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Cat litter is messy and can be is expensive. After trying a few different alternatives, I have found one that works great and is much less expensive!
Here is what to do and how:
I use equine bedding pellets. They are made from saw dust, I think. A 40 pound bag is about $7 at any feed store and lasts as long as the same amount of kitty litter would have lasted you. I add the same amount of the equine pellets to the litter box and mix in about 2 cups of baking soda. A large bag at Costco is about $7 and lasts months. Then I add about 1 cup of water (don't worry - it gets soaked up quickly by the pellets).
The odor is much better controlled and you can go a few more days between changing/cleanings than usual if you want or need to. I dump out the entire litter box each time and do the whole process again. It is super easy and so cheap! I have been doing this for over a year and am so glad to be saving so much money. It is non-toxic and creates much less dust!
Shred some newspaper and soak it in a Tbsp. of dish soap and water. Allow it to soak until the water gets dirty. Drain it off in a colander and re-soak it in plain water. Drain it again and mix in some baking soda. Squeeze out some of the water, breaking it up, and leave flat to dry for at least 48 hours. Now you have homemade cat litter.
By Karin from Benbrook, TX
Sorry, this just seems to be a lot of trouble.
Please do NOT use Speedy Dry or any similar product as cat litter. At least some (if not all) of them have additives that may be harmful to or fatal for your cat. I foster so therefore have a lot of cats and am ALWAYS concerned with cost.
I personally use pelleted horse stall bedding. It costs ~$6 for a 40 lb bag (at local Southern States or Tractor Supply). It's not the best at odor control and some of my cats don't particularly care for it but it's natural and affordable. It does NOT clump; in fact, just the opposite. Wet pellets break down into sawdust. You just have to scoop in reverse, shake out the wet and replace with good pellets.
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How can I make homemade cat litter?
Chances are, your cat is already accustomed to the brand you're supplying at the moment. If you're lucky, it'll accept your substitute but if it's an older cat, chances are it's not going to like the change. I'm not sure of any homemade cat litter recipes that will get cats do their business on but have you thought of adding a filler like sand for example to make a bag last longer? Just a thought. Also, make sure you're using a covered litter tray so that litter stays contained. The waste from your cat digging adds up.
Can someone advise me on how to make homemade cat litter?
By nailed from Ogden, UT
There are some suggestions in the ThriftyFun archives below :-)
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Is there a way to make cat litter -- or use something else in place of it that is inexpensive? Thanks!
I use floor oil dry that you can purchase at any local auto parts store. It comes in a very large bag for a lot cheaper price. I just then either sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer on top of the oil dry in the litter box. (06/07/2006)
When my cats were de clawed I used shredded paper until their stitches healed. It isn't the best solution for odor control and you have to stay on top of it and change it at least once daily, but you can usually get free paper from offices that shred documents or it's a great way to recycle the daily newspaper if you subscribe. You'll want the long strips of shredded paper, not the tiny chopped up confetti type! I would sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom of the litter box and then put the shredded paper on top. (06/07/2006)
Shredded newspaper works great...no real smell either...just change as you would normally change. I prefer to change daily even with cat litter. (06/07/2006)
A friend of mine shows cats in competition, and has over ten living with her. When I visited her recently I commented that I was surprised the house didn't smell like she had cats. She said the reason for that was because of what she uses for cat litter- chicken feed. She said that it is much cheaper, much cleaner, and the cats are not allergic to it like they are to the commercial stuff. Might be worth a try! (06/07/2006)
I use Speedy Dry. It is made of crushed clay - they use it to soak up oil and other fluids in a garage. You can get it at any auto supply store. It is much cheaper and works just as good. (06/08/2006)
The feed store sells a huge bale of horse stall shavings for as little as $7.00, this usually lasts me about a month and that's for approx. 20 foster cats. It's light weight, but messy though. (07/02/2006)
I make litter out of shredded newspaper. It is a lot lighter to get rid of and my cats (3) don't mind it at all.
Shredded newspaper for sure! But there is a right and wrong way to do it. It must be shredded into thin long strips, use a home office paper shredder. You must use enough of it in the litter box, a big tangled mass to soak up the urine. With enough shredded paper and a little time (about an hour) the urine will get wicked up by the paper. Then, just dump the whole thing and replace with new. Solid waste can be removed by using a small plastic shopping bag or whatever as a glove, no need to change the whole box unless it is urinated in.
Again, if you use enough in the litter box, no odor (as the wet litter is not allowed to sit through multiple uses). No tracking, no messy tedious scooping, no dust, and it's free. I didn't think it would work very well until I realized that it does if you use enough. Experiment and see, I am so glad I did this. (03/28/2007)
I used shredded newspaper, and then I used yesterday's news litter when my cats were de-clawed. They were so mad about using the newspaper and the yesterday's news, they went to the bathroom outside of the litter box. As soon as I added the regular litter they went to the bathroom in their litter box again. I guess they did not like change.
When using alternative cat litter you should be sure there are not ingredients in the product that will adversely affect your cat's health. Some deodorizing products contain chemicals that will cause your cat allergies or fatal ingestion as most cats lick their feet. Be sure to check for toxic ingredients before allowing your cats access to it. (05/02/2007)
After my kittens were de-clawed I used dried pinto beans. They didn't seem to mind the change. (07/16/2007)
We have a cattery, and cat litter for over 10 cats gets pretty pricey. We also are very interested in our cat's health and avoiding problems caused by commercial products. We have found that both cracked corn (in feed stores or farm n fleet) for 6 dollars for a 50 lb. bag works great. Or, chicken feed for laying hens (same place and around the same price) is much more absorbent, clumps and absorbs odor, you can use both mixed together, or either depending upon your cats preference. Both are very soft and the cats love it- the feed is very scoop able and can be flushed easily (they both can) for odors, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the bottom of the litter box before adding the litter.
50 pounds goes a long way and will last forever. It's healthy for the cats, with no added chemicals and absorbs and works very well. (09/22/2007)
On chicken feed and cracked corn- how do you keep them from getting bugs? Also, do you grind the corn? If so, with what? And does this clump as well? Thanks! (10/22/2007)
Toilet paper is good, like news paper but soft. My cat loves it. Not sure if works out that cheap. (06/21/2008)
I have owned a cattery for 10 yrs now. I use horse stall pine pellets in my litter boxes. Not shavings. The pine is all natural, absorbs all liquids and no smell remains. The stool is scooped out like clumping formulas. The entire contents can also be flushed. Many of my clients have continued to use pine pellets. A must try! Pet stores sell it for twice what you can buy it at a feed supply store. I pay about $6 for a #40 bag. (07/30/2008)
All those credit card applications and junk mail that we get slammed with everyday has worked the best for me. My paper shredder does the cross shred. I sprinkle a little litter in it and my fuzzies are quite happy with it. I feel I'm recycling junk, I would normally toss. (08/22/2008)
By jaison the cat guy
This sounds like a lot of great suggestions. I probably wouldn't use newspaper though, because the ink has lead in it. But, you can get newsprint, before the ink is put on it. My dad worked in newspapers, so we always had a roll of it, for drawing.
Also, chicken feed can attract mice. We have an old chicken coop, and all the mice stayed out there, until the feed was gone. Of course the cats can catch the mice, but I don't want the mice in my house. Someone else asked about corn, if bugs would be attracted to it. I wonder about the pinto beans, too - interesting!
I was hoping I could make some pine litter. I have Feline Pine, but the pellets are so big. Are they the same as the horse pellets? My cats don't like the size of them. I have pine trees, and would like to make something natural. I'm using crystals now, which work pretty well, but the kind I just got has too much scent. I've read on a lot of forums that pine really works well for the odor. Thanks. (12/02/2008)
How do you make clumping cat litter?
By Andy from US
Sorry, but I don't think you're going to be able to find a recipe for clumping litter because the companies that manufacture it guard that info under lock and key. (10/24/2009)
Try to find pine wood stove pellets. They break down into a powder when they get wet, the pine helps with odor, and they cost considerably less. I add them in with the clumping litter (3/4 litter to 1/4 pine) and find I'm using about 1/2 the litter I did before (7 cats, that's a lot of litter). You can use them as all litter, but it depends on the cats. We have one litter box all pellets and the others are mixed.
I try to stock up when I find them, (when we visit family in PA can always find them) as their availability can vary - I store them in empty litter containers. I've tried other wood stove pellets, but pine works best for odor control. (10/27/2009)
We own a bentonite clay mine and I know that one of the companies that buys the bentonite clay from us makes cat litter out of it. How, I don't know, but maybe you could google bentonite clay. (10/27/2009)
Does anyone know how to make clumping cat litter? It is getting very expensive to purchase.