“Upcycling Coffee Grounds into DIY Kitty Litter”

“Upcycling Coffee Grounds into DIY Kitty Litter”

Upcycling Coffee Grounds into DIY Kitty Litter


As a cat owner looking for eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for kitty litter, I was intrigued by the idea of repurposing used coffee grounds into homemade cat litter. In this article, I will share my experience and research on upcycling spent coffee grounds into functional and safe DIY kitty litter.

Gathering Used Coffee Grounds

The first step is collecting enough used coffee grounds. Here are some tips:

  • Ask your favorite local coffee shop if they can set aside grounds for you. Most coffee shops throw away pounds of grounds daily and are happy to save some.

  • Use your own leftover coffee grounds. Brew your morning coffee as usual, then let the wet grounds dry completely before using.

  • Check if your community or workplace has a share table for spent grounds. Some offices and apartment buildings now collect grounds to share.

  • Buying grounds from a roaster or cafe is possible, but defeats the purpose of repurposing a free waste product. Focus on collecting free used grounds first.

I collected 5 pounds of used grounds in 2 weeks by daily scooping my own leftovers and getting 1-2 pounds weekly from a cafe. You’ll need 2-3 pounds of dry grounds per litter box, refreshed weekly.

Drying and Storing the Coffee Grounds

Once you’ve gathered enough wet coffee grounds, proper drying and storage is crucial for creating clump-free litter later.

  • Spread grounds thinly on baking sheets to promote air drying. Avoid clumps.

  • Dehydrate in a 200°F oven for 30 minutes if needed to remove all moisture.

  • Store dried grounds in sealed containers like mason jars until ready to use. Keeps grounds fresh.

Proper drying prevents mold growth and helps the grounds absorb liquid well when used as litter. Improperly dried grounds turn rock hard when saturated.

Making the DIY Coffee Cat Litter

To turn your stash of used coffee grounds into functioning cat litter:

  • Place dried grounds in a large container, bucket or litter box.

  • Sift through with your fingers to break up any clumps. Grounds should be loose, with a crumbly texture.

  • Mix in baking soda at a 3:1 ratio. For every 3 cups of grounds, add 1 cup of baking soda. The baking soda helps absorb odors.

  • Add optional citrus peels for an extra fresh scent. Some cats don’t like citrus, so see if your cat approves first!

  • Transfer the finished litter to your cat’s litter box. Provide 2-3 inches of depth for easy cat usage.

It’s that simple! Used coffee grounds on their own can work in a pinch too. The baking soda just helps grab odors, while citrus peels provide a pleasant scent.

Maintaining the Coffee Ground Litter

To keep your upcycled coffee litter effective:

  • Scoop solids out of the litter box daily, as you would with clay litter. Dispose of feces in the trash.

  • Refresh all the litter weekly. Dump everything, wash the box, and refill with fresh grounds mixture.

  • Spot clean accidents as needed with white vinegar or enzyme cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals.

Since grounds are compostable, you can toss spent litter straight into a compost pile. Alternatively, pack spent grounds into bags for household trash collection.

Upcycled coffee litter is less dusty than clay options, but vigilance is still needed to keep the box clean for kitty. Follow the same scooping routines you would for store-bought litter.

Pros and Cons of DIY Coffee Cat Litter

I found these advantages to using spent coffee grounds for cat litter:

  • Free and eco-friendly since it repurposes waste grounds

  • Natural odor control from coffee’s innate scent

  • Less dusty than traditional clay litter

  • Soft texture that cats enjoy digging in

However, some drawbacks exist too:

  • Messier tracking since grounds stick to paws more

  • Can get moldy if not fully dried before use

  • Strong coffee smell could be overpowering in small spaces

  • Need a good supply of grounds to maintain supply

Overall, recycled coffee grounds work very well for cat litter, but require more effort in preparation and maintenance. Still, the eco-friendly and money-saving benefits can outweigh the extra work for many cat parents.

Final Tips and Considerations

To recap my key learnings from upcycling spent coffee into kitty litter:

  • Not all cats may like the scent or texture. Do a test run first!

  • Blend grounds with baking soda and citrus peels for optimal odor control.

  • Completely dry grounds before use to prevent mold growth.

  • Scoop waste daily and refresh entire litter weekly for cleanliness.

  • Make sure your cat has adjusted before fully switching from old litter.

With the right preparations and maintenance, used coffee grounds can become a functional cat litter. This free eco-friendly project is rewarding for the creative cat parent! Let me know if you try this upcycling idea yourself.