Make Your Own Kitty Litter

Posted on February 19, 2008 by Allie

My cat is very patient when it comes to changes in her kitty litter. I don’t even have to do the thing where you add a percentage of the new litter to the old litter and up the percentage until you’ve totally switched over. Whatever I put in the litter box, she’ll use. So I’ve been testing out a lot of different natural kitty litters, and honestly, I don’t like most of them.

I’ve read horrible things about the chemicals that go into conventional clumping litters and the damaging effects of clay mining on the environment, so I’m not about to go back to clay litter. I like Feline Pine pellet litter, but we moved the kitty litter into the bathroom recently, and I’ve noticed that the cat kicks the pellets out of the box constantly. The pellets are too big for my little Dirt Devil to pick up, so I have to haul out the big vacuum every day, and I just don’t have the patience for that.

I came across a couple of litters made from recycled newspaper, but the cheapskate in me couldn’t justify paying for recycled newspaper when I have plenty of my own.

I started out using newspaper shredded in my paper shredder, but there were two problems.

  1. I didn’t like the idea of the ink getting on my cat’s paws. It just didn’t seem healthy.
  2. She tracked strips of paper everywhere like she was constantly throwing a kitty ticker tape parade.

So after a week or so of brainstorming, I came up with this recipe for homemade kitty litter.

  1. Shred newspaper in a paper shredder. I collect the shredded paper in an unused litter box.
  2. Soak the paper in warm water mixed with a few squirts gentle, biodegradable dish soap (like Ecover). The shredded paper takes on a cooked oatmeal consistency. The paper won’t come completely clean, but the water will turn grey.
  3. Drain the water (an old colander works wonders) and repeat the soaking process minus the soap.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the wet paper. Knead it in to the mixture (you might want to wear gloves to avoid getting ink on your hands).
  5. Squeeze the remaining moisture out until it’s as dry as you can get it.
  6. Crumble over a screen and leave to dry (it takes a few days).

Once it’s dry, I put about an inch and a half to two inches of the paper crumbles in the litter box, scoop solids daily and change it once a week. It takes about a half an hour to 45 minutes to make a 2-3 week supply of litter, and it’s kind of fun, in an elementary school art project way.

With the exception of a few cents worth of baking soda, it’s free. I use the circular newspapers and Pennysavers (make sure to remove staples) that come to our house. The baking soda does a good job of controlling odor, and it doesn’t track very much. I think it actually works better than most of the store bought products I’ve tried.

Once the temperatures are no longer arctic here, I plan to do this outside and use the wastewater to water my lawn.

Here’s how it starts out.

kitty-litter.jpg

And here’s what the finished product looks like.

hand.jpg

213 Comments +

  1. Ingenious! Seriously, that’s pretty cool. You really wanted a solution to your problem, so you invented it. Awesome.

    One thing: all this trouble just so your cat can take a crap? Can’t you train a cat to use the toilet or something?

    February 20th, 2008 at 7:20 pm
    Comment by mickey
  2. I thought about training her to use the toilet. I know there are cats that do that — there’s even a kit for it. But my cat only has three legs, so I think it might be hard for her.

    February 21st, 2008 at 1:05 am
    Comment by Allie
  3. Amazing work,nice step by step explanation of how to make cat litter. I will certainly try this a home. I have to train my cat so that it will get used to this cat litter, thank you.

    February 25th, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    Comment by john
  4. [...] Allie’s Answers writes about making your own cat liter. [...]

    February 26th, 2008 at 12:04 pm
    Pingback by Festival Of Frugality #114
  5. [...] make your own kitty litter post is included in today’s Festival of Frugality at  No Credit Needed, and Make it From [...]

    February 26th, 2008 at 1:34 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » What’s Going On
  6. [...] at Allie’s Answers was looking for an alternative to store-bought kitty litter. She writes: “I’ve read horrible things about the chemicals that go into conventional clumping [...]

    February 29th, 2008 at 3:41 am
    Pingback by A recipe for homemade kitty litter (and it's nearly free) - Smart Spending
  7. I don’t have a cat. I’m rather curious if you could also shred junk mail like credit card offers, cash advance checks and use that in place of the newspapers or with it.

    February 29th, 2008 at 3:03 pm
    Comment by Marlene
  8. Hi Marlene. That’s a great question.

    I have tried scrap paper, junk mail, etc. It’s not as absorbent as newsprint, but if you do maybe 30% junk mail paper and use newsprint for the rest it really shouldn’t be an issue. I would make sure that envelope glue and other adhesives aren’t included in the mix when you shred though.

    February 29th, 2008 at 7:05 pm
    Comment by Allie
  9. Very cool, Allie. I’m going to try this. I wonder about the ink going down the drain, though. Is that ok? P.S. I love your logo at the top of the page. How did you make it?

    March 6th, 2008 at 4:29 pm
    Comment by Sherri
  10. Hi Sherri! I just checked out your pictures! They’re great!

    That’s a good question about the ink. To be honest, I don’t really know, but I’m guessing it’s still better than all the chemicals involved in traditional clumping litter, and it’s better than the paper ending up in a landfill.

    My husband designed the site. I think he used an image from iStock.com to make the logo.

    March 6th, 2008 at 4:46 pm
    Comment by Allie
  11. Do you throw away the used litter in the garbage afterward? I know that baking soda is biodegradeble, but is it eco frienldy to throw it away?

    Whats the best way to throw it away??

    Im doing a project for science class on shrinking our ecological footprint and it would really help!! Thanks so much!1=!

    March 8th, 2008 at 6:03 pm
    Comment by Morgan
  12. Hi Morgan,

    If your cat has been tested for parasites, and toxo and the results are clean, it’s probably okay to compost the litter, although I wouldn’t use it veggies or herbs or any plant you intend to eat.

    March 14th, 2008 at 7:36 pm
    Comment by Allie
  13. [...] 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 [...]

    March 14th, 2008 at 8:06 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » More Fun With Kitty Litter
  14. Try calling your newspaper to ask if they use soya based inks for their papers. I did and they said all their papers use soya based inks. That’s a relief cos prior to my calling, my cats had already been using newspaper for over 10 years.

    March 19th, 2008 at 7:08 pm
    Comment by Mephala
  15. What a great idea. I have a question. Does the water have to be boiling? I was trying to think mass quantities ( I work for a shelter and this would be so great financially for us) and our bath tub does not produce boiling water. Thanks Allie.

    April 7th, 2008 at 10:04 pm
    Comment by Nicci
  16. Nope! It doesn’t require boiling water. I use warm water just because it’s more pleasant to keep my hands submerged in, but even cold water would probably work just fine.

    April 7th, 2008 at 11:46 pm
    Comment by Allie
  17. Just found this idea and have been trying it out for a couple of weeks now – a lifesaver! Here in India it’s very difficult to get the commercial cat litter and with the sun (and heat!) here this ‘D-I-Y’ version of cat litter works wonders.

    April 15th, 2008 at 10:12 am
    Comment by Ian
  18. Ian — Thanks so much for letting me know how it’s working for you! I’m glad it’s helping!

    April 15th, 2008 at 12:10 pm
    Comment by Allie
  19. Thanks for showing this procedure. Will it clog our closets ?

    April 21st, 2008 at 12:18 pm
    Comment by Litter Kwitter
  20. Allie, this is brilliant! I’ve been using the pine litter with my three cats, but composting the pine seems to be an issue, since it absorbs the urine and smells to high heaven!

    With this newspaper litter, have you found that it absorbs the urine smell, and does it compost well? What about the ink on their little paws, is that still an issue?

    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:10 pm
    Comment by Kim
  21. Hi Kim!

    The baking soda seems to do a great job with the odor. I recently tried out a commercial line of recycled paper litter, and I think this recipe works much better.

    It’ll compost like regular shredded paper, but you aren’t supposed to use cat waste compost veggies, and you should get your cat tested for toxo, etc.

    The ink hasn’t been an issue — washing it does the trick!

    April 23rd, 2008 at 5:29 pm
    Comment by Allie
  22. I’ve been seeking answers to the catbox conundrum too. An alternative, here’s what I came up with. The Duh-lightbulb moment came when I was reading another horrible Lillian Jackson Braun “mystery” and she referred to the litter pan as a SAND box. Bing!

    I’ve sewn a couple of drawstring bags big enough to use for catpan liners, using some sturdy but very lightweight, not particularly absorbent old sheers. I set a section of newspaper in the bottom of the catbox, and then set the liner on top and draw the string tight underneath the box (next time I might try elastic). I then fill the liner bag about 1/3 with sand. Every couple of days I scoop the litter and replace the newspaper. I am planning to rinse, dry and reuse the sand right in its liner bag, but even if I throw it in the compost, a bag of play sand is only about $3 and will last a month, vs. $50 or more for the commercial stuff (we have three indoor cats). I put the used newspaper in the compost, and I’m composting the cat poo as well. I’m not sure if it could be flushed; there is very little sand per flush but over time I could see it possibly building up somewhere.

    So far it’s a raging success. The cats seem to like it, I’m not experiencing anywhere near the odor I had with the other alternatives, and the heaviness of the sand means less stuff gets tracked out of the box.

    April 24th, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    Comment by Karen
  23. Edited to Add: The other bonus to this system is that it is SO easy to clean up. Because the liner bag is completely flexible and the urine is mostly soaked up by the newspaper (which is out of reach of the cats, so just a solid mass of paper to lift out and no ink issue), there is no more scraping the sides of the box! Wahoo!! – I think there is less odor because most of the urine is underneath the sand, but thanks for the baking soda trick, that should eliminate any remaining odor.

    April 24th, 2008 at 6:18 pm
    Comment by Karen
  24. Hmmmm, I think I may try this out in place of the bedding I use for my rats! It looks almost exactly like the bedding I buy. If that is the case, this is amazing! I already use sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the cage with a little baking soda, so I don’t see that it would bring any new items into the picture.

    April 30th, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    Comment by M
  25. I have just finished making my first batch of newspaper kitty litter. It’s now in the sun, spread out on a window screen which I balanced between two rickety folding chairs. I am hoping no squirrels come knock the whole thing over and I am hoping it dries by the time my two foster kittens start eliminating on their own and are ready to move on to The Box & their first litter.

    I am intrigued with Karen’s system. It sounds less complicated than shredding newspaper and would like to try it. But se said she used sheers. Did she mean sheets? Help!

    April 30th, 2008 at 8:38 pm
    Comment by axelle
  26. Hi Axelle,

    Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you’re giving it a try!

    I think Karen meant sheets.

    April 30th, 2008 at 8:43 pm
    Comment by Allie
  27. Axelle, I think Karen’s sheers means sheer curtains.
    I am so lazy and only one cat. Had thought of paper shredder – thanks Allie and Karen too for ideas. I really should do something. Not as much litter use now, because kitty goes outside in warm weather.

    May 1st, 2008 at 5:46 pm
    Comment by Lydia
  28. What about automatic litter boxes? I have one that scoops automatically every time my kitty uses the box. I live in a small apt, so litter dust gets on everything, which is something I’d like to avoid. Cost savings is a plus, too. How small are the bits of newspaper? From the image above, they appear too large for the rake, which would mean I’d be scooping all the newspaper clumps in addition to kitty’s waste.

    May 3rd, 2008 at 1:27 am
    Comment by Rebecca
  29. You can make the litter clumps smaller by breaking them up more. The stuff that settles to the bottom of the batch is about the same size as regular litter, but it would take a little work to break it down like that. I’m almost thinking a blender or something might do the trick, but I’m pretty sure you’d ruin your blender.

    I wonder if Karen’s sand idea would work better for an automatic litter box.

    May 3rd, 2008 at 3:43 am
    Comment by Allie
  30. I was thinking about Karen’s idea also, except the rake rides along a track in the side of the box, which means the fabric could only be on the box bottom. That pretty much defeats the idea of easy cleanup.

    How clumpy is the newspaper litter as it’s drying? Would it be easier to break it apart then or wait until dry?

    May 3rd, 2008 at 4:57 pm
    Comment by Rebecca
  31. We don’t get the paper, would this work with paper grocery bags?

    May 8th, 2008 at 5:08 pm
    Comment by Hannah
  32. I think it would. And you wouldn’t have to worry the ink.

    May 8th, 2008 at 5:36 pm
    Comment by Allie
  33. We have 3 mostly indoor cats (dogs outside who like to chase them). I’ve read this discussion so far and am intrigued, and like the drawstring bag suggestion as well. We have a paper shredder and could use the promo newspapers that land in the mailbox. The commercial litter I have liked most is wheat, expensive but not as much of a composting challenge as pine. Since we have a lot of reedy weeds that are standing all over the place, I thought I might experiment with chopping/shredding those and find out if they work as a substitute for the wheat product. Will keep you posted when I have info. Possible this wheat product is the “spent” wheat, and if so, would be very good in compost. Does anyone know about that?

    May 15th, 2008 at 11:17 pm
    Comment by Toni
  34. Hi, I just got a kitten and want to try this. I live in Kathmandu Nepal and we don’t have a paper shredder. Can I just cut the paper into strips? I know it takes longer. Do they have to be that small to work? Thanx for the help. We can’t get cat litter here and I want this kitten to be an indoors cat. I tried sand and baking soda but it’s horrible.

    May 21st, 2008 at 1:47 pm
    Comment by Shanti
  35. I think you could cut or tear the paper into small strips and it would still work. Certainly time consuming, but it’s something you could do while having a chat with a friend or something.

    I hope it works for you!

    May 21st, 2008 at 1:53 pm
    Comment by Allie
  36. Allie:

    I think your recipe is a great idea and a wonderful project for kids. I run a website for kids called The Green Guide for Kids and am working on a manuscript of the same name. I would love to include your recipe with your permission in my book. I would of course give you full credit!

    Thanks your great site,

    Deirdre

    June 2nd, 2008 at 6:52 pm
    Comment by Deirdre
  37. Good stuff , will try in one tray ( two used)and see if cats like it . If not will use with gerbils.

    June 4th, 2008 at 8:53 pm
    Comment by fizz
  38. Hi Allie,
    I came across your site looking for a way to make self-made cat litter from paper. What you came up with sounds very easy and a perfect alternative to clay litters. I’m going to try it, because right now I use clay litter for my two cats and it’s awful. I hate the dust and it gets all over the carpet. Another reason why I was searching for a way to make cat litter was because I was doing some research on sodium bentonite. I found out that maybe this is why one of my cats keeps getting urinary tract infections. I was reading when this stuff is inhaled, the particles can take moisture away from inside the cat’s body. This scared me. I didn’t know about sodium bentonite before. And also, I’ve been having trouble breathing and having chest pains lately. I’m thinking it’s from the cat litter.
    I’ve used Feline Pine before, and liked it, but the pellets seemed to hard from the cats. I’ve used Swheat before, but I hated the smell, and the way it clumped the urine. I’ve also just used shredded newspaper, which was great for the cats, but smelled really bad.
    For right now, I’m going to get a refund on the last unused bag of clay cat litter I have and try your “recipe” out. Thanks so much for sharing!

    June 7th, 2008 at 1:28 am
    Comment by Misty Beier
  39. thank you!!! i spend over 100 dollars on this sort of litter for my pig every month and am soooo excited to start making my own. and you even get the ink out, amazing.

    June 8th, 2008 at 2:19 am
    Comment by sara
  40. Love your idea.Just found out about your website so couldn’t have responded sooner. Years ago my husband taught one of our cats to use the toilet, let me tell you it worked very well, as a matter of fact he wrote a paper for a college English class on the method and the comment from his istructor “Haven’t you got anything else to do with your time” made us
    think that the old boy never had to clean out a litter box! If my husband had marketed the idea he could have made a large sum, someone else did just that. Who knows!

    June 28th, 2008 at 1:38 pm
    Comment by Arleen Untamo
  41. At last you hear me cry! Cant wait to try this method of kitty litter! Almost ready to start just need some more newspaper! I have three house cats and 6 kittens ( 7 days old ) They all will be using this litter! I have a small tip to add. I have to have a couple of litter trays and find them hard to place as they are rather large. I found a long deep plant pot and put it along side my washing machine. Its very private for them and they seem to use this one more than the others. Hope this helps someone!

    July 14th, 2008 at 11:36 am
    Comment by kerri
  42. [...] Make Your Own Kitty Litter and More Fun With Kitty Litter  [...]

    July 28th, 2008 at 1:03 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming . . .
  43. I was wondering if any of you had tried to add a few drops of essential oils before you leave it out to dry. I was thinking of lavender, mint or maybe a lemon. I bet that would might help with the smell too. I add that to my baking soda I use to “freshen up” my feline pine litter but I think it might work better if it is added right to your homemade mixture itself.

    July 30th, 2008 at 1:37 pm
    Comment by Shannon
  44. That’s a great idea, Shannon! I was just thinking about throwing some dried lavender into the mix. Oils would probably work well too.

    July 30th, 2008 at 2:16 pm
    Comment by Allie
  45. Greetings from Bulgaria!
    I like the idea very much, but I do not understand why is baking soda added. Please, tell me.
    Thanks

    August 13th, 2008 at 11:01 am
    Comment by Stoyan
  46. Hi Stoyan! Thanks for your comment!

    I add the baking soda to help absorb odor. It keeps the litter smelling better.

    August 13th, 2008 at 12:44 pm
    Comment by Allie
  47. [...] that’s not true.  I have used pages from our phone book to make kitty litter.   But basically, it’s not something we need to get.  We use our computers or our phones to [...]

    August 14th, 2008 at 1:31 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Tip of the Day - Opt Out of Phone Books
  48. Baking soda is a odor neutralizer, acid neutralizer and disinfectant.

    Cats probably will not like essential oils, but a few herbs might not be too strong for their noses.

    I will give this a try since I use alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) for my two cats and the price has doubled since february.

    August 19th, 2008 at 7:17 pm
    Comment by Catherine
  49. Making Kitty Litter from newsprint is a great idea. When previous cats had surgery or urinary tract infections. I always used shredded newsprint until the cat healed. With the current cat, I have tried compostable litter. The cat liked it but it made the corner of the yard where it was disposed a gloopy mess until it decomposed. I will try “washing” the newspaper and trying it with this cat. I always put about an inch of baking soda on top of the litter and then stirring it up and smoothing it out.

    August 23rd, 2008 at 2:07 am
    Comment by Eleanore
  50. I have had a baby pool full of shredded papaer and water. How long does it take to disintegrate? It has been soaking for about two hours and it still is in long shred form. Bascially the same as it went in

    August 24th, 2008 at 12:54 am
    Comment by Lisa
  51. Hi Lisa!

    It doesn’t really disintegrate. It just gets soft. You should be fine to drain it and dry it.

    August 24th, 2008 at 2:38 am
    Comment by Allie
  52. I live in Colombia, SA and it is very hard to find kitty stuff at the stores. Colombians like dogs, not cats! Thank you for the idea, I will try and find some time to work on it. I am pregnant right now and don’t know if the baking soda will do any harm to me or my baby in any way.

    August 24th, 2008 at 12:59 pm
    Comment by Buguita
  53. I just read your recipe for kitty litter and am intrigued to try it. I like the idea of saving $ and not having to lug a 20 lb bag of litter from store to house and dealing with the tracking mess on my carpets and bedspread. Also like the recycling aspect of the newspapers. Here’s a thought. I happen to know that our local newspaper printing plant gives away the “roll-ends” of newsprint (for free!). They are perfect for children’s arts and crafts projects as well as packing material for moving. I will use these and not have to worry about the ink!

    August 24th, 2008 at 6:15 pm
    Comment by Ginny
  54. Does the litter clump? Does it absorb the moisture well?

    August 25th, 2008 at 10:56 pm
    Comment by Ruby
  55. Ruby – it doesn’t clump, but it does do a good job of absorbing moisture.

    Ginny – Hope it works out well for you! The roll-ends are a great idea!

    Buguita – Check with your doctor. Baking soda is a food material, but you will want to talk to your doctor, and also be careful of coming into contacting with cat waste while you are pregnant. Have someone else clean the litter box for you.

    August 26th, 2008 at 12:43 am
    Comment by Allie
  56. I made this litter over the weekend. Yesterday it was still drying outdoors, but i started to rain a little so we brought it in. I am using it now. So far so good. No odor as of yet. I scoop the poop throughout the day. I marked on my calendar when I put the newspaper litter in to see how long it lasts before I have to change it again. My arms and hands got a good workout on Sat, from squeezing out the water! My friend says “save yourself the trouble and just buy it”. She does not understand. I enjoy making things, saving money, and saving the environment!

    August 27th, 2008 at 2:29 am
    Comment by Barbara
  57. That’s wonderful! Thanks so much for checking in Barbara!

    August 27th, 2008 at 3:39 am
    Comment by Allie
  58. been using his method for years, I have 4 cats – commercial cat litter would cost over 400USD/year. I use a hand crank meat grinder with a large hole to get pellets [play with the moisture content]. I make a large amount, some for kitty litter and some for my DIY pellet stove to heat the house, and it’s free. [Google: pellet stove] I get every piece of junk mail I can, currently 40-50 lbs/week. One day I got so much it pulled the mail box off the door. So let’s sick to the man for selling overpriced ‘dirt’

    August 27th, 2008 at 4:32 am
    Comment by Warren
  59. This looks just like the paper shreds my daughter prefers for her hamsters (but which is beyond her 10-year-old’s budget). I bet she’d like the idea of getting the softer stuff for her pets at a price she can afford. Thanks for the tip! (and if we get another kitty, we’ll be ready for a new litter box setup).

    August 27th, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    Comment by Anna
  60. Come to think of it, this might work for the baby chicks too!

    August 27th, 2008 at 5:35 pm
    Comment by Anna
  61. I will be using this for my rats…
    Thanks heaps!!

    August 28th, 2008 at 1:18 am
    Comment by Josh
  62. I get very VERY little newspaper paper now, and no more plastic OR paper bags, so I am interested in learning a little more about the drawstring bag/liner Karen mentioned back in April. If I put a layer of paper, topped with baking soda, then put my liner bag over it, drawing it tight underneath the box, doesn’t it leave the box wobbly? My eldest cat is going a little dotty and I’m afraid a tippy box would push him over the edge lol! I’ve never used a liner in our busy box (3 cats at present), so am not sure how that’s to work. I do like the sand idea, bc I can scoop the solids, then rinse the sand, in bag, allow it to dry and put it back. Wish I could see a picture of your litter box, Karen (hint hint).

    September 1st, 2008 at 5:56 pm
    Comment by Molly
  63. Manufactured Cat Litter is composed of dried sand and lime. All Builders Merchants stock Dried Sand & also Bags of Lime. Buy a bag of each and mix them together. Place the mixture in a large plastic bag and keep dry. Use as required and scoop out the clumps. Thje lime absorbs the moisture and cases it to clump with the dried sand. Adding a little powdered ‘carpet deodourizer’ (of your choice) will keep things fragrant for you. The cash savings will be in the region of 90%

    September 5th, 2008 at 10:09 am
    Comment by Ed Forth
  64. I am having issues with plueracy so any thing natural so I dont have to re0injure my lungs with amonia works for me.

    September 6th, 2008 at 3:26 am
    Comment by Judy
  65. I’ve used shredded newspaper before and mixed with urine it smelled awful! I don’t see how clumped particles of newsprint would change that problem. I’ve also used the pellet type newsprint and it was awful smelling too. I remember when I was moving I used roll ends, for packing up fragile items, from the local newspaper. For just a couple bucks you could get an enormous roll of plain brown paper.

    About the sand idea – how exactly do you rinse or wash sand? In a large 5 gallon bucket? Where and how would you dry it out? It sounds like a real headache. I know if I spread out wet sand my cats would go “Yipee! A great big litter box!”

    I used to work in advertising and someone there told me a story about someone who worked at Arm & Hammer. They wanted to figure out what the mechanism was that made baking soda pull odors from the air or the media surrounding it. To make a long story short, after much testing they found it was not the baking soda eliminating odors but the BOX it was in! If everyone knew this they would lose a fortune in sales. It was an insider secret.

    Also, to the person who suggested adding essential oils – DO NOT use essential oils, they are HIGHLY TOXIC to cats! And also avoid using any citrus type cleaners or scents, cats hate the smell. In fact, they say if you want a cat to avoid a certain area put orange or lemon peels in that area.

    I used pearlite as litter before, bought at a nursery. It would have been fine if the urine didn’t drain to the bottom and smell like hell. There was another type earth media I used as well at another time, I can’t remember the name, but it is commonly used in horse stalls to help with the urine smell. I got it at a feed store and it was under $10 for a 50 lb bag. I mixed it with pearlite so it wasn’t so heavy. But again, I couldn’t scoop out the urine. It wasn’t as bad as the pearlite alone, but still it smelled pretty awful. Cats won’t use a box that’s smelly. And that includes smelly perfumes as well.

    I commend you all for your efforts at keeping the earth less toxic for you and your cats!

    September 17th, 2008 at 3:06 pm
    Comment by Mollie Morrissette
  66. [...] Make Your Own Kitty Litter and More Fun With Kitty Litter  [...]

    September 18th, 2008 at 2:00 pm
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  67. What a good idea! I’m going to try that definitely.

    September 23rd, 2008 at 4:57 pm
    Comment by Coriandra
  68. What a great idea! Does this only work with newspaper, or will any shredded paper work?

    September 26th, 2008 at 6:36 pm
    Comment by Myra
  69. Thanks for the great idea! I just moved and have been trying to figure out how to reuse the tons of packing paper. Was going to offer it on Freecycle, but now I think I’ll save it to make kitty litter. Not sure if she’ll use it – she didn’t like Feline Pine (neither did I). BTY for people who want to use a natural litter without making their own, I currently use The World’s Best Litter. Get it at a petstore. It’s made from corn and breaks down more easily than clay litters, which become cement-like and don’t break down in landfills.

    September 30th, 2008 at 2:51 pm
    Comment by Laura
  70. I want to emphasize the comments about NOT using citrus scents (or any strong scents) to make this litter more acceptable to us humans. A cat’s olfactory (smelling) apparatus is much more sensitive than ours, according to veterinarians. Citrus scents, in particular, are offensive to cats, and are used in commercial “cat repellant” products sold to help keep cats from getting on unwanted furniture, kitchen counters, etc.

    October 6th, 2008 at 10:28 pm
    Comment by Shirley
  71. I made the litter for my rats, but it got hard like pebbles. The bought stuff is soft. What am I doing wrong? Do you have to do something to soften it up? After I squeeze the excess water off I break it up to dry. HELP! I want this to work. Its getting expensive buying bedding for my rats. I change them every 3-5 days.

    October 8th, 2008 at 11:37 am
    Comment by dsnefan
  72. Hi dsnefan!

    I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. It does make a pebble-like litter. Using a little less baking soda may help make it softer. Possibly putting it in a an old pillowcase and giving it a work over — stepping on it or something along those lines — might help soften it up a bit.

    October 8th, 2008 at 4:17 pm
    Comment by Allie
  73. Thanks Allie! That trick with the pillowcase does work. I also wanted to mention that when I was drying mine I put the litter under my celing fan. I started drying it at about 10am and by 7pm it was almost dry, all except for the bigger clumps. I let it go till moring and it was completely dry.

    Thanks for the great and money saving idea!

    October 8th, 2008 at 6:32 pm
    Comment by dsnefan
  74. That’s awesome, dsnefan! I’m glad it’s working!!! I love the ceiling fan hint!

    October 8th, 2008 at 6:45 pm
    Comment by Allie
  75. Myra – I haven’t had luck with shredded regular paper, although using some mixed in with newspaper isn’t bad. Too much though, and the consistency just isn’t the same.

    October 8th, 2008 at 6:46 pm
    Comment by Allie
  76. I love this idea and plan to try it. I’m not sure if anyone has tried this, but I don’t have cats-I have three ferrets. I was wondering if anyone had tried this litter with their ferrets and if the ferrets actually use the litter box with this litter in it.

    October 15th, 2008 at 10:26 pm
    Comment by Lindsey
  77. I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE WITH RABBITS HAVE TRIED THIS AND FOUND SUCCESS. I HAVE 7 RABBITS AND HAVE TRIED VARIOUS BRANDS SUCH AS YESTERDAYS NEWS ( WHICH I HATE ), FELINE PINE ( WHICH I HATE WORSE BECAUSE IT BREAKS DOWN EVEN FASTER ), AND MARSHALLS FERRET LITTER WHICH I LOVE BUT IS VERY EXPENSIVE ( $12 PER 10 LB BAG WHERE I LIVE ).
    IF SO HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT ON ODOR ON A SCALE OF 1-10? ABSORBANCY?

    THANKS

    October 18th, 2008 at 8:27 pm
    Comment by LYNDA
  78. This is a great idea.
    What happens if for some reason we dont have extra water for projects like this? I’m going to try to create a litter using dirt, moss and cedar chips. All products easily accesable and more natural to what cats should be using as a place to do their business.

    October 19th, 2008 at 7:24 pm
    Comment by CC
  79. I think this will work for my bunnies litter. I am just not sure about the baking soda. Is baking soda used for odor or is it used as a binding agent?

    October 21st, 2008 at 2:27 pm
    Comment by Dana
  80. It’s used for odor control. I haven’t tried making it without the baking soda, but I think it would still work. It does, I believe, add to the stiffness of the litter, but a softer litter would probably be fine too.

    October 21st, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    Comment by Allie
  81. I saw your link on Fake Plastic Fish.

    Wonderful idea! Saving money…recycling paper…less chemicals….the list goes on.

    My one question for you is about the screen. Can you describe exactly what that is and how I can find one? Thank you!

    November 6th, 2008 at 2:06 am
    Comment by Gruppie Girl
  82. Hi! Thanks for your comment, Gruppie Girl!

    It’s just an old window screen. I’m sure you could find one at a store that sells reclaimed house parts, or make something out of wood and some sort of mesh or screen material.

    November 6th, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    Comment by Allie
  83. Hiya, Allie!! :)

    I was reading through your site (I love it!!) and came across this article. I have been doing this for years, well sort of. When we declawed our kitties, we were told the only litter they can use is paper litter, so we invested in a paper shredder, and have been making litter ever since. I got a huge box of sale fliers from the supermarket, and along with that, I also shred into them the old bills and papers/homework that the girls use. Its amazing how well it works :)

    Thanks for this article :D

    November 26th, 2008 at 4:33 pm
    Comment by Lauren
  84. Regarding your concern over the newsprint ink: as someone mentioned, your newspaper(s) may already be using soy-based ink. Most publications (including major ones like the New York Times) have switched over to doing so. I had an indoor compost bin awhile ago, and I always used the Times as per recommendation from compost experts–it’s quite non-toxic and will probably be fine for your cat!

    December 14th, 2008 at 6:01 am
    Comment by minkla
  85. You can also buy end rolls of uninked newspaper at your local newspaper office. I buy HUGE rolls for $1. This you might like better since you won’t have to wash any ink out of it.

    Check your local newspaper office. Ask for ‘end rolls’.

    December 14th, 2008 at 6:39 pm
    Comment by Lady
  86. u could have used sand for doing it

    December 26th, 2008 at 1:28 pm
    Comment by lily
  87. Do you have to use dish soap for this? I would prefer to keep it as natural as possible. Also, if anyone works in retail and gets alot of merchandise packed in paper, you could probably use that as well. Isn’t that newsprint paper?

    We are on such a seriously tight budget, that I have started making my own fabric softener and laundry detergent. I haven’t noticed a change between the commercial stuff and the stuff I make. I recycle bath towels when they get holey and cut them down and stitch the edges and make dish towels and wash cloths. Once they get raggy from there, I turn them into shop rags for the car.

    I still think there are places I could cut back even further, but I am drawing a blank. Anyone have any other good ideas that I missed?

    The only thing that burns my biscuits is that people look at me crosseyed when I tell them how I save money. I work with a couple of people who wouldn’t go to the lengths I do to save a penny. In this economy, you would think people would stop and think, but there are some that never learn. It is nice to see others like me that are willing to take a bit of extra time out of their busy day to economize and help the environment.

    If you want to compare notes and share ideas, please feel free to contact me anytime.

    Have a great day!
    hazeleyedbeauty1967@yahoo.com

    December 29th, 2008 at 1:16 pm
    Comment by Cheryl
  88. [...] how to make your own so as not to bother theenvironment quite so much? You’re in luck then! Allie’s Answers posted a recipe on their blog that they came up with for homemadekitty litter, which also isn’t [...]

    January 2nd, 2009 at 2:05 pm
    Pingback by Eco-Friendly Kitty Litter
  89. I just read about the Ecover/Dioxane problem. I am going to try this litter without any dishsoap. What’s the harm? I do have one question, however. Should I mix this with my current cat litter so my girls get used to it? My older cat is very very fussy about a cat litter change, so I hope this won’t make her pissy(pardon the pun!). She has already made her displeasure known when I tried to change litter to save a bit of $$$. Darn calicos! :P

    January 4th, 2009 at 3:52 pm
    Comment by Cheryl
  90. Allie, Thanks for the idea. I just bought a shredder and I got a big one in hopes I can work out a way to stop using the $16 a bag recycled paper bits. I am wondering if you have any concrete reason to worry about the inks? Can you give me a reference? The recycled paper litter must contain every kind of ink used on newsprint in it. Am I to believe that is dangerous? I know that my local paper uses soya ink and it is much more “colorfast” than the older solvent based inks. But it might be a stretch to view it is toxic or non-toxic without some sort of hard evidence. Anyway, I will try to find out more and report back. Mike

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:13 pm
    Comment by Mike
  91. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1411/does-baking-soda-really-eliminate-refrigerator-odors

    I think baking soda really helps see above.

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:18 pm
    Comment by Mike
  92. Ink toxicity installment 1:
    “There is little threat of dermal absorption of ink or its ingredients once the ink is dry because the ink has achieved its stable state. The ingredients that were potentially absorbable become dry and are no longer able to be absorbed. **Lead, which can be absorbed through the skin, was banned as an ingredient in ink by the EPA in 1985 and is, therefore, no longer a threat.** Stall trials concluded that the ink rub-off from printed newsprint was not a concern for animals.” ** added by me

    from Ohio State: http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0122.html

    Mike

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:26 pm
    Comment by Mike
  93. Ink Installment 2:

    from: http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0605&L=COMGAR-L&D=0&P=1882
    Anecdotally,
    I am an environmental consultant and have studied the chemicals used in
    printing facilities for the purpose of cleaning up the contamination left
    behind. For several years I have also studied phytoremediation (the use of
    plants to clean up soil and water contamination). I would guess that the
    volatile organic compounds (solvents) in inks are mostly evaporated by the
    time the “ink dries.” And, the small amount of heavy metals present in some
    printing solutions is not generally favored for uptake or accumulation in
    plants. I’d be more concerned about the pesticides in the store bought
    food.

    regards,
    Aaron Brewer

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:32 pm
    Comment by Mike
  94. Ink Installment 3:

    and another: This thread discusses whether newsprint should contact food for humans:

    http://www.pneac.org/discus/messages/16/213.html?1160148630

    Mike

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    Comment by Mike
  95. Ink installmant 3:

    http://learningstore.uwex.edu/pdf/G3546.pdf

    I have to type this out because the pdf won’t let me copy and paste, sorry if I misquote:

    Newspaper Bedding and Toxicity Potential

    The potential for animal; health contamination, as a result of substances found in ink in hte newspaper, has been addressed. Since1985, the levels of heavy metals and other contaminants ave been significantly reduced in newspaper. According to the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA) more than 98 percent of the daily newspapers in the United States currently use inks that are low in toxicity. While there have been no cases of milk contamination from newspaper residues coming contact with the udder, additional research is required to address this issue.
    Research at Cornell University concluded that the use of chopped newspaper as bedding for dairy cattle has a “negligible risk.” Even when cows were fed pelletized newspaper at rates up to 10% of their total dry matter intake, no adverse effects were seen in milk or meat. No significant levels of toxic substances were found in the milk of cows consuming newspaper. In addition, no animal health or milk quality problems were found in Penn State bedding trials or in feeding studies when newspaper was consumed by dairy cows at levels of 1.8 to 2.4 lbs per head daily.

    Colored inserts contain higher levels of contaminants than black and white newspaper. Since animals may voluntarily consume some newspaper when it is used for bedding, it is not recommended to bed dairy animals with colored “slicks” from advertising inserts, catalogs, or magazines. End quote.

    It sounds like the concern with cattle didn’t arise from them standing in the newspaper, but from their tendency to eat from the floor. But they fed them news print just to see and no problems were found.

    Mike

    January 4th, 2009 at 11:07 pm
    Comment by Mike
  96. There is more, but I may be belaboring the point. I think I am going to use newsprint including the advert inserts for litter. my cats don’t show any signs of wanting to eat paper. Licking dust from their paws…that seems like the only way they would get any ink in them and for cows it seems they can eat a lot with no effects whatsoever.

    I am curious about other inks because I have such a pile of mail that needs a second use if possible. But I will get to that later.

    Mike

    January 4th, 2009 at 11:12 pm
    Comment by Mike
  97. I have many(12)cats. In the summertime they stay outside a lot, but in winter, they come in to use the litter box (I’m not fond of outhouses myself). This idea of recycling newspaper sounds pretty good to me. I almost dislocated my shoulder lifting forty-pound boxes of bargain litter from Sam’s Club. I’m going to try it.

    January 8th, 2009 at 12:01 am
    Comment by Sandy
  98. Thank you for your great money saving idea! I have made two batches of kitty litter. Not only is it easy, but my cats have totally accepted it! There is absolutely no smell and doesn’t go all over the floor like other litters!

    January 12th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
    Comment by Julie
  99. Hi! Thanks for the great tip! I made some today and since I don’t have time to dry it under the sun what I did was I placed it in a pillow case and threw it in the dryer and it worked, it dried the paper. Hope my tip would help you too. Thanks again!

    January 17th, 2009 at 6:33 am
    Comment by Nicole
  100. I’m headed off to try this! We get 2 different newspapers, so might as well put them to use! I’m laid off, my husband’s hours have been shortened twice, and cat litter is expensive no matter what type you use! Plus, the litter has a tendency to “glue” itself to the paws of one of my cats. She “clicks” thru the house until we wash or cut it off her paw, so this will benefit in many different ways. Thanks!!

    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm
    Comment by Tena
  101. QUESTION!
    Do you think I can use a blow dryer to dry the newspaper?
    It’s about 10 degrees outside and I’m afraid the mixture will freeze if left out there.

    February 5th, 2009 at 4:58 am
    Comment by katie
  102. Hi Katie,

    I’m sure it would work, but it might take awhile. If you have space to dry it indoors, it’ll dry in a day or two.

    February 5th, 2009 at 3:07 pm
    Comment by Allie
  103. Making your own litter from newspaper is a GREAT idea, and I’m going to try this. Here’s a thought I had reading about the drying issue. Could you take an old pillowcase and sew a (nylon) zipper into the open end. I’m thinking that if you partially dry the litter on a screen, then put it into the pillowcase & throw it into the dryer to finish the job, it would help break it up.

    I’m not sure I’d use the method of adding the baking soda after the soaking process if you intend to put it into the dryer. I was thinking about dissolving it into the soaking water and only using enough water to barely cover the shreds. Baking soda’s pretty inert. The only thing it’s going to do is make the soil a bit more alkaline, and the first time it rains, this is going to dissipate. It seems to me that if you get the amount of water right, there’s not going to be a lot to pour off. Alternately, you could just sprinkle a bit of baking soda into the box when you add the litter.

    As far as the essential oils are concerned, I wouldn’t bother, but I should add that I’ve never found ANYTHING that worked as a repellent for my cats. I’ve tried citrus oils, peppermint, EVERYTHING to keep one cat in particular away from the carpet at one end of my hallway. I’ve used every known odor killer. I finally resorted to a physical block. So some cats may be bothered, and you would certainly not want to use anything that could be potentially toxic, but a tiny bit of true oil of lavender should be okay, though why spend the $$.

    February 12th, 2009 at 2:53 am
    Comment by Sylvia P.
  104. Have you tried putting it in an old blender after soaking the 2nd time? I’m curious as to whether or not this makes a difference?

    I’ve read articles about making handmade paper that tell you to blend a newspaper mixture before spreading onto a screen- it seems like it shouldn’t break your blender? (Obviously, you would want to use a different blender for paper than the one you use to make drinks!)

    February 14th, 2009 at 1:10 am
    Comment by Lauren
  105. 99 percent of newspapers and ad flyers contain dyes, the same dye that you mention not wanting to get on your hands while you are making up this cat litter. If, when wet, these dyes are still present, even after your procedure of washing the paper, what’s to say, when wet with urine, the dye doesn’t get on the cat’s paws where they can lick and ingest it?

    It’s a common fact never to use newspapers and other paper material that contain cheap inks for cat litter, and that’s why.

    February 14th, 2009 at 5:03 pm
    Comment by jay jay
  106. Okay, so off the wall question. If you can DRY the litter in the dryer putting it in a pillowcase, could you also WASH the newspaper in a pillowcase in the washer?
    And the pellet thing is a great idea, but how would you make the pellets without a meat grinder? How much are they? Is there a cheaper way?
    I absolutely LOVE the recipe, but I don’t like the uneven clumps because it makes it very difficult to scoop out waste.

    I would change it all once a week, but even with three cats using the same box, much of the litter is still unused after a week. I don’t want to waste that either! :)

    So small pellets, anyone?

    February 17th, 2009 at 12:06 am
    Comment by Emerald444
  107. Emerald…I wouldn’t wash the newsprint in the washer! Firstly, when you hand wash the paper, the ink stains anything plastic that it touches (the colinder, my gloves…)so it would stain your wash basin. And secondly, I had to buy a new washer last month because my husband washed pillows in the washer…the fibers had impaired the spinning mechanism and the motor burned out. I wouldn’t take a chance.

    I love, love Love this litter! I have made a few different versions with the available stuff I usually compost. The newsprint turned out the softest and fluffiest. Trader Joe’s brown grocery bags had to be blended in an old blender I use for crafting. Dropping one drop of Environne Fruit & Vegetable Wash while blending washed the ink out while pulverizing it. For some reason, I have an old butterfly net and the mesh is so super fine…so I poured the fibers in the net, squeezed soapy water out and rinsed with fresh, all while in the net. Doing this rinsing process over the blender gives you the water for the next blended batch…conserve, conserve! The grocery bag litter is denser and I think it may hold more moisture…I’ll report back. BTW…I shredded the brown bags in the paper shredder, too…after washing and kneading, the shredded stuff wouldn’t break apart to form little clumps. It just stayed shredded.

    Another batch I made was from take out napkins and clean paper towels used only to dry hands and mop up water. This with newspaper made a denser litter with clumps more uniform in size.

    I’ve been composting my litter for years in a separate composter, so I know this paper litter will break down faster. It feels so good to know that all this paper had 3 uses in it’s life…used by me, used by my cats and ultimately, used by my garden.

    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:39 pm
    Comment by Melissa
  108. I forgot to mention something important:

    I was setting up old window screens for the drying process when my husband informed me that our screens are made from fiberglass. These fibers are not something you want your cat to get on their paws and ingest or breathe. So I found a roll of metal screening at the hardware store and stapled it in a simple wooden frame. You could also recycle old large picture frames.

    February 23rd, 2009 at 5:49 pm
    Comment by Melissa
  109. Nicely done nice way to recycle!

    March 8th, 2009 at 11:46 pm
    Comment by Julia
  110. Hi……..It doesn’t require boiling water. I use cold water just because it’s much pleasant to keep my hands submerged in, but even warm water would probably work just fine.

    March 19th, 2009 at 9:00 am
    Comment by AMOL THAKARE
  111. hmmmmm….I think I’ll just stick to the store bought, unless it comes down to food for us or kitty litter.

    It’s a great idea, but not for me. :)

    March 20th, 2009 at 5:12 am
    Comment by Chelle Greene
  112. [...] Read the original article here. [...]

    March 29th, 2009 at 8:41 pm
    Pingback by Toilet Train Cat Blog » Blog Archive » Toilet Train Cat Alternative: Homemade Kitty Litter
  113. I will give this a try. I currently have 11 cats and I spend about $45-60 a month on scoopable cat litter. I subscribe to a Sunday newspaper and will have to see about getting more paper. I’ll let you know how this turns out for me.
    Thanks!

    March 30th, 2009 at 7:13 pm
    Comment by Brenda
  114. [...] cats. If that seems like too much work (or Lord Fluffington proves uncooperative), you could try making your own kitty litter [...]

    March 31st, 2009 at 7:00 pm
    Pingback by Saving Money…to the Extreme! « Geezeo
  115. [...] ***************************************************************************** Want to try your hand at making your own Earth-friendly cat litter? This link offers comprehensive instructions: http://thegreenists.com/tip-of-the-day/tip-of-the-day-make-your-own-kitty-litter/1044 [...]

    April 11th, 2009 at 5:08 am
    Pingback by Scoopable cat litter – A meowful way to stik it to momma earth ! | Agriculture Guide
  116. That’s a great idea. I have used several things over the years, like stove pellets. They are way cheaper than feline pine and are the same thing minus the scent. At less than $4.00 for a 40lb bag, it’s a good deal. I also use quick oats. The cats like it. It naturally deodorizies;clumps. Just scoop out the used, add more as needed. My cats are not picky, so I can have more than one thing in the box at the same time. I also shred up egg cartons. They are super absorbant. Rice works, too.

    April 15th, 2009 at 4:32 pm
    Comment by Aud
  117. …..oh, yea~ try using cookie sheets to dry the kitty litter. Sprinkle on cookie sheets, place in oven after you have cooked something and turned off the oven. Leave it in there over night. Done and ready to use the next morning!

    April 15th, 2009 at 4:36 pm
    Comment by Aud
  118. I’ve been looking all over for this “recipe” For my Guinea Pigs cage, PURRRFECT!!!! LOL. Thanks so much!!!!!!!!

    -PEACHES

    April 15th, 2009 at 7:15 pm
    Comment by Peaches Thurman
  119. I was thrilled to find this “recipe”. We’ve been using Feline Pine for years, but I can’t take the smell any longer, even after scooping several times a day, adding baking soda, etc. By the last few days of its useful life–2 wks for us with our one Tom–the smell is just intolerable!

    Here is how your recipe went for me (I apologize for length. Others may find detail helpful when making this for the first time):

    1)I took two huge rubbermade storage containers. I filled one with newspaper I shredded ,by hand, in about 10 minutes. 2 weeks worth of newspapers = about 12 newspapers for us. I did not shred comics, circulars, or color adverts or the slick adverts. Only the black and white paper, which is printed with soya ink. Shredding was simple…grasp with thumb and ripriprip into 1/4-1/2 inch shreds (my shredder broke, and I don’t want to go out and spend another $40). I watched tv with the kids while I did this. Then, I washed my hands!

    2) I took both containers outside after squirting a bit of dishsoap on top of shredded paper. I covered, and almost filled , the container full of newspaper then agitated it. with my hand. After about 5 minutes, the water turned grey. It was softer paper, but not oatmeal-like consistency. I then grabbed handfuls and squeezed them, throwing baseball-size clumps into the second container. (Note: at this point, I normally would use this wet newspaper as a base for my tree mulch and other mulching. Works wonders, cuts out weeds, and prevents mulch from settling into dirt).

    3)I sprinkled half a small box of baking soda on newspaper balls and then covered them with water from the garden hose. I would say I only filled the container about halfway. I then stirred with my hand. NOTE:
    THIS is the point where the mixture suddenly turned VERY starchy and oatmeal-ish in consistency. I believe the baking soda has something to do with it. The rinsewater also turned very dark grey, much darker than the first “washing” above. We poured this through a colander and formed walnut-size balls that we squeezed by hand very dry. Next time, I would save time and put a screen over the container and pour the slurry through, possibly twice to catch any remnants.

    4) My daughter helped me in this process. It was fun. We used all the greywater –from both washwater and soda rinse water–to water trees and shrubs. No different then using greywater from your washing machine (where I have used a homemade fabric softener of baking soda and vinegar).

    5)Drying: While using the dryer is not necessarily environmentally friendly, I divided the newspaper balls into 2 pillow protectors (zippered cotton white cases sold for less than $4 for two at Wal Mart, etc) , added some fresh green lavender sprigs, and put in the dryer for 30 minutes on high. I’m going to fetch them from dryer now and store the “pellets” in and old, clean Tidy cat bright-yellow lidded container!

    6)The result in progress: after 15 minutes, the dryer thought the “pillows” were dry, but newspaper balls inside had begun to crumble (as in your picture) but were still quite damp. Also, the inside of the cases are covered in newspaper lint and greyish “dye”. So these will clearly be dedicated for this use only from now on! After another 15 minutes, they were still a bit damp. I realized that they were clumping and just staying in a clump as they were tossed around the dryer.

    I have now used the dryer “rack” that comes with my Kenmore Oasis dryer (sweater, shoe drying rack) and set it for another 15 minutes on high. I think this should do it! I am thinking I definitely need to use the screen-drying in the sun method and not waste a cycle of machine drying from now on……

    **Note: I’d like to try drying on our rooftop deck on a screen with a good breeze and the hot sun. However, it’s been rainy and breezy here and I don’t want my project to either suck humidity out of the air or be blown away onto our neighbor’s yard. This is still a fun project!

    7)The dryer “rack” result: Much better! Next time I’d try 30 minutes on drying rack and maybe a 5-minute regular tumble to “break” apart any remaining clumps. The rack works wonders b/c hot air is circulating all around the items. It may not even take 30 minutes..in 8 minutes, the pillowcases were already hot! They were still damp after 30 minutes, with a LOT of lint (I was wearing a black shirt, and it’s covered in tiny hairlike fibers). I put them back in to tumble for 30 minutes. This seems a waste of energy if it takes an hour in the dryer–I’m drying naturally next time!

    ***My husband looked at Yesterday’s News paper litter yesterday and it’s $10 a bag. We have used it before, but it’s not as dense as this product. Also, this saved us $10 –just this week. I don’t mind the time spent making the litter–I spent time with my daughter and she got to learn a valuable way to reuse things. We roast our own organic green coffee beans, buy no paper products, recycle, compost, use a reel mower, pay kids a nickel apiece to pick dandelions (and yes, I admit to making dandelion coffee, tea, jelly, fritters and greens! Dandelions are an herb!)…now I can actually say I made my own cat litter! I’m anxious to see what else I can make on my own. Great recipe–thank you! I’ll share it with my feline-loving friends! I think we’d like to try papermaking next and find a way to reuse the egg cartons we buy each week.

    I’ll report how long this product lasted and performed. Thank you!

    May 3rd, 2009 at 11:33 am
    Comment by greenergoods
  120. [...] Make Your Own Kitty Litter: The DIY-crowd may even wish to attempt a hand-crafted solution. [...]

    May 6th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
    Pingback by What’s the Scoop on Kitty Poop? | QUEST Community Science Blog - KQED
  121. Verdict: May 3-May 16:

    Ugh! Not only did my cat refuse to poo in this litter (he kindly used the floor beside the litterpan! Awwggghhh!), but it practically never dried in the dryer. After numerous cycles.

    I did dry some on an old window screen on the roof in a few hours, but it was only enough to cover about 1/8 of the litterbox. Too time consuming.

    My husband complained almost immediately about the odor, even tho we folowed directions and I mixed in baking soda. I have to admit I stirred it a few times. I dont’ think it smelled like ammonia at all, and slightly dirty, like wet newpaper in a cattery would smell….

    I dont’ think we’ll go thru the trouble again, but hey–almost 2 weeks
    for free–pretty tempting to make some more and try a quicker drying method.

    Or, I may try just plain shredded newspaper..crumpled up very tightly. Saves process of dissolving/drying. Will add some baking soda and report!

    Greener Goods

    May 16th, 2009 at 8:43 pm
    Comment by greenergoods
  122. I must add this litter lasted for 13 days with a TOTALLY dry litterbox. Still, I had to remember to “stir” it a few times. Something lovely about “Free” vs. $10/bag for store-bought newspaper litter…

    If done correctly, I think this method is viable for one or less kitties. Give it a try…

    May 16th, 2009 at 8:47 pm
    Comment by greenergoods
  123. [...] Recycled newspaper litters- Recycled newspaper litter is biodegradable, flushable, burnable and 99 percent dust-free. Some people claim that this litter has poor odor control and that the Purina version, Yesterdays News, is way over priced. Fibre Cycle, out of Australia, seems to be well received and I like the ethos of the company; their primary mission is to find innovative and environmentally friendly uses for recycled paper. If you’re really motivated (or broke), I found this great tutorial on how to make your own here. [...]

    May 27th, 2009 at 10:45 pm
    Pingback by Ways to make your cat more earth friendly | The Modern Pet Blog
  124. I have just started trying this since my little 7 week kitten finds it
    hard to loosen the outdoor ground for its potty business.
    I buy a bag of organic soil, spread it thinly to dry in the hot sun for
    a day or two, add a liberal dose of baking soda, and scoop out the poo
    as soon as it is used. This soil is much softer and easier for it to scratch and bury its poo. I do not know where the urine goes. Then I recycle the
    soil onto my flower bed, and repeat the process every 2 weeks.
    This box of soil is placed outdoor in the hot sun , and I try to cover the
    box if it is going to rain.

    June 9th, 2009 at 12:29 pm
    Comment by connie peng
  125. I buy bags of litter that look just like this for my ferrets, and it is NOT CHEAP. It always kills me to spend $20 on recycled paper! I can’t WAIT to make this stuff! thank you for posting these instructions!

    July 2nd, 2009 at 4:44 pm
    Comment by glasscat
  126. we are going to do this. Its time consuming but we are on a budget ;) We currently add a layer of pine/cedar shavings to our litter. The same stuff used for hamster or rabbit bedding. Its very inexpensive and does wonders for odours. It is also very absorbant! The cats took a few days to adjust to it and you have to remove some of the larger chunks of wood etc but it cuts my total litter use in half for a big savings all around ;)

    July 4th, 2009 at 8:29 am
    Comment by Lisa
  127. The ink in most newspapers today are of a Soy base and are not harmful. Shredded newspapers (not glossy ads) are used in organic gardening even. Don’t worry about the ink hurting your cats. I have five and will try this “litter recipe”! I too worry about the clay litters.

    July 4th, 2009 at 8:51 pm
    Comment by Sharon
  128. I just did two bins….they are out drying in the sun….i hope it works….between shredding the newspaper and soaking and rinsing and squeezing and trying to get it to break up and dry in the sun…..it sure is a lot of work and time consuming!!…..Hope my cat likes it!!!….He is so picky about his litter.

    July 6th, 2009 at 3:48 pm
    Comment by diamin
  129. My first batch didn’t do so well because I did a lot of things wrong… First my hands got tired so I didn’t mush it enough. Then it was going to rain for 10 days straight, so I tried putting the stuff in the dryer in a zipper pillow case. Zipper popped open, hot moist paper everywhere, turned the dryer grey, and the paper has mostly reverted back into shredded paper state. The only thing I did do right was put it in a plastic bin and put a clamping fan overtop of it for a few days while turning the litter every once in a while.

    Regardless of how badly I made it, it still works well.

    I think I’ll make some wood blocks with screen material on top of them to use to mash the paper with instead of my hands and maybe make some stackable screens to put on my future balcony.

    July 9th, 2009 at 12:36 am
    Comment by Brie
  130. [...] the litter box? Earn your gold star by sharing your experiences and tips in the comments below. Make Your Own Kitty Litter [Allie's [...]

    July 10th, 2009 at 3:49 pm
    Pingback by The Tech Town » Make Your Own Kitty Litter at Almost No Cost [Weekend Project]
  131. [...] the litter box? Earn your gold star by sharing your experiences and tips in the comments below. Make Your Own Kitty Litter [Allie's [...]

    July 10th, 2009 at 4:28 pm
    Pingback by Make Your Own Kitty Litter at Almost No Cost [Weekend Project] · TechBlogger
  132. [...] the litter box? Earn your gold star by sharing your experiences and tips in the comments below. Make Your Own Kitty Litter [Allie's [...]

    July 10th, 2009 at 4:57 pm
    Pingback by The Far Edge » Blog Archive » Make Your Own Kitty Litter at Almost No Cost [Weekend Project]
  133. I have tried every thing on the market that was within my pocket book. I have a indoor cat (18 years young) I like your idea, the last little box I got is Tidy cats with the pellets and I like it except for the price. Your idea might for for me, The TC has pellets that sit i the top bin and the wet goes right on down to the second tray that holds a “diaper pad’ IT SOAKS UP THE WET AND it has a plastic liner in it.Which you dump out a few times aweek depending on your cat. The pads are $$$ you change the pellets once a month , You scoop out the poo in the toilet and flush , I like it because My back is bad and can’t haul dry or wet litter around. I am going to try your “litter ” in the wet part under neath. Thanks Vie

    July 10th, 2009 at 5:27 pm
    Comment by Vie Lewis
  134. Looks like Carefresh!

    July 10th, 2009 at 6:29 pm
    Comment by Renee
  135. Chicken feed (specifically, layer crumbles) makes an excellent all-natural clumping litter. Odor control and scoopability are comparable to any unscented clumping litter on the market, and it’s cheap (50 lbs for $14 in my area). Completely biodegradable and compostable.

    July 11th, 2009 at 9:22 am
    Comment by Harriet
  136. Even better than newspaper is packing paper. It’s the same thing as newspaper, without the ink. If you or someone you know has moved recently, and used packing paper, you should be set for a long time.

    July 12th, 2009 at 11:54 am
    Comment by Cal
  137. Ny 18 year YOUNG cat uses anything i out out he is a sweet guy. I have the Breeze system , it can be $$$$ keeping up with the cost. WalMart has the best prices . When I read this I just knew it would help save some $$$ The Breeze is a 2 step system in that pellets go on top there is try under it that holds a “diaper pad” thing. 4 for $5. my cat is older and I have to change it more. I think this will save me some $$$ the pellets last for a month . I am going to take them oout and “wash them quickly and dry and put back. If this works WE GOT A WINNER.
    Also you should not mix cat or dog poo compost if you are growing anything that is a root vegetable. potatoes, beets, carrots etc.
    will let you know how it works.

    July 13th, 2009 at 8:52 pm
    Comment by Vie Lewis
  138. This was a great way to clean off my desk!

    July 22nd, 2009 at 2:45 pm
    Comment by Bethany
  139. I’m going to try it too. I have to pay for trash bags and the regular litter is so heavy I can only put just so much in each bag. I end up spending a ton of money on the trash bags. Can you use regular paper that you gets shredded at work? Copy paper?

    July 30th, 2009 at 3:26 pm
    Comment by Judy
  140. Hi!! Thank you for a wonderful idea.

    Questions. Don’t we lose the bakind soda when we sqeeze out the excess water to make it as dry as possible? Also, is there a ratio to go by? How much baking soda is a generous amount?

    I’m a new cat owner and have been using sand as litter is imported and very expensive in my country.

    Thanks once again for sharing your idea!!

    July 30th, 2009 at 3:52 pm
    Comment by tania
  141. I’ll add my applause for your ambition. It does seem like a lot of work.

    But I’ll also add my vote for World’s Best Cat Litter…made from corn. I’ve had terrific luck with it, don’t have to change the whole box for weeks at a time when I’m scooping regularly, it’s flushable, which is the only kind I’d use, and it’s natural and non-toxic. Both my kittens tasted it when I first got them, as the package said they might. Even though it seems more expensive than cheap clay, I think it’s worth it. There’s also a second corn–based litter out now I haven’t tried yet.

    July 31st, 2009 at 1:48 pm
    Comment by Heidi
  142. Very useful and helpful idea.
    I have recently bought an old house in a small town and I have been living here with my husband for two years now. We discovered some unexpected guests(rodents) and have adopted a cat. I am not a cat person. Since the cat is doing us a favor and keeping unwanted pets away, I can treat it. I was researching how much cats eat and about cat litter when I came to this article. All I have to say is thankyou for sharing that information because, I am a naturalist. I will take the time to shred the papers because that results in less pollution.

    http://www.1sky.org
    edf.org

    August 1st, 2009 at 6:10 am
    Comment by MrsLG
  143. this is genius i have a kitty and i was asking my grandma if i could let it in she doesnt want to buy the litter so i searched for homemade litter thx

    August 3rd, 2009 at 12:18 am
    Comment by Jala
  144. Hi there I hope you dont mind me sharing this blogpost and translating it to norwegian :) Link back to you ofcourse :)

    August 10th, 2009 at 8:08 am
    Comment by Evy
  145. Almost all newspapers print in soy ink so I think that shredding newspaper would be just fine.

    August 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am
    Comment by Nick
  146. I’m so glad I found this! I’m only 13 and I really wanted to get my cat. My dad said it would be fine to keep her at the house, but I need to pay for everything myself. I am finding ways to make money to put away for food and vet visits, but your idea just made me breathe so much easier knowing there’s one less thing I’ll have to pay for! Thank you so much, and I can’t wait to try it out! <3

    August 17th, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    Comment by Madison
  147. I have been making my own litter thanks to you. I love it and so do my cats. But my problem is the shredder. What kind do you have?? I have been through 2 since May. :) Thanks :)

    August 19th, 2009 at 2:30 pm
    Comment by Beverly
  148. How long are you supposed to soak the paper for? I tried doing it at home, but was not sure how long i was supposed to leave it soaking. My end result turned out really prickly. Is that how it is supposed to feel?

    August 29th, 2009 at 5:57 pm
    Comment by Sophia
  149. Hi! I just got a new cat, and i don’t like the way the kitty litter smelles. I kept it in my closet, in my bathroom, almost everywhere, but it just smells so bad. So, I saw this, and I’m like oh wow! So, my question is, do you have to use newspaper? Can you use regular paper?
    -Emma :-)

    September 1st, 2009 at 4:38 pm
    Comment by Emma
  150. I’ve come across this and actually made my first batch and it’s drying as we speak.

    @Emma, yes, this first batch I made was normal paper (old letters, bills, etc) and it seems to be just the same. Works fine. :3

    Although, it doesn’t take me anywhere close to 45 minutes.. Actually quite a few hours. This is a project best done on a lazy Sunday inbetween other projects (like crochet or a video game to play, whatever suits your fancy)… :3

    I’ve notices that the colanders get full of paper mush and prevent the water from running threw.. and then down the drain they go. I advise having drain catches in place so you don’t clog the drains too much either. Works just as directed otherwise. Thanks! :3 My two boys thank you, and so does my pocketbook!! >^..^^..^<

    Sincerely,
    Aubrey, Yakasa, and Ifrit

    September 11th, 2009 at 5:08 am
    Comment by Aubrey
  151. I saw this exact recipe for litter written by someone else so someone is copying another persons idea. The other person was named Chloe and claimed it was her idea, who’s is it??

    September 18th, 2009 at 9:00 pm
    Comment by jim
  152. I know this sounds disgusting but I have found that it works – found it by coincidence. I buy 50lb poultry layer crumbles from the feed store at about $12/50lb sack and use it first for kitty litter. It clumbs very well for scooping urine clumps out and you can scoop out the solids – what is left is essentially contaminted layer crumbles which I then throw out in the compost. However I have homing pigeons and free range chickens that I noticed would eat it from the compost pile so now that saves me a lot in their feed. FYI – I then supplement their feed with scraps of lettuce and veggies thrown away daily from the loal fruit and veggie stand – (several boxes daily for free!) – so with some reorganization you can redistribute your feed budget and come out way ahead overall.This is probably suited more to a homesteading lifestyle but it could hopefully be useful to some.

    October 14th, 2009 at 5:08 pm
    Comment by Peggy Jackson
  153. Interesting. I’ve tried all commercial products and keep going back to clumping litter. We have 3 cats (did have 4 until recently) so clean up on a regular basis is paramount. The concern though is the weight of the trash bag when it goes to the curb for collection along with household waste. At the end of a week and three cats, you can imagine the weight of the garbage bag. We’ll allowed one bag per week and the bag must fall within a certain weight otherwise it will not be collected. How much on average does your home-made product weigh when after scooping all week and how much do we make with three cats, triple the quantity?

    October 25th, 2009 at 7:09 am
    Comment by Keith
  154. I love this, i make it for my rodents bedding its just like carefresh only my made ;) Great bedding for rodents and litter for your loved cats :D only a bit of time and you made your self free bedding/litter :P Thank you for this.

    November 12th, 2009 at 10:25 am
    Comment by christine
  155. I’m delighted by this wonderful suggestion.
    Good for my cat and the environment.
    Thank you!

    November 16th, 2009 at 7:39 am
    Comment by niColl
  156. I can’t believe your spending all that time making cat litter – First I would’nt really worry about the ink – ink doesn’t come off onto your hands when you handle paper does it? – really I woulldn’t worry about it – Second the picture you have of the cat box has WAAAAAYYYYYYY TOO MUCH cat litter in it – no wonder she doesn’t want to go in there – you have to give a cat some clearance so she can do her business – just put one handful – enough to cover the bottom of the box and dump it every morning and rinse and refill – this has been my routine for months now and it works like a charm!

    December 10th, 2009 at 3:05 pm
    Comment by Alan
  157. how much newspaper is needed to recycle to fill one litter tray?

    December 11th, 2009 at 9:26 pm
    Comment by samantha
  158. I have been using shredded newspaer for the kitty litter. i have 2 kittens. can they get ink poisoning or something from it?

    December 13th, 2009 at 8:30 pm
    Comment by Amy
  159. ummm btw Alan. im pretty sure that picture there is just to show the shredded newspaper and secondly, its not the litter tray. i think Allie knows what shes doing. thats the box where she stores all the shredded newspaper. lol

    December 13th, 2009 at 8:36 pm
    Comment by Amy
  160. Hi, I just rescued a kitten I found on the road, he’s about 3-4 weeks old, doesn’t eat solid food yet and stuff but can run around fine.

    I made a litter box and just crumpled some paper and chuck it in (i’m a lazy guy) and she’s using it just fine. Is there any problem with this? Or do I really need to wash away the ink?

    This is my first kitten, I don’t want to screw it up. I only have experience with snakes/pythons/dogs, and I’ve never needed a litterbox before.

    Tom

    December 16th, 2009 at 8:07 pm
    Comment by Newbie
  161. Just noticed, it’s a SHE not a he. lol

    December 16th, 2009 at 8:08 pm
    Comment by Newbie
  162. I just use dirt, cats have been using that for thousands of years.

    January 2nd, 2010 at 3:52 am
    Comment by Vajrasiddha
  163. I was wondering if this would be safe to use for ferrets… I’ve manage to adopt quite a few over this last year and the carefresh bedding cost is outragouse, I’ve tried a couple alternatives and wasnt satisfied. My only concern is the dust factor as it can cause respitory problems with small animals, anyways let me know =) thanks

    January 20th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    Comment by April
  164. [...] PAINS me to write this review.  I am, after all, the person who made up her very own kitty litter recipe.  And that kitty litter is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  When Drew from World’s [...]

    February 5th, 2010 at 10:33 am
    Pingback by World’s Best Cat Litter Lives Up To It’s Name
  165. I also love layer crumbles (chicken feed) as a litter that is easy on the environment and so very easy to clean up. It’s very similar to World’s Best … clumps a little looser, but a tiny fraction of the cost. I always try to keep two kinds of litter at a time (in separate boxes), though, and this is a great alternative that I think my cat(s) will love! It would also be imminently doable at the shelter where I work. We already use shredded paper, and we have unlimited access to discarded newspaper from our local newpaper office. The local Girl Scout troop has been looking for a service project and I’m thinking a whole lot of stars are aligning…

    Just a reminder for folks looking to get creative: many essential oils are toxic for cats — just don’t use them. Also, the oils from several woods, including cedar and pine, are toxic — it may not be safe to use wood chips or other products unless they have been treated to reduce the oils, as is done for pellets. Pine-scented cleaners and such, especially, are often highly toxic. You do have to be somewhat careful with cats because their systems do not metabolize a lot of things as well as we do, or even dogs. They can suffer liver damage or other toxic responses to things that we might not expect.

    February 5th, 2010 at 7:00 pm
    Comment by Donita
  166. Otters are contracting something now they’ve probably never dealth with, the toxoplasmosis bacteria from kitty litter/garbage in their habitats.

    So really everyone needs something inert to begin with, and some way to make it inert after. Sterilizing the litter, say pouring it in a bag with vinegar, but that sounds impractical. I would just like to take mine to a photolytic incinerator.
    AND it still somehow has to be low in price in large quantities with no impact on the environment. I’m thinking say some kind of left-over agri material ground up, otherwise being thrown away.

    I’ve used ground up pine litter called “nature’s miracle” in red&white bag, (not made from virgin trees i hope) with some fancy odor process, it doesn’t smell too bad. Clumps ok but a little pricey per 10lb bag.
    Now I’ve run out and I’m using some toxic grey mass produced crap that’s offensive to the nose.

    Really, it should all be either sterilized or cultivated for something. Even ours. Too bad cause we’re filling the planet up with toxic feces, mostly our own.

    March 27th, 2010 at 7:20 pm
    Comment by bleh67
  167. …ingenious!

    Stop paper waste.
    Newspapers, grocery store ads, and phone books.
    Join the facebook group and spread the word.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114104115266913

    March 29th, 2010 at 2:59 pm
    Comment by John Powers
  168. [...] for me to test (or, more specifically, for the cat to test).  It costs me all of a few cents to make my own kitty litter.  Anything anyone sends along has to be way better than the litter I make, which performs well and [...]

    June 8th, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    Pingback by Kitty’s Crumble Pet Litter
  169. i have 6 cats at the moment, and one is allergic to the sand from clumping litter. his eyes swell up and as soon as we realized it was from the litter [and after months at the vet] we have been trying to change to something that has no dust.

    my concerns are
    1) if this does not clump then the urine gets stuck on the bottom, which is very unsanitary for the cats to use throughout the day [i clean the litter twice per day]

    2)if the cats try to hide their feces/urine, then the clean paper gets mixed with the dirty once, hence all dirty again.

    i guess for this to be clean enough you should change it twice per day minimum. [if it doesn't smell to us that does not make it clean, think of all the germs that travel with urine]

    please anyone who used it let me know.

    thanks

    June 9th, 2010 at 1:11 am
    Comment by Kitty mum
  170. Beautiful! Now that summer is here, I’ll start making cat litter and save around $20 each month!

    June 20th, 2010 at 2:25 pm
    Comment by Mili
  171. you can try to put the newspaper in an old pillow case and put it in a spin dryer to rinse the water from the soak newspaper.

    June 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 am
    Comment by arlene
  172. awesome this is used for gerbils too now i can make my own i’ve been looking for a way to make them

    July 1st, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    Comment by andrew
  173. @ Kitty mum: Cat urine is completely clean and sterile just as human urine is, so if your cat is perfectly healthy and you scoop out the poop every day, there should be no bacteria to worry about.

    @ Allie: This is ingenous! My only problem will be to get my hands on that much newsprint. I already use it to mulch my garden, and have to do it in steps, a few square metres at a time, because we have no means to gather that much newsprint even for that. But I will try this! Thank you for sharing! :D

    July 31st, 2010 at 5:15 am
    Comment by Mira
  174. This is a great idea. It recycles the shreds, keeps your cat happy, and it will keep your private information safe. It’s totally a win/win situation.

    September 29th, 2010 at 6:25 pm
    Comment by Jeff McRitchie
  175. Hi there,

    I tried this method a while back and found that it was hugely time consumingm, (the paper chunks took ages to dry – I actually had to “bake” the paper chunks in the oven to dry them completely – it ended up being at least a three day process, and a huge waste of electricity if you ask me!)plus once the cats used the paper, it became extremely smelly, and was impossible to sift out the wet from the dry, so I went through my initial batch in 2 days. Not worth the effort. Instead, I use plain old shredded newspaper on top of a thick stack of folded newspaper and just make sure to change the whole thing either every day or every other day. There is no smell at all, the cats are fine with it, and it’s a lot easier to prepare (I don’t even have a paper shredder – the paper shreds surprisingly easy with your hands) and a lot easier to clean up than anything I’ve used before. I just though I’d pass this along because I was having a lot of trouble finding and alternative to the clay clumping store litters which come from strip clay mines, and, well, are costly. One last thing: Not too sure what it’s like where everyone else is from, but here in Canada, they’ve been using vegetable based dyes for the newspaper ink for years and years now, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the ink and your cats.

    October 3rd, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    Comment by Daisy
  176. For all of you who think it’s a good idea to flush the cat poop. Here is a very interesting fact:
    Fact: Flushing cat poop down the toilet is an option once suggested by environmentalists, but is now an eco- No-No. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat’s intestines, can be passed through the feces.

    When flushed, the T. Gondii travels with the toilet water from your house to a treatment center (where it resists treatment) to the bay to the Pacific Ocean and into the habitat of many sea creatures, including the Sea Otter.

    A UC Davis study of otters that live in areas near freshwater runoff, found that 42% of live otters and 62% of dead otters tested positive for T. Gondii.

    In fact, recent legislation will require kitty litters bags to include warning labels about flushing.

    (Editor’s note: QUEST’s very first TV story, “”What’s Killing the Sea Otters?” – 2/6/07- ” covers this topic in detail.)

    October 23rd, 2010 at 11:38 am
    Comment by sandrine
  177. What do you think about using the blown-in insolation that they use for walls in houses, from what I understand it is just ground newspaper? It might save some time and it is verry cheap for a bag.

    November 9th, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    Comment by patrick
  178. i just made this recipe. i made it for my rats and left out the baking soda so it would be less dusty and also softer. after waiting 2 days for it to dry it got very windy outside and it was almost dry – so i brought it inside before it all blew away and put it in a pillow case and put it in the drier!

    this worked great! it softened the hard chunks and what was left was very soft – kind of like shredded t-shirts or something.

    i didn’t see any dust – even though the fibers are more softened and broken up – and my rats really like it so far.

    i think letting it air dry until almost finished and then using the drier works great!

    i am also going to use the pillow case next time to squeeze as much water out as possible then dump out the paper onto the screen.

    November 24th, 2010 at 5:15 pm
    Comment by dianna
  179. I have two cats, Chester and Charlie and I love this idea for their box! I can offer one suggestion to the drying…

    The process is much like ‘paper making’, taking old paper, shredding, soaking and working it into new sheets of recycled stationary. Anyway, I love doing that and one of the tips is drying it for a few seconds in the microwave. Not a minute, just a few seconds. It gives a boost to the drying time!

    And for those that want smaller clumps, in the paper making, I got a blender from a thrift store, tossed in the strips, added water, a few whirs and bzzts and it was paper sludge! Just blend instead of puree :)

    December 10th, 2010 at 1:44 am
    Comment by Michelle
  180. I really appreciate your recipe for this! My cat is getting her front paws declawed and I have to use shredded paper for 10 days for her. So thank you! =)

    December 29th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    Comment by Jenna
  181. Hello,

    Thank you for the recipe. I am going to try this in my bunny’s litter box.

    January 1st, 2011 at 4:13 pm
    Comment by Ashley
  182. I have two older cats that pee a lot. After blood tests ($105 each), and urinalysis, the vet found nothing wrong and just said older cats pee a lot. I also have 2 other cats. Letting them outside is not an option; there are coyotes in my neighborhood and I have lost 6 cats over the past 10 years. After using an $8 box of clumping cat litter in 5 days, I decided to search the web. Your website is the first one I came to. I’m going to try sand too.

    January 17th, 2011 at 10:18 am
    Comment by Jude Ayer
  183. [...] type that is made from old paper. Doing a bit of googling, I came across this homemade version too: Make Your Own Kitty Litter If you test several other types out, and she still doesn't want to use a box, maybe you could put [...]

    January 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    Pingback by all advice greatly recieved - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
  184. Question: after using paper in litter box, would it then be tossed into the large recycle can or the garbage can? I love to recycle How about dropping the top smelly poops & urine stained papers into the garbage can and the underlying newspaper sections into the recycle cans?

    February 11th, 2011 at 3:44 am
    Comment by Carol F.
  185. thanks for the terrific practical instrux on how to make a homemade litter; it’s an idea i’ve been toying with forever, but i hadn’t read of anyone’s good results and was trying to get beyond my trepidation. your article and these responses did it for me! i’m gonna give it a shot and will report the results — we’ve got 5 cats who will be sure to express their opinions on the matter as well!

    btw, re some of the comments, why are people still declawing their cats?!! there’s plenty of good information out there on how inhumane this is (would you like your fingers lobbed off at the lower knucle?) and a good cat tree entirely prevents the need! we got ours used off craigslist for $70, and our cats loved it for years. a good one can be had for less than $100 new and will last for years; this is a lot less harrowing than forcing a declawing procedure on your cat. also, cats who have been declawed are mouthier and more likely to bite when feeling defensive. just stop declawing, folks!! *steps off soapbox*

    March 1st, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    Comment by lisa
  186. So, how are people going using it? I thought about toilet training my cat but we don’t sell litter that is flush able, so, this should be perfect.

    March 3rd, 2011 at 8:26 am
    Comment by Liv
  187. Does it have to be newspaper? Do you think any paper paper would do? There is a place near my house that shreds documents and such and they said I can pick up as much as I want.
    What kind of danger am I putting my cat in, if any, in terms of paper quality and ink?
    It seems unlikely that they would be harmed by it from walking on it, I know they do not eat their litter.
    Thanks for helping the diy/cat lover community!

    March 12th, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    Comment by squid
  188. I’ve just started using sawdust that I found at a local lumberyard, that they let me take for free. It works great, too. No odors, yet, after a week. And very soft and fluffy. Works better than anything else I’ve tried.

    May 23rd, 2011 at 4:15 pm
    Comment by wally
  189. Every nurse I have ever known tells me newspaper ink is antiseptic, but it does smudge.

    June 4th, 2011 at 8:14 pm
    Comment by Sir William
  190. This is such a great idea and I can’t wait to try it! There is only one problem- I have a bunny not a cat. Do you think this is safe for rabbits too?( My rabbit right now uses clumping litter and I want to switch him to this procedure.)

    June 16th, 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Comment by Carolyn
  191. Hi Carolyn! Thanks so much for your comment! I don’t know anything about bunnies, so I can’t give you advice on that. Maybe try talking to your vet about it and seeing what he/she thinks?

    June 16th, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    Comment by Allie
  192. Hi Allie. can I use thick papers like brochures or magazine to make the litter? and also papers used in offices? can I mixes several kinds of paper instead of only using newspaper?

    June 19th, 2011 at 6:21 am
    Comment by Warda
  193. Hi,
    I wonder if someone can tell me if mixing dry sand and lime(absorbs moisture) is safe(r) than commercial clumping litter. I read this suggestion here….. just wondering what you think.

    Thanks

    July 6th, 2011 at 7:15 am
    Comment by Sue
  194. thatscool! i want to try making that. right now im using plain newspaper. its neat because after the cats use it, i just removed the soiled part, spray th elitter with water mixed with lysol, wipe it with newspaper, then line the box again with plain newspaper. seems to work however the problem is when i go out and leave the house. when i come back the cats make a mess of the box and sometimes when the box is dirty, one of the cats would poop or piss outside of the box. hehehe

    July 14th, 2011 at 4:56 pm
    Comment by catlover
  195. Hi I was just wondering if this process could be used to make guinea pig bedding instead of using it as kitty litter. Would there be any extra steps to take during “washing” the paper? Would the end result be safe for guinea pigs? Cuz I read newsprint is bad for them…

    July 16th, 2011 at 9:14 am
    Comment by Tamara
  196. Sounds great except for the amount of time and paper. I do not buy and try not to buy any paper products other than the necessary toilet paper, napkins and towels. Time, it take s DAYS to produce one box full. With 3 cats, I’d never have enough of any paper or time for this.

    July 31st, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    Comment by Cat owners friend
  197. I have just finished making this, just waiting for it to dry, so excited! ^_^

    I have 3 cats, so I can imagine me having to make this quite often but it’s obviously so much cheaper! In already hard economic times things are about to get alot worse so get shredding people!

    October 16th, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    Comment by Penny
  198. Couldn’t you use your oven to speed the drying time up.. Years ago we “made” paper for a kid project and basically did exactly what you did except for the baking soda and that is how we dried it.. We set the oven on warm and let the paper bake for a while.. It dried it but we did not crumble it since we were using the recycled paper to write a letter to the parents on..

    October 22nd, 2011 at 2:15 pm
    Comment by Kelly
  199. I just use a 2kg bag of rice for cat litter. Sustainable resource. Doesn’t get tracked all over the house. Easy cleanup. Cat’s happy. Humans happy.

    October 28th, 2011 at 4:33 am
    Comment by Suzanne
  200. I have 2 cats and changing the litter ever couple days is a hassle! It gets full practically overnight! The older cat leaves a stench ever time he goes! I hope to try this out and maybe help with the cost of cat litter! We’re in a small apartment and anything that helps with odor is worth a try! Question: How long do I soak it?

    November 1st, 2011 at 10:18 am
    Comment by Melissa
  201. I use small animal ‘bedding’ for my litter. I was using Yesterdays news for years, but it’s hard on paws and I don’t like the ink in it , either. I kept finding ‘mystery’ pieces in it when I scooped, so I started worrying about how sterile it was. The Small animal bedding is paper, but it’s softer on paws. Also cheaper than Yesterday’s news. No inks/dyes or chemicals – as far as I know. Just a thought. & if you already have small animals, you already buy the bedding, so why not share with the cats? I think it has better odor control, too. I ran out of bedding recently and was broke. Someone bought me Scented Yesterday’s News, and I noticed the difference almost immediately. Cats seemed stressed, too, and didnt want to use the box. No accidents, just reluctance. And they jump out right away, like they don’t want to be near it. I’ll stick with the bedding. It just works for us. :) Oh, and another thing I tried when I couldn’t afford anything was no litter. They will use the empty box, and I just flush and rinse what’s left. Or I just put paper towels in the box. These are both inexpensive and thrifty – Most people already have paper towels anyways.

    November 6th, 2011 at 1:23 am
    Comment by Jen
  202. Your formula for shredded paper reminded me immediately of “cellulous” insulation (like at Home Depot or Lowes), which is really just highly shredded newspaper. Looks like using that (and it is cheap!) would cut down even more on the front end labor. I’ll have to give it a try.

    December 21st, 2011 at 8:28 pm
    Comment by Gary The Keeper of the Cats
  203. okay this sounds good i need a way to utilize lots and i do mean lots of used books. but i have other used books around my home i would like to keep and educate myself from. if i use books will it teach the cats the horrendous habit of using all books?

    January 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Comment by beveanne mckinley
  204. Where a lot of people don’t get much paper these days in the digital age I was thinking of other options. Here is what I come up with that may work. Have a plumber put in a floor sink (mop sink) complete with hose sprayer (1 time cost or DIY). Then get some metal screen (window screen won’t drain well so you want something with slightly larger holes) and attach it to some pvc to keep it off the bottom of the sink. Then use a fabric and sand concept similar to karens idea above (not sure how best to keep this in snug yet so not to lose sand down the drain).

    The urine goes down the drain and you scoop out the feces. Rinse it daily with the sprayer which should drain and dry relatively quick I suspect. Replace sand if and when necessary. Optionally, sprinkle with baking soda when dry.

    In theory this seems like it could be good but probably has a couple bugs to work out. One time cost, and possible small cost of changing sand occasionally.

    January 2nd, 2012 at 2:34 am
    Comment by Mike
  205. Nice effort Mike.

    January 19th, 2012 at 5:03 pm
    Comment by Jay
  206. why dont you mass produce that stuff and sell it I would buy it at a reasonable price

    February 10th, 2012 at 3:27 pm
    Comment by Veronica
  207. This is so awsome! I am happy there are so many like minded people out there looking for ways to save cash. I have a family of four on one income. New ways of saving money has turned into a hobby for me now a days. Thanks for all the info that your putting out and saving me 50 bucks a month in nasty litter for my 3 fluffy friends!

    March 5th, 2012 at 1:50 pm
    Comment by Jhena
  208. hey Allie…. um i dont have a paper shredder home, so can tearing the paper with bare hands do the same trick?

    March 14th, 2012 at 2:40 am
    Comment by anonymous
  209. It won’t work as well, unless you can get the pieces very small. But you could try soaking it longer, and that might help.

    March 16th, 2012 at 8:26 am
    Comment by Allie
  210. Hi! I love your idea! I was looking something like this for my bunnie Thumper. I was afraid of using comercial litters because he might try to eat them. This doesnt sound dangerous at all. Thanks

    May 2nd, 2012 at 3:06 am
    Comment by Natalie
  211. I love this idea, but wonder about how people are composting the used litter. Obviously, to throw this into plastic bags for disposal afterwards is no different than dumping commercial cat litter.

    Can anyone explain the process for composting the used litter?

    May 5th, 2012 at 9:12 am
    Comment by Nancy
  212. Nancy, the problem with composting pet litter and waste is that the normal composting process doesn’t kill organisms that could be dangerous to local wildlife and water systems. My understanding is that unless you have a compost system specifically for pet waste that uses enzymes or electricity to get the heat high enough to kill the harmful elements of pet waste, you shouldn’t compost it. Cornell has a great compost guide http://compost.css.cornell.edu/schools.html So if you’re looking to lessen the impact of your kitty litter, reusing materials is a great way to go.

    May 5th, 2012 at 11:10 am
    Comment by Allie
  213. Found another green and budget friendly litter option that I absolutely love. Tired of the mess of cleaning store bought litters (and the dust and tracking they created), and not sold on any of the automatic litter boxes (sound scary), I finally went on line to see if there was such a thing as washable litter- figured it would be less dusty. Of course I didn’t find any that could be used in a regular box (dugh- there’s little profit in something that can be reused). Anyway, I found a litter box at one of the big pet chains that had a detachable grate insert (supposedly to sift and lift the soiled litter out). Instead of using it this way, I spread baking soda on the bottom of the litter pan, then layer sheets of newspaper (sprinkled with a little baking soda in between) on the bottom as well. I then place the grate over that and spread a thin layer of pea gravel (natural stone) in the grate. The pea gravel can’t be put on too thick or the newspaper underneath won’t dry. Also, add the gravel to the grate before placing in the pan and shake it so that any pieces that are too tiny will sift out (you want to use gravel large enough so that when you stir or clean it, it won’t go through the slots in the grate). Pea gravel is sold at home building supply stores. I replace the newspaper as needed by just lifting out the grate insert and wash the stones once a month. I leave them in the grate, rinse them with the hose, spray them with a little vinegar, let sit awhile, rinse with hose and dry in sun. Easy, and I will never have to buy litter again since the bag I bought has enough so that I can add a few more if ever needed. Also, if you don’t have newspapers, puppy pads work even better since they have a plastic liner and aren’t that expensive if bought in bulk on line- plus they last a whole week or more so much cheaper than buying litter. Best of all, my daily “relationship” with the litter box is now minimal- just pick off the poops when they appear since don’t have to change the paper every day.

    May 17th, 2012 at 10:45 am
    Comment by Sue

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Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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