Skip to content

9 Best Natural Cat Litter Alternatives

The best natural cat litter alternatives: If you’re a cat owner, you know that having reliable cat litter is essential for maintaining a clean and comfortable environment for you and your feline friend. But what happens when you run out of your usual commercial litter or if you’re searching for a more wallet- and environmentally-friendly option?

Jump To...

what can you use as an alternative to cat litter?

That’s where cat litter alternatives come into play. These alternatives are gaining popularity among pet parents who are conscious of their pets’ health and budget. Incorporating alternative cat litter into your routine might be easier.

Best Natural Cat Litter Alternatives

Cat Litter Alternatives

While traditional commercial cat litters offer convenience with their clumping and flushable options, cat litter alternatives are stepping into the spotlight due to their numerous benefits.

Key Takeaways: what can you use as an alternative to cat litter?

  • Shredded Newspaper: Affordable and absorbent,  Natural scent masks odors, Doesn’t track as much as some alternatives.
  • Potting Soil: Easy transition, but tracks and smells, Use untreated, chemical-free soil.
  • Shavings or Sawdust: Absorbs urine, masks odors, Beware of allergies and toxic woods.
  • Sand: Natural choice, tracks but clumps, Add baking soda for odor control.
  • Chicken Feed: Mix with shavings for absorption, Can attract rodents outdoors.
  • Walnut Litter: Eco-friendly, good odor control, Clumps well, breaks easier than usual.
  • Temporary Solutions: Paper towels or puppy pads in emergencies, No odor control, frequent replacement.
  • Artificial Turf (Grass): No odor control or clumping, Cat’s burying instincts may damage it.

From shredded newspaper to chicken feed, the alternatives are as varied as they are interesting. Let’s dive into some of these options:

1. Shredded Newspaper

Credit: Hans

While it might take a bit of time to prepare, shredded newspaper has become a popular choice among pet parents seeking alternatives. It’s readily available and cost-effective. Shredded newspapers and non-glossy junk mail can work, but it’s important to remove as much ink as possible due to potential toxic chemicals. This option takes some preparation.

Shredded newspaper’s absorbent nature makes it a practical choice for managing urine, and it’s also excellent at masking odors due to its natural scent. Unlike some alternatives, shredded newspaper won’t get stuck in your cat’s paws, minimizing tracking issues.

2. Potting Soil: A Natural Option with Drawbacks

Potting soil might seem like an easy choice, but it does come with its downsides. It tracks easily, and the smell of cat urine can quickly become noticeable. Opt for untreated, chemical-free potting soil to minimize potential health risks.

3. Shavings or Sawdust

Both shavings and sawdust are effective at absorbing urine and controlling odors. They offer a natural scent that can help mask any unpleasant smells. However, be cautious if your cat has allergies, as the dust from sawdust can trigger reactions and worsen asthma symptoms. Sawdust can also be messy, making it more suitable for single-cat households.

Sawdust and wood shavings are environmentally friendly alternatives. However, sawdust can be a human carcinogen, and its fine particles may irritate both human and feline respiratory systems. Always ensure the wood is free of toxic oils and chemicals before using it.

4. Sand

Sand is a cat’s instinctive choice for a litter substrate. It’s similar to the natural soil where wild cats would bury their waste. If you have outdoor space, you can create a designated area for your cat to use as a toilet. Alternatively, you can introduce sand to an indoor litter box. Just remember to sprinkle some baking soda to manage odors and use a litter mat to prevent tracking.

Sand is another straightforward option that’s relatively easy for cats to adapt to. While it does track, it also clumps well and holds odors. Just be cautious when using outdoor sand, as it might contain microbes and germs.

5. Chicken Feed

Surprisingly, chicken feed has proven to be a highly absorbent cat litter alternative. When mixed with wood shavings and baking soda, it forms an effective combination for waste absorption and odor control. However, be mindful that chicken feed can attract rodents, especially in outdoor litter boxes.

6. Rice: Absorbent but Not for Odor Control

Rice is absorbent, making it effective for moisture control. However, it doesn’t hold the smell of ammonia, so it might not be the best choice for odor-sensitive situations.

7. Walnut Litter

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative, walnut litter might be your answer. Made from walnut shells, this litter offers good odor control and is easy for cats to dig around in. It clumps, making scooping a breeze. However, keep in mind that it might break apart more easily than traditional clumping litters.

8. Paper Towel/Puppy Pad: Temporary Solutions

In dire circumstances, paper towels or puppy pads can be used. They won’t absorb odors or clump, and your cat might try to bury waste, resulting in torn material. These are short-term options that require frequent replacement.

9. Artificial Turf (Grass): A Unique Choice

Artificial turf can be placed in the litter box, but it won’t absorb odors or clump. Your cat’s burying instincts might lead to a torn turf. Cleaning involves rinsing and washing with biodegradable soap.

Making the Transition

Switching to a cat litter alternative doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Most alternatives are readily available and require minimal preparation. Gradually introduce the new litter alongside your cat’s familiar litter to make the transition smoother. This allows your cat to adjust to the change without feeling stressed.

Final Thoughts

Cat litter alternatives offer a range of benefits for health-conscious pet parents aiming to provide the best for their furry companions while also considering the environment and their wallets. With choices ranging from shredded newspaper to walnut litter, you’re bound to find an alternative that suits your cat’s preferences, household needs, and personal values.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *