For some of us, the first signs of spring aren’t the blooming flower buds, but our stuffy noses and puffy red eyes, but what if we’re not the only ones susceptible to allergies?
What if we suddenly find our feline companions sneezing and coughing and it’s not even the right season?
Well, one of the main culprits behind your cat’s allergies could be none other than their litter.
Certain brands use chemicals and fragrances to mask bad odors, and every time your kitty digs in to make his business they have to breathe in clouds of litter dust.
All these chemicals and airborne dust can cause allergies and respiratory issues.
If those symptoms are familiar, and you’re wondering why you keep sneezing after every litter box scoop then once again it could be your cat’s litter!
If you or your kitty are suffering from allergies caused by your current litter then the best option would be to make the switch to a hypoallergenic brand.
Hypoallergenic litter can make a huge difference in your cat’s daily and future litter box use but finding the one that will work best for their symptoms can be tricky.
That’s why my cats and I, set out on this treacherous journey and created a complete buyer’s guide along with mini-reviews of our top 8 hypoallergenic cat litters.
We also made sure to give you some inside scoop on what makes a hypoallergenic litter, well hypoallergenic, and additional tips on how to keep your cat’s allergies out of your house!
But if you want to skip ahead and see which hypoallergenic kitty litter brands made it on our list you can check them right here:
- Best Overall: Cat’s Pride Multi-Cat Clumping Litter
- Best For Dust Allergies: Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Cat Litter
- Best For Scent Allergies: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Unscented Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
- Best For Sensitive Skin Litter: Fresh News Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
- Best For Respiratory Issues Litter: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Cat Litter
- Best Hypoallergenic Pellet Litter: ÖKOCAT Original Premium Natural Wood Clumping Litter
- Best Hypoallergenic Organic Litter: Petfive Sustainably Yours Natural Multi-Cat Litter
What Is A Cat Litter Allergy?
It might come as a surprise to some of you, but it’s quite common for cats to develop allergies. Tammy Hunter, DVM, explains that “an allergy occurs when the cat’s immune system overreacts or is hypersensitive to foreign substances called allergens.”
These allergens can be found in food or transmitted through insects like fleas. But allergens like dust, pollen, and molds that are inhaled can also trigger your cat’s respiratory system.
According to Cornell University out of 80 million feline companions that are living in American homes, 800.000 of them suffer from acute or chronic asthma?
Aside from breathing issues, these allergens can also cause a reaction through skin contact.
It’s not unusual for litter to contain certain allergens like dust, chemicals, and fragrances that can affect both you and your cat. Not all cats or owners become allergic to litter overnight but they develop an allergy through constant use.
This is not surprising since litter is something cats use every day and similarly, we scoop and clean their litter at the same rate.
Cat Litter Allergy Symptoms
If your cat is allergic to their litter, then you might observe these common symptoms:
- Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing
- Shortness of breath and snoring
- Runny nose and itchy, irritated eyes
- Red and swollen paws
- Red or dry skin
- Excessive scratching
Of course, each kitty is different, and they may develop different reactions that might be more or less intense.
If certain substances in your current litter like the dust, scent, or material, are causing an allergic reaction then the constant exposure can aggravate their symptoms.
It’s also important to note that owners can exhibit the same symptoms when coming in contact with the litter.
That’s why switching to a hypoallergenic litter is the right choice, but I personally think choosing a hypoallergenic brand is good even if our cats don’t have a litter allergy because we don’t know how the long term effects of a regular litter might affect them as they age.
What Are The Benefits Of A Hypoallergenic Cat Litter?
As I already pointed out whether your cat is allergic to litter or not, switching over to a hypoallergenic cat litter is the healthiest solution.
More so, if your cat is indeed showing symptoms of litter allergy, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits!
Reduces Your Cat’s Allergies
By changing your cat’s litter to a hypoallergenic brand you’ll be removing the allergens that are triggering your cat’s allergy.
A low-dust litter without artificial chemicals and fragrances will help reduce your cat’s symptoms like coughing or having a runny nose.
These major irritants are detrimental to your cat’s health especially for small kittens, older cats, and of course those cats that are already prone to allergies.
Respiratory Distress Prevention
Airborne dust is something that most litters produce, to some extent this is unavoidable, but hypoallergenic litter minimizes the amount of dust your cat will be breathing in.
Litter dust combined with chemicals can cause severe respiratory issues to healthy cats or further deteriorate the health of cats that already suffer from a respiratory condition, particularly common in senior cats.
That’s why I made sure to include a hypoallergenic low dust litter, Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief which is specifically designed for cats with breathing conditions like asthma.
Suitable For Cats With Sensitive Skin
We often think of our cats as these tiny resilient fluffballs, and even though they are strong and tough they still can face a multitude of health issues.
When it comes to allergies a stuffy nose isn’t the only thing that may bother your kitty. Instead, they might develop a rash.
The chemicals in regular cat litter can cause feline skin atopy, and overgrooming is usually the first sign, followed by head and neck scratching as well as self-trauma.
If the skin irritation and redness are caused by the litter you’re currently using then hypoallergenic litter is the best solution to reduce your cat’s litter allergy.
Improves Your Cats Litter Box Use
Another side effect of litter allergy is litter box aversion.
If your cat experiences coughing, itchy skin, and a stuffed nose every time they use the litter box then they will start associating their discomfort with their toilet. Some cats might start doing their business elsewhere or develop excessive litter box behaviors and others might stop using it altogether.
A hypoallergenic litter will combat your cat’s litter-related allergies and will make sure your kitty is happy using only their litter box as a toilet.
Reduces Allergies In Humans
While our cat’s health should be our priority we also need to think of our comfort and health. Cat litter is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to cause you trouble.
I remember the first litter I got for my cat was heavily scented. While my cat didn’t seem to mind, I couldn’t stand it.
Every time I cleaned the litter box, I had to hold my breath, but the worst part was constantly smelling that scent on my cat’s fur. It made me sneeze and it irritated my skin to the point where I didn’t want to pet my cat anymore.
Even though I was a new cat parent I knew that the litter had to go because I wanted to pet my cat, not hide from him!
I’m sure plenty of people have had similar experiences, whether it was the dust that triggered their asthma or the chemicals that made them itchy.
If you feel the same then I truly believe a hypoallergenic litter can help you breathe with ease, and your kitty might also feel happy with the litter change!
How To Choose A Hypoallergenic Cat Litter?
It’s clear that a hypoallergenic cat litter is a necessary change for those of you who have kitties that suffer from litter allergies. Perhaps some of you are also looking for a healthier solution before your fluffballs even have the time to develop any allergies.
But how do you know what litter ingredients are causing these allergic reactions and what makes a cat litter hypoallergenic?
A cat litter that produces a lot of dust is truly a nightmare, and according to Krista Williams, DVM, “clay litter also introduces dust particles into the air when cats scratch and bury their stool. This clay dust can be irritating to both human and feline lungs.”
This means that your feline companion ends up breathing in a huge amount of dust that can cause respiratory issues, but they also carry that dust on their fur. It gets in contact with their eyes, and it enters their digestive system as they groom.
We also end up inhaling their litter when we scoop their waste, or when we refill the litter box. As our cats transfer it around the house, our skin comes in contact with this dust which can easily cause itching and skin allergies.
Look for a hypoallergenic litter that is at least 99% dust-free, so it doesn’t trigger your cat’s respiratory system and/or skin allergies.
Most cat litters state that they are dust-free, some do it in a subtle manner while others have it written in large letters. Either way, I also suggest checking the reviews to see what other fellow cat parents have to say.
While I know I’m sensitive to certain smells, and heavy perfumes, I also know that cats are even more sensitive thanks to their superb sense of smell, 14 times more superb to be precise!
So, aside from a dust-free formula, scent can also be a major trigger both for cat and human allergies, that’s why unscented litter is the best choice!
At the same time, it’s still important that the hypoallergenic litter you choose does a good job at eliminating unwanted litter box odors.
Not only can a smelly toilet lead to litter box aversion but the smell of ammonia can also lead to poor air quality.
According to research, “exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.” But even lower concentrations can cause coughing, nose and throat irritation.
That’s why an unscented hypoallergenic litter (like Dr. Elsey’s unscented formula on our list) that doesn’t use toxic chemicals, but still does a good job at keeping the litter clean is the best choice for a healthy and allergy-free home!
Clumping or Non-Clumping
I personally prefer clumping litter; it quickly absorbs urine, and the clumps are easy to scoop up while the rest of the litter remains clean. It’s also more economic since I don’t have to clean out the whole litter box as frequently.
But clumping litter can have its downsides especially for cats with sensitive skin. Most clumping litter turns into a solid mass the moment it becomes wet, so if your cat steps into their own mess, as can happen, then their paws will end up covered in sticky litter.
If this keeps happening and the quality of the litter is not hypoallergenic your cat might show signs of skin irritation on their paws. During grooming sessions, they’ll also be ingesting the litter and certain materials like clay and silica can be toxic.
Non-clumping litters, on the other hand, don’t stick to paws and they do an even better job at absorbing odors.
Let’s take Fresh News non-clumping litter, my top pick for cats with sensitive skin. It’s organic, it doesn’t produce any dust, it keeps the paws clean and it’s completely unscented!
Of course, these litters need more maintenance, and you will have to empty, clean, and then refill the litter box more regularly.
Type Of Litter
The material the litter is made of is another thing that could irritate your kitty.
Clay litter is the most popular type of litter on the market, and it’s usually made of sodium bentonite. Clay litters usually produce more dust and if other types of clay and materials are added to the mix they can act as allergens and irritate your kitty.
On the other hand, silica litter can be a great clay alternative since it doesn’t produce dust.
But researchers have found that silica-containing cat litter can trigger sarcoidosis in cat owners, an inflammatory disease that can affect multiple organs usually lungs and lymph glands.
Then we have eco-friendly litter like wood pellet litter, paper litter, and wheat litter.
These plant-based litter alternatives are usually more natural and have fewer chemicals or artificial scents that can irritate your kitty. Wheat litter is usually soft on your cat’s paws, while paper pellets are practically dust-free.
Wood pellets, on the other hand, might contain some dust and if you’re not sure about the wood source of the company it might be harmful.
No matter what type of litter you’ll want to try out next, make sure to read their full description, and check what the customers have to say.
You’ll be surprised how many cat parents out there have kitties with allergies and they are more than happy to share their experiences!
Finally, you might want to consider an environmentally friendly option when it comes to litter. Usually litters that are biodegradable use natural ingredients and are not toxic.
These are mainly produced of recycled paper, plant-derived materials like pine, wheat, beet pulp, corn, and soybean.
Oftentimes these litters are flushable, or when they’re buried in landfills they are able to degrade, this makes disposing of these litters much easier, healthier, and safer.
However, if you’re not sure about the condition of your drainage system then even flushable litter can clog your pipes. Disposing of your cat’s litter outside or flushing it down the drain can also be dangerous. If your kitty is carrying a parasite like toxoplasmosis you might end up poisoning the water supply.
8 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Litters
Now that you know what to look for in a hypoallergenic litter it’s time to go through our top litter picks!
We made sure to include hypoallergenic litters made of various materials, clumping and non-clumping, that are also suitable for a variety of sensitivities that you and your kitty may have.
Let’s explore your options!
1. Best Overall: Cat’s Pride Multi-Cat Clumping Litter
Cat’s Pride litter truly deserves the number one spot on this list. It has everything you can expect from a hypoallergenic litter especially for owners that prefer clumping litters made of clay.
As we’ve already discussed the major elements in cat litter especially those made of clay that can cause allergies are dust and scent.
Well, Cat’s pride has that covered with a formula that doesn’t have to rely on cheap perfumes to mask the smell of your cat’s business, it actually works to eliminate the odors.
The dust-free feature is another reason why this brand is at the top of this list.
The fine granules form unbreakable clumps that are easy to scoop without lifting a thick cloud as you do so. It’s perfect for the most committed diggers, even if your cat is an archeologist at heart!
The granules are soft on your cat’s paws so they’re great for older cats or cats that have sensitive skin and need a soft surface to dig into when they need to use their litter box.
Another unique quality that I truly appreciate is the litter’s weight. I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to receive a package, even if it’s right in front of your door, only to realize it’s too heavy to carry towards your cat’s litter box.
Cat’s Pride litter is 24% lighter which is very thoughtful especially towards those cat parents that have mobility issues, or simply can’t carry or pour a heavy litter bag without making a mess.
I really think this is a great litter to try if your kitty is allergic to the one you have at the moment and if want to know more about Cat’s Pride hypoallergenic qualities I’d suggest reading the reviews and checking today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
But I have to warn you there are over 7.000+ positive reviews to go through!
What I Love About It: I love the fact that this litter works for different allergies and it’s also perfect for a multi-cat household, even if only one of your cats has litter allergies!
What I Wish It Had: A few customers have mentioned that you may experience some tracking with this litter. Others have added that the formula changes from time to time, but that could be the company’s effort to improve on their product.
2. Best For Dust Allergies: Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Platinum Clumping Cat Litter
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the heavy cloud that rises as we pour a fresh batch of litter into the litter box.
You might think that this cloud is harmless or that it only happens during refills, but with certain litters, your kitty is likely to breathe in the litter dust every time they dig and try to cover their business.
Dust is also a common issue with clay litters, and while I do enjoy the clumping abilities of a good clay litter the dust from each pour and even scoop can leave you coughing your lungs out, so you can only imagine what your kitties might go through.
Since my goal was to create a list that’s also specific to different allergic reactions, I decided to give the Arm & Hammer Cloud Control litter the second spot, even though this particular litter was also mentioned in our review on litters for small apartments article!
It’s totally worth talking about it here because it’s going to keep your air dust-free whether you have an open litter box or not. This is especially important if you’ve noticed your kitty sneeze and cough after each use.
Unlike most clay litters, the Arm& Hammer Cloud Control litter is dust-free to ensure that your cat doesn’t have respiratory issues and prevents such allergies from developing over long-term use.
The litter also eliminates smells the moment your cat’s urine and feces come in contact with the absorbent granules, no matter how stinky their poop might be.
It’s important to note that, unlike our first choice, this litter can be heavy to handle especially for people that have a hard time lifting a 37 LBS (16.78 Kg) container. So, you might need some help when the package arrives.
If you want to know more about this brand you can read more reviews as well as check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It’s clear that Arm & Hammer have made it their goal to create a dust-free formula, and they actually made it since their pouring testing measured 0% dust in the air!
What I Wish It Had: I would prefer that this litter didn’t have a scent, even if it’s hypoallergenic and free of harsh perfumes, certain people and cats can still feel uncomfortable.
3. Best For Scent Allergies: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Unscented Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
Heavy perfumes and deodorants are often used by cat litter companies to help conceal bad smells, these chemicals might be the main reason your kitty has a runny nose and irritated eyes.
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat formula offers a completely unscented litter that can reduce your cat’s allergies without losing its battle with bad smells.
Having an unscented litter like this one will also protect your kitty from ingesting these fragrances and chemicals that can happen each time they sit down to groom their fur and especially their paws.
Another great feature of this hypoallergenic litter is the clumping properties of the clay that doesn’t crumble after each scoop, but it’s also not hard enough to stick to your cat’s sensitive paws.
This makes the cleaning more manageable, even if you have more than one kitty!
If you or your kitty are allergic to scents, you can check out this litter on Amazon, along with today’s price by clicking here.
What I Love About It: Besides its hypoallergenic feature Dr. Elsey’s offers three size options. If you’ve never tried this brand, you can always go for the 18 Lb. (8.16 Kg) option and if you like it then you can stock up by getting the 40 Lb. (18.14 Kg) option.
What I Wish It Had: As some customers have mentioned this brand can be inconsistent in the size of the granules and its dust-free formula.
4. Best For Sensitive Skin Litter: Fresh News Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
Cats come in contact with the litter on a daily basis. For cats that have skin sensitivities to certain materials and chemicals, or even for cats that have to deal with poor quality litter, this can become daily torture.
The paws are usually the first place where the irritation starts and this can be caused by the type of litter you use, like clay or silica.
That’s why I made sure to add an organic litter that’s going to work best for cats with sensitive skin. Fresh news doesn’t contain any cheap chemicals or fragrances that can irritate your kitty’s skin.
Another issue with clumping litters is how easily they can stick to your cat’s paws. This means that your kitty will end up ingesting harmful ingredients like clay or crystals. The hard clumps could also irritate the skin and even cause wounds as your cat tries to constantly lick the granules away.
Once again fresh news is here to make your cat’s life easier and protect their paws because this litter is non-clumping. This means it won’t stick to your cat’s paws and even if it did the formula is hypoallergenic and won’t irritate their paws.
You can read more reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It. While not everyone is a fan of non-clumping litter, the pellets from Fresh news do retain their form to help you scoop your cat’s pee without making a mess.
What I Wish It Had: This litter will most likely require more maintenance. As with most non-clumping litter, it’s best you scoop the litter box daily and change the entire litter weekly.
5. Best For Respiratory Issues Litter: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Cat LitterBuy On Chewy
- This litter hypoallergenic formula with no plant proteins, perfumes, and deodorants will protect your cat’s respiratory system.
- The litter is dust-free so you won’t have to worry about breathing litter particles as you scoop or pour the litter into the litter box.
- Can be used with sifting and automatic litter boxes.
As you can already tell Dr. Elsey’s is a brand that I had to mention one more time on this list. It’s clear that they have great quality litters that are specialized for different cats and their unique needs.
A major issue with litter allergies is the respiratory issues that can affect both you and your cat. These are usually caused by chemicals the brands use to keep the litter smelling fresh. Unfortunately, this tactic oftentimes leads to cats breathing litter dust that’s packed with these heavy perfumes.
Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief is specifically designed to help your kitty use their litter box safely.
If you’re still not convinced then take a look at these reviews made by these happy customers and how thanks to this litter their cats no longer cough, sneeze or have a runny nose and eyes!
For those of you who don’t like clay litters Dr. Elsey’s has an alternative non-clumping crystal litter also designed to relieve respiratory issues, and you can check it right here on Chewy!
What I Love About It: While this litter is unscented it has natural essences to help relieve stress, and for cats with litter allergies, litter box aversion can be a major problem.
What I Wish It Had: The brand has changed the packaging from cardboard to a plastic bag which is harder to handle and lift when filling up the litter boxes.
6. Best Hypoallergenic Pellet Litter: ÖKOCAT Original Premium Natural Wood Clumping Litter
Another brand that I’ve mentioned before is Ökocat. This is a German brand that has proven that litter doesn’t have to be harmful to our planet, as well as our cats and our own health!
The company works with plant-based ingredients like wood, pulp, and paper remnants without adding synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, or GMOs.
Many customers were pleased that this litter is completely unscented but does a good job combating the smell of ammonia.
Of course, to keep this litter and any litter clean and smell-free regular maintenance is a must. Thankfully Ökocat made sure to make cleaning an easy job since the wood pellets quickly absorb all the moisture and they don’t stick to your cat’s paws.
More so, the pellets are smaller than regular wood pellets to maximize your cat’s paw comfort and avoid any irritation.
If you’re looking for a hypoallergic litter, with a great clumping formula, and no harmful chemicals that might irritate your cat then Ökocat is what you’re looking for!
Then again if your cat doesn’t like wood pellet litter Ökocat offers an alternative, the Dust Free Non-Clumping litter that is designed for cats that suffer from respiratory ailments or that have certain sensitivities after serious surgery.
This brand also offers wood pellets in different sizes that can accommodate sensitive paws or long-haired breeds. These are all hypoallergenic, with no extra chemicals that might irritate you or your cat.
If you want to learn more about the Ökocat Original Premium variety, or you want to check Ökocat paper litter on Amazon you can click here!
What I Love About It: The fact that it’s flushable can help many cat parents dispose of their litter immediately, but you still need to make sure your toilet has proper drainage and that your kitty is a healthy indoor-only pet.
What I Wish It Had: Some people found that the wood pellets produced more dust, while the paper pellets are 100% dust-free.
7. Best Hypoallergenic Organic Litter: Petfive Sustainably Yours Natural Multi-Cat Litter
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly litter you don’t have to look any further because Petfive is the number one sustainable option.
To quote Jackson Galaxy the ultimate cat whisperer, Petfive is “the best cat litter I’ve ever used in the big three categories: clumping, tracking and odor control.”
Not only that but this organic litter removes bad odors without using any chemicals or perfumes in their formula.
If you and your kitty are experiencing breathing difficulties after pouring your current litter in the litter box or during their extensive litter box dig, then Petfive’s no-dust formula will help you breathe again!
This litter is a great alternative to clay since it is just as good (if not better!) at creating unbreakable clumps, it doesn’t produce any dust and it’s biodegradable. The smooth granules are also great for cats with sensitive paws that can’t use pellets.
This litter has received plenty of great reviews and one of the customers uses Petfive with an automatic litter box to help keep everything clean at all times.
If you want to give it a go or check today’s price on Amazon you can click here!
What I Love About It: The light litter color can help you spot differences in your cat’s urine, which is important for cats that may be suffering from conditions like urinary tract disease.
What I Wish It Had: Since this litter is made from corn and cassava it’s best you don’t keep it in your shed or garage. Instead, place the package in a dry area in your home where critters can’t get to it.
8. Best Multi-cat Hypoallergenic Litter: BoxiePro Deep Clean Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter
Last but definitely not least, we have the BoxiePro Deep Clean litter that’s specifically designed to keep your house clean and your kitty healthy.
When using a low-quality litter, apart from the dust or fragrances that can irritate your kitty, your cat can also track litter out of the litter box. They might spread the dust around the house and the unseen waste the litter box contains.
All these small particles contribute to respiratory ailments, itchy skin, and runny eyes and nose. If you have more than one cat then you can imagine the magnitude of the situation.
That’s why BoxiePro helps keep your litter box clean even when your cat isn’t using it.
With a blend of probiotics, this litter self-cleans on a microscopic level all day and night. This means that when your cars are jumping on your kitchen counter, or curling up on your pillow they won’t be bringing bacteria along with them.
It’s clear that BoxiePro wanted to create a well-researched product that is going to keep your home hygienic and your cat healthy.
Their efforts have been recognized since they won the Cat Fancy Editor’s Choice Award. This litter is also veterinarian approved and the winner of the 2018 Pet Business Industry Recognition Award.
If you are curious to know what the customers have to say and check out today’s price on Amazon then simply click here!
What I Love About It: This litter will instantly form hard clumps at the top of the litter, instead of soaking it all the way to the bottom and sticking to it.
What I Wish It Had: I wish there was an eco-friendly option instead of clay.
What More Can I Do If My Cat Has A Litter Allergy?
While switching your cat’s litter with a hypoallergenic brand is the best way to combat their litter allergy, there are still a few extra steps you could take to minimize any additional triggers.
Go To The Veternarian
When we notice that our cats aren’t feeling well, or something in their behavior is different, self-diagnosing is never advisable, unless you are a certified vet.
If you’re a regular cat parent like me then the best thing we can do, even before taking the initiative of changing their litter is to take them to their veterinarian.
Perhaps your cat is suffering from an illness or a condition that is affecting their breathing and the litter has nothing to do with it.
It’s also possible that all these years of breathing in the dust from the litter have taken a toll on their lungs and they need more than a hypoallergenic litter, they may need treatment.
Whether it’s feline bronchitis or feline atopic dermatitis, the vet will have to examine your cat and prescribe the right medication. Your vet might also perform an allergy test (RAST) on your kitty, to identify the underlying cause of an already diagnosed atopic dermatitis.
But even if you find out that your feline companion isn’t allergic to their current litter, you can ask your vet if they still recommend switching to a hypoallergenic litter as a precaution.
Change Their Litter Box
Once the vet check is done and you’ve placed your order for a hypoallergenic litter it’s important to add another item into your basket and that’s a litter box.
Litter boxes, especially those made of plastic tend to absorb certain smells, and if your old litter was scented, or had certain allergens that triggered your cat’s immune system then some of these particles might reside in the crevices and the scratched surface of the litter box.
Since plastic can retain smells and bacteria that can trigger you and your kitty, consider getting stainless steel or ceramic litter box. They are hypoallergenic, easy to clean and they can last you a lifetime!
Another reason you might want to consider a different litter box is if your kitty is avoiding their toilet.
The Human Society states that cats prefer “to eliminate in a clean area. Instinctively, cats do not want to eliminate in areas that already have a strong smell.” By bringing a new litter box with new litter they might lose that negative association.
If your kitty has a sensitive respiratory system, then you might need to consider getting an open litter box. No matter how dust-free a litter claims to be it still might contain some small particles and for a sensitive cat, this might seem too much.
Of course, if you live in a small apartment, or your kitty is shy, there are closed litter boxes with carbon filters that offer decent ventilation, you could also keep the lid on and remove the door instead.
Or go for a ventilated automatic litter box and maybe instead of sneezing your cat will start playing with their hypoallergenic litter!
Regular Litter Box Maintenance Is A Must!
Whether it’s your kitty who has developed litter allergies or you have been experiencing coughing and sneezing, a hypoallergenic litter won’t fix your allergy issues completely unless it’s also regularly cleaned.
I know this will sound obvious to most cat parents, but going through a number of reviews even under hypoallergenic litters, there were certain owners that complained about the litter smelling bad. Upon closer examination, some admitted that they cleaned the litter box once every 3-4 days.
While it may work with an automatic litter box, this negligence is not only unhygienic for the owners but also detrimental to the mental and physical health of your cat.
Aside from the bad smell from the soiled litter, dust will also build up in the litter box, and your kitty will surely transfer it to your bed, and furniture.
No matter how awesome your litter is, research has shown that regular removal of cat waste promotes proper litter box use.
RSPCA also states that we should be cleaning out the whole litter box and replacing the litter at least once a week or month, depending on how many kitties you have, your scooping which should be daily, and the type of litter (clumping or non-clumping) you use.
Keep Their Litter Box Area Clean and Dust-free
Maintaining a clean litter box should help minimize any dust or bad odors that can aggravate cats prone to allergies, but you also need to pay attention to your home.
I’m quite sensitive to dust, and living with two cats that I want to keep close to my face at all times made me realize how important it is to vacuum the floors and change my bedding regularly.
Cats are going to lay on different surfaces and their fur will gather much of the dust and dirt around them. And while they are thorough groomers it’s not always enough.
Keeping my floors clean, their cat beds, and cat trees free of dust, and accumulated fur (seasonal shedding am I right?) decreased these allergens from building up.
Hypoallergenic litter especially with dust-free formulas like the Arm & Hammer on my list is also great at minimizing the spread of dust that we end up breathing in.
Having a cat that is prone to allergies, or has respiratory issues will benefit from a clean home, and it can also improve your own wellbeing!
Litter Box Placement
The last thing that can help your kitty’s breathing and reduce overall litter allergies is choosing the right spot for the litter box.
I understand the need to hide your cat’s toilet in a dark corner but consider placing it in a well-ventilated area. Perhaps choose a corner by the window that you can periodically open to clean the air in the room.
If the litter box is in a windowless bathroom, leave the door open and install a fan or if you have an installed ventilation system then turn it on periodically, especially after they’ve used the litter box.
Keeping your house’s atmosphere fresh and clean takes some effort but it’s so worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most common questions that cat parents have when it comes to litter allergies.
What If My Cat Still Has Allergies After I Switch To Hypoallergenic Litter?
The first thing you need to do is to take your kitty to the vet. Perhaps your kitty doesn’t have a litter allergy or perhaps they are suffering from more than one condition.
It’s also possible that the hypoallergenic litter you bought is not working for your kitty or they’re already suffering from a respiratory ailment that your new litter can’t fix.
Your veterinarian will be able to assess their health, advise you with the right treatment and confirm whether their allergies are caused by the litter or something else in their environment. They could also suggest a hypoallergenic litter that suits your cat’s unique needs.
Can I Be Allergic To Cat Litter?
Yes, just like your cats, you can exhibit or develop an allergy to your cat’s litter and show the same symptoms I mentioned above, like coughing, sneezing, skin rashes, and redness among others.
These symptoms might be more intense when you’re cleaning out the litter box and scooping their waste.
In some cases, the dust and fragrances used in cat litter can irritate you more than they irritate your kitty, if that sounds like you, look for a hypoallergenic litter preferably an organic one like the Petfive Sustainability Yours litter I’ve mentioned on this list.
Can Litter Cause Skin Allergies?
Whether you’re referring to your cat’s skin or your own, litter can cause an allergic reaction that will show up on your skin. You might notice your cat scratching themselves more often, especially after the use of their litter box, or they may begin to overgroom themselves to soothe their skin.
If you feel itchy after cleaning out the litter box, or when you’re stroking your kitty, the dust and chemicals of your current litter can cause redness or a rash. In that case, look for a hypoallergenic litter with a dust-free formula that is designed for sensitive skin.
Can Indoor Cats Have Allergies?
The outside world is filled with adventures but also with allergens like dust, pollen, and even air pollutants, but this doesn’t mean that our homes are completely safe from these allergens.
An indoor kitty can develop an allergy even if they never leave the house.
The scent, dust, and certain chemicals in your cat’s litter can cause allergy symptoms that slowly develop over time, so switching to a hypoallergenic brand, keeping your house well ventilated and clean can help reduce these allergies.
What Litter Should I Avoid If My Cat Is Allergic?
Looking for a hypoallergenic litter can be tricky. Whether you choose a hypoallergenic litter or not make sure that they are 99% dust-free, they are 100% unscented and they are plant-based.
Clay litters are known to produce more dust, while wood pellet or paper pellet litters like the Ökocat litter on our list has no chemicals or fragrances that could irritate your cat, and let’s not forget that it’s biodegradable!
Is Hypoallergenic Litter More Expensive?
If you’ve been using regular cat litter your whole life then you might be thinking that hypoallergenic brands are more expensive, but this isn’t always the case. On this list, you’ll find a wide spectrum of different prices some more affordable than others.
Try to keep in mind that the price isn’t always indicative of a litter’s true quality and value.
When comparing the prices you also need to look at the weight of each product, the longevity the brand and reviewers are promising. A hypoallergenic litter that might seem more expensive could be more absorbent and long-lasting while a cheaper one may require constant emptying, cleaning, and refilling.
Allergies can make you feel like you’re constantly sick and tired and it’s really sad to find your own kitty sneezing and coughing.
It can be confusing and scary to realize that something is not right especially when you find out that their own litter is causing this reaction.
Thankfully cat brands have evolved so much over the last years that they’ve created healthy formulas that can reduce these allergic reactions, both in our cats and ourselves.
So, if your feline companion has a litter allergy, take a look at our top 8 hypoallergenic litters and you may find the one litter that will make your whole home breathe with ease again!
I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the above litters and which brand has helped your kitty’s allergies, and I’m also happy to listen to your hypoallergenic suggestions!