How Much Does Cat Litter Cost Per Month

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In this article we are going to show how much cat litter may cost a home each month? In fact we will do that, and in addition then show how much that will cost in a year. I will also suggest a few ways that you may help keep those costs under control.

To keep things very simple to begin with, I am going to show these costs for just one cat using one litter box. If I do that it keeps the costing process much easier to understand.

So assuming the above, of one cat and one litter box, we can quickly determine how much it will cost for a year. The one thing that determines the cost is of course the kind of cat litter that you use.
There are three main types as I have shown below:

  1. Clumping – the most popular
  2. Non clumping
  3. Crystals

Of these three choices the huge majority of cat owners use a clumping clay based cat litter. After that, they use a non clumping clay litter, a natural or biodegradable litter or some type of crystals.

The price varies a lot depending on which you use. Here are the average price of cat litter for each type. I have priced these as an average cost for a 1 lb weight of litter.

  • Clumping $0.76 per lb
  • Non Clumping $0.68 per lb
  • Natural or biodegradable like pellets $1.32 per lb
  • Crystals $1.98 per lb

So as you can see, the cost changes quite a bit depending on the type of litter that you choose. The non clumping is the cheapest, followed by the clumping, then the natural and finally the crystals are the most expensive.

It is worth noting that crystal types or silica gel types of litter last longer than ordinary litters, as I shall explain later in this article.

Cat Litter Prices

Cost of Clumping Cat Litter

A 40 lb box or bag of clumping cat litter has an average cost of $17.05. The recommended level of cat litter to pour into a litter tray is 3 inches. The standard size of a cat litter box is usually around 18 x 24”.

That means that if you change all of your litter on a weekly basis, which is the recommendation from most cat experts, then you will use one 40 lb bag per month.

The monthly cost would therefore be around $17-20 per month depending on which brand of litter you buy.
You are therefore looking at Annual costs of around $200-250 a year.

Cost of Non Clumping Cat Litter

The price would be very similar to buying and using non clumping cat litter. There is not a huge difference in the price, and assuming you do a weekly change, the price would work out roughly the same at between $17-20 per month.

You are therefore looking at Annual costs of around $200-250 a year.

Cost of Natural Cat Litter

This costs about twice as much as the other clay based cat litters. So as you can see if changed weekly this would cost around $34-40 a month, to use a natural pellet, corn or wood style of litter.

You are therefore looking at Annual costs of around $450-480 a year.

Cost of Crystal Litters

The most expensive of all of these is the crystal litters with an average price per pound of almost $2. To change these out in line with those above would cost around $60 a month, so significantly higher.

It is however worth bearing in mind that the makers of these cat litters state that you don’t need to a full litter change, and you should only remove the crystals that have turned yellow. As such you don’t have as much waste.

It would be unfair to try and match these like for like, as they are a different type of litter. However it is estimated that if you use crystal litters, then the annual cost is around $250-300 a year.

Other Litter Cost Considerations

To be able to work out more precise costs, there are a few other things to consider, and I have listed those below.

The Size of the Litter Box

In my calculations I have used an average size litter box. If you own one that is smaller then you will use less litter, and if you have a bigger one you will use more litter.

That of course assumes that you use the recommended depth of 3”. Many cat owners don’t do that mainly as they don’t know the ideal height, or they are simply trying to save some money.

The reason 3” is recommended is that is deep enough to allow cats to cover up and hide their poop. They will usually keep digging until that is done, and the easier you make it for them the better.

How many litter boxes you have?

Now clearly if you have more litter boxes, then you will use more cat litter. The recommendation for cat litter boxes in the home, is one for every cat plus one extra. They will all need filled with cat litter, and clearly you will need more litter.

Now it is also worth noting that with a few litter boxes you may not need to change the litter completely so often. It really does depend on how often the cat uses the litter.

The number of cats that you have

The more cats you have the more poop and urine they will put into the cat litter boxes. That will mean more cleaning on a daily basis, and definitely more full change outs of litter, so the amount of cat litter will go up quite a lot.

The brand type of litter that you want to use

Brands of litters vary in price quite a bit. In my calculations I used averages, but some brands are considerably more expensive than others. It is always worthwhile to look carefully at brands, and not to be fooled by some fancy name.

Litters are designed to help prevent odors and have a place for your cat to go inside your home. As long as your cat uses the litter, that is the main and most important thing.

How Did I Calculate My Cat Litter Costs?

I looked at a whole range of cat litters in each of the three types on the same day. Then I put together a spreadsheet and listed all of those. From that I worked out the average price for each litter, per pound of litter.

I then took into account special offers and deals and made my best attempt at working out an average price.

Conclusion on Monthly Litter Costs

My research tells me that it will cost around $25-30 for the average household for cat litter, assuming it is changed on a regular basis. That is a big enough expense and where multiple cats are, the cost can easily double.

There are however cat litter alternatives which could save some money on this household expense. The most popular cat litter type remains the clumping variety. This is because it is simply more convenient for cat owners to use, and does a good job at reducing any cat urine odors.

Steven has been studying cat behavior ever since adopting two stray kittens in 1996. After rescuing many homeless cats over the years, he developed the skill of finding new homes for cat lovers seeking to adopt.

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