fur. With long-haired breeds, especially Norwegian Forest Cats, we’ve discovered it tracks less.
The trade-off is that it doesn’t trap odors nearly as well. If convincing your long-haired cat to use a litter box is your problem, Dr. Elsey’s will solve it, but if you have an exceptionally stinky kitty, you need a more powerful formula.
6. Ultra Pearls Micro Cat Litter Crystals
Ultra Pearls shines in two areas: clumping power and durability. With their smaller size, these silica grains adhere more closely to the waste, leaving fewer gaps for the odor to escape through. One bag holds up for over a month. Cats definitely like the smaller grains, too.
The big problem with Ultra Pearls cat litter crystals is the quantity. A single bag is expensive, yet it won’t cover the bottom to the recommended depth of 2 inches in all but the smallest litterboxes. The pearls also have a nasty habit of sticking to the pan when they absorb too much urine.
7. So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter
So Phresh’s crystal cat litter is a great-value silica litter that doesn’t skimp on quality. It performs well in the all-important areas of odor reduction and longevity, keeping unpleasant smells out of your litterbox room for a long time. For about the same price as an equally-sized bag of traditional clay litter, one bag of So Phresh crystals can last one cat for over half a year.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the crystals are too large, and some cats may not like stepping on them. It’s also surprisingly dusty, and mixing it can release an unpleasant chemical cloud. Only buy So Phresh if you have a scoop-free tray and a cat you know is OK with larger silica pebbles.
8. Just the Crystals Premium Crystal Cat Litter
From the start, Just the Crystals makes it clear that they understand what cat parents are looking for. You want a litter that won’t make you work constantly to keep it from tracking or stinking.
It’s an admirable goal, but do they pull it off? Yes and no. We give their litter high marks for being low-maintenance, as it sits easily on its own without stinking and responds well to regular spot-scooping without requiring you to replace the whole tray.
On the other hand, the crystal litter doesn’t last. Some products on this list go a month or more without smelling; this hardly makes it 2 weeks. As for the tracking, it misses the mark entirely. The litter sticks to fur as much as any other, and sometimes more.
9. FreshMAGIC Crystal Cat Litter
FreshMAGIC cat litter makes some bold claims. It puts the emphasis on adsorption rather than absorption – i.e. neutralizing odor instead of just trapping it. It also states it’s dust-free, non-toxic, and never tracks.
However, the crystals aren’t just large, they’re jagged, making it feel like loose gravel to step on. Most kitties often won’t even go near it. There’s also a large proportion of dust in almost every bag.
To give FreshMAGIC some credit, it is great at eliminating odors and seems to get tracked less than other crystal litters. If you have one of those cats that will pee just about anywhere, we recommend it. If not, try another brand, especially if you have a respiratory condition.
10. Amazing Cat Litter
With this litter, the best we can say is that it’s suitable. If you’re looking for a litter that neutralizes some odors and is more lightweight and manageable than conventional clay or clumping litter, Amazing Cat Litter might do the job.
Everything else about our #10 finisher is less than impressive. It hardly absorbs odors and starts to smell in a very short time. It’s terrible at holding onto urine, and its chunks are painfully large. Also, it’s more expensive than several superior brands. We’d probably recommend most conventional litters over Amazing.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Crystal Cat Litter
Is crystal cat litter just the latest trend, or is it the healthiest option out there to keep your cat clean and happy? In this section, we’ll take a clear look at the advantages of crystal cat litter to help you decide if it meets your kitty’s unique needs.
Advantages of Crystal Cat Litter
Silica-based cat litter is an unconventional environment for many cats, so we recommend introducing it slowly. Try setting up a second litter box next to the usual one so you can see which product your kitty prefers!
Fresh Step Crystals came out on top in our reviews without any special gimmicks. All it does is perform better than the competition. Even with multiple cats using one box, it cuts down on odors and keeps it up for over a month.
It does sometimes track out of the litter box, but when it does, it’s easy to clean up. The only problem is that the large crystals might be uncomfortable for cats with sensitive feet. We recommend it for indoor/outdoor cats used to walking on gravel.
For cat parents on a budget, we give PetSafe ScoopFree our highest recommendation. It’s affordable, and it’s an excellent option for people who really hate scooping litter.
- Looking for an overall great litter? Try: 10 Best Cat Litters & Reviews & Top Picks
- 1 A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Crystal Cat Litters
- 2.1 1. Fresh Step Crystals Premium Cat Litter – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. PetSafe ScoopFree Crystal Cat Litter – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Litter Pearls Micro Crystal Cat Litter – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Frisco Summer Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter
- 2.5 5. Dr. Elsey’s Long Hair Non-Clumping Cat Litter Crystals
- 2.6 6. Ultra Pearls Micro Cat Litter Crystals
- 2.7 7. So Phresh Odor-Lock Crystal Cat Litter
- 2.8 8. Just the Crystals Premium Crystal Cat Litter
- 2.9 9. FreshMAGIC Crystal Cat Litter
- 2.10 10. Amazing Cat Litter
- 4 Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Crystal Cat Litter
- 6 Conclusion