How to Make Pellet Litter

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Provide your cats with an alternative to commercial cat litters.
Provide your cats with an alternative to commercial cat litters. (Image: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Cat litter is necessary to help make your domesticated feline a welcome addition to your home. The cost that comes with keeping a litter box clean is negotiable. Replacing your commercial litter with homemade pellet litter can help you save money. As an added bonus, paper pellet litter is an excellent way to recycle the newspaper, phone books and the weekly flyers that come in the mail.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper shredder
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Biodegradable dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Window screen

Shred the newspaper. The paper strips can remain long. The strips break down when the newspaper is added to water, so shred more paper than you think will need. Remove all of the paper clips or staples before shredding. While every cat box is a different size, plan on processing at least one metropolitan city Sunday paper each time you make litter. The more you make at one time though, the less often you will have to repeat the process.

Soak the paper strips in warm water with a few drops of a biodegradable dish soap, which will not harm your cat. The soap will remove much of the ink from the paper. The water breaks down the paper into a gray mealy consistency. Stir the mixture to help work the ink out of the paper.

Drain the water out of the paper by straining the paper through a colander or laying it out on a window screen.

Place the drained paper strips into fresh water to rinse the soap out of the paper. This step also will remove more of the ink from the paper and break the paper down further.

Drain the water out of the paper. Gather the paper strips onto a work table, and sprinkle the strips liberally with baking soda. The baking soda will help neutralize the odor of feces and urine. Knead the paper the way you would bread dough. Your goal is to work the baking soda into the paper and to work out as much of the water as possible. Use an old towel to help absorb water out of the paper.

Crumble the mixture onto the window screen. Try to keep the pellets small, but do not worry if you end up with a few larger clumps. These can be broken down after the litter dries.

Let the pellets dry. Depending on the humidity, how well you were able to work the water of the paper and the temperature, you may have to wait three to seven days for the mixture to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • To help your pet adjust to his new recycled litter, the first few times you change his cat box, add a cup or two of the litter he is most familiar with into the box.
  • Add two to three inches of litter to the cat box. To keep the litter clean, scoop out the waste once a day and change out the box once a week.
  • If the litter clumps are too large, break down the clumps into manageable pellets by hand or using a hammer on the harder clumps.
  • If you find making paper pellets too time consuming, consider using wood pellets that you can find at your local hardware store. Mix in a half cup of baking soda for added odor control. Wood pellets, such as pine, have the natural ability to absorb odor as well.
  • While paper litter can be flushed down the toilet, be careful not too flush much at one time. Limit each flush to about a cup of litter and waste.
  • Making pellet litter can be a dirty job. Consider wearing gloves to prevent the ink from staining your skin.
  • Do not attempt to make more litter than you have space to dry it. If you leave the wet paper to dry by itself, it will form a hard lump, similar to paper mache.

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