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How to Make Homemade Kitty Litter

Updated on October 7, 2011

Want to make your own cat litter?

I recently came across a new feeling in myself and decided to become more "green.". I don't know if it is the new job I recently became employed at or just a realizations on everyday things I throw away without thinking but decided to find some new uses for certain Items. Making home-made kitty litter is not only fun to make but won't make your brow sweat! In the following, I will show you how to turn newspaper into kitty litter in easy steps and something great to do along with your kids!! Can be great to mix with other brands of kitty litter or have your cats use it all on their own!

Homemade cat litter is simple to do and the only cost to you would be baking powder. You do have to change it as you would normally but one full weekday paper should make enough homemade cat litter to fill a litter box. Homemade cat litter is affordable and great for the environment. It cuts down on waste and keeps paper out of our landfills. Enjoy this lens on how to make your own homemade cat litter!


Step by Step Guide

Homemade Cat Litter Recipe

Making Organic kitty litter is actually way easier than many may think. I came across the recipe while trying to find uses for my "old" kitty litter and found out that it just turns into a slimy clay mess. Well I could figure of no uses for that so decided to try another approach instead. As I said before, I recently began working on becoming more green and with that I decided to look through everyday things I throw away. Paper products were a huge part of my trash but what I did not use for my cat litter, I decided to compost. I was still left with absurd amounts of newspaper however, and since I was new to vermiculture, I had overwhelming amounts leftover. I could wait for the worms to reproduce enough to justify my keeping it but instead found a better method.

Organic kittly litter takes on a crumbly yet sturdy texture due to the few items we use to mix it with. It also takes a lot of the weight away due to being paper based as opposed to clay based. Now I could continue to bore you with the details but I think it is a much better idea to help you make your own!!

Now the ingredients you are going to need are: newspaper, mixing bowl, strainer, baking soda, dish soap (environmentally friendly if you have it available), and optional choice of a dryer sheet. The dryer sheet is completely optional because all it does is add fragrance, I experimented with lemon juice from squeezed lemons because I could just compost the rinds, but found out my cats hated the end product!!

Find a large mixing bowl and fill with warm to hot water and squirt a few drops of dish detergents. All this does is help rinse off a lot of the ink the newspapers use. (Many newspapers now use soy based ink so the harmful chemicals should not be present.)

If you have a shredder, great! (Takes off a lot of time in the next process!) If not, then you are stuck using my method but it's ok I use the same approach. Gather your newspaper and shred it. I find that kids will actually tear it up for you just for fun's sake! Try to get the pieces abot 1/4 to 1/2 inch think, if it is smaller it isn't a problem. Try and make them a few inches long because that is how they form and clumps together.

Next, take the shredded newspaper and mix it in with the water. The soap will wash the newspaper and the water will take a dark black look. This is due to the ink washing off but it is ok. Your hands may stain but with a little soap and water will become clean!

Next, squeeze out the water and set it in the strainer. Run cool water over it and continue to wash it. More ink will run off and the soap will lessen. Repeat this step a few times to make sure as much soap is gone as possible. Squeeze thoroughly throughout the process and resoak.

Once finished rinsing, squeeze excess water out until it is pretty dry and cannot squeeze anymore out. Rinse out the bowl and try to make it dry, we will use this same bowl to make the end ingredient. You should now have a ball of rinsed off newspaper, your baking soda, and bowl!

I find that the amount of baking soda you use is justifiable on your part. All baking soda does is act as an odor neutralizer. The more cats you have, the more you want on the newspaper. I use about a 1/2 cup per full newspaper and it works great. Just get out the measuring cup and dump in your baking soda into the bowl. I don't know why I stress kids to help but my friend's son had a blast helping with this, Reminded him of paper mache.

Take the ball of newspaper in your hand and just start ripping off chunks. Small chunks about marble sized. Some will come out in strips and this is ok. Cats will just shred it and move it around in the "process'. Keep going until the entire ball is gone and you are looking into a bowl of crumpled paper.

If you want gloves for the next part, I understand. Take your hands and thoroughly mix the kitty litter together. The newspaper will cause the baking soda to stick to it and will eventually cover it all. You just want a thin layer because as I said it neutralizes odors. If you want, you can opt out and not use baking soda, but I think your feline friends will find a new potty spot!

Once mixed, find an old grocery bag and pour the newspaper in. Should be about half a bag. As I said earlier, I choose to use a dryer sheet to add extra fragrance, and it also helps to pull moisture away from the paper.

Take your bag and set it outside or by a window in sunlight. This will dry the paper out so it is usuable. I find that outside in the heat of Charleston, it can take two or three days till it is dry enough to use. You can make homemade cat litter dry faster by using a fan and mixing it. If you mix it while blowing wind over it, it should dry just a bit quicker. Once the finished product is ready just use it as normal. Many cats are finicky and causing them to switch brands abrubtly can cause unwanted messes. I still personally buy regualr kitty litter and mix the two together. I just happen to buy it less often and money saved is money earned!!


Definite Do Nots!

Do not add these!

If you want to make environmentally safe cat litter, this is the way to do it but upon my experience with trying new and different ways to make the litter I have come across a few things not to add!

Lemon Juice = I thought that I could mix this with the baking powder and add fragrance to it but ended up finding that the juice can irritate the cats. The juice is acidic and yes I did know this. I figured fragrance was a good thing and the rinds I could just compost afterwards. Well, with my experience, one of the cats had a cut on its claw and refused to go in. Made messes elsewhere:( Use instead to deter cats from areas. I heard that you can use lemon juice on items that used to be used as a scratching post and cats will avoid it.

Glossy Paper = Doesn't have the same consistency. I tried it before reading about it and also found that many inks on glossy paper can be metallic and seeing as we are using a green method, kinda defeats the purpose. Also doesn't form right:( Double negative

Cardboard = I even tried thin cardboard one time seeing as it is already of a sturdier texture but the baking soda does not stick to it. It is a waste and the cardboard can add precious carbon to your compost so use it their instead.


The Finished Product

Once you finish with your creation, this is what the finished product will look like. Depending on the size of the balling you did it may look a bit different. The white powder on the newspaper is the baking soda which helps absorb the smell. I hope you enjoy your work :)

Now remember, this is environmentally safe. It is good for both you and your cats and is very simple and cheap cat litter. As before, it is a great additive. If you want to stretch the life of your traditional cat litter, homemade cat litter is a simple addition. It is always better to recycle and reuse than to just throw away.

Recycle your old newspapers into homemade kitty litter today!

Give me your thoughts!!

If you have decided to try it out, I would love to hear your thoughts. At the same time, if there are suggestions, I am completely open to hear them!

Was this easy enough to make?

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Newspaper Shredders

Quicker way to make Homemade Cat Litter

Homemade cat litter is already very quick and easy to make. If you make to much of it, the compounds are biodegradable and composts very easily. A paper shredder can be used to cut down the time it takes to shred all the newspaper needed to make a decent batch of homemade kitty litter. There are pros and cons of using a paper shredder when making organic cat litter.

Paper shredders run off of electricity. Many people who choose to make homemade cat litter may feel indifferent to using electricity for something so simple to make. It adds to the carbon footprint and it is simple enough to rip into shreds. Kids love taking newspaper and going to town with it, ripping them just for fun.

Paper shredders, however, come with a basket usually to catch all the shredded newspaper needed for homemade cat litter. It is quicker and more efficient at getting the pieces to the size desired. Many strips are a centimeter wide and rip easier when matted down with water. You can go through a larger stack of papers quicker with a paper shredder in a fraction of the time, but you may be overwhelmed with how much you shred. I bought mine and started shredding everything. I had to compost the excess which wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Aurora Paper Shredder - Makes Cat Litter Quicker to Make

Paper shredders shorten the time it takes to make your homemade kitty litter. Many paper shredders are durable enough to shred cardboard and credit cards so the uses are for far more than the traditional cat litter. Paper shredders go great in many business environments but are safe for kids to use. Make sure the blades are sufficiently covered and their fingers are not small enough to touch them. Many paper shredders are built for this. My nephew is 9 yrs old and loves shredding with my shredder at home!

Paper Shredder Oil - Useful for Preventative Maintenance

As paper shredders run and get dull by the shredding of paper, oil can be essential in maintaining the useful life of your machines. You can add many more uses to your machine if you do a little preventative maintenance every now and then. This oil makes sure the blades run smoothly and are well lubricated as you make your homemade cat litter.

Try your Organic with this!! - Mix together and it lasts!!!

I added this in case people decided to try another method of the organic kitty litter. I tried to make kitty litter out of pine straw and bark at one point but my cats barely touched it. Became a damp mess but I did buy this litter and it worked. Actually use it in conjunction with my newspaper. Seeing as it is a little more expensive than plain litter, I use both my organic and the pine litter mixed together.

Coconut Kitty Litter - Another alternative

In case you came to this lens for a more green way to pamper your cats but did not want the hassle of making your own. This kitty litter is environmentally safe and is ok for landfills. Well I guess everything is ok for landfills but this breaks down a lot quicker and doesn't "sludge " up. I have thought about trying a version of my own on this, but I have a bit of research to do, and I think the big guys have a lot better way to make it profitable!

Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image

      Suunnyy 5 years ago

      Interesting, I also have a cat at home and will try your recipe for Homemade Cat Litter:)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      This is brilliant information!!

    • softclaws profile image

      softclaws 5 years ago

      @softclaws: I found your soft claws site earlier on then stumbled onto this lense, keep up the writing - you give great tips!

    • softclaws profile image

      softclaws 5 years ago

      Cool info dood :)

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      Wow; so cool!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great Lens.

    • profile image

      DJAlan 6 years ago

      For those that want to do this to be more 'environmental', think about this... You will use a LOT of water to make this litter... It's the same as those that buy electric cars thinking it is saving the environment... But where does most electricity come from? Fossil fuels!

      But I still like the idea of making it yourself and mixing it with regular litter to save on money.

    • profile image

      matt-maloney 6 years ago

      You said at the top that it would cut down paper in landfills. However, aren't you throwing the soiled newspaper into the trash too? Wouldn't this go to the landfill just the same? Food for thought.

    • hippiechicjewelz profile image

      hippiechicjewelz 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens, I love the thought of going green and this is perfect ofr my cat! I am going to try this!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 6 years ago from Texas

      Sounds like a great idea, but lots of work. Luckily I live on a farm and if run short of kitty litter, I fill the box with some of the beautiful white sand we have here and add some baking soda or pet fresh carpet powder to the sand till I can get to the store.

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 6 years ago

      Now that's amazing! I never would have even considered making your own kitty litter. And good for you for such 'Green' thinking. Awesome lens! blessed

    • profile image

      scss 6 years ago

      What a great lens! I am absolutely going to try making my own organic cat litter!

      Thanks for the tutorial!

      Helene Malmsio

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      what a great idea!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      At first read it sounds time consuming, but thinking about it and reading more, and especially since we already own a shredder, it could work for us. Oreo is 18 and set in her ways, but she just might go for homemade kitty litter. Thanks for the very detailed and illustrated instructions! Nicely done!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great idea in a warm, dry area - it wouldn't dry out in the UK. :D Actually I use wheat based kitty litter but have one cat that likes carpets and one that likes commercial tissue paper. :)

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      @Formosangirl LM: You definitely have to. Its fun to do and very manageable.

    • Formosangirl LM profile image

      Formosangirl LM 6 years ago

      What a great lens! I am going to try it.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Wow! Thanks for bringing this up!!! Very interesting.. I'm going to try making cat litter!! Blessed!!!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      how much is a cat litter now? you can save a lot if you are a cat lover.

    • profile image

      catwell2 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Such a great alternative to buying litter!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a cool idea! Sounds like it is definitely something to plan ahead for though. Ha! My captcha word is...inkhead!

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      @happynutritionist: Lol! I like that analogy. I hope that's the right word.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      I will have to ask my cat owning family members whether they use seems like it would be a good way to stretch "regular" cat litter. I know cats like to have some litter to bury what they have done. Very good idea for reusing something that causes a lot of waste...on waste:-)

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 6 years ago from Florida

      Cool idea to save cat owners a bundle!

    • profile image

      Paula7928 6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      @Stoney2009: A shredder greatly reduces the time and also makes the newspaper even through the process. Your call though!

    • Stoney2009 profile image

      Stoney2009 6 years ago

      This is a great informative lens. I have two cats but I don't have a shredder and although you point out you don't need one, I believe the finished product would be much better with one, so I'll be trying this out next year! Blessed and liked!

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      @fugeecat lm: That's the poin! It is easy to do.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      This sounds too easy to do.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      @jseven lm: I just might. Wonder how profitable I'd be!

    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago

      Wow, you should start a business making kitty litter! Awesome. :)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      Making homemade organic kitty litter is a great idea. I don't know if I could handle it all of the time having two cats, but I think in a pinch or just as you said, "to become more 'green" perhaps every other time the box needs clean litter. Blessed and I pinned this lens on Pinerest too.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      Why thank you! Much appreciated. I had slacked off on making it for awhile and came to a near dry bin yesterday. Took me thirty minutes to have a half bin full. Now I'm just waiting for it to dry!

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      Recently, we completely ran out of litter, and I was surprised that I had never thought to research this alternative before. Great idea. This lens definitely deserves a thumbs up!

    • JenaleeMortensen profile image

      JenaleeMortensen 6 years ago

      I hadn't thought about making my own litter. Thank you for sharing what you've learned in making litter. I especially appreciated the things do nots.

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 6 years ago

      Learned something from your lens. Thanks.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge here . . I have not (yet) tried to make my own kitty litter. Looks and sounds easy enough (even for me). Stay well, Rose

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 6 years ago

      I used to do a variation of that but now I just use shredded newspaper.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Very interesting.

    • AmyTK9 profile image

      AmyTK9 6 years ago

      Great Lens! Great idea! I don't have a cat anymore, but I do have a ferret I might have to try it with. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a great idea, I don't have a cat but I appreciate your creativity and sharing the "what not to do's" in your experiments.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      This is a fantastic lens with very practical info on how to make environmentally friendly kitty litter - very smart :)

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Looks interesting, but finding the time to add one more thing in my schedule seems impossible! =D

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      We don't have a cat, but this looks like a very easy way to make cat litter.

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 6 years ago

      I think I should try this soon, it seems simple! Thank you for your tips!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the information on how to make organic Cat litter!


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