Best Litter for Cats with Asthma

Simply defined, asthma (also known as feline allergic bronchitis, or FAB) is a respiratory disorder of the lower airways of the lungs caused by an allergic reaction, various types of hypersensitivity, and even stress. However, it is more sophisticated than it appears.

To comprehend asthma more specifically, you must first understand the following terms:

Antigen: A foreign substance or toxin recognized by the immune system as a threat.

Allergens are antigens that the immune system fights because they are considered as a threat.

Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to neutralize foreign invaders (antigens).

The body of your cat has created particular antibodies to target allergens that they inhale. When the allergen(s) is/are repeatedly exposed, a chain of events begins when the antibodies recognize the allergen(s).

  • Several types of immune cells are sent to the airway.
  • Immune cells stimulate the synthesis of inflammatory chemicals.
  • The inflammation irritates, swells, and constricts the airways.
  • The airways narrow and mucus accumulates.
  • Air passage via the airways is then restricted, making breathing difficult.
  • As a result, an asthma attack

Asthma affects 1-5% of cats, with the typical age of diagnosis being between 4 and 5 years. Gender and breed appear to have no effect on vulnerability.


What Causes Asthma in Cats?

Certain stimuli can provoke an asthma attack in your cat. Recognizing and avoiding your cat’s specific trigger(s) will help reduce the number of episodes they may have.

  • Dust and dust mites are examples of potential environmental causes.
  • Pollen
  • Weeds and grass
  • Plants with flowers
  • Mildew and mold
  • Potential triggers in the home include:
  • Cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke, and candle smoke
  • Cleaning supplies (particularly aerosols and scented cleansers)
  • Powders for carpets
  • Any type of aerosol spray Air fresheners
  • Perfumes
  • Fabric softeners (used on bedding and anywhere your cat can relax)
  • Dust from cat litter (see our list of healthier litter options below).
  • Flea sprays and powders
  • Pet shampoos with scents
  • Colognes for pets
  • Paint Flowers

Some foods can also cause allergies or asthma attacks in cats. Fish, meat, soy, and corn are some of the most prevalent food triggers.


Choosing the Best Cat Litter for Asthmatic Cats

Choosing the best cat litter for an asthmatic cat is critical to ensuring their comfort and well-being. Asthmatic cats are sensitive to airborne particles and scents, so choosing an appropriate litter can help reduce their symptoms. Here’s a comparison of three typical varieties of cat litter – clay, natural, and silica – and their benefits and drawbacks for asthmatic cats:

Cat Litter Made of Clay:


  • It is widely available and reasonably priced.
  • Clumps well, making waste removal simple.
  • Provides effective odor control.


  • Can produce dust, which can aggravate asthma symptoms and degrade air quality.
  • Dust particles might cling to the cat’s fur and irritate it.
  • Clay litter is non-biodegradable and can affect the ecosystem.

Natural cat litter (made from corn, wheat, pine, or paper, for example):


  • Less dusty than clay litters, lowering the risk of asthma problems.
  • Biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.
  • Some varieties are good for clumping and odor management.


  • Performance varies over different natural litter kinds.
  • Some cats may dislike the texture or fragrance of natural litters.
  • It is sometimes more expensive than clay litter.

Crystal Litter (Silica Gel Cat Litter):


  • Very low dust, which is excellent for asthmatic cats.
  • Outstanding moisture absorption and odor control.
  • Lightweight and durable.


  • Some cats may dislike the texture of crystal litter.
  • It is possible that it will be more expensive than ordinary clay litters.
  • It is not biodegradable and is created from nonrenewable resources.

Given these considerations, it is generally recommended that a cat with asthma pick a cat litter with little dust and strong odor control. Natural and silica dust/gel litters both emit less dust than regular clay litters. However, each cat is unique, and their tastes influence which litter is the greatest fit.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind while choosing the finest cat litter for an asthmatic cat:

Examine: Start by experimenting with little amounts of different litter kinds to observe how your cat reacts. Examine their behavior and look for symptoms of increased respiratory distress.

Low Dust: Look for litters that are labeled “low dust” or “dust-free.” Asthma symptoms are less likely to be triggered by these.

Odor: To maintain a fresh environment, look for litters with high odor control capabilities.

Texture: Consider your cat’s texture preferences; certain cats may dislike the feel of specific litters.

Consult Your Vet: If you’re unsure whether litter is best for your cat’s unique condition, get advice from your veterinarian.

In order to reduce asthma symptoms, remember that while cat litter selection is important, you should also focus on other areas of your cat’s surroundings and care, such as providing clean air, maintaining a clean litter box, and managing stress.


Top 3 Clay-based Litters for Asthmatic Cats

Precious Cat Respiratory Relief by Elsey Clumping Clay Cat Litter, Unscented

Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Litter is the best litter for asthmatic cats. This is a typical clumping clay-based litter designed specifically for cats with respiratory sensitivity, as the name implies.

It produces significantly less dust than other common clay litter. In fact, the maker claims that it is 99.9% dust-free. This means that when your cat digs to bury its waste, hardly any dust particles are released into the air. You can see why I think this is a fantastic litter already!

Furthermore, the litter is hypoallergenic due to the absence of plant proteins, harsh chemicals, or additional smells. All of these things can aggravate your cat’s airways and potentially lead to asthma.

Boxiecat Premium Clumping Litter

The Boxiecat is also a typical clay-based clumping litter. It, like Dr. Elsey’s R&R, creates far less dust than standard clay litter. It is also hypoallergenic, odorless, and all-natural, making it an excellent choice for asthmatic cats.

Because of all of these advantages, this litter was named the Cat Fancy 2012 Editor’s Choice Award winner for best product of the year! It is also one of the few cat litter that veterinarians recommend. Vets would never offer things that cause or aggravate respiratory issues because your cat’s health is extremely important to them. So, if you don’t believe me, believe the professionals!

In particular, appreciate the rock-solid clumps that form when this litter is moist and rapidly lock away foul odors. Furthermore, the clumps build on the top of the litter, making it much easier to find and scoop out clumps. This also keeps sludge from accumulating at the bottom of the litter pan, which requires severe scraping to remove.

Simply Unscented Clumping Clay Cat Litter by Fresh Step

This clumping litter from Fresh Step is the last of my clay-based litters for cats with asthma. It is a cost-effective choice that is great for those on a tight budget or those who have several cats and cannot afford to splurge on kitty litter. It also performs well in terms of respiratory relief.

For one thing, although being clay-based, this cat litter is low in dust (99.9% dust-free). Apart from keeping surfaces and the air in your home clean, this significantly minimizes the danger of it exacerbating asthma or creating other respiratory diseases. Because of the activated charcoal in its recipe, it is also fragrance-free and offers good odor control.

This litter, like the last one, makes very hard clumps that are easy to scoop, making cleaning a breeze. According to the manufacturer, the combination of fast clumping and activated charcoal suppresses unpleasant odors for up to 10 days.


Top 3 Silica Gel Litters for Asthmatic Cats

ScoopFree Sensitive Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

Now onto the silica litters, starting with the PetSafe Scoop Free litter. The Scoop Free Sensitive, like most good silica litters, is a crystal litter, which means it includes larger granules. This is advantageous because it reduces dust in the litter and prevents particles from becoming airborne.

It is also odorless, which means it contains no artificial smells that could aggravate your cat’s asthma. It also lacks color, which is commonly seen in silica litter, and is usually generated from chemicals. Because these compounds can be irritating, their absence is appreciated.

This is a non-clumping cat litter, so keep that in mind when purchasing. You may want to consider switching to a sifting tray to make cleaning easier. If you need one, the brand has its own rake tray (also known as the “Poop Harvesting Machine”), which includes a humorous commercial that I felt compelled to share with you!

Another advantage of this cat litter is its superior odor control. The crystals absorb all urine and aid in the drying of feces. Together, this results in 5x greater odor control than clay clumping litters.

Elsey’s Precious Cat Respiratory Relief Silica Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief series has produced yet another litter. The other one on this list was made of clay, whereas this one is constructed of silica gel crystals.

It is entirely up to you, however, because it is formed of silica, this variety contains less dust than clay. However, because silica can cause lung fibrosis over time, the clay variant may be preferable. The clay litter is likewise a clumping litter, however, this one is not. Your preference for this may assist you in determining which is ideal for you.

Except for the change in substance, the two litters are nearly identical. It contains no airborne dust, artificial perfumes, or plant proteins, and was clearly designed with asthmatic cats in mind. Unlike many silica litters, this one is created from silica sand rather than crystalline silica. This is less harsh on the lungs and is expected to produce less long-term damage.

This one, like Dr. Elsey’s R&R clay-based litter, contains herbal essences in its recipe to help with stress relief. I adore this concept, as few litters tackle both allergens and stress-related asthma causes.

Snappy Tom Natural Unscented Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter

The Snappy Top Crystal Cat Litter is the final product in this category. This is yet another dust-free silica gel crystal litter. While it is ideal for cats with asthma and other respiratory issues, it is also an excellent choice for cats with allergies. Furthermore, this feature indicates that it is a low-tracking litter, which aids in the reduction of mess.

It is also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. These are two more essential aspects for asthmatic cats. I particularly like that it contains an intelligent bacteria-resistant mix that aids in the control of undesirable germs.

Snappy Tom crystal litter bills itself as “environmentally friendly,” owing to the absence of sodium bentonite. Because sodium bentonite is exclusively found in clumping clay litter, this is true for all silica and natural litters. I was expecting that “environmentally friendly” meant “biodegradable,” but I couldn’t find any information on the subject anyplace on the internet.

This, like all silica litters, is a non-clumping kind. Some owners love this, while others dislike scooping solid excrement clumps. It all comes down to personal preference, so think about cleaning before making a purchase.


Top 3 Natural Litters for Asthmatic Cats

Purina Unscented Non-clumping Paper Cat Litter from Yesterday

Purina Yesterday’s News cat litter is a fantastic alternative if you’re seeking for a natural cat litter. This is a cat litter composed completely of recycled paper pellets. Paper is hypoallergenic, nearly dust-free, and entirely natural. As a result, it is an excellent choice for asthmatic cats.

Paper is also a highly absorbent material, making it an excellent choice for cat litter. This litter is three times more absorbent than clay litters and quickly absorbs pee and traps odors.

It is also eco-friendly, sustainable, and biodegradable as a natural litter. According to the package, it is also the #1 eco-friendly cat litter that veterinarians suggest. I prefer knowing that my cat’s excrement isn’t filling landfills, so I hunt for environmentally friendly choices like this all the time.

Non-clumping, naturally fresh pelleted walnut cat litter

The Naturally Fresh Walnut Cat Litter comes next. Biodegradable walnut shells are used to make this kitty litter. This may appear to be an unusual material for cat litter, yet it is quite effective.

To begin with, walnut shells are extremely absorbent and excellent at collecting any moisture from your cat’s litter tray. This aids in odor management and claims to be 7x more effective than other top cat litters. However, it is a non-clumping composition, so keep that in mind before purchasing. It also comes as hard pellets, which some cats may find difficult to utilize at first.

Walnut shells are also a natural product that is good for the environment. Because the litter is sustainable and biodegradable, you can use it with confidence that you are not harming the environment.

Most importantly, walnut shells emit almost no dust. This makes the litter suitable for cats suffering from asthma or other respiratory disorders. You can also breathe more easily at home. This cat litter is also odorless, which is a plus when looking for asthma-relieving litters.

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

Finally, there is the kocat cat litter. Like the Purina Yesterday’s News, this is a non-clumping pellet paper cat litter. As a result, this litter offers many of the same advantages: it is highly absorbent, easy on your cat’s paws, and effectively retains unpleasant odors.

This kitty litter is composed completely of recycled paper fiber and is thus environmentally friendly. It is also biodegradable once used and does not hurt our environment.

Because to the usage of paper, this litter is almost dust-free. This is essential for cat asthma, as well as for reducing tracking and keeping your home clean. Furthermore, there are no artificial scents, synthetic chemicals, harmful dyes, or GMOs. This litter is completely safe!