Junk Mail & Cats

Problem #1: Despite taking appropriate action we still receive a shedload of junk mail.

Problem #2: We have been spending about £150 per annum on paper based compostable cat litter.

Answer: Think laterally.

We have bought a cross shredder for about £20. All junk mail is now shredded and used as cat litter. After the cat has evacuated her bladder the end result goes in the compost bin. No pictures of said cat are available. She is about as approachable as Greta Garbo.

Apart from saving cash in this way we achieve no little satisfaction from the thought of the cat urinating on unsolicited loan applications, invitations to apply for credit cards we don’t want, and requests from utility companies to pay our bills by direct debit.

If there is a surfeit of (unused) cat litter over a period of time we intend to employ the shredded junk mail as confetti at weddings.

Are there any other uses for junk mail which we have overlooked?

Lovin’ the shredder. I have a big-ass one that holds months worth of shred. One good use is to use it as packing when you’re mailing something that needs to be surrounded by fluffiness. CDs or breakable items. I also use plastic grocery bags for this purpose, but I don’t recommend shredding them in a machine.

You can use shred to nestle Xmas ornaments in if you don’t have a proper storage device for them.

For storing large stuff (sets of dishes, glassware, etc.) you can put the shred in a plastic grocery bag and tie it shut. Much easier to handle, i.e., no mess!

This is a great idea. I love clumping litter but maybe I can try a 50/50 mix. How deep does the confetti have to be to prevent the cat pee from leaking through and pooling up at the bottom of the pan?

When I had a parrot that is what I used to line her cage.

I didn’t think you could compost animal wastes. What do you do with the compost?

Another use for shredded papers is art - papier mache! Although you may want to make sure there aren’t any plastic bits in there.

This is a vexed question.

There are two variables to consider, like so:

(1) Some junk mail is less absorbent than others. Glossy brochures fall into this category, as do many credit card application forms. On the other hand envelopes (white or brown) tend to assimilate the urine quite well, as do plain paper and begging letters. In other words, you need a professional eye to assess the shredded mix before deciding upon the required depth. Remember, practice makes perfect.

(2) The cat’s urination technique needs to be closely analysed before implementing the confetti system. Some cats prefer to pee using a kind of spray method thus covering more of the surface area of the litter. Others prefer to remain motionless and pee in one spot. Clearly the second method necessitates a greater depth of confetti than the first.

I recommend an initial depth of about 2.5 inches (6.35 centimetres) and re-evaluate as required. If your cat urinates on the newspaper outside the tray then it may be necessary to get another cat.

Let me know how you get on.

Urine is fine but I wouldn’t compost solids. I use the compost for soil conditioning or for outside pot plants.

We line the litterbox with old newspaper, and a thin layer of clumping litter on top. The urine soaks through the litter and is absorbed by the newspapers.
Once a week, everyting (paper and clumping litter) gets thrown out in the regular thrash.

We have three cats and two litterboxes, and this system allows us to change the litterbox just once a week, without problems of smell or cats refusing to use it.

It is more expensive on clumping litter though, as you can’t scoop out and refill just a bit. But is IS easier on the cleaning, as you don’t have to scoop every day.

It also matters if you pay for garbage disposal by weight or volume, or just a standard cost per household.

I vaguely recall that the problem with composting animal waste (and, I assume, using that compost in your garden) was the same problem as with cats pooping in the garden. A child or adult that came into contact with the soil of the garden (by playing or gardening) could be infected by the parasites eggs in the pet’s waste. Toxoplasmosis iss one of those infections transferrable from cats to humans, but is certainly is not the only one.

OTOH, I suppose that in any normal (not ultra clean) household pets and people will have infected each other already, and both have either died or gotten their immunesystem up to speed. :slight_smile: