How to Save on Cat Litter Expenses

Are you wondering, “How much is cat litter per month?” If you have an indoor cat, it’s important to factor in the cost of cat litter when planning your budget. In this article, we’ll explore the monthly cost of cat litter and provide you with some tips to reduce your cat care expenses.

Understanding the Cost of Cat Litter

Owning a cat is a joy because you get a furry companion that doesn’t wake you up early in the morning to go outside. But how much does cat litter cost per month? According to the ASPCA, the average annual cost for cat litter in 2021 was $150, which translates to around $12 per month. However, the actual amount you’ll spend depends on various factors, such as the type of cat litter, the number of cats you have, and the type of litter box you use.

How Much Litter Do You Need?

If you have one cat and use a standard litter box measuring 18″ x 24″, pouring in at least three inches of litter and changing it every week should be sufficient. A 40-pound bag of cat litter should last you through the month with a little left over. However, if you have multiple cats or a larger cat breed, you’ll need several bags per month. Kittens and small cats require less litter and can make do with a 20-pound bag.

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The Cost of Different Types of Cat Litter

The cost of cat litter varies based on the type you choose. Clumping litter, which is the most popular option, ranges from $12 to $17 for a 40-pound bag of the cheapest brand and around $20 for premium non-tracking brands. This means you can expect to spend between $150 and $240 per year on clumping litter.

Non-clumping litter is slightly cheaper than clumping litter, with prices as low as $10 to $11 per bag. However, non-clumping litter may require more frequent replacement, leading to higher overall costs. On average, you can expect to spend around $17 per month on non-clumping litter.

Crystal litter, made of silica-gel crystals, is one of the more expensive options, with a 40-pound bag costing around $75. However, you only need to replace the entire box of crystal litter once every one or two months, resulting in overall savings.

Natural cat litter brands come in various materials, each with its own price range. Corn-based products can cost between $25 and $40, premium wood pellets average around $35, some pine pellets are as cheap as $17 per bag, walnut brands are similar in price to corn, and tofu substrate can be as pricey as $80. Recycled paper litter costs around $15 for a 25-pound bag, amounting to approximately $25 per month for a single cat.

Factors Affecting Cat Litter Expenses

When calculating your monthly cat litter expenses, several factors come into play.

Size of the Litter Box

The size of the litter box may vary depending on the age and breed of your cat. For kittens and larger cat breeds, you may need to adjust the amount of litter, which can increase or decrease costs accordingly.

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Amount of Litter Used

Experts recommend using at least three inches of litter to provide ample coverage for your cat’s waste. However, some cat owners may use less to save money or accommodate cats that dig more. This can impact the frequency of litter replacement and influence costs.

Type of Litter Box

Automatic and self-cleaning litter boxes require less litter compared to traditional ones. With these boxes, a 20-pound bag can last you a month for a single cat, resulting in potential savings.

Number of Cats and Boxes

If you have multiple cats or litter boxes, you’ll need to factor in extra litter and allocate a budget accordingly.

Brand of Cat Litter

Choosing a cat litter brand is a personal decision. While some cheaper brands may seem enticing, premium brands often offer better clumping, odor absorption, and less sticking to the box. This may result in using less litter in the long run, making the investment worthwhile.

Tips to Reduce Cat Litter Expenses

Managing litter usage becomes more challenging with multiple cats. Here are a few tips to help you save on cat litter expenses:

Use Horse Pellets or Chicken Feed

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to stick to traditional cat litter options. Horse pellets and chicken feed are safe alternatives that are cheaper and can help you cut costs.

Train Your Cat to Go Outside

If you have a suitable enclosed area and some time, you can train your cats to go outside. This reduces the need for litter altogether, resulting in significant savings.

Train Your Cat to Use the Toilet

If you don’t mind sharing your bathroom with your furry friend, you can teach your cat to use the toilet. Be aware that sudden changes in their bathroom habits may stress your cat, so patience and consistency are key.

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Use Newspapers or Garden Soil

In a pinch, you can use old newspapers or junk mail instead of litter. Garden soil is another option, although it can be messy.

In conclusion, cat litter expenses can vary depending on factors such as the type of litter, the number of cats you have, and the specific needs of your feline friends. On average, you can expect to spend around $20 per month on cat litter. Choosing the right brand of litter is essential for ensuring your cat’s comfort and hygiene, so it’s important to consider the long-term benefits rather than solely focusing on cost. By implementing the tips mentioned above, you can reduce your cat litter expenses without compromising your cat’s well-being.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How much do you spend on cat litter per month? Share your experiences with us in the comment section.


  1. ASPCA: Cutting Pet Care Costs
  2. PetMD: What Is the Best Cat Litter? Non-Clumping vs. Clumping Litter
  3. How Often Should I Change My Cat Litter? – NYC Pet Sitters
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