Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by Ava
If you’re like me, as a cat lover, you’ve probably had cats all of your life. If you’re as old as me, you remember cat litter before it clumped. You’ve probably tried cat litter pellets before without real success. If you’re still doing clay, it’s the wrong way to do cat litter.
Hear me out.
You’ll be glad you did.
A Brief History of Cat Litter
The first commercial cat litter became available in 1947 and was invented by Ed Lowe.
Prior to the clay cat litter that Ed created, sand was used (More on this later). Since the clay was much more absorbent than the sand, it was widely adopted. Pretty soon competitors were coming out of the woodwork. Fast forward to today, and cat litter is a $2 billion per year industry.
5 billion pounds of clay are mined annually, and it all goes where? Landfills.
I’m no environmentalist, but I do believe we should be doing our part the best we can to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
The Clay Way
I used clay litter for 40 years. I’ve had cats since I was 5 years old. I remember when clay litter basically looked like a litter pan of gravel and it came in paper bags like cement. The first marketing gimmicks were scent crystals. They were supposed to make things smell better, and they worked better than just plain cat litter.
This original litter absorbed urine and feces could be scooped from the box. The litter didn’t need to be changed completely until the smell became a problem.
I think the clumping variant showed up at some point in the 90s, maybe the late 80s.
Made of bentonite clay, this version of clay cat litter stuck together in a clump when it got wet, aka the cat peed. This “clump” could then be scooped from the box along with the feces. This resulted in the litter lasting a lot longer than its predecessor.
It also didn’t take as much because you didn’t need to change the entire litter box out as often due to the smell.
Over the years, clay cat litter has varied by container, weight, and scent, ad nauseum.
It was the price we were more than willing to pay to keep our beloved furry companions.
There’s Got to Be a Better Way
A few years ago, I began looking for a more cost-effective alternative. I have 2 cats, and it seems like they eat the cat litter we go through it so quickly.
Paying $12 and $13+ for 20lbs of clay cat litter twice a week was getting old. There had to be a better way.
The first thing I tried was sand. I didn’t know this was what was used before clay cat litter was invented. A bag of play sand was super cheap, so I bought some.
There were several problems with using sand as cat litter:
- It tracked worse than clay litter
- It didn’t absorb the urine for beans. The entire box would be wet within a couple of days, I was going through the stuff 4 times as fast
- It was heavy
- It wasn’t available at the grocery store like official cat litter
This experiment was short-lived. I returned to clay cat litter, but I was still looking for something better.
That’s when I came across this video:
Becky and that video have changed my life for the better and saved me hundreds, maybe thousands in the last 2 years.
Cat Litter Pellets are Far Superior to Clay Litter
I tried a popular brand name of cat litter pellets back in the mid-90s, and I was unimpressed. The stuff disintegrated into a soggy pile of sawdust that was impossible to get out of the litter pan without washing it out with the hose.
Again, I gladly returned to my scoopable clay cat litter without looking back.
The part I didn’t know then about using cat litter pellets was that a sifting box was needed.
The information that Becky provides in the video above was golden. It was the whole picture on how to use cat litter pellets and she outlined the benefits so nicely. I had to try it.
I back her on everything she said in the video.
Cat litter pellets are:
- Smell great
- Easier to use
- A no-brainer
After finding Becky’s video in 2019, decided to try cat litter pellets by duplicating her system. I bought 2 of the sifter boxes she recommended from Amazon. <– That one wasn’t available as of this writing, so here’s a slightly cheaper and readily available alternative – https://amzn.to/3f9ZEos
I’m not going to lie, the transition took 2 to 4 weeks.
I set out the new sifter box with the cat litter pellets in addition to their old litter boxes. My 2 cats were uninterested. They didn’t use the box at all at first.
Each time I cleaned out their old box with the clay litter in it, I would throw in a few cup fulls of the cat litter pellets. Eventually, the clay box had more pellets than clay and the cats started using the new box with only cat litter pellets all by themselves.
The last step was to get rid of the clay litter box altogether. I haven’t looked back since.
I buy my pellets at the Tractor Supply. They are packaged as equine bedding. I buy them 2 bags at a time. The bags are 40 lbs and cost $5 each, and I do mean a whole 40 lbs! Prepare to lug!
Two bags is enough to last for about 3 months in 2 to 3 litter boxes.
If you don’t have a Tractor Supply store where you live, you may be able to find the same thing marketed as pellet fuel for burning in wood stoves at your local home goods store or Walmart. They will cost quite a bit more than the bedding alternative, so it might behoove you to find where you can get the bedding in your local area.
I went from spending $24 a week give or take on cat litter to $10 every 3 months. The savings are significant, to say the least! Dang, Becky!
I Want to Hear From You If You Try Cat Litter Pellets
Drop me a comment below. I’d like to hear from you and/or answer your questions.
Got more problems? Here are the ones I’ve solved so far through various means – https://heyyoava.com/category/i-solve-problems/