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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently using a mix of World's Best and Swheat Scoop. Looking for cheaper alternatives I remembered back to several threads about chicken feed instead... after lots of looking and reading I bought a small amount today. $0.60 got me enough to cover my smallest box with about an inch or so. However, I'm thinking this is not what I want. Mostly because of smell. The stuff, to me, smells MEATY! I'm sure its just the vitamins/minerals/etc that go into it to make it more of a complete food vs just the corn and wheat... but I was really surprised the cats didn't chow down!

The guy at the feed store kept telling me it wasn't going to clump, but I bought some anyway as everyone seems to swear its just as good.

However, since then I've started to wonder why not use JUST cracked or coarse ground corn? That's all the World's Best is anyway, right? Do they sell JUST the corn at feed stores? Is it really that simple?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nobody?

Having no luck at feed stores. I'll admit though, as soon as I mention "cat litter" I immediately get attitude and how its just a darn shame to be using food product for something like litter... What's funny is one man actually tried to use price as a reason NOT to try the chicken feed. When I asked how much the 50lb bag was he exclaimed that it was $11.50 as if it was sooooo much money. I told him what I was currently using cost me about $1 per pound and he looked stunned.

I did find a thread on a chicken forum about people wanting to use chicken feed as litter and the attitudes were about the same. Most had outdoor cats that they didn't have to buy litter for. All the rest used the cheapest clay litter they could find. They too, thought the feed would be much too expensive.

I'm not sold on using the chicken feed. At least not the one I bought. I did have a clump of urine in the box but it was very soggy and fell apart completely when I tried to pick it up out of the box. Plus, the smell is horrible.

So it looks like at the moment I'm sticking to commercial litters. Hoping for other opinions that can shed some light on the subject!
 

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I was just at a major pet store chain (can I say the name?) and they have a cheaper brand of the corn litter. I can't see what the difference would be. I bought World's Best but was thinking of trying the cheaper brand. I was hoping for less tracking, and it's not as bad but I have one old cat that is awful about it. It does clump well and cleanly and some reduction in smell but not as much as I had hoped and I am obsessive about dipping out the litter.
 

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It's so very interesting to read opinions on different litters. It seems that every litter type or brand has as many people who would never use it as it has those who wouldn't use anything else. I've tried almost every type, if not every brand. And, unless, I happen upon anything better, I swear I could be the national spokesperson for chicken feed-litter.

World's Best looks very similar to the laying mash I buy. It doesn't look at all like cracked corn. Laying mash is 'fluffier' and certainly less dense. I forget the exact term, but it goes through a heat process similar to pelleting, so that the additives (minerals, vitamins, etc.) are incorporated into each granule (important for nutritional uniformity). That, to me, would be what also makes it more absorptive. Cracked or ground corn still has the shiny (impenetrable) hull attached, and I should think that it couldn't possibly absorb moisture as well. The processed, less dense formulations are usually called 'mash' or 'crumbles'.

Yes, the clumps are somewhat looser, in addition to taking much longer to harden. If you scoop immediately after a cat has peed, it will likely fall apart. But give it a couple of hours and it will stay together. The two things I've learned to do are: scoop a little more gently and keep at least 2-4" in the box. (The more litter surrounding the clump, the better it will harden.)

At least in my experience, the one thing I really like about chicken feed is the lack of urine odor. And the only time I notice a "chicken coop" smell is when I add to or refill the boxes, and that lasts only seconds.

How funny about the "attitude". My feed store doesn't care what I do with my chicken feed; I guess they just like the "ka-ching" of the cash register when I buy 150 more pounds to fill my trash can!
 

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But doesn't chicken feed have antibiotics added to it? keep in mind that anything that your cats step in, some is eventually going to end up in their stomach.
 

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But doesn't chicken feed have antibiotics added to it? keep in mind that anything that your cats step in, some is eventually going to end up in their stomach.
You're absolutely right! That's why I buy the feed for breeding/laying hens; it doesn't have antibiotics or animal-based ingredients. Feed intended for growing meat birds usually has antibiotics (and sometimes even growth hormones), so one should always read the ingredient list to be sure.
 

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I have recently been experimenting with litters to find something that our 7 cats will use, but that is dirt-cheap and not enviromentally damaging (which clay litters are). I also wanted something lighter than clay, because I hate lugging that stuff into, and then out of, the house!

The current winner is wood-based stove pellets. I put one inch in the bottom of a clean pan, and then daily scoop out the poo. If there is a large wet spot (multiple pee hits in a corner usually), I will gather what I can up in a scoop and get that out, too. Any smaller damp spots get stirred into the drier stuff. It expands as it gets used, so after a week, the pan is about 6-8 inches deep! Once a week, I slide one end of the box into a trash bag and dump out the whole thing. It all comes out easily and leaves a dry bottom. And taking it to the trash is a breeze!

Odor control is phenominal. And at 5$ for a 40 pound bag, I am pretty happy with the price! The cats are slowly converting over. At first, we only had two boxes out of seven using the wood pellets. And only a few of the cats were using those. But now all seven are using it, and we have upped it to 4 out of 7 boxes. Eventually, we will go to all pellets, but we are not going to rush it...much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After some serious shopping and couponing, in addition to mail in rebates I am stocked up on World's Best for a while!

Petsmart had 7lb bags on sale for $5.99. Some had $3 off coupons. I also found some more bags with $3 off coupons at Target. The bags at Target were 8lb and $7.99... but I paid full price, saved the coupons to use at Petsmart and sent in my receipt for the more expensive bag to get a full rebate. I used three different addresses (my house, my mom's house and work) to get three rebates for $7.99.

I think in total I ended up with 9 of the 7lb bags (and will send in those 9 UPCs to the frequent buyer program to get $28 in coupons!). I'm also counting the three 8lb bags I got at Target as "free" since I will be getting my money back for them. So in total, I figure I spent about $33 on 87lb of litter which comes out to $0.38/lb. Full price is around $1/lb. And this will last me a VERY long time, and I will be getting coupons for the next time I need to buy more. Can't really complain about it now. Maybe when the coupons run out, I'll try to find something else :)

As for the wood pellets, I have to assume they are similar to Yesterday's News in size and texture. I've never been a fan. We used it at work on our cats who had been declawed and I hated it! Plus, I really dislike any sort of litter I can't scoop the urine out of.
 

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Some of the volunteers in my rescue group say their cats turn the pellets (like Yesterdays News) into hockey pucks, and bat them around the house! LOL

The litter I use is Fresh Results from Pro-Pet/8-in-1 Pet Products (purple bag, sold only at Wal-Mart).
I think I might switch, though... the strong pine smell (which I personally like!) might be driving away the cats. Nebbie will pee in it, but then jump right back out as if something were biting her rear! And the few times she does poop in the box, it's never covered. I may try the chicken feed, and see if that would be better... probably wouldn't irritate their noses as much, I guess.
 

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Depending on availability I'll take spending $4 a bag on wood stove pellets, or $5 a bag on horse stall pellets, or $2 for clay if I can't get anything else as opposed to using what could be feeding one of my friend's chickens. I might actually lose friends if I tried it. They do use it only as a suppliment to get the hens in the coop for the night each night with them roaming their properties during the day, but still. For one its hard to get a hold of as their tiny town has only one feed shop and its a race to get it practically right off the truck. I have no issues with anyone else using it, but its not for me or my sweet Silver. He likes the wood pellets :) and though I hate the clay, I do only use it when I can not get the pelleted stuff. (would substitute with felipine or similar but compare 40 lbs/$4-5 to 5-10 lbs/$8-9) Until there are no more trees (never, let it be never) I'll go with using the wood and supporting the Arbor Day Foundation. I give away my saplings each year, though I believe they have the option of saying no to getting them, I have yet to have trouble finding a farmer or someone to take them. Love hearing all these thoughts on it though, I really do!
 

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With the widespread abundance (some might argue, overabundance) of corn in the US, I don't feel so bad using it as cat litter.

It's sort of poetic, actually. I can't eat most overly processed foods since they're usually filled with corn syrup and corn starch and other corn filler (and I'm hypoglycemic) thanks to its popularity as a cheap filler/sweetener. So it seems only appropriate that I use this junk filler that causes me so much trouble as a toilet for my cats. ;)
 

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With the widespread abundance (some might argue, overabundance) of corn in the US, I don't feel so bad using it as cat litter.

It's sort of poetic, actually. I can't eat most overly processed foods since they're usually filled with corn syrup and corn starch and other corn filler (and I'm hypoglycemic) thanks to its popularity as a cheap filler/sweetener. So it seems only appropriate that I use this junk filler that causes me so much trouble as a toilet for my cats. ;)

That is an interesting way of thinking about it . . .but I just cannot get myself to use stuff packaged as feed for something for litter. . . anyone ever tried the corn cob stuff sold for the bottom of bird cages? Its reasonable compared to some litters I have seen. 5 lbs of litter last my Silver 2 weeks there abouts.
 

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That is an interesting way of thinking about it . . .but I just cannot get myself to use stuff packaged as feed for something for litter. . . anyone ever tried the corn cob stuff sold for the bottom of bird cages? Its reasonable compared to some litters I have seen. 5 lbs of litter last my Silver 2 weeks there abouts.
Makes sense. Granted I've actually never tried using actual chicken feed. Currently using World's Best litter (which I'm told is similar/the same thing).
 
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