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Cheapest Litter Options for Cats

I have rescued and fostered many pets over the years. Keeping my pets healthy and happy is my number one priority.

Cat costs can add up fast, and litter is one of the biggest expenses of the bunch.

Cat costs can add up fast, and litter is one of the biggest expenses of the bunch.

How Do I Find Affordable Cat Litter Products?

Keeping cats inside prolongs their lives and keeps them safe from outdoor dangers and diseases. However, pet owners doing the right thing will then have to deal with the fun of setting up, cleaning, and maintaining litter boxes.

If you own multiple cats, purchasing litter can get very expensive. There are ways to save money on litter from finding bargains on litter to switching systems altogether.

Regular Litter

Regular, non-clumping litter is likely the cheapest material per pound for filling litter boxes. It's often used when people are taking care of kittens since the clumping litter can stop up a kitten's digestive system if they ingest it.

But even though it is cheap, regular litter, especially for multiple cats, doesn't always get the job done. The urine is absorbed into the litter but when multiple cats use the same litter, it can become smelly quite quickly.

Finding ways to keep the liquid waste from cats controlled as well as the odor is probably the biggest litter-box challenge cat owners face.

Clumping Litter

Many cat owners, whether they own one or 10, have turned to clumping litter. The clumping litter looks and feels like sand. But after a cat urinates, the litter clumps together, forming a cake that can then easily be removed with a scoop.

Removing the liquid waste cuts down on smell and allows the litter to be usable for much longer (as opposed to regular litter which must be thrown out once it is saturated).

But clumping litter can be pricey, sometimes running up to a dollar a pound or more. And unless you have free shipping, ordering it from an online retailer can also cost more when you add in shipping costs (which would be significant for 20 to 40 pounds of litter).

But there are some ways to find bargains on good, clumping litter.

How to Save Money With Clumping Litter

Saving money with clumping litter can take a little planning and creativity, but it can be done. Here are some ways to cut down on the cost.

How to save money on clumping litter

Source of SavingsWhat to Do

Coupons at Your Local Grocery

Watch for coupons and sales at your grocery store. Many stores nowadays will combine manufacturers' coupons with local or store coupons. Some stores will double coupons. Stock up when sales and coupons coincide. If there is a purchase limit you can plan to return multiple days during the sale or have a friend or family member purchase some for you.

Members' Savings

You can save money on pet litter at bulk members' only clubs such as Sam's, Costco or BJs. Compare the price per pound and remember to check for manufacturer's coupons as well.

Manufacturers' Websites

Go to different manufacturers' websites that make clumping littler and sign up for their mail or email mailing list. They will often send out coupons and special offers that can be combined with local sales and offers for even more savings.

Pet Store Discounts

Some pet supply stores offer member discounts. For example at PetSmart, a 42-pound box of generic clumping litter can go as low as $9.99 once the member discount is applied.

Black Friday

Believe it or not, Black Friday (the traditional shopping day after Thanksgiving) can offer some great deals on litter. Litter can sell for half price or better. So after you snagged your electronics bargains, head on over to your pet supply store and check out their deals.

Tips on Clumping Litter

  • Some cats are picky. If you find a brand that works, only introduce a new brand carefully and slowly by adding it to the current litter.
  • Scented litters smell better to us but they may turn your cat off. If you have a cat rejecting litter, try switching to unscented.
  • Even litter boxes stocked with clumping litter need to be cleaned. You can remove the current litter to another container or even a plastic garbage bag. Clean the box with a gentle cleanser such as Dawn. If possible, set it out in the sun to dry and sanitize. A clean box makes a happy cat.

The Breeze Litter System From Tidy Cat

Some cat owners are switching to the Tidy Cat Breeze litter box and have been able to save money on litter. A few surprising tricks can help you save even more on litter with this system. First, here's a little about the Breeze litter box.

The Breeze litter box has two levels. On the top level is a layer of pellets. On the bottom level is a pad to absorb urine.

The idea behind the Breeze litter box is to allow liquid to go through the pellets on top to a pad below. Solid waste stays on top with the pellets, and can be removed that way.

How to Save Money With Breeze

The initial investment in the Breeze system will be somewhere around $30 times however many litter boxes you need.

That will get you a pad and a bag of pellets. However, you can find off-brand alternatives when you need refills. Search for "cat littler pads" on Amazon and you will find much cheaper alternatives to the cat pads that are placed on the bottom of the box. If you have multiple cats this pad may need to be changed more than once a week so it's a great way to save money on the pads.

The pellets can be replaced with pine pellets that you can find at farming supply stores. The pine pellets are often used for bedding for farm animals. Forty pounds of pellets can be purchased for under $10. These are also available via Amazon.

Litter Box Solutions

Trying to find economical litter solutions that work can be a frustrating part of cat ownership. But choosing the right litter system and looking for ways to save money can make both a happy cat and happy owner.

There is no right or wrong answer, it's about what works for you, your household and your cat.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: We are strapped for money now and my husband went and got me a kitty. Do you know where I can get a free litter box?

Answer: I know at our local shelter, they often make temporary litter boxes out of the bottom of cardboard boxes and or the cardboard cases that often hold canned food containers. You could see if your local stores have boxes they are getting rid of a create your own litter box. You will likely need to make a new one every few days. But this might help you out during a financially difficult time.

© 2016 L C David


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 05, 2016:

I so have a PetSmart near me, LCD. I'll look into it. Thanks for the tip!

L C David (author) from Florida on September 05, 2016:

If you have a PetSmart near you can get scoopable litter, 9.99 for 40 lbs. However, I agree that I do like the scooping litter. It really helps when you have multiple cats.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 04, 2016:

I have three indoor cats, so need to keep a litter box. In fact, I have two. I've found Scoop-Away Multi-Cat to be the most effective and economical. The grocery store I frequent sells it for $9.99 for a 20-pound box. Dollar General sells it for $8.50, so I normally buy it there. What I love about Scoop-Away (and I used to be a Tidy Cat proponent) is that I don't have to dump the litter and sanitize the box on a weekly basis. I can simply scoop and add more when needed. That way I don't waste any of the litter. It also does a wonderful job of absorbing odors. I scoop the tinkle and poop twice daily into a 4-gallon trash bin. When full, I put in the trash and we're good to go.