wood pellet cat litter pros and cons and How To Dispose Of Them?

wood pellet cat litter pros and cons

 Wood Pellets cat litter is considered as a non-clumping type of small pellets. These are often by-products of timber production and would otherwise go to waste. They are cheap, compostable, biodegradable and safe for cats to use. But like all litters, there are some advantages and disadvantages to using them. In this article we’ll take a look at wood pellet cat litter pros and cons. So keep reading.

What is wood pellet cat litter?

Wood pellet cat litter is a natural product made from biodegradable materials such as cedarwood, pine, oak and other wood waste. The pellets are compressed into small blocks that look like little pieces of wood. 

These compressed wood granules are dehydrated and have a higher density than traditional clay-based litter. This makes them super absorbent for liquid or cat urine, as in our case.

Besides, Pine Pellet will make litter boxes odor-free like magic because they absorb cat’s pee and turn into dust. Let’s be honest: the smell of a litter box is awful. It’s one of those smells that lingers in our nostrils.

One thing to keep in mind when using pine pellets is that they will become smelly and stinky if they aren’t cleaned out regularly, so it’s best to dump the content or sift the box on a regular basis.

You may also have noticed that wood pellet litter is always referred to as pine pellets. I’ll explain why.

Wood pellet litter comes in two types: hardwood pellets and softwood. The difference between them is the type of Wood they’re made from. Softwood pellets are made from cedar and pine trees and they are the most common type, while hardwood ones come from applewood and oak trees.

How do wood pellets work as a cat litter?

First of all, we must know that using wood pellets as a cat litter is different from using the traditional clay litter. It produces less dust and is also less harmful to cats with respiratory issues. They are also biodegradable, safe, eco-friendly, and they won’t stick together when wet, which makes them an effective option in our cat litter boxes.

So, how does it work?

 As soon as the pellets are exposed to cat urine, they’ll absorb the moisture. Then they will expand and turn into powdered sawdust.  Simply use a scoop or sift the pan to dispose of the wasted sawdust. This way you won’t have to deal with a stinky and wet box.

wood pellet cat litter pros and cons 

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional litter, you may have heard about the benefits of using wood pellet cat litter. Here are just a few of the reasons why we think it’s an excellent option:

They are produced from renewable, natural and recycled materials like pine, which makes them better for the environment than clay or clumping cat litters. They’re also biodegradable and compostable!

It also has the benefit of being dust-free. This means that we don’t have to worry about cleaning cats’ litter boxes and odors anymore!

In fact, this makes pine pellets an appealing option for owners who want to decrease their litter box cleaning time. However, some owners have questions about whether or not wood pellet litter will stay clumped, or if their cat will still be able to use their litter box as intended. This is not an issue when it comes to quality wood pellet litter.

wood pellet cat litter pros

#1 Generate less mess

Many cat parents prefer wood pellets because they generate less mess than other types of cat litter currently on the market.

Unlike other types of litter, these dust-free pine pellets are nearly impossible for cats to track around your house and make a mess. The heavier and larger pellets also make it much harder for cats to kick them out of the box or stick on their paws and make an extra mess.

However, some pine litter or sawdust may be scattered on the floors and around the litter box, as there is no 100% dust-free litter.

#2 long lasting cat litter & saves you money 

One of the most common reasons people switch to wood pellet cat litter is because it is a long-lasting option than granular and clay litter. This means that you won’t have to worry about your cat’s litter box being dirty and unsanitary.

Additionally, pine pellets can save you money in the long run as you will change out your cat’s litter one time every four weeks. That’s why wood pellets are considered better than plant-based litter.

#3  Naturally kills bacteria

Wood pellet cat litter is made of pine, which has been proven to contain Shikimic acid. It has natural antimicrobial properties. This means that it will kill bacteria in the litter box, creating a very sanitary and fresh environment for you and your furry friend. It will also allow you to enjoy your company with your pet.

In summary, you won’t have to worry that your cat will get sick from using the box.

#4 Have a pleasant natural scent that masks the smell of cat urine

If you’re looking for a litter that offers a pleasant natural scent, wood pellet cat litter is the way to go. Compared to clay litters, it doesn’t have artificial fragrances that can irritate your cat or your nose.

#5 Healthy and effective alternative to clay litter 

We believe in a healthy and happy home for our furry friends. That’s why we only use completely natural wood pellets in our litter, which do not contain harmful chemicals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic or synthetic fragrances.

On the other hand, Clay litter contains crystalline silica, which can cause respiratory issues in cats. The dust from clay litter can be harmful to both cats and humans. So, we recommend using pine pellets as they are non-clumping and dust-free for added peace of mind.

#6 Eliminate odors

Pine Pellet is a natural way to control odors, without masking them.

The natural antimicrobial properties of pine help to suppress the growth of odor-causing bacteria, which means that pine litter can help reduce the smell of ammonia and urine.

 Pine cat litter is also a great option for cats that suffer from allergies, because it does not cause an allergic reaction in your cat.

#7 Eco friendly choice 

With pine pellet cat litter, you’re making a choice that’s better for the environment.

Clay litter, a common type of cat litter, is made from strip mining. This can be an environmentally damaging process.

Wood pellet cat litter, on the other hand, is an easy way to make a positive impact on the environment. It’s made from leftover wood from the furniture industry and is biodegradable and chemical free.

Pellets are also highly absorbent, biodegradable and they make cleanup a breeze. Simply scoop out the soiled pellets and return them to the box. They’re a compostable, renewable resource, which means you’re minimizing landfill waste.

#8 lightweight pellets 

Wood pellets are lightweight and easy to handle when scooping out poop! Unlike clay litter, pine pellets don’t create dust when they’re wet because they’re so light—so cleaning up after your kitty just got easier.

 You’ll also find that because pine won’t stick together like clay litter does (which results in having clumps stuck together when scooping them out), using pine means dealing with less mess overall too!

#9 A cheap cat litter option

If you’re looking to save some money on litter, one option is pine pellets. They are the most cost-effective plant-based litter available, and they are also biodegradable.

Another way to reduce the cost of your cat’s litter is by using a bulk wood stove or bulk equine bedding or fuel pellets as litter. Don’t forget to check that the pellets are safe before introducing them to your cat.

#10 Easy cleaning 

Pine pellet litter is easy to clean! Unlike clay or silica litters, pine pellet litter won’t clump together when your cat uses it. This means that you won’t have to worry about getting stuck trying to scoop out clumps of solid waste or urine—just use a scoop and dump out the contents into the trash.

wood pellet cat cons

While wood pellets are an excellent choice for many cats, they may not be right for you. Here are some of the cons of using wood pellet cat litter that you should consider before making a decision:

#1 May attract bugs and insects 

One of the main drawbacks to using wood pellet cat litter is that it can attract bugs and insects, as wood is attractive to certain bugs, and organic waste, such as feces, is appealing to others.

 Don’t be surprised if some insects start visiting your litter box once you make the switch to wood pellets.

Another possibility is that insects may be attracted to litter for reasons other than the wood pellets themselves, such as being attracted to a litter box from another part of the house.  The use of wood pellets in this case may highlight this existing problem.

#2 wood pellet will need a sifting litter box to work well

If you want to get the most out of your wood pellet litter, then investing in a sifting litter box is a smart choice.

Although wood pellet litter is allowed to be used in regular litter boxes, it’s not ideal. To get the best results from your litter and to reduce waste, we recommend using a wood pellet-specific sifting litter box.

 Wood pellets are known to absorb moisture and can turn into sawdust. This makes them harder to clean out of a traditional litter box. If your cat urinates on the litter more than once, it will likely make clumps and result in an awful odor.

One thing to keep in mind is that wood pellets won’t work well in the automatic litter box because they have large pellets size, which can cause blockage and therefore interrupt the scooping mechanism.

#3 Not all cats will like wood pellets

Some cats just don’t necessarily like the texture of wood pellets and will avoid using the litter box whenever possible. No matter how good wood pellets are, It might be best to try a different type of litter instead.

The best way to make a switch to wood pellets is by doing so slowly, as cats may need time to adjust to the new litter. However, if they still refuse their new litter, try other available alternatives such as grass seed litter, granular paper litter, or ground walnut shell litter. All of these make excellent and sustainable litter plant-based alternatives.

#4 Low levels of phenol are found in pine pellets 

In general, pine pellets are better than clay litters because they are all-natural and won’t irritate your cat’s paws or skin like clay litter. One downside is that they contain low levels of phenol naturally, an aromatic chemical compound, which can be also toxic to cats.

In contrast, the pellets lose most of the phenol during the kiln drying process, in which they are exposed to high temperatures to harden and dry this process, As a result, the phenol will evaporate and small amounts will stay behind.

Amounts of phenol in pine pellets are generally considered safe and have no significant risk to cats but If your cat ingests pine pellets, it may experience stomach or intestinal ulcers. In this case we recommend using another type of plant-based litter.

#5 Wood pellets doesn’t effectively control feces odor

Wood pellets are great at controlling odor of urine and ammonia, but they don’t work as well when it comes to feces.

 The pellets are large, which allows more air to pass through the litter box, allowing smells to dissipate randomly in the open air of the house.

Another issue will cause the spread of the poop odor when the cat won’t bury its waste.

To prevent this problem, it is important to clean the solid poop immediately and use the plant-based litter.[1]

#6 Cats may experience discomfort in their paws because of pellets texture 

The rough surface of the pellets can cause discomfort to a cat’s sensitive paws, which may cause them to become reluctant to use the litter box. This can lead to a refusal to use the litter box altogether.

One other reason why cats may not prefer wood litter is that its texture is quite different from their previous litter or sand like in the wild.

#7 won’t clump together 

As we explained above, wood pellets absorb the cat urine and turn into sawdust. The sifting litter box will do an extra good job of separating the sawdust from the pellets, so you’ll have to do an extra step when cleaning your litter box.

In fact, Many cat owners don’t consider non-clumping litter to be a real problem, as the pellets are easier to clean. 

#8 Wood pellets are expensive than clay litter

One of the drawbacks of using wood pellets as litter is that they are more expensive than clay litter.

This can be a problem if you have multiple cats or if your cat has been using clay litter for a long time.

On the other hand, the high price per pound does not mean it is wrong selection. Pine Pellet is long lasting and lightweight, which means it is a better choice in the long run.

The good news is that you can reduce the cost of this option by buying bulk. You can find wood stove pellets or kiln dried horse bedding pellets at most pet stores, and these are often less expensive than Feline Pine, a commercial brand of cat litter. They’re also free of additives and produced from untreated wood. 

#9 Not popular and harder to find

 It’s true that wood pellet cat litter can be more difficult to find than other options. While it’s not an issue for most people, those in rural areas may have a hard time finding a store that carries it.

Nowadays that’s becoming less of a problem as more and more people hear about the benefits of wood pellet litter.

You can usually find wood pellets at pet stores, but not always. In addition, some pet stores may only carry one brand of wood pellet product. If you’re looking for a specific brand or product, you may need to go online or visit a store that carries multiple brands.

How to clean out wood pellet litter boxes?

Wood pellets come from compressed sawdust. As such, they tend to absorb moisture and odor. Because of this, it’s important to keep them dry.

The most efficient way to do this is by cleaning out your litter boxes on a regular basis, which means they require more effort than a regular clay clumping litter.

There are many ways to clean out wood pellet litter boxes, but the most effective way is to use a scoop that’s designed for this type of litter. It helps to keep the litter separate from the clumps, making them easier to be collected and removed.

Here are some tips:

1. Scoop out the “poop” – scoop out the solid waste daily or whenever needed.

2. Replace the pelleted litter – use a scoop to remove any used litter from the box and replace with fresh pelleted pine pellets as needed.

3. Clean the tray – clean any waste and then wipe down the tray with warm water and mild detergent. Put it in the air and sunlight if possible; this will help kill germs and keep it smelling fresh longer!

4. Use a bristle brush on your cat’s feet – if your cat has muddy paws from playing outside, give them a quick brushing outside of the box so they don’t track dirt into their new home!

But how would I scoop the cat waste? In fact There are three basic methods to clean out your wood pellet litter box as we will point out.

Completely Empty the litter box content

Pour out the contents of the litter box when cleaning it. This is the easiest method and involves simply dumping out all of the wood pellets and dispose them into a trash bag or garbage bin.

The other good thing about this method is that there won’t be any lingering odor in your home.

Using a scoop

If you’re looking for a way to clean out the litter box, this video is for you. The owner of this cat uses pine pellets as litter and has found a creative way to keep her house smelling fresh and clean.

Another helpful way to clean the litter box is by using a reverse scoop which is a great way to clean out your litter box without having to purchase new ones or make your own.

Using sifting litter box 

If you have a sifting litter box, this is the easiest way to clean out wood pellet litter. Simply shake the top piece and all of the sawdust will fall into a catch tray below. You can then dump or wash out the contents as needed. Make sure to properly dispose of any poop first.

How do you dispose of wood cat litter?

Unlike traditional litter, wood pellets turn into sawdust when they are soaked in the cat urine without clumping or sticking together, so scooping and disposing of them is quite different, but it is not harder.

When you start to use the pellet-specific litter box with a sifting tray, it will take time to adjust to the cleaning process. But after a while it will become a routine matter without further hassles. For those who use regular boxes, it won’t be difficult. Here are the steps on how to clean it:

Step 1: Remove all the poop with your hand or a gloved hand. Then, dump it in the garbage.

Step 2: Hold your scoop over the wastebasket. Pour all the wet sawdust onto it. Then Gently shake to catch all the sawdust while you’re scooping.

This way, you can simply remove the sawdust from your scoop without spilling the fresh intact pellets.

The idea is to throw out the sawdust you scooped and recycle the intact pellets by placing them back in the cleaned box.

Step 3: Replace the amount of sawdust you’ve thrown out with new pellets.

In addition, a few shakes daily will also help keep your litter box clean. You can give it a quick cleaning every once in a while, too. 

Another option to dispose of cat litter is to compost them. The first thing to do is check the packaging for a label that indicates that the pellets are biodegradable or compostable. If the litter is labeled as such, then you can bury the used pellets in a garden area and utilize them as compost

 Can you flush pellet litter?

There are a few easy ways to get rid of wood pellet litter including throwing them in trash, composting or flushing down the toilet.

So, is it possible to flush cat litter down the toilet?

In fact, pellet litter isn’t designed to be flushed down the toilet and can clog plumbing and cause blockages. Even if it does go through, flushing pellet litter will likely cause sewage overflows due to clogs in pipes or septic tanks.

On the other hand, not all wood pellet litter can’t be flushed. Some of them are made from biodegradable materials, so they are safe to flush. Others are not. You should check the product label to find out which one you have.

For those who are using clay-based cat litter, it is important to know that it is not allowed to be flushed down the toilet at all.

Cat feces are also more likely to stick together and form clumps. This makes it harder to flush down your toilet unlike the urine clumps which are safe to flush because they don’t carry any bacteria.

Additionally, Cat feces can contain toxoplasma gondii, which is a type of bacterial disease and can cause dangerous health problems to humans, especially elderly and pregnant women. 

When you flush cat feces down the toilet, you expose the environment, local wildlife, soil, water, and people to toxoplasma contamination. For this reason, we suggest not composting cat feces. 

So, what do you do with wet wood pellets?

Instead of flushing wood pellet litter or throwing it away in landfills, you can easily compost it.[2]

However, it is not appropriate to compost edible plants such as vegetables and fruits, because the possibility of cat urine containing Toxoplasma remains.

How often should you change cat litter wood pellets?

Cleaning the litter box depends on two factors: how many cats are using the box, and how often your cat pees or poops. If you have multiple cats, cleaning the litter box more often is to be expected.

If possible, you should completely change the wood pellet at least one time every two weeks, and it is recommended that you scoop it every day.

Our advice is that if you have one cat and scoop the litter box every day, therefore there is no need to completely change the pellets every two weeks. 

Also, we recommend buying a litter box with an attached sifter tray because it will make litter-changing effortless Simply shake the sifter and the sawdust will be collected in the bottom tray, so you can throw it away.

Scoop the wood pellet litter in the following way:

First, get rid of the solid clumps using a scoop and throw them in the trash.

Second, use the scooper to sift through the pile of sawdust, which will leave the unused pellets above.

Finally, return the dry pellets to the box for reuse and then replace the amount you’ve disposed with fresh pellets.

Are wood pellets better for cat litter?

Cat owners are wondering if the wood pellet is safe for cats, or not. 

Wood pellets are better for cat litter than clay. They do not have the same odor issues as clay, but some say pine pellet litter is dangerous for cats due to the pine oils contained in it. While there are many brands of wood pellet litters, each brand may or may not be produced the same way.

Some people are concerned that wood pellets contain pine oils, as they could cause problems for cats’ livers and respiratory systems. Despite this, these oils will evaporate during production, because they’ll be exposed to high temperatures, which makes them completely safe for cats.

Another thing to consider is if your cat has respiratory issues or allergies then it will be better to use wood pellet litter instead of clay cat litter, which is very dusty.

To summarize, There are many different brands of wood pellet litter, each has a different manufacturing method. To be safe, we recommend making sure that the wood pellets undergo a drying process during manufacturing. 

Does pellet litter hurt cats paws?

We’d love to tell you that pellet litter won’t hurt your cat’s paws. But the truth is that it depends on the cat.

 In general, there are some cases where pellet litter texture can cause discomfort to your cat’s paw. For example, when they are large, elderly or declawed. Cats suffering from extra-sensitive paws will also be uncomfortable with pellet litter as well.

If your cat has any medical conditions, and you’re worried about their safety, it would be better to choose a finer texture litter.

Cats’ paws have nerve receptors that are responsible for providing them with signals through which they can recognize the surface on which they are walking.

As shown in the image cats paws are considered a tough area, which means that in most cats, the pellet litter with a coarse texture won’t annoy them.

Does wood pellet cat litter smell?

Wood pellets naturally absorb urine, leaving behind no odor, and reducing the risk of bacterial growth. Cats may also find it more comfortable to use the wood, because they are attracted to its scent.

Can cats be allergic to wood pellets?

Some types of wood pellets, such as cedar and pine, contain contact allergens that can cause asthma, chronic respiratory disease, and other health issues. However, there is a small chance that your cat may be allergic to wood pellets.

Allergies can develop over time with repeated exposure. The first time a cat comes into contact with an allergen that triggers an allergic reaction, it may have no symptoms at all. However, if it comes into contact with the same allergen again (such as by repeatedly sniffing pine or cedar), she may develop an allergic response to it.

 If you suspect your feline friend has signs of respiratory allergy and is experiencing difficulty breathing or chronic coughing, consider visiting your veterinarian for a diagnosis.

  • Cats exhibit signs of asthma attacks and respiratory distress when they:
  • Breathing heavily with an open mouth in a manner similar to panting.
  • The sound of wheezing can be heard when exhaling.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • An excessive or significant rise and fall of the chest and abdomen while breathing.

What are the different types of natural cat litter?

Natural cat litter is classified as a better way to go green with your cat. There are several different types of them including the wood pellets, which is the most common one and can be purchased for a reasonable price.

Simply Pine, Frisco and Feline Pine are some of the wood pelleted litter brands available on the market.

However, not all wood pellet litter is in pellet form. You may be able to find non-pelleted litter which varies from the traditional clay and can make small clumps.

These biodegradable litter are either made from pine completely or using a mixture of pine and corn.

Here’s some of the natural litters types:

  • Recycled paper
  • Wheat
  • Grass
  • Walnut shells
  • Corn

Each one of these litters is made from different material, and they each have different pros and cons.

#1 Recycled paper cat litter 

A coarse compressed pellets made from the paper that comes from recycled newspaper.

They are high in absorbency (3x more than clay litters) and produce less dust, exactly like wood pellet litter.

Cats are prefer recycled paper litter because they are gentle on their paws. They are also unscented and have no added chemicals.

In addition, the pellets are so lightweight that cats can kick them out of the box and end up on the floor, making a huge mess.

#2 Corn Cat Litter 

Corn Cat Litter is a natural clumping litter that contains a large amount of starch and is in pellet form. It is also compostable and flushable, and can be considered as an alternative to traditional clay litter.

It is important to know that they are not safe to be ingested in large amounts, as they can cause health issues for your cat.

One more important thing is that the corn cat litter has a high possibility of insect infestation, so don’t forget to store it properly.

#3 Grass litter 

This type of cat litter is completely made from grass seed and hasn’t any fragrances or chemicals making it extremely safe even if your cat ingested it.

The grass litter texture is very soft in the way your cat will love especially she have a injured or sensitive paws.

One downside is that it can cause some tracking as the granules can get stuck on your cat’s paws. It is also a bit more expensive than some of the other natural litters on the market.

#4 Walnut Shell Cat Litter

Walnut shells are a type of natural cat litter that is made from recycled products instead of throwing them away. They are exposed to a manufacturing process in which they are compressed into pellets with a high absorbent level.

Walnut shell litter has a texture similar to clay-based litter in that the granules are lightweight and have a very fine size, both of which can cause some tracking and dust. However, it is not harmful like clay dust.

where to buy wood pellets cat litter and what Cost?

The cost of Wood pellet litter will vary according to the brand and the store you buy it from. For example, if you decided to buy Feline Pine you will pay three times as much as Horse Bedding litter.

One downside we discovered in horse bedding litter is that it only comes in 40 lb sacks. This can make a physically challenging problem during moving, as it is difficult to carry.

On the other side, The vast majority of pine pelleted litter brands are more affordable than clay based litter.

Do wood pellet litters need a specific type of litter box?

No matter what type of litter box you have, the wood pellets will work with it. However, some litter boxes are specially designed to make cleaning the pellets easier, such as sifting litter boxes.

 These litter boxes litter have a sifting tray, which offers a simple and effective way to clean up after your cat by separating the sawdust from the pellets and letting them to fall into the bottom tray. This leaves the fresh pellets behind to be used.

When purchasing a litter box with a sifter, consider the following:

  • you’ll want to make sure that there are enough holes in the bottom of the tray.
  • Make sure that they aren’t too large.
  • The holes size should be large enough to allow sawdust to fall through easily and at the same time smaller than the granules.

One last thing to keep in mind is that when the pellets are soaked with urine, they will expand. so don’t fill the litter pan too much (2-3 inches are sufficient).

Is switching to pine wood pellet cat litter easy? And how to do it?

Switching between different brands of the same type of cat litter will be challenging. It will be more difficult when switching between one type and another.


Marsha T. Scott is the founder and chief editor of catzmag.com.
Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date and expert advice on cat nutrition available online. We’re partnering with some of the best and most experienced cat nutritionists and veterinarians to provide you with the best advice for feeding your cat.