I have a cat that is fixed and fully de-clawed. It is strictly an inside cat only and never goes outside. I buy regular cat litter from the store frequently. I would like to find an alternative. I have tried newspaper and the cat didn't like it an neither did I.

The problem with the regular cat litter is that I don't know of anything I can do with it after it has been used. I just throw it away in the normal garbage. I am looking for something that I can use elsewhere after it is not longer used for cat litter. Alternatively, I am looking for something that I already use around the house that I can use in place of the traditional cat litter. Maybe something that has already filled its need and would otherwise be discarded.

So, is there a sustainable alternative to traditional cat litter?

  • 2
    Please be specific about what you hope to accomplish by changing litters, as "sustainable" is ambiguous.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 22:33
  • I updated my question to be more specific
    – Linger
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 20:08
  • Declawing cats is a horrible practice. Declaw yourself! Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Most cats are picky about where they'll go poop. In my experience, if I just switch litters, they won't use the new one. Similarly, if I move the litter box, they may just go on the floor at the old location. So, whatever changes you are working on, go slowly.

Cats can be trained to use a toilet, which will use only drinking water, not litter, which may be an improvement. See YouTube.

One way to switch litters is to fill the litter box 2/3rds with the new litter, and then put a layer of the old litter on top. This will be familiar to the cat, while helping them become accustomed to the new litter.

There are biodegradable cat litters made from newspaper and sawdust. I like the sawdust ones a lot. Once your cat transitions to them, you can switch to pellets used for fuel, which are basically the same thing but cheaper.

If you use Humanure, you can then include the cat poop + pellets in your compost pile. Humanure incurs some additional responsibility, mostly making the compost pile big enough, and letting it sit long enough. See Joe Jenkins Humanure Handbook, also available free online for the full story.

  • @bstpierre: It lists several options. #5 is the link to read free online. I could link to that directly, but since Joe Jenkins sends people through that PDF, out of respect for him, I linked there, too.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 4:07
  • this is what I get for not reading all the way to the end... thanks for pointing that out.
    – bstpierre
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 12:49

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