In these hard times, when you have multiple cats in your home, you find any way to keep costs down. I am lucky enough to have two cats living inside and three that live outside and can’t be coaxed in. The barn cats do a wonderful job keeping the barn clear of intruders and use the horse stalls, since they are part of their home, as their litter boxes.
As I am always on the hunt for new products, like something that would somehow turn the urine into clean litter and make the feces disappear (I haven’t found it!), I check out the pet department each grocery trip. This trip I saw a new product that is essentially smaller sized finer sawdust made of pine shavings. I realized that this is a similar product that I use in horse stalls that my barn cats use as litter.
Another product that has come out is a compressed pine pellet that dissolves with urine into sawdust. There is a very similar product that I have used in horse stalls for horse bedding, but it comes in much larger bags. With the larger bags for both the pellets and the sawdust, the cost is significantly reduced.
As an example, a bag of horse pellet bedding that looks, to me, to be the same product as cat litter, bought at Farm and Fleet and made by American Choice cost $6.99. It weighs about 40lbs which would probably cost at least 3 times as much (depending on which cat product you purchased) if you went with the cat product. The bags can be heavy, but the store can assist you by carrying them to the car, and then you can split up the bag into smaller bags before carrying it inside. Keeping the litter dry is a concern so choose your storage bags carefully.
The horse sawdust comes in bags sold by cubic feet and is compressed and so expands upon opening. As a reference, it weighed about 30lbs when I put it on the scale. The bag stands about 2ft tall and is 1ft wide, and costs about $5.29. Once again, the same system would apply as above. At this price, you could split it, sell half of it, and have a considerable amount of volume for $3.00.
In order to find a dealer that has an equine department to locate these products, you can go to Guardian Horse Bedding website for locations, American Choice website for hints, or plug in sawdust or pelleted bedding in a search engine and look through the choices.
I found that accessibility was more common than I thought it would be as these types of products were carried in stores as varied as Farm & Fleet to Big R, Prairieland Feeds and Ace Hardware. This may be due to the popularity of farmettes with not only horses, but llamas, milking goats, miniature ponies and burros living very close to cities these days.
If you cannot locate these products, but still want to save money, you may be able to locate large cedar chip bags. These are used for dog bedding filler amongst other things, and are carried at many pet stores. When used to extend your litter they are light, easy to handle and of course, smell wonderful.
As always, whenever changing litter, add the new litter in slowly to the present litter to acclimate your cat. If you are already using these litters, finding these larger quantities can be a real savings.