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Is kitty litter useful for melting ice? Unfortunately, no.

I’m afraid you’d be disappointed if you sprinkled some unused cat litter on your driveway, steps, or other iced road surfaces, because it doesn’t melt ice.

Traditional cat litter is made from bentonite clay, which isn’t among the usual ice melt products, such as rock salt or potassium chloride.

The materials used to make non-clumping cat litters, such as paper, wood, corn, walnuts, etc., are essentially useless for melting an icy sidewalk or street.

Still, some types of non-clumping litter are black. They absorb more heat from the sun, which could speed up the melting process and soak up the excess melted water.

Nevertheless, non-clumping litter is not the most effective solution to icy walkways because it takes time and requires plenty of sunlight.

What Does Cat Litter Do To Ice?

ice on pavers

While kitty litter won’t make ice melt overnight, it provides traction on ice and slippery surfaces. It’s a useful option to prevent falls when severe weather catches you unaware.

Additionally, you can sprinkle it on your driveway to provide your tires with additional traction when you become stuck.

Use a non-clumping variety for mud removal or as additional weight in your trunk to keep your vehicle from becoming stuck.

Best of all, cat litter is safer to use around pets because it won’t burn their paws, unlike table salt. It also doesn’t cause as much environmental damage as salt.

And it’s less destructive on your concrete walkways and concrete surfaces, unlike the most common deicers.

Can You Use Cat Litter Instead of Rock Salt To Melt Ice?

Unfortunately, you can’t use litter instead of rock salt to melt your icy walkways.

Because litter absorbs moisture and liquid so well, it’s straightforward to assume that it has ice-melting properties. But it’s not absorption that matters, which is why kitty litter is a poor choice as a deicer.

The use of ordinary salt on icy roads in the winter helps to melt the ice from the roads by lowering the melting point of the ice.

In other words, when in contact with ice, salt dissolves, and the saltwater prevents water particles from freezing back to ice. The more the ice stays in contact with salt, the more it melts.

Other common deicers include calcium chloride, sodium chloride (table salt), potassium chlorate, and hot water mixed with alcohol.

Clay or non-clumping litter can’t lower the freezing point of ice and won’t dissolve in contact with icy surfaces. 

Does Cat Litter Melt Snow?

snowy driveway

So, what about the snow?

While useful for absorbing moisture and cleaning spills, clay litter has no active ingredient that can melt snow. However, it can still provide traction when walking over snowy walkways and stairs.

Snow and ice seem the same at first glance, but ice is frozen water, while snow is frozen atmospheric vapor. So, it’s easier to get rid of snow than ice.

Hot water mixed with dish soap and rubbing alcohol is your best option for removing snow. You can also try melting snow with coffee grounds, alfalfa meal, and salt pellets.


Unfortunately, cat litter doesn’t melt ice. But don’t be so quick as to throw away all the unused litter lying around your home.

You can use cat litter for traction on icy surfaces to prevent falls, reduce the risk of grease fires, absorb foul others from shoes, fridges, and wardrobes, and clean up spills.

And crystal litter, with its sparkling pebbles, is ideal for decorations and art projects!

What is your experience with cat litter on ice or snow? Please share it in the comments section below.

bentonite litter heart shape in a cat litter box
Olfa T
Olfa T

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.