Green Little Cat

5 Great Reasons to Use Less Cat Litter

Recycle, reduce and reuse are the buzzwords for the mainstream environmental movement.  People definitely have gotten the recycle aspect down.  Reusing is starting to pick up steam too.  But, what about REDUCE?  For years, it seemed this humble verb was reduced to being a mere sidekick to the sexier “recycle”.  It took a global recession to bring “reduce” back to the forefront.   So with that lead-up, I’ll give you 5 great reasons to use less cat litter.

1. The cat box is easier to clean.

When I was trying to toilet train Furball, I made an unexpected discovery.  During the training process, I had to train Furball to use a shallow litter pan that fit inside the toilet seat.  Because the pan was so shallow, it could only hold about a cup of cat litter in it.

I was somewhat dreading to see what the bathroom would look like after Furball used the shallow tray.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did he use the tray, the bathroom was actually quite clean.  Because there was so little litter, he didn’t bother scattering it around everywhere.  He hardly tracked any litter so I didn’t have to sweep up as often.  As well, his poop sat right on top, which made it very easy to dump out.  And, when it was time to clean the tray, I could simply pour out the entire contents without sifting through it.  This leads me to my next point.

2. Your litter box will be less stinky.

This sounds counterintuitive because it’s been drummed into our way of thinking that you need to use more litter to keep odors down.  At least, that’s what the box/bag of litter says.  Who benefits from us using more cat litter?  The cat litter company.

When you use less litter, it’s soooo much easier to clean that you can clean more often with less effort.  Hence, the less stinky box.

3. You’ll save money.

Eco-friendly and natural litters cost more, but if you use less, then your annual litter costs can actually go down.  For example, now that Furball uses less litter, I pay less than $75/year for his litter.  Not bad, considering that he uses organic wheatgrass litter.

4. It’s more convenient.

It was a pain in the butt to haul 40lb bags of cat litter from the pet store in a Mini Cooper.  Then, the litter had to be lugged up three flights of stairs and stacked in a very conspicuous corner in the bathroom.  Uh, let’s just say there was more cat litter than bathroom in the bathroom.  Because we use less litter now, the tiny 20lb bag fits neatly under the sink and I can make fewer trips to the store to stock up.

5. It’s really good for the environment.

Add up how much litter you use a year.  I’d wager that if you’re using a common litter (e.g., clay-yikes hopefully not, wheat, pine, recycled paper)  you’re going through over 100 lbs a year, and quite possibly up in the 200 to 300 lb range.  If you’re using corn, pat yourself on the back for its light weight.

Did you know that there are over 80 million cats in the United States alone?  Even if only half of these cats were using cat litter, that’s a lot of litter going into landfill sites.  I did the math once and it worked out to billions of pounds.

If you used just one less scoop of litter per cat per week, that could add up to 10 lbs of litter a year.  Now, multiply that by the number of cats.  If everyone cut down by just one sccop a week, 800 million pounds of cat litter per year would be diverted from going into landfills and being manufactured in the first place.