some concluding thoughts on eco-friendly cat litter
I have some concluding thoughts on my journey to find an eco-friendlier cat litter. I finally found my way to my local pet store. I was able to find several more brands of sustainable cat litter to try, and they carry the two brands that I had found online. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the brands of cat litter this store carries are sustainable. They only had one or two brands of cat litter that were made from clay and one made from crystals which I will discuss later in this article. It was nice to see that this store responds to the community’s concern for sustainability by carrying a nice variety of sustainable products for their pets.
I decided to try a different brand of cat litter. It is wood-based, and it is packaged in recycled paper making the entire product biodegradable. The corn-based brand and the walnut-based brand both come in recycled plastic bags. The cost of the wood-based cat litter is very reasonable, and this brand also has a pea plant-based cat litter that I am considering trying to see if the cats prefer that over the other types that we have tried recently.
I have seen a few different stores carry crystal cat litter. Unsure what exactly material contained in crystal cat litter, I decided to do some research to educate myself and I discovered that this type of cat litter is made from silica gel, oxygen, and water. It is not biodegradable or plant-based so I will not be venturing into experimenting with this type of litter.
I also found a new dry cat food on this excursion. The advantage to buying at this pet store is that it is close enough that I can ride my bike when I need to buy more cat food and litter, and the bags are light enough for me to transport by bike as well. They have a few different types of dry cat food that I can try if the cats decide they don’t like the new one. The wet cat food was a bit on the pricey side, so I am looking at other options in that regard. I discovered a Blue Buffalo wet cat food at the grocery store to try until I can find a more affordable and sustainable wet cat food that my cats enjoy.
Back to the joys of sustainable cat litter. I found some unexpected benefits to switching to plant-based cat litter. Sustainable litters are much lighter than clay-based litter which makes transporting them easier. The litter that clumps do not stick to the bottom of the litter pan which makes cleaning the litter box less messy always a bonus.
Thanks to feedback from Rachel on Substack, I learned that I could compost my litter to use on non-edible plants and her ideas on how to craft a cat litter box from a cement mixer container.
“Rachel Biel: I have four cats and have been using Abound for several years now. I think it’s a Kroger brand. It is made of grass seed and the fibers bind together when it dries. Easy to scoop, unscented. Pet feces can be composted and is something I would like to do down the road, but the dirt can only be used for decorative plants, not food. The other reason clay litter is problematic is that all litter can stick to the cat’s paws, which they then lick. The clay can cause intestinal blockage.
“A tip for people with multiple cats: litter boxes are expensive. I use a cement mixing tub and it works very well. It was only $8 when I bought it, where pet stores charge that for the flimsy litter boxes. I set it up on concrete blocks so that I don’t have to bend so far to scoop.”
Composted cat litter is not recommended for plants grown for human consumption for health reasons. I like the choice of having different ways of disposing of the cat litter than sending it to the landfill. Even if I do choose to send it to the landfill, the sustainable litter will biodegrade quicker compared to clay litter.
What are your thoughts on being a pet parent and sustainable living?
This article was originally published on Medium - https://medium.com/two-crones-initiative/a-fragrant-ending-to-my-search-for-an-eco-friendly-cat-litter-72f1282922c6