Cat litter is one of the key ongoing costs of owning a cat.
The amount you spend each month varies depending on the type of litter you buy, the litter usage of your cat and how often you fully clear out the litter box.
We’ve calculated some average costs to help you budget your pet care expenses.
Average Cost of Cat Litter
When you buy cat litter it usually comes in bags of between 5L – 20L (2.5kg – 10kg) but you can also bulk buy larger bags if you have the storage space.
Cat litter expenses can add up fast but there are many types and brands to choose from, all of which are available at different price points.
If you are looking for a way to reduce your monthly expenses, you could try switching to a different cat litter.
Don’t forget to make the switch gradually as cats don’t respond well to sudden changes.
|Cat Litter Type||Price Per Kg||Cost Per Month*|
|Non-clumping Cat Litter||£1.20 – £2.40||£14.40 – £28.80|
|Clumping Cat Litter||£0.85 – £1.79||£10.20 – £21.57|
|Scented Clumping Cat Litter||£1.10 – £1.40||£13.17 – £16.77|
|Wood pellets||£1.30 – £1.50||£15.57 – £17.97|
|Silica Gel Crystals||£1.79 – £2.79||£21.55 – £33.55|
|Recycled Paper||£0.50 – £0.90||£6 – £10.78|
On average, a small – medium-sized cat will use around 3kg of cat litter each week, which equals around 12kg per month.
12kg of cat litter can cost between £6 – £33 depending on the brand and type you choose. However, this is just a rough estimate.
The actual amount you spend changes depending on the specific cat litter being used, how often the litter is being changed and other factors such as your cat’s health condition (something like a kidney disease will increase the amount of litter being used).
If you have more than one cat, the amount of cat litter being used is going to be more too.
As you can see from our comparison table, there is some difference between the cost of different cat litters but many of them are available at around the same price.
As there are different brands available that offer the litters at varying price points you can often find the type of cat litter you want within your budget.
Overall, silica gel cat litter is the most expensive and recycled paper cat litter is the least expensive. Although, silica gel should last the longest while recycled paper needs to be changed frequently.
This is because silica gel crystals can be spot cleaned easily so you only remove the dirty ones but recycled paper litter needs to be fully replaced more often.
It is also more difficult to find silica gel in larger packs while recycled paper cat litter is often available in bigger sizes.
A Rundown of Cat Litter Types
If you’re not sure which type of cat litter to get, we’ve rounded up the top choices below. Each has its own pros and cons and some types are more popular than others.
Non-clumping cat litter is very absorbent but doesn’t clump together when wet like clumping cat litter does.
It is usually around the same price as clumping cat litter but it does require frequent changing to prevent bad smells.
You can expect to pay between £6 – £12 for a 5kg bag of non-clumping cat litter.
This clay cat litter forms clumps when it is wet, this makes it easy to clean and scoop away the dirty parts.
However, it is dusty and it is not biodegradable.
This is an extremely popular option as it is so easy to clean.
You can expect to pay between £4.25 – £8.99 for a 5kg bag of cat litter that will last between 3-5 weeks depending on your cat.
You can get clumping cat litter that is scented to help keep the litter tray smelling fresh.
These options aren’t recommended because they can put cats off using the litter tray altogether.
Scented cat litter is often slightly cheaper but it’s best to spend a few extra pennies for the unscented version – your cat will thank you.
Wood pellets are a good recycled option that controls odours well.
This is an effective litter type that is not harmful to the environment and doesn’t cost too much either.
Wood pellets tend to have a pleasant natural smell to them too so that’s a definite plus.
Silica Gel Crystals
This type of cat litter is absorbent, odour-controlling and almost completely dust-free.
The crystals are expensive and can be dangerous if they are ingested by your cat.
This is the most expensive cat litter option but they don’t produce as much waste as other options as you only need to remove the crystals that are dirty rather than changing out the whole tray.
Some silica gel litter even changes colour to give you information about your cat’s health.
It is difficult to compare the prices like for like as you should be using less silica gel crystal litter each month compared to all the other types.
Another environmentally friendly DIY option is recycled paper.
This comes in the form of pellets or granules and offers a highly absorbent, biodegradable cat litter that is free from dust.
However, recycled paper litter needs to be changed often so you may find you are working your way through large bags relatively quickly.
How Much Cat Litter Do I Need To Use?
You only need to put 2-3 inches of cat litter in each box.
This gives your cat enough litter to bury their waste without making a mess by kicking cat litter everywhere.
In general, clumping cat litter and silica gel crystals are the most economical options as you need to use less and you can easily take out the dirty litter and top it up rather than having to fully clean the litter tray every other day.
Other options such as non-clumping cat litter and recycled wood pellets are not too far behind but you will be using more non-clumping cat litter than clumping.
Something like paper cat litter requires a lot more to be effective.
How Long Will A 10kg Bag Of Cat Litter Last?
On average, a 10kg bag will last you between 4-8 weeks for one cat.
We decided to calculate costs based on using 12kg of cat litter a month.
Other Cost Considerations
Many factors will impact how much you are spending on cat litter each month. These include:
How Many Litter Boxes You Have
Of course, if you have more litter boxes in your home, you’ll be getting through more litter and you will be spending more.
It is recommended that there is one litter box per cat plus one extra. All the litter boxes need to be filled and regularly cleaned.
The Size Of The Litter Boxes
You may end up getting through the cat litter more quickly if you are using larger than average litter boxes.
If your litter boxes are average-sized, you could also be putting more than 2-3 inches of cat litter into the box meaning you are getting through the bags of kitty litter quicker than you had originally anticipated.
The Number of Cats
More cats mean more litter used and more litter changes. Full cleans will probably be needed more often too.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Cat?
PDSA estimates the minimum monthly cost of owning a cat is £70, this includes health checks, flea and worming treatments, insurance, cat food, toys and cat litter.
This calculation was made in 2017 based on online prices at the time but can still give you a rough idea of how much it’s going to cost you to care for a cat.
How To Save Money On Cat Litter
If your cat litter costs are high, you may be looking for simple ways you can reduce how much you are spending.
Don’t worry, below are 6 tips to help you spend less and get the most out of the cat litter you do buy.
- Buy in bulk if you have the storage space
- Use the litter carefully (don’t put too much in each litter tray)
- Clean the litter daily using a sieve scoop
- Buy cat litter online
- Choose a cheaper brand of cat litter
- Keep an eye out for sales and discounts