Best Cat Litter for Someone With Allergies

Abyssinian Cat

When most cat-owners experience allergy-like symptoms in their own home, they typically think of their cats themselves being the cause. However, the accessories that are used in a cat-owner’s household could also be contributing to these allergic reactions. Cat litter is often one of the biggest offenders, housing things like dust and bacteria. If you find yourself having itchy eyes or a runny nose after being around your cat’s litter box, there’s good news: you have multiple options in finding the best cat litter for someone with allergies.

What’s Causing My Allergies Around Litter Boxes?

There are a few reasons as to why cat litter may cause an allergic reaction. This could be due to underlying allergies to things trapped in the litter, or it could be due to hygienic reasons.

Dust Mites

If you’re someone with allergies that flare up around litter boxes, chances are it’s due to the amount of dust that’s released – usually when you pour out the litter, or when your cat kicks it up. Dust allergies are one of the most common allergies in the US, with over 20 million people having a dust mite allergy


Like most other allergies, dust allergies are due to your immune system accidentally seeing certain dust mite proteins as harmful invaders (when they’re actually not). In these cases, your body mounts an immune response, creating Immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE). These antibodies cause certain cells to release histamines, which leads to an allergic reaction. 

Cats

Reactions to cat litter could also be due to your cat’s grooming and shedding around the litter box. Cat litter is the perfect place for cats to accumulate their hair and dander. If you’re allergic to cats, it’s no wonder your allergies may flare around cat litter.


This being said, it’s important to note that cat hair itself isn’t the cause of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually due to proteins in their saliva – called Fel D1 – that they spread on their hair when they groom themselves. When cats shed, these allergy-causing proteins (called “allergens”) accumulate. This could cause discomfort for people with allergies, especially in areas of high concentrations such as cat litter. 

Bacteria

If cat litter is scarcely taken care of, it could be accumulating bacteria over time. In some cases, this poor hygiene and maintenance could become a problem. Studies have shown that some bacterial factors can trigger allergic inflammation. In other words, some people can be allergic to certain bacteria that grow in litter over time. 

What is the Best Cat Litter for Someone With Allergies?

Allergies to cat litter are often due to dust accumulation, amongst other factors. To be considered a good cat litter for someone with allergies, the cat litter should be at least 99% dust-free. Considering cats tend to kick their litter up after doing their business, it’s especially important that the litter itself contains minimal dust to begin with. 


This all being said, to minimize allergic reactions, you should consider avoiding litters that contain sodium bentonite – the main material that produces dust in litters. The best cat litter to use for cat-owners with allergies should also include agents for bacterial protection, as well as non-stick properties that ensures it stays in the litter box after use. Given all of this, we’ve compiled a couple candidates for the best cat litter for someone with allergies.

Dr. Elsey’s Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Not only is this cat litter 99.9% dust-free, but it also utilizes a hard-clumping formula so your cat doesn’t make a mess while kicking up the litter. The clay grains in this litter are large enough to not stick on your cats feet, so as to not track through the house.

Fresh Scent Clumping Clay Cat Litter

Fresh Scent offers multiple sizes and formulas to best meet your needs. The Light Weight Unscented Formula, in particular, contains activated charcoal, which acts to protect the litter from bacteria growth. This formula also minimizes dust given off when replacing/refilling the litter.

Arm & Hammer Slide Cat Litter

This cat litter has a 100% dust-free formula, allowing for quick and easy clean-ups and pours with no dust clouds. This litter also has micro-granules that are activated by moisture, forming a tight seal around any waste. Not only will this trap odors, but it will also limit the amount of airborne dust spread.

How Can I Deal With Allergies Around Cat Litter?

Even if you choose to use a more allergy-friendly cat litter, there are several measures you can take to alleviate potential allergy symptoms even more. If you find that allergies stem from a combination of the cat litter and your cats themselves, perhaps you can opt to start using air purifiers or antihistamines. Air purifiers, in particular, can help clean the air of any airborne particles that may be causing allergies, including both dust and cat proteins. Meanwhile, antihistamines are especially effective at treating the itchiness that tends to come from histamine release during an allergic reaction. For more information about easy ways to alleviate your cat allergies, you can check out our other article on alleviating cat allergies. You can also start using Pacagen’s Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray, which is a reliable, safe, and easy way to neutralize the particles responsible for cat allergies.