Organic Cat Litter – Limited Choices That Need Not Restrict You

organic cat litter keeps kittens safe

Organic cat litter is one that comes with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredited certification. It is notoriously difficult to find certified organic cat litter. This article lists the ones that we did find. The choices are terribly limited, however.

Generally speaking, the definition of ‘organic’ is ‘relating to or derived from living matter’.  Our original article from 2011 on organic cat litter was based on this.

We listed ten different brands made from natural resources that were all biodegradable and ‘otherwise’ organic. Only one of them could be retained in this updated version of the article because of the strictures imposed by organic certification.

Organic, As per USDA Guidelines

A cursory search did not reveal any cat litter-related definition for the word ‘organic’. So, we’ll infer the meaning of organic cat litter from what the USDA says about organic farming and food:

Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.

Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.


When packaged products indicate they are “made with organic [specific ingredient or food group],” this means they contain at least 70% organically produced ingredients. The remaining non-organic ingredients are produced without using prohibited practices (genetic engineering, for example) but can include substances that would not otherwise be allowed in 100% organic products.

As with all organic foods, none of it is grown or handled using genetically modified organisms, which the organic standards expressly prohibit.

“Made with organic” products do not carry the USDA organic seal; they must, however, be approved by a USDA accredited certifier that they, nonetheless, meet USDA’s organic standards.

You can read the entire Organic 101 on the USDA website.

Definition of Organic Cat Litter

It is interesting that the guidelines do not mention sustainability except by implication (cultivation without using synthetic fertilizer protects the soil and is, therefore, a sustainable process).

In view of all that we’ve learned so far, we could say that

Organic cat litter is one that is made from non-genetically modified living matter (like plants, for example) grown without using artificial fertilizer or pesticide. It must carry either the USDA organic seal or be approved by a USDA-accredited certifier to contain nothing that does not meet USDA organic standards.

Why You Don’t Need USDA-Certified Cat Litter

For most cat people, the safety and comfort of their fur babies are of paramount importance. And, it is good to use products that do not harm the environment. It is even better when such products are sustainably produced. Bonus points if the manufacturer gives back to society in some manner.

If all that we’ve listed above resonate with you, then you don’t need to restrict yourself to just organic cat litter. There are a number of brands and varieties to choose from that fit the description perfectly. Until we have added more reviews, please take a look at this comparison chart for sustainably produced flushable cat litter brands. Hopefully, you will find something you like even if you are not looking to flush.

That being said, you did come here looking for organic cat litter brands. We’ve listed the ones we found. If you happen to know of more, please leave a comment and let us know.


Some of the brands listed below contain affiliate links.

If you click them and make a purchase, we could receive a small commission – AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU.

Not all good products pay for recommendations, but we list them anyway.

We’ve never listed products just because we could get paid to do so.

 Our site ranks for keywords related to bentonite and silica litter but we never recommend those.

An exception is Pretty Litter after we revised our silica cat litter article with additional information.

Organic Cat Litter Brands

Just a reminder in case you skipped the entire write-up and came straight to this section: these are the only brands we could find that display organic or non-GMO certification from some competent authority. There are a number of cat litter brands that use sustainably produced natural resources which we have NOT listed here because they do not carry any organic certification.

Also, even though two of the litters are flushable, you should check if flushing of used cat litter is permitted where you live. We have an article that answers frequently asked questions on flushable cat litter which may be helpful.

1. Non-GMO Grass Seed Cat Litter (Only Natural Pet)

Non GMO Grass Seed Clumping Organic Cat Litter

As of now, this is our first choice for the best organic cat litter.

Only Natural Pet is certified B Corporation with an overall impact score of 86.1 per cent. All shipping is carbon neutral in partnership with Carbonfund.Org.

  • The litter is non-GMO certified and made of grass seeds.
  • It clumps well and has good odor control.
  • The used litter is flushable where permitted.
  • There’s virtually no dust and neither any tracking to any significant degree.

We were impressed by the video and strongly insist you watch it:


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2. Catfidence Organic Bamboo Cat Litter (The Original Poop Bags®)

Catfidence USDA certified Organic Cat Litter

This one is made from sustainably cultivated organic bamboo and is certified by the USDA as 98% biobased.

It is pelleted, has excellent odor control, and is supposed to be equivalent to 40lb of clay litter.

However, you need to understand how to use the litter to make the most of it.

Usage Instructions for Catfidence

Catfidence organic cat litter comes in 7lb and 21lb bags. The most important part is that they insist you pour at least 5lb of it into your litter tray.

This, of course, means you will want a tray with high edges so that there is no spillover. Here are the next steps to follow.

  1. Scoop out the used parts and dump them as you normally would
  2. Stir the remaining litter to thoroughly mix the still-wet parts with the dry litter
  3. If you do not follow the step above, the odor control will not work.

Concluding Remarks

We found mixed user reviews, so you will either love it or hate it, we’re guessing!

The odor control is real, at least.

And it does last a month, so pretty economical for the price ( $19.99 for 7lb).

You can flush the used litter if that is permitted in your area.

Worth a try, we’d say.

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3. Arclay Catsens Organic Cat Litter

Catsens is a Canadian brand. It is ‘proudly’ certified organic since 2008, the website says. In fact, (the earlier and less stringent version of) this article had a comment from them from as far back as 2013.

Their official website boasts of a Letis certification. However, the more recent packaging found at PetsGlobal seems to display a different logo:

Catsens organic clay cat litter

Unfortunately, they are awfully reticent about their primary ingredient. Even a direct query through their website did not yield anything beyond a one-liner that is already there on the site: Catsense is made from Canadian feed-grade clay.

We researched further and found out that in all probability, the clay is calcium bentonite.

Sodium Bentonite litter clumps like cement in the presence of humidity and can cause severe gastrointestinal congestion reported to have killed kittens.

Calcium Bentonite, on the other hand, is available in a food grade variety which can still cause mild constipation but is otherwise safe.

However, Calcium Bentonite is supposed to be a mineral. We have contacted Letis to understand how Catsens is deemed by them to be ‘Composed of certified organic products’.

Anyhow, Catsens does have a certification that makes it an organic cat litter. And as far as we are aware, it is a safe cat litter with good clumping and odor control.

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Final Words

Unless you are for some reason completely averse to anything but certified organic cat litter, please take a look at our list of litters that are flushable, made from renewable resources, and manufactured sustainably. And do leave us a comment if you know of any brand of cat litter that is certified by some competent body to be organic and we’ll add them to the list. Thank you for reading.

23 Responses

  1. Tomasz says:

    The world’s best cat litter coming soon.

  2. Jackie says:

    You really need to take worlds best cat litter off of your recommendation list.

    This is from their website…

    With specific regard to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, KPG states it has sought certification from some key, non-farmer suppliers that the materials provided to KPG comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which the supplier is doing business. Otherwise, in light of the realities of where KPG sources the vast majority of its supplies, KPG does not currently (1) engage in verification of product supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery; (2) conduct audits of suppliers to evaluate supplier compliance with laws for trafficking and slavery in supply chains; (3) require all direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into their products comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business; (4) maintain internal accountability standards and procedures for employees or contractors failing to meeting standards regarding slavery and human trafficking; or (5) provide employees and management who have direct responsibility for supply chain management training on human trafficking and slavery. KPG will continue to review its supply chain management practices and take those steps we deem appropriate to make sure we can continue to produce superior products for our valued customers.

    ….I’m sorry,…WHAT??!!!!
    This is human trafficking we are talking about!!! Slavery??!!
    I wouldn’t give this company 1 cent!!

    I’m so upset about this I’ll have to get back to ya regarding the corn they use!!!

    • kapush says:

      Well, that’s a lot of information to process! We need to find out if this is some kind of statutory information or if they really couldn’t give an F if their suppliers are making money on their employees’ (or slaves’) blood. I’ll try and if nothing satisfactory turns up, I will insert relevant parts of your comment where I have listed World’s Best and let everyone come to their own decision.

      Thank you for bringing this information to light! And I’ll be waiting for your comment on the corn 🙂

  3. Information (degrees in sciences, nutrition, holistic nutrition and chemistry of arts and more) says:

    To Kapush and others. Regarding spraying your litter box with Citronella Oil. Although I grew up with a mother in traditional medicine (reading her books) I went natural as soon as I came of age (to avoid open heart surgery) and have studied natural therapies along with main stream health care at the pre Masters level, background in legal and medical research, and earlier on pre vet (before it became almost Rx as it is now (collage and else wise) for decades. I mention my background as although I use anecdotal remedies and solutions I do some research to find out what’s behind it – Material Safety Data Sheets, OSHA and EPA as some sources.

    As well I have major experience toxic chemicals (building fire) and again used natural therapies to return from almost dead (took years however). (most all fragrance products are now made from highly toxic chemicals including petrochemicals). Much of this in any library but simple search (Rx companies make these products.) Not good for cats or humans.

    Scent of Danger: Are There Toxic Ingredients in Perfumes and Colognes?

    Ahhh…the sweet smell of petrochemicals! The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that, while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients, so consumers can’t rely on labels to know what hazards may lurk inside that new bottle of perfume.

    Cats are ancient – and have differently systems then ours, and the Tabby comes from desert environments and like camels store water (reason why dry foods cause much harm down the line).

    See the article below on cats and their unique liver enzyme system

    Using Citronella Oil as a Cat Repellent


    Cats and missing liver enzymes

    Cats almost completely lack important liver enzymes that humans do possess, and which are important in the metabolism of many essential oil constituents. These are primarily UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes such as UGT1A6, UGT1A9 and UGT2B7 (Court 2013, Van Beusekom 2013). Therefore, there is a theoretical risk of increased toxicity to cats, though this is very much less of an issue with dogs. Menthol, for example, is primarily metabolized (in humans and rodents) through glucuronidation, and toxicity testing shows that menthol is 3-4 times more toxic to a cat than a rat (Opdyke 1976). We don’t know for sure that the greater toxicity to felines is because of the missing enzyme, but it’s very likely. But, while 3-4 times is a significant difference, it’s not a massive one. I certainly don’t advocate dousing your cat in large quantities of neat essential oils – ever. And cats are quite susceptible to toxicity from nutmeg oil and tea tree oil. But, a small amount of any essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat.


    Cat’s can cause issues if they are hanging out where they don’t belong. Because of this, many people look for types of cat repellent. While there are many products out on the market that claim to repel cats, not all of them are safe and nontoxic. There are several types of natural cat repellent, but one of the most popular cat repellents is citronella oil.
    Citronella Oil

    Citronella oil is a strong smelling oil that is usually thought of only as a repellent for mosquitoes, but there are several other uses for citronella oil, one of which is repelling cats from places that they don’t belong. Citronella is a natural substance that originally comes from Sri Lanka. It is believed that the strong smell of this oil is what will keep the cats out of the areas that you don’t want them to be in. Citronella oil is safe to use indoors and outdoors so no matter where you are trying to keep the cats away from this should work for you.

    • kapush says:

      Thank you so much for the detailed explanation (along with citation). It would be great if I could have your permission to include your write-up as part of my content in the future – with due acknowledgement, of course.

  4. Kathi Rog says:

    Pine oils are toxic to cats! Even though pellets are kiln dried and most oils gone, when wet , it releases dangerous phenol are released. Stop recommending pine litter!!!!!

    • kapush says:

      Sorry about the late approval of your first comment (and thanks for trying again): my security plugin thought your comment was spam probably because it has only five words plus a link.

      I don’t have the time to research this thoroughly but I assume you have, so I’m putting both your comments in the intro of the article to let our readers know of the possible dangers.

      Thank you for taking the time to point this out.

  5. Magali Lecce says:

    World best cat little is not made with organic corn . Call company and they will tell you.

    • kapush says:

      Please accept my apologies for the late approval. My system and backup system had both gone down plus there were some family problems to deal with.
      Calling the company across the continent would be prohibitive. In any case, I’d like to take your word for it.

      This article lists organic and natural litters – organic has a somewhat wide range of meanings, but without trying to be sneaky and playing with words, the fact that the company uses renewable methods of cultivation is good enough for me, and the fact that corn is definitely organic and natural when compared to, say, synthetic silica gel.

      Either way, thank you for taking the time to put in a comment.

  6. catoblue says:

    I’ve been using “Smart Cat” litter made from grass seed. It really works great, clumps extremely well, and has virtually no smell, but is really expensive! Anyone know how this is made, or if I can simply use regular grass seed?

    • kapush says:

      Never heard of this one, but sounds mighty interesting! Thank you for telling us about it, will see if I can gather enough info to write an article on it. As for your question, I’m sorry I have no answer at the moment… hope one of our visitors is able to help you out.

  7. Diane says:

    I’ve had cats all my life. In the beginning I used regular non-clumping clay litter. Then I heard about the clumping corn litters and used them for years. Then I had some cats urinating outside the litter box, so I tried some clumping litters. They seemed to like it better. But some of the brands were so dusty I couldn’t use it and there was dust all around the house. I have a cat with asthma and that’s my main concern. So I found a knew brand of silica cat litter, stating dust free. But when I poured it into the box I saw this dust flying around. Then got conflicting info on the internet. I’m worried about my cats and I inhaling any kind of litter dust. Please advise which is the best dust free cat litter and safest to use. Thank you!

    • kapush says:

      Hi Diane,

      Obviously, your vet would be the best person to advise you on this issue. However, you can read about a silica cat litter which claims to be completely safe, here:
      Please scroll down to the content after the sub-heading ‘ Is Any Silica Gel Cat Litter Safe?’

      We have been using a mix of fine saw dust and wheat chaff. I usually spray a mix of citronella oil and water over the fresh litter before the cats get a chance to use it to minimize the dust.

      If you find a good alternative litter that helps your cats, please let us know.
      Thank you for visiting.

      • AJ Tyne says:

        Wheat-based or nut-based litters can have the same problems with the molds as corn-based. The safety of the pine or cedar or sawdust is up in the air, and definitely not safe for cats with asthma or other sensitivities. I cannot use wood-based litters as I am very allergic. Some litters use zeolite which is a clay litter. They claim it is completely safe, but zeolite is also on the lists of carcinogenic substances, as well as causing problems if inhaled or ingested. The only one I have found that seems to have no health problems associated with it is the safflower seed litter used with the Smart Cat Box system. I have not tried this yet, but so far it seems to be the safest available.

        • kapush says:

          Thanks for your observation, Tyne. Since our cats stay mostly outdoor in an enclosed space, we have the luxury of mixing litter with ordinary garden soil and that and a little bit of water sprayed on to the mix ensure that things don’t get too dusty for the cats. Never tried safflower, though … if you do, please consider posting your experience here.

    • kapush says:

      Hi Diane, when I redirected my old site from to I lost some comments. This was posted in reply to your comment by HB (****** on 2016/05/26 at 10:06 pm :

      To Diane about silica sand cat litters; I’ve been a cat parent to 2 cats for 12 years until this past Sunday when the oldest died of undetected lung cancer. All their lives I used what seemed to be the safest/cleanest litter for them always opting for silica sand. However, I have always been concerned about the dust that flies up when scooping or even when the cats cover. My beloved little friend who died never had any diseases or parasites and all his lab tests, etc came back negative. The only culprit left for me to conclude for his demise was perhaps genetic predisposition but the daily exposure to silica dust that has been proven to cause lung legions & in extreme cases, cancer of which my poor cat died.
      For that reason I’m here on this site, looking for a safer litter for the surviving brother who is a year younger, hoping I’m not too late!

  8. Knowledge says:

    The above article does not address the health risks from the use of organic litters. Kitty litter made from grains such as corn or wheat is susceptible to contamination by aflatoxin producing Aspergillus. Grains are particularly susceptible to infection if stored in warm temperatures and moist environments – exactly like your cat litter box. Aflatoxin exposure predominately attacks the liver and can lead to a whole host of serious illnesses.

    Learn more:

    • kapush says:

      Hi Knowledge,

      Thank you for the insight. I’ll certainly read up on this and, perhaps, write a separate article on it for our readers.

  9. I do not agree with any of the above cat litters being organic, they may be compostable and biodegradable, but where are teh organic Certification?? our cat litter CATSENS is certified ORGANIC by LETIS S.A.

  1. November 20, 2014

    […] that will not behave like cement is good litter for your furry baby. Please read our post on Organic Cat Litter for a list of safe cat litter […]

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