best litter for declawed cats

What Is The Best Litter For Declawed Cats in 2019?


​​The best kitty litter for declawed cats ​is ​litter in which they can still dig and have some traction, ​despite the fact they no longer have claws. ​

My Cat Is Already Declawed

If your cat ​has been already declawed and there are no wounds to heal it is quite safe to use any litter. However, as declawed cats ​notoriously have problems digging in litter, a softer clumping litter is always recommended.  The Okocat Soft Clumping Wood Litter reviewed below ​is a good choice.​​

​The Best Litter ​For Declawed Cats After Surgery

​​If your cat has just had surgery, the recommendation by veterinarians is to use ​​​paper pellet litter for at least a week after returning home to lessen the chance of getting an infection.​ ​Avoid litter that is dusty as it can stick to the paws and may result in infection.

​As litter box avoidance​ can ​occur if the cat associates the litter box with pain ​​therefore it is worth considering ​any expense in purchasing pelleted litter as part of the cost allocated for having surgery. While the paws ​are still in the healing process it is important to change the litter daily to prevent contamination.

Best Litter Reviews - for Declawed Cats


​Fresh News Cat Litter

  • Fresh News is a paper litter made from 100% recycled, biodegradable paper.
  • It is low tracking because the pellets retain their form which means they are less likely to stick to the cat’s fur or paws. This is great for less tracking but also essential for cats that have been declawed or had any other type of surgery.
  • The wound site needs to be kept clean to prevent infection. Paper pelleted litter has no fine particles​. Fine particles found in other litters ​may work their way into a wound ​which may possibly result in infection. The pellets do not form hard clumps like a clumping litter which could be painful on the paws of a newly declawed cat. Removing the soiled pellets daily will also help with preventing infection. The paper turns a darker color when wet so you can see when to change.
  • In addition to being good for declawed cats or cats that have had surgery it is also good for cats and owners who may have respiratory problems as there is no dust.  It is 99%dust free and 100% non allergenic.
  • Baking soda is used to help reduce odor, otherwise it is fragrance free.​
  • ​Different size bags are available - 4lb, 12lb and 25 lb bag.
Fresh News Cat Litter for declawed cats

Recommended by veterinarians

5 of 5 Stars
Yesterdays News Paper Litter

​This litter is also recommended by veterinarians

​Yesterday's News Softer Texture Cat Litter

This is an unscented litter made from soft, recycled paper pellets that are perfect for sensitive paws.

  • Update:​ Yesterday’s News now have a litter which has softer pellets, perfect for newly declawed cats or cats with sore paws for any reason. The pellets are softer than the original ​pellets and there is a light scent.
  • This is often the recommended litter by veterinarians post surgery because there is no clay in this litter or fine particlethat may enter the wound and cause infection.
  • This is what people are saying about this litter being suitable for declawed cats.
  • Yesterday's News paper pellet litter will assist with keeping the area free of contamination while the paws are healing. Having to deal with a contaminated wound is something we all want to avoid, so all steps should be taken to ensure basic safe health practices even if it means temporarily changing the normal litter used.
  • One question about this litter refers to the ink used in the paper and whether it is safe.
    The product website says that most publishers print these days using safe inks, which are often soy based.  Any inks are neutralized in the processing of this product.
  • There are also no chemicals in this litter, so environmentally it’s a responsible choice for your cat and for the environment.

You might think that paper is not going to soak up urine but it does and there is minimal tracking.

And... this litter is dust free.  Many people like it for that reason alone, even if they do not have cats that have been declawed. No dust is a big plus if you are looking for a non allergenic litter.

​4.5 of 5 Stars
Dust Free Paper Litter

​Free of additives, dyes and synthetic scents

​Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free Litter

  • This a pelleted paper litter made from reclaimed fallen timber.
  • The pellets are lightweight and soft.  
  • This is a dust free litter so a good litter to use post operatively for cats that have been declawed.
  • There are no chemicals or artificial fragrances. The absorbent natural plant fibers trap waste odors however if you are used to a fragranced product you may notice some odor. Whilst recovering from surgery it is important to be more diligent than usual to ensure the litter box is sparking clean to prevent infection.
  • The box has a handy pouring spout and is easy to carry with a handle at the top of the box.
4 of 5 Stars

​​Okocat ​Super Soft Clumping Wood Litter

  • ​This litter is made from reclaimed wood​ that is 100% renewable organic fiber and chemically untreated​.
  • ​​A lightweight litter ​with less dust that is often associated with lightweight litter.   
  • ​It can track so definitely use a litter mat and also read here for tips on the best way to cope with taming the spread of litter.
    T​his is not recommended post operatively but a definite recommendation for your declawed cat as this cat owner discovers.
  • Great product for kitty's with tender paws. My foster kitty went right in the box and used the new litter with no problems! He had been surrendered because of not using the litter box and had been declawed.
4 of 5 Stars
Clumping Paper Cat Litter

A clumping paper litter - Great for declawed cats and cats that have not been declawed.

​Harz Clumping Paper Litter

  • This is a paper pelleted product that does clump.  The paper used is 100% recycled paper. The product consists of 80% of recycled paper. The exact ingredients are pulp, super absorbent polymer and starch. The clumps turn blue when soiled which is useful when scooping. 
  • It is dust free and light and easy on paws so another excellent recommendation for cats that have been declawed. It is suitable for declawed cats and cats that have not been declawed.
  • It does not stick to the litter box which is a bonus. It is an unscented litter. Being unscented tends to give differing opinions, some like that it is unscented and others do not.  One suggestions is to add some litter deodorizer to the litter which solved the odor issue. Everyone has a different tolerance to odor so sprinkle onto the litter as needed.

There may be some spread of paper pellets however this seems a minor irritation compared to the grittiness of ordinary litter that can be unpleasant underfoot.

4 of 5 Stars
Newspaper litter for declawed cats

How Long To Keep Using Paper Pelleted Litter After Declawing?

Following surgery, the paws will be sore and you'll need to provide a cat litter that is dust free. This will help prevent infection.
Your cat will take around 14 days to recover from the surgery. After this time you may want to use a different litter or return to a litter that you have used prior to surgery.

Once the paws have healed, if kitty is a little unsure about which litter to use, have both types available and he will make the choice.  

Ideally start using the recycled newspaper litter before surgery so that the cat has some time to get used to using a different litter.

What ​Can You Do If Your Declawed Cat Is Rejecting The Litter Box?

You may already be aware that cats will often reject the litter box after being declawed, so some stealth work may be necessary to coax your kitty back to the box.


​If your declawed cat is sharing a litter box with other cats, try giving the cat its own litter box.


​If practical, try changing ​the location of the box where there are no obstructions. By obstructions, it may be the cat has to pass by somewhere he doesn’t really want to. It may be the dog's bowl or something that is scary to the cat.  Put yourself in your cat's shoes (please no meowing) and check out the navigation to the box.
Does it seem okay?


​Use a soft litter. Your cat doesn’t have claws to dig in the litter, so it stands to reason that the litter needs to be nice and soft. ​Try to avoid the cat associating the litter box with pain, so ideally provide a soft litter that still has enough substance for your cat to get some traction when digging. 


​​Consider using an attractant if ​rejection of the box continues and you have tried other methods.The attractant has a scent that attracts cats and can be used with any sort of litter.


​One way to help determine if it is the actual liter that is causing a problem is to use an absorbent pee pad by itself in the litter box. If this is successful it may indicate that the litter you were using was ​ the problem.

All of the points mentioned above are easy to implement, however there is no substitute for paying a visit to the vet to​ identify if there is a medical issue contributing to litter box avoidance. 

​Why Are Cats Declawed?

​Cats are most commonly declawed to prevent damage to household property. It is a highly contentious issue and is not common practice or even legal, unless necessary for the health of the cat, in some parts of the world.

This is a good article around this emotive issue which points out why cats should not be declawed and this article from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals outlines their position statement on declawing cats.

Many declawed cats end up in shelters because declawed cats frequently develop problems using a litter box. This is a sad situation however I applaud anyone who decides to adopt one of these abandoned cats.
Whatever we might personally think of the procedure, it is most important that we treat all of our kitties with the care and love they need.

Why Cats Need Their Claws

Cats need claws to walk, run and to balance. They love to jump up to high places and they use their claws for traction, support and stability​. That’s what ​claws are designed to do.

Cats use their claws when running up and down trees and to escape when needed.  

litter for cats that have been declawed

Cats need their claws

​Health Issues With Declawing Cats

Declawing cats can cause health problems, for example the wound can​ becme infected which then needs further veterinarian care.

Declawed cats often have litter box avoidance issues which leads to peeing and pooping anywhere and that can lead to abandonment ​and is the reason ​many declawed cats end up in cat shelters.

Declawing may sound to some as though it is removing the claws from a cat, however it is far more than that.  It is amputation of the claw and surrounding bone.

To put this in human perspective, it would be like cutting our fingers off at the knuckle.  This can cause problems with balance, walking and running and leaves the cat unable to defend itself. Cats use their claws to help cover eliminations. ​

An ​Alternative to Declawing Cats

​An alternative to consider instead of declawing is to use cat nail caps. The caps fit over the whole nail with some adhesive, which is included.  

The ​nails are covered totally however the claw can still extend and retract. They are made from a vinyl resin material and are shed as the cat's nails grow - approximately four to eight weeks. 

There are lots of fun colors and they are totally safe to use plus kitty looks totally cute. It is also not a permanent option so ​can try them to see how they work for you and y0ur cat.

Alternative to Declawing - Cat Nail Caps

​They do look pretty! Our kitty would prefer blue!

​Click the image for more information.

​Cats Clawing at Furniture

​Claws can cause havoc and ruin furniture, which is a significant reason for ​people wanting to declaw a cat.  A cat can be trained to use a scratching post and even ignore furniture if you are prepared to put some effort into this.

When we bought some leather sofas we were not prepared for the clawing ​tsunami that ​shortly followed. ​It was as though the cat was waiting for ​a leather sofa to come through the front door.

Cat behaving innocently

Hmm! Debatable!

​The Cat And The Leather Couch

​Yes, the cat did scratch the leather couch.  We did solve the problem, we just took the long way round.

A scratching post is another excellent way for a cat to use its claws to scratch.  

Give your cat a scratching post when he is a kitten and he will ​become accustomed to using it for scratching. There are some amazing cat scratching posts ranging from a super simple post to some quite intricate pieces of furniture.

​Cat's claws do need trimming from time to time. Follow this information which explains exactly how to trim the claws of a cat.  If ​you do not feel comfortable with this, take your cat to the vet for a claw trim.

Our Recommendation is...

​Fresh News Cat Litter


​We highly recommend ​Fresh News Cat Litter for declawed cats post surgery or when paws are in the healing stages. It will lessen the chance of an infection developing as there are no fine particles with this litter.

​​​​​Many people use this as an everyday litter and 92% of reviewers would recommend ​this litter to others. ​​Here are some of the comments made by people who have ​purchased this litter ​ for their cat.​​​​

Fresh News Cat Litter for declawed cats

Recommended by veterinarians

Overall rating :  5 / 5

​​Before surgery, not just declawing but any surgery, mix some of the new paper litter with the old until it is gradually replaced.  ​This will give kitty a chance to adjust if you have the time available before surgery is scheduled.

News - July 2019
New York has become the first US state to ban declawing unless it is necessary for medical purposes.  Read more about it here.

About the Author Rebecca Parker

Hello! I am Rebecca Parker, the content editor of this site. This is my kitty cat in his heyday. He now has diabetes which means twice daily injections and much to his dismay, no more snacking in between meals. This gorgeous and very loved kitty is sadly now deceased, old age caught up with him.