Homemade Cat Litter Ideas

Category Cats
Many cat owners prefer to make their own cat litter, rather than buy the commercial varieties available at the store. This is a page about homemade cat litter ideas.


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August 8, 2016

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!

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August 19, 2011

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

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February 11, 2014

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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Here is a free and cleaner way to have a cat box. After 30 years of being a cat parent, I have found that by simply lining newspaper inside a litter box, it is much more cleaner, not as time consuming, and free with newspaper donations.


Plus, you are recycling newspapers.

A cat box lined with newspaper.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 13, 2012

How can I make homemade cat litter?

By Debbie


February 15, 20122 found this helpful

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.

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August 27, 20161 found this helpful

Gradually replacing the old litter with added amounts of the new litter over time until it is eventually the only one will solve that problem.

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October 20, 20181 found this helpful

Hooded / "covered" litter boxes are not good for your cats respiratory health as they concentrate fumes and dust and force your cat to breathe them. It is also more difficult for you to see when the litter box matter needs attention. Hooded boxes are for the convenience of their person and they are definitly not preferred by cats!

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October 20, 20180 found this helpful

Hooded / "covered" litter boxes are not good for your cats respiratory health as they concentrate fumes and dust and force your cat to breathe them. It is also more difficult for you to see when the litter box matter needs attention. Hooded boxes are for the convenience of their person and they are definitly not preferred by cats!

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January 11, 20190 found this helpful

I use a large dog kennel as an enclosed litter box just take the gate off. there is enough air circulating through that the cat doesn't inhale fumes and quite enough room for the animal to turn around.

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March 11, 2010

Can someone advise me on how to make homemade cat litter?

By nailed from Ogden, UT


March 12, 20100 found this helpful

There are some suggestions in the ThriftyFun archives below :-)

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July 27, 20101 found this helpful

I found a great web site for making homemade cat litter. Try this homemade one, www.ehow.com/how_4868252_make-homemade-cat-litter.

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January 14, 20190 found this helpful

If you or someone you know is into woodworking or you have a sawmill locally. Sawdust works great. Fill you box with sawdust add some baking soda mix them together and you have cat litter.

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January 8, 20200 found this helpful

Is it safe for cats to inhale sawdust?
And they surely will ingest some of it while licking paws or grooming themselves... isn't that dangerous?

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January 9, 20200 found this helpful

I would talk to your vet to be sure but I couldn't find anything concerning about cats ingesting or breathing in sawdust. Many sites recommend it as a safe alternative to regular kitty litter. Maybe use wood shavings instead to avoid the dust.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 28, 2009

Is there a way to make cat litter -- or use something else in place of it that is inexpensive? Thanks!



Make Your Own Cat Litter


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)

By Denise

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)


By Mary

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By Laura

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By Tammy

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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.

By Sian

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By Mark

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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.

By amclhup.

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By concerned

Make Your Own Cat Litter

After my kittens were de-clawed I used dried pinto beans. They didn't seem to mind the change. (07/16/2007)

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By aimee

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By Abby

Make Your Own Cat Litter

Toilet paper is good, like news paper but soft. My cat loves it. Not sure if works out that cheap. (06/21/2008)

By Vet

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By Emily

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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

Make Your Own Cat Litter

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)

By gLady

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March 11, 2010

How do you make clumping cat litter?

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October 22, 2009

Does anyone know how to make clumping cat litter? It is getting very expensive to purchase.

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