Litter box alternative to clumping litter – soft wood pellets

There has been a lot written about the toxicity of clumping cat litters.  Yes, they are convenient – but the risk they pose to pets – and to humans — isn’t worth it.

The clumping agent, sodium bentonite expands when wet so if cats lick their paws and ingest it, it can cause internal obstructions.  Kitty litter dust can lead to human and feline respiratory problems. Quartz silica (sand), an ingredient in most clumping litters, is a known carcinogen.

So it was an easy choice to steer clear from these products. Plus, we were growing tired of the excessive tracking of litter particles all over the house.

Instead – for our multiple cats — we have opted for a natural product called Condensed Soft Wood Pellets by Wayne Davis Quality Bedding.  This product was originally created as bedding for horse stalls. Made in Michigan, it comes in a 40-pound bag that retails for about $6.  We have been unable to find it at any big box pet supplies store, and get ours at an area feed store.  If you call Wayne Davis customer service, they will tell you if and where to find it in your state.  The bag includes their phone of 800-806-0733 and email of

wood pellets close upWhat do we love about this product – besides the price?

  • The fresh wood scent – much better than any of the artificial litter product scents.
  • The absorption – the product turns to a sawdust when wet – so you just scoop out this part and leave the fresh pellets behind.
  • It’s natural – condensed softwood pellets –nothing more, nothing less.
  • The way that the company puts all of their contact information clearly on the bag. They are easy to contact – AND they pick up their phone!

How do the cats feel about  this litter?  We transitioned by placing some of the soft wood pellets on top of the old clay litter we used to use. We did this for about a week – and then switched to all soft wood pellets.    It was an easy transition.  We have found with the soft wood pellets that solid waste is more likely to be deposited on the surface – so we scoop every day.  We like this better knowing that we are keeping the litter box as clean as possible.

wood pellets


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