It's the end of the world, and Johnny Cat is no where to be found, and Spike the Cat is eyeing your wool rug because his teeth are floating he has to go so bad.
So whaddaya going to do?
This is a tip that you don't have to wait until the end of the world to try either if you're interested in saving some cash.
Allie, over at Allie's Answers has a recipe to make your own litter. You can visit her site and see what she has to say on the subject, but I'll basically just recap the steps for you here.
- Shred newspaper in a paper shredder. I collect the shredded paper in an unused litter box.
- Soak the paper in warm water mixed with a few squirts gentle, biodegradable dish soap (like Ecover). The shredded paper takes on a cooked oatmeal consistency. The paper won’t come completely clean, but the water will turn grey.
- Drain the water (an old colander works wonders) and repeat the soaking process minus the soap.
- Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the wet paper. Knead it in to the mixture (you might want to wear gloves to avoid getting ink on your hands).
- Squeeze the remaining moisture out until it’s as dry as you can get it.
- Crumble over a screen and leave to dry (it takes a few days).
Most printers have gone to using soy based inks in printing their news papers, so most of the time, one doesn't have to worry about lead or other toxics that once were used in the printing process.
You can also use cardboard boxes for this. If you have a wheelbarrow that holds water, or another large container such as a 55 gallon drum, soak the cardboard until it separates into its component layers. Once the cardboard has separated, it is a simple step to crumble it while it is wet, and then lay it out to dry.
Another substitute is plain old dirt. Yep, dirt.
You'll need to shovel up some fairly fine soil, and use a screen to filter out rocks and other debris. Spread the fine soil on a tarp in a sunny location, and stir it occasionally. What you're doing is giving the sun an chance to kill or drive off any nasty critters such as Dermatophytes. What's that? Well, it is a family of fungus that causes Ringworm.
If you happen to be near a place where there is sand such as a riverbank or sea shore, there ya go! Sand from the sea shore will need to have fresh water run through it to remove salt and other possible contaminants (kitty may object to that sea odor).
Some plant byproducts such as buckwheat hulls can also be substituted.
Now, these substitutes aren't as forgiving as their commercial counterparts. You will have to stay on top of keeping the litterbox clean. Remove the solids regularly, and once the litter is spent, dispose of it in an area where it will not contaminate water or food.
If you're not into cats, and prefer other critters as companion animals, a cat or two will be very beneficial to have around after a serious "End Of The World" type event.
Vermin. There will be a tremendous explosion of vermin. Rats, mice, roaches, etc. Garbage collection will cease and most people don't know how to dispose of their trash properly. The refuse will just pile up inviting these little nasty monsters to propagate wildly. The vermin will get into your food stores, and bring disease and death. Tabby and Spike The Cat will keep them at bay.
All of our neighbors employ the services of an exterminator. They still have mice even with traps and bait. We have none. Nine cats do a good job of keeping the mice on the run.
People often talk about the Black Death that ravaged Europe in the 1300s. It is believed that the disease migrated out of Central Asia through the trade routes. It spread by fleas, and once inside the European cities, those fleas hitched a ride on the huge number of rats that lived alongside man.
Why were there so many rats?
Most of the cats had been killed off by the ignorant fools who believed them to be witches or the familiars of witches.