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21 Unexpected Uses For cat Litter Around The Home

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We all know the purpose of using cat litter when you own a cat, but you might be surprised at the multitude of uses for cat litter around the home?

Cat litter is one of those products where you go, wow, that’s a great way to use cat litter and then promptly forget the good idea. Book mark this page, you will need to come back to refresh your memory.

Cat litter is useful and versatile, from absorbing spills and odors to using it as a deodorizer, .

Clean cat litter is used in many ways, including cleaning up messes in the garage and keeping your shoes smelling fresh.

It’s all about the absorbent properties in cat litter, which make it an ideal solution for a wide range of household tasks.

Both clumping cat litter and non clumping litter will absorb moisture.

Cat litter can help to remove smells in a refrigerator, a musty closet or damp basement and keep your home smelling fresh.

Even if you don’t own a cat, add cat litter to your shopping list today. You will be amazed at the many different cat litter uses.

Maybe you will end up getting a cat as well.

Why Does Kitty Litter Absorb Odors?

The most common types of cat litter are clay based, made of clay minerals such as sodium bentonite.

Clay cat litter is naturally absorbent. When the sodium bentonite is mined and processed, it is made into small pellets or granules. These granules have a porous structure that allows them to absorb moisture.

The moisture is absorbed into the clay particles. The odor is trapped inside, which helps to control the smell when used in cat litter boxes.

Cat litter is not only is great at absorbing odors, but is one of the best materials for taming odors in the refrigerator and freezer.

cat litter
Who knew that cat litter could be so useful? Make sure a bag is on the shopping list. Look for a cheap bag of cat litter to give these ideas a go.

1. Use Cat Litter To Kick Refrigerator Odors To The Curb

  Food Storage Container for kitty litter in the fridge

Place a small container filled with cat litter inside the refrigerator to absorb excess odors. This is particularly useful when you are going on vacation. It helps reduce the food odors and the musty smell of a refrigerator that you are greeted with when returning home.

Every now and then, dispose of the litter, wash the container and replace with some fresh litter for ongoing odor control. Easy Peasey!

The same tip also works with using baking soda. You probably already knew that.

2. Uses For Cat Litter In The Garden – Potting Plants

woman adding cat litter when potting plants
Don’t add too much cat litter at first. Experiment to see what works best

Cat litter for potting plants helps improve drainage in garden pots. The bentonite clay found in some types of cat litter will help the potting mix retain water, and the pots will not dry out as quickly. Add kitty litter to potting mix when potting or repotting plants.

It will also help to extend your potting mix, making it got further, so this is also an economical option.

Will cat litter kill grass? Although cat litter is useful when repotting plants it is not a good idea to use it in areas where grass is grown. This is because cat litter made from clay, can absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil, leading to dry and nutrient depleted conditions for your grass.

3. Uses For Cat Litter – In Trash Cans

Sprinkle a layer of cat litter in the bottom of the trash can before putting a liner in your kitchen or bathroom trash can. Don’t add too much cat litter, just enough to cover the bottom generously.

The clean cat litter will help absorb any accidental liquid leaks and keep the trash can from becoming stinky.

Replace the cat litter with a fresh batch when it’s time to change the liner.

 Clumping Cat Litter

4. Uses For Cat Litter In The Garden – Weed Blocker

Use cat litter as a weed blocker under the mulch in your garden.

Sprinkle cat litter around the drip-line of your plants and cover with an inch or so of mulch. Note the word ;”sprinkle”, cover the earth but do not pile up the cat litter.

The cat litter will help keep the weeds from growing near your plants, and once covered with dirt or mulch, they will not be visible.

When you need to re-mulch, simply replace the cat litter and mulch. This is an especially great tip if you have pets that may try to dig up your garden!

5. Uses For Cat Litter In The Garden – Sandy Soil

It’s not quite The Sahara at our place but sometimes it feels like it!

This handy garden tip is for those gardeners who have to deal with sandy soil. Sandy soil is somewhat of a nightmare for gardeners. Sandy soil is sadly lacking in minerals and is almost certainly water phobic.

One quite simple solution that helps with water retention is mixing a generous amount of clay cat litter into a slurry and pouring it onto the soil. As sandy soil also lacks minerals, add some minerals at the same time.

As a homeowner in a near beachside suburb, we have sand, sand, sand. Adding organic matter helps, but eventually that disappears too, and then we are back to square one.

Adding some clay to the soil helps with water retention and improves the structure of the soil.

Can cat litter be used instead of perlite when gardening?

You can use cat litter as a temporary substitute to improve soil drainage, but it’s not an ideal choice. Cat litter is not designed for gardening, and it may have additives or fragrances that could be harmful to plants. Cat litter can break down and become compacted over time, potentially leading to drainage problems in the long run.

If you must use cat litter as a temporary substitute, make sure to choose a plain, unscented, and natural cat litter without any added chemicals or perfumes. It’s essential to replace it with proper horticultural perlite as soon as possible for the health and long-term well-being of your plants.

Have You Ever Thought About Making Your Own Cat Litter?

It can be done…Read more

DIY Cat Litter

6. Uses For Cat Litter – Gasoline Spills

Many people use cat litter to soak up gasoline spills or fresh oil spills on their garage floor under a car or truck, before cleaning them up with a shop vacuum.

If you’re going to do this, be sure to wear rubber boots and rubber gloves as petroleum products can cause skin irritation after prolonged exposure, even these small amounts soaked into clay granules!

Also, remember that kitty litter absorbs not only odors but also liquids.

If you use cat litter, in your gasoline spill area, be sure to pick up all the granules when you’re done so they don’t clog the cleaner later on.

7. Uses For Cat Litter – In The Car And The Closet

clothes hanging in a closet
Protect your clothes from damp. Add a small container of cat litter to absorb moisture from the air.

Does your car tend to “sweat” on hot days? Put some kitty litter on the floor (in a largish, shallow container) of the trunk. This is to help absorb the moisture and keep your car from having a musty smell. Remember to remove the container or put a lid on it when driving.

Another option is to try cat litter in a sock in the car to help keep odors from the car. Have you ever got into your car the morning after eating something like French fries in the car, the night before, the odor does linger.

Even transporting hot food, the smell can linger in the car. The cat litter filled sock can just be tossed under a seat out of sight.

Is your closet smelling musty? You can also use kitty litter in your closets to help with moisture absorption and prevent mildew growth. Put the clean cat litter into a small container. Be sure to replace the cat litter every few months.

Use a plastic container with some slits cut into the lid. This will help to avoid any kitty litter spills in the closet, which obviously would not be a good idea.

8. Uses For Cat Litter – Oil Spills In The Kitchen

Using kitty litter to absorb cooking oil that has been accidentally spilled on a stovetop, is a great way to clean up the mess quickly and effectively.

Scoop up the initial oil spill as best you can, with a paper towel and then discard.

Start by gently sprinkling the kitty litter onto the spill, making sure to completely cover it. The litter will absorb oil making the cleaning up job easier.

The kitty litter should be fine enough not to make too much of an impact on surrounding surfaces.

After 15 minutes, simply scoop up the used kitty litter into the trash and wipe down your stovetop to remove any remaining residue or smell.

There’s no need for harsh chemical cleaners!

Uses For kitty Litter

9. Uses For Cat Litter – More Kitchen Spills

Kitty litter can be used as a scouring powder to scrub hard-to-get food stains from dishes before the dishes go into the dishwasher.

Just pour cat litter on to an old washrag and scrub… it works wonders! It’s very abrasive, so don’t use it every time you wash dishes, but it does work great on especially greasy or food stained messes.

Related Reading: A litter box that has become non stick over time can be resurrected.
Read how to make a litter box non stick again.

10. Uses For Cat Litter – Pet Accidents

If you have a pet that sometimes has “accidents” in the house, put a layer of cat litter where the accident happened, to help absorb the urine odor.

Change out the litter in the place that the accident happened as long as needed and until the smell is gone.

This also works for baby accidents, especially when potty training!

11. Uses For Cat Litter – Get Traction In The Snow

Kitty litter is very useful if your vehicle is stuck in the snow and you can get no traction with the tires. The tires just spin, and you are going nowhere.

Try sprinkling some kitty litter in front of the tires before driving forward. The kitty litter may just give you enough traction to get going.

Now you knew there was a reason you had a cat, didn’t you? Thank you kitty!

uses-for-cat-litter

12. Uses For Cat Litter – Sweeping Up

Use old kitty litter bags if you run out of Swiffer cloths for your sweeper. Depending on the size of the cat litter bag, use as is or cut to size to suit your Swiffer (or similar mop).

The abrasive texture of the cat litter will help pick up even more dirt and dust than a regular Swiffer cloth, especially if you have pets that shed, plus it’s free!

household uses for cat litter
It’s amazing the amount of cat hair that comes from even a short haired cat

13. Uses For Cat Litter – Painting On A Humid Day? Where’s The Kitty Litter!

If you’re planning on painting any walls in your home, put some cat litter down first. Any container on hand will be suitable for the litter, even buckets. Fill the containers with cat litter, a couple of inches or so and place the containers in different part of the room.

Cat litter will absorb some of the excess moisture in the air.

In humid climates, getting paint to dry properly can be frustrating. This will ensure that even when your wall dries completely (usually within 48 hours), there won’t be any musty smells left behind.

14. Uses For Cat Litter – Moving House

Put a layer of kitty litter in the bottom of packing boxes when moving house, to help absorb any excess moisture and keep your belongings from getting ruined.

This also works when packing away seasonal gear, seasonal decorations or storing furniture during the off-season. Replace the cat litter as needed particularly if it gets damp.

15. Cat Litter Uses – Pet Bedding Deodorizer

Deodorize your pet’s bedding with kitty litter. Use a nylon stocking or mesh bag and fill with a small amount of kitty litter in your pet’s bedding to absorb bad odors…better yet, mix it with baking soda.

This will help eliminate the smells 100% better than using plain cat litter alone.

Related: As useful as cat litter can be around the home, it does also tend to get everywhere. Read how to keep cat litter under control.

16. BBQ – Cut The Grease With Litter

The easiest way to keep your BBQ drip tray clean, is by first lining it with aluminum foil and then filling it with some cat litter. When the litter is soiled from fat and grease drips, dispose of the foil and the cat litter.

Uses For kitty Litter

17. Cat Litter Is Ideal Packing Material

Cat litter is lightweight and inexpensive, making it the perfect packing material for all types of things. Protect delicate items when shipping by putting them in a box lined with kitty litter.

The kitty litter will absorb any moisture, to keep your package looking as good as new when it arrives at its destination.

18. Cat Litter to Line A Birdcage

Kitty Litter is highly useful for keeping the bottom of your bird’s cage clean and fresh smelling.

19. A Remarkable Shoe Deodorizer

deodorize smelly runners with cat litter

No naming names here but the foul odors from sneakers and gym shoes are truly horrible.

Next time you put your shoes outside the door for an airing, do this – Fill a sock with some cat litter and place one sock in each shoe. The litter will absorb odors. Throw away the litter.

Stockings can be used instead of socks. No stockings? Knee high stockings are cheap and would do the job well.

cat litter

20. Be Crafty– Use Cat Litter As A Filler

Many small craft projects require a soft filler for stuffing or filling. Cat litter to the rescue. Cat litter is suitable to use as a filler for a small craft project.

Note: Do not use cat litter if the crafty project is to be given to or used by a toddler or young child.

21. Phone Rescue – Cat Litter

phone drying out in rice

A popular way to “dry out” a wet phone is to place it in rice overnight to absorb the moisture.

We have done this in our household and were pleasantly surprised when the rice did work.

Using cat litter is another alternative.


Because cat litter is such a good absorbent material for damp and musty places and is also good at cleaning up odors, it is a very useful item around the home and garden.

Even just one good tip can make a huge difference in solving a pesky problem.

I hope you had an ah ha moment when reading some of these ideas for using cat litter.

vector - two cats reading
Luckily we have lots of cat litter in the house.

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