11 Clever Ways to Save Money on Cat Litter

Reader's Question:

Hi, everyone! I've got three lovely cats at home, and I'm finding that the cost of cat litter is starting to add up. Are there effective ways on how to save money on cat litter without compromising on quality or DIY ideas?

Jamie T. from Portland, Oregon

I understand questioning why cat litter is so expensive, especially when you have three adorable cats to care for.

You're not alone in this, as many cat owners are seeking ways to manage these expenses better.

In response to your query, I've put together several effective strategies, including the option of buying bulk litter, to help you save on litter costs for your three cats. Here's a breakdown of these methods:

1. Switch the Litter

A fundamental aspect of how to save on cat litter is considering cheaper alternatives. If you're spending more than $12 per month per cat on litter, consider switching to more cost-effective alternatives like wood pellets for pellet stoves, which are around $5 for a 40-pound bag.

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.

Note: Some cats may be flexible with a change of litter type, while others may not. If you do switch, introduce the new litter gradually alongside the old one to ease your cat's transition.

2. Buy Cat Litter In Bulk

One of the smartest strategies for cost-saving is purchasing bulk cat litter. Stores like Costco and various online platforms offer great deals on large quantities. Look for sales and free shipping.

To save even more, you might want to explore the best place to buy cat litter in bulk, where you can often find great deals on larger quantities. When you find a good deal, stock up on as much litter as your home or garage can hold.

The beauty of buying bulk cat litter is that it doesn't expire or go bad. So, if you come across an exceptionally good deal, you might just secure enough litter to last for the remainder of your cat's life, significantly reducing your long-term expenses.

3. Consider a DIY Cat Litter

Thinking about how to make cat litter last longer? One effective approach is creating your own budget-friendly litter from materials like shredded newspaper or sanitized sand.

Using Newspaper

Shredded newspaper is particularly effective and completely free if you have a steady supply. Veterinarians often recommend it after a cat's declawing procedure and can be a permanent litter solution.

Using Sand

Alternatively, sand can be a cost-effective substitute for commercial cat litter. It's usually less expensive and may have the added benefit of clumping, which simplifies scooping (depending on the specific type of sand).

Make sure the sand is properly sanitized before use to prevent any bacterial risks. I did a whole post on using sand in the litter box that you can read here. It is not the ideal litter out there, but if you can't afford anything else, it works.

For more options, consider what cat litter is made of and experiment with creating your own mix. I also wrote this article about ten alternatives to cat litter if you want some additional ideas!

4. Use Less in the Box

You may be using too much litter in the box. In this case, keeping the litter level a bit lower will reduce the amount that gets tossed over the side when your cat digs around.

About three inches of litter is usually enough, reducing unnecessary waste and saving money over time.

Note that you should always have enough litter in the box! All I'm saying is, review your current litter habits. If you're using too much litter right now, reducing the level to three inches could save you some cash.

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 emptying the box often and replacing all the litter. With multiple cats, scooping a few times a day will help you save money on cat litter.

6. Switch Scoops

Using a scoop with larger holes can prevent wasting clean litter, thus saving money over time. Here's one that's perfect even if you're using a pelleted cat litter:

Click Here To See This Scoop On Amazon

7. Baking Soda Hack

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 move more easily, your litter will last longer, which can save you money. This is just one of the many smart tips on how to save on cat litter.

Read more about adding baking soda to cat litter.

8. Coupons and Deals

Looking for the best cheap cat litter without sacrificing quality? Look out for coupons, special deals, and sales events to stock up on high-quality litter at a lower price.

Many online stores provide a 5% to 10% discount on automatic, recurring cat litter purchases, allowing you to save a lot over time.

9. Shop Around

Compare prices at different stores and online to ensure you're getting the best deal on cat litter.

Here's a post 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.

10. Get a Sifting Litter Box

Another way to avoid wasting litter is to use a sifting litter box. It can make it easier to separate waste from clean litter, reducing the frequency of litter changes.

Here's one example of a sifting litter box:

Click Here To See This Sifting Litter Box On Amazon

11. Use Washable Litter

Consider washable litter options like the CatGenie self-washing litter box, or buy replacement granules for it and construct your own system.

Keep in mind these plastic granules are not safe for your cat to eat, so you may not want to try this if you have a cat with a habit of eating things they shouldn't.

Embracing Smart Savings on Cat Litter

As a fellow cat enthusiast, I can relate to the challenges of balancing the care of our furry friends with managing household expenses.

The strategies discussed here are not just about cutting costs but also about making smart choices that benefit both you and your cats.

Every cat and household is unique, so it might take some experimenting to find what works best for you.

Whether it's switching to washable litter, trying out toilet training, or sticking with bulk kitty litter purchases, the goal is to find a solution that keeps your cats happy and healthy while easing the burden on your wallet.

I hope these tips provide you with practical solutions and a bit of relief in your journey as a cat owner. Here's to happy, healthy cats and a little more peace of mind for you!

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