Even since identity theft became ridiculously and frustratingly common, the sales of paper shredders have skyrocketed. These machines, which wear once really only used by government agencies and financial institutions, are now found in homes all across North America. A shredder can help you protect yourself from identity theft because it will destroy documents containing your private information (bank statements, credit card offers, etc.). Then you can either recycle the shreds or toss them in the trash. Or, if you're a cat owner, you can make Kitty happy. Here's how.
As you know, the cost of kitty litter can add up over a long period time, especially if you're one of those conscientious pet owners who religiously scoops and cleans the box every few days. But you can get around buying those big, heavy bags of litter by using your paper shreds instead. Just shred your documents and line your cat's box with the bits of paper. Be sure to use a lot of paper since cats love to dig. You may want to slowly introduce the paper over a couple of days or weeks because some felines are very finicky about their boxes and any abrupt changes can make them less than happy.
Some of the paper you can use for this include junk mail, newspapers, old correspondence, and so on. Just be aware that cats may not like the feel of glossy paper, so try to avoid it. (Plus, it won't be as absorbent.)
Not only will using your paper shredder to create kitty litter save you money, it can be easier on your cat. Some kitties have very sensitive paws and they may find using the classic clay litter uncomfortable. This is especially true if the animal has recently been declawed. (Note: declawing is a truly barbaric practice that still goes on, unfortunately. If you're thinking of doing it to your cat, don't. It's the equivalent of cutting off a good part of someone's finger.) Just be aware that paper litter won't last as long as the clay stuff, so you're going to need to clean the box a bit more frequently.
If you give this a try and find that there's litter all over your house, you can try the following things to make things a bit less messy:
1. Soak the paper in water with a little bit of environmentally friendly soap. Drain the water and then rinse the shreds sans soap.
2. Spread some baking soda on the paper and work the powder in. The baking soda will act as a deodorizer.
3. Squeeze out the water and let the mixture dry. Instant - and cleaner - kitty litter!
Finally, this can all be can be environmentally beneficial. Paper is totally biodegradable, so it won't be sitting in a landfill for years and years. Also, you're reusing something that would probably be thrown in the garbage anyway.
If you have a paper shredder and a feline (or two or three...), try using your shreds as kitty litter. You'll be helping the environment, saving money, protecting yourself from identity theft and, best of all, making your cat(s) happy.