I have a confession: we have 5 cats, which may seem like a lot. But they’re rescues (most of them were strays or abandoned before we took them in), and we love them. Because our area has a lot of stray dogs, coyotes, and other predators, we keep our babies inside. This means litter boxes and cat litter. And with 5 cats, that’s a lot of litter.
We used to use traditional clay litter. It was costing us about $20 a month, as we would buy two 40 pound buckets every month. We don’t have trash pick-up at home (read more about that here), so we stored the used litter until we had enough to take to the dump. It was nasty and expensive and a lot of work.
I had learned that clay litter is bad for the environment. It’s obtained by strip mining and when disposed of improperly, contaminates ground water. There had to be something better, so I began looking for an alternative. This is what I found.
I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions are my own.
Walnut Cat Litter
I’m always excited to find a more natural alternative to something I’ve been using. The more naturally we live, the better it is for the health of my family and for the environment. So I was ecstatic to learn that there are several natural cat litters on the market. We settled on this one, a litter made from walnut shells and produced by Blue Buffalo. From our first bag, we were in love! So today I’m breaking down the pros and cons of this cat litter, and how it compares to clay cat litter. Please note that Blue Buffalo makes several varieties of walnut shell cat litter, but this review is specifically for the multi-cat litter.Looking for a natural alternative to clay cat litter? This review breaks down the pros and cons of walnut shell cat litter, and compares it to clay.Click To Tweet
I am going to start with the cons to get them out of the way. Plus, it’s a much shorter list then the pros!
- It’s dark, which leads to a couple of problems. The description says that the litter won’t stick to your cat’s paws, eliminating tracking. I have found that there is still a little bit of litter on the floor around the box, though. I’m not sure if this is from tracking or my cats throwing it around, but this is not great for light-colored carpets. Second, this litter is flushable, and some reviews have stated that it leaves a dark ring in the toilet. We compost ours, so I can’t speak from experience, but this is something to be aware of.
- My husband doesn’t like the smell of the litter itself. I think this is just because it’s made of walnuts. That being said, I never have an issue with “litter box smell.” The clay litter would smell like ammonia after a couple of weeks and need to be completely changed out, but I’ve never had that smell with this cat litter. And the “odd smell” is only noticeable when I scoop the box or change the litter out.
This is my favorite part of talking about this cat litter. It has so many benefits and advantages, I wish we had started using it sooner!
- It costs us less than clay litter. We were spending $20 a month for clay, but a 26 pound bag of the walnut litter costs about $25 and lasts us at least two months. We save $15 every month on litter! That’s not bad for having 5 cats.
- It can be flushed or composted. We compost ours, so no more storing and hauling dirty litter. We also save money by not paying to take it to the dump. And it’s not sitting in a landfill, so it’s great for the environment. As a side note, the fact that it’s made out of walnut shells is also good for the environment, since the shells would normally just be thrown away.
- It’s healthier for our cats. One of our cats was allergic to the clay litter. She had runny eyes and sneezed constantly. Sometimes she would even sneeze blood. Once we switched litters, the symptoms went away. I didn’t even know the litter was causing it before we switched!
- It’s healthier for me. I am very sensitive to chemicals and fragrances, and finding a clay litter that has no scent is difficult. Even “unscented” litters would often bother me. This cat litter truly has no fragrant or chemical smell.
- The walnut cat litter makes less dust. Clay litter always leaves a dust cloud, but this one has almost no dust.
- It clumps just as well as clay litter. I was concerned about this, as some of the natural litters I read about didn’t clump. That makes cleaning the box more of a chore. But this one clumps well and is a breeze to scoop.
- It never smells like a litter box, even with 5 cats. The clay litter would smell like ammonia after a couple of weeks and need to be completely changed out. I still clean the boxes and replace the litter about once a month, but it never has that ammonia smell.
The Bottom Line
We love this cat litter! It costs less than clay litter, works just as well, smells better, is healthier for our cats and us, and is better for the environment. There are a couple of drawbacks, but nothing that can’t be managed with a little forethought. I highly recommend this litter to anyone, whether they are looking to save some money or help the environment. You can find it here.
Have you tried a natural cat litter? Which kinds do you like and why? Let me know in the comments below, then read more: