As a cat parent myself, I know the sheer panic when you find yourself in the stinky situation of realizing too late that you’ve run out of litter. Your mind immediately starts thinking of all possible alternatives, but is using chicken feed as cat litter a good idea, or should you look for something else?
Hmm, you may be onto something here… It doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, netizens have mixed feelings about this. Some cat parents swear by it, while others have strong arguments about why it shouldn’t be used this way.
Listen, I get it. When you’re in a hurry and desperately looking for cat litter in every corner of your home, while your fluff is silently (or not so silently) begging you to find a solution, you have to work with what you’ve got. That’s when a light bulb goes off in your head and you think – chicken feed!
As an emergency solution – sure, using it one time won’t hurt. But, should it become a habit? I mean, it is food after all. Although it may sound like the best idea in the world to you, and you may be thinking, “How in the world didn’t I think of this sooner?!“, your kitty may not agree with you.
She’s the queen of your household and, at the end of the day, she’s the one who makes the rules. Sorry! So, whether or not it’s a good idea to use chicken feed as cat litter is up to your kitty to decide. Until then, let’s see if you should even go for it in the first place.
Can you use chicken feed as cat litter?
It absorbs moisture, it’s natural, eco-friendly, and safe for your kitty to use. Using chicken feed as cat litter sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Sure, it’s a fun and innovative alternative that can be a lifesaver when you’ve reached the bottom of your container. But, will your kitty actually use it?
After all, she’s the one whose toilet you’re messing with here. Although it may sound like a pawesome solution to you, she may have other ideas. Every cat parent knows how picky our little fluffs can be. If she doesn’t like the taste, smell, or feeling of something, she’ll turn her nose and never go back to it again.
You can try everything, but once she makes up her mind, it’s practically impossible to change it. She’ll meow the roof off until you give her what she wants, and you’ll be the one to give in if you want to keep any bit of sanity you have left.
Using chicken feed as cat litter may sound like a great idea until you actually use it. If you’re wondering if it’s safe – yes, it is. It won’t hurt your cat in any way, but it may not perform as well as you’d hoped. Let’s find out why.
Why using chicken feed as cat litter may be a bad idea
I see where you’re coming from with this idea. It’s an environmentally-friendly, cheap alternative, and a perfect emergency solution. But, in the long run, how safe is it to use this as your kitty’s litter?
Well, some parents have strong arguments that may make you rethink things. After all, your feline’s safety always comes first. Here are the reasons using chicken feed as cat litter might not be the best idea.
1. It can get dusty
If you’re going to use chicken feed as cat litter, make sure you find one that isn’t dusty. This can be tricky, however, because it comes in many formulas, so you may have to try different ones and see what works best for you.
Let’s just paint the picture here. You take a bag of your chicken feed and pour it into your fluff’s litter box. Suddenly, you’re in the middle of a dust cloud, waiting for it to settle, only to find yourself (and your furry buddy) sneezing your noses off. You look at your dark-haired furball, and she’s covered in dust.
If your fluff has respiratory issues, using chicken feed as her litter is definitely a bad idea. Inhaling dust can trigger her allergies, coughs, sneezes, and more. Consulting your vet before using her new, eco-friendly litter would be the right call.
2. Your cat may hate how it feels
You may have the best solution in the world, but if your furry diva doesn’t like how it feels under her royal paws, you might as well throw the whole bag away. Even if you did your homework and found the low-dust version of chicken feed, there’s no guarantee that your feline queen will use it.
When I first got my cuddle buddy, it took me weeks before I found the litter he wanted to use. Our four-legged friends can be really picky when it comes to their potties, so using chicken feed might not be the most appealing to them.
Your kitty may think it feels weird or absolutely despise the smell. Yes, she’ll only use it for her toilet needs, but your diva still wants to feel like royalty! Chicken feed can be quite odorous, and the texture is very different from their usual litter, which can cause a problem both for you and your fluff.
3. It’s bacteria and mold heaven
I mean, let’s be real here – you’re using food as your cat’s litter. Chicken feed is made of various food ingredients – add moisture and you’ve got yourself a prime breeding ground for bacteria and mold. It may sound gross, but a food-and-feces combo is bacteria’s dream come true.
If you still decide to use this alternative, I sure hope you’re a big fan of ants and pests, because they’re about to become your new pets! You’ll find them everywhere, and they can be a real challenge to get rid of.
4. It can be messy
If you have a long-haired fluff, be prepared to find chicken feed all over your home. Even if it’s dry, it can easily stick to your feline’s coat, and it will find its way to the most unreachable parts of your house.
On top of that, if you don’t remove them from your furball’s long coat, it can cause matting, bad odor, and even nasty skin irritations. Is saving a bit of money on some litter worth all this trouble? Well, it’s up to you to decide.
Good cat litter alternatives
If I’ve managed to change your mind about using chicken feed as cat litter, you’ll be happy to hear that there are other, much better alternatives you can try. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Coconut litter
Kitty litter that smells like coconuts? Sign me up! This type of litter is made of coconut husk, which means it’s hypoallergenic and eco-friendly. It’s a great solution for cats with sensitive respiratory systems and family members who are prone to allergies.
And, the best part is you can recycle it! Yes, you read that right. After your kitty uses her potty, you can use the coconut litter as fertilizer. This is a solution that everyone in your household will love – your cat, family members, and your plants!
There’s only one downside, though. Coconut litter doesn’t really clump as much as the average store-bought litter. And, it’s quite pricey, so it may not be the best option if you’re on a strict budget.
2. Paper pellets
You’ve probably seen these in the store already, but you may have questioned how effective they are. Paper pellets are another environmentally-friendly alternative that you’ll absolutely love. It’s made of recycled paper, which means it’s very absorbent and produces zero dust.
Do you know what I hate the most about changing my cat’s litter? Using plastic bags. It can get so messy (and smelly if I don’t get rid of it right away). With paper pellets, however, you won’t have to worry about forgetting your plastic bag on the balcony. You can easily flush your fluff’s litter in the toilet!
Still, it can be pretty messy to clean up used paper pellets. But if you’re looking for a good eco-friendly alternative, this is probably the best choice for you.
3. Wood shavings
Have some spare time on your hands and feel like taking on a woodwork project? Well, great, because wood shavings can be a great alternative for your cat’s litter. It’s biodegradable, odorless, and it’s perfect for kitties who deal with allergies.
Now, here’s the catch: You have to find the right wood to use for this little DIY project of yours. There are some wood types that are toxic for pets, so make sure you do your research before you decide to test out this alternative.
While pine is most commonly used in wood cat litter, make sure it’s treated right if you decide to use it for your own wood shavings. Aspen is also a cat-friendly wood that can be used as long as it’s free of sawdust.