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Cat Litter


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Cheaper Alternatives to name brand Cat Litter
By: Alfred

It may be hard to believe, but cat litter like you buy
commercially at the store has only been around for about
sixty years. That's right, when people kept cats in their
homes way back when they used other methods of controlling
their animal's potty behavior.

Cats have always been popular pets, not only for their
companionship but also for helping to keep pests at bay and
letting people know when something is wrong. It was a good
idea to keep a cat just to provide the pest protection they
offered to help preserve your food for humans rather than
mice. So, with cats living in the home, and many people
moving to the cities where the cats couldn't run as free as
before, people needed to come up with a way to provide the
cat with an inside place to go to the bathroom. Thus the
kitty litter or cat litter box and litter were invented.

The very first cat litters were old newspapers, sand,
fireplace ashes and sawdust. No, they didn't absorb liquid
well or clump conveniently, and yes they would inevitably
smell. The sawdust would control odor if it were cedar or
pine, but less if from other woods. And the litter had to be
changed a lot more frequently because of the odor issue.

But, shoveling your used ashes into the kitty litter box was
a might cheaper than spending money on something for your
cat to go to the bathroom. In fact most people from back
then would have scoffed at such an idea.

Nowadays it's very different and you can buy just about
every luxury people can think up for your pampered kitty. No
table scraps or used ash for kitty to eat or use. Now
everything is packaged and priced and, depending on your
budget, used to treat your cats like the Egyptians treated
their "feline kings" of old, worshiping and waiting on their
cats like servants.

Is it bad to pamper your cat? No, they are after all your
friends and part of the family as it should be, but consider
the expense you put yourself through just for your cat to go
to the bathroom ... A regular bag of cat litter, no clumping
or special actions involved, costs at least five dollars for
a ten pound bag. You must change it once a week if not
sooner because of the cat litter beginning to smell. So a
single cat can go through a ten pound bag in a month.

Some people say that spending more for a more expensive
clumping odor-control version of cat litter is the way to go
because it lasts longer. In truth it costs about the same as
buying the cheap stuff in the long run, so no matter what,
you are looking at spending at least five bucks on cat
litter every month.

So what? That isn't much money to most Westerners. Buy what
if you could spend less? For those who find their money
situation a bit more serious, there are cheaper

In reality, sand is a pretty good cat litter when you mix in
some baking soda for odor control. It works just as well as
cheap cat litter you buy at the grocery store, and there is
no danger from inhaled clay dust. Even ash mixed with baking
soda does an okay job. If you burn a lot of wood during the
winter this is a very low cost alternative.

Also, you can buy sawdust very cheaply at your local garden
store or hardware store. Even cedar chips and pine chips are
low cost, and you don't have to treat them with baking soda
because they do the odor control all by themselves. I've
seen ten pounds of cedar chips for two dollars and that is
quite a bit cheaper than the cheapest cat litter out there.

You can even buy the pine wood pellets sold for pellet
stoves to use in your cat litter box. These are absorbent
and provide some odor control. You can now see a trend
toward natural cat litter, and you can buy pine pellets in a
packaged bag as cat litter for an extravagant price or you
can buy pine pellets for your stove and pay a lot less for
the same thing.

Also keep in mind that these are all natural alternatives.
They are not clay that has to be stripped from the earth for
your kitty to pee in. And they are all biodegradable. The
clay cat litters can't even claim that. Clay cat litters
fill up landfills and never break down.

So, the next time you reach for a bag of cat litter, stop
and think. Maybe the cheaper alternative will not only save
you money but save the earth a little as well.

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