Whether you want to make homemade cat litter for health, environmental or financial reasons, the process is fast, simple and fun. For only pennies, you can make weeks of paper litter your cat will love. Plus, the more you make at one time, the longer you can wait between batches.
Collect newspapers, classified ads, and other similar papers that come to your home. If you do not get any newspapers, ask friends and family to save theirs.
Remove glossy ads and staples from the newspapers, and then shred the rest and store in a plastic bin until you are ready to make a batch of cat litter. If you do not have a paper shredder, you can tear the newspaper into thin strips by hand. This will take a long time, though.
Soak the newspaper in a solution of warm water and about two tbsp. dish soap. Let it sit until it takes on a consistency similar to that of cooked oatmeal. The water will look grayish and the ink on the paper should be mostly faded.
Drain the water by pressing the paper against a fine screen or colander.
Place the newspaper back into the plastic container and add more warm water. Do not add dish soap. Allow the paper to soak for several hours.
Drain the paper a second time, squeezing it to remove as much water as possible.
Sprinkle baking soda over the damp paper and then knead the paper with your hands to distribute the baking soda. Continue adding baking soda, as needed, until it is mixed into all the pulp.
Break the paper pulp up into small pieces and crumble over a fine screen. Allow to dry. Placed in the sun, the crumbles should dry in about 24 hours. Placed in the shade, the paper may take up to three days to dry completely.
Spread about two inches of the dried, crumbled newspaper at the bottom of your cat's litter box.
- If you want a cheap way to dry many newspaper crumbles, buy a roll of window screen from your local hardware store, pull it taut between two pieces of wood, and then staple the screen to the wood to keep it in place. Place the crumbles on top of the screen to dry.
- Regular clumping clay litter contains silica dust that is carcinogenic and can damage your cat's lungs, according to the "Baltimore Sun."
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."