Taking good care of your cats is not an easy task, but with the right tools, you can hit the spot. Finding the correct type of cat litter is a great task for cat-owners.
From clay to silica to corn, pine, and paper, there is an extensive range of varieties available. But if you want to maintain a harmonious balance with nature, you should go for plant-based organic litters.
Are you looking for an eco- friendly alternative for your commercial cat litter?
Luckily, there are a lot of eco-friendly litters available in the market to save your day.
Wood pellets are one of the best eco-friendly and cat-friendly options available in the market. Let’s see how efficient and safe they are.
Note: In case you’re looking for some more available options, you can read our cat litter alternatives guide here.
Is It Safe To Use Wood Pellets As Cat Litter?
The answer is YES. Wood pellets are an excellent substitute for toxic, non-biodegradable cat litter. They are eco-friendly because its substrate is wood.
Wood pellets are made of the compressed wood fiber. They are made from a variety of organic materials such as wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust, etc. They could be made from softwood trees such as pine, cedar, cypress, fir, and redwood or hardwood trees like maple. There are also mixed-wood pellets where softwood and hardwood are mixed at a proper ratio.
Wood pellets have dominated the cat litter market as a biodegradable substitute because the raw material used is sustainable and readily available. It is inexpensive when compared to other litters like clay litter. 
But make sure that your cat is not allergic to wood pellets because some cats respond negatively to the resins found in pine and cedar pellets. Also, stay away from wood pellets if your cat has asthma; it might trigger its symptoms. 
How To Use Wood Pellets As Cat Litter?
Wood pellets come under the non-clumping category because of its pellet nature. When the cat defecates in the litter box filled with wood pellets, they absorb the liquid like tiny sponges and lock the odor. Then it will crumble down into sawdust. Scoop out the solid waste and shake the box so that sawdust filters down to the bottom. The sawdust can be collected from the lower litter box and removed later. Refill the box again with some wood pellets.
Wood pellets will expand when soaked, so do not overfill your litter box and waste litter.
Compared to traditional cat litter, wood pellets have high absorptive power, so you needn’t change it frequently.
Do not worry about the foul odor because wood pellets seal the smell effectively even after turning into sawdust.
Are Wood Pellets Safe For Cats?
Yes, wood pellets are proven very safe for your cats. But first, know your cat’s likes and dislikes. Find out if they are allergic to any variant of cat litter and choose accordingly.
Because of its non-clumping nature and large size, wood pellets would not stick into your cat paws. This prevents your cat from licking their paws and catching gastrointestinal obstructions.
It will save your cats from developing severe litter allergies because it is virtually dust-free. But if your cat is allergic to wood, you shouldn’t use it. For example, some cats are sensitive to oils present in pine pellets, scrapes of cedar pellets, etc. Always check the wood composition on the package before buying it.
Benefits Of Using Wood Pellets
- Eco-friendly: Wood pellets are obtained from a sustainable and renewable source, so it is safe for the environment. It is bio-degradable and can be composted post usage. This reduces your cat’s carbon paw print.
- Highly-absorbent: Wood pellets can quickly absorb up to 3 times their weight in moisture, i.e., they can absorb large amounts of liquid in a short time. That is why you can use it for a more extended period without replacement.
- Cost-effective: Wood pellets are much cheaper than other litters because most of them are made from leftovers found in a lumber mill.
- Lightweight: Wood pellets are lightweight and disintegrate into fluffy sawdust when soiled, which makes it easier to clean.
- Less tracking: The non-clumping formulation of wood pellets ensures less tracking of litter by your cat.
- Compostable: As mentioned earlier, wood pellets are biodegradable. They can be composted and used in flower gardens as a natural fertilizer.
- No synthetic chemicals: Wood pellets do not have chemicals, additives, or artificial fragrances in it like commercial cat litters, so it is safer to use. Also, no harsh chemicals like bleach are used to treat them, unlike clay-based litters.
- Odorless: Wood pellets made from pine naturally have a pine scent that controls the stinky ammonia smell. This pine scent will eliminate all the unpleasant odors. You can also add a pinch of baking soda in the litter box to lock the smell if necessary.
- Less dust: The tight compression of wood pellets while processing makes sure that it releases the least amount of dust. So, no dust is observed while pouring it in the litter box or while removing it.
- Hygienic: They are compressed under intense heat while manufacturing; therefore, all the harmful bacteria are destroyed.
- Prevent litter allergies: Wood-based litters are a natural alternative to the clay litters mixed with artificial ingredients.
- Low maintenance: Wood pellets crumble down when soiled, so it is relatively easy to clean. Since they are highly absorbent, it will last longer, and you need not replace it frequently.
In the long run, wood pellets are always great alternatives to traditional cat litter. Switching to wood pellets wouldn’t happen in a day, so be patient and make your cat comfortable with it first.
Primarily, your cat should adjust to the texture and size of the pellets; then you can use it regularly. If you choose to transition into wood pellets without an alternate option, your cat might completely stop using the litter boxes and soil your house.
So, try using wood pellets if you want to lower your cat’s carbon paw prints and dwell eco-friendly. Let’s be smart and environment loving citizens.
Other Helpful Litter Resource:
References & Citations:
1. Barnes, Sam, What are the most eco-friendly cat litters products on the market? Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/green-friendly-cat-litter-options/
2. How wood pellet cat litter works and – how to use it, retrieved from https://ecocatlitter.com/how-wood-pellet-cat-litter-works/
3. Wood pellets for cat litter, retrieved from https://www.fitzpatrick-fuels.co.uk/Wood-Pellets-For-Cat-Litter
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.