9 Clumping Paper Cat Litter Questions Answered

When we think of clumping cat litter, it’s typically a clumping clay litter that first comes to mind. Fortunately, for those of us who want to avoid clay litter, there are natural alternatives. 

Clumping paper cat litter offers many of the same benefits of clumping clay litter, while being better for the environment and better for the health of our pets.

Is paper cat litter clumping?

Most paper cat litter is non-clumping. This includes all paper pellets and a majority of granular paper litters. There are, however, a couple paper cat litters formulated to clump. 

Is there clumping paper cat litter?

Yes. Yesterday’s News and Hartz both make clumping paper cat litter. Both varieties are granular to help form solid, scoopable clumps when wet. Yesterday’s News Clumping Paper Cat Litter uses guar gum to help clump — a natural thickening agent. Hartz Clumping Paper Litter uses starch and a “super-absorbent polymer”.

Do paper pellets clump?

Paper pellet cat litter does not clump. Instead, the pellets absorb moisture and swell to trap urine.

To clean a paper pellet litter box, soiled pellets are scooped, bagged and thrown in the trash. Soiled pellets are easy to identify and scoop, making clean up a pretty painless process, despite not clumping. 

Does recycled paper litter clump?

Most paper cat litters are made primarily of recycled paper. Most paper cat litters, however, do not clump.

Hartz Clumping Paper Litter is made of 80% recycled paper. Yesterday’s News Clumping Paper Cat Litter’s main ingredient is recycled paper, but the exact percentage is not advertised. 

Tabby calico cat walking in field of white flowers

Does newspaper cat litter clump?

Most cat litters made of recycled newspaper do not clump. Yesterday’s News and Hartz both make clumping paper litters, made predominantly of recycled paper.

DIY newspaper litter will not clump without the addition of a clumping agent, which is not recommended due to potential health risks. 

What’s the best clumping paper cat litter?

Yesterday’s News Clumping Paper Cat Litter is the best clumping paper litter. It uses mineral oil and guar gum as its clumping agents, both natural, cat-safe ingredients, with no other additives. The clumps are surprisingly solid and easy to scoop. 

Yesterday’s News litters may have been discontinued. If you are unable to find Yesterday’s News Clumping Paper Cat Litter, Hartz Clumping Paper Litter is still a solid choice.

How do you clean a clumping paper litter box?

Cleaning clumping paper cat litter is pretty similar to cleaning any other clumping litter. Clumps and poop are scooped at least once daily. Litter is refilled to maintain three to four inches of litter at all times. Litter is fully changed every few weeks.

When you replace your litter, the litter box should be thoroughly washed with water and a mild detergent. 

To dispose of clumping paper cat litter, simply bag and throw in the trash. The use of plant-based biodegradable bags will make the process more eco-friendly.

Unlike additive-free, non-clumping paper litters, clumping paper litter cannot be composted. The clumping agents found in these litters are not compostable. 

Cute gray kitten sitting in litter box

Is clumping paper litter better than paper pellets?

Though clumping paper litter offers a more similar experience to clay litter than pellets do, it doesn’t necessarily make them a better choice. 

Paper pellets have the added benefits of making less mess, being more readily available, and having fewer additives (often none). 

Ultimately, it comes down to preference. 

Is clumping paper litter better than clumping clay litter?

Clumping paper litter is better for the environment and better for the health of our pets than clumping clay litter, making it a much better choice.

Clay litter isn’t biodegradable, contributing to the clogging of our landfills, and is harvested through the incredibly damaging process of strip mining, irreversibly scarring landscapes and polluting waterways. 

Paper litter, on the other hand, is made from a biodegradable, recycled, and renewable resource. No new trees are cut down for production.

Clumping clay litter often contains crystalline silica, a known carcinogen, among other questionable additives with uncertain long-term effects.

Clumping paper litters contain only paper and natural, pet-safe clumping agents.


A common complaint of those who switch from clumping litter to plant-based litter is that non-clumping litter is a bit harder to clean.

Fortunately, clumping plant-based litters exist, and actually work pretty well.

Clumping paper cat litters offer a healthier, environmentally friendly alternative to clumping clay cat litter, while maintaining many of the same benefits. 


About Matthew Alexander

Matthew lives in Maryland with his two cats, Puff and Pancho. He’s been caring for and fostering cats with various special needs for more than fifteen years. He hopes to pass some of the insight and knowledge that he’s gained on to the readers of Pawmore.