How to Use Paper Pellet Cat Litter – in 4 easy steps

Paper pellet litter has many advantages over traditional clay litter. It’s better for your cat’s health, better for the environment, and makes less mess. 

But is it more difficult to use?

How to scoop paper pellet litter

Using a paper pellet litter box is actually pretty simple. 

  1. Poop should be scooped at least once per day. Ideally, as soon as possible after your cat ‘makes a deposit’ to prevent odor and maintain a hygienic litter box.
  2. A majority of pee will travel to the bottom of the litter box and be absorbed by the lower layer of pellets. At least once per day, remove any soiled pellets. They’ll be identifiable by their darker color and may appear slightly swollen from the urine they’ve absorbed.
  3. If needed, add fresh pellets to maintain three to four inches of litter at all times. 
  4. About once a week, fully change the litter. Wash the litter box each time with water and a mild detergent. 

How do I dispose of the pellets?

Paper pellet litter should only be disposed of by bagging and throwing in the trash or recycled through composting. It should never be flushed or dumped outside

To make bagging and trashing more environmentally friendly, consider using plant-based biodegradable bags.

Person throwing bag in trashcan and person adding to compost pile

Composting paper pellets is even better for the environment, but requires effort and knowledge to do so safely.

Compost containing cat waste should only be used with ornamental plants, to prevent the spread of pathogens.

Paper litter containing baking soda cannot be composted. Baking soda acts as a potent fungicide and will ruin your compost pile.

What type of litter box should I use?

Use a standard, un-slotted litter box with paper pellets — not a sifting pellet litter box. 

Because paper pellets absorb moisture rather than dissolve, like wood and pine pellets, a sifting litter box is actually counterproductive.

The separate trays allow urine to pool between, where it can’t be absorbed by litter. Which leads to a smelly, bacteria-filled litter box.

Gray kitten sitting in blue litter box

What scoop works best?

In our experience, a litter scoop with smaller slots or no slots works best with paper pellets. 

Avoid using a scoop with wide slots intended for wood or pine pellets. Though it will help to separate poop from clean pellets, it will make removing soiled pellets very frustrating. 

If you’re okay having two separate scoops, one with smaller slots to remove soiled pellets and a second wide-slotted scoop to remove poop will work well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you change paper pellet litter?

On average, paper pellet cat litter needs to be completely changed at least once a week. In multi-cat homes, you’ll likely need to change the litter box more frequently.

This will be partially offset if you have the appropriate number of litter boxes — one per cat, plus one.

Remember to top up litter as needed between cleanings to maintain the recommended 2 to 4 inches of litter, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Ginger cat tilting head to the side

Clumping paper litter, like those made by Hartz and Yesterday’s News, typically last longer. Only needing to be changed on a monthly basis.

Homemade shredded newspaper litter should be changed on a daily basis.

Do paper pellets dissolve when wet?

Unlike wood pellets, which disintegrate into sawdust when wet, paper pellets don’t break down. They swell to absorb moisture, trapping urine. Soiled pellets are scooped and removed whole.

Do you have to scoop paper pellet litter?

Soiled paper pellet litter needs to be scooped regularly. Solid waste should be removed as soon as possible, at least daily. Soiled pellets should be removed at least once a day. 

Final thoughts

Using paper pellet litter is pretty simple. Scoop poop and soiled pellets at least once daily. Top off to consistently maintain three to four inches of litter. Fully change the pellets and clean the litter box about once per week.

About Matthew Alexander

Matthew lives in Maryland with his two cats, Puff and Pancho. He’s been caring for and fostering cats with various special needs for more than fifteen years. He hopes to pass some of the insight and knowledge that he’s gained on to the readers of Pawmore.