What Is The Cheapest Thing To Use For Cat Litter?

Are you sick of shelling out big bucks for cat litter every time you hit the store? It’s like the price just keeps rising with no end in sight. But fear not, my fellow feline lovers, because there is a cheaper and more eco-friendly solution right under your nose. That’s right – you can use everyday household items as cat litter and save yourself some serious cash.

In this post, we’re going to dive into the cheapest options available for keeping your kitty’s potty experience comfortable and clean. We’ll explore everything from newspaper to wood stove pellets, breaking down the pros and cons of each alternative and giving you tips on how to use them effectively. Plus, we’ll share some tricks for transitioning your cat from their current litter to the new option.

Not only will this solution save you money, but it’s also an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint. Traditional cat litter is often non-biodegradable and ends up polluting our landfills. By switching to a more sustainable option, you can do your part in protecting our planet.

So if you’re ready to learn about the cheapest options for cat litter that won’t break the bank or harm Mother Earth, then keep reading.

Overview of Cat Litter Options

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Choosing the right cat litter for your furry companion is no easy feat. With a wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your cat and budget. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of cat litter available and their pros and cons.

Clay-based cat litter

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One of the most commonly used types of cat litter is clay-based cat litter. This type of litter is made from natural clay minerals that are processed into small, absorbent particles. Although clay-based cat litter is known for its ability to absorb moisture and odor effectively, it can be quite heavy and dusty, which can be problematic for cats with respiratory issues or allergies.


  • Effective at absorbing moisture and odor
  • Widely available
  • Affordable


  • Heavy and dusty
  • Not eco-friendly or sustainable

Crystal-based cat litter

Crystal-based cat litter is made from silica gel beads that are highly absorbent and trap urine and odor effectively. This type of litter can last longer than other types of litter, making it a cost-effective option in the long run. However, it can be expensive upfront, and some cats may not take well to the texture of the beads.


  • Long-lasting
  • Highly absorbent
  • Minimal tracking


    • Expensive upfront
    • Some cats may not like the texture

    Biodegradable cat litter

    Biodegradable cat litter has gained popularity in recent years as a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional litters. Made from natural materials like corn, wheat, or recycled paper products, biodegradable litters break down quickly and can be composted. They also tend to be less dusty and lightweight than clay-based litters. However, they may not be as effective at controlling odor as other types of litter.


    • Eco-friendly and sustainable
    • Less dusty
    • Lightweight


    • May not control odor effectively
    • Some types may be more expensive

    Alternatives to commercial cat litter

    If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, there are a few alternatives to commercial cat litter that can be effective and easy on your wallet. Shredded newspaper or paper pellets, sand or dirt, and wood shavings or sawdust are all viable options.


    • Cost-effective
    • Eco-friendly and sustainable (shredded newspaper and wood shavings)


    Pros and Cons of Shredded Newspaper or Paper Pellets

    Look no further than shredded newspaper or paper pellets as an alternative cat litter option. As an expert on cat litter, I’ve researched the pros and cons of using shredded newspaper or paper pellets, so let’s dive in.


    • Cost-effective: Shredded newspaper or paper pellets are the most affordable options available in the market. They are easy to obtain from local newspaper or stationery stores.
    • Eco-friendly: These materials are made from recycled paper, making them a sustainable choice. They can even be recycled again after use, reducing their carbon footprint.
    • Lightweight: Shredded newspaper or paper pellets are lightweight, making them easy to handle and perfect for people with mobility issues.
    • Low dust: Compared to traditional clay litters, shredded newspaper or paper pellets produce less dust, making them better for cats with respiratory problems.


    • Absorbency: Shredded newspaper or paper pellets may not be as absorbent as other cat litter materials. This means they may need to be changed more frequently.
    • Tracking: These materials can be easily tracked around the house by your cat’s paws, leading to more frequent cleaning.
    • Odor control: Shredded newspaper or paper pellets may not be as effective at controlling odors as other cat litter materials, which means you may need to change the litter more frequently.
    • Messy: If they get wet or your cat spills them outside of the litter box, shredded newspaper or paper pellets can be messy to clean up.

    Pros and Cons of Sand or Dirt

    These natural materials can be a great choice, but there are some important pros and cons to consider before making your decision.

    Let’s start with sand. This classic litter option has been used for centuries and for good reason. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s also a natural material that won’t harm the environment. Additionally, sand is highly absorbent and can effectively trap moisture and odors. However, sand can be messy to clean up, and it may require more frequent cleaning than other litter types. Furthermore, sand is notorious for tracking throughout your home as it easily gets stuck to your cat’s paws. And if you think flushing it down the toilet will solve this issue, think again. Sand can clog your plumbing, leading to costly repairs.

    Now let’s take a look at dirt. While less commonly used as litter, dirt can still be a viable option for those on a budget. It’s natural and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or additives. Some cats even enjoy digging in dirt as it provides them with a natural outlet for their instincts. However, dirt has some downsides too. It’s not very absorbent, which means it may not trap moisture and odors as effectively as other litter types. Like sand, dirt can also be messy to clean up, and it may track throughout your home.

    Pros and Cons of Wood Shavings or Sawdust

    Before you make the switch, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

    On the plus side, wood shavings or sawdust is a low-cost option that won’t break the bank. It’s also made from natural materials and is biodegradable, making it a great choice for environmentally-conscious cat owners. Additionally, it’s highly absorbent, effectively controlling odors and keeping your home smelling fresh. And for those concerned about dust, many brands offer a dust-free option that reduces respiratory problems for both cats and their owners.

    However, there are some potential downsides to consider. One of the most significant is tracking – wood shavings or sawdust can be easily scattered around the house by cats, leading to more frequent cleanups. The lightweight nature of this type of litter can also make it difficult to maintain a clean litter box area.

    Another consideration is that wood shavings or sawdust cannot be flushed down the toilet like some other types of cat litter. This means that disposal may require more frequent trips to the trash can or outside bin. Finally, there is the risk of pest attraction – the scent of wood shavings or sawdust may draw insects or rodents to the litter box area, creating an extra headache for cat owners.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing the Cheapest Option for Cat Litter

    When it comes to choosing the cheapest option for cat litter, it’s important to consider a few key factors to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. As a feline expert, I have conducted extensive research and compiled some top tips to help you make an informed choice.

    First and foremost, odor control and moisture absorption are critical factors to consider. You want to ensure that your cat’s litter box stays clean and fresh-smelling for as long as possible, without having to constantly replace the litter. This will not only save you money but also keep your home smelling pleasant.

    In addition, the type of litter you choose can have a significant impact on both your wallet and the environment. While clay-based litters may be the cheapest option upfront, they may not be the most eco-friendly or healthy for your cat. Instead, consider alternatives such as recycled newspaper pellets or pine shavings, which may cost a bit more initially but can be better for your cat’s health and the planet in the long run.

    Another factor to keep in mind is the size of your cat and their litter box. Larger cats will require more litter, so you may need to purchase larger bags or boxes to accommodate them. Additionally, smaller litter boxes may need more frequent cleaning, which can add up in cost over time.

    Lastly, it’s crucial to evaluate the cost of the litter against its lifespan. Cheaper options may need to be changed more frequently than pricier alternatives, ultimately costing you more in the long run. Therefore, it’s worth considering investing in a higher-quality litter that will last longer and save you money in the long term.

    Alternatives to Commercial Cat Litter

    Commercial cat litter can quickly add up in cost, leading you to search for a more affordable and eco-friendly option. Luckily, there are several alternatives to commercial cat litter that can save you money while keeping your cat’s litter box clean.

    One option is to use natural materials such as paper, wood shavings, or straw. These materials are absorbent, easy to dispose of, and can be found at a low cost. Shredded newspaper, for example, can often be picked up for free at local newspapers or recycling centers.

    Another alternative is sand or dirt. These natural materials are readily available and clump together when wet, making them easy to clean up. Additionally, they are biodegradable and can be disposed of in compost bins or outdoor areas.

    For the adventurous cat owner, unconventional materials such as corn cob pellets, chicken feed, or even baking soda can be used as a litter box filler. These options may be less common but can be just as effective and affordable.

    It is important to note that while these alternatives may be cheaper than commercial cat litter, they may require more frequent cleaning and changing. Additionally, some cats may have preferences for certain types of litter, so it may take some experimentation to find the best fit for your furry friend.

    What to Avoid when Choosing a Cheap Cat Litter Option

    Choosing the right cat litter is essential when it comes to your feline friend’s health and well-being. While price is always a consideration, it’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not be the best. Here are five things to avoid when choosing a cheap cat litter option:

    Clay-Based Litters

    Clay litter may seem like a good option due to its low cost and widespread availability. However, it can be harmful to both cats and humans. Clay litter is often dusty, which can cause respiratory problems in cats. Additionally, it is not biodegradable and can contribute to landfill waste.

    Scented Litters

    Some cat owners choose scented litters to mask unpleasant odors. However, the fragrance can be overwhelming for cats and may cause respiratory issues. Additionally, some scented litters contain chemicals that can be harmful to your cat’s health.

    Recycled Materials

    Litters made from recycled materials such as paper or wood chips may seem like a good choice due to their eco-friendliness and affordability. However, they can be messy and difficult to clean up. Some cats may also dislike the texture or scent of these types of litters.

    Crystalline Silica

    This substance is commonly found in some types of cheap cat litter, such as crystal litter. It has been linked to respiratory problems in both humans and cats, so it’s best to avoid using any litter that contains crystalline silica.

    Sand or Dirt

    While sand or dirt may seem like a cheap alternative to cat litter, they are not recommended for several reasons. They do not absorb moisture well and can lead to unpleasant odors and unsanitary conditions. Additionally, cats may track the sand or dirt throughout your home, making cleaning even more challenging.

    Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Cheap Cat Litter Choice

    Well, the good news is that you don’t have to compromise on cleanliness and odor control even with a cheaper option. Here are five tips for making the most of your cheap cat litter choice:

    Opt for Highly Absorbent Litter

    Choose a litter that is highly absorbent, like clay-based litter, which not only helps keep the litter box clean but also prevents any unpleasant odors from spreading throughout your home. A highly absorbent litter can also help you save money in the long run.

    Go for Clumping Cat Litter

    Clumping cat litter forms clumps when it comes into contact with moisture, making it easier to scoop out and dispose of. Using clumping cat litter means that you will need to replace the litter less frequently, saving you money without compromising cleanliness.

    Use Baking Soda as a Natural Deodorizer

    Baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer. Sprinkle some baking soda on top of the litter and mix it in to absorb any unpleasant smells and keep the litter box fresh. This is an affordable and effective way to control odor.

    Scoop Out Waste Daily

    Regular scooping of your cat’s waste from the litter box helps maintain cleanliness and prevents any potential health issues for your cat. By scooping out waste daily, you can prolong the lifespan of your cheap cat litter and save money in the long run.

    Invest in a Litter Mat

    A good quality litter mat placed under your cat’s litter box can help catch any loose litter particles that may end up on your floors or furniture. It can help reduce waste and save you time on cleaning up while maintaining cleanliness.


    To sum up, cat litter can be a costly expense for cat owners. But don’t panic – there are plenty of cheaper and environmentally friendly options out there. From clay-based to biodegradable litters, and even sand or dirt, each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

    If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, then shredded newspaper or paper pellets are your best bet. However, if you’re after something that’s both affordable and eco-friendly with great odor control, then wood shavings or sawdust could be the perfect choice for you.

    When choosing a cheap cat litter option, it’s crucial to consider various factors such as absorbency levels, odor control capabilities, the size of your cat and their litter box, lifespan of the litter, and environmental impact. It’s also essential to steer clear of harmful litters that could put your cat’s health at risk or contribute to landfill waste.

    By following some simple tips like using baking soda as a natural deodorizer and investing in a litter mat, you can make your cheap cat litter work wonders without sacrificing cleanliness or odor control.