Green Pets: Recycled Kitty Litter Alternatives

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Tijs Zwinkels

We love our furry feline companions and we also love to take care of our planet. It’s hard sometimes to reconcile the fact that millions of tons of cat litter are dumped into the garbage each year. Also, mining clay for traditional cat litters brings its own environmental challenges. If you have concerns about clay-based litters that contain sodium bentonite, or simply want to try something new, there are alternatives to traditional kitty litter that are made from recycled newspaper. Why not use a material that’s delivered to your doorstep for your whiskered friend?

According to the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), 24 billion newspapers are published each year in the U.S. On a positive note, you could say that recycling is CATching on: almost 90% of these newspapers are recovered and recycled! Paper accounts for more than a third of all recyclables collected in the U.S. (by weight). More than 5,000 products can be made from recycled paper, including coffee filters, car insulation, animal bedding, planting recycled seed starting pots, and egg cartons.

Remember that recycling is important because it saves energy, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and because it conserves natural resources. It’s a good idea meowadays to recover useful materials like newspaper from the trash to make new products.

The Super Easy Route

Line the bottom of your cat’s litter box with some newspaper, then fill the box with shredded newspaper. This gets even easier if you don’t shred the newspaper by hand, but use a paper shredder. This eliminates scooping of the clumps of littler, and its should be cleaned out daily.

Many cat owners find that they spend less time lining the box with paper than always scooping and replacing litter, not to mention sweeping up all the dust that cats drag out. This isn’t as big of a problem if you have an enclosed box, but it’s still easier to grab the dustpan for shredded paper bits if your cat kicks them out of the box.

Tip: Use black and white pages instead of color, unless you see that the newspaper uses soy inks.

Buy Recycled Kitty Litter

Recycled paper kitty litter can be several times more moisture absorbent than clay litter, has good odor control and is dust-free. Recycled newspaper kitty litter comes in two options- fluffy and pellets, and a little of it can go a long way. It’s also lightweight and easy to handle.

Overview of recycled newspaper kitty litters:

Any products made from recycled material help close the recycling loop and create a demand for the recycling industry. It saves tons of useful materials from sitting wastefully in a landfill.

recycled newspaper kitty litterWithout endorsing any particular product, here’s an informative list to purruse of what’s available on the market:

Envirokats also claims to be not only 100% recycled but also reusable.

It is also very cute that Breeder’sCelect has a whole page on considering your carbon pawprint.

TIP: Did you know that you’re not supposed to flush kitty litter down the toilet?
Outdoor cats can become infected after fearlessly hunting birds and rodents that contain a parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. It isn’t deadly for adult cats, but the Toxoplasma eggs get passed along in the cat’s droppings. If these droppings are flushed, municipal sewage systems can’t always kill the Toxoplasma eggs because of their durable coating. If the treated sewage then flows out into the sea, it can be a CATastrophe, threatening sea life such as otters.

Let us know your experiences trying out these alternatives!

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