Kitty Kare Korner Peeing/Pooping

Pine Litter Is Glorious

Why I changed to pine pellet litter and how it works.

The Falsity of “The Cat Smell”

You know it too well. You walk into a room and it hits your face like an odor brick of an ammonia and litter cocktail.

“I hate that cat smell.”

Cats don’t smell. Pee smells. Litter smells. And it’s up to cat owners to keep the bathroom facilities clean and fight the “cat smell” stereotype, because cats really get a bad rep from it.

Meet My Savior, Pine Pellets

Enter pine pellet litter … It’s a game changer.

  • There is NO PEE SMELL. ZERO.
  • It’s very inexpensive.
  • It lasts longer than clay.

As a foster, there are lots of mouths to feed, and lots of boxes to scoop. If you foster litters, you know finding poop halfway up the wall and having no idea how it got there is a daily occurrence. That’s when I decided I had to research and find a better solution for all of us.

Kitten pile
Pile of kittens. They spend all their time playing, eating, peeing, and pooping.

How To Use

Pine litter comes as pellets. The stuff lasts for a while, so I get a 40 lb.-bag of either FelinePine, which you can get anywhere, or ExquisiCat, which is PetSmart’s brand.

Then, dump a small amount in a sifting litter box. You need to get one that doesn’t have big holes, or the pellets will fall through, making sifting impossible. I recommend the Arm & Hammer sifting litter box on Amazon.

If you are transitioning, the bags will have instructions on how to do that. Just like with changing food, you’ll start with a small amount added to your existing litter, and increase as your cat gets used to it.

How It Works

When cats pee, the pellets turn into the dust, and the dust falls into the pan (under the sifter). You can just dump the pan every few days. And when I say dust, not like clumping litter dust that goes everywhere. It’s more like tiny pieces of wood dust, and it’s just around the pan … Not floating in the air and laying in their fur. Dust pan and brush cleans it up easily.

For solid poop, you can scoop and toss that daily – even flush it if there’s no wood stuck to it. I usually put mine in a Litter Genie.


If you have a declawed (aka partially toe-amputated) cat, this litter might be uncomfortable on her paws. I think it’s worth a shot, but if you notice she isn’t feeling it, just stop using. You don’t want your cat to associate pain with the litter box, or she’ll start going other places. 

Ashanti was a Christmas foster with beautiful green eyes.

If you already have that problem, you’ll want to read my post Thinks & Blinks: Peeing Outside the Litter Box, which has suggestions for curbing this behavior.

By LizsKittyBootCamp

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a cat behaviorist who provides advice and insights on cat behavior.

2 replies on “Pine Litter Is Glorious”

I just started doing this but it leaves a wet residue on the undertray when I empty out the sawdust, and it smells like pee. Am I doing something wrong? Seems like maybe some pee passes the pellets and hits the undertray before it is absorbed by the pellets.

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. Maybe you could put a puppy pad in the under tray to absorb any pee.

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