Monday, January 12, 2009

Chick crumbles as kitty litter - the experiment

For about a year I've read comments from others about using chick crumbles (baby chicken feed) as cat litter, in place of World's Best Cat Litter. I'd make fun of World's Best and call it World's Most Expensive...except it really is the best cat litter I've ever used.

But only the World's Richest can afford $37.00 for 30-some pounds of cat litter (less at local venues, but not much less). The only reason I've used it is that people have (rarely) donated it to me. It is great stuff. It clumps nicely, smells great, isn't sticky like Swheat Scoop, and last twice as long as other corn scoopable.

I spend a lot of money disposing of the non-scoopable clay cat litter I buy from Walmart. It's almost up to $4 for 20lbs now, and 20lbs fills only 1.5 boxes in the cat facility. Corn-based cat litter would be compostable. Trust me, clay litter absolutely is not compostable, which is why it costs me about $40 a month to dispose of it.

So I finally trotted off to Agway and bought 50lbs of chick crumbles for around $13. One bag filled all five boxes in my house. You couldn't fill 5 boxes with clay scoopable cat litter for $13.

The cats use it happily, and it seems to track less than the clay litter. It does clump quite nicely, however, it does so at the BOTTOM of the pan, which means you have to tilt the pan to see where the cat peed, and literally scoop the clump off the bottom. It does not make a nice round free-formed snowball at the top of the box. Nonetheless, the clumps come right up and don't stick, like Swheat Scoop has for me. And it smells nice and clean.

It has, however, been only two days.

I could order a whole pallet of this for a cheaper price, I'm sure. In fact, I might even be able to get it delivered to my door. I plan to try it in the house until next payday, and then buy four or five bags and try it in the cat facility. I'll keep you posted.



Rags to Riches Cat Rescue said...

Purina brand chick feed is the only feed I have found that is like the Worlds Best litter. Same texture etc. I have used this in the cat house but in my home I have one cat that will not use it. So i had to switch back in the house. But boy do I love the cost and being able to flush.

Wildrun said...

How much does the Purina cost? Agway may not sell it (I'll need to check) but my local grain store might.

So far I'm very happy with this. I'd feel better not stuffing the landfill full of clay cat litter, either.

Anonymous said...

I've used the pelleted sawdust-for horses-in litter boxes. It doesn't clump but fluffs up when wet. So it might not suit your needs.


Anonymous said...

We have been using swheat scoop for about six months and I would never go back to clay litter. I don't feel guilty about using it and I feel like I'm doing something healthy for my cats. This chick feed sounds good as a bulk alternative.

Wildrun said...

The only reason I don't use pellets is because some cats don't cover their poop and just let it sit uncovered (and smelly) on top of the pellets...not something I can tolerate in the cat facility with visitors. Who would think you'd need to be so fussy about a kitty bathroom aid.

Anonymous said...

The only problems with the feed is that if it gets too hot, it can germinate and bugs can hatch out of it. I have had this happen a couple of times! What a nightmare! Then you are cleaning up the bugs!!! I guess you can use it when it's cold.

WWadeII said...

I've been using Chicken Crumbles for litter since October of 2009. It works great. Occasionally I need to use a little backing soda for odor but normally I can leave it alone. I use Dumor from Tractor Supply and normally runs $12.99 and lasts a long time.

Diane said...

I love Arm & Hammer Essentials which is mostly a corn product. It cost 15$ for an 18 pound bag (which equals 36 lbs. of clay) but yes, the problem with corn (since it is a food product) is it gets bugs. I would like to know if I could buy the corn cobs any where since this is the most absorbent part & get it ground up. But thanks for the idea. Maybe I'll mix some ckicken feed in with the Arm & Hammer to stretch it.

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