Giving You the Scoop on Pine Cat Litter

Cat in Lime Green Litter Box

I’ve used lots of different types of cat litter over the years. Some have clumped. Some have not. Some have smelled worse than others. Some have been tracked all over the house or kicked around by my overzealous kitties. Some have been easier to clean out than others. Each type of cat litter has things I love about it, and each type has at least one thing that annoys me. I recently experimented with pine cat litter, in a bid to be a bit ‘greener’.

Kinder for the Environment?

Pine cat litter is promoted as being better for the environment, as many types use by-products of the wood industry. If you’ve not seen pine cat litter before, it’s like little pellets of wood that crumble when exposed to moisture (read: cat pee). The pellets are made of shavings from lumber yards and similar, which are dehydrated and formed into pellets. So, it’s great to know that these waste products are being used for something useful.

However, I noticed that I had to use a large amount of the pine litter to fill the tray to a level my cats found ‘useful’. Because the pellets are so big, and my cats like to dig, they couldn’t cope with a thin layer. This meant I found myself using more of the wood-based litter than I would of a clay or crystal-based litter. Also, as the wood kind of turned into a weird, wet mush once wet, I wanted to empty the whole tray rather than just taking the lumps out. Ultimately, I would have had to buy the litter more frequently. This means more trips to the store, or more deliveries to my home, thus increasing my carbon footprint. I can’t help feeling that’s going to negate the beneficial impact of using a sustainable product.

Kinder for my Nose?

Pine Cat Litter

I will say this for pine cat litter: it smells better than clay-based litter. When dry, it has a pleasant, sawdust-like aroma that’s reminiscent of a good pet store. When wet, it does a really good job of keeping that acrid smell of cat pee tamped down. However, another smell becomes apparent, which is more reminiscent of a farm! It’s definitely a very organic smell, and pretty unpleasant.

I have nasal allergies, so anything dusty is no good for me. This is why I’ve moved away from clay-based cat litters, as they tend to be dry and dusty; even the clumping varieties. Pine cat litter is kind to my nose in this way, as it doesn’t seem to generate much dust. I wouldn’t choose it over a crystal type litter though, because of the weird, farmyard smell.

Kinder for my Home?

Cat litter gets stuck on cats’ paws and dragged around the home to a certain extent. It’s unavoidable. I’ve found that clumping, clay-based litters are the worst for this, and crystal type litters are better for keeping a clean home. Pine cat litter falls somewhere in between. If you keep the tray regularly clean, it’s not so bad as the pellets can’t stick to the cat’s fur. Once the pellets get moist and crumble, they can be tracked around a little, but it’s easy to clean.

The worst thing I’ve found is that the consistency of the wooden pellets encourages my cats to dig like crazy and kick it all over the floor! Maybe that’s just my weirdo cats though.

The sustainability of pine cat litter is a big selling point, but for me, I’d much prefer to have a product like PrettyLitter where you simply don’t have to use as much litter, and don’t have to change it as often. That, in my mind, is much better for the environment.

What’s been your experience with pine cat litter? Did it work for you? What made you change? Let us know in the comments!


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Christine Whitt
Christine Whitt


3 Responses


January 13, 2020

Kayla, you’re supposed to use it with a stacked litter tray. The saw dust from the moist pellets falls into the bottom tray, so you only need to clean the bottom tray weekly. The top tray you can basically add a little extra litter every week to top it off then change and wash it all once a month.


January 13, 2020

I’ve understood that the lumps dissolve into sawdust and fall on the lower litter box (through the holes when you shake/scoop the litter) so that the litter box above only has the pellets and poops. I’m going to try it soon for my cat, I just didn’t have the right type of litter box earlier to try it.


November 06, 2019

I hate the pine litter. Everyone always gives it glowing reviews, but I’ve tried it several times and never have any success. The pool just sits on top of the litter since the cat can’t cover it with giant pellets. The pine smell gives me terrible allergies. And worst of all, the pads of my cat’s paws were shredded after just one day of trying to dig in this litter. I can’t understand why everyone raves about it so much. I’m using corn-based litter now and liking it a lot more, and it’s eco-friendly as well.

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