Pine pellets are a great alternative to traditional cat litter. They are made from recycled wood waste, specifically pine saw dust, making them an eco-friendly option. Traditional cat litter, on the other hand, are made of clay. The process of mining for the raw material to make clay litter is very damaging to the environment.
Pine pellets are highly absorbent and will help keep odors under control. They are also relatively easy to clean up and maintain. And generally cost less than traditional cat litter. This makes them an excellent choice for households with multiple cats.
How to use pine pellets for cat litter
To use pine pellets for cat litter, here are a few components to consider.
How pine pellets work as cat litter
Pine pellets work by absorbing liquid waste. Once the pine pellets absorbs the liquid, it almost instantly expand and disintegrate. It disintegrates into the pine saw dust that it was made from. This applies for natural 100% pine pellets, but some pine pellets are made to clump when it comes in contact with water.
As for solid waste, the pine pellets do cling to them, but not as readily as clay litter would. That’s why it’s not a great option if your cat is having loose stool. The loose stool won’t typically be wet enough to cause the pellets to disintegrate, but instead it will smear over the pellets, making clean up more difficult.
The natural scent of the pine pellets is pretty great at masking odor, and does a fairly good job compared to unscented clay litter.
Which litter box to choose for pine pellets for cat litter
Litter boxes for pine pellets are typically designed to work quite specifically with pine pellets. They’re designed to accommodate for the pine pellets disintegrating into saw dust in mind. They come in a setup of 2 trays: a sifting top tray and a solid bottom tray.
The idea is to stack the sifting tray on top of the solid tray, and fill the top tray with pine pellets. The pine pellets will absorb and disintegrate into saw dust when your cat urinates. It doesn’t do much when it comes to poop. The holes in the sifting tray is designed to hold onto the pine pellets but letting smaller disintegrated pieces or saw dust fall thru. The saw dust then collects at the bottom solid tray.
There are some great off-the-shelf sifting litter boxes, here are some of the best sifting litter box for pine pellets on the market. Alternatively, we also have a great guide on how to DIY sifting litter box for pine pellets.
How to care and maintain a pine pellet cat litter box
To ensure the best performance for your pine pellets litter box, it’s important to maintain it regularly. Start by removing any solid waste daily, ideally twice a day. Once all the solids are removed, shake and disturb the pine pellets to make the disintegrated pine pellet pieces and pine saw dust fall into the tray below. This motion also help to aerate the litter.
Empty out the bottom tray every week or two. You can put the pinewood saw dust directly into your compost bin, or use it as mulch for your flower beds (but not your vegetable beds).
Clean out the litter box completely every 2-3 weeks. Throwing out all the pine pellets, washing the trays with warm soapy water and reset the litter box with new pine pellet litter.
How to transition into pine pellets for your cat
When introducing any new litter material to your cat, it is important to start slowly and allow your cat some time to get used to the new material. Start by mixing in 10-20% of pine pellets into the current litter you are using, and gradually increase the ratio over a period of multiple weeks.