Hemp Cat Litter - Cat Info Detective

Hemp Cat Litter

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Welcome fellow curious kitties! Skye Blake here, with lots to share about something new… hemp cat litter! (No, you can’t smoke it!)

paw prints coming in from a distance

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-updated, white background

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 Hemp?

hemp leaf
Hemp Leaf

Hemp (a.k.a., industrial hemp) is a type of Cannabis sativa L that’s useful for many things.

Paper, clothing, CBD oil, biodegradable plastics, paint, rope, biofuel, food, animal feed, hemp cat litter, and building materials are just a few.

Manufacturers use all parts of the plant so there’s no waste.

Industrial hemp and the drug marijuana are both types of Cannabis sativa.

hemp plant
Marijuana Plant

They are distinctly different from each other in composition and uses.

Both hemp and marijuana have tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical that gets people high, but hemp has only a tiny amount.

The low amount of THC means it’s not usable as a drug.

Industrial hemp is classified by the U.S. government in the 2018 Farm Bill as cannabis that has no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

History of Hemp in the U.S.

hemp leaves

Hemp has been cultivated as long as there have been societies on earth. You can find more about the long history of hemp at Wikipedia and Weedmap.

Hemp was a major crop in the United States until 1937, when the “Marihuana Tax Act” destroyed the American hemp industry.

It levied a tax on anyone who sold cannibas, including industrial hemp.

medicinal essential oils

By that time industrial hemp had become lumped in with its cousin, marijuana, and labeled a dangerous drug even though it’s not.

That perception of hemp and marijuana being the same has persisted through today.

During World War II, the U.S. military needed hemp for uniforms, canvas, and rope (but not cat litter).

The Navy needed to replace the jute and hemp they could no longer get from the Philippines and Indonesia, so Congress made an exception during that time.

hemp rope
Hemp Rope

After WWII, the industry disappeared again.

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Marihuana Tax Act in Leary v. United States, and repealed it the next year.1“Marihuana Tax Act of 1937”, Wikipedia

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified marijuana and all its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances, the most restrictive classification.

This meant industrial hemp was illegal to grow or use.

The Legalization of Hemp

hemp bill = U.S. Congress
U.S. Capital Building

Section 7606 of the 2014 Agricultural Act (2014 Farm Bill-Obama) allowed universities and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp.

The bill required them to register with their state, abide by state laws, and only use the hemp for research.

tractor-farming

As part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill-Trump) the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 reclassified hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) from “Schedule I controlled substance” to “agricultural commodity”.

“Under the Hemp Farming Act, hemp cultivation is no longer limited to state departments and universities.

cat jumping down onto grass-front view

In addition, the act allows farmers rights to water, crop insurance, and federal agricultural grants, as well as legal access to national banking. Hemp may also be transported across state lines.”2“Is Hemp Cultivation Legal in the U.S.?”, Weedmaps

You can find out more fascinating facts about hemp at Wikipedia and Weedmap.

Hemp Used For Cat Litter

hemp seeds
Seeds

Hemp stalks are what’s left after the seeds and leaves are removed for other products.

They contain fiber that makes a non-clumping soft crumble or pellet litter with no chemicals or additives.

tabby cat standing in litter box

The manufacturers claim there’s little dust and odor (absorbs ammonia to keep odor down).

Reviewers in general (there are few at the moment) tend to prefer clumping and say the hemp litter absorbs well but doesn’t control odors.

This is a bit hard to interpret because you can’t expect non-clumping litter to clump.

tabby in a sitting pose

Controlling odor has a lot to do with how often and well a person cleans the box. There’s also the factor of each cat’s pee and poop.

What they eat, medical conditions, volume of pee, etc., all affect odor. So it’s hard to tell how much of the problem is the litter and how much is from other factors.

kitten pooping in litter box

This might be a good litter for young kittens since it’s non-clumping.

Kittens tend to eat everything and clumping litter swells up when wet so can easily cause an intestinal blockage and/or dehydration.

Both are life-threatening emergency conditions!

Using Hemp Litter for Mulch

mulch with crocus coming up

This litter is biodegradable and compostable, which makes great mulch for flower beds.

Never use soiled litter 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.

Hemp Litter Brands & Reviews

Hemp plants

Brands and products mentioned on this page are for your information and convenience only… I make no money from them.

You can find them online at Amazon and Chewy but may also be available through pet stores and other suppliers.

Remember that hemp litter is non-clumping, so don’t expect clumps to form.

Check descriptions and reviews carefully for any products you wish to buy.

OH! Hemp Kitty Litter (OleyHemp)

Siamese cat and kitten

“OleyHemp OH!” litter is made in the USA and available on Amazon.

The manufacturer claims the litter is seven times more absorbent than clay and is great at odor control.

Reviewers agreed it controls odor well, is light and easy on paws, with the one main drawback being the price.

cannabis, hemp plants drying

Even though you don’t need to use as much as clay litter, OleyHemp OH! is still pricier than other products.

Some felt the price is worth the benefits, others liked it but didn’t like the cost.

One reviewer said it’s fine for a small litter box but not the mega-size boxes they use.

Hempy Cat (HempAlta) Unscented Non-Clumping

hemp fiber in field

Hempy Cat litter is 100% hemp, which is biodegradable, non-clumping, and has no strong scents.

The company claims it’s soft, very absorbent, neutralizes odors, and is easy to clean.

Hemp Hub World Litter Pellets

hemp stalk and leaves

Hemp Humb World litter is made into pellets from hemp hurd.

Hurd is the wooden core of hemp stalks, a by-product of fiber processing.

The company claims it’s dust free, biodegradable, absorbent, and neutralizes odors quickly.

This litter is available at Amazon. It has only a few reviews and they’re mixed, mostly from people using it for rats and other small animals.

cat watching other cat in litter box

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

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

“Best Cat Litter for Kittens”, by Mallory Crusta

“Hemp”, Wikipedia

HEMPALTA

Hemp Hurd for Building, Animal Bedding, Wood Products & Plastics“, (hemptraders.com)

“WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP AND MARIJUANA?”, weedmaps.com

Updated April 13, 2024

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