If there is one thing you shouldn’t spend money on, it’s kitty litter. It is overpriced and easy to make yourself using old newspapers or printing paper. Making your own kitty litter won’t compromise your cat’s comfort or the efficiency and absorbency of the litter. It will only turn your kitten on to living green.
Begin by collecting old newspapers (newspaper works best, but you can substitute any paper for that matter). If you are not a newspaper reader or you don’t have stacks of paper piling up around your house, talk with your neighbors or local coffee shops about claiming their used paper. Sending newspapers to the curb to be recycled is a great option, but what is even better is to reuse it yourself (this way, there is less energy and cost involved).
Take the paper and either use a paper shredder or tear it into strips. Tear enough paper to fill the entire litter box. Fill your kitchen sink with warm water and 3 teaspoons of an eco-friendly dish soap. Place a colander in the sink and fill it with the shredded paper. Once the water turns grey and the paper gets mushy, remove the drain stopper. Fill the sink back up with warm water, this time without the soap to rinse the mushy paper. Let it soak until the water turns grey again. Drain the water from the sink.
Take a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle it over the mushy paper. Knead the mixture like you would a ball of dough. Use gloves to avoid staining your skin with the remaining ink. Press down on the paper mixture to push out as much water as possible. Remove a handful at a time from the colander and give it on good last squeeze to get rid of the water. Use an old screen or baking tray to crumble the mixture onto.
The crumbled paper mixture will take a few days to air dry (or a few hours in the summer heat). After it is completely dry, use about an inch of the recycled kitty litter in the litter box. Use the homemade litter just like you would conventional litter by scooping out solids on a daily basis and discard (it works great in your compost) once a week. This recipe should make enough kitty litter to last you about three weeks.
This process is virtually free and only takes about a half-hour to complete. You can always have a kitty litter party and make a ton of the stuff to last you and your friends a few months. Another idea is to turn around and sell your homemade kitty litter to local pet boutiques or eco-conscience consumers. Say goodbye to the old days of store-bought kitty litter and hello to recycled and earth-aware green litter.