best litter for declawed cats

What Is The Best Litter For Declawed Cats in 2020?


​​It ​can be difficult for declawed cats to use kitty litter as they no longer have claws to dig in the litter. It means then that the litter needs to be soft but not ​too soft. The best ​litter for declawed cats ​is​ litter in which they can ​still dig and ​get some traction, ​despite the fact they no longer have claws. ​​

​The litters reviewed below have been chosen because they are all suitable for cats that have been declawed.

​​The Best Litter For Declawed Cats:

  1. Fresh News Cat Litter - Recommended by Veterinarians

  2. Yesterday's News Softer Texture Cat Litter - Trusted And Reliable​ Product

  3. Okocat Natural Paper Dust Free LitterOdor Control/Dust Free

  4. Okocat Super Soft Clumping Wood Litter - Good For Declawed Cats after Surgery and Any Time

  5. Harz Clumping Paper Litter - Unscented

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Reviews - Best Litter For Declawed Cats

​#1. 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.

​2. Yesterday's News Softer Texture Cat Litter

recycled paper pellet 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.

Yesterdays News Paper Litter
​4.5 of 5 Stars

​3. 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.
Dust Free Litter for declawed cats

​​​​​4. 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.

​5. 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.

Clumping Paper Cat Litter

Our Recommendation is...

#1. Fresh News Cat Litter

​We highly recommend ​Fresh News Cat Litter for declawed cats as an everyday litter and for any 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 dusty 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.​​​​

​​The Best Litter For Declawed Cats

  •  ​​Recommended by veterinarians to reduce risk of infection
  • Also recommended by veterinarians.  Trusted and reliable product.
  •  ​​Dust Free litter is recommend after any surgical procedure.
  •  ​​Great for declawed cats, not necessarily post operatively
  •  ​This paper liter is unscented.

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 is a good choice.​​

​FAQ - Litter For Declawed Cats

 Do declawed cats need special litter?

​Declawed cats need a litter that will make it easy for them to dig.  As they don't have claws it can be difficult for them to get traction in the litter.  It can also be painful.  For this reason softer litters are recommended. Paper litter is often recommended however the softer litters in the okocat range are also a good choice.

What kind of litter do you use after declawing?

Immediately after the declawing operation paper litter is recommended to avoid infection.  Clay litters or dusty litters are not recommended after declawing as the risk of infection is greatly increased.

When can declawed cats use regular litter?

Once the wounds are healed regular litter can be used. Monitor the way the cat adjusts. To make the adjustment to the regular litter easier some of the new or regular litter can be gradually added to the paper litter before changing completely.  This will give the cat a chance to adapt to the regular litter.

Can declawed cats use the litter box?

​One reason the declawed cats may reject a litter box is because of pain. There are some suggestions ​below​​​ if your cat is rejecting the litter box. Choosing an appropriate litter will help to solve this problem.

​​Tips ​To Coax Declawed Cats ​To 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 a litter 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. 

​Related Reading...

​Declawing A Cat - The Facts

​Declawing a cat is not just remov​al of claws, it an amputation.

​Paper Litter After Declawing

​ Read why paper litter is the preferred litter after declawing.

​The Cat And The Leather Couch

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

Cat's claws do need trimming from time to time.
Follow these instructions from The Humane Society 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.

choosing the best litter for declawed cats

About the Author Rebecca Parker

Hello! I am Rebecca Parker, the content editor of this site. My kitty cat contracted diabetes at age 14. This means twice daily injections and to his dismay, no snacking in between meals. This gorgeous and very loved kitty is sadly now deceased, old age caught up with him.

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