Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter Review

An eco-alternative that takes some extra work

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Purina Yesterday's News Unscented Litter

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter

The Spruce Pets / Julie Hershman 

What We Like
  • Low-tracking for less mess

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Good for sensitive paws

What We Don't Like
  • Not scoopable

  • Slow transition for cats

  • Minimal odor trapping

The Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter is a solid alternative to non-clumping litter but might not be for every cat.


Purina Yesterday's News Unscented Litter

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter

The Spruce Pets / Julie Hershman 

We purchased Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.

If you are following the increasing trend to make everything in our homes environmentally friendly, it makes sense to try out an eco-friendly cat litter option. We introduced our cat to the Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter to see if it fit seamlessly into our home. Though our 2-year-old cat Juno didn’t smoothly transition to the new litter, we found that it really reduced litter tracking and was a sustainable alternative. Read on to find out if this litter this the right choice for you.

Odor Elimination: Left a slight smell behind

This paper litter, which is made of compressed pellets of recycled paper, cardboard, and wood shavings, is fragrance-free which is essential for a lot of people. Many scented cat litters are overpowering and combined with cat waste, it makes a worse smell. 

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter
The Spruce Pets / Julie Hershman 

While this litter worked decently at trapping urine odor, it did little to cover up the smell of feces. We use a litter box with a lid in an effort to contain smells but when our cat buries his business in his normal clay litter, it really covers the scent. Since the litter pellets are so large and you aren’t meant to use a thick layer, it’s difficult for a cat to dig and bury with it. 

Our cat was still pretty confused by the litter by the end of the test and never fully understood the litter without some clay combined. Surely a cat that is used to this litter and doesn’t know differently might dig more, but, either way, the large pellets still make it very hard to cover up feces and its scent.

Clumping: Non-existent

Yesterday’s News litter does not clump, which is a tricky feature for those who live in small homes or apartments like us, where scooping often is routine. The large pieces of litter do not sift well with a typical scooper. If you scoop with this litter, it’s quite time-consuming to separate the pieces, or worse, throw away a lot of good unused litter. 

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter
The Spruce Pets / Julie Hershman 

Additionally, for urine, scooping was basically impossible. The dark color of the pellets makes it hard to see the pee spots. When it’s wet, the litter pellets puff up and become more delicate to scoop, making it clear that scooping was not intended for this litter.

As a result, this litter does seem as though it’s really only for a full box change. Our cat Juno is used to a slightly deeper litter box (around 4 inches) that gets scooped often and then fully changed every once in a while. 

The paper litter is poured about 2 inches deep and then changed more often. While this might work for some schedules, it’s not great for busy people that live in apartments. Plus, even though this litter is more eco-friendly, with this method, you end up throwing away good litter each week when you clean the full box.

Ease of Use: Not an easy transition

Yesterday’s News outlines the best way to transition your cat to this new type of litter if they are used to clay litter. You start by just 1/3 of the ratio of the litter being Yesterday’s News combined with your old litter, then increase it to 1/2 and so on until you are at 100 percent Yesterday’s News. This makes it so you can’t just start this bag when you’ve finished your last bag of clay litter.

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter
 The Spruce Pets / Julie Hershman

Since the pellets are rather large and are not like the sandy clay our cat had grown accustomed to, our cat Juno was very confused by the litter initially.  

We first tried to just fill the box and see if he was interested without a long transition process, but it seemed as though he didn’t understand that it was litter. We then followed the instructions from Yesterday’s News and combined it with his old clay litter; then, he was more comfortable using the box. Perhaps if he didn’t know anything else, he would have been fine to start with paper litter as a kitten, but the transition wasn’t very smooth and it can be a bit time-consuming. 

A large disadvantage of clay litter is the dust and mess that is created around a litter box. We solve for that in our apartment with an enclosed litter box as well as a special mat underneath that catches most of the litter that falls out as our cat is jumping out. Yesterday’s News litter is great in this sense because the pieces are so large, there is virtually zero dust and when a piece or two falls out, it isn’t tedious to sweep up. The pellets are easier to see and are less likely to be inadvertently stepped on. This is especially helpful for those of us that have the litter box in a central room in our homes, rather than out of the way. 

Price: Within Market Average

Priced at $20 for a 30-pound bag, Yesterday’s News is within the average range for cat litter however on the slightly higher end. The large bag, depending on how often you change the litter, should last for a couple of months. 

The only disadvantage is that with every change, you are throwing out more litter than was needed. Compared to a 25-pound bag of traditional litter, you would pay about $12 to $16, and since it’s clumping, the litter lasts much longer. 

Competition: Worthy alternatives

Naturally Fresh Walnut-Based Quick-Clumping Cat Litter: The Naturally Fresh eco-friendly clumping litter rivals Yesterday’s News as another eco-friendly leader. Made out of 100 percent natural walnut shells, the litter contains no chemicals. While it’s also dust-free, the particles do make their way out of the box far more easily than Yesterday’s News pellets. Though both litters are unscented, the natural smell of the walnuts leaves behind an earthy scent when wet and they trap the overall litter box scent better.

Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter: At a lower price point is the Ever Clean Extra Strength Cat Litter, an unscented clumping litter. While the smaller particles make for increased tracking and out-of-the-box cleanup, the odor trapping ability is excellent. For a smaller apartment, this litter is great for keeping the smell contained. Though not as eco-friendly as Yesterday’s News, the clumping quality is perfect for everyday scooping.

Final Verdict

A hard transition that offers little reward.

While paper litter has many benefits, it’s not for every cat and household. Transitioning a cat from clay or clumping litter to paper pellets takes a bit of time, and it doesn’t trap the smell as effectively as other litters. The environmental benefits are also a large factor but with alternatives on the market, we don’t see a large positive to switching to paper litter if it’s not something you already use.


  • Product Name Yesterday's News Unscented Litter
  • Product Brand Purina
  • Price $20.99
  • Sizes 5 lb., 15 lb., 30 lb