What Can I Use Instead of Cat Litter Six Interesting Alternatives

What Can I Use Instead of Cat Litter: Six Interesting Alternatives

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It’s often said that cats are more than just pets—they’re more like our bosses who are around to make sure that we are doing everything right. From feeding them on time to playing together, cats expect a lot from their owners.

One thing that you probably care about more than they do is their litter. After years of buying cat litter and getting tired of the downsides of using it, you might start wondering and asking, “What can I use instead of cat litter?” Thankfully for you, there are quite a few alternatives that your cat overseer will still love!

Cat Litter Alternatives

1. Sand

Sand is probably the cat’s favorite alternative to cat litter, and many cats will actually prefer sand than ordinary cat litter. Sand is very easy to buy, affordable, and can even be mixed with some other things to make a DIY cat litter if you want extra odor-fighting qualities.

Additionally, sand does clump relatively well, but it doesn’t clump as much as the clumping of cat litter you and your cats may have gotten used to. Just remember that, in time, you will adjust to how to clean it properly.


  • Affordable and absorbent
  • Can be mixed with baking soda
  • Little clumps
  • Cats love it naturally


  • Messy and heavy
  • You must mix it yourself
Cat Litter Alternatives

2. Natural Wood Fiber or Shavings

Also known as horse bedding, using wood fiber pellets or shavings is a great idea. They are absorbent, but they do not cost nearly as much as cat litter and have fewer chemicals in them. Be sure to choose the wood fiber that was manufactured safely and consciously.

While you can buy wood shavings and pellets in many stores, you might even be able to call a local lumber mill or woodshop to find out if they sell any at a reduced cost. Just be sure that you only get shreddings that are from untreated wood.


  • Affordable and natural
  • Easy to find
  • Safe for cats
  • Super absorbent


  • Can be stinky and messy
  • Doesn’t fight odors

3. Newspaper

Believe it or not, you can simply utilize newspaper clippings or full sheets. All you have to do is line a pan with newspaper, preferably in multiple layers. You can even shred it up to make a more absorbent set up. This is a great option for those who want to recycle papers.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to set up
  • Simple
  • Not heavy


  • Difficult to change
  • Not very absorbent
  • Doesn’t fight odors
  • Not all cats will like it
  • Some cats will carry paper in the house to play with it
Best Litter Box for your Cat

4. Cracked Corn and Other Feeds

There are many animal feeds, such as cracked corn and poultry crumbles, which can be used as cat litter. They are natural since they are simply food, but they can be a big adjustment for some cats. Still, they make for a place for your cat to go in if they can transition to using it.

One big issue we have to mention with using feed is the potential to attract bugs, mice, or other things. If you don’t pay close attention to the quality of the feed or change it often enough, you might have a bigger problem than a stinky litter box on your hands.


  • Affordable and natural
  • Simple to set up
  • Smells good


  • Some feed pieces might be too big
  • Hard to scoop solids out
  • Liquid goes to the bottom
  • Has a grain smell; some cats won’t use it

5. Manufactured Alternatives

There are many eco-friendly manufactured alternatives out there, and every year, more alternatives are released! From pine shavings specifically made for cats to chemical-free litters, you can find all of these at the local pet store.


  • Specifically made for cats
  • Typically have clumping qualities
  • Eco-friendly and cat-safe


  • Can be expensive
  • Not every cat will like it
  • Can be hard to get cats to adjust to

6. Potting Soil

While it may seem like a strange choice, it’s important to remember that cats have been around for a long time, but cat litter was only invented about 75 years ago. Before that time, cats mostly lived and went to the bathroom outside, and the soil was one such place.


  • Simple to find
  • Clumps well
  • Absorbs some odors
  • Can be mixed with other things (such as baking soda) for better results


  • Can be messy and smelly
  • Can be hard to distinguish solids

Go for Sample Sizes

Stop wondering what can I use instead of cat litter and try out a sample size of one of these options! Even if one of them seems like the best choice, don’t commit to buying a large amount until you and your cat test it out.


Once you see whether you both like it or not, you can invest in your new alternative to cat litter. Many pet owners believe that cat litter is their only option, but you now know that this is not the case!

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