Homemade Cat Litter Ideas

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.

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February 11, 2014

Please do NOT use Speedy Dry or any similar product as cat litter. At least some 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.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 114 Posts
June 24, 2020

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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9 Questions

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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


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
March 12, 20100 found this helpful

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

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 55 Requests
July 27, 20101 found this helpful

I found a great web site for making homemade cat litter. Try this homemade one,

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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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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
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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May 30, 20210 found this helpful

Regarding branded, wood cat litter, which is even better than just any old "sawdust"...

There is a CA Prop65 warning, right on the back of the bag which indicates sawdust is known to be cancer causing.


In addition, most branded wood litters use a combination of various conifer woods (evergreen) including pine, fir and spruce. These woods contain phenols (oils) that are toxic to cats even in just small amounts.

Companies will claim the kiln dried wood removes phenols, but this is untrue. Kiln drying is done at lower temps which removes water not oils. To remove (some of) the toxic phenols, the temp. used would have to be extremely high. Even then, some phenols would remain.

The question then would be how much is too much? It's just not worth the risk to the health of your cat.

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September 28, 20210 found this helpful

Inhaling sawdust is dangerous for humans and certainly dangerous for cats. Cats are much closer to the dust and are in contact with the material.

Most wood based cat litters contain a Calif prop.65 warning stating "Inhalation of sawdust is cancer causing".

In addition to the sawdust, soft woods are generally those chosen for cat litters and these are conifers. Conifer woods contain phenols and acids that are TOXIC to cats. Kiln drying does not remove phenols. The phenols are what give the wood the great smell. If you can smell the piney smell, phenols ate there..

Phenols cause respiratory issues but even worse, cause neurological issues in cats. The first indication of toxicity is strange ear and whisker movements and facial tics.

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October 28, 20210 found this helpful

Based upon my extensive research,
I feel that wood based products are
are not safe & non toxic to your cat!

> Most or all wood cat litters/wood pellets are made using conifer softwoods including Pine, Fir, Spruce & Cedar. These woods contain Phenols/oils that are highly toxic to all cats.
When you smell that pine type wood smell, you are smelling Phenols. With long term exposure, phenols cause neurological damage in cats.

You should never assume that ANY product is safe simply because it is manufactured and marketed for pets. Of course YOU love your cat, hamster, mouse, horse, etc. But products exist to make money; many do not prioritize the health of your beloved animal over profit!

> Thru indept research of the lumber industry, I learned that the purpose of kiln drying wood is to remove water, NOT to remove toxic phenols in the wood.

Phenols are also present in many household cleaning products like Pinesol. Cat parents must remain vigilant in protecting their kitties by investigating each ingredient in both household & pet products.

> Cancer causing sawdust. Calif. posted a Prop 65 warning that says
inhalation of sawdust is cancer
causing. Cats dig in cat litter and their faces, noses and mouths are right in the sawdust. When people pour and scoop they breathe it too.

> Soft wood based cat litters cause respiratory irritation in people but even more so in cats who are much closer to the sawdust and are more vulnerable to phenol toxicity.

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Read More Answers


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?

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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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