Budget-saving Cat Litter Tips

Fri, Sep 14, 2012

Litter & Hygiene

If you’ve been reading Moderncat for a while, you know that I try to avoid clay litter for a couple of big reasons. First, it is not bio-degradable nor is it a renewable resource, making it an environmental nightmare. Second, silica, found in all clay litter, is a known carcinogen when inhaled (by both cats and humans), and sodium bentonite found in clumping clay litter, may cause serious health problems for your cats when ingested by grooming after using the litter box.

Clay litter is, however, still the most commonly used cat litter and it’s tough to find non-clay alternatives that 1) are available everywhere, 2) are affordable, and 3) perform well. Performance features I look for in a good cat litter include:

  • Clumpability – Is it easy to scoop?
  • Odor control – How well does it control odor?
  • Texture – Do the cats like it and will they use it?
  • Dust – How much dust is produced when pouring and scooping?
  • Scent – What does the litter smell like? Natural smell or chemical perfume?
  • Trackability – Does the litter track easily out of the box or is it heavy enough to stay contained in the box?
  • Longevity – How long can you use the same litter (scooping and adding a little new litter) without needing to dump the entire box and refill?
  • Weight – How heavy is the bag to lift and get home from the store?

So, back to the cost issue, I have a lot of cats and a lot of litter boxes, so I go through A LOT of litter. At the moment, I’m most concerned with finding a non-clay litter that is affordable and I’ve been experimenting a little. I found out that chicken crumble — used for feeding chickens — is pretty much the same stuff that the commercial corn cat litters are made out of. I went to my local feed store and bought a bag and, guess what? It works! I did a little searching online and this is a common thing to use. The commercial corn litters run about $1/lb and the chicken feed is about half that.

Now, this is not a perfect solution. One thing I learned is that all corn chicken feed will have bugs living in it. They may be dormant, but in a warm and damp climate, they are likely to hatch and crawl around in the chicken feed. Yeah, gross, I know. So the chicken feed litter may not work for everyone. I happen to have all of my litter boxes out on the catio, so if there are any bugs, they won’t get in the house, at least they haven’t so far the few times I’ve noticed them. I also live in the desert, which for most of the year is ideal for using chicken feed litter. I have read horror stories about bug infestations inside, so be warned.

Other than the bug issue, the chicken feed works pretty well. Clumping is good, the texture is perfect and the cats love it. It is pretty dusty and has a “farm-y” smell, but so do the commercial corn litters. All corn litters, I’ve found, break down over time and do have to be completely dumped and replaced fairly frequently, depending on how many cats you have using the box.

As far as I can tell, the commercial corn litters cost twice as much because they treat the corn (probably by freezing it) to kill the bugs for you, plus they add some clumping and odor control agents. I suppose you could try freezing the chicken feed yourself, but I’m not sure how long it would need to remain frozen, and you’d need a really big freezer. If anyone has tips for additives (baking soda, maybe?) to help with clumping or odor, please leave a comment on this post to share your ideas.

I’ve been purchasing 40 or 50 lb. bags of chicken feed at a local feed store. Since raising chickens is really “in” right now, you can probably find chicken feed at more and more regular pet supply stores. I bought a sturdy plastic bin on a rolling card with a lid that seals for storing the feed. The feed stores also have nice big scoops that work well for transferring the litter to the box. I’ve been saving quite a bit of money on litter and I’m happy with the results.

Another budget-friendly clay litter alternative I’ve read about, but I haven’t tried myself, is to use wood pellets made for stoves. These are apparently similar to the wood pellet litters available in pet stores. Others have reported excellent results. I would say that you want to look for wood pellets that are not treated with any chemical additives.

I know I’m always posting designer litter boxes that cost hundreds of dollars, but sometimes you just need plain old utility. I’ve found that cement mixing tubs, available at any home improvement store, work REALLY well for litter boxes. They are designed for easy mixing and scooping, so they have a cuved bottom and no sharp corners inside — perfect for easily scooping litter. They come in different sizes, the small tubs are around 24″ x 20″ x 6″ and cost $6 or $7 and the large tubs measure 24″ x 36″ x 8″ and only cost about $13. I have a large one tucked away on the catio and it is absolutely perfect for a multi-cat household.

So there you have a few budget-friendly cat litter ideas. Maybe not so stylish, but in this economy, we sometimes need to focus on function. Please feel free to leave your own cost-saving litter ideas in the comments!

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71 Responses to “Budget-saving Cat Litter Tips”

  1. 1
    Stacey

    We have problems with a kitty or two not being so interested in the litter box, so we have to use the expensive “Cat Attract” litter–which works like a champ. We mix it with the “World’s Best Cat Litter”–even though they’re both expensive litter options, World’s Best is at least not QUITE as expensive (or clay-filled) as the Cat Attract.

    Do you think the chicken feed would work in the Litter Robot?

  2. 2
    gg

    where i live those wood pellets are kinda really super expensive – i do use a wood chip based commercial litter though – Cat’s Best Öko Plus and i always buy it when it’s on special offer. a 40 litre bag lasts me over 5 months with one cat!!!!! but best of all it’s flushable down the loo ;-)

  3. 3
    Lisa

    I have tried so hard to find a non-clay litter, but my cat hates pellets. He is a digger and insists on a sandy texture.

  4. 4
    Angie

    My cat likes to eat the corn litter (world’s best cat litter). Do you have other alternatives you recommend? Especially with good odor control.

  5. 5
    Lynne

    I have 16 indoor cats, so I go through a lot of litter!! :-) I have been buying 40-lb bags of pine pellet horse bedding for years. There is never a litter box smell clean up is super easy. I pick out the poo once or twice a day, then once a week I dump the entire box, wash it, and start over! I use big, clear plastic storage bins with lids for my litterboxes; I cut out a hole in one end and we’re good to go! I’d say each one of those is about the size of two, traditional deep litterboxes. I cut the hole high so there isn’t much tracking. :-)

  6. 6
    Lynne

    Oh – meant to add that the pellets are $5.99/bag at my local Tractor Supply store! I usually 4-5 bags per week.

  7. 7
    diane

    I also have a lot of cats and I use a combination of wood pellets and a clumping grain product. The products are both made locally in my home province -are totally compostable – we simply dump them in the bush (not something city dwellers could do) The wood pellets I use are Stall Dry – used as horse bedding. They are pure untreated pine and the best thing about them is they mask orders as well as being dust free.

    I also use a product called Natural Cat made from wheat, corn, grain by products which clumps, is cheap. Because its less chunky than the pellets some cats prefer it.

  8. 8
    Eva

    I like the idea of using the cement mixing tub as a litterbox! One of my cats is a bit on the large side and as a result I think she feels a bit confined when using the covered litterbox. She’s perfectly fine with the open one but I feel it’s still not big enough for her. I guess a trip to the local reno place is in store!

  9. 9
    jag

    We recently gradually switched our six over to Purina Layena Chicken Crumbles ($18 for 50 lbs) and they seem to like it really well. I find it actually clumps a little better than our previous Nature’s Miracle litter and it has good odor control (although I also add baking soda). Our litterboxes are inside and we haven’t had any problem with bugs. We live in the south where it’s pretty humid so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  10. 10
    ES

    I use Feline Fresh, which is a pine litter. I live in a tiny studio with my two cats, and so I have issues with tracking/smell. This gives me the best of both worlds – they do track it some, but it’s pine flakes so it’s not painful to step on. It also has pretty good odor control, which I did not find with corn litters. And it’s all natural and clumps fairly well, so I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve also had luck with a big bag lasting awhile – the cats don’t need tons of it.

  11. 11
    Heidi

    One of my cats pees standing up. It took us a long time to find a litter box that will handle this. In the end, we went to Lowe’s, bought 2 storage tubs with relatively flat bottoms (harder to find than you think!), cut the opening in one side, and voila! They aren’t beautiful, but all of the urine stays in the box. And they were CHEAP!

  12. 12
    MK

    Really good alternative litter trays are the restaurant bus trays available at restaurant supply stores or online. Not only are they super cheap, they are more durable than regular litter trays and come in several sizes.

  13. 13
    Melissa

    For you non desert dwellers, I would advise leaving the the chicken feed in the bag and placing the whole bag inside of a covered garbage can. Then if you do have bugs or mold from humidity, you can just get rid of the whole bag and not have to try to wash out the bin. I was going to say be watching for mice with chicken feed, but not if you have multiple cats that need that much cheap litter.

    Also you might want to consider the whole GMO issue with corn as litter. Maybe wood pellets(sustainably sourced or a by product of some sort of manufacturing) are a better eco option?

  14. 14
    Stephanie

    I am another like Lynne who uses the horse pine pellets. I even get my $5.99/40lb bag from Tractor Supply! I have 3 senior cats who are always a bit grumpy when I change the litter each week. Since I have only 1 large Buddha Dome litter pan (picked up at a garage sale I am still thrilled to say), changing the litter is a must. The option that a volunteer I worked with uses for his cats is that he sprays the fresh pine pellets with a mist so they are a bit crumbly. Since his water has a bit of cat mint mixed in, the cats are perfectly happy to go in to their litter boxes. Once they are a bit damp, the pellets crumble and it turns into plain old saw dust, which most cats like using.

  15. 15
    EJ

    Thanks for the tips! I still haven’t found the perfect litter for me and it’s frustrating. I really like World’s Best for clumping and weight, but it tracks dust like nothing else. My cat doesn’t like pellets either so that’s out, even though I love the lack of odor and tracking. :( Anyway, I appreciate this kind of post now and again. I like all the fancy furniture and stuff, but it’s good to have things for the nuts & bolts of cat ownership as well.

  16. 16
    Vanessa

    Cat attract comes in an herby mixture you can buy separate from the litter. Use that and add it to non-clay litter. We have be using chicken crumbles for a long time and never had bug problems with house getting up to 80 and somewhat humid.

    I have heard that chicken feed can have Aflatoxin which can make cats (humans, dogs, etc) very sick. So please buy a reputable brand chicken feed.

  17. 17
    Stacey

    I do the same thing, Heidi. For years, I’ve bought Rubbermaid totes and cut a square hole in one end with a sharp utility knife. When they get too messy to clean, which can happen when a kitty has a bought of intestinal illness, I just throw them out and make a new one. They go on sale at Target for $5 or $6 each, and I buy them in stacks of six or so at a time. The high sides keep the urine in the box when my kitty who likes to pee in a semi-standing position uses it.

    Also, those big plastic undertrays for washing machines make great litter-containment systems for placing the litterbox on.
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=202064412&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&MERCH=REC%2d%5f%2dnosearch3%2d5%2d%5f%2dNA%2d%5f%2d202064412%2d%5f%2dN#

  18. 18
    abbey

    I, too, use the horse bedding pine pellets. they are about $5 for a 40lb bag at the feed store. Much better than $10 for 20lb of Feline Pine. I use storage bins for litterboxes because my cats seem to be olympic litter kickers! the sides are high enough to prevent that. Not that it would really matter as their litter boxes are outside in the catio.

    I learned about the pellets from our city shelter, they have pallets delivered. Here is something that may or may not be related.

    I only started using the bedding pellets recently, and after 2 weeks, I was horrified to see my cats bringing mice into the house!!! I’ve never seen a mouse in the 25 years I have lived here. After the third one was brought in, I started freaking out, thinking about possible mouse related diseases (real or imagined) I didnt know where they were coming from and did not think about the pine pellets as a possible attractant. When that thought did occur, I went to the door that leads out to the catio and much to my surprise I saw a little mouse sniffing around, then eating a stray pellet! Ack. I made a noise and he fled. Since then, no more have been brought in. So I dont know if it was the pellets or just some freaky coincidence that they showed up.

  19. 19
    Michelle K.

    Early this year I discovered the Breeze cat litter system by Purina. It’s not available in Canada, where I live, but even ordering it through Petsmart online and paying the crazy shipping has turned out to be a very economical choice for me. Plus, I like that I’m not dealing with tracking or odour, and it’s really easy to deal with. It uses pellets made of zeolite (a naturally occurring mineral) – not biodegradable, but almost entirely dust free and a small amount lasts a really long time. I only change them out about every 6 weeks, when they start to smell a little. The amount of pellet needed in the box is very little, and my cats have loved this system from the moment I put it down for them.

    The litter box has holes in it and a tray underneath. The tray has pads that absorb the urine, and pads only need to be changed once a week for my two cats. The pads are a tad expensive, but for me, only changing it once a week or so, the cost is worth it. It NEVER smells and it’s a very neat and clean system. The pellets rarely escape the box. You could probably even nix the pads and just let the urine collect in the tray, then empty it a few times daily. This is not as neat and tidy an option, but it’s even more economical.

    It would be idea if the pellets were biodegradable, but so far this system has proven the most economical and hygienic system I’ve ever used. And given how little I actually go through (of the pellets), I feel they are far better for the environment than clay litters.

    This is just my two cents. I’d love to hear if anyone else uses the system and what their results have been.

  20. 20
    Michelle K.

    Heidi, my cats poo standing up. They are both very large cats and it wasn’t until I switched to the new system that I discovered this (previously I had covered pod style boxes). They love the walls on the new box, because they can perch their front legs and stand comfortably to do their business. I’ve never seen a cat do its business standing up, but now I know I’m not the only one! LOL!

  21. 21
    mollysue

    Pellets: 1st, I am lucky enough that Dragon Empress Kiwi Pu seems to like them well enough. 2nd, if you spring for the slightly spendy sifting litter box arrangement http://www.felinepinelitterbox.com/index.htm (not attached to Feline Pine, but selling just the boxes & scoops), it is TOTALLY worth it. Scoop poops, flush the sifted down used sawdust, and it’s always clean & fresh. None goes to waste, only barely smells of pine if anything, does not track. 3rd, look for the enormous bags of stove pellets for cheaper (should be safe, not wanting to be burning toxic chemicals either) or other species’ pet pellets. I’m quite the proselytizer on this because clay litter •is• a nightmare and pine pellets are working so well for us. Good luck everyone!

  22. 22
    Raminder Kumar

    I am a new cat owner and a city dweller. The foster mother suggested that we use the brand called everclean and we buy the unscented version. It does track out of the box. Is that good or bad? There is some dust when I pour the litter in but not much when you scoop. It works well for odor control if my cat decides to cover the poop. Any ideas for me about a more eco-friendly cat litter? Would appreciate any help.

    Thank you,
    Raminder

  23. 23
    jen

    Using stove wood pellets is GENIUS. THANK YOU!!!

  24. 24
    Fisher

    Thanks for mentioning the cement mixing tubs! Right now, that is about where the budget is at and I really dislike trying to get all the mess from the squared corners. This looks great.

  25. 25
    Lauren

    Thank you so much for posting this article. I’m a fairly new cat owner and I started out buying my cats all the things I remember my mom using when I was a kid and she had cats. Clearly, so many things have changed about cat ownership in that time!

    First, I learned about grain-free food and quickly switched to a better brand than what my kittens started on.

    Next, I’m going to try getting away from clay litters! I had NO IDEA they were unhealthy in the ways you described. I also did not realize how many other options were out there. I’ve already done some online research and plan to pick up some Schweat Scoop litter this weekend. It’s got rave reviews on PetSmart – does anyone here have input on this?

    I also love the idea of getting a bigger, but cheaper and more innovative litter box. I’ve been thinking my boys may feel confined in the topped one they have now – will be trying a better solution soon!

    Again – thank you so much for this information! Gotta love moderncat!

  26. 26
    Elizabeth

    I’m still in search of the perfect solution, and am currently using several different litters. My favorite combo uses two litter boxes, one inside the other, with holes drilled in the top box. I place a cloth diaper in the bottom box, drop the top box on top, and add carefresh pet bedding. I also use the Tidy cat breeze pellets, which last a very long time, but aren’t ideal for scooping or digging. Most of the urine soaks into the diaper, which I change daily. I’ve also used this system with yesterday’s news litter, and it worked quite well, so it might help those using pine pellets as well (I’m allergic to pine, so I haven’t tried it myself).

    I picked up a Rubbermaid 2in1 recycling bin on clearance and use it to hold clean and dirty diapers. The top container is easily removed so I can haul the stinky diapers out to the garage and toss them in a trash bin with a lid. The smell is potent when I open the lid to throw them in to wash, but the smell in the house is greatly reduced.

  27. 27
    Cathy Thornburn

    Btw, I use the hardware mix tubs for cat beds. They are the perfect size for a bed pillow and super easy to clean.

  28. 28
    Diane

    These are great ideas! I was wondering about using large totes for boxes. I’m doing a bright color theme in the basement for the cats, and the totes come in lots of great colors. Plus, I can put pads and blankets on the lids for kitty benches. I’ll try setting up one with the horse pine pellets and see if the cats will go for it.

  29. 29
    abbey

    Michelle – I use the Breeze system for my cat that cannot stand or walk He has cerebellar hypoplasia and a pretty severe case of it. Some cats can walk but they wobble. He flops around to get where he wants to go. The litterbox was a real challange. I tried all different kinds and nothing was working. If I was not right there to lift him out of the box after he peed, he would try to bury it and would end up covered from tail tip to nose in wet pee litter. It was a nightmare for about 3 months.

    I needed something that would allow the urine to drain thru so that he would not get wet. I rigged up a few different kinds that sort of worked, then I found the Breeze. It has been a lifesaver for both of us! I use air soft pellets as the litter because they dont have the edges the breeze pellets have. SInce he has to lay on them, the roundness works better. He also has bad kidneys so he goes quite a bit. I change the pads frequently because of that and the fact that his box is RIGHT NEXT TO MY BED! ack. there is no odor.

    I dont think this system would be very economical for a multi cat household though. You would need multiple boxes depending on the number of cats in the house. The litter pellets do not absorb wetness so they dont need to be changed out as often as regular litter, but they scatter all over the place if the cat digs at all.

    Here is a site worth its weight in gold http://www.litterbox-central.com it has everything you could ever want to know about litter/litterboxes and stuff you don’t even know you don’t know about!

  30. 30
    Alisa

    We use Yesterdays News recycled paper pellets. Extremely environmentally friendly and sustainable. I’ve tried off brands of recycled paper, but they have a slight odd odor that I do not like. I like that YN doesn’t track much and that dust is kept to a minimum. I scoop out the poo and urine areas daily, then change the litter and wash the box once a week. For 2 cats with a large covered box we go through about one 30lb bag a month which runs around $19/bag at Petco. I use coupons, Petco reward program and watch for sales to stock up at around $14/bag. I’m always looking for a cheaper, but environmentally friendly, low dust and tracking alternative. I will have to give the horse pine pellets a try, that would be a huge savings for us!

  31. 31
    Harvon

    I live in a small apartment with 2 cats and have been using the Pee Wee litter system for about 6 years now and its wonderful! One 14L bag of pine pellets lasts me 6 months for the 2 cats when used with the Pee Wee litter box. The pine pellets disintegrates into sawdust upon contact with cat pee and when the cat scratches, the sawdust falls into the bottom tray. There is minimal tracking and not much urine odor. I just clear the poo everyday and throw out the sawdust once a week. I also recycle the toilet roll tubes by cutting them into half lengthwise and use them to scoop up the poo.
    Here’s a link to the Pee Wee system http://www.peewee-sweden.com/how_it_works.html

  32. 32
    mod*mom

    Like to try this. My cat uses the purina Breeze box where the urine filters down into a diaper lined tray + we change the top “rocks”.
    The “rocks” are mined and imported from Japan. Like to try local eco friendly products.

    Tried toilet training her like our other cat, but she’s old + falls in toilet

  33. 33
    jmuhj

    Amazing, Kate! Now you’re talking things that are near and dear to my heart, from our time in the desert, when we fed our flock of chickens lay pellet and crumble, and used wood pellets in our pellet stove. Haven’t had any experience with the cement mixing tubs, but they sound excellent for the purpose. Appreciate your sharing these ideas that are accessible to many of us and within the price range of more of us than some of these “high-end” products!

  34. 34
    Laura

    My cat also eats the corn litter. I couldn’t believe it. I would also be interested in any alternatives.

    Laura

  35. 35
    Amy Chamberlain

    I have been using cement mixing trays for years. They make the best litter boxes ever. Very cheap and easy to clean.

  36. 36
    TessM

    I am pretty happy with the paper pellets. They work more-or-less the same way as the pine pellets, with the big difference being that the paper pellets swell (at least for a while) when they absorb urine. So I tip the box from side to side and use an old kitchen spoon to scoop out any areas of wet pellets, before they dry back out and decompose into the paper equivalent of the sawdust, I guess. Might have to try that sifting litterbox…

    The paper pellets are made of recycled paper so I am pleased to be able to provide a market for it. And compostable, if you have a big enough bin. I add baking soda every few days and don’t have an odor problem.

    I had a big ol’ 19YO arthritic guy and used the cement mixing trays with good results, as well as the under-the-washer trays to contain any outside-the-box “accidents”. I cut out one long side so he could get in more easily.

    Great ideas!

  37. 37
    Makayla

    That is so cool! I’ve heard of chicken feed before (Though I had no idea about the bugs – gross – though I wonder if my aunt, who has chickens, rabbits, AND cats knows), but never wood pellets! I should try that.

  38. 38
    Brenda

    I was going to also suggest the horse bedding pellets. I use either the bedding pellets or stove pellets (which ever is on sale) for my horse. Either work fine and I would assume they would work for cats too. However, the best solution is toilet training. I adopted 2 kittens last year and after several months of training, both of them use the toilet and we no longer have a litter box. I used the Litter Kwitter system and it worked. Now, I simply flush a few time per day. My boys are spoiled and have their own bathroom, which is nice for the humans as well.

  39. 39
    kittykitty

    Oh man great post!

    I’ve tried so many different litter through the last decade and always come back to clay. =(

    I tried the pine litter which is just … a mess.
    I tried the news paper litter … same mess.

    I liked the silica litter but one day my kitty got really sick and I read up on it and saw that is isn’t all that great for them to lick off their fur.

    I tried wheat litter but the clumping was like cement once it got wet.

    I moved to corn litter (World’s “Best”) and GOT BUGS! And let me tell you about how awful the bugs are … I had to go through every box and container of food in my kitchen and throw/dump it out. They were in my clothing sock drawers too! When I thought I had gotten the situation managed … and we we moved across the country I thought that was the last of the pantry beetle. Wrong. It’s been 3 years and I still have pantry beetles thanks to World’s “Best.”

    So now I am back to clumping clay and boy is it dusty when I first pour it. But it’s still the best in clumping and management.

    Wish I had though of the cement mixing bowl – I bought a storage container and cut a hole out of the side. Really high walls and huge. Cats love it.

    That’s my .02.

  40. 40
    Dana

    I have a multi cat household and for litter pan, I use the long under bed plastic bins, along with some high sided ones. My cats seem to like the choice and they are all huge beasts.

    Also – and though the cost could be better, odor-wise swheat scoop litter has been great. I’ve also had to use the cat attract litter with a previous cat and that really does work. Wish more people knew about it.

  41. 41
    Gregg Alley

    I’ve been using the Arm & Hammer Essentials corn-based litter for my two cats for four years. Luckily, they’ve never tried to eat it!

  42. 42
    Viktoria

    What’s your opinion about ZEOLIT???I think this worth a research…

  43. 43
    Viktoria

    My personal experience with zeolit: it’s available and cheap kitty litter in Europe. If it’s less harmful than clay, why isn’t it available in…for example…Canada.
    and I’m a bit confused: If zeolit is a naturally occurring mineral, why should it be biodegradable?
    I would love to read pros and cons about zeolit here. It would be very helpful for me. Thank you.

  44. 44
    Mary Sue

    I’ve had cats in my current house for the past 11 years and just recently noticed what I thought were insect larva in one of the boxes that had corn litter in it. I was wrong. Mice were eating the litter and leaving their droppings. I’ve never had mice before, but they sure had a feast. I had to change that box to a different litter and catch and release the mice. Luckily I had boxes with other kinds of litter in them so the cats didn’t have to make a transitiion to something new. I’ve considered chicken feed in the past, but I guess I’ll have to cross that one off my list now.

  45. 45
    rebecca

    Thank you very much for posting this!

    I use under-the-bed plastic sweater boxes for litter boxes right now, but I don’t like the way the litter clumps in the channeled parameter. It can be difficult to scrape out. I LOVE the idea of the cement mixing tubs!!! I think that would solve my problem.

    I have tried Sweat Wheat, Blue Buffalo’s walnut litter (which I do not recommend) and World’s Best. World’s Best works the best for me and my kitties. I think it is a matter of personal preference for you and your cat.

    For those of you who have a cat that likes to snack on the corn litter one of my cats does the same thing. As long as your cat does not have a grain allergy it will not harm them. As soon as I switched to the Multi-Cat variety of World’s Best she stopped eating it. I think there is a product added into that kind that she doesn’t find appealing.

    My helpful tip…. When scooping out the box, lift one end up. All The litter will shift to the other side. The remaining clumps will be visable without having to dig for buried treasure. Repeat the same process with the other end. After you clean the clumps out you can then scoop out the poop without breaking-up the pee clumps.

    Another tip….I save my plastic produce bags from the grocery store and use them as poop bags.

  46. 46
    Michelle

    Having several years ago lost a beloved, beautiful orange angora, who died from ingested clumping clay litter, I have since tried every possible litter and combination thereof.
    I have found that by using a base of clumping Feline Pine (which unlike clay litters does not clump “hard,” but just holds loosely together long enough to allow for easy scooping), and scattering a handful of “regular” Feline Pine pellets on top, tracking is kept to a minimum.
    Each day, I scoop out waste and scatter in just a little bit – half a cup to a cup combined – of both the clumping and the regular Feline Pine.
    I find that the box and my home remain fresh smelling for a month before a complete change and washing of the litterbox is necessary – it actually stays fresh for well over a month, but I find it easiest to maintain a monthly cleaning schedule. It’s healthy, affordable, and even my Diva likes the combination of regular and clumping Feline Pine.
    I’ve tried using other clumping pine litters with the Feline Pine pellets, but they have deloped a noticeable ammonia odor after one week, while with the Feline Pine, there is never any ammonia odor at all.
    Thanks much for the tip re: cement mixing containers – my Diva doesn’t care at all for covered litter boxes, and I’m sure she’ll like this. It’s large and high enough that she can kick around in it to he heart’s content without making a mess – thanks again!
    Renee
    Renee

  47. 47
    specialcritters

    We use pine pellet horse bedding too–$6 for 40 pounds!

  48. 48
    Makayla

    Viktoria, I can’t say anything about zeolit as I don’t have a cat yet – though hopefully will soon – but I can answer your biodegradable question. A non-biodegradable litter, or anything, for that matter, will just sit in a landfill forever and will only increase over time. Now, if something IS biodegradable, it’s not going to just sit there and harm the Earth.

  49. 49
    Geertrui

    We use “Cat’s best” by öko plus. We have 3 cats and a bag of 40l can be used several months. It’s ideal: it clumps, doesn’t smell, it’s ecologic. When you scoop out the litter boxes every day you can use one litter box more than a month.

  50. 50
    Cathy

    Hi,
    Great post! I agree with one of the commenters – it’s nice to know about all the neat things available for cats but getting down to the nitty gritty is the best!
    We’ve used the cement mixer for years – easy to clean out, sides are usually tall enough to avoid most of the scatter and the two cats (now just one) were very big boys so liked the larger container. About 10 months ago, I kept smelling the urine smell (Pew!!) and I have sinus problems so if I can smell it it must be bad! The cat that is left is quite large. When he digs the hole, he digs and digs and digs and then, instead of putting his bum in the hole he puts it on one of the “mountains” he’s created. If that “mountain” is too close to the side of the container, the lazy cat sits his bum on the side of the box and pees. So I started looking for something with higher sides (he doesn’t like closed boxes), was going to go the storage container route when I happened to be in a thrift store and there was the perfect box. I don’t know what it is supposed to be used for: a cat/dog bed or litter box or whatever but its sides are about 15 inches high and the one side is only about 9 inches and the whole thing is round. It’s not very big and I thought that might be a problem but he seems to really like it. I saw him the other day and what he does is digs the hole, again not sitting in it, and leans up against the box (lazy kitty) and pees. The centre is usually clear of anything and around the edges are the pee and poo.
    Thanks to all of you for the hints and tips on using other non-clay litters.
    All the best,
    Cathy


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