If you are interested in saving money, protecting the environment, and promoting both human and feline health, DIY cat litter just might be right for you. There are many sustainable alternatives to commercial cat litter products. We will go over the advantages and disadvantages here so you can make an informed decision.
Main advantages of DIY cat litter
Making your own cat litter can offer some key benefits. Lower costs, greater sustainability, and increased safety for you and your fur baby are among the most compelling. Cat litter is the type of product that lends itself to repeat purchasing. As a result, your costs are pretty fixed. There are many different price points for cat litter, but outside of it being on sale, you’re probably spending a large chunk of change on a commercial product over your own DIY kitty litter.
We believe investing in the right products and services means everything when providing for our families. That said, when you can lower your monthly expenses and protect the environment, that’s a win for everyone. The truth is, many cat litter products contain contaminants that we don’t need in our water supply. Flushing litter down the toilet may seem quick and easy, but it pollutes the environment. Even throwing away dirty cat litter can have a negative impact on the environment through runoff and drainage.
Some clay-containing cat litters have been found somewhat toxic for both animals and humans. Carcinogens are not something you want in your home. Nonetheless, many commercial products – including cat litter — contain them. By choosing to create your own cat litter, you can actually protect those in your home from experiencing increased allergies and asthmatic symptoms.
Finally, many people love making their own products so they are in greater control of their home environment. This spirit of self-reliance can help you save money, be healthier, and make smarter choices for yourself, your partner, your pets, and your children.
Disadvantages of DIY kitty litter
So, as amazing as DIY home products can be, they are often not as quick or simple as their commercial competitors. Cat litter is no different. Producing your own kitty litter requires more effort, thought, and possibly expense than simply going to the store and purchasing a trusted brand.
One disadvantage of some materials used to make DIY cat litter, such as newspaper, requires you to have access to large quantities of it. If you are reading the New York Times, LA Weekly, and Washington Post on a weekly basis, having enough paper might work; if not, it could be hard to find as much as you will need.
Another disadvantage is that you might be used to commercial kitty litter that reduces odors and create clumps that are easier to pick up. These benefits aren’t usually reproducible in homemade litter. So, while you might enjoy some aspects of DIY litter, you might miss some of the best things about the commercial products you already know and trust.
Making your own cat litter requires some experimentation. There are various materials and formulas that you can try. If this is something you enjoy, great; if not, you might want to reconsider. You’ve likely found certain consumer products have their pluses and minuses. The same can be said about DIY cat litter solutions.
Some great DIY cat litter ideas
Newspaper, old notebook paper from school, junk mail, love letters – there are lots of different types of paper you can use as a DIY litter choice. Some cats may have a hard time making the switch from a consumer product to simple newspaper. If you can find a way to coax your cat to use it, you might find this litter is a sustainable way to repurpose all the extra paper in your life. Get creative as long as there are no toxic inks, dyes, chemicals, or paints on the paper you use.
Believe it or not, many people use old wood shavings as a DIY cat litter. If you live in the country and own a woodshop — or know someone who does — this could be a great way to make use of their leftovers. This material is considered sustainably safe to use in your cat’s box. Purchasing wood shavings, however, can be kind of expensive. You also need to be careful about splinters and sharp shavings in your litter box. Sawdust is the best way to use wood as a DIY litter.
Chicken feed and baking soda is one formula you can use to make your own DIY litter. There are many other combinations out there, as well. Another one is adding dish soap and baking soda to sand. Getting the ratios right might take some experimentation, but people have had success.
Most cats love sandy locations and are naturally attracted to them. This is one reason why a sand litter box could be the right choice for you. Depending on where you live, you could either collect your own sand or purchase it in bulk from a building supply company. Purchasing sand and adding some baking soda for odor reduction can be a way to reap benefits from DIY cat litter. This way, you are using a more holistic product that works similar to what you are used to but is more sustainable.
It’s all about what works for you
Choosing the right litter for your cat may be as personal as choosing the kindergarten for your child. We get it. That said, we think you might enjoy experimenting with DIY cat litter because there are so many great options out there. Experiment with some of the above options and see what works best for your feline friend.
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