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The best cat litter for sensitive paws is smooth, dust-free, and free of irritating fragrances and additives.
Paw comfort should be a consideration for all cats, but some cats have special needs. Cats that have been declawed, have scratches on their paw pads, and young kittens may need extra-soft, extra-soft litter.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the qualities that make cat litter ideal for cats with tender fingers. These are the criteria we use to select the 5 best litters on the market. Read on for our reviews of the best cat litter for sensitive paws.
Whether your cat has sensitive paws due to allergies, injury, or declawing, the following features will help keep her paws comfortable in the litter box.
if your cat has damaged paw pads, avoid dusty litter.
Litter that is too dusty will get into your cat’s wounds, preventing healing. To keep your cat’s wounds clean and help them heal faster, avoid dusty litter. Clay litter is usually the dustiest type, but dusty litter comes in many shapes and forms. wheat litter, corn litter and wood litter can create plumes of dust and contaminate your cat’s sensitive wounds.
look for kitty litter made of soft materials.
Silica sand and clay are the hardest types of litter, which means that each granule of litter digs into your cat’s paw pads and can cause pain in sensitive paws. pellet style litter can also be quite hard. Just like walking on gravel, stepping on grainy-style sand is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst.
Instead of large, hard pellets or rough granules, look for soft litter made from soft materials. cats with injured paws should avoid particularly fine granules that could stick to their wounds, but other cats with sensitive paws can get away with very fine, soft litter. Garfield’s Corn and Cassava Litter is a good example. it has an ultra-fine texture that is no more painful than a walk on a white sand beach.
avoid scented kitty litter.
Just like people with sensitive skin don’t use scented lotions, cats with sensitive paws shouldn’t use scented litter. While it’s a particularly bad idea for cats with sensitive skin, scented litter is rarely a good choice for any cat. Cats have a very keen sense of smell and what may seem like a light scent to you can be overwhelming to your cat. avoid any type of scented kitty litter, especially if that scent is artificial.
Sometimes kitty litter is not marked as scented, but contains added fragrances. if in doubt, read customer reviews and look for the query “scent” or “fragrance” to determine if reviewers mention an undisclosed scent.
In general, if the kitty litter isn’t labeled “unscented,” you can assume it has a scent. look for litter that is specifically marketed as unscented and you’ll be safe.
avoid kitty litter made with artificial dyes.
Colored granule litter contains dyes that could irritate your cat’s sensitive paws. to protect those delicate paws, avoid multicolored litter and opt for 100% natural products.
remember that some cats are sensitive to vegetable fibers.
Some cats are allergic to grass, pine, and other plant fibers. If you suspect your cat’s sensitive paws are due to an allergy, avoid these materials and opt for a hypoallergenic litter made of clay or silica gel.
yesterday’s news cat litter smooth texture without perfume
Almost any veterinarian will recommend paper cat litter for cats who have recently undergone surgery or have paw injuries. Paper litter doesn’t clump, it doesn’t produce any dust, and it tends to be on the softer side. This Yesterday’s News litter takes the gentleness a step further. It’s made particularly for cats with sensitive paws and has a softer texture than the original Yesterday’s News.
It is made from recycled newspaper compressed into granules. It is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and dust-free. while it does not clump, it is intensely absorbent. That said, its odor control isn’t the best. you will have to change the litter regularly to avoid the accumulation of bad odors.
Ultimately, this is a poor performing litter, but it offers unmatched performance for cats with sensitive paws.
- will not contaminate healing wounds
- fragrance free
- tender touch on sensitive paws
- does not control odors well
- soft texture for sensitive paws
- moderate agglomeration capacity
- low tracking
- no irritating fragrances or dyes
- on the dusty side
- has a soft texture for sensitive paws
- effective odor control
- easy to remove
- little dust
- has a tendency to crawl
- clumping litter is not ideal for cats with paw injuries or healing wounds
- it has a soft and sandy texture
- has a light color that can help in the detection of diseases
- creates cohesive, easy-to-scoop clumps
- some reviewers say this arena is dusty
- clumping litter is not recommended for cats that have recently been declawed
- has a soft texture for sensitive paws
- excellent odor control
- makes strong clumps that are easy to remove
- clumping litter can stick to healing paws
- one of the most expensive litter products you can buy
sWheat Scoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter
This litter has a similar texture to traditional clumping clay, but the wheat particles are a bit softer and more delicate under paws. As we mentioned in our swheat scoop review, this litter’s performance isn’t the greatest—it creates soft, brittle clumps and its odor control isn’t stellar—but it’s gentle, natural, and fragrance-free for sensitive kitties.
Litter creates a fair amount of dust, so it might not be a good choice for cats with injured paws. Like other plant-based litters, wheat litter may cause allergic reactions in some sensitive cats.
Read our full cat litter review here.
Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Litter
okocat is a company known for wooden litter that breaks the mold of pellet form and provides litter made from wood but with a softer and more comfortable texture. This litter takes it even further by having a “super soft” texture that has been ground into particles the size of clay litter granules.
Litter is a clumping product with excellent odor and moisture absorption capabilities. it is extremely low dust but tends to track.
Garfield Tiny Grains Cat Litter
This litter is made from a mix of corn and cassava and has a soft, gritty texture that is gentle on paws. While litter is soft on paws, it’s tough on odor, providing excellent odor control on a par with the best clumping clay products. is a clumping litter that creates cohesive, easy-to-scoop clumps with the consistency of gummy bears.
One of the benefits of this litter is that it looks like shiny, creamy-white litter, making it easy to identify the presence of blood or other abnormalities in your cat’s urine.
Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter
This grass-based litter has a smooth, fine texture similar to clumping clay. it creates firm, cohesive clumps, which makes scooping easy, but could make it a questionable choice for cats recovering from surgery or with injured paws. In addition to excellent clumping, turf litter controls odors very well.
The litter is free of perfume and irritating additives, so it feels soft on your cat’s sensitive paws.
cheap alternative: frisco cat litter made entirely of natural grass
Our radically natural nutrition philosophy says that the more similar your cat’s food is to that of a mouse, the better it will be. garbage works the same way. we are trying to replicate the type of substrate your cat would naturally use to bury their waste, respecting their natural instincts as much as possible.
This philosophy will help you enormously when it comes to finding the best litter for a sensitive cat. While lumpy litter filled with fragrances and dyes may attract humans, it doesn’t meet the cat’s biological expectations. neither is coarse sand made of wood.
Think about where your cat would naturally bury her waste, and choose a product that closely matches the substrate she instinctively chooses.
If her paws are extremely sensitive, your cat may seek bedding or piles of dirty laundry instead of the litter box. in this case, you could satisfy your desire for softness with soft paper litter or even a stack of shredded newspaper.