Although you already know cat litter is great at what it does for meeting your cat’s bathroom needs, you probably don’t realize that there are more than 30 other uses for cat litter.
These tips and tricks can help you save money, make your life easier, and may even save you from a tricky situation!
Keep reading to find out what you can do with kitty litter outside of the box.
1. Unstick Your Car
We’ve all been there, whether it’s thick mud, snow, or ice. Your car gets stuck and you’re not going anywhere fast. What you may not realize is that you can use cat litter to provide some traction for your tires. Just toss a couple handfuls under the stuck wheel to get moving again.
We recommend keeping at least a small bag of cat litter in your car at all times to get yourself out of this situation quickly. This is especially true during the winter if you live in the north. You may prevent needing a tow truck to drag you out.
2. Dry Flowers
Flowers are beautiful but fade quickly. To preserve their beauty, you can use cat litter. Just place the flowers or any plant you want to dry into an airtight container with some kitty litter. The dust of the litter will absorb the moisture and in seven to ten days, you’ll have perfectly preserved plants.
3. Stop Closet Odor
Whether from your son’s dirty sports uniform or something mysterious, closets can get smelly. To stop that odor, you can use kitty litter. Put a shallow pan of fresh cat litter in the bottom of your closet to quickly remove the foul odors.
Just be aware that your cat may decide they’ve found a new place to go which could defeat the purpose of deodorizing the closet. We recommend only doing this in areas of the house where your cat doesn’t have access - or placing the litter pretty high up.
4. Remove Smells from Old Books
Another thing cat litter can deodorize is old books. Although the smell of old books can be intoxicating in a good way, some vintage tomes take on a less-than-desirable odor. To reduce or remove that smell, you can place these books in a closed container with some cat litter for a few days.
This trick can also be used with other vintage items like clothes. If you sell vintage items regularly or are having a garage sale, taking this simple step to make your items smell better can help you sell more things, and more quickly.
5. Prevent Grease Fires
Grease fires are extremely dangerous, and the best way to avoid the damage that comes with them is to avoid the fire from starting in the first place. If you have an outdoor grill, you’re at risk of a grease fire because the grease from your food drips directly onto the fire below.
To prevent a grease fire next time you’re grilling, add a thin layer of cat litter to the bottom of the grill. This won’t interfere with your food at all, but it will quickly absorb the dripped grease so it can’t catch on fire. Just make sure you use an all-natural clay-based cat litter for this.
6. Clean Oil Spills
Cat litter’s ability to absorb oil can also help in the garage, driveway, or anywhere you have an oil spill. Although it’s particularly helpful with fresh oil spills, it can also be used on older spills. These will require some more time and work, however.
While the oil is wet, throwing kitty litter onto it will quickly absorb it and make the cleaning process far easier since you can then just sweep it up. For older spills, you’ll need to let the litter sit for periods of time and can use its abrasive property to remove remaining marks.
7. Repel Pests
Most of the time, if you have a cat, you don’t have a pest problem, even if your cat is not a hunter. That’s because rodents and other pests are instinctively afraid of the smell of a cat. If you’re still dealing with unwanted visitors, you can use this instinct to your advantage.
Take used kitty litter and put it into holes and other areas where pests frequent. This will discourage them from sticking around any longer. You can even use this in your yard if you have moles. Just throw some dirty litter into their holes and consider that their eviction notice.
8. Keep Soil Moist
Gardeners are always looking for ways to keep the soil moist, whether it’s out in the garden or in potted plants. One of the ways to do that quickly, easily, and cheaply is to use non-clumping clay kitty litter. The clay will hold the water in the soil so that it’s there when the plant needs it.
To create a moisture-holding soil mixture, use even parts soil and clay cat litter. Mix them together well and then add it to your garden before planting or into a new pot while replanting. You’ll be amazed at how infrequently you’ll need to water your plants after adding kitty litter.
9. De-ice Sidewalks
Ice on sidewalks and other walkways is dangerous. People can slip and fall. But, some of the chemicals used for deicing them are bad for pets and the environment. For a natural alternative that won’t break the bank, use cat litter!
Just generously coat areas where people walk with a non-clumping natural cat litter and you’ll be able to walk without worrying about hurting yourself. The litter creates traction between your feet and the ice so it’s safe.
10. Freshen Up Your Fridge
As your refrigerator fills up with food, it can also fill up with odors. This mix of odors can then be absorbed by other foods. To avoid a foul-smelling fridge, many people place an open box of baking soda inside. While that works well, so does kitty litter!
Place a small open container with kitty litter inside your refrigerator and it will help to eliminate food odors in your fridge. Make sure you replace it every few weeks so that you can continue having a fresh-smelling fridge.
11. Deodorize Trash Cans
Trash cans can take on even worse smells than your fridge, and if not taken care of, these repulsive odors can spread through the house! To prevent that, sprinkle some kitty litter at the bottom of the trash can beneath the bag. This absorbs smells and any stray liquids should the bag tear.
12. Kill Pond Algae
A common problem pond owners face is an overgrowth of algae. This can make it hard to see the fish and choke out other plants the fish need to survive. A safe, natural way to clear some of that algae is to use kitty litter.
Dump one pound of cat litter for every 2,000 gallons of circulating water in the pond. Although the pond will be a bit murkier for a few days, once it clears up, it will kill some of the excess algae so you can actually see into the water again.
13. Cleanse Your Face
It may sound strange, but you can save yourself a ton of money by using fresh new kitty litter for a facial mask rather than paying for an actual beauty product. You just need to make sure you’re using bentonite clay cat litter and you’ll be on your way to an acne-free face.
Bentonite clay is a natural antibiotic that will cleanse your pores. It’s also an exfoliant, so it removes dead skin cells and other things from your face as you scrub with it. By using this DIY face mask once a week, you can have beautiful, young-looking skin.
Sift a few handfuls of the cat litter so you just have the dust. Mix it with equal parts water to form a paste. Then, apply it to your face as you would a facial mask. Allow it to set for about 15 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
14. Safely Dispose of Paint
Getting rid of leftover paint can be tricky. You can’t put liquid waste in your trash can, but you also can’t pour toxic liquids down your drain. That’s where kitty litter comes to save the day! Toss some clumping cat litter into those cans of paint, and they’ll turn into solid waste you can easily dispose of.
15. Eliminate Foul Food Odor
When your shoes smell like sweaty feet, you may think chemical sprays are the only way to solve the problem. However, kitty litter offers a much safer and more economical way to keep even your workout shoes smelling fresh.
Pour a couple handfuls of new kitty litter into an old but clean sock. Tie it off to keep the litter inside. Then, tuck one into every smelly shoe you own. The cat litter will then absorb the odors, leaving you with non-smelly shoes to wear.
16. Keep Seasonal Gear Fresh
Something else that could use some litter-filled socks is any seasonal gear you have. It’s unfortunately common for things to start smelling musty when they’ve been stored for a while. There’s nothing more frustrating than pulling out your favorite sweater for winter only to be greeted by a foul odor.
Whether it’s summer camping gear or winter wear, tossing a few socks filled with kitty litter in with them when you’re putting them away will help keep those musty smells to a minimum. The cat litter will absorb any lingering moisture and odors.
17. Fill Craft Projects
Whether you’re filling a kid’s toy or some other craft project that requires weighted stuffing, kitty litter is a great alternative to expensive fillers. It’s also safer if you use an all-natural litter and can keep your projects smelling great.
18. Save a Wet Phone
You’ve likely heard that putting your wet phone in dry rice can save it from water damage. While that’s true, another option is cat litter. Because of how absorptive it is, it can draw the water out of your phone or any electronic device that’s had an unfortunate run-in with water.
Tuck your device into a sock or other thin material before burying it in a container filled with clean cat litter. This will prevent any of the litter dust from getting into the small crevices which can do just as much damage as water.
19. Add to Ashtrays
A great way to cut back on the amount of odor an ashtray produces is to add some kitty litter to it. It quickly absorbs odors so other people won’t have to smell your smoke as much. It’s also safe for putting out cigarettes so you don’t have to worry about accidentally setting the house on fire.
20. Treat Minor Cuts
Although you should always seek medical care when necessary, some small cuts and scrapes may actually benefit from an application of cat litter. This trick will only work with clean, 100% bentonite clay cat litter, so don’t throw just any litter on a cut!
Bentonite has some antimicrobial properties, so it can help keep minor wounds from getting infected. You’ll first want to wash the cut with soap and water, and then can apply a small amount of new clay cat litter dust on it to help it heal.
21. Soothe Itchy Skin
Another medical use bentonite clay kitty litter has is anti-itch. If you got into some poison ivy or got eaten alive by mosquitoes, you may benefit from applying some cat litter. Once again, you’ll want to make sure it’s an all-natural, 100% bentonite clay mixture before using it on your skin.
Make a paste by mixing one part cat litter to one part water. Then, spread this mixture over any areas that are itching. It will help alleviate that itching and its antimicrobial properties can help accelerate healing from bug bites.
22. Scratch Off Spray Paint
Spray paint can be extremely difficult to remove, especially from paved surfaces. So, if you find yourself needing to remove spray paint from the sidewalk, you may need some help from cat litter. Just grab some litter and a scrub brush to get started.
First, you’ll want to clean the concrete as best as possible, by using a strong soap solution, a broom, and water. Once all the dirt has been removed, you can start getting to the paint. Make a paste of kitty litter by mixing it with water in a one-to-one ratio.
Apply the paste to the concrete. Rub it in gently with a scrub brush, especially if it’s a rough concrete surface. Then, after it’s been sitting for a six to eight hours, use the scrub brush again, this time scrubbing hard. Rinse away the litter, then repeat as needed until all the paint has been removed.
23. Purify Produce
The produce you buy from the store is covered in all kinds of unpleasant things. It may have bacteria from the soil, and all kinds of toxins leftover from pesticides and whatever else the crops have been sprayed with. But, kitty litter can help.
You’ll want a bentonite clay cat litter that’s all natural. Then, mix ¼ cup of clay dust with 1 quart of purified water. Submerge any fruits or vegetables you want to clean into the solution and allow them to soak for about ten minutes. Then, rinse with purified water and allow to air dry or dry with a clean cloth.
24. Fill in Holes
If you’ve got divots or holes in your backyard, why wait around to get fill dirt? You can instead use cat litter to fill them. If it’s an area frequented by children, you’ll want to use clean litter. Otherwise, it’s a great way to dump your remaining clumping litter after scooping it.
25. Clean Up Vomit
We apologize if you’re already feeling sick just thinking about having to clean up this bodily fluid. However, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that you’re probably going to have to deal with it at some point. Kitty litter makes this task a bit more manageable, however.
All you have to do is sprinkle some cat litter over the vomit. Allow it to absorb the liquids for a few minutes, and then you can simply sweep it all up. This also works on carpeting, though you’ll have to vacuum a few times to remove all the litter.
26. Get Stronger
Want to gain muscle but can’t afford a gym pass? Kitty litter has you covered! You can use it to make your own weights to lift from the comfort of your own home. Litter can be used for everything from filling ankle weights to making your own sandbag weight.
To make a sandbag weight for lifting, fill heavy-duty zipping plastic bags with kitty litter. If possible, try to add exactly 10 pounds of weight to each. This will help you keep track of how much you’re lifting and will make it easy to adjust the weight.
Then, put these bags into an old gym bag or any nylon bag. Use this to do squats and various lifting exercises. If you’re going to be using them a lot, you may want to double-bag the litter to avoid a messy workout should one of the bags break.
Sometimes, you need to weigh down a table decoration. This is especially true with flower arrangements or anything in a tall container that may cause it to be top-heavy. To weigh it down, why not use some kitty litter? It’s cheap, heavy, and you can still use it afterwards.
The biggest downside to using kitty litter for this type of project is that it’s not pretty. So, you can’t use it with clear glass containers unless the bottom part is thoroughly covered. But you can still use it for solid-colored containers or those with a dark-colored glass.
Running a dehumidifier through those muggy summer months can get expensive on your energy bill. So, to cut down on that cost and help your dehumidifier run more smoothly, you can use kitty litter. It will help absorb extra water from the air.
Place an open container of or a sock filled with cat litter in the bottom part of your dehumidifier. Be sure it’s not close enough to interfere with the way it works and won’t cause the appliance to overheat. Then, make sure you replace the litter about once a month.
29. Make Cat Toys
Making toys for your cat is super easy. All you need to do is sew material in the shape you want it and add some weight to it. That weight can be added in the form of cat litter. Use an all-natural, non-clumping litter that’s safe for your cat and they’ll soon be having a blast with their new toy.
30. Use for Portable Toilet
Whether you’re camping, hiking, or on a long road trip, having a portable toilet can help save you from an embarrassing situation. Kitty litter will help you keep smells to a minimum which is especially great if you need to travel with your toilet for any length of time before you can dump it.
Whether you have a pre-made one or made it yourself, you can add kitty litter to the bottom of your portable toilet. Clumping litter is especially great at keeping things together, though you may also want to go with a flushable litter that you can easily get rid of at the end of the trip.
31. Share with Other Animals
Not all kitty litter works with other animals, so make sure you’re picking a litter option that will work well for all kinds of critters. Usually wood-based and other plant-based materials can be used by cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other pocket pets.
By sharing the litter, you can save yourself money by buying in bulk. You can also save yourself some trips to the store since it’ll be easier to make sure you’ve got enough when you’re only stocking up on one type of litter for your whole menagerie.
32. Absorb Drips and Leaks
Got a leaky pipe under the sink that you can’t get fixed quite yet? Or a basement that can’t handle too much rain? Either way, you can use kitty litter to help you solve this problem. It will not only physically hold onto the water to keep it from causing damage, but it will also absorb musty odors.
For basement leaks, keep a generous amount of cat litter scattered on the floor where the water comes in. Then, make sure you clean it up after it gets wet and add new litter. For under-the-sink leaks, add some kitty litter to the bottom of a bucket to absorb that water and any smells.
33. Water Purification
The last and final way you can use kitty litter outside of the box requires bentonite clay once again. This clay cat litter can actually purify water for you, so you may want to keep a bag on hand for emergency situations if nothing else.
It works as a water purifier because the particles of clay physically bind to impurities within the water, including bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. Once bound, these substances cannot separate themselves from the clay, so once you remove the clay, your water is clean.
Just add 1/8 cup bentonite clay per gallon of water. Mix it thoroughly, then wait for the clay to settle at the bottom of the container. Pour the water into a clean container through a fine sieve to remove the remaining clay, and you’ve got purified water to drink!
Learn More About Cat Litter Boxes
Now you know how to use cat litter in a myriad of ways beyond the kitty’s box. To learn more about cat litter boxes, keep reading our blog.
We have tons of information to help you choose the right litter box for your cat, know where to put the litter box, and give you tips on trick on how to clean the litter box.
If you have a cat and a litter box, you’re sure to find something helpful on our site!