Can I Use Sand As Cat Litter?

Sand As Cat Litter

Is your pet cat having litter box problems lately? Does she refuse to use it and prefer to pee or defecate somewhere else? Most likely the culprit is the type of litter you’re using for the litter box and you might want to try something different.

One option is to use sand as cat litter? It’s economical, easily available, and can be used to transition your cat to other litter types. 

Sand is good option for cat litter as it clumps when wet and does not keep smells as much as some other alternatives.

Pros and cons of sand as cat litter 

Studies show that most cats have their preferences when it comes to litter and that many prefer sand since it’s made of fine particles compared to pellets and the crystal-type kind. In a way, the use of sand reminds cats of their early beginnings as desert-dwelling animals. In the wild, cats typically defecate in soft or sandy soil so they can easily bury.  


Here are the some advantages of using sand as cat litter:

1. It is economical compared to other litter types.

Sand is way more affordable than commercially-available and purpose-made cat litter which has a high cost depending on its components. 

2. It can be used to transition your cat to another litter type. 

If your new adopted pet used to be an outdoor cat then most likely she preferred sand as cat litter.  You can gradually do the switch to another litter type by temporarily using sand as cat litter and then gradually adding the litter type of your choice. Try to do this in the course of two weeks until eventually, the litter box will contain the latter type. Most likely,  your pet cat won’t ever spot the difference at all.  

3. It mimics the conditions of how the cats’ predecessors do their litter business.  

Most cats tend to prefer sand as it duplicates the practices that they’ve been used to as animals in the wild. Their predecessors were known as desert dwellers and they defecate and bury their excretions in the finely textured desert sand. Also, cats seem to prefer its texture and how it feels against their paws. 


1. It doesn’t have the ability to mask odors.

While most cats prefer sand because of the texture, it doesn’t have the ability to mask odors and foul smells. This becomes a problem since cats are very particular with smells in their litter box. If you are having problems with a smelly litter box you may try a system such as the Litter Champ or Litter Genie. You can also try to solve the issue by adding one cup of baking soda to the sand and then mixing it well. 

2. It leaves messy tracks everywhere in your house. 

Another disadvantage of using sand as cat litter is that it leaves messy tracks everywhere since it sticks easily in the paws and fur of your pets especially when wet. This can be a great hassle as you have to sweep the floor often although a litter box mat may help ease this dilemma. 

3. It doesn’t clump but just absorbs the urine. 

Your pet’s litter box needs to be constantly refilled and changed because while sand absorbs the urine it doesn’t really clump and scooping and disposal can become messy. 

Making sure that your cat is comfortable and using her litter box is of utmost concern for pet parents. Using sand as cat litter is an economical and safe choice for your kitties and it can also be effectively used temporarily if you want to transition your cat to another litter type.