Many cat lovers are choosing alternatives to clumping clay litter for their cats. Some people believe clay litter can make cats ill. Others want a green and chemical-free household.There are several non-clay alternatives and natural solutions for those who do not want to use clay.
Recycled Paper Litter
Paper litters are available commercially at most pet stores. You often will find them in the small animal section where they are sold as cage lining material. Common brands are CareFresh and Yesterday's News. You also could make your own with recycled newspaper, warm water, baking soda and biodegradable dish soap. Paper litter does not clump, so you will have to remove soiled paper daily and clean the box frequently.
Clumping Natural Litter
Several litters are available that clump or make it easy to scoop the litter box. These litters often are not as effective at clumping as clay litter, but they are more effective than recycled paper litters. Litters are made of wood pulp or wheat. Common brands are Feline Pine, SWheat Scoop and Wonder Wheat. They usually are located in the pet store near the other cat litters or can be purchased online.
Cats can be trained to use their own toilet or a regular toilet. You can buy a flushing litter box that you hook up to your water system. Several companies sell kits or videos on how to toilet train your cat. The process of toilet training a cat can take several weeks or even months. This is done by gradually moving your cat's litter box near the toilet, then level with the toilet, on top of the toilet, and finally getting him used to using the toilet without the litter box. This requires patience and may not work for all cats.
The Great Outdoors
If your cat goes outdoors, you could install a cat door so they can do their business outside the house. However, many cats are indoor only or live in areas where a cat door isn't practical. You could consider filling the litter pan with actual soil, which the cat likely will dig in and use. Of course, dirt will be messy once it mixes with urine and you will need to clean the litter pan often. If you do fill the pan with dirt, use plain soil, not a gardening mix that might have chemicals or fertilizers mixed in.
Kayla Richard has been writing from Rochester, N.Y., since 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English writing arts from SUNY Oswego and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from SUNY Brockport.