Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Are Pine Pellets Safe For Cats

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Does That Make The Trash Can The Best Option

How to switch from cat clay litter to pine pellets.

Yes, the trash can is almost always going the best option for disposing of used wood pellet litter. The risk of toxoplasmosis to people and other animals is too high to justify any of the options.

While you could make an argument for composting or flushing litter thats only been exposed to urine, its not a very compelling one.

Thats because toxoplasmosis is transmitted via anything that has come in contact with cat feces, including transmission via your cats paws. Just because you dont Ia cat poop sitting on a pile of pine pellets it doesnt mean that they havent been exposed throughout your cats normal litterbox routine.

Instead, it makes more sense to consider the entire litterbox compromised and just stick with the trashcan. But you can rest easier knowing that the wood pellets arent going to be sitting in the landfill for the next 100 years!

Wood Pellet Cat Litter: Cons

  • Wood pellet litters are a bit more pricey in general when compared to usual clay-based litters.
  • It may be hard to switch to pellet litter because most cats prefer fine-grained texture as litter.
  • The fact that wood pellet litters dont clump can be considered a drawback for people that are used to scooping clumping litter.
  • Some cats may not like the scent of pine or they may be allergic to the material.

Will Pine Pellets Hurt Dogs

Pine pelleted bedding is not toxic to dogs therefore I would not expect any toxicities for Zoey. The biggest concern from pine pellets would be an obstruction in her stomach or her intestines. Her stomach and intestines cannot digest the pellets therefore these will need to pass through her intestinal tract completely.

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Introduction: What Is Wood Pellet Cat Litter And Why Use It

Wood pellets are basically sawdust thats been pressed and bound together through the manufacturing process. For cat litter, you probably want to use pellets made from pine. They have pine pelleted litters like Feline Pine and other brands that are specially formulated to use for cat litter, but you could alternatively purchase pine pellets made for horse bedding.

When the wood pellets get wet, they turn back to their original state sawdust. This makes a unique situation when used as cat litter because you arent dealing with wet litter or scooping clumps you just need to sift out the sawdust. You can do that either by using a sifting litter box system or reverse scooping.

The pine pellets also do a pretty good job of covering up urine smells as long as you keep it cleaned regularly. It is a bit of extra work to clean the box out, but it could be worth it to save money and the environment.

Why Is Pine Bad For Cats

Healthy Pet Simply Pine 100% All

Pine trees are toxic for cats, notes Petcha, because they may cause liver damage and can be fatal. If you wish to have a live tree, choose a fir or spruce. Additionally, you should regularly dispose of any stray needlesno matter the tree typebecause theyre sharp and may be dangerous to your kittys internal organs.

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Pine Pellet Litter: Main Pros & Cons

Pros of Using Pine Litter Cons of Using Pine Litter
Never have to dump out your box. One more step to do .
One of the cheapest litter types. Cats may need to be transitioned to it.
Minimal litter tracking.
It is confusing to use at first.

Other reasonsto use pine pellet litter for your cats:

  • Non-toxic & natural. Pine pellets are generally safe for cats as long the pellets are made from untreated wood in which all pine pellet brands made for cats are.
  • Much healthier for everyone. Almost no dust is produced when scooping or adding into the litter box.
  • Efficient. Cat owners never have to dump out and replace the litter in the box. Unsoiled/new pellets remain at the top and the sawdust settles to the bottom. It keeps a clear separation between soiled/unsoiled litter. Nothing is wasted and saves good pellets from being thrown away.
  • Flushable & disintegrates when wet. Because pine litter disintegrates into sawdust, the dust or pellets can easily be flushed down the toilet without worrying about clogs.

Is It Safe To Use Wood Pellets As Cat Litter

The answer is YES. Wood pellets are an excellent substitute for toxic, non-biodegradable cat litter. They are eco-friendly because its substrate is wood.

Wood pellets are made of the compressed wood fiber. They are made from a variety of organic materials such as wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust, etc. They could be made from softwood trees such as pine, cedar, cypress, fir, and redwood or hardwood trees like maple. There are also mixed-wood pellets where softwood and hardwood are mixed at a proper ratio.

Wood pellets have dominated the cat litter market as a biodegradable substitute because the raw material used is sustainable and readily available. It is inexpensive when compared to other litters like clay litter.

But make sure that your cat is not allergic to wood pellets because some cats respond negatively to the resins found in pine and cedar pellets. Also, stay away from wood pellets if your cat has asthma it might trigger its symptoms.

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Corn & Wheat Cat Litter

Corn and wheat litter usually comes in the form of pellets but they are both clumping litters because they contain starch, which is a natural binding element.

Wheat and corn are sometimes even added to other natural litter formulas like wood pellets to give them clumping abilities. These two grains are also often used together in one litter formula.

With corn and wheat, it can become a problem if your cat ingests too much of these grains regularly which is a possibility when its in their litter because grains upset your cats digestive tract. Another thing to watch out for with these grain-based litters is possible insect infestations if they are not stored properly. Make sure you seal their packaging perfectly, and youll be fine.

Other than that, corn and wheat litters are a great natural, flush-safe, and compostable litter option!

Top Corn Litter Recommendation: Worlds Best Clumping Cat Litter

Weve already reviewed the Purina Tidy Cats Pure Nature Clumping Cat Litter, which is made of a combination of corn, cedar, and pine. However, if you want a litter made solely from corn kernels, then the Worlds Best Cat Litter should be your first point of call. Although the name sounds a little over the top, it actually isnt far from the truth!



Top Wheat Litter Recommendation: sWheat Scoop Fast-Clumping All-Natural Cat Litter

For those of you that prefer wheat over corn, the sWheat Scoop All-Natural Fast-Clumping Cat Litter is another wonderful alternative.


Clumping Wood Pellet Litter

Cheap Cat Kitten Litter Using Pine Pellets Equine Bedding Wood Stove Environmental Friendly Compost.

In the never-ending quest for convenience, some brands have started making clumping pine pellet cat litter.

Were not big fans.

Natural or not, clumping agents are potentially harmful to cats.

When a cat uses litter, small amounts of the clumping agent can stick to paws and fur. When grooming, your cat will unintentionally ingest small amounts. Kittens may eat litter out of curiosity.

Unfortunately, because clumping agents do exactly what theyre supposed to do, clump when wet, this can be a big problem. Many clumping agents have been found to sometimes cause serious medical complications, like intestinal obstruction, when swallowed.

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Is Pine Pellets Toxic To Cats


Pine cat litter falls somewhere in between. If you keep the tray regularly clean, it’s not so bad as the pellets can’t stick to the cat’s fur. Once the pellets get moist and crumble, they can be tracked around a little, but it’s easy to clean. Maybe that’s just my weirdo cats though.

Additionally, is Feline Pine toxic? It is non-toxic and contains no scented fragrances, but its makers say it is still tough on odors, and is 99.7 percent dust-free. Other wood/sawdust alternatives include Feline Pine, which is made from dust-free pine chips, and Better Way Cat Litter, which combines clay with cedar chips for natural odor control.

Similarly, you may ask, is Pine OK for cats?

Try getting an artificial tree so your cat can’t ingest sap, tree water or pine needles, which can cause nausea, vomiting, skin irritation or injury to the stomach. Cats are very sensitive the pine oils and chronic ingestions could cause problems.

Can cats be allergic to pine pellets?

It’s possible cats can get respiratory allergies to pine litter & shavings. If cat is allergic to pine , then the cat could be allergic to pine litter.

Cost Of Using Pine Pellet Cat Litter

The cost of pine pellets varies a lot depending on what youre buying.

The plus side of going with the horse bedding option is its much cheaper than branded cat litter pellets. Feline Pine and other pine litters cost over 3x as much as alternatives like horse bedding. A 20 lb bag of Feline Pine costs around $10, depending on where you purchase it. A 40 lb sack of horse bedding only costs $6.

However, Ive only seen horse pellets and woodstove fuel sold in 40 lb sacks, while the Feline Pine comes in 7 and 20 lb options. If you dont need to keep so much on hand, or cant physically handle 40 lbs, it may be better to opt for the branded cat litter.

Bottom Line: All in all, considering how long pine pelleted litter can last, its overall a cheaper option than most clumping clay types even if you buy the branded pine pelleted litter.

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What To Do With My Dogs Pine Pellets

I got a 3rd litter box and filled it with Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal, and set it right next to one of her other litter boxes. She immediately started using the Clump and Seal box, totally ignoring the Pine Pellet boxes. Whenever she pooped in the Clump and Seal box, the poop was totally covered up and buried.

How To Scoop Pine Pellet Litter

Simply Pine Natural Pellet Cat Litter

It can be tricky figuring out how to scoop pine pellet litter, but it will get easier over time. First, remove any of the solid waste. Next, collect the sawdust using a scoop. Make sure the holes are large enough for the sawdust to fall through but small enough for the fresh pellets to stay on top.

Shake the scoop carefully so the sawdust falls into the container with the poop. Keep the dry pellets separate and put them back into the litter box. Lastly, refill the litter box with enough new pellets to keep the pellet layer one inch deep.

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Catalyst Pet Healthy Formula Cat Litter

My final wood pellet cat litter recommendation is the Catalyst Pet Healthy Formula Cat Litter. If youre mostly worried about the smell of your cats litter box, this could be the product for you!

The pine pellets absorb all liquid extremely quickly, rapidly trapping any unpleasant smells. This litter also contains zeolite, which is another extremely absorbent compound, absorbing up to 320% of its original volume. Together, these two ingredients work to ensure your cats litter box and your home never smells foul again.

Of course, you will still need to scoop the litter tray daily. Thankfully, this is a clumping cat litter and so you can easily scoop up all waste as with regular clay litter. When cleaning and changing the entire tray, the litters lightweight formula also makes it easy to lift and pour.

Unfortunately, despite being dust-free, the lightweight formula also makes it stick to your cats paws and coat much more easily. This means it can get tracked around your home and end up making a fair bit of a mess. With this in mind, I wouldnt recommend this litter for long-haired breeds, but any owners of short-haired cats should seriously consider this as an option.


  • Wheat
  • Grass

Lets take a closer look at each of these natural litter options and some more alternate product recommendations.

When Was Cat Litter Invented

Remember: cat litter has helped transform the way we live with our cats.


Cats have been a part of human society for at least 4,000 years.

Since the advent of grain storage, these small predators have been hunting and purring their way into our hearts and homes.

Yet it wasnt until the last century that we had any consistent means of providing indoor toilets for them.

In the attempt to trace the history of cat boxes and litter, youll find a surprising lack of documentation on feline potty habits before the creation of the first commercial cat litter.

We can speculate that the trivial matter of cat waste wasnt worth anyones paper and that using an indoor cat box was directed by common sense and word-of-mouth wisdom.

Pet historian Kasey Grier observes that:

As I did research on these early versions of cat-box filler, I was struck by how little anyone talked about it. Even a 1903 volume on breeding and showing cats, whose author was obsessed with cleanliness, failed to offer specific instructions for creating and keeping a sand box.

Though we cant place a date upon the first usage of a cat toilet box, we know they existed before the creation of the first commercial cat litter.

By the early 1940s, progressive cat people could purchase the E-Z Klean Kitty Toilet a heavy porcelain pan lined with waterproof disposal sheets.

Charmingly, the toilet came with a decorative screen to keep kittys powder room private.

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Cleaning Wood Pellet Litter Boxes

There are different methods people use to clean out litter boxes with wood pelleted litter. Its important to know, however, that cleaning this litter is a bit more work than a traditional clay clumping litter.

Cats wont bury their poop in pine pellets, and they also dont absorb the smell. So you need to keep the poop picked out daily from the box.

To clean out the sawdust, you can either use one of these methods:

Method #1: Sifting box

The easiest way to clean them is to use a sifting litter box . This way, you can pick up the top box and shake, and the sawdust will fall into the bottom and you can easily dispose of it.

In the video below, this guy shows you how he made his own sifting litter box system using plastic tubs.

You can also just buy a sifting litter box though, like this Arm and Hammer one.

See also: Litter Boxes for Pine Pellets: 5 Picks

Method #2: Reverse scoop

If you dont want to buy new litter boxes or make your own, you can do it with your regular ones too. This girl shows you how she reverse scoops her pine pellet litter

Method #3: Dump out contents with each cleaning

The third option would be to simply dump out the entire box each time you clean it, just like you would with any other non-clumping litter. However, if you throw it outside make sure you properly dispose of the poop first.

Youll go through the pellets a lot faster this way, but it also makes cleaning the box a lot easier.

Does Wood Pellet Cat Litter Reduce Odor

Cheap Pellet Cat Litter – Save Big & Breathe Easier – plus a $1 DIY Sifter

Yes wood pellet litter has a pine scent that naturally represses unpleasant odors. This is not an added fragrance, it is the natural scent of the wood. You should never use a litter that has an add-on scent that can cause headaches both for people and cats.

Wood pellets are also extremely absorbent of liquid. Therefore, they trap urine and keep the litter dry, which blocks unpleasant odors from escaping into the air and around your home.

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Heres What I Realized About Pine Pellet Cat Litter In My Attempt To Transition My Cats

  • Mixing clumping cat litter and pine pellets is not ideal the pine pellets turn to sawdust and mix in with the regular litter and are impossible to clean. You cant reverse scoop or sift like as if you were using pure pine pellets either, so you just have to dump it all out after a while.
  • The pellets dont turn to sawdust all at once. The ones that dont get completely saturated with urine stay half-formed but kind of mush-like and its actually pretty gross looking.
  • It requires more work to clean pine pellet litter vs. regular clumping clay
  • People say it smells like a lumberyard or fresh wood, but to me, the smell is strange and off-putting It doesnt exactly smell like cat pee but it has a musty scent.

Will It Be Easy To Switch From Clay Litter To Wood Pellet Litter

Changing your cats litter, even if its from one clay-based brand to another, can be somewhat challenging because cats dont like change, especially in something as essential as their litter. This is why it can be difficult for cats to switch to pellet litter from the conventional clay-based one that they are used to. The texture and size of the granules of the two types of litter are immensely different, which will not go unnoticed by your cat.

However, difficult does not mean impossible . You shouldnt refrain from switching to wood pellet litter because its nothing that your cat cant handle. If you have the right approach, there is no reason why your cat shouldnt get accustomed to using wood pellet litter.

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