Are you trying to calculate, “How much is cat litter per month?”

Unless you have got an outdoor cat, that’s something you’ll have to keep in mind when planning your budget.

So, keep reading to find out more about the monthly cost of cat litter and get some tips on how to reduce your cat care budget.

How Much Is Cat Litter Per Month?

Owning a cat is great because you get a purring companion who won’t bark in the early morning hours for you to get up and take them to the bathroom.

bengal cat in a litter box

But maintaining your cat’s litter box is vital for controlling the unpleasant odor and promoting good bathroom habits. As such, you have to plan it in from your monthly expenses.

So, how much is cat litter per month? According to the ASPCA, the annual cost for cat litter 2021 is $150,  which makes it around $12 per month. (1)

However, how much you’re actually going to pay depends on several factors, such as types of cat litter, number of cats, and type of litter box.

How Much Litter Do You Need Per Month?

Let’s say that you have one cat and use a standard toilet box, measuring 18″ x 24.” You need to pour in at least three inches of litter and change it every week.

As such, a bag of 28-40 pounds on average should be enough to last you through the month with a bit left for the next.

But if you have multiple cats or a large cat breed, you’ll need several bags per month. Also, kittens and small cats need less litter and can make do with a 20-pound bag.

To avoid confusion, I’ll estimate the average cost based on a 40-pound bag. You may pay lower or higher, depending on how much you use in a month.

ALSO CHECK: Best Cat Litter Bags

How Much Does Clumping Litter Cost?

stainless litter box with non-clumping litter

Bentonite clay is the most popular choice for cat owners because it’s relatively cheap, absorbs well, and is easy to clean.

On average, a 40-pound bag of the cheapest clumping litter costs $12-17, while premium non-tracking brands have an average cost of about $20. The price per year can be between $150-240.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Keep a Multi Cat House Clean

How Much Does Non-Clumping Litter Cost?

In general, some non-clumping brands are a little bit cheaper than clumping ones, going as low as $10-11 per bag.

However, as specialists from PetMD explain, “Removing soiled, non-clumping litter is often difficult without changing the entire box.” (2)

As such, you may use more bags per month than usual, which will increase the average cost. Still, you can expect to pay around $17 per month for a non-clumping brand.

Check out this popular user’s test of 3 different types of cat litter to help you decide what might fit your budget best.

How Much Does Crystal Litter Cost?

Silica-gel crystals are among the most expensive types of substrate. You can expect to pay around $75 for a 40-pound bag.

While it seems costly, as one popular brand states, “You only need to replace the entire box of litter once every one or two months.” (3)

Moreover, one bag should last you longer because there’s less waste since you only have to scoop the yellowed crystals.

How Much Does Natural Cat Litter Cost?

How much you’re going to pay for natural litter brands depends on what material they use:

  • Corn-based products are expensive, costing about $25 to $40, depending on the brand
  • Premium wood pellet products cost $35 on average, while some pine pellets are as cheap as $17 per a 40-pound bag
  • Walnut brands are close in price to corn ones, so you can expect to pay around $30 per month for a single cat, while tofu substrate can be as pricey as $80.
  • Recycled paper costs about $15 per 25-pound bag, so you can expect to pay around $25 per month for a single cat.

ALSO READ: Can You Use Any Litter With Litter Robot?

What To Consider When calculating Cat Litter Expenses?

Let’s talk about what factors can increase or decrease your monthly cat toilet care expenses.

Size of the Toilet Box

pink litter box at the corner of the room

As I already said, you need between 20 to 40 pounds for a standard toilet box.

However, if you have a kitten or a giant cat breed, your toilet box will be smaller or larger. You will need to adjust the amount of sand/granules you’re using, and the cost will increase/decrease.

How Much Clay/Granules/Crystals You’re Using

Most cat experts recommend three inches of substrate because cats need plenty of clay/granules to cover their waste.

However, not all cat owners follow this “rule” because they want to save money or they’ve got a heavy digger that needs extra depth.

Type of Toilet Box

Automatic and self-cleaning cat boxes use less bentonite clay or crystals than traditional ones. That’s why a 20-pound bag can last you a month for a single cat.

Number of Cats and Boxes

Maine coon beside his litter box

The general rule is one toilet box per cat plus one extra. Since cats shouldn’t share a toilet, the more cats you have, the higher your monthly expenses will be.

Brand

As you can see from my cost consideration above, some brands are cheap enough not to make a dent in your monthly budget, but others are very expensive.

Premium brands come with a high price tag because they clump better, absorb bad odors, and don’t stick to the bottom of the box.

As such, sometimes, you need less substrate when using a premium brand. Picking a cheap one can turn out to be more expensive in the long run.

MUST READ: Best Dustless Cat Litter

How to Reduce your Cat Toilet Box Expenses?

It’s easy to manage your litter usage when you have a single cat. But maintaining the toilet box gets expensive when you have a whole of a clowder of cats.

Fortunately, I’ve got a couple of litter box hacks to help you cut down your expenses.

Use Horse Pellets/Chicken Feed

Most pet parents assume that bentonite, crystals, or natural substrates are all their options.

However, you can use cheaper alternatives, such as horse pellets and chicken feed. Both are safe to use around cats and are cheaper than the traditional brands.

And as you can see from this video, it’s easy to use equine pellets.

Train Your Cat to Go Outside

If you have a suitable enclosed spot and enough time, you can always train your cats to go outside:

  • Keep an eye on your cats for signs they have to go.
  • Take your cat outside and wait for them to finish.
  • Reward your cats with treats and repeat.

Train Your Cat to Use the Toilet

Do you mind sharing your bathroom with your kitty? Then you can train your cat to use the toilet.

It’s not ideal because you can’t monitor your cat’s bathroom habits, and the sudden change can stress your cat.

Use Newspapers/Garden Soil

Using old newspapers and junk mail instead of litter is a smart way to save some money monthly. Garden soil also works well, but it’s messy.

FAQs

Conclusion

Cat litter isn’t as expensive as cat food per month, so you can expect to spend around $20 per month, depending on the brand you choose. 

The right brand of litter ensures your cat doesn’t seek alternative bathroom spots and enjoys using its toilet box. As such, going for the cheaper options isn’t always the best. 

tabby cat using the litter box with bentonite

What do you think about this topic? How much is cat litter per month for you? Share your experience with us in the comment section. 

Resources:

  1. “Cutting Pet Care Costs.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/cutting-pet-care-costs.
  2. “What Is the Best Cat Litter? Non-Clumping vs. Clumping Litter.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/cat/centers/litter/evr_ct_clumping-versus-non-clumping-cat-litter.
  3. How Often Should I Change My Cat Litter? – NYC Pet Sitters. katieskitty.com/often-change-cat-litter/. Accessed 26 Mar. 2022.
Grigorina S
Grigorina S

I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.

I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.

Find her on Instagram. Read her latest articles..

Learn more about Grigorina here