What Can You Do With Unused Cat Litter? (9 Effective Uses!)

If you have a cat, you’ve no doubt at some point marveled at how naturally they take to litter boxes. There is a lot of instinct at play, but cat litter companies have also done a fantastic job making their product.

The right cat litter inside of good enclosure neutralizes smells and hides any unsightly messes very well. However, you must change it frequently or remove droppings to keep your home or apartment free of pet smells and unwanted odors.

But did you also know that cat litter can do a lot more than handle your cat’s business?

Over the years, ingenious pet owners discovered a ton of other uses for cat litter to make life easier. Whether you’re cleaning up messes or trying to get better traction in the mud, cat litter will come to your rescue.

If you have some cat litter on your hands that you don’t know what to do with, or you’re buying in bulk and trying to get more value out of affordable cat litter, here are some things you can start trying today! Take a look at our collection of amazing things you can do with unused cat litter.

Eliminating Odors

Cat litter tray with filler and scoop on wooden floor, top view

Cat litter has some amazing absorptive properties. Cat litter eliminates smells very effectively, both with its ability to eliminate odors in the air and mask them with its scent.

You can buy cat litter now in various scents, so find one that you love to smell and stick it in smelly areas of your home or wherever else a smell is bothering you.

Lots of people will put some cat litter in a cup or bowl and keep it around old shoes or down in the basement where things can get a bit musty.

Fighting Smoke Smells

cat litter close-up, ginger cat at the tray. view from above

Even smokers don’t like the smell of cigarettes. That stench that lingers in furniture, clothing, and everywhere else smoke drifts is incredibly hard to eliminate.

If you live with someone who smokes or you buy a car from a smoker, then unused cat litter is your friend. It can absorb the odor and make the room smell fresh.

Unfortunately, it can’t leech the smoke smell out of fabric and make it seem like it was never smoked in at all.

The next time you deal with smoker smells, give cat litter a try.

Keeping Your Garbage Can Fresh

Woman putting leftover food in white recycling bin in the kitchen

These days, it’s easier than ever to keep your trash can smelling fresh.

A lot of new garbage bags have fresh scents or citrus smells. When you put a new bag into the trash can, you’re met with a nice smell as you unfold the bag.

However, sometimes things still get under the bag and pool at the bottom of your garbage can.

These areas are hard to notice and clean because it’s challenging to reach, and you’re busy, so you don’t take a good look at the bottom of your trash can all that often.

Now all you have to do is sprinkle some unused cat litter in the bottom of your trash can as you switch out bags. It will stop that fetid odor from trash juice and other lost items.

Soak Up Oil Spills

A straw-bristled broom and water cleans up an oil spill in a household garage with oil-absorbing cat box litter granules

Oil spills in your garage are not really a big deal, and most people would get rid of them if it were easy enough. Unfortunately, they’re tough to clean and are usually a permanent feature in most concrete garages.

Unused cat litter is very effective at soaking up oil spills.

You may want to give it a try to suck up those annoying oil spills in the garage or on your driveway.

Sprinkle a decent coat of cat litter on the stain, and then let it sit for a day. Eventually, the kitty litter will become saturated with oil, so you may have to switch out old litter for new, dry litter and let it keep doing its work.

Traction in the Winter

mother and son clearing snow from path in front of house

Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t prepared for snow, and suddenly you’re dealing with icy, slippery walkways outside?

If you don’t have snow salt, don’t worry because kitty litter will do the trick just fine!

Kitty litter won’t melt the snow as well as salt will, but it will give you enough traction for your shoes to help you walk to your car or get the groceries in from the store.

Scatter the kitty litter across where you need to walk, and you’ll notice a big difference.

You can use this trick when conditions are muddy and wet, so grab a bag of litter and stick it next to the front door if you can’t find any sand or salt!

Clean Up Messy Spills

Tidy Cats litter on top of a car oil spill on black asphalt

An interesting fact about fresh cat litter is that it can make it much easier to clean up liquid spills.

Especially if you are cleaning up after something like a paint spill, it can seem like your rag just pushes through the paint, and it takes forever to do the job.

Adding fresh kitty litter to a paint spill gives it texture so that your cloth or mop sticks to the paint better. Also, it doesn’t take a lot to make the liquid thick enough for faster cleaning.

Artificial Flowerpot Decoration

Small artificial indoor plant on a white background

If you’re not one for living plants, you can keep your fake flowers looking fresh with a layer of kitty litter in the pot. Unfortunately, keeping plants alive takes a lot of work.

Artificial flowers are a nice shortcut that still looks nice and doesn’t require all of the upkeep.

Keeping a layer of cat litter on top of the pot makes your flowers look clean and gives your house a nice fragrance.

Make sure the pot isn’t big enough that your cat is tempted to make your flowers their bathroom.

Fun Activities With Kids

Kid playing squishy hand made toy

If you have children, you’re probably thinking of things to keep them busy when they’re out of school. Parents everywhere put in hours becoming crafting masters, making everything from slime to stress balls.

Kitty litter is an excellent stand-in for something like sand or flour.

Many parents know the pain of an exploded stress ball balloon that was filled with flour. The white powder gets everywhere and is impossible to clean out of cracks.

Instead, use kitty litter to make stress balls or fill other containers during craft hour. Then, your kids will have fun playing, and you won’t risk making such a big mess.


Many cigarette in white ashtray on the desk with laptop computer.

While this trick may not be something you use all of the time, one interesting use for unused kitty litter is putting them in ashtrays.

You may see this at your favorite hotel. They may fill their outdoor ashtrays with kitty litter to help absorb the smoke smell, so it doesn’t bother other guests.

Since we know how effective kitty litter is at absorbing odors, it’s no wonder businesses are using it for other purposes.

Final Thoughts

These are just nine ways people use kitty litter for other purposes. As you now know, there is plenty you can do with it that doesn’t involve any animals! If you find yourself with an extra bag lying around, don’t be so quick to toss it in the trash or give it away.


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