Many cat owners swear by using chicken feed as cat litter. But is it safe, considering that cats may eat them?
As someone who spends much money on cat litter, chicken feed is undoubtedly attractive to me as an alternative. Besides, you can easily get a 40-pound bag for as low as $10, which is good enough for a whole month of litterbox use.
Still, safety is the biggest concern here. In this post, I will discuss this litter alternative and what you should know before trying it.
Can you use chicken feed as cat litter?
There’s been an argument about the safety of chicken feed as a litter alternative. Pet owners who support the idea say it’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly since it’s organic.
Also, many who try it say that clumping is really good. They claim that it’s comparable to regular clay litter.
Meanwhile, other pet owners argue that chicken litter is too dusty and can cause respiratory issues in felines. Also, a big health issue is that cats will likely snack on the chicken feed.
In the end, there are both benefits and drawbacks to this alternative. Here are some of the considerations to help you decide if the chicken feed is safe to use as litter:
1. Chicken feed can be very dusty
There are so many chicken feed formulas, so the answer to this depends on what exactly you’re going to buy. If you’re planning to try this, you must be particular about how dusty the feed is.
This is much so if your cat has a weak respiratory system. Inhalation of feed dust can trigger feline allergies, colds, coughs, and other related issues.
2. Your cat may not like the texture and smell.
Let’s say you find a low-dust chicken feed, but will your cat use it for potty? Many cats are very picky when it comes to their litter and may easily refuse this alternative.
This has a lot to do with the scent of chicken feed. It’s quite odorous, and some kitties may find it off-putting.
If the texture of chicken feed is very different from the current litter your cat is using, it may not work well. Your cat may not be willing to switch to a new litter.
3. Chicken feed is prone to bacteria and mold buildup
One big problem with chicken feed is that it’s prone to bacteria and mold. It’s made of various food ingredients and moisture, which is a perfect breeding ground for these microorganisms.
Aside from that, the chicken feed may attract ants and a slew of pests. After all, it’s still food – and a very stinky one.
4. Cats may try to eat chicken feed.
We once had an orange tabby who would sneak into the chicken coup to get a fill of feeds. He doesn’t try to bite the chickens; he’s just after their food.
If your cat has the same ravenous appetite, there may be better ideas than having a litterbox full of chicken feed. Before you know it, your cat is too full for dinner, and there’s nothing left inside the litter box.
Unless your cat is a finicky eater, it will surely try to eat the chicken feed. There are a few problems in this scenario.
First, chicken feed isn’t formulated for felines or any four-legged pets. A small amount will not cause any problems, but regular consumption will soon ruin your cat’s diet.
Aside from that, chicken feed is made mainly of grains. It’s an assortment of corn, soy, and wheat, which your kitty might be allergic to.
5. Chicken feed will stick to your cat’s fur.
Even if the chicken feed isn’t moist, it can cling to your cat’s coat. This is a common scenario among long-haired breeds.
If the feed pieces aren’t removed, they will wreak havoc on your cat’s coat. It can cause matting, foul odor, and even skin irritations.
You might save some money from litter costs, but you could land in a pet groomer shop with a hefty bill.
6. Some chicken feed has additives.
Another thing you should know is that some chicken feed products have additives or are medicated. If you use this as litter and your cat eats it, you’re in for an explosive litterbox mess.
Aside from stomach upset, your pet may get seriously sick from exposure to or consumption of chicken feed.
What is an alternative to cat litter?
Instead of using the chicken feed, you can explore other alternatives for cat litter. Here are some safe options you can try:
This is commercially available and made from recycled paper. Since it’s made from paper, this alternative litter is super absorbent and has no dust.
Aside from that, most paper pellets can be flushed on the toilet, making them easy to dispose of without plastic bags. It’s also a good choice if you or your cat has allergies to a specific litter product.
However, this can be a little messy and a chore to clean up. But if you’re into an actual eco-friendly litter, this is a perfect choice.
2. Coconut litter
This is made of coconut husk, which makes it hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. Aside from that, you can recycle used coconut litter as fertilizer for your flowerbeds or mulch.
However, since it has a fine consistency, coconut litter doesn’t clump much as clays. Right now, it’s also quite pricey, so it’s not a practical option for pet owners on a budget.
3. Wood shavings
If you have time for DIY work, you can create wood shavings litter for your cat. It’s biodegradable and can be ideal for cats with allergies.
However, it’s tricky to pick the suitable wood to use. Make sure that you do your research about wood types that are toxic to pets.
4. Wheat litter
If your cat isn’t allergic to wheat, you can use it as a litter alternative. It resembles traditional clay litter most but is a little stickier.
Wheat litter might be challenging to clean, but it’s also eco-friendly. However, price and availability can be the issue.
Can you use chicken crumbles as cat litter?
Chicken crumbles are whole pellets formulated as a complete food for poultry. But as much as it sounds healthy, you should be careful when using it as cat litter.
Take note that chicken crumble is finer or more powdery than chicken pellets. This means that it’s dusty and can easily stick to the feline’s fur.
Nevertheless, crumbles aren’t as refined as mash. It has a decent clump, but the texture and scent may put off your pet.
Proceed at your own risk when using chicken crumbles as litter. Always consider how it will affect your cat’s health.
Can cats eat chicken food?
No, you shouldn’t tolerate your cat eating chicken feed. While it’s still food, chicken feed isn’t formulated for felines.
It can make your cat sick with diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and more. Besides, cat kibble is made for a reason.
You must intervene immediately if you see your cat eating chicken feed. Don’t wait for the chicken feed to ruin your cat’s diet and overall health.
Chicken feed can be used as cat litter, but it has a share of downsides. It has a strong smell, dust, and many cats will try to eat it.
If possible, consider other litter alternatives. In the long run, traditional clay litter is better than trying fads that may hurt your pet.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.