More Fun With Kitty Litter

Posted on March 14, 2008 by Allie


When I posted my make your own kitty litter recipe a few weeks ago, Sherri asked if there were issues with the ink from the washed newspapers going down the drain.

Janet, a reader from Winnipeg, Canada, did a little research and was kind enough to e-mail me her findings.

“One commenter asked about the ink and if it would be harmful to put down the drain.  Newspaper inks have changed a lot in the last 10 years.  Generally, newsprint coloured flyers and comics use non-toxic vegetable-based inks (might be the law here in Canada, I’d have to check).  Our local paper uses soy-based inks.  The shiny type flyers might be different.”

She found an article from Ohio State University about using newspaper as livestock bedding.  The article states:

“One major concern for livestock producers and consumers is the safety of livestock bedded on newspaper containing inks. Until 10 years ago, lead, cadmium and other toxic heavy metals were commonly used in paper inks.

Now, however, most publishers use organic pigments. Most of these pigments are the same as those used in tattoos, lipstick, hair coloring and other cosmetics.”

Of course, we know that use in cosmetics is not necessarily a good indicator of what’s safe, but when you consider the chemicals in clay and clumping litters, newspaper seems like a reasonably safe, lower impact solution.  If you’re concerned about the ink used to print your local paper, give them a call and ask if they use soy based inks.  If they don’t, tell them it’s a change you’d like to see them make.

Janet also came up with a link to some great information about composting newspaper.   Although if you are planning to compost your kitty litter,  talk to your vet and make sure your cat is tested for toxoplasmosis, parasites, and anything else that could be spread through their waste and cause harm to you, your family, other animals, or the local environment.  And don’t use cat litter containing compost on any plants you intend to eat.

Thanks, Janet! 


  1. I love this idea! I’ll see about having my son try it out. Currently, we have a different solution: the dog eats the cat poop, and then we use an enzymatic in-ground system to render the dog poop mostly harmless.

    Sort of yucky, I know, but then there are a few parts of saving the earth that aren’t super hygenic. But we’re all a bunch of germ-o-phobes anyway.

    March 14th, 2008 at 10:30 pm
    Comment by BobPixel
  2. That’s great, thanks for the follow-up, Allie!

    March 15th, 2008 at 3:10 pm
    Comment by Sherri
  3. I have been struggling with what to use for litter all week! Wish I’d seen your post earlier. We had a terrible, terrible run-in last week that left us confronted with how to make our indoor/outdoor cat a totally indoor cat.

    We’ve stopped our newspaper delivery to cut down on paper. I wonder if there is something similar we could use…

    March 15th, 2008 at 7:36 pm
    Comment by Melinda
  4. I’ve had the best luck with newsprint, but did experiment with a mix of newsprint and scrap paper and it turned out okay. We don’t actually get the paper, but there’s a local one that comes free and the Pennysaver comes around too. That’s been enough to keep us in kitty litter. But if you don’t get anything like that, maybe a neighbor or local business or someone on Craig’s List would be happy to pass off their old newspapers to you.

    March 17th, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    Comment by Allie
  5. [...] Make Your Own Kitty Litter and More Fun With Kitty Litter  [...]

    September 18th, 2008 at 2:01 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Thirty-Something Bloggers Featured Blogger
  6. And, just to let everyone know, since I work at a Supermarket…the Supermarket is usually MORE than happy to let you have old ads and flyers (BOXES of ‘em!) for you to take home and shred for litter :D

    January 5th, 2009 at 6:54 pm
    Comment by Lauren H
  7. We tried this before getting sicked out by the wet newspaper dripping everywhere. Switched to the littermaid, but wasn’t totally happy with that either. Have the catgenie now and it’s mostly good – nothing’s perfect but it’s about as good as it gets for now.

    November 26th, 2009 at 6:14 pm
    Comment by Catgenie Reviews

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