The Ultimate Guide to Using Cedar Shavings as Cat Litter

The Ultimate Guide to Using Cedar Shavings as Cat Litter

Choosing the right cat litter is more important than you might think. It's not just about convenience; it's about your cat's comfort and health, as well as managing odors in your home. Among the many options available, cedar shavings are an interesting and beneficial choice. Let’s dive into why cedar shavings might just be the perfect solution for your feline friend’s litter needs.

What Are Cedar Shavings?

Cedar shavings are thin wood shavings derived from cedar trees. Known for their pleasant aroma and natural properties, these shavings are often used in pet bedding, woodworking, and yes, as cat litter. The shavings can be sourced from various types of cedar, each offering its own unique scent and properties.

Benefits of Using Cedar Shavings as Cat Litter


One of the standout features of cedar shavings is their high absorbency. These shavings can soak up significant amounts of moisture, keeping the litter box dry and comfortable for your cat. This is crucial for preventing the buildup of bacteria and maintaining a clean environment.

Odor Control

Cedar is known for its distinctive, pleasant smell. This natural fragrance can mask the strong odors of cat waste, making your home smell fresher. The aromatic oils in cedar not only provide a pleasant scent but also help to neutralize the unpleasant odors that often accompany cat litter boxes.


If you’re environmentally conscious, cedar shavings are a fantastic choice. Unlike some synthetic litters, cedar is biodegradable and compostable. This means you can dispose of it without worrying about contributing to landfill waste. Additionally, many cedar shavings are sourced sustainably, making them a greener option for your pet care routine.

Absorbency of Cedar Shavings

Cedar shavings work exceptionally well at absorbing moisture. When your cat uses the litter box, the shavings quickly soak up urine, which helps prevent clumping and makes cleaning easier. Compared to traditional clay litters, cedar shavings provide better moisture management, reducing the frequency of complete litter changes.

Odor Control

The natural oils in cedar are not just for fragrance—they play a significant role in odor control. These oils have antimicrobial properties that help to keep the litter box smelling fresh. Unlike chemical deodorizers, cedar’s scent is gentle and natural, providing a more pleasant environment for both you and your cat.

Eco-Friendliness of Cedar Shavings

Sustainability is a major advantage of using cedar shavings. They break down naturally, returning to the earth without harming the environment. Many suppliers harvest cedar responsibly, ensuring that the ecosystem is not disrupted. This makes cedar shavings a guilt-free choice for eco-conscious pet owners.

Cedar Shavings vs. Other Types of Cat Litter

Clay Litter

Clay litter is one of the most common types, known for its clumping ability. However, it’s not biodegradable and can create dust that might be harmful to both cats and humans.

Silica Gel Litter

Silica gel litter is excellent for moisture absorption but is synthetic and non-biodegradable. It’s also generally more expensive than natural options.

Other Natural Litters

Other natural litters include those made from corn, wheat, and paper. While they’re also eco-friendly, they may not offer the same level of odor control or absorbency as cedar shavings.

How to Use Cedar Shavings as Cat Litter

Preparation and Setup

Using cedar shavings is straightforward. Start by thoroughly cleaning the litter box, then fill it with a layer of shavings about two to three inches deep. This depth allows for adequate absorption and odor control.

Mixing with Other Materials

Some pet owners prefer to mix cedar shavings with other types of litter, such as clumping clay or silica gel, to enhance absorbency and odor control while maintaining some eco-friendly benefits.

Maintaining a Cedar Shavings Litter Box

Regular Cleaning Tips

To keep the litter box fresh, remove solid waste daily and stir the shavings to promote even absorption. This helps extend the life of the litter and maintain its effectiveness.

Frequency of Litter Changes

Replace all the shavings every two to three weeks, or sooner if you notice any persistent odors or dampness. Regular full changes keep the litter box hygienic and pleasant for your cat.

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