Sunday, January 8, 2012

Homemade Kitty Litter

kitten on raw meat diet


When we got our kitten a year ago, my mom very kindly gave us a little starter kit of some toys and a box of Arm&Hammer kitty litter. Nothing on the box said it was scented, but that stuff stank! I think people would rather smell just about anything than poo, but no one is really fooled- if you have a dirty litter box, some nasty perfume does not hide this fact. Perfumes are also composed of molecules that are toxic to humans and the environment and are best avoided.

Also, the standard clumping litter can wreak havoc on the internal organs of kittens. No, they should not be eating the litter per se, but they do lick every inch of themselves as part of their grooming ritual, including between every toe so they  can thoroughly remove those pesky clumps of kitty litter. This can cause a toxic amount of litter to get into their little systems: the clumping, dehydrating action of the litter is extremely bad for their health, and can cause death. Additionally, standard cat litters don't biodegrade, so produce more waste for landfills.

As handy as I found it to be able to scoop our kitty's pee cleanly away, I did not think it was worth putting up with the smell of perfume or risking the health of our kitten for my convenience, so I began researching more natural cat litters. It turns out there are many varieties, with of course a steeper price range for these alternative litters. There are all kinds of alternatives out there with various clumping abilities, so we went to our local pet store and spent about $16 on a ten pound bag of their wheat can litter. As frugal as we are, I wanted something that worked and something that wouldn't harm the cat.

Imagine my surprise when I dumped it into his freshly washed litter pan to discover that this expensive wheat kitty litter is literally just a bag of coarsely ground wheat. No magic ingredients. It wasn't even organic. Feeling a bit foolish since this expensive litter was nothing we couldn't have made ourselves for a fraction of the cost, I vowed next time to make my own.

bulk whole wheat
Bulk whole wheat, available from health food stores, makes a simple, sustainable cat litter
Directions:

You can use a grain grinder on a coarse setting, or simply blend up some wheat berries until it's the consistency you want. I have found that the finer I grind the wheat, the better it clumps, but you don't want it to be as fine as flour because that would be a bit dusty to have around. I try for a coarse meal, but the exact grind doesn't matter too much. 

Also, even though we are not eating it, we still choose to buy organic wheat because it's important to support sustainable farming practices whenever we can, and this is a very affordable way to do that. We buy organic animal-grade wheat (animal-grade means it hasn't been cleaned to the standards we expect for human consumption) from Azure Standard. It costs us $14.20 for 50 lbs: less than 1/5 the cost of store-bought wheat cat litter! Any wheat berries will do, they are also available in bulk at your local natural food store. I love that when his litter pan is low, I can simply grind some wheat up and toss it in.

homemade kitty litter
This batch also has some whole feed-quality oats mixed in, which works fine too.
It's very simple to grind, the cat is just fine with it, and it can be composted or tossed in the yard waste pickup. Flushing even natural cat litter is discouraged because it contributes to toxoplasmosis in aquatic mammals. If you are pregnant, don't handle it or garden with compost made from cat litter. It can also safely be buried several inches below the ground. Your plants will love it. Our cat spends most of his time outdoors, so I only need to remove waste from the litter pan once or twice a week. If you have an indoor cat you would probably need to do it daily.

our happy cat


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Anonymous
June 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Thank you for sharing this tip & I do plan on trying it! Saw dust works well too, or combination thereof. However...Disposal of cat waste is still a problem. I would disagree on the disposing with yard waste. Most cities do not allow including any kind of bodily waste. Cat waste is not recommended for compost (especially for fruit & vegetables) because of the high ammonia content & potential contamination of bacteria/parasites.

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June 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I wonder if any other grains would work for those of us who react to wheat. Hummmmmmm..........

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June 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I have also used oats & rice in the kitty litter, not on their own, but in addition to the wheat. I think the gluten in wheat is what helps it to effectively "clump", which makes cleaning it so much easier.

You can make it out of corn, for sure, but it may not clump as well as wheat. Some very expensive cat litters are just ground corn ;)

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Anonymous
August 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Thank you very much for sharing this tip. I have been buying wheat litter and it is by far my favorite. It costs an average of $30 per 40 pound bag at Pet Smart, but I think it's worth it. I am wondering though, what the difference is between the regular and multiple cat clumping wheat litter that goes by the name of Swheat. Do you think that the multiple cat litter is ground more finely? I'm going to start making my own, as you suggest. Great idea!!! Thanks, again.

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August 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I don't know! That is a good question... You could ask at the store, hopefully they know what makes the two products different. It could just be the fineness of the grain. That must be it, if they are both 100% wheat. However, maybe there's an added clumping agent in one? But yes, I do find that it clumps better the finer it is ground; you just don't want it so fine that it's blowing around your house. It's got to have a little weight to it. Good luck!

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September 2, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Thanks a million!!! I've been googling my brains out on what wheat litter is made of so I can start making my own and this is the only place I found an answer. I rescue and rehab feral cats and currently have 45 living in the house so litter is too expensive to buy now. I've been using some clumping clay litter but with so much traffic I have to scoop the boxes ten times a day otherwise it ends up being one huge, wet block of cement. Then I tried using wood pellets but lots of cats don't like the feel of it under their feet so they refuse to use it and then go to my bathtub or worse! Also, cats won't cover their poop with pellets so the smell is awful! Just wanna know where else other than a natural food store can I get the wheat berries?? Maybe a farm feed supply store? Also, where can I buy a grain grinder? Is that an industrial machine or are you talking about a food processor? Cause I need to make large quantities at a time.
Thanks, Cathy (aka crazy catwoman)

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September 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

I buy our wheat from Azure Standard, a wholesale supplier of natural foods. You can check their website, azurestandard.com, to see if they deliver to your area. Their cheapest wheat is organically grown, and called "chicken wheat" and sells for about $14 for 50 pounds. Chicken wheat, which we also feed our hens, is basically just wheat berries that haven't been cleaned as well as food grade wheat. Some might be floor sweepings, I don't know. But it works, and it's cheap. Hopefully you can get it in your area; otherwise, I would definitely try a feed store!
I use a high powered blender to grind the wheat. Our grain grinder is hand crank, and takes too long! You could try using a regular blender in small batches. It could probably handle a cup or two at a time, so it might take a while! Or, you can get a real electric grain grinder. They're handy because it's way cheaper to make your own flour anyway! I think a food processor might work, but the wheat might pit the plastic as it gets chopped. I've heard the warranty of food processors are usually void if you use them for grains.
Good luck with all those cats!

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September 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I did some research and finally found a store that sells bulk grain not far from my home. I am shopping online for an electric grain mill but before I invest the money I was thinking of just trying out a hand crank grinder. Will it grind well enough to get the consistency needed for the clumping litter? Also, as far as I can tell, the Nutrimill is probably the best one for the job as it can be adjusted from coarse to extra fine. Is that the mill you'd recommend or is there anything better? Has anyone tried adding anything like scented cornstarch babypowder or possibly a few drops of essential oils to scent the litter?

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September 6, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I've never added anything to the litter, and I've heard that essential oils are really bad for cats. They can't handle the molecules somehow. I don't know any details offhand, but instead of using oils, you could stir in some lavender flowers, crumpled sage or thyme leaves, or things like that. I would start with just the wheat by itself though, just to get your cats used to that before adding anything.
Our hand mill is Back To Basics. I don't recommend it for cat litter, because you will be at it all day trying to grind enough for all those cats. It's slow! Most mills will have a coarseness adjuster, so you can make anything from pastry flour to cracked wheat. Perhaps there is a grainery nearby where you can mill some coarse wheat flour and see if it works for your cats, before investing in a new mill?
There are lots of mills out there and everyone has their favorites. Ours is our Blendtec, simply because we use it every day for smoothies anyway, so I don't have to have an extra gadget around for flour. It doesn't grind as fine as some, though...

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October 19, 2012 at 5:55 PM

This is great Mellow! I wish I would've known this when we still had our cat, but I'm definitely going to remember this for the future and share with family and friends who have cats. :)

Thanks for sharing!

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October 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

*slaps forehead* What a great idea!

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October 24, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Thanks for the tip! I have been looking into using wood chips, sand, etc for my cats. I hate the litter from the store and I've always wondered why my kitty, Cowboy, passed away at the age of 8 with renal kidney failure. Could it have been the kitty litter? With my two new little guys, I want to get rid of the nasty, dusty cat litter. I hope this works!

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October 24, 2012 at 8:10 AM

They definitely ingest some of the litter since they're using it every day, and then licking themselves... I didn't like having that perfumey litter in the house, much less in my cat! I'm so sorry about Cowboy :( I hope this natural litter turns out great for you as well.

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October 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM

What a good idea! I have a big bag of organic ancient wheat that I am not eating :-( It seems a shame to use it this way. You mention to put the litter in the compost? Everything I have read said not to do that, but it isn't like I spend a lot of time reading about the topic of cat litter. Found you on Frugally Sustainable.

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October 25, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I have a test I use for wheat, to see how viable it is. I was given a bucket of old wheat recently, and when I tried sprouting it, not much happened. If your wheat sprouts, it's fresh enough to eat. If it just gets soggy, or has a very low sprouting rate, I would just give it to the chickens or turn it into cat litter. And you don't have to think of it as a waste, since surely it was cheaper than paying for high-end cat litter ;)
Cat poop CAN definitely carry toxoplasmosis, which is a danger to unborn fetuses. It can pass through the placenta, and can make the baby sick. Since I am not pregnant, and no one who works my garden is, it's nothing I'm concerned about. Anyone who owns a cat has to be careful of toxoplasmosis while pregnant, no matter what litter they use.
If you do compost poopy litter clumps, you would want to be sure that the compost fully matures before using it, and to be safe you might want to avoid using it for growing food. I have no idea what the life cycle of toxoplasmosis is- maybe a matter of months before it would die in a compost environment? That could be way off... but compost is gross to handle before it's matured well anyway.
Another alternative is to bury the litter clumps and let it compost that way, where it wouldn't come into contact with your food crops, to be safe.
Our kitty normally poops outside, where he buries it himself. He even, unfortunately, poops in my vegetable garden occasionally. When I clean out his litter box, just clumps of cat pee and wheat, I toss it to my chickens. That may sound gross, but the chickens don't care and their eggs are fine.

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October 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Thanks for this. I'm going to give it a try. I've been using pine pellets made for horse stalls. A 35lb bag costs $10 and lasts a month in the summer (when my 4 cats go out alot) and 2 weeks in the winter. The problem with it is that because it turns to sawdust when wet, it doesn't clump the pee and I have to empty the whole litter box every day. Of course, I don't have to put a thick 2-inch layer each time - I only put a very thin layer across the bottom. But still, I'm looking forward to trying a litter that clumps and is compostable. I use a separate composting pile for the kitty litter and scoop the poo into the garbage first. Then I use the compost (which I let degrade a looonnggg time to make sure all the toxins are gone) on non-vegetable beds.

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October 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM

The pine pellets sound pretty annoying. Wheat can be even cheaper, if you buy it in a 50# bag. Sounds like you have a good system for composting it!

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Anonymous
October 30, 2012 at 9:14 PM

i use sherrded up newspaper ITS FREE many recipes online for it.

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October 30, 2012 at 9:19 PM

That sounds like a great idea!

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November 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM

What a great idea! Don't have a kitty anymore so I can't try it but I remember looking around for the best green kitty litter and it being a bit hard to come by, not to mention pricey. Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Mondays!

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November 8, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Wonderful post and awesome photography ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^ love the cat!

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November 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM

What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for posting it. (I found your link at the Rural Thursday blog hop.)

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November 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Thanks! We love our kitty.

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November 8, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Excellent information; thank you!
VIA Rural Thursday...

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November 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM

I love this idea! I would've never thought to use wheat as kitty litter!! :)

Visiting from the Waste Not Want Not #5 link up!

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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November 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

What a great idea! We are sadly between cats right now after a wonderful 14 1/2 year time with our last. I have pinned this as I so want more cats in our household again but am waiting until my husband finds work and the baby we are expecting is beyond the cat torturing stage.

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November 14, 2012 at 6:55 PM

We got our kitten when we had 3 & 5 year old kids, and the 3 year old definitely tested that kitty's patience. He is 5 now, and still handles our kitty the same way, pretty rough but loving, and since our kitty grew up on it he's very calm about it. He's the most tolerant cat I've ever seen, and I'm pretty sure it's because he was "raised" by our little 3 year old who always had to have his hands on the cat! So yes, I would wait until your baby is at least 3, but there's something to be said for a kitten growing up with kids. Enjoy your baby!

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November 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM

So good to know! I'm kitty-less at the moment but have had cats most of my life, and it's good to know there's a homemade alternative out there :)

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November 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Glad to know this. My cat hates litter. He has a cat door and goes outside but some days are just not good for outside potty-ing.

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January 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Hi, found your blog somehow and I am enjoying it. Awhile ago, one of our little kitties had an infection in his claw area, and the vet told me I must empty out the cat litter in the box and replace it with paper shreds while the kitty healed. Guess what? I never went back to cat litter! Each day I just dump the box and its contents out when I take out the kitchen trash. I hardly ever smell anything - and if I do, I just dump it out (I used to smell the cat box continually when I used conventional litter). I never scoop or anything now -just dump and refill - it's so easy. I just fill the box with shreds I make in my shredder from junk mail. :-) Thought you might like this tip - it's very cheap and easy!

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January 11, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Wow, I really do like that idea. I love that it uses something that's from your waste stream anyway!

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January 15, 2013 at 4:16 AM

A fabulous idea- I suppose one could add a little essential oil to prevent odours? thanks for sharing this with us Mellow x

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January 15, 2013 at 6:20 AM

The only time it smells is when there is a poop that I need to scoop! I've actually read that cat products should never contain essential oils, because their systems are way more sensitive and they are actually damaged by the oils. I don't know how true this is, but the litter box is fine without perfumes of any kind.

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Anonymous
January 18, 2013 at 12:08 AM

According to Joseph Jenkins cat poo and many other things can be composted if done correctly. The bacteria and parasites will be burnt up and the ammonia mostly bonded into inertness with other substances.

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January 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM

I definitely agree. Much can be composted that people consider quite gross, and that could be unsafe if done poorly. But I really think anything fully composted is fine.

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January 18, 2013 at 9:21 PM

That's an awesome idea. I never would have thought to use food in the place of cat litter. What an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday this week. Its also yet another farm product that someone could sell at the farmer's market.

Chris

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January 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Yes, this would be a great product for a farmer's market! And I love that it's compostable and not made of mystery chemicals that need to thrown away.

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January 21, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing this with us.

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February 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Great idea! We are almost ready for our first pet--my 3 & 4 year old have been wanting a cat for a while now! I love the wheat kitty litter idea, but was wondering about the shredded paper tip someone mentioned in the comments. I think that's a great idea too, but wouldn't the paper have toxic dyes from all the ink? And if you shred receipts, they are now known to have phthalates and other plasticizers. I would be afraid to have my cat in this stuff every day and then exposing it to our home, furniture, and our own skin, let alone the cat licking himself clean. It just doesn't seem safe. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Thanks!

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February 1, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Those are good points, Katrina. I would stick to newsprint, personally, since newspapers are generally printed with soy-based non-toxic inks. We try to handle receipts as little as possible!
I've never used the shredded paper myself though, we're happy with the wheat and don't have a paper shredder.

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Anonymous
February 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM

i tear mine my paper sheredder broke and dont want to buy new one so i spend lazy time tearing up newspapers etc. and then soaking (Using grey water for garden and house plants) and then when paper gets looking like oatmeal i squeeze out water sprinkle baking soda mix together and crumble very fine dry on old screen and in about three days have litter. last about a week and in box and just change it . been doing it for months now takes little work but i enjoy it and also found a use for all newspapers that we get each week. and all the money i saved goes into savings account for pets for toys treats food vet appointments etc. since june 2012 until now feb 3 2013 i have saved $160.00. which sadly just spent at vet :( got a sick puppy but at least i had the money to pay her. oh well start over

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February 3, 2013 at 2:01 PM

That sounds great! I love that it's using waste products and, like you, I don't mind putting in time here and there to do projects like that. Do you collect grey water in a bucket under the sink, or have a different system?
Hope your puppy's ok now!

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Anonymous
February 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM

This is such a great idea, one that I am looking into. I spend the past hour looking into electric grinder (I have too many cats to try to hand grind 50lbs of wheat). Most of the grinders I have found, say they ground pretty fine, but I was looking for something that was slightly more coarse. You mentioned blending the wheat. Will using my blender give me a appropriate sized wheat for cat litter? Any advice on using a blender or a specific electric mill would be appreciated! Thanks!

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February 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

We use a high speed blender. Really, any grinder you buy should have different settings so you can make it coarser, but that's a good thing to make sure of before you buy one. Here is my article on grinding wheat: http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/2012/01/grind-your-own.html

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Anonymous
February 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Do you use hard or soft wheat berries? I also looked on the Azure Standard website for the wheat berries you use, and am having a difficult time finding the 50 lb bag that you mentioned. Can you provide a link? Also, do you think a food processor could work if I don't have a grinder or blender to use? Thank you.

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February 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Azure has been out of animal feed grade wheat for quite some time (maybe because of this article!) So, I just use our organic hard winter wheat berries. They're only a little more expensive. Soft wheat might clump even better, though! Food processors would have an easier time with soft wheat, but I've heard they are not recommended as grain grinders- like, the warranty is voided if you use them that way. I never have, but it really didn't work when I tried grinding sesame seeds in my processor, so it might just not work for wheat either. Good luck!

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Anonymous
February 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM

I checked out electric grinders and most of them seem like they would grind too fine for the litter, even on a coarse setting. I am going to try out the blender. Also, I called our local supplier and he said that the animal grade that he can get for me still has the hull on. Does it make a difference if it has the hull or not? He said the reason some berries are expensive is because the process of removing the hull, and the less expensive bags (like the price range you stated with Azure) still have the hull on...Just want to make sure I get the right stuff. Thanks!

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February 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Hull-on will work. The hulls will be lighter and dustier when they are ground up than the grain itself. I've used hull-on sometimes and it's been fine. I also sprout hull-on grains for my chickens and rabbits!

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March 5, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Great idea! I need to tuck this away for when we get a kitty!

Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday. I hope you stop by again today! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/03/stamping-fun-at-eco-kids-tuesday.html

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March 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Interesting! I have always thought about the wheat litters (I have seen several, I have no idea if they are really all the same)--but the price scares me away.

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March 5, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Yeah, no kidding! But this way the wheat litter can be cheaper than regular cat litter!

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March 6, 2013 at 2:38 AM

Am going to send your link to my daughter 'cos I think my grandkits could use this! Thanks for the tip. Am a fellow guest on Fluster Buster's Muster today and what a party it is! The housework is suffering, because there are so many interesting posts there! All the best.

Isobel: www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com

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April 2, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Such a great idea! Thanks for linking up to Project Inspire{d}.

Hugs,
Mary Beth

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April 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

such a sweet kitty, and definitely good info to know!

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April 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM

No pets here but very interesting and awesomely frugal tip. Thanks for linking up with Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

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April 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Cats can have essential oils. Here is an article on it. There are a couple oils you shouldn't use, but I have to try to find out which ones. http://joshealthcorner.blogspot.com/2013/04/essential-oils-pets.html

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April 9, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I use Feline Pine pretty successfully. I only put an inch in the bottom and it expands once wet, so the cats can cover it up. The bag is only $8.94 for 20 lbs, cheaper than buying the wheat berries. I can't get Azure and the Country Life I order from is $25 for 50 lbs of hard red.

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April 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Great idea :) Thank you so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! I hope to see you again tomorrow. :)
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/04/creativehomeacre11.html

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April 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM

This sounds fabulous and so much easier than the newspaper soaking method. Do you find that your cat tracks the wheat around the house?

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May 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Clever DIY! Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

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May 15, 2013 at 10:50 PM

There is a small area just around the litter box that gets the wheat tracked on it. It doesn't stick to his feet, or get further around the house than that. I just sweep that area when I notice it needs it.

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May 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Interesting! Thanks for letting me know. I'm curious which are the oils they actually need to avoid...

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June 4, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Interesting post. I have a cat who suddenly doesn't like to poo in the box and I keep switching litters thinking it's the scent that's bothering her. I have a 50lb bag of wheat berries for growing fodder and cat grass (shameless plug here: http://feathersinthewoods.blogspot.com/2013/02/growing-cat-grass.html ) I'll be trying this method next litter switch!
Pinning now!

~L

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July 29, 2013 at 5:37 AM

I think homemade kitty litter is good but not more than commercial kitty litter.

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September 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

I LOVE this idea, and it's so much cheaper and safer than clay-based and scented litters. This is definitely on my to-do list!

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Anonymous
September 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM

We have some outdoor feral cats that we have partially tamed. We had them neutered BTW. They even climb into our laps and want loving when we sit down outside. We feed them and house them in two heated dog houses and a litter area away from the house would be preferred.

How would un-ground wheat berries work? I have some very old wheat berries and hoped I could use them without grinding. We're setting up a metal fire pit ring to use as an outdoor litter box.

In the winter they dig up around the foundation because that's usually still somewhat dig-able but, the smell in the warm humid weather gets pretty strong. We're trying to neutralize the acrid smell around the house too.

Do you have any tips for us?

Diane in Michigan

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September 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM

The problem with an outdoor litter box filled with wheat berries: rats. Raccoons too, maybe. You will definitely attract pests. If it's outdoor, what about just giving them a giant sandbox to use?

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October 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

I bet it would be great! I think grinding the oatmeal up a little in a blender would help it clump better.

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February 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Just found you all! People who own chickens buy Chicken Laying Crumbles to feed them. These crumbles also make GREAT kitty litter! It clumps, smells good, and is natural. Easy to dispose of too! At the feed & seed or Tractor Supply ask for Chicken Laying CRUMBLES, not pellets or mash. It's much cheaper than premium kitty litter!

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Anonymous
February 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Holistic vets(and Natural Cat magazine) say essential oils can be toxic to cats livers plus they aren't "flower waters" or just "scents"-they are super concentrated and Europeans treat them as medicine. Would you give your cat human medicine? In Summer 2010 Cat Fancy's Natural Cat Mag-it said "Even a short exposure to an essential oil could damage your cat's liver. In Particular, look out for oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, clove bay leaf, parsley and cedar leaf essential oils. Also be extremely careful of hydrosols, a byproduct of the essential oil production process, until their safety is better known."

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Anonymous
March 27, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Thanks for posting this article. I'm gonna try. I found a litter that claimed to be made from "organic" wheat grass but reading their site and the bag more I think they are using a very broad interpretation of "organic" to just mean from the ground...My concern is GMO. I will have nothing to do w/GMO and think it should be outlawed...that being said I compost my litter myself (far from the house and give it 2 years of good composting before getting it near food) and it works great! Its actually VERY easy.

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Anonymous
March 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Good idea in a pinch but know that the ink on that paper has some serious chemicals in it too...

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k
May 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Hi,
Love this! I've tried the wheat litter commercially available and wanted to make some myself. Your post is fantastic, thanks for putting it up for us! Quick question: Does grinding the wheat berries produce more volume per pound? I'm doing the math here (never my strong suit) but from the site listed here 50lbs delivered to my house is $78. The storebought wheat litter is $34.00 for 45lbs. So for me to save by grinding at home there'd have to be a higher volume yielded. Or am I missing something?

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May 11, 2014 at 7:47 AM

That is too much to pay for wheat!!! I get organic "chicken" wheat berries (it's considered animal grade wheat because it's not cleaned and sifted like what they sell for people) for $17.50 for 50 lbs. The food grade wheat I buy is still only about twice that price, but the animal grade works great for kitty litter. Please don't pay over $70 for your wheat! You can find another source. See if Azure Standard delivers to your area. They do not have a delivery charge for a minimum group order of $550 (easily reachable by our small group every month).

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June 14, 2014 at 12:53 AM

Have you found any bug problems from using the wheat? I have not personally tried using ground whole wheat. But was curious to know of any meal bugs that comes in whole wheat flour when in humid temperatures. I live in the Gulf, and its pretty humid here.

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June 22, 2014 at 9:12 AM

That is a great question. You could certainly get bug problems using a food-based kitty litter. We keep our litter box in the garage instead of the house, and I've never noticed any bugs in there besides spiders. But it could be an issue. Kitchen moths are certainly worth avoiding!
I haven't ever had bugs come in my grains though, from our supplier. When the 50 lb bags get delivered here, I pour them into food grade buckets with moisture/bug proof lids, and haven't ever seen mites or worms or moths in our grains, fortunately!

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July 15, 2014 at 2:59 AM

Hi. Thanks for this great post. This concept of white wheat litter is new for me. I queried about it in different pet stores, but they are expensive. But your tips of making a wheat litter will definitely guide us making our own wheat cat litters.

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October 27, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Wood shavings make great cat litter. I started my cats (I have 7) using it by spreading a thin layer of dry, clean soil (preferably subsoil, it's cleaner) from the garden on top of box 3/4 full of shavings. After a couple of weeks, they used the shavings without any soil.
Using wheat is a shameful waste. The planet needs all the human food it grows going to feed humans.
Shavings are cheap: big bales used for horse bedding cost 5 or 6 euro here in Ireland. The used litter can be disposed of as tree mulch or in a compost heap that will be used for landscaping (NOT your veg garden!)

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Anonymous
November 4, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Wheat hulls are known as bran when sold. High fibre absorbs water. Should work better.

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November 9, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Wheat litter is not a shameful waste when you feed the used litter to your chickens! But I understand what you mean, and using a waste product like wood shavings instead of a food is a great idea if you don't have chickens to feed.

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Anonymous
December 18, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Renal failure can be due to a lot of things.My vet said to never give my cats friskies cause it can cause chrystals in their tract urine.So I have 2 cats on the uniary health cat food dry and canned.And my vet also said that walmart brand special kitty was good because it has all the vitamins and nutriants cats need cause his was so expensive to feed all my cats.I buy tidycats red lid cause you just add more.But when I'm out or near payday,I use leaves and yard debree.It doesn't smell and works great in a pinch for a few days.And our sand down at the river works great and clumps,but is heavy to carry.Also when my cats get worms,I buy a can of pumkin pie mix and cocunut oil.(I know some say not pie mix,but it has the cloves and cinnamin etc that gets the worms to come out. n it's never hurt one of my kitties)And put some in their canned food and by the 3rd day,all the worms are gone.Just a couple tbs pr 13 oz can of pumpkin,and a tbs of c. oil.It doesn't kill the worms but will repel them out.Then in 2 weeks,do it again to get the eggs left that have hatched.Been doing this for yrs to wild and tame cats

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February 18, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Don't know if you or your readers have check with Azure Standard lately. That 50# bag that cost $14 in 2012 now costs $30! That's still about $4 less than a 40# bag of Swheat Scoop, but add the cost of shipping (if applicable), and the time & electricity to grind it and you're back to the commercial product. Sigh.

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Anonymous
February 22, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Crazy cat lady,
Thanks for taking care of the kitties.
Please consider before using clay.

According to Moderncat

. "Here’s a summary of why I feel that clay cat litter is bad:

BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Clay is strip mined to produce clay cat litter.Used clumping clay cat litter NEVER biodegrades in the landfill.

BAD FOR CAT’S HEALTH & HUMAN HEALTH

Clay litter contains silica, which is a known carcinogen when inhaled.Clumping clay litter contains sodium bentonite which expands to 15 times its volume and forms an INSOLUBLE mass when it contacts liquid. It does the same thing when cats ingest it as they groom themselves after using the litter box.

For more information about the dangers of clumping clay litters, please visit Marina Michaels’ website Catmom.com."

Anyways clay is bad and wheat and walnut or nut shells are good.
Thanks

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March 1, 2015 at 8:39 AM

That's weird that the price of wheat has gone up so much, but the price of wheat cat litter has not gone up accordingly. Perhaps it will eventually. Anyway, Azure has no shipping costs, at least!

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Anonymous
July 26, 2015 at 7:44 PM

My husband is in grain trading and a bushel of wheat is approx. $5.00 per bushel which weighs 60 lbs. You paid $14.50 for only 50 lbs.!!
Seems a bit pricy....................... for a cat to poop.

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August 16, 2015 at 9:54 AM

It makes sense that someone who works in grain trading would get a better deal than the rest of us, but keep in mind the wheat I buy is organic, yes, even for kitty to poop on :)

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September 22, 2015 at 9:30 PM

HI! I love this post. I was wondering, do you still buy your wheat from azure stanadard? I went to their website to order some wheat, and the price is almost $50/50lbs. Just wondering if you have found this somewhere else for less.. Thank you!

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September 22, 2015 at 9:33 PM

$14.50 is a great deal for 50lbs of wheat to make kitty litter considering I currently buy swheat scoop, its $32 for 36lbs. I would gladly pay $14.50 to have 14 more pounds for have the cost.
Maybe you can hook us up?

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September 22, 2015 at 9:36 PM

socialhistory101- Swheat Scoop recently changed their packaging and the amount in the packaging. They went from 40lb bags to 36lbs bags without lowering the price. It sucks.

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September 22, 2015 at 11:31 PM

Wow, yes. The price of wheat has gone up insanely high. We haven't had chickens for a while, so I stopped using wheat litter because it felt wasteful just composting all that wheat. I've been experimenting with other litters more recently.

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Anonymous
October 20, 2015 at 3:06 PM

Hi there, I realize that you wrote this wonderful post about homemade wheat cat litter almost three years ago, but I was wondering- do you know of any place online, or other, that still sells “chicken” grade wheat for $14.00 for 50lbs? I was all sent to buy 50 pounds from the company that you recommended until I saw that it now costs nearly $33 for 50 pounds. I did the math and I would not be paying very much more to buy the commercial Sweat Scoop at Pet Club in Elk Grove, California. They sell a 14 pound bag for $12.99. Thank you for any assistance that you can provide to me. I’m still interested in making me own a long as it makes financial and “time” sense to do so.

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November 10, 2015 at 10:41 PM

Go to your local Tractor Supply or other feed lot. Ask them if they have compressed pine shavings for horse stalls. These will be pellet shaped. Put in litter box. As the cat pees on them, the pellets expand into pine sawdust. As a consequence, your house smells like fresh pine sawdust.

When the cat poos, the pine pellets will dry out the poo very rapidly - like in hours. Scoop the saturated shavings and poo out; when the box gets low, put in more pellets. Clean out as needed.

We use a small fortiflex bucket for our scooping, and dump the old stuff in the compost. Over time, and mixed with other things, make a VERY nitrogen rich compost!

Avoid Feline Pine pellets - they are too loose. If your kitty is resistant to the pellets, add some of the ground grains to it to get them used to it. I used this for YEARS until we created outdoor safe spaces for our kitties. Sometimes, I still use it if a kitty needs to be inside for a while. It really works!

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Anonymous
February 7, 2016 at 12:09 AM

I found this post very helpful for my three cat, I've been searching for a litter alternative.

In googling I found this post http://petremedycharts.blogspot.com/2014/05/homemade-kitty-litter.html?m=1, looks like yours pretty much word for word.

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February 18, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Favorite Enclosed Cat Litter Box from Bizarkdeal.
Had my cats for 13 years, and wish I would have found this box sooner. Cleaning up after a cat that does not like to squat when he pee can be a second job. Used others like this that were smaller but urine gets in the cracks and clips that keep box together, very messy. Oh Boy! but not with this box, LOVE IT!! Now my cat cannot raise his booty high enough, even when on some few occasions he tries to go real high and urine hits the seam and clasps of this box, still no problem, because the box is so well made an designed for a high riser like my boy. Cant really explain it well the the seams are very long and strong and protects the urine from going into the cracks and clamps. Trust me, spent the extra cash and buy this box if you have a non squatter, you will not be disappointed.

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March 22, 2016 at 2:30 AM

These are great! I have two large male cats and they spray the back of the box; the high rear wall of these boxes keeps liquid from escaping and running down the exterior. In addition, the clear tops allow me to see the boxes' contents for thorough scooping without the extra step of removing the lids. And the cats seem to enjoy the increased visibility as well as the extra-large size.

NOTE: I received this product at a discount for sharing my unbiased experience.

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