A plastic litter box often costs more than $15 and is little more than a piece of plastic that will end up in a landfill. What’s worse is that these commercial boxes are rarely ideal for our pets and are often the wrong size and height. If you have ever wondered if there are alternatives, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to give you five ideas that you can try out with your cat that are less expensive and customizable. We’ll help you get the ball rolling so you can come up with even more ideas to find the perfect solution for your cat’s needs.
The 5 Litter Box Alternatives
1. The Disposable Litter Box
While technically still a commercial litterbox, disposable boxes are just now becoming popular, and many people might not know about them. These boxes often use recycled paper in their construction, so they are better for the environment. It also biodegrades, so after a few weeks, and the box begins to show signs of breaking down, you can feel good about tossing it in the trash. You can also throw it in a compost pile to make soil for a flower bed. Many brands contain baking soda or even activated charcoal to make them more absorbent and better at controlling odor. You can even use them as a liner in your plastic box.
2. Storage Containers
Plastic storage containers are great for storing things, and most of us have several in the attic and under the bed. Luckily, most of that stuff is junk, and you can toss it to make a DIY litterbox for your cat. Cut a hole in the top big enough for your cat and put a few inches of cat litter in it, and you’re finished. You’ve created a modern top-entry litterbox that is going for big dollars on Amazon.
3. Cardboard Box
We couldn’t find any data to back us up, but we were pretty sure the original litter box was an ordinary cardboard box. You can find a cardboard box in any size and shape so you can find the perfect one for your cat. It’s biodegradable, so you can toss it if it goes bad, and you can use a plastic bag or painter’s tarp as a protective shield to help make it last longer.
4. DIY Box
If you have any woodworking skills at all, it’s not difficult to build a wooden litter box out of some old wood or furniture you have lying around. You can build a box in a single afternoon, and it will last a lifetime. It also allows for extreme customization with endless possibilities for size and shape.
5. Puppy Pads
The last option on our list is puppy pads, and while you probably won’t want to use these in your home, they can be a great way to create an emergency litter area in a garage if you need to care for multiple small kittens. Puppy pads have an absorbent side that faces up and a leak-proof plastic back. You can put several of these down with some litter on top to let the cats know where to do their business. The pads will catch everything, so it is easy to clean up.
What Are Some Litter Alternatives?
There are several alternatives you can use instead of the traditional clay litter. However, if you are a new cat owner, we strongly recommend starting with a clumping clay because it’s easy to use, inexpensive to buy, you can find it everywhere, and cats seem to really like it.
Wood Pellet Litter
Wood pellet litter is similar to the pellets we’ve recently begun burning in furnaces. Small pellets of pine and cedar are extremely absorbent and have a natural wood scent that can help mask bad odors.
Paper cat litter is a recycled material that is 100% biodegradable and better for the environment. It’s not as absorbent as clay or wood, but paper creates no dust and is soft on a cat’s paws, so it’s a good choice for cats with a medical condition.
Crystal cat litter uses silica gel to absorb urine and dry out feces quickly. It’s extremely effective at reducing odors, and it produces no dust. It’s long-lasting and doesn’t track through your home.
Some litter brands use diatomaceous earth to absorb urine and quickly dry out feces to help control odor. The diatoms can last 30 days or more so you can save money over the long run.
You have plenty of options to use instead of your standard plastic box if you use your imagination. We highly recommend the cardboard box. You can find them in any size, they usually don’t cost anything, and you can cut and shape them to suit your needs. With a plastic liner, you can get several months or more out of it, and it’s biodegradable, so you can throw it out and replace it. It’s also the perfect solution for cats that are too large to fit in most standard-sized boxes comfortably.
Sometimes even the best litter box setup needs a helping hand in combating invasive smells. Our Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer naturally breaks down odors at the source. This effective litter additive can help all types of cat litter last longer, saving you money, and is safe for all life stages. Best of all, it's 100% biodegradable and fragrance-free.
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