Walnut Cat Litter - Cat Info Detective

Walnut Cat Litter

Skye Blake-updated, white background

I’m baaack… Skye Blake here, with news about yet another nutty idea… walnut cat litter!

You’ve probably seen tall black walnut trees and beautiful walnut wood furniture made from said trees.

paw prints coming in from a distance

You’ve eaten delicious walnuts… banana nut bread anyone?

But walnuts as cat litter?!!

Yes, really… made from leftover shells.

The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs. 

Who Is Skye Blake?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you! 

Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.

Sources are given at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping.

What Are Walnuts?

squirrel holding walnut - litter

Walnuts are “the edible seed of any tree of the genus Juglans (family Juglandaceae), particularly the Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia.

Although culinarily considered a “nut” and used as such, it is not a true botanical nut.”1Walnut – Wikipedia

Things to Know About Walnut Cat Litter

walnuts

Walnut cat litter has some good qualities, such as controlling odor and clumping well. Some brands do better than others with being low-dust and limiting tracking.

However, there are a few possible drawbacks you should know in case they affect your situation.

It’s a Natural Dye

walnut shell - litter

Walnut is a natural dye that people use when they prefer not to use chemical dyes.

It’s a consideration with cat litter because it can dye your cat’s paws brown, which you may not want.

It’s Edible

english walnut in fall - litter

Since walnut litter is food-based, some cats may want to eat it, either directly from the box or when licked off paws and fur.

You may think edible litter is safer for your cat, but that’s not necessarily the case.

It can cause digestive blockages and even dehydration from the absorptive action of the litter.

Siamese kittens with mama

Both blockages and dehydration are life-threatening conditions!

If your cat eats any food-based litter, emergency surgery is a very real possibility.

Your cat may only swallow a little and not be hurt, but it’s best to know your cat’s inclinations.

Tabby cat in grass upside down looking at a butterfly

Is she likely to eat this? If so, stay away from grain, nut or other food-based litters.

This is especially true with young kittens, who like to eat everything!

Concerns About Spoilage

walnut shells and meat - litter

Food-based litters can get moldy and ferment if not changed regularly, especially in hotter weather.

They can also attract bugs and rodents if not properly stored.

This can happen at any point in the manufacturing, storing, and transporting process, as well as in your home, so be sure to store any litter and food properly.

Nut Allergies

walnuts in half shell

Another thing to consider is if you have any nut allergies, you may react to walnut litter.

Even though it’s made only from walnut shells, not the actual nuts, there can be trace amounts of allergy-aggravating proteins in this litter.

Walnut Litter as Mulch

gardening- mulch; cat litter

You can use soiled walnut (or any biodegradable) cat litter as mulch on your flower beds, but not directly on vegetable, herb or other edible plant beds.

Cat waste can transmit diseases, but if you process the litter properly into compost, removing possible pathogens, it can be used safely.

If you’re not sure, put it just on flower beds.

Walnut Cat Litter Brands & Reviews

green walnuts on tree

Products on this page are for your information and convenience only… I make no money from them.

Currently the only brand available in the U.S.A. is Naturally Fresh™, which is available at pet stores and online suppliers like Chewy, Amazon, and Walmart.

Naturally Fresh™ Walnut Cat Litter

Kitten-special litter

The Naturally Fresh™ line of litter was originally owned by Blue Buffalo, which was bought out in 2018 by General Mills Corp.

Blue Buffalo’s lines of dog and cat food are now owned by General Mills, and their Naturally Fresh™ litter is owned by Ecoshell.

All varieties of Naturally Fresh™ are made from 100% natural walnut shells.

walnut shells and meat

The company says they have excellent odor control using a “malodor counteractant” and are highly absorbent.

Their dust-free formula has no added chemicals, toxins, clay, corn or grains, and reduces tracking.

These litters have an earthy odor from the walnuts that quickly fades… some people like it and others don’t.

Single Cat Unscented Quick Clumping (green bag)
tabby cat cleaning after using litter

This litter makes tight clumps in about 15 minutes and doesn’t stick to the box.

Super-absorbent formula for 1-2 cats absorbs 3 times better than clay.

It has excellent odor control, no toxins, silica dust, and is biodegradable.

kitten peeking out from cushion

The manufacturer recommends filling your box to 3″, remove clumps, then top up as needed.

Clean all litter boxes every 30 days. This litter should last at least 30 days between changes for one cat.

Reviewers differed about dustiness but generally agreed it doesn’t clump as well as the multi-cat version because it’s too soft and breaks apart while scooping.

tabby cat squatting in litter box

Some felt it was worth working with the soft clumps because the odor control was so good.

There was also disagreement about tracking… some said it didn’t track much and others said it tracked like clay.

Most agreed it’s more affordable and economical than other alternative litters.

Not good for long-haired cats.

Video Review

Here’s a video review of Naturally Fresh Quick Clumping litter.

One point this reviewer mentions is that her cats’ white paws turned brown using this litter.

That’s probably because walnut is a natural dye. You’ll have to decide if this is a problem for you and your cat.

“NATURALLY FRESH WALNUT LITTER REVIEW”, Sven and Robbie, March 7, 2022
Multi-Cat (red bag)
walnuts-shells for cat litter

This version has 3 times better absorption than clay litter, good odor control and little dust.

Some reviewers who had used the old formula didn’t like the new one as well… too much dust and tracks a lot.

There was disagreement about the amount of dust.

hunting tabby cat

Some said there wasn’t any, while others said it left a brown film on appliances and furniture in the room.

Many reviewers liked this litter better than other biodegradable litters. They felt it absorbs and clumps well, with good odor control.

Some said it’s cost effective… the litter doesn’t need changing as frequently as other litters.

Multi-Cat Ultra Odor Control (yellow bag)
stretching cat

This litter features triple-action odor defense enzymes and long-lasting absorbency for superior odor control.

Reviewers for the multi-cat odor control version said the granules are bigger than other litters. Almost all said they love this litter.

The clumping is very good… clumps start out soft and harden over time. They don’t stick to the box.

siamese kitten

Most said there’s very little dust… one person added baking soda to keep dust down and help with odors.

Others said it left brown dust everywhere.

Some people said odor control was excellent… others that it wasn’t as good as multi-cat unscented.

cats playing together

Most liked that there was no fragrance. Others said there was a light earthy smell to the litter.

Generally, reviewers felt the litter lasts a long time and is worth the price.

Some people liked it but their cats didn’t.

One reviewer said that this litter does NOT work with Litter Robot®.

Multi-Cat Alpine Meadow (blue bag)
walnut tree

This version produces tight clumps that don’t stick to the litter box. It has a natural, fresh scent, controls odors well, and is biodegradable.

This litter doesn’t stick to paws so it doesn’t track much and works well for multi-cat situations.

tuxedo cat pulling on leash

Overall the reviews were positive and most people loved this litter.

Clumps well, controls odor when scooped each day, and tracking wasn’t bad.

Reviewers disagreed about the amount of dust.

Herbal Attraction Scented Walnut Cat Litter (orange bag)
kittens in a box

The package says this litter is for “Kittens, Seniors & Fussy Cats”.

It has “a blend of natural herbs attracts cats of all life stages (kitten through senior) to the litter box.”2 “NATURALLY FRESH Herbal Attraction Scented Clumping Walnut Cat Litter”, Chewy.com

The herbs used are safe for cats but are part of a formula that the company doesn’t disclose.

2 tabby cats lounging on floor, one yawning

This is a soft, quick clumping litter, which makes it easy to scoop.

The company claims it’s low tracking, low dust and good at neutralizing odors.

It has no chemicals or toxins (including silica dust).

Reviews were mixed but most were on the positive side. Some people used this to mix in with other litters.

Pellet Unscented Non-Clumping (purple bag)
orange tabby, white cat lounging

This is the non-clumping version that acts as a filter. Pee goes to the bottom and then absorbs upward into the pellets, which eventually break down.

Someone asked at Chewy if the pellets turn to sand when wet, or if the pee goes through to the bottom.

Here’s what they say…

coffee filter

They recommend “that the solid waste gets scooped daily and that the pellets be replaced once they no longer control the urine odor.

It is also recommended that the box be emptied and sanitized every 30 days to maintain a fresh and healthy box.”3 NATURALLY FRESH Pellet Unscented Non-Clumping Walnut Cat Litter” – Chewy.com

cat watching other cat in litter box

Curious about other types of cat litter and boxes? Discover more at “Supplies for Cats“.

Having trouble with your cat peeing or pooping outside the litter box?

Find some answers to fix the problem and clean up the mess at “Behavior“.


Sources

Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.

Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.

Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.

However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.

When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

“5 Best Types of Natural Cat Litter”, by Amy Livingston

“The Benefits of Natural Litter”, by Jackson Galaxy

“Best Cat Litter for Kittens”, by Mallory Crusta

Ecoshell

“General Mills Completes Acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products”, April 24, 2018

“Walnut”, Wikipedia

Updated April 13, 2024

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