Skip to Content

9 Great Alternatives To Cat Litter

9 Great Alternatives To Cat Litter

You’ve thought of the idea of changing the standard litter your cat has been using for some time now.

Whether you’re looking for another option rather than the traditional clay litter, or you’ve simply run out of it, I’ve got some great news for you.

No matter whether you’re out of the litter or you just want some good and healthy change, there are nine efficient alternatives to cat litter.

Let’s look at them and find out which one would be the best fit for your feline friend.

1. Corn


  • Highly absorbent
  • Eco-friendly
  • Quick clumping


  • Average odor control
  • May spoil in humid conditions

The great thing about the corn cat litter is that it’s biodegradable and even flushable. It’s also highly absorbent and easy to scoop.

Since it doesn’t contain silica dust, this litter makes a healthy option that won’t cause respiratory problems in you and your cat.

While typical cat litter is usually heavy, the corn litter is lightweight – even a small bag of it can last a decent amount of time.

An average odor control is one of the downsides of the corn cat litter. Also, it’s prone to spoilage when held in humid conditions.

It’s necessary to replace this litter once every three to four weeks.

One of the most popular corn cat litter is the WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER. It has an amazing 4.5 rating out of more than 6,000 ratings on Amazon.

The price of $17.43 for a 15-bag pound is very decent, since this litter lasts long.

2. Newspaper


  • Inexpensive
  • No tracking
  • No dusting


  • Needs to be changed frequently
  • Average efficiency in odor-controlling

This is something anyone certainly has in their home. So, paper won’t cost you a penny and it can make a decent alternative to cat litter!

Before you encourage your cat to try this litter alternative, some preparation is needed. You should shred up the newspaper, and wash it with water and soap. 

After washing, sprinkle some baking soda over the wet paper and allow it to dry completely in the sun. 

Newspapers make a good option because they are inexpensive and cause no tracking and no dusting.

On the other hand, this alternative may not be an ideal option for every cat parent, since it requires frequent changing and offers only moderate odor control.

See Also: 7 Reasons Why Do Cats Like To Lay On Paper

3. Horse Bedding Pellet


  • Cost-saving
  • Low-tracking
  • Eco-friendly


  • Difficult to clean
  • Rough texture

Horse bedding pellets make a wonderful natural solution for stalls since they absorb moisture and prevent odor effectively.

But, together with their main purpose of use in places where horses reside, they can also be used as a cat litter alternative.

This is a relatively cheap option that’s unlikely to produce any dust. Also, horse pellets won’t get stuck on your cat’s paws, meaning that you won’t see them all around your home. They’re eco-friendly and biodegradable.

The bad side of this alternative is that it’s challenging to clean, since it doesn’t clump moisture like a clumping cat litter.

Furthermore, some cats won’t like the rough texture of this cat litter alternative on their delicate paws.

One of the horse bedding pellets with a good rating on Amazon is the American Wood FIBERS PELLETS PinePellet Bedding. Check out this product if you find the horse pellets as your favorite pick for a cat litter alternative.

4. Sand


  • Cost-effective
  • Eco-friendly
  • No chemicals


  • Messy
  • No odor control

There’s a good chance that many of you have some kind of sand around your house. Well, this is another cost-effective alternative to cat litter.

Most likely, you can collect sand on your own, without paying anything. Even if you have to buy some sand, you can find really cheap options, like the Mosser Lee Desert Sand on Amazon, which is $6.99 for a bag of 7 lbs.

Sand is a natural alternative with no chemicals or additives. It’s also biodegradable, meaning that you’re being environmentally friendly by opting for this litter alternative.

On the other hand, there are some negative sides of this option. When a cat digs into the sand, plenty of it can end up on its fur and paws, tracking all around your house.

Also, this alternative doesn’t neutralize bad odors as well as the standard cat litter. This means you’re likely to have to change the sand frequently.

One important thing to mention here is that sand needs to be sterilized before the cat uses it. You should first rinse it thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt.

Also, it’s advisable to boil it and let it simmer to kill all parasites and bacteria.

5. Garden Soil

dirty hands holding garden soil


  • Good odor control
  • Biodegradable
  • Cheap and available


  • Messy
  • High tracking

If your cat is allowed to get outside sometimes, you’ve probably seen it defecating in your garden or yard.

You can use this cats’ preference for soil by using the garden soil as a cat litter alternative. 

This is a natural product and a type of litter that will remind your cat of its natural habitat! 

Garden soil has great odor control and it’s very available and cheap. Also, it’s biodegradable. 

The bad side of this alternative is that it can get very messy. The solid will easily get stuck in your cat’s paws and it will track all around.

This tends to be very annoying, especially if your house is full of carpets. In case you have a chance to put the litter box in a separate room, such as in the garage, then the garden soil can be a great solution for you.

6. Wheat


  • Biodegradable and flushable
  • No dust
  • Soft on a cat’s paws


  • The combination of wheat and urine can make an intense smell
  • Some cats can be allergic to wheat

According to VetInfo, wheat cat litter is a great way to reduce odor and make box cleaning easier and quicker.

The wheat is soft on a cat’s paws. Even if you have a young kitten, you don’t have to worry that it may accidentally ingest some of the wheat while grooming, since wheat litter is fully digestible.

This alternative to the traditional cat litter is biodegradable and flushable. It is also less dusty than other, standard, litters.

When it comes to the potential drawbacks, it’s possible that the combination of wheat and cat urine can make a not-so-pleasant smell.

Also, some cats can be allergic to wheat, meaning that they should avoid this alternative.

For those interested in trying wheat litter, I recommend the sWheat Scoop Natural Wheat Multi-Cat Litter. It’s highly absorbent, excels in odor control, and is all-natural without any added chemicals. 

This product has a great 4.3 rating of almost 5,500 reviews on Amazon.   

7. Grass Seed


  • Lightweight
  • Soft on paws
  • Clumps well


  • Tracking is possible
  • The recycled grass causes a distinct smell when mixed with a cat’s urine

The cat litter made of grass seed is a natural option and alternative to the traditional cat litter. It’s a lightweight litter that clumps well, absorbs the odors effectively and is soft on a cat’s paws.

This alternative absorbs the liquids very fast and forms solid clumps, making it easier for you to clean your cat’s toilet.

An example of this product is the SmartCat All Natural Clumping Cat Litter. Made from 100% natural grass seed, it’s free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, making it ideal even for cats with sensitive paws.

The bad side of the grass cat litter is that some track is expected to be noticed. Also, the combination of recycled grass with a cat’s pee can cause a specific smell that won’t be pleasurable for some cat owners.

8. Walnut Shells


  • Very absorbent
  • Natural and eco-friendly
  • Clumps well and makes the scooping job easier


  • Earthy odor
  • Trackable and messy

Cat litter made of walnut shells is another natural alternative to the traditional cat litters. 

This is a natural and environmentally-friendly option. Walnut litter is highly absorbent, clumps well and fast, making your scooping job easier.

The Naturally Fresh Cat Litter is one of the best-selling walnut litters on Amazon. According to the manufacturer, it lasts up to three times longer than the leading clay litter, thanks to its high absorbency.

This walnut litter produces hard clumps in 15 minutes without sticking to the litter box, making it a great option for multiple-cats households.

Walnut litters are great because they don’t have harmful silica dust. They’re plant-based, sustainable, and annually renewable.

However, as with all other products, it’s also necessary to mention some of the negative sides here.

This litter is trackable and can make your home messy. Also, when a cat pees on it, it has a specific, earthy odor that may not thrill all cat parents.

9. Sawdust

wood and sawdust on the ground


  • Inexpensive
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Lightly-scented


  • Average absorbency
  • Needs to be changed frequently

Sawdust is produced as a waste product of woodworking such as sawing and milling. If you have access to sawdust, it’s worth considering for your cat’s litter box.

The great thing about this alternative is that it’s inexpensive and eco-friendly. It’s light-scented, which is perfect to eliminate the ammonia smell of a cat’s urine.

The bad side about the sawdust is that, when compared to standard cat litter, it doesn’t absorb so well.

This means it will not make your cat’s litter box cleaning job any easier: Moreover, you will have to change this litter more frequently than you’d prefer.

Final Thoughts

gray cat sits in turquoise litter box

What’s the final verdict on the alternatives to cat litter?

Well, there are plenty of advantages to these options, such as them being eco-friendly, cheap, less dusty, widely available, and so on.

Of course, at the same time, you would want cat litter to have high absorption power, to make all the odors disappear, and for your cat to accept it well.

I’m sure all of you will find your favorite on this list of nine quality alternatives to cat litter – the one that will work just fine for both you and your cat.