12 Cat Litter Alternatives You Have in Your Home

Last Updated on: October 14, 2020

Maybe you’ve come home from doing the grocery shipping after a long day only to find you missed a few essentials off your list, including the cat litter!

A cat faced with an empty litter tray is likely to go and find somewhere else to do their business, such as your beautiful new potted plant or behind the bathroom door.

We’ve rounded up 12 cat litter alternatives that you can turn to in a pinch. Some of these do require a little planning, and others can be used straight away in case of an emergency.

Also, some commercial cat litters aren’t particularly eco-friendly in terms of production or disposal, so you might be looking for a greener alternative that can be composted down rather than added to a landfill. In that case, we’ve got you covered! We’ve also included a recipe for homemade clumping cat litter at the end. This is biodegradable and cost-effective and can be composted. It sounds like a winner to us!

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1. Wood Shavings

Wood Shavings
Image Credit By: Carlos andre Santos, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Biodegradable
  • Pleasant fresh scent
  • Cheap

Cons
  • Pine oils can be toxic to cats
  • Need to try to select wood chips with little to no dust


2. Potting Soil

Soil Litter
Image Credit By: Creatopic, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Likely already have on hand
  • Most cats enjoy the feel of it
  • Cheap & easy to get ahold of

Cons


3. Whole Wheat

Whole Wheat
Image Credit By: Indre Pau, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Cheap to buy
  • Can throw in blender for a finer texture
  • Absorbent

Cons
  • Not effective at masking smells (baking soda helps with this)


4. Puppy Training Pads

PeePads
Image Credit By: Michael Moloney, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Likely have on hand if you already have a dog
  • Absorbent
  • Cheap

Cons
  • Cat may scratch them up when trying to bury poop
  • Crystals make become exposed
  • Will not neutralize smells


5. Shredded Paper

Shredded Paper
Image Credit By: Sahat, Shutterstock

Pros
  • You likely already have some
  • Free

Cons
  • You’ll need a lot of paper
  • Will need to soak to remove toxic ink
  • Will then need to let dry ( time- consuming)


6. Sand

Cat Sand Litter
Image Credit By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Cats love sand
  • Sand clumps when wet ( reduces smells)
  • Cheap and easy to find

Cons
  • Trapped in paws & tracked through the house
  • Does not neutralize odors completely


7. Artificial Turf

Artificial Turf
Image Credit By: Chomphuphucar, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Cost effective
  • Can rinse between uses
  • Long lasting

Cons
  • Not all cats will love this option
  • Can’t bury poop


8. Alfalfa Pellets

Alfa alfa pellets
Image Credit By: Vipavlenkoff, Shutterstock

Pros
  • May already have some
  • Eco-friendly
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe

Cons
  • May get tracked when broken down
  • Will not control odor


9. Horse Bedding Pellets

Horse Bedding Pellets
Image Credit By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Cheaper than pine litter
  • Designed to absorb large amounts of liquids

Cons
  • No clumping
  • Have to clean litter regularly to prevent tracking


10. Sawdust

Saw Dust
Image Credit By: Kolosov Alexandr, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Smells good
  • Easy to store

Cons
  • Particals have potential to be inhaled by your cat
  • Need to try to select wood chips with little to no dust


11. Chicken Feed

Pros
  • May already have on hand
  • Absorbent
  • Cheap

Cons
  • Will not neutralize odors
  • May attract vermin


12. Homemade Clumping Cat Litter

Clumping Litter
Image Credit By: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock

Pros
  • Can make at home
  • Effective

Cons
  • Time consuming

How to DIY : If you’ve got newspaper or scrap paper, baking soda, and dish soap, then you can make your own homemade clumping cat litter! You’ll need to soak the shredded paper in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. After 30 minutes, drain the paper and rinse in fresh water. Drain, then sprinkle all over with baking power. Squeeze out all moisture, and spread out to dry for at least two days. Crumble into small pieces and that’s your new homemade cat litter!


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Wrapping it up

It’s always useful to know what you can turn to in a cat litter emergency. You might have also been inspired to have a go at making your homemade cat litter. If you decide to try it out, let us know if it was a success. We’d love to hear from you!


Featured Image Credit: Khamidulin Sergey, Shutterstock