Natural Cat Care Tip: Cat Litter Alternatives

I remember when clumping cat litter first came on the market. I was working at a boarding kennel. We thought it was well… the cat’s meow! I also remember it was expensive compared to the old clay litter. You still had to scoop it every day. The advantage was you didn’t have to change it as often.

All you had to do was scoop and keep adding more litter to the box. However, no matter how much baking soda or magic crystals they add to the clumping litter, when used it still has an unpleasant odor to it. I also have a problem with the dust it creates. I just don’t like commercial cat litter and I don’t like the cost.

Over the years I have tried a lot of alternatives to store bought kitty litter.

My criteria for cat litter are:

  • the cat’s like it
  • it’s absorbent
  • it’s lightweight
  • it’s a natural and renewable material
  • it’s cost effective

I have tried materials like shredded up newspaper (too much work) & potting soil (too heavy to empty). One day I was filling our dog’s house with Cedar kennel bedding when it hit me. This would make a great cat litter. So I tried it out in one of the cats’ litter boxes. It worked pretty good. It is absorbent. It is lightweight and it’s a natural, renewable material and it smells really good. It costs about $5.00 for a huge bag that will last forever.

But, like a lot of things, I’m always looking for better ideas. I was thinking about chickens one day and it hit me again. I wonder how corn cob litter would work as cat litter. It’s used for other animals. Well I never got a chance to try it because I couldn’t find it in a large enough bag to make it cost effective.

What I did find was Cedar shavings cousin, Pine Shavings. I came home with a huge bag of Natural Pine Shavings. The cost was about $5.00, the same as the Cedar. The difference in the two is that Pine shavings are smaller & softer than Cedar shavings. Perfect! The cats love it. Even my most finicky feline will use it. So I guess, unless “it” hits me again, my cats will have good ole natural Pine in their boxes.

Have you found an alternative to commercial cat litter? Please share it with us. Leave a comment.


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