Can you use horse pellets for cat litter?
If you’re wondering about alternatives to traditional clumping litters, you’ve come to the right place to look for answers.
So, keep reading to discover more about using pellets in the litter box.
Can You Use Horse Pellets for Cat Litter?
Do you know how bad clumping litter is for the environment?
Clay litter takes ages to break down when you throw it away, and the manufacturing process harms the environment. (1) And it’s not always the best choice for cats with allergies or small kittens.
So, if you want to be eco-friendly and still have a spotless clean litter box, can you use horse pellets for litter? The short answer is yes.
However, when you’re using products not made for cats, you should keep a couple of things in mind. Let’s talk in detail about this cat litter alternative.
What Are Horse Pellets?
Horse bedding pellets are made from compressed wood fibers. Horse owners use them to cover the horse stalls because wood pellets absorb moisture and control odor.
Moreover, since you can buy pellets in bulk, they’re a cheaper option than other horse bedding alternatives. They’re also easier to clean, unlike straw and wood shavings.
And as manufacturers explain, “one of the major pluses of our wood pellets is that they’re heated to a high temperature during manufacture, meaning any bugs are killed off.” (2)
As such, this wood bedding isn’t likely to contain bugs, parasites, or bacteria that can harm your horse or pet.
Are Horse Pellets Safe for Cats?
In general, wood pellet litter is safe for cats.
And plenty of owners uses them instead of regular litter with no problems. That’s why there are so many wood pellet cat litter brands on the market.
Since this horse bedding is made from wood fibers, it’s relatively safe for cats. But, keep a couple of things in mind to ensure your cat’s health:
- Check if the type of wood pellets contains any harmful additives. You want 100 percent natural wood, preferably pine, cedar, or oak.
- Ask if the equine pellets are kiln-dried to remove phenols. Phenols are dangerous for cats since your cat’s liver can’t break them down. (3) In large amounts, they can be deadly.
- Ensure that the wood is not treated with any chemical additives.
Since manufacturers or customer service won’t always be very forthcoming with their answers, you should mention you’re buying the bedding for cat litter to avoid misunderstandings.
Is Horse Pellet Litter Safe for Kittens?
Unlike adult cats, kittens often try to eat litter because they’re small and curious. As such, you should be extra careful with what type of litter you’re using.
In general, traditional clay cat litter isn’t the best choice for kittens because it can cause an intestinal obstruction if the kitten eats it.
Wood pellets are safer because they won’t clump inside the stomach and cause a blockage. However, they can still upset your kitten’s tummy if eaten in large amounts.
And since some horse beddings can contain phenols, you should stick to crystal, non-clumping litter until your kitten is a bit older and not interested in munching on litter.
You should also supervise older cats who eat litter if you’re changing their usual brand.
Are Woodstove Pellets Safe for Kitty Litter?
You can use wood stove pellets as kitty litter as long as you ensure they don’t contain any phenols or other harmful additives.
Since these woodstove shavings are cheaper than normal litter, they’re a great alternative if you’ve got multiple cats and go through several bags of clumping litter per month.
Here’s a great video showing how to use equine pellets as litter.
Are Wood Pellets Better than Litter?
Is it worth switching from traditional cat litter to a wood one? Let’s talk a bit more about the pros and cons of using wood pellets for cat litter.
Pros of Using Horse Pellets for Cat Litter
In general, wood fibers are a great choice if you’re looking for something cheap, easy to use, and disposable.
1. Better for the Environment
As I already said, horse bedding pellets are made from wood fibers. As such, they won’t take long to decompose when you throw them out and won’t pollute the environment.
Moreover, producing this type of horse bedding doesn’t hurt the planet as much since the material comes from recycled wood.
2. Less Dust
Have you noticed a big cloud of dust every time your cat digs in the litter box? So much dust isn’t good for your health, especially if you or your cats have allergies.
Fortunately, wood-based formulas are one of the best dust-free non clumping cat litter brands, so you don’t have to worry about breathing dust when you pour it from the bag.
3. Less Tracking
Cats leave tons of dusty pawprints all over the house with traditional clay clumping brands. But since wood litter generates less dust, it’s perfect if you’re looking for non-tracking cat litter brands.
4. No Additives
Most wood-based beddings and litters are all-natural products without any artificial fragrances. As such, it’s less likely to trigger your cat’s sensitive sense of smell.
Moreover, some types of wood have antimicrobial properties, which allows them to eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
Natural cat litter made from wood or corn is more expensive than regular clay brands. However, horse bedding is cheap, especially when you buy in bulk.
Cons of Using Horse Pellets for Cat Litter
Unfortunately, using horse bedding or pine pellet litter has its cons. You should consider them carefully if you want
1. Less Clumping Power
While wood litter absorbs moisture well, it doesn’t clump waste as well as regular cat litter. As such, it can be a little bit harder to clean the dirty litter, especially if you put it off for a couple of days.
2. Not All Cats Like It
Cats can be capricious when it comes to the type of cat litter they use. As such, some cats will refuse to use any wood-based litter and will avoid the litter box.
3. Odor Control
Traditional cat litter brands use baking soda to control ammonia odors, and other unpleasant litter box smells. Horse bedding doesn’t.
Still, as long as you clean the solid waste from the litter box regularly, you shouldn’t have much problem with bad odors.
Some cats and owners can be allergic to the type of wood used in horse beddings. So, keep an eye for any usual changes in your cat’s behavior when.
Also Check: Does Cat Litter Break Vacuums?
How to Get Your Cat to Use Horse Pellets for Cat Litter?
As I already said, some cats don’t like non-clay litters. That’s why you should do the switch slowly to increase your chances of success:
- Cover the bottom of the litter box with a one-inch layer of horse pellets. Add two inches of your regular cat litter.
- Wait one week to see if your cat will continue to use the litter box.
- Fill the litter box with two inches of wood litter and one inch of cat litter.
- Observe your cat’s reaction to the change.
- After two weeks, use only horse pellets for cat litter.
- You may have to repeat the above steps a couple of times until your cat gets used to the new texture.
Watch this video for more information:
How to Clean Horse Pellets for Cat Litter?
Cleaning the litter box takes a bit more time when using wood litter instead of regular one. But it’s not very complicated:
- First, remove the solid waste.
- Remove the sogged bedding.
- Use the scoop and sift through the rest to separate the wet pieces from dry ones.
- You can dispose of this type of litter by flushing it down the toilet or throwing it out with the trash.
Horse Pellets for Cat Litter: FAQs
What Else Can Be Used for Cat Litter?
Besides cat litter, you can use shred newspapers, whole wheat, sawdust, wood shavings, potting soil, sand, and Alfalfa pellets. Horse bedding pellets also work well.
What’s the Healthiest Cat Litter?
The healthiest cat litter contains only natural ingredients and no synthetic fragrances, chemicals, or additives. It should also be a low-dust formula to prevent allergies.
Is Pellet Litter Better for Cats?
Yes, wood litter is better for cats because it’s made from all-natural ingredients and doesn’t generate a lot of dust. Moreover, wood litter is biodegradable and easy to dispose of.
Traditional clay litter has its advantages, but it’s harmful to the environment and can be bad for your cat’s allergies. As such, there’s nothing wrong with using wood litter if your cat likes it.
Horse pellets for cat litter are relatively safe for your feline friend as long as you ensure the wood doesn’t contain phenols or other chemical additives.
They’re also an excellent choice for multicast households since they’re cheap and last a while. And you can dispose of it very easily.
What do you think about this topic? Can you use horse pellets for cat litter? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.
- 1. Cat Litter and the Environment [Internet]. Natusan. Available from: Natusan.co.uk
- 2. Amanda Vlietstra. Wood pellet horse bedding: what are the pros and cons? [Internet]. Horse & Hound. 2016. Available from: Horseandhound.co.uk
- 3. Phenol & Cats [Internet]. Pets – The Nest. Available from: Pets.thenest.com
Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.