EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this post, Aldi has released cat litter under a new brand, Heart to Tail. Read our review of the new cat litter at this link.
Aldi has a small selection of pet products that consists mostly of cat and dog food, but it also includes cat litter. Our family has one cat, and I am a brand snob and have always purchased Tidy Cats just like my mother always purchased it. However, I decided to be adventurous and try Aldi’s Fine Feline Scoopable Cat Litter.
My local Aldi sells this litter for around $4 for a 14-pound plastic jug, or about 28 cents a pound. For comparison, at a local regular grocery store, I pay about $7 for a 14-pound jug of Tidy Cats scoopable litter or about 50 cents a pound, or I pay about $8 for a 20-pound jug of Tidy Cats scoopable litter or about 40 cents a pound. The price increases if you buy the newer lightweight Tidy Cat litter. To no one’s surprise, the Aldi litter has a clear advantage in price.
Aldi’s cat litter is advertised as being all natural with baking soda, with fragrance added, and “neutralizes odor immediately.” It claims to have a fresh scent, use a multi-cat formula, and to be 99% dust free (more on the dust free part later). The ingredients are bentonite (for natural, safe clumping), baking soda, and fragrance.
Use this litter just as you would any other scoopable cat litter. Pour it into your cat’s box to a depth of at least 3 inches (my Tidy Cats litter recommends 4 inches). The litter will quickly form a clump around liquid waste so it is easy to remove daily using a slotted scoop, and you then throw the waste in a trash receptacle.
Fine Feline advises that when you are filling an empty litter box with all fresh litter, it may require all of one container of litter or possibly two containers. My cat’s box is average-sized and not as large as some boxes I’ve seen, and I used most of one container of litter to fill it, with a little left over in the container.
Once you have a box full of litter and you are regularly scooping out the waste, you will need to add litter occasionally to maintain the depth of 3-4 inches. Fine Feline says one jug of litter should last up to 2 months if you have one cat. You will use up litter faster if you have multiple cats, or if you completely change out your litter box more frequently.
Right out of the jug, I noticed this litter didn’t have a scent or perfume-type smell like my Tidy Cats litter. Some cat owners may like that it’s scent free. However, after a few month’s use, I’ve also noticed this litter doesn’t do as good of a job at neutralizing odor compared to Tidy Cats. The litter box doesn’t usually smell intolerably bad with this litter, but even if there are only clumps of liquid waste — and no poo — the cat box has a less pleasant smell.
I also noticed that the Fine Feline litter feels more dense and heavy compared to traditional Tidy Cats litter. It forms clumps well, but it required a slight increase in effort to dig and scoop out the clumps. My scooper simply doesn’t move through the litter as easily. However, I don’t think that is a deal breaker.
My biggest hangup with Fine Feline litter is that it is dusty. It forms a small cloud whenever I fill the litter box, and I can see some dust swirling every time I stir the litter while scooping clumps from the box. I didn’t think the dust was too bad at first, but after a few month’s use, I’ve noticed enough dust that I’m not sure if I’ll continue to use the Aldi litter for the long term.
A few final words of advice: this litter is not recommended as a traction aid in snow or icy weather because it becomes slick when wet. Also, don’t dispose of this litter in your septic system or you may clog your pipes.
Aldi’s Fine Feline Scoopable Cat Litter costs less than name brand litters. It does not have a noticeable scent straight out of the jug, forms clumps well, and my cat had no problems using it. This litter is heavier than name brand cat litter. When I clean the litter box, my scooper doesn’t dig into the litter as easily because of this, but it’s more of a minor annoyance rather than a real turnoff. This litter does okay but not great in terms of neutralizing odors. If I have any real complaints about Fine Feline litter, it’s the dust. While it’s advertised as 99% dust free, a cloud of dust floats in the air every time I pour litter into the box and every time I disturb large sections of the box while scooping. This is a functional and frugal choice for cat litter, but it does come with trade-offs. You’ll have to decide if the less optimal odor control and the higher dust level are worth it for you and your cat.