Training Your Cat to Wood Pellet Litter | PetHelpful
Keep in mind that the wood pellets will expand as they absorb feline urine, so make sure you do not overfill the litter box. You can also sprinkle a little baking soda on the pellets to reduce odors. Many animal shelters are using wood pellets for cat litter; perhaps you should consider them as well.
I'll have to check our Lowes to see if/where I can locate wood pellets here. Couple questions (you? nmoira?):
1. I read in another link that having a sifting box is really the way to go with these things because then the spent pellets sift to the bottom as sawdust, and the good pellets stay up top. But, proponents say "never empty litterbox again". Don't you still have to scoop out solids, like poop?
2. What's the best way to transition cats from the more granular clay litter to pelleted litter? I've always heard that you have to combine the two, but can these two products really be combined and be efffective as a litter in those early transition days?
When you have multiple cats or a cattery, what to use for cat litter can sometimes be a problem. We have solved that problem to our satisfaction by using wood pellets. There are several brands, and several purposes for wood pellets. Stove fuel for hardwood pellets and livestock bedding for softwood pellets are the two primary uses.Wood pellets disintegrate into sawdust when they’re wet, instead of compacting like clumping cat litter. But wood pellets are so much cheaper that you can just change the litter box contents every couple days. If you’re switching from conventional cat litter to wood pellets, start by adding a cup or two of wood pellets to your conventional litter, and slowly transition by adding another cup or so each time you clean the litter box. Wood stove pellets at $5 for a 40 pound bag make a very nice cat litter. The pellets are made from hard wood so they last much longer than the pine pellet litter made for cats. They are biodegradable. They also clump around the poop. The urine turns them into sawdust and as long as there are pellets in the box, there will be no smell. Once all of the pellets have turned to sawdust, you can still use it for a while. Eventually they will become soaked with urine. Dump and refill before this happens as that is when it begins to smell. If you dump it while there are still pellets in the bottom, there will be little to no cleaning of the litter pan.If your cat does not initially take to the wood pellet litter, start by mixing the wood pellets in to the old litter one step at a time. For the first few days, use a mix of about ¼ wood pellets and ¾ the litter the cat is used to. After a few days, replace this mixture with ½ pellets and ½ the old litter brand. Increase the ratio of pellets to old litter brand until only wood pellets remain.A few brands of all-natural clumping litters were initially tried. Even with proper litter box maintenance there were unacceptable problems. There were smells, tracking (litter coming out of the box with the cat), and one litter actually developed some sort of white mold during a very humid three days. The synthetic or clay litters are not necessarily good for a cat’s health (silica dust can be present and it is insoluble if ingested), and with once a week changes the natural products were getting very expensive.
I had done some research about creative (and less expensive) litter solutions, and decided to try wood pellets. These are essentially made out of compressed sawdust, and used as a heating fuel. for an overview of wood pellets. I was highly skeptical of using a non-clumping litter, and curious about how the cats would handle it. This was an excellent decision. There was no tracking and little to no smell (best when combined with baking soda, directions below). These pellets are inexpensive (generally about $5 for 40 pounds), safe and natural.As the owner of two cats in a small apartment, the issue of the litter box is actually an important issue to consider in our household for sanitary and odor issues. We've been using silica gel litter (aka crystals) for several years now after trying a wide assortment of environmentally friendly options made out of corn, pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, clumping sawdust, barley, and even dried orange peel (how about Soylent Green litter?). Some worked better than others, none worked better at absorbing odors (guests have remarked our apartment does not smell like the usual small space, multi-pet abode), and most importantly the cats seem to like the sodium silicate best...