Free cat litter & better for cat

in Pets & Pet Care
11 replies 2.2K views
I've searched these forums and haven't found any references to cats, but I hope this is of interest to someone out there.

I have 2 cats who do not go outside. Instead of conventional cat litter, I use newspaper and shredded paper in the litter tray. This eliminates any gritty traills from the litter box to the rest of the house, and any danger to the cat from clay dust.

The newspaper is used in sheets to line the bottom of the tray, then the shredded paper (preferably white with small amount of print) is put on top; so whatever the cat does filters down to the newspaper and its paws don't get wet/it has something to scratch & cover with.

I've known breeders who use this system and have checked it out on veterinary sites. In America, vets recommend it for cats which have recently been de-clawed (noted to be a barbaric practice) as it is so soft on their sensitive paws. As far as I can see, the only proviso is not to use newspaper for the shredded paper as newsprint can be toxic and cats may be tempted to eat the shreds (mine do).

For my 2 cats I only put 1 medium sized bag of waste into landfill each week. If you are not squeamish you could always put your cat's solid waste down the loo without fear of blocking the drains with clay, as with normal cat litter. If you compost, I'm not sure if you may be able to use paper & cat urine as compostible material (I don't have a garden).

My cats have been using this for 2 years and have been happy & healthy (and there is no smell!!)
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Replies

  • cattiecattie Forumite
    8.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    I have a friend who uses shredded newspaper as cat litter for her two cats as she is always short of money & doesn't buy cat litter.

    Interesting to read that newsprint is toxic to cats, but sadly if I mentioned it to my friend she'd probably just say that her cats have survived so far so it's fine for them.

    Sadly she isn't what I'd really call a responsible pet owner & I'm sure her cats often go without food as she really is hopeless with money. When I visit I take a few cans & a box of dried food for them.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • I've tried various materials in the cat's tray. I tried just putting in a few layers of newspaper folded to fit, and he flatly refuse to poop in it, getting very uncomfortable too.

    I finally settled on stretching a bin liner over the tray (cheaper than cat tray liners), then putting in a layer of paper strips from my non-crosscut shredder. This is followed by a tabloid-sized newspaper and then a thin layer of recycled paper litter on the top, as he likes to scrape the litter before and after pooping.

    The poop scoop is wrapped in a small plastic bag which gets discarded when dirty - there are always plenty of these left over from food and other products. This saves having to clean the scoop. I've never had any problem putting cat poop with down the loo with a few bits of paper litter.
  • GhostGhost Forumite
    313 Posts
    cattie wrote:
    When I visit I take a few cans & a box of dried food for them.
    Aww Cattie, what a lovely thing to do, bless you!

    Thanks for the tip 123456, although I don't think I could be bothered to shred the paper as I get through a lot of litter with 3 cats. Incidentally, I've recently been buying Layers Pellets (saw the recommendation elsewhere on this site) and it really does work! I've decided to go back to fullers earth this week though as one of my cats won't use the pellets - although I'd forgotten how dusty proper cat litter actually is.
    "He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers"
  • patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
    5.9K Posts
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    Hi
    I don't think that news print is toxic, there is another thread about rabbit bedding and the print that used to be used was toxic, but I think that nowadays it is safe.
  • Ghost wrote:
    Incidentally, I've recently been buying Layers Pellets (saw the recommendation elsewhere on this site) and it really does work!

    Ghost, what are Layer Pellets? My lovely (albeit stinky!) cat gets through MOUNTAINS of cat litter!
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch...:D
  • GhostGhost Forumite
    313 Posts
    Hi Waterlilyann,

    You can buy Layers Pellets (pelleted chicken feed) from Pets at Home. I know it sounds weird, but it absorbs just like fullers earth, is biodegradable, and safe to use - plus a sack lasts for absolute ages (and I've 3 cats!). Costs around £6.50 (I think).

    Just re-trying fullers earth, but I think I may go back to Layers - less waste, less weight in the refuse sack, costs less in the long run, and less dust. (Although one of my cats was a little confused at first and kept eating it! :rotfl: )
    "He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers"
  • Thanks Ghost. Will def give it a try! Another question though (sorry!) what is fullers earth????
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch...:D
  • GhostGhost Forumite
    313 Posts
    Fullers earth is just the normal grey cat litter, which weights a ton, although it clumps really well (unlinke some other litters). You can also buy it at Pets at Home and all other pet shops (again around £5-£7), but the beware, the cheapest is usually the most dusty - from my experience anyway.

    I have tried other litters (eg. wood chips, lightweight, etc) but have never got on with them and always end up going back to buying ordinary litter (the fullers earth type). BTW the layers pellets also clump really well.

    Let us know how you get on with the pellets if you try them.
    "He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers"
  • Thank you Ghost! I currently use the Pets at Home own brand litter (it's blue and smells quite nice!!) but i works out really expensive. Will get some pellets next time i run out.
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch...:D
  • GhostGhost Forumite
    313 Posts
    BTW, if you do buy the pellets in Petsathome, don't mention to the assistant that it's for cat litter - when I did, they looked at me as if I was totally barking!!! :rotfl:
    "He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers"
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