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Alternative Cat Litter: Shredded Paper

Recycle paper by shredding and using as cat litter!

Recycle paper by shredding and using as cat litter!

If you have a cat that lives indoors, you know that buying cat litter can get expensive. One small bag of cat litter typically costs around $7, depending on the brand and where you buy it. The more cats you have, the faster the bag gets used. So how does a loving cat owner keep up with so much poo without draining their bank accounts?

Luckily, there's a practical alternative to cat litter; shredded paper. I got the idea from my veterinarian a few years ago when I had my female feline spayed. He suggested that I use shredded paper, just temporarily, to be sure that no bits of cat litter get into her incision and cause an infection or irritation. At the time, I found this to be troublesome because I didn't own a paper shredder. I began hoarding paper from the trash bins at work, and lugging it home in large trash bags. It was a bit embarrassing, to say the least.

Now I don't feel quite the same way about it. I went back to regular cat litter as soon as she was healed, and began dropping the dough again. I soon noticed that I was spending upwards of $50 each month, just on kitty litter. Maybe I'm just cheap, but I think this is a ridiculous amount. I took care of the problem by purchasing a $15 paper shredder from Office Depot, and I quit buying cat litter.

After trying it, I was surprised at all of the paper I usually throw out. Just one week of junk mail alone is enough to fill the cat box once.

Pros and Cons


  • Shredded paper is virtually free. No more paying an arm and a leg for store-bought cat litter!
  • You don't have to leave the house to obtain it. Just consult the paper shredder.


  • Not as easy to clean. Paper will not clump like cat litter does, and it won't sift through the cat scooper.

You will just have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. It might also be helpful to keep in mind that some cats are very finicky, and may reject the cat box if they disapprove of the litter material. Consider this my disclaimer.

Things to Shred

  • Junk Mail (this includes envelopes from non-junk mail that you would normally discard)
  • Unused coupon booklets
  • Outdated magazines (rip two or three pages out at a time and send 'em on through)
  • Anything else (I mean anything) that would normally go in the recycling bin. Shred it!

Need a Paper Shredder? Try These!


Sonya on April 26, 2012:

Very helpful. Thank you.