Asked on Feb 13, 2017

Tip: You Can Replace Your Cat Litter With Chicken Feed!

by Mary
I have a large scale cat rescue and some years back discovered the use of chicken feed for litter have stopped buying clay litter altogether.
First, chicken feed is mostly ground corn and other grains. It has the same texture as litter, but at a significant lesser weight for the same volume. It's not as dusty, and it's not unsafe if its accidentally ingested by the cat.
It is also biodegradable, unlike all clay litters And it clumps.
Last, it cost a fraction of the price for most cat litters. You can find it at feed stores in either 25 or 50 lb sacks. I am presently finding it between $9.00 and $14.00 for a fifty pound sack. It's the best and smells natural.
  28 answers
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Feb 14, 2017

    That's so interesting - I didn't realize that what mattered mostly was just the texture! What about odor?

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Feb 14, 2017

    Wow! That is SO good to know!!! thank you!

  • Mary Mary on Feb 14, 2017

    It does not have any deodorants in it, but I have not found it to be unusually smelly after use.

    It does continue to absorb so the faster you scoop, the longer it lasts.

  • Teresa Ann Kennedy Teresa Ann Kennedy on Feb 15, 2017

    Where do you purchase it at ?

  • Mary Mary on Feb 15, 2017

    Feed stores that sell feed for horses and farm animals. I heard you can buy it on Amazon, but it seems that the weight would make shipping expensive. I don't know though.

  • Karen Merritt3 Karen Merritt3 on Feb 16, 2017

    I've been looking for a more inexpensive litter. I have two cats and I seem to be buying litter all the time. Thank you!

  • Christie Decker Christie Decker on Feb 16, 2017

    I have an aging cat who won't use a litter box twice without completely emptying the contents and putting fresh in...yeah, she's 17+ (shelter cat) so this might help with her foibles. Thank you.

  • Lisa Falkenthal Lisa Falkenthal on Feb 16, 2017

    Great idea, you can just add to compost (after cleaning, of course)!

  • Deborah Deborah on Feb 16, 2017

    we have 16 rescues now and this is great to know. litter is very expensive.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 16, 2017

    It lasts longer if you are diligent about removing the urine clumps. This is because it continues to absorb using more fresh stuff.

  • Jeannette Hickson Jeannette Hickson on Feb 17, 2017

    AWESOME TIP! Thank you!

  • ML ML on Feb 17, 2017

    Wouldnt it attract insects and rodents?

  • Mary Mary on Feb 17, 2017

    I do put the used litter (minus the clumps) outside. Interestingly, little critters, birds, squirrelS, etc. don't mind it's been used, and eat the corn. What is not eaten seems to dissolve into the ground, especially after a rain. So I figure it's helping the soil by composting itself.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 17, 2017

    No issues with insects that I have seen. I do live on acreage and there are critters here. I actually enjoy seeing the birds come and eat it, especially in the winter when their pickings are slim.

    i guess it depends on where you live, and your issues with rodents. I am fine with feeding whoever wants it, since I'm disposing of it anyway.

    As an alternative you could bury it, and get the same compost-type benefits.

  • Nancy Wilson Nancy Wilson on Feb 17, 2017

    You should post this on pinterest or facebook. I know a lot of cat owners who could benefit from this knowledge.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 17, 2017

    OK, I can do that. Not as sure how to post on Pinterest, though.

    • Lisa Falkenthal Lisa Falkenthal on Feb 18, 2017
      1. look at the top of your browser home page, you may have a pinterest button, looks like a capital P inside a circle.
  • Tia Tia on Feb 18, 2017

    I also have been doing animal rescue for years and discovered the wood shavings and pine pellets for horse bedding are excellent litter but the shavings are definitely dusty.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 18, 2017

    i tried those, too and loved the smell. But, they don't clump, and so the boxes are harder to clean, but worse was what the pine shavings did to my vacuum!

  • Lynda S Koeppen Bender Lynda S Koeppen Bender on Feb 18, 2017

    How is it in Controlling the urine odor ?

    • Mary Mary on Feb 18, 2017

      It has no deodorants however, if you are diligent about cleaning, the urine clumps and you take it right out. If you leave it for 24 hours, the litter will continue to absorb and you might smell it eventually.

      You might consider buying the 25 pound bag, and if you don't like it, feed it to the birds.

  • Gal8593216 Gal8593216 on Feb 19, 2017

    Thank you. I have a 24 year old cat who is starting to have kidney problems. He is not drinking a lot, but just goes to his litter tray constantly. I don't think he is in pain, and most of the time he is not actually having a pee.. The vet has given us something, but nothing has changed.

    He sleeps on our bed as we live in an old huge french farmhouse. We just can't afford to to keep the fire roaring away all night for one cat downstairs. He makes such a mess as he puts his hind end in the litter tray and his front paws on the floor out of the box. Then he turns around and covers whatever with his front paws scattering the cat lit till it is about 2 feet around the tray. This happens about 24 times through the night :( Worse he sleeps on top of me, so he wakes me up, and he does not mind what he walks over which includes my husband and the little miniature Italian whippet. The former sleeps on blissfully unaware, but I hear growls coming from under the covers! Peaceful nights . The lit is very expensive. I clean his tray all the time. So this is wonderful to know. Though we do have rats I can hear them. In fact they can just walk under the ancient front door .There are two doors, but everybody has used the left side since 1750 so there is a great dip in the stone step :) Lizards walk in, rats in the winter, door mice, and mice. I cannot think of anyway of resolving this problem. I rather like looking at the step, all those memories.

    I will try this, I am clearing up all the time anyway (even through the night, although there has been no pee), as he will not go into a used tray, not alas one with a cover. Maybe his memory is going. I know the feeling :) I will just hope I don't become a pied piper for the rats! Have a great Sunday. Fran

    • See 1 previous
    • Marj MRC Creations Marj MRC Creations on Feb 23, 2017

      As Lisa Falkenthal mentioned just below, this usually means your very old cat is in renal failure. We put our Gigi down at 18 yrs. of age after 1 1/2 yrs. dx'd with this condition. We fed her a high quality canned food for those last 18 months, as kibble is about the worst thing for a cat in any condition, but she continued to lose weight. The thing with pain and cats, most animals, but especially cats, is that they will rarely show it. It is for self-preservation, and even more so if there are other cats or animals in the household. She will not 'tell' you that she is in pain. That is what made me finally decide to put our Gigi down. She was miserable and we thought it would be so obvious, but it wasn't. I'm sorry.

  • Lisa Falkenthal Lisa Falkenthal on Feb 19, 2017

    If he has been not peeing for a while, it usually means his kidneys are shutting down. He may be in pain, I've had several cats reach that stage over the years, and my vets have always recommended euthanasia, as it usually means end-stage renal disease. It is a sad, hard thing to say goodbye, but I've always thought it better than thinking of them in discomfort/pain. Good Luck.

  • Merritt Merritt on Feb 20, 2017

    I would be afraid this might attract mice. When I had chickens, the feed was a huge mouse magnet.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 20, 2017

    If it did attract mice, my cats would be delighted!

    In all the years I've been using this, I have never had an issue with attracting mice And I do live in an area where the small field mice and the cute kangaroo mice are all over. I think the threat of a cat and certain death is enough to keep them away.

  • Gal7504763 Gal7504763 on Feb 21, 2017

    Anything that attracts mice therefore attracts snakes.

    • See 1 previous
    • Millie Millie on Feb 24, 2017

      My five outdoor cats take care of the mice and they also take care of any snakes that decide to visit!! All my neighbors have snakes, in fact I was warned I'd have them as our neighborhood backs up to a pasture. But my devoted felines do their jobs well, no snakes, no mice!

  • Jmschneider Jmschneider on Feb 21, 2017

    Are you talking about chicken scratch then or layer crumbles or pellets? I have chickens, there is a big difference between the different types of feed.

  • Eliza Spear Eliza Spear on Feb 21, 2017

    It sounds like she means chicken scratch

  • Gal7504763 Gal7504763 on Feb 23, 2017

    If disposed of properly it could not attract anything. But if disposed out in the open it will attract birds and mice. Snakes go where there is food. They also need water and a place to hide. Tidy properties won't attract them but not everyone is tidy.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 24, 2024

    I proposed using chicken feed to 2 of my friends, each have 2 cats. They could not believe this, at least 1 of them asked where to get chicken feed. Both refused to change their ways, It is true kitty litter is more convenient at local stores and they are willing to lug that.