For a cheap or free cat litter substitute, get wood shavings or sawdust from a woodworker or lumber company. It is absorbent, all-natural, and can be emptied in the compost or garden. It can also be swept up easily if spilled.
By Penny from Morris, NY
I have worked for a Veterinarian for over 27 years and Sawdusr DOE NOT work as litter. It can contian shavings that are harmful to injest especially Pine) and also sticks to their pawas and then they digest it when they bathe. Please do not use this for your pets...
Cat fecal material should not be composted or put in any garden that may grow vegetables. The litter may well contain pathogens that could be transferred to the plant, then to humans. Bad idea.
I agree with K9cats and will add one thing too. Actually I did try using sawdust once. OMG! The smell just about ran me out of the house! It seemed to intensify the odor every time the cat did her business in it! So even if you don't believe the health issues (I do) don't use this because of the smell. Stick with the stuff that's made for this purpose!
I never put Cat or Dog fecal matter in anything but a plastic bag and then in the garbage. Not healthy.
Thanks for sharing but not a good idea.
Another substitute for kitty litter is cracked or crimped corn sold at farm supply store for $6 to $8 for fifty pounds. When time to change it throw it out in the yard and the birds will eat or if you have chickens feed it to them.
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These are all compatible with composting and can be used to make compost after kitty is done. If it makes you squeamish to use it on food crops, which I have done with no ill effects, just use it for your flowers or trees after composting.
By Sweet Pea from Butternuts, NY
Thank you for the advice. I have worked for a Veterinarian for over 27 years and it is our experience that wood shavings/sawdust can cause upper respiratory infections in cats. I would also be careful of the dirt as it can contain organisms that can cause illness. The paper shredding is a great idea. (04/01/2010)