One of the biggest costs of owning a cat is litter. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to save on cat litter costs so you can spend more money on cat toys and treats. At least, that's what your cat wants you to do.
We've gathered 17 ways you can save on the cost of kitty litter, so keep reading to find out more and start saving today.
1. Switch Litters
If you're paying more than about $12 per month per cat, you're spending too much on cat litter. That means the best option for you to save money on cat litter is to make a switch. Fortunately, there are a ton of options for cheap cat litter, though not all of them are marketed as such.
Some pet owners use wooden pellets designed for pellet stoves. These can be found for around $5 for a 40-pound bag, which is a lot less than most bags of cat litter. Just be sure they don't have any accelerants in them and don't have a high concentration of oils that can be harmful to your cat.
This is the solution most cat owners will think of first - which is why we put it first on the list. This is not the best solution though. The type of litter you use is very important for your cat's comfort and overall well-being. Some cats may be flexible with a change of litter type while others may not.
If your cat regularly uses the current litter, don't be in a rush to switch it. Especially if Kitty has had any litter box avoidance issues in the past. If you feel you must try this option, remember to change the litter gradually, preferably by offering a new box with the new type of litter, alongside the old box with the litter your cat is used to.
2. Buy Cat Litter in Bulk
No matter what type of cat litter you choose, you can save extra money by buying in bulk. One way to do that is to go to a bulk store like Costco or Sam's Club. These will often have better deals on larger amounts of litter compared to smaller pet stores.
Ordering litter online is another way to buy in bulk. Look for sales and free shipping. Then, buy as much litter as you can fit in your home or garage all at once. Since litter doesn't go bad, if you find a good enough deal, you might be able to get enough litter for the rest of your cat's life!
3. Consider a DIY Cat Litter
Another option to save on cat litter is to make your own. The first step to doing this is to consider what cat litter is made of. From there, you can create your own mixture. We've got a couple other easy DIY options on this list, so be sure to read through to the end for some specific DIY ideas.
4. Use Less in the Box
You may be using too much litter in the box. In which case, an easy way to save with any type of cat litter is to use less of it. Keeping the litter level a bit lower will reduce the amount that gets tossed over the side when your cat digs around or buries their waste. It can also make it easier to see when it needs to be scooped.
This tip works only if you're already using too much litter. So how much litter is enough? According to cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett, three inches of litter is plenty. If you have more, you may be using too much litter - and paying for that.
Gradually reduce the level of the cat litter until it's only about two inches deep. As long as your cat continues to regularly use the box and it's not getting too messy, you can keep it at this level. Then, every time you need to dump and refill it, you can keep using less!
5. Keep the litter box clean
When you scoop often and take other steps to keep your litter box clean, the litter will last longer. This means you can save by not having to empty the box as often and replace all the litter. If you have one cat, you should aim at scooping twice a day. With multiple cats, scooping a few times a day will help you save money on cat litter.
6. Get Coupons
Keep an eye out for coupons on cat litter. This is one of the easiest ways to save money when buying litter for your cat. Doubling coupons will help you save even more. Most of the time, you can use a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on the same item, so always use both if possible.
You likely get coupons in the mail or can find them in a newspaper. But, you can also search online for both store and manufacturer's coupons which you can then print and use.
7. Shop Around
Don't assume you're getting the best deal at the store where you always shop. Instead, take some time to call around and find out what other places are selling their cat litter for. Then, you'll want to check out online stores to see what their prices are.
Here's a post we did on 40 stores where you can buy litter boxes online. Most (if not all!) of these also sell cat litter, so be sure to check those out in your quest for the cheapest possible cat litter.
8. Sign Up for Recurring Purchases
If you do choose to buy online and don't have the space to buy in bulk, the best way to save some extra money is by signing up for recurring purchases. Many big online stores now offer a discount if you sign up to automatically buy cat litter as often as you need it.
First, figure out how often you buy cat litter and how much of it you go through. Then, when you place your first order online, take them up on their offer to automatically send you a new bag every so often. This can save you an additional 5 to 10% every time you buy cat litter, which really adds up.
9. Buy on Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is arguably the best day of the year to buy anything in a store, and cat litter is no exception. The best part about buying litter on this day is that pet stores are generally much calmer than many of the other places on this day.
Check the prices of your type of cat litter at all your local pet stores to see which is offering the best deal. Then, head out and buy as much as you can. It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season since it'll leave you with plenty of extra cash to shop for gifts!
10. Use Newspaper
Here's one of the DIY cat litters you can try. Veterinarians recommend using shredded newspaper following a cat's declawing procedure, so why not use this as a permanent solution? As long as you have access to a lot of newspapers and a paper shredder, this cat litter is completely free!
If you have a garden, you can even compost the wet newspaper when you're done with it to get even more use out of it.
11. Use Sand
The other DIY option we're going to share here is to use sand. Sand is usually cheaper than commercial brands of cat litter. Plus, it clumps which makes it easier to scoop. Before using sand, you'll want to make sure it's been sanitized properly since anything taken from nature can contain bacteria.
Are you the kind of cat owners who thinks outside the box? Try this article about 10 alternatives to cat litter.
12. Switch Scoops
Your scoop may be causing you to spend more money on cat litter. If your scoop's holes are too small, you may find yourself picking up and dumping clean cat litter. While it may be a small amount each time, that can add up. Find a scoop with larger holes to prevent litter loss.
Here's one that's perfect even if you're using a pelleted cat litter:
13. Get a Sifting Litter Box
Another way to avoid wasting litter is to use a sifting litter box. These will also help you save time since it catches all the clumps quickly and won't leave you digging for treasures. It also helps you expand the life of the litter since you won't have to change it as often when you're scooping it thoroughly.
There are two bottom trays and the sifting tray. To remove clumps, pull up the inner sifting tray and shake it gently so the clean litter falls back into the bottom tray. Dump the clumps, put the sifting tray in the empty litter tray, and then dump the clean litter into the new pan.
14. Use Washable Litter
There are two ways to go about using washable litter for your cat: buy the CatGenie self-washing litter box, or buy replacement granules for it and construct your own system. Keep in mind that while this will save you money since you don't have to buy litter anymore, it will also take far more time to wash the granules.
The biggest thing to watch for if you choose to do this is that it's dangerous for your cat to eat these plastic granules, so you may not want to try this if you have a cat that has a habit of eating things he shouldn't.
15. Add Baking Soda
When you add baking soda to your cat litter, it can help you clean it more easily, and will help eliminate bad odors. It can also help keep clumps from sticking to the bottom of the litter pan. When you're able to more easily remove waste, your litter will last longer which can save you money.
16. Let Your Cat Go "Outside"
It's not safe to just let your cat wander outside but you can create a safe fenced-in area - or even a catio - where Kitty can enjoy being outside while still being fully protected. If that area is large enough, you could let the cat use the soil there instead of the litter box. Just remember that it's not a good idea to let that happen where kids are playing or you're growing vegetables.
The easiest way to let them know where you want them to go is to dump some of their dirty litter in the area where you want them to start going. Take them there often and it won't take long for them to figure it out.
17. Toilet Train Your Cat
The other way to save on cat litter by not buying it anymore is to train your cat to use the toilet. Not all cats will take to this method, but if yours does, you can permanently toss out your litter box! The biggest downside will be that you may have to wait in line at the bathroom at times.
There are several systems you can buy to train your cat to use the toilet. If you're successful, this is a worthwhile investment for how much you'll save on litter costs. And again, this is not a good solution for most cats. If your cat seems stressed over the changes required during the training period - let it go and stick to a regular litter box. Paying for litter is still better than dealing with litter box avoidance issues.
Want to Learn More About Cat Litter?
Now you've got a list of 17 ways to save on cat litter costs. As you can see, there are some truly easy ways to save money, so you can still spend just as much time with your cat.
If you want to start looking at other cat litter options that might save you money, be sure to check out our post on cat litter substitutes. There, you just may find the perfect alternative to traditional cat litter.