Last Updated: 2 months ago

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

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

The cost of cat litter can vary, but on average, it ranges from $10 to $30 per month for one cat, depending on the type and brand of litter.

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.

Monthly Cat Litter Consumption

How Much Does Cat Litter Cost? A Complete Guide

How much litter do you need per month?

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

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

However, 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, we’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.

Cat Litter Cost By Different Types

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.

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 terms of your monthly expenses.

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

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

Clumping Cat Litter Cost

clumping cat 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 and $240.

Non-Clumping Cat Litter Cost

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

Removing soiled, non-clumping litter is often difficult without changing the entire box.

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 video of three different types of cat litter to help you decide what might fit your budget best.

Crystal Cat Litter Cost

crystal cat litter

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

You only need to replace the entire box of litter once every one or two months.

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

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 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.

Factors To Consider When Calculating Cat Litter Expenses

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

Cat Litter Box Size

metal litter box for cats

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

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 or granules you’re using, and the cost will increase or decrease.

How Much Clay, Granules, or Crystals Are You Using?

Most cat experts recommend three inches of substrate because cats need plenty of clay or 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.

Litter Box Type

cat sitting in litter robot 3

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 Litter Boxes

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.


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

Tips For Reducing Cat Litter 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 bunch of cats.

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

Use Horse Pellets or Chicken Feed

horse bedding pellets as cat litter

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

cat using toilet

Do you mind sharing your bathroom with your cat? 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 or 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.


How much does cat litter cost per month for two cats?

In general, you can expect to pay an average price of $25–$30 per month for two cats if you go for a cheaper brand. Premium substrate can cost more than $100 for two felines per month.

How long does a 20-pound cat litter last?

A 20-pound bag should last a single cat for two to three weeks, depending on how much you pour into the toilet box and how large the cat is.

How much does owning a cat cost per month?

The annual cost of owning a cat is $1,149, so you can expect to pay around $95 per month, depending on what food you choose and whether or not you have pet insurance.


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.

What do you think about this topic? How much cat litter do you get per month? Share your experience in the comments below.

how much does cat litter cost per month
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.