Oil Absorbent vs. Kitty Litter: Understanding The 9 Differences

Oil Absorbent vs. Kitty Litter

A long time before, kitty litter was the only way people were using to clean up oily messes that can be in the form of oil stains or spills on concrete, machines, or even the garage floor.

In fact: this way still works today. But did you know that there are so many other products on the market that can help clean up oil spills from different surfaces other than cat litters?

These products are called oil absorbent or oil dry, they are safe to use and affordable to any budget as well as the kitty litter.

So, the real questions are: Is oil absorbent the same as kitty litter? what is the best for oil spills, oil absorbent, or kitty litter and what is the difference between them?

I’ve gathered all the essential information to answer your burning questions: 

Let’s break this down, starting from the top to explore the world of Oil Absorbent vs. Kitty Litter.

Is Oil Dry And Cat Litter The Same Thing?

Of course, you’ll need either cat litter or oil dry (dri) when it comes to dealing with oil spills.

But are these two products essentially the same?

Well, theoretically, they are considered to be the same and there are no differences between them as both are used for soaking up oil spills.

Additionally, Cat litter and oil dry commonly share some properties like 

  • being made of clay-based materials
  • having the ability to absorb liquids
  • being low-dust and non-toxic. 

All of these factors mean that they essentially work in the same way.

However, there are some differences between cat litter and oil dri. For instance,

  • Kitty litter has odor control properties, which oil dri lacks.
  • Oil dri is generally more expensive than some kitty litter brands.
  • Unlike oil dri, cat litter doesn’t produce clumping when exposed to liquid.

Does this mean you should avoid oil absorbents altogether when cleaning up oil stains altogether?

That’s a choice only you can make. In the next few lines, I’ll cover all the pros and cons of each product, 

But ultimately, it’s up to you depending on what’s your preference and budget. 

Related article: Why Do Cats Scratch On Windows?

Oil Absorbent

So, have you ever heard of oil absorbents or sorbents? 

These materials are super helpful when it comes to getting rid of oil stains or spills and chemicals on the driveway or garage or even removing oil from water (but not all types can do this).

There are actually two different types of absorbents out there.

#1 Natural Absorbent Materials: as the picture shows the organic absorbents are made from sustainable sources like sawdust, straw, coir, and hay. 

These are great options if you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution.

Eco friendlyEco-friendly
Good absorbent properties Too messy especially outdoor 
The table shows Natural Absorbent Materials pros & cons

Our top recommends Natural Absorbent is Coir Wonder Coconut Husk Oil Spill Absorbent.

#2 Synthetic Absorbent Materials:

When people make materials like polypropylene and polyurethane foam, they’re creating what’s known as synthetic absorbents. 

Out of all the different kinds of synthetic absorbents, polypropylene is the most popular one used in many different industries.

The great thing about polypropylene is that it can be shaped into lots of different forms, like absorbent PADS, CUSHIONS, ROLLS, BOOMS, and SOCKS. 

So, we have plenty of options to choose from when deciding what type of synthetic absorbent to make. 

That said, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the synthetic oil-absorbent materials

appropriate for handling hazardous substances, such as acid spills.not biodegradable
The strongest absorbent properties 
Can be used multiple times
Can be used to absorb oil from water
Synthetic Absorbent Materials Pros & Cons
Synthetic Absorbent

Check Our top recommended Synthetic Absorbent

Now you might be wondering: what is the best type of absorbent oil to soak up oil spills?

Well, let me tell you that any type of oil absorbent (Natural or Synthetic ) can get the job done efficiently.

However, modern oil-absorbent products, also known as contained absorbents, have revolutionized the way we handle leaks and spills. 

These products are made from safer and more absorbent materials like ground corn cobs, cellulose, and polypropylene, rather than traditional clay-based absorbents.

So yeah, oil absorbent are designed to be less messy. 


You no longer have to spread loose particles all over your floor because absorbent socks, pillows, and mats are designed to be easily picked up once they’re saturated. 

Plus, the mess stays inside, making cleanup even more convenient. 

With these innovations, cleaning up spills has become more efficient, making workplaces safer and cleaner for everyone.

Kitty Litter

Of course, you’ve heard about cat litter before. It is an important item for indoor cats because they have the instinct to use it to cover their urine and feces.

Additionally, cat litter helps to absorb odors and moisture, keeping the litter box area clean and fresh

So, what are the types of cat litter?

Nowadays, the market is filled with a variety of types of cat litter and the decision of what kind of litter to purchase may depend on your cat’s preferences.

There are many different options available For example

  • Paper Pellet Cat Litter
  • Clay Cat Litter
  • Grass Cat Litter
  • Pine Pellet Cat Litter
  • Tofu Cat Litter
  • Walnut Cat Litter
  • Crystal Cat Litter
  • Corn Cat Litter
  • Diatomaceous Earth Cat Litter

I personally recommend when choosing the best cat litter for your furry friend keep an eye on factors like odor control, dust level, absorbency, clumping ability, availability, and scent.

 Oil Absorbent vs. Kitty Litter

So, we previously discussed oil absorbent and kitty litter separately. Now, let’s determine how kitty litter differs from other oil absorbents.

The following table compares Oil Absorbent Vs Kitty Litter

FeatureOil AbsorbentKitty Litter
Material CompositionSyntheticNatural
Absorption CapacityHighModerate
Absorption SpeedFastSlow
Environmental FriendlinessVariableGenerally good
prosnot biodegradable more expensiveBiodegradableDesigned to absorb both liquid and odors
conscan be messyIt’s easily tracked heavycan be messyIt’s easily trackedheavy

As you can see from the table, there are some key differences between oil absorbents and kitty litter. 

While oil absorbents are typically synthetic, kitty litter is made from natural materials. Oil absorbents also tend to have a higher absorption capacity and faster absorption speed than kitty litter.

 However, kitty litter is generally much less expensive and can be reused multiple times, whereas most oil absorbents are not reusable.

Additionally, kitty litter is often more environmentally friendly than oil absorbents, although this can vary depending on the specific brand and composition.

You may be interested to know if cats like to eat catnip or not.

Can You Use Oil Dry For Cat Litter?

So, I’m guessing you already know that Oil Dri isn’t typically used as cat litter. 

But, just in case you were wondering, using it won’t harm your feline friend.

That being said, it’s important to note that while Oil Dri and kitty litter are similar, there are some key differences. 

For example, kitty litter often contains anti-bacterial agents, which Oil Dri does not.

Oil Dri is additive-free and doesn’t clump, whereas kitty litter is less baked and has added scent and anti-odor chemicals. 

In other words, while Oil Dri can technically be used as cat litter, there are plenty of other kitty litter options available that are specifically designed for that purpose.

Related topic: Should I Leave A Light On For My Cat?

Can You Use Cat Litter To Absorb Oil?

Back in the day, people used to rely on cat litter to soak up oil stains and spills. It was a popular choice because it was easy to see the oil being absorbed from the surface.

As a general rule, the more absorbent the kitty litter, the better it is at cleaning up oil spills.

So yeah, you can use cat litter to absorb oil. However, did you know that oil actually just clings to the surface of the litter without fully penetrating it?

To be honest, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. It’s more of a rule of thumb. Clay-based litters are typically a good option for cleaning up oil stains.

The bottom line here is that there are so many different litter brands on the market that even the cheapest clay-based litter can get the job done. 

So, don’t stress too much about finding the perfect litter for cleaning up oil spills. Just grab what you can and get to cleaning!

Is Cat Litter Absorbent?

The CEN, an organization specializing in chemicals and engineering, has stated that the primary material used to manufacture most kitty litters is sodium bentonite, a highly absorbent clay.

It’s important to note that the amount of sodium bentonite present in a particular brand of cat litter has a direct impact on its absorbency level.

In other words, a higher concentration of sodium bentonite will result in a more absorbent litter.

 However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not all cat litters are created equal in terms of absorbency. 

While there are various types of cat litter available, ranging from silica gel to recycled paper or wood chips, most are chosen for their ability to effectively soak up moisture.

Overall, when shopping for cat litter, it’s essential to consider both the type of material used and the amount of sodium bentonite present to ensure that you’re selecting a litter that meets your needs (whether for absorbing oil spills or cat urine)

Here is a list of alternative cat litter

Will Cat Litter Absorb Oil?

I already answered this question a few minutes before but it is worth repeating here.

So will cat litter absorbs oil?

In fact, Cat litter does not technically absorb oil, it only coats the surface of the particles.

To be honest, here the cat litter will benefit in removing the oil spill from the floor or any other surface if you dispose of it before the oil seep back onto the surface. 

So if you decided to use cat litter to absorb oil-based stains don’t handle or left the litter for too long.

The market offers various options for spill absorbents, with varying levels of effectiveness. This creates a challenge for cat owners who need to choose the most suitable option so we did the job for you here s our top recommendations for the best cat litter for oil-based spill.

Ultimately I recommend using absorbent mats and socks to do the job because they were originally made to absorb the oil.

Will Clay Cat Litter Absorb Oil?

Now according to what we learned before I can list the best options to clean up oil spills.

The first option is mats and socks. It is always the better solution. Then comes up the kitty litter.

Actually, when I’m talking about using cat litter to soak up oil stains I mean the clay litter

Another case to use clay litter to clean up oil is when you have surfaces with cracks and crevices in this case it is best to choose for clay-alternative loose absorbent that doesn’t contain crystalline silica. 

So you can find Various brands of clay cat litter available for cleaning up oil stains and spills. Here are the best types we recommend.

Cat’s Pride Premium

Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter

ökocat Natural Wood Litter

Boxiecat Clumping Litter

Fresh Step Clumping Litter


 oil absorbent pads are a good way to remove oil stains and spills. It is more effective and healthier than oil dry and kitty litter.

Furthermore, When fully saturated with oil, oil-absorbent pads can be effortlessly disposed of and removed from the ground.

AiBOB Oil Spill Mat

Check the product on Amazon

Spilfyter Extra Heavy Absorbent

Check the product on Amazon

Drymate Oil Spill Mat

Check the product on Amazon

How To Use Kitty Litter To Absorb Oil Stains From Your Driveway Or Garage?

If you suddenly find motor oil, gasoline, rock salt stains, or transmission fluids on your garage floor, it can be quite frustrating. 

But don’t worry, there’s an easy and effective solution for removing these stains. One way to clean up these messes is by using kitty litter to absorb the oil stains.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you remove oil stains from your garage floor using kitty litter:

1. Start by covering the entire stain or spill completely with kitty litter. Make sure to use enough litter to cover the entire area of the stain.

The sooner you put the kitty litter over the stains, the better result you will get. Additionally, you can apply pressure and move the litter back and forth to create finer granules of litter.

2. Leave the kitty litter on the stain for at least 24 hours. During this time, the litter will absorb the oil from the stain, making it easier to soak up.

3. Once the kitty litter has absorbed the oil, use a broom and dustpan to sweep it up. Make sure to sweep the area thoroughly to ensure that all the litter and oil are removed.

4. If there is still some oil residue on the garage floor, use a degreaser or a mixture of baking soda and water to clean it up. Apply the degreaser or baking soda mixture to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub the area with a brush and rinse it off with water.

Check this Oil Eater Cleaner/Degreaser on Amazon

5. dispose of your used cat litter 

By following these steps, you should be able to remove oil stains from your garage floor effectively. So, next time you encounter a spill or stain, don’t panic. Just grab some kitty litter and get to work.

Check this guide about the Best Cat Hair Resistant Bedding

A Closer Look Absorbent Granules

You might know that granular absorbents are the secret weapons in the battle against liquid spills. 

When spills strike, fear not, for the mighty absorbent granules are here to save the day! These small but powerful particles are the unsung heroes of spill control, ready to tackle any liquid mess that dares to cross their path.

But hold your horses! Not all granular absorbents are cut from the same cloth. Let’s dive into the details.

Corn Cob Granular Absorbent: Made from ground remnants of corn cobs, this eco-friendly option is effective for absorbing various liquids, including oil, antifreeze, and water.

Peat Moss Loose Absorbent: Derived from Sphagnum moss, this all-natural granular absorbent is particularly efficient for cleaning up oil spills. It is lightweight, non-abrasive, and best suited for outdoor use on soil.

Gran-Sorb Cellulose Loose Absorbent: This cellulose-based sorbent contains materials from paper mill processing. It is versatile and can be used for universal applications, including oil, lubricants, gasoline, antifreeze, solvents, and water.

Super Sorbent: This lightweight and inert granular absorbent is dust-free and fireproof. It has a high melting point and can absorb various liquids, such as oils, coolants, and solvents. It is commonly dispensed from a shaker carton.

Kitty Litter: While not a specialized absorbent, kitty litter can be used as a loose absorbent for certain spills. However, it may not possess the same tailored properties as other dedicated granular absorbents.