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Think outside the box: 11 Alternative uses for cat litter

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Unusual uses for
kitty litter

Having an indoor cat and stockpiling bags of kitty litter go hand-in-hand. However, this feline essential can do double duty in other areas of your life. We’re going outside the litter box to show you 11 alternative uses for cat litter.

Cat litter box

Though there is a wide variety of scented, clumping cat litters on the market, we recommend the unscented, non-clumping brands because they are, in general, less expensive and perform better. Make sure the litter is clean.

1

Traction for your car

If you live in a cold climate where snow and ice are the norm, keeping a bag of cat litter in your vehicle is a must. Stuck in the snow or spinning your wheels on the ice? Simply pour cat litter around your wheels to give them traction.

2

Traction for your feet

No need to break a leg (or something else) from slipping on the ice. Sprinkling cat litter onto icy areas around the outside of your house can help prevent a fall by providing traction for your shoes.

3

Deodorize your home

Cat litter isn’t just for absorbing smells in the cat box. You can use it to get rid of musty smells anywhere in your house. Sprinkle a thin layer of cat litter in the bottom of your trashcan or diaper pail before you line with a bag. Set a shoebox of litter in musty closets or the basement to freshen the air.

4

Paint disposal

For the environment’s sake, do not pour unused paint down the drain or toss the cans in your trashcan. To safely dispose of paint, turn it into solid waste by pouring cat litter into the paint can and set aside until the paint hardens. Then put it in your trashcan.

5

Musty-free books

Has your library of used books seen better days? If you’re planning to sell your books or put them out for display, you can rid them of that musty scent with cat litter. Fill the bottom of a large airtight bin with litter and set your books inside the bin. Seal with a lid and set aside for 24 hours.

6

Keep your camping accessories fresh

Don’t let moldy smells put a damper on the first camping trip of the year. Fill a few socks or stockings with cat litter and tie the opening of each to make “sachets”. Put them in the tents and sleeping bags before you put them away for winter.

7

Pack your winter outwear

Socks or stockings of cat litter will also keep your cold weather attire from smelling musty. Pack jackets, snow pants and boots in bins along with cat litter sachets.

8

De-stink your shoes

Cat litter sachets can also get rid of that offensive smell in your shoes. Simply place a sachet in each shoe and seal in a large plastic bag or container overnight. (Remove the sachets before wearing.)

9

Grease-free grilling

All those brats and burgers can, over time, drip a substantial amount of grease onto the bottom of your grill, which can cause a grease fire. Cover the bottom of your grill with a thin layer of cat litter to soak up the grease and prevent a fire.

10

Drying flowers

Since cat litter absorbs moisture, you can use it to dry flowers. Fill the bottom of an airtight container with cat litter and lay flowers on the litter. Seal the container with the lid and set aside for one week or until the flowers are dried.

11

Remove grease spots

That old jalopy may be considered a classic, but that nagging oil leak isn’t doing your garage or driveway any favors. Sprinkle cat litter on fresh oil or grease stains and wait a few hours for the litter to absorb the oil or grease. For older stains, pour on cat litter and use a brick or old shoe to gently grind litter into the stain until it has lightened in color. Sweep up litter and dispose as you would for used oil.

More feline-friendly tips

What's a healthy weight for cats?
The pros and cons of letting your cat roam
Baffling cat behaviors explained

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