So, now I deal with kitty litter, eck!
In my desire to cut down on trash and spending I started looking for kitty litter alternatives, I hope my story will help you if you want to journey down that road.
First, I was using the clumping clay litter. I would throw the "lumps" into a walmart sack and into the trash, but even before I cut down on trash I couldn't bring myself to throw away the whole contents when it came time to change the box. So, I would go outside and find some hidden area under trees where no one goes to dump it. Clay litter mud clumps are still there in areas.
So first, in an effort more for just cheapskate sake, I went to normal cheapo non-clumping kitty litter. Worse, for you have to change it more often since you can't sift out clumps therefore more wet clay clumps under trees. So then, I started looking for biodegradable alternatives online. If I am going to be dumping outside, I want it to decompose.
I found a site where some lady made her own by shredding paper and wetting it and forming it into little balls. Junk mail=free litter, I was all for it. Then I made some and two days later they were still damp little balls. I was not going to waste electricity by dehydrating them! And I could just imagine people's faces if I made a rack for drying kitty litter on in my house. So, that didn't even make it in the litter box.
So then, I read some just use shredded paper. My shredder makes long strips which the kitty that is fascinated with the potty, just found it too much fun to play with. Strips of newspaper were batted around all over the house. Neither cat used the litter box for two days. They did follow me outside and must have went there, but I wasn't going to chance any longer of finding piles behind some piece of furniture. That was abandoned.
Then I decided to get a different shredder. A micro shredder that cuts paper in tiny pieces (I have other projects I wanted to use this for, so if it didn't work as kitty litter I wouldn't be too put out.) Worse! They used it, but now they tracked it all over the house. Mom was visiting and was feeling sorry for my frugal ways and insisted she should buy me kitty litter if this is what I felt good about living with. I had to assure her that she just happened to come on test day and no, her grandchild was not walking around in tracked kitty litter all day. That experiment lasted half a day.
So then I went to the feed store and decided to buy the cheapest feed. I bought cracked corn. Too big of pieces to sift and the poops just floated around in there and the urine went straight to the bottom. I had put newspaper in to soak it up, but it wasn't working too well when those poops didn't get covered and the cats would get previous poops stuck on themselves and it come out of the box with them.
So then, I went for poultry crumbles. Not the medicated chick feed, didn't know what that medication would do to the cat, but hen crumbles. This I liked fairly well. Cheaper than clump litter and it did naturally clump. However, it does have a grain smell. If you have either passed a grain elevator or smelled animal feed grain you know it isn't exactly pleasant, but in the box in the corner, I couldn't smell it. But one of my cats either out of protest for the smell or she had had it with my experimenting refused to use it. She would poop right outside of the litter box. I tried for a month, but had had enough.
I only had one more option that I had read about that I was going to try. Potting Soil. But it's seasonal unless you have a nursery open year round and I had a feeling I would be changing it too often and I was tired of the experiments myself, so I didn't try it.
I happened to be in the farm and feed store and exasperated about cleaning up more poop, so I went to pick up regular kitty litter, when I saw that they carried some alternative litters. There were three litters made of pine shavings that said they were compostable. I bought the cheapest bag; it was still cheaper than the clay litter which made me happy. One more try!
I replaced the litter with this and now both cats use the litter box. It doesn't clump as well as the fancy clay litters but it does clump surprisingly well. It's called Feline Fresh and if you try it there is a mail in rebate for the purchase price on this page!! So it wasn't any cool creative thing on my part, but it is cheaper and I have a spot outside for the kitty stuff to decompose but not in my garden compost. I also have quit bagging up the clumps in the walmart sacks. The litter says it is flushable, but my one cat who loves the potty makes so many clumps that it takes less time to toss it out in the bad compost spot then to put a little bit at a time in the toilet and waste water flushing. I took a plastic coffee container with "aroma seal" and wrote on the lid that it is for "cat poo" and scoop it into there to carry out.