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How To Make Your Own DIY Cat Litter

Save money, save the environment, and save your cat's health by creating your very own DIY cat litter.

By Sherry CampbellPublished 6 years ago 5 min read

There are more ways than one to create your own kitty litter, so you don't have any reason not to give it a shot.

A great opportunity to be environmentally friendly, save a bunch of money, and improve your kitty's health, DIY kitty litter is a triple threat. From newspaper litter to wood shavings, chicken feed, and more, we've got you covered with options.

Why make your own cat litter?

You might be asking yourself why you should go through the trouble to make your own DIY cat litter. Well, there are plenty of ways.

The number one is that it will cut down on your expenses drastically. Commercial cat litter can get pricey, and if you're cleaning out their litter box correctly, you're going through a ton of it, especially if you have multiple cats.

Another reason is that commercial cat litter has proven to cause health concerns for cats. Clay-based litters typically have carcinogen, which will create a breathing, allergy, and asthma problems for cats, and for you.

Environmental concerns are also prominent with typical kitty litter, due to the clay that is included in the litter. This litter is strip-mined, and flushable litter will contaminate the water.


So now that you know why you should be creating your own DIY cat litter, let's get into how! First, on our list of the best ways to create your own homemade cat litter, is the newspaper route.

We're sure you've already got plenty of newspapers to fill up your litter box, and if not, dig into your junk mail as well. Something that is always plentiful, and very inexpensive, using newspaper requires shredding, and that's it. An easy job, your shredded paper fill line the litter box, and it works great especially for cats who are declawed.

Wood Shavings

Wood shavings are certainly inexpensive, and will save your wallet from commercial kitty litter. Found in feed stores, the shaving will work great as a little box liner.

Plus, you won't even have to worry about deodorizing your box, because the wood has a natural scent. It covers the ammonia smell that is caused by your kitty's pee. You can also use sawdust, which can be easily acquired from your local cabinet store.


What might not be your first guess as to what the best DIY cat litter is, but sand is a great alternative to the overpriced store brand kitty litters. An easy to apply, and even easier to clean litter, sand in your kitty's litter box will make them certainly happy.

Plus, it clumps very well while wet, making for easy extraction. And if you're concerned about smell, add a cup of baking soda to the sand. However, your cat's urine odors will not stick to the product, which is a great plus.

Dish Soap, Baking Soda, and Newspaper

A great twist to the newspaper option, adding the elements of dish soap and baking soda to the mix will allow you to mask odor, and create a very easy to use litter. To make, you will shred the newspaper in a paper shredder, soak the paper in warm water and dish soap, and wait until the paper turns into an oatmeal consistency (lovely.)

Then, drain the water, and repeat the soaking process, just minus the soap. Add the baking soda in a sprinkling motion to the wet paper, and knead it into the concoction. Then, squeeze any extra moisture until it's mostly dry, and it leaves it to completely dry. This might take a few days, but once it's done, you'll have an eco-friendly product that your kitties will appreciate with each use.

Chicken Feed

One of the least used DIY cat litter, but one that still works like a charm, chicken feed is used in combination with cedar shavings and baking soda. However, it has been warned that this method could potentially attract other unwanted animals such as rats, mice, and bugs. So use caution!

The Cons of DIY Litter

There are cons for every type of DIY litter, but none of these cons include cost, environmental damage, or damage to your furry friend. To begin, taking the newspaper route will require quite a bit of newspaper to keep up with. However, this can always be fixed by asking a neighbor, friend, or other cat-lover to help you out by providing you with their local newspaper. You can even reach out to the newspaper themselves.

The wood shaving option may be troublesome due to the fact that there is zero odor control. The wet newspaper concoction's con is that it takes a while for the paper to dry, as well as the process itself. And finally, sand is easily get spread throughout your home from sticking to the bottom of your kitty's paws.

How to Deodorize

Baking soda is your best friend after you have made the switch to DIY cat litter. Though deodorizing your homemade litter is one extra step, it won't take too much effort.

Adding either baking soda, carpet deodorizer, or odor-relieving powder specifically meant for litter are all options to choose from when trying to eliminate odor. Give each a shot, and you'll find the best product for your home.

One Last Warning

Before giving each of these DIY litters a shot, keep in mind the fact that many cats are finicky. So instead of attempting each of these formulas day by day, you must remain patient. They will make it apparent which works best for them, and which does not.

So, instead of overwhelming them, and confusing them, give each a shot a couple weeks at a time. You'll be able to gauge which works best, it will just take some time. Or, you could even provide multiple littler boxes, each with different formulas, to avoid them doing their business outside of the box that their dislike.

To conclude our article explaining the best practices of DIY cat litter, we had to mention the powerhouse that is YouTube. This video specifically takes their viewers through their own step by step process of transferring their homemade kitty litter. A great tool to use when making your own transition, this video will make your transfer easy.


About the Creator

Sherry Campbell

Second grade teacher by day, at home therapist for two middle school daughters by night.

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