Best Litter for Cats with Asthma

best cat litters for cats with asthma
(Last Updated On: May 28, 2021)

While you may not think of asthma as something that cats have to deal with, there is a small percentage of felines that do. If your cats suffer from asthma, one of the biggest triggers can be the litter in their cat litter box. To help your cat stay healthy, you will need to look at alternative types of litter.

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It can be extremely problematic for those cats with asthma to use standard cat litter f0r cats. To make sure you help control symptoms, you need to choose the best cat litter for cats suffer from asthma. Some of the best cat litter for asthmatic cats includes:

Purina Yesterday’s News Paper Litter

Purina is a popular name in cat food, but is also providing one of the best litter for cats with asthma. Their kitty litter is made entirely of recycled paper, making it both good for your cat and the environment.

While the paper is turned into a more functional shape for being kitty litter, it is not altered in any other way. That means no chemicals and no added fragrance. This makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for cats who have feline asthma or allergies.

Even though there is no scent to the litter, the paper does a good job of suppressing any odor or odor control after your cat uses their box. There is no dust from movement, and the material is soft on paws.

The only downside to this litter is that it is very lightweight. While this works well for lifting and pouring the litter, it can make it easier for your cat to make a mess with it. If your cat is very vigorous when moving around litter, they may make a mess around the box.

There is also no clumping, making it better to either sift the litter, or replace the litter entirely each time you clean it. This will ensure you get any waste out with minima issues.


–        No Fragrance

–        No Chemical

–        No dust

–        Soft on paws

–        Affordable price

–        Good for the environment

–        Odor control/ suppressing

–        Lightweight, making it easier to lift and pour


–        Easier to scatter on the floor


Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Unscented Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief is a cat litter specifically designed for cats with respiratory issues like feline asthma and allergies. It is almost completely dusted free, with a tested 99 percent success rate at removing the risk of dust.

There are two forms of cat litter by Dr. Elsey s Precious Cat respiratory relief. The first is a clay litter, while the second is made of silica crystals. Both options have no fragrances and deodorants, while still absorbing the smell from when your cat uses the bathroom.

Both the clay cat based and the silica crystal option of Dr Elsey Precious Cat Respiratory Relief cat litter are hypoallergenic, and are clumping cat litter, making it easy to clean their litter boxes. That also makes Dr. Elsey s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief a great choice for homes that have multi cat using the same litter box.

It is important to remember, that while 99 percent dust free, there is still some dust that can occur. That dust can also cause issues over time, making Dr. Elsey s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief not ideal for long term use.


–        99% dust free

–        Comes in clay litter or silica crystals

–        No perfumes or deodorants

–        Hypoallergenic

–        Good for multi cat households

–        Designed specifically for cats with respiratory issues

–        Hard/ non clumping


–        Ingredients still come with dust potential


Ökocat Dust-Free Unscented Non-Clumping Paper Pellet Cat Litter

Another great paper option, this natural litter comes from all recycled paper. There is no chemicals or fragrances in the kitty litter, and the whole thing is dust free. This option is also hypoallergenic, making it good for cats with any health issues.

In addition to the paper being recycled, it is also biodegradable, making it better for the environment. If you want to, it will also work in composting as well. The paper is lightweight and in pellet form, making it easy to lift and pour out.

The paper is quick to absorb any mess after your cat goes to the bathroom, and any odor control associated with the mess as well. While it does suppress odor, it will not clump, making it more comfortable for your cat to go to the bathroom.

This paper cat litter will not be as likely to scatter as the Purina paper cat litter because of the pellet form, but there is still potential to make a mess. This is because of how lightweight the material is and how easy it is for your cat to fling it out when scratching around. That is why paper cat litter works best with litter box with higher edges.

There is also no clumping when your cat goes to the bathroom. That means there is more effort to scoop out mess. But you can sift the litter with a tray, or replace the litter entirely at the end of each day.


–        Dust free

–        All recycled paper

–        Biodegradable and compostable

–        Odor control / suppressing

–        Quickly absorbs mess

–        No Chemical

–        Unscented

–        Hypoallergenic

–        Lightweight, making it easier to lift and pour


–        Easier to scatter


ScoopFree Sensitive Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

Made of silica gel crystals, this litter is almost completely dust free. It also comes with a tray to place under the litter, making it easy to sift through and clean. This is important because there is no clumping with this litter. But the larger granules will help to prevent any missed mess in the sifting.

The litter is dye free, fragrance free, and biodegradable. This makes it good for both pets and cat owners who have allergies or cannot handle perfumes. However, while silica is good for the environment compared to other materials, there is still some risk while using it. This includes some dust potential, with that dust being toxic over time and not dust free.

The marketing for the ScoopFree Sensitive Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal cat litter is both entertaining and effective in selling their product. But with this great marketing, there is also a higher price tag for this litter.


–        Almost completely dust free

–        Dye free

–        Unscented

–        Biodegradable

–        Bigger granules

–        Comes with its own raking tray

–        Great marketing


–        Can be a pricier option

–        Silica litter can still pose an issue


Boxiecat Premium Clumping Litter

Boxiecat is a clay- based litter, making it ideal for clumping and perfect for scooping. The litter is also free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. This means it is hypoallergenic and great for cats with respiratory issues and immune system issues like feline asthma attack.

This litter also lasts twice as long as other clay- based cat litters, making it perfect for those who have multi cat, or cannot clean a litter box every day. The Boxiecat Premium clumping litter is premium for a reason, but also comes at a premium price. If you are on a tight budget, then this may not be the best option for you.

Remember, clay- based litter, while lowdust and virtually dust free based on the brand, still produce some dust. This dust also contains sodium bentonite, which is harmful to your pets over time.


–        Easy to scoop

–        Hypoallergenic

–        Unscented/ no odor

–        No harsh chemicals

–        Lasts twice as long as typical clay cat litters


–        Clay base still comes with problems

–        Can be a pricier option


Snappy Tom Natural Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

Another option that is on the pricier side is Snappy Tom Natural Unscented Non- Clumping Crystal cat litter. As the name suggests, this cat litter is fragrance free, free of harsh chemicals, and is hypoallergenic.

The litter produces very little dust that makes it almost dust free, which is good because it is made of silica gel crystals. Silica gel crystals, while they can be problematic in the long term, they are better for the environment than clay- based litter.


–        Fragrance free

–        Hypoallergenic

–        No harsh chemicals

–        Produces little to no dust


–        Silica crystals can still cause issues

–        Pricier than other options


Naturally Fresh Pellet Unscented Non-Clumping Walnut Cat Litter

If you want to go with a natural ingredient cat litter, but do not want to go with paper, walnut shells are also a popular option. While this may seem a little strange, walnut shell cat litter is actually incredibly absorbent and produces almost zero dust.

The walnut shell litter has no fragrance to it, no dyes, and no chemicals. This makes it hypoallergenic and good for those who have allergies or sensitivities. Because it is made of entirely natural ingredient, ground into pellet form, you can compost the litter, or let it biodegrade in the landfill. Either best way, it is much environmentally friendly than most other litter options.

There is no clumping, and the highly absorbent pellets are easy to sift when you clean the litter box. But, if you do not sift the litter, you may need to dump the entire litter each time, rather than just removing the messed pellets.


–        Highly absorbent

–        No toxic elements

–        Biodegradable

–        Hypoallergenic

–        Produces little to no dust

–        No fragrances

–        No dyes

–        No chemicals


–        Pellet form can be harder to clean with scoop


Fresh Step Simply Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter

While not completely dust free, this cat litter from Fresh Step is very low dust litter, making it easier on your feline ’s respiratory health. Because it is from the brand Fresh Step, it is also a more affordable option, which is great for people on a tight budget.

The cat litter is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and does a good job of controlling odor. This is in part because of the active charcoal in the cat litter that helps to eliminate the smell when your cats use their cat litter box.

If you like clumping cat litters, this is a great cat litter for clumping. That means easy clean up with minimal effort on your part. Just remember that clumping cat litter can be problematic as well for cats with respiratory issues.


–        Affordable

–        Low dust type of litter

–        Fragrance free

–        Active charcoal odor control

–        Clumps well

–        Hypoallergenic


–        Clay base is still potentially problematic


Asthma in Cats

While not the most common health issue, there is still a chance that your cat may develop feline asthma. Females and certain breeds are more likely to have cat asthma, and typically shows up once they reach maturity. This is typically between two and eight years of age.

Signs of asthma in cats is most commonly coughing and wheezing. As it worsens, you can see rapid breathing, tiredness, heavy mouth breathing, vomiting mucus, and a bluish hue to the lips and gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your vet for further testing.

A vet will listen to the lung sounds of your cat with a stethoscope, then run more tests if necessary. This can include allergy tests to rule out allergic reactions, blood work to look for other health problems, and imaging. Imaging can include x-rays, CT scans, and a bronchoscopy. If necessary, they can also do a microscopic analysis of the cells in the respiratory system or immune system.

There is no cure for asthma in cats or humans, but there are treatments that can help make things far more manageable. The first step is to remove anything that can cause cat asthma symptoms, then see if the symptoms continue. Then, if symptoms continue, the vet will most likely recommend corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation of lung tissue and make your cat far more comfortable and take control. They can also recommend bronchodilators, helping to get more air through the airway.

What to Avoid

Just like with asthma in people, you want to avoid things that will irritate the lungs and trigger coughing or wheezing. The big thing to avoid when it comes to cat litter is anything that is going to create dust in the air. Remember that cats like to move the cat litter around before and after use. Even the smallest of actions can stir up dust, triggering your cat with asthma attack.

It is also important to avoid cat litters that have perfumes or fragrances that cat trigger an attack. Go with unscented options, and avoid scented trash bags or liners. Other triggers for cat with asthma include, mold, dust in the rest of your house, mold, pollen, strong cleaners and cigarette smoke.

Clumping VS Non- Clumping

While this list includes both clumping and non- clumping cat litters, there is a debate as to which is better for those with respiratory issues. That is because clumping litter is understood to create more dust than non- clumping litter does. This occurs when the cat litter forms together when it gets wet.

Non- clumping litter is viewed as better for cats with asthma because there is no bonding of the cat litter to cause extra dust. But because there is no fast clumping, it makes it much more difficult to clean any mess out of the box. That can require you to sift the cat litter, rather than scoop it, creating more dust in the air.

There is no definitive answer to which is going to be the great for cats with asthma, but it is better to keep an eye out for your own cat’s situation. If you are using one type, but your cat is still experiencing symptoms of asthma, try switching to the other to see if that makes a difference in your cat’s breathing.

Best Ingredients for Cats with Asthma

The standard kitty litter we all know is actually horrible for those suffering from feline asthma. Rather than the standard litter, there are some great alternatives for cats with asthma.

Silica Gel Crystals

Silica gel crystals are highly popular to use in cat litter because of how absorbent it is. The crystals are made from sodium silicate, with can absorb up to forty times their own weight before needing to be replaced. The material is also better for the environment than many other litter materials.

If you want to be more eco- friendly with your litter choices, this can be a good choice. While silica gel crystals are a good option for pets, they can still produce dust. This dust can also be toxic over time. If you have a cat that is very vigorously pawing at their litter, this is not a good option.

Clay- Based

It is important to not just buy any clay cat litters. This is because there is dust that contains sodium bentonite, which is not a good litter for asthmatic cats. You need to choose clay- based cat litters that are specifically designed for cats with respiratory issues. This will reduce the amount of harmful dust, making it much better for your cat.

It is also important to note that while it is clay- based, this is not naturally occurring clay. That means it is man- made and is not great for the environment. This is not good if you are looking to be more environmentally conscious.

Natural Ingredients

Perhaps the best cat litter natural option for asthmatic cats is to use all- natural ingredient. There are tons of natural materials out there available, but some are better than others. For example, natural grass, wheat and natural corn are all available options for best litters. But they may also causing other allergies, which can aggravate your feline asthma. Go for larger piece litter to prevent particles in the air as well.

The best options for natural ingredients made include walnut shells, natural wood pellets, and natural paper litter. They will not stir up dust and may not be as likely to cause allergies. Natural ingredients are also biodegradable, making them better for the environment.


Roughly five percent of cats have asthma, making it important to have the right options for cat litters. By choosing a dust free, and fragrance- free cat litters, you can help your cat better manage their asthma symptoms. The less symptoms your cat has, the better their overall health is going to be.

By far, the very best option for your cats, asthma or not, is a natural ingredient formula. Whether it be paper, wood pellets, or walnut shells, these will be the least harmful in both the long and short term for your cat.

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