Hi there, Skye Blake here… searching for biodegradable cat litter for your extra-fussy feline.
There are a lot of weird litters out there… Bamboo, tofu (soy), walnut, corn, hemp, and many more!
Frankly I could make a salad!
The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs.
Who Is Skye Blake?
Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you!
Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.
Sources are given at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping.
What Is “Biodegradable”?
Any organic matter that is biodegradable can be decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.
Plants and animals (except bones) are good examples. So cat litter made from plant material is considered biodegradable.
Clay doesn’t break down into the earth because it IS earth, so it accumulates in landfills. There are claims that this is a problem (deserves further research).
Silica litter doesn’t break down either.
Biodegradable litters are good for special situations like after surgery, dealing with kittens, or a fussy feline with asthma or an extra-sensitive nose.
They’re also nice for people wanting eco-friendly litter.
Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy has observed that these biodegradable types of cat litter have been improving over time and there are some good quality ones available now.11“The Benefits of Natural Litter”, by Jackson Galaxy
Some behaviorists don’t like food based litters such as corn or wheat.
Cats won’t eat where they do their business, and some eat these grain litters.
Others won’t use it because it smells like food.
It conflicts with their strong instinct to separate where they eat and pee so they often decide to find another place to do their business.
Sometimes cats don’t like how their paws sink down into these litters and that makes it unacceptable to them as well.
You’ll need to be very familiar with your cat’s individual preferences.
Is Biodegradable Cat Litter Flushable?
Some biodegradable litter manufacturers claim it’s flushable… hey, that’s cool!
Flush it all down the toilet… no more throwing it in the trash! But wait!…
Not all plumbing can handle it, septic systems in particular. So be sure to test with small amounts no matter what the claims.
You don’t need a backed up toilet, clogged pipes and a big plumbing bill!
Flushing litter isn’t permitted in some areas so be sure to check your local ordinances.
Biodegradable Litter as Mulch
You can use biodegradable cat litter as mulch on your flower beds, but not directly on vegetable, herb or other edible plant beds.
Cat waste can transmit diseases, but if you process the litter properly into compost, removing possible pathogens, it can be used safely.
If you’re not sure, just put it on flower beds.
Which Biodegradable Litter Will Work for You?
You should now have good start in deciding what will work best for you and your buddy. Keep trying until you find something you both like.
If you want to learn more about choosing litter, check “What Are the Best Types of Cat Litter?”
Using my detective skills, I’ve found some interesting and unusual biodegradable types of cat litter.
Related Pages of Interest
Curious about other types of cat litter and boxes? Discover more at “Supplies for Cats“.
Having trouble with your cat peeing or pooping outside the litter box?
Find some answers to fix the problem and clean up the mess at “Behavior“.
Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.
Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.
Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.
Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.
However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.
When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.
List of Sources
Please note that some of the sources listed below sell litter products or link to places that do. I make no money from these links.
“5 Best Types of Natural Cat Litter”, by Amy Livingston
“7 Ways to Reduce Litter Box Smell (and Messes)”, by Jason Nicholas, BVetMed (“Dr. J”), Preventive Vet
“The Benefits of Natural Litter”, by Jackson Galaxy
“The Best Biodegradable Clumping Litter”, by Susan Leisure
“Best Cat Litter for Kittens”, by Mallory Crusta
“Cat Litter”, How Products Are Made
“Eco-Friendly Compostable Kitty Litter”, greenlivingideas.com
“Feline Pine Cat Litter Review”, by Kate Barrington, We’re All About Cats
“How Cat Litter is Made”, greenlivingideas.com
“Is Feline Pine Cat Litter Good for Cats?”, December 10, 2014, Pet Place Veterinarians
“Kitty Litter”, by Amanda Yarnell, Chemical & Engineering News, Volume 82 Issue 17, p. 26, What’s That Stuff?, Issue Date: April 26, 2004
“Litter Box 101: What Type of Litter is Best For Your Cat”, by Jason Nicholas, BVetMed (“Dr. J”), Preventive Vet
“Non-Tech High Tech Litters the Landscape”, Andrew Kantor (2004-12-10), USA Today
“Understanding Clay, Silica and Biodegradable Cat Litters“, by Lorie Huston, DVM, petmd.com
“What Is In Cat Litter?” by Vladimir Negron, petmd.com
Updated July 13, 2023