DIY: Homemade Cat Litter (Experience and Review)

Thursday, July 31, 2014


My cats (pictured above) have seriously perfected the look of disinterest and judgment.  If I ever lose my humility, I need not to look far for a remedy.  And...kitties!!!

So, a couple of weeks ago, I made a post (HERE) about how I make my own cat litter.  Yes.  Cat litter.

I have been using it exclusively for awhile now, and I thought I would share my experience and maybe answer some questions that y'all may have.



First things first, let's talk cats.

Before I go into the performance and everything else, the most important thing is if cats will actually use this stuff.  You can make the best home made cat litter that the world has even seen, but it is worthless if your cat(s) won't use it.

This is the experience I had with my cats.  If you have a cat, then you know that the experience will greatly differ with your cat(s).  Cats are crazy weird like that, but we love them anyway.

Did they take to it immediately?

Nope.

Actually when I first put it out, my boy cat curled up and took a nap on top of it.  I guess it is super comfy.

So, I revised my plan.  I lightly sprinkle a quarter of a cup of rock litter over the top.  Boom.  The cats began using it like normal.  No more problems at all.  Dumb cats.  :)

So, what's the "performance" like?

I won't lie.  I didn't have any hope for this stuff to actually work.  I was just doing it as a wacky long shot, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

The odor control is amazing!

I have used just about every clumping rock, non-clumping rock, crystal, and even all-natural litters out there.  The best odor control that I found was the Fresh Step Odor Control, but it produced so much dust that it was ruining my stuff.  The Arm N Hammer turns into a nasty sludge.  The all natural litters get tracked all over the place.  Ugh...

So when I say that I was impressed with this homemade litter, know that it is a somewhat informed opinion.

So, naturally I had to experiment.  Just how long could I leave it until it stank to high heaven?  (For science and all that...)

Again, I have two adult cats that are of the hefty variety.  So, their "deposits" ain't anywhere near dainty.

It took 12 days before anyone even noticed an odor, and we had company over a couple of times.  This made me so happy, because the rock stank after just a day or so.

Now I do have to note, because I am afraid someone will go on about it or something.  There is a still a smell when you cat first goes for a minute or two.  This stuff doesn't not magically get rid of the gases released during the "process."

It covers up the pee smell very well.  Something that rock litter definitely does not.

Does it track?

Not much much at all.  I was so surprised by this, because my boy cat likes to dig to China when he's in there.  With rocks, he would throw out half of the pan sometimes.

They do occasionally get a few pieces of litter on the floor, but they sweep up very easily.  They even vacuum very well.

No more rocks and dust in the rugs!  No more litter getting stuck to my feet.  Yes!

What are the Down Sides?

You can't sift it like a traditional litter, because the pieces are quite a bit larger.

It is super light, which could also be seen as a pro when you go to dispose of it, but it doesn't weigh down the litter box.

I have a cat, my fluffy girl, who leans heavily on the side of the box when she does her business.  The first time she did this with the home made litter, it flipped the freaking pan over.  No fun...

So now I take an old litter bucket filled with rocks and wedge it beside the box and haven't had any problems.  Just be aware.

How's the value compared to traditional litter?

The cost of traditional cat litter depends on what kind of shopper you are.

If you just buy a certain kind of litter, you could be paying upwards of $15 for around 20lbs.  If you buy the super high end litter, it could even be more than that.

If you follow sales, you probably pay $10 or so dollars for 20lbs.  I always coupon and match sales, so cat litter is about $3-4 for 20lbs.  (If you don't buy the clumping, then it's even cheaper.)

The cost of this home made litter also varies depending on what ingredients you used, if you pay for the newspaper, etc.

For me, if I count the cost of the newspaper what we get anyway, it comes out to about $3 a large batch.  A large batch makes enough litter for about 3 weeks to a month.  So it's comparable to cheap non-clumping litter in cost or clumping litter after sales and coupons.

I already have the newspaper in abundance,  I coupon my dish soap for free or close to free, and I use Kroger baking soda with is $.57 a pound.  That pound lasts me through several batches.  So you could also say that it's pretty much free as well.

Is it Worth it to Make?

Depends.  For most people, it probably wouldn't be.

You need to have newspaper or other paper material.  If you don't already have some lying around, then probably not.  They are not cheap.

You need space to soak the newspaper and let the litter dry.  I have a tiny little house and make do.  If you put more emphasis on your home's aesthetics than I do, then probably not.

You need to put in some time and effort to make it.  Once you do it a couple of times, the time and effort is very little.  It's still more than lugging a box of rocks from the store though.  If you want everything in life to be super convenient, then probably not.

Do I Really Use this Stuff?

Yes!  This has been the only litter used in my house for more than 2 months.  I seriously love it.  As long as I have the ability to make it, I will be known as the odd girl that makes her own cat litter.  :)

Any Tips for Getting Started?

Yes, make a couple of batches or so before you go to first put it out.

I only made one and put it out.  So, I ran out.

Sometimes, when the weather is super humid, the paper takes a little extra time to dry out.  So have back ups.

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