Are Alternative/Green Litters Really Any Better for My Cat?

Is going green really better for my cat? Or is it just a scam? These are questions frequently asked by cautious cat owners. And to answer that question is a 50/50. There’s a line between being better for the environment and making sure your house doesn’t smell like a constant odor bomb just got activated every time your cat uses the litter box.

And even though I’m not a green freak I find that alternative litters may actually be helpful to other thing besides just the environment.

No More Unbearable Dust Smells

When you begin to think about it, it makes sense. Every time you pour more litter into the box, it’s similar opening a new box of powder soap for your dishwasher. You can’t breathe, you choke up, and there’s a small mushroom of dust rising up from your box. It can’t be good for you right? And it’s not any better for your cat. There are chemicals in that litter to absorb the smells from your cat’s excrement.

With absorbing pellet litter, such as pine and cedar, or coconut husks, the chemicals aren’t as strong and are all natural if they are in there. It also eliminates the dust and dirt that your cat tracks out on his paws after he exits.


Most of us don’t bother with hooking up our litter box to our sewer system and some people simply don’t have that freedom. Thus, most of us just toss it somewhere as far from the house as we can. But it builds up. Maybe it’ll finally wash into the earth, or maybe spread into the neighbors yard but it doesn’t quite go away all together. And it definitely does a number on your grass. And trust me, when the sun gets hot, you start smelling it too.

Natural litters disintegrate over time or with the next rain. So you don’t have a constant buildup of litter in your yard.

It’s Edible…

I know it sounds disgusting, but some kittens (or curious cats) like to eat little bits of their litter, especially after you refill it with fresh litter. Now with regular litter this can be harmful. But most alternative/natural litters are completely harmless if kitty decides to munch on her litter kernels. Not sure why she would, but they do.

There’s Always a Down Side

Nothings perfect right? Well, there are a few things I don’t like about biodegradable litter.


Some brands don’t clump. Since their consistency isn’t like normal litter sand grains, liquid doesn’t necessarily activate the clumping powers. And they end up just half absorbing the urine and now you’re left with a mess.

Watch Your Wallet

Most of us have to watch what we spend, even though what we buy might be entirely necessary. A lot of litter brands are insanely expensive for the small amounts you get (especially the recycled newspaper kinds). You’ll get about three weeks worth for the same price you could’ve gotten months worth with regular litter. But some people are willing to pay the extra dollar for the benefits.

As everything, it’s really just a personal opinion. It depends on how much of a die-hard ‘green’ person you are. And you don’t even have to be green to reap the benefits of natural and alternative litters.