Having a pet at home is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Cats have a pretty feisty reputation. While dog owners can just take their pets on a leash and go outside when their canines want to take care of their business, their feline counterparts are much more complicated when it comes to emptying their bowels. If you have an indoor-outdoor cat, chances are your cat is perfectly capable to bask in the sun and relieve itself outside on your property. It’s free, and you don’t have to maintain the litter box.
For indoor cats meanwhile, its owner needs to have a litter box. Not having one means you and your family members are at risk of a potential health problem if your cats’ urine and feces are not properly disposed of. Replacing your litter box with new litter twice a week is recommended for most. Some may prefer to do it once a week.
Cats are notorious for being clean freaks and they will not relieve themselves in dirty cat litter. If your pet sees that the litter box is dirty and is in obvious need of cleaning, it might hold its bowel in which is bad for your cat’s kidney and bladder health. A dirty litter box is also a huge breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses so cleaning it regularly should be at the top of your priorities.
If you find it that you’re continuously emptying the litter box and then suddenly running out of kitty litter, do not panic as they’re probably substitutes lying around the house for a temporary fix. Here are the alternative options you can use to fill the litter box while you wait for the delivery of new kitty litter.
Most feline owners normally don’t research that far for an alternative to fill their litter box as cat litters are a readily available product that you can purchase in most retail stores. However, if you run out of cat litter and the grocery is a few miles ahead, you can use rice as an absorbent. Be cautious though as rice cannot mask the smell of urine or droppings. Therefore, using rice should only be a temporary fix and not a permanent substitute.
Used Paper, Newspaper, and Junk Mail
Using old newspapers, used papers, or junk mail can also be a great alternative for your cat litter. Shredding or tearing them into thin strips and soaking them in warm water and dish soap will permit an oatmeal-like consistency. You can sprinkle baking soda on the wet pieces of paper as you squeeze them to take out all the liquid. You can then start spreading the still-moist papers onto the cat litter. Using old newspapers or mail in the house is a cheap alternative to buying cat litter. You can easily obtain them but the primary drawback is that you will need to have a constant supply if you intend to make them your go-to material for your litter box.
Another great alternative material you can use for your litter box is sand since cats are naturally attracted to it. Because sand clumps well when your pets relieve themselves on it, it has become a popular choice for some cat owners. They are also cheap and readily available. While sand doesn’t hold ammonia odors, you can easily add baking soda as an added measure for odor protection. The disadvantage of using sand for your litter box is that the cat will surely leave tracks around the house. Sand is made of fine grains which easily stick on your cat’s paws. Your cat will definitely scatter it all over the place if you’re not prepared. Placing mats, rugs, or carpets underneath the litter box will help control the mess if you decide to use it as your alternative litter.
Sawdust or Wood Shavings
If there are any woodworking businesses nearby or if you own one yourself, using wood shavings and sawdust is an alternative material for you to use on the cat litter. Cats like the feel of sawdust on their paws. You may even notice them playing over it as they get used to it. The natural wood scent can mask the smell of ammonia. Wood clumps exceptionally well when wet. They are also eco-friendly. Sawdust and wood shavings are inexpensive and woodworkers can give them to you for cheap. Some precautions are necessary as wood is a carcinogen to humans. It is recommended to avoid sawdust that’ is too fine as it can pose a health risk when inhaled.
One of the best places for cats to relieve themselves is good old-fashioned dirt. This may not be an option for indoor cats but you can use potting soil if you don’t have any available litter for your cat to use. If you have a backyard or a garden, consider having a specific place for your cat to do its business. Having one is the most inexpensive option for your cat’s bathroom needs. Although soil is one of the best alternative options you can use, they are also the messiest. Soil has incredible tracking and cannot clump or mask odors. They also harbor germs that can pose a risk to you and your family members around the house.
There are several factors why most pet owners use alternatives instead of the usual commercial cat litters sold in most grocery stores. Cat litters are expensive and don’t last long especially if you have multiple cats. Most of the clay-based cat litters are also not biodegradable. Environmentally conscious cat owners are aware that disposed cat litters are simply dumped in landfills and can hurt the environment in the long run. The different options we have listed in this article are mostly homemade and can be easily found. If you want to be self-reliant and save on your expenses in the long run, consider changing to the safe cat litter alternatives we have mentioned.