TJ’s Premium Pine Cat Litter

pinecatlitterI haven’t posted previously about any pet products at TJ’s. I mostly concentrated on things us humans eat, but let’s face it, Trader Joe’s sells nice stuff for your furry friends too, so they should get some reviews for Pet Stuff. So first pet review:

One pet thing I’ve started buying on a regular basis is TJ’s PREMIUM PINE CAT LITTER. If you’ve only used clay type litters, this type of litter is quite different from clay type litters. It’s made from All Natural 100% pure pine sawdust thats been compressed into little pellets about 1/2 ” long.

pine pelletsOf course the Pine Litter has a very nice natural pine scent that is extremely helpful for odor control. When it gets wet, it basically disintegrates into well, wet (pine) sawdust. Even the wet litter I find does not get a strong ammonia odor. Pine is a natural disinfectant and it keeps all odors barely noticeable, a major, major plus for this litter.

As a Pellet litter is a pretty big change from clay type litters, both you and your cats will need to get used to it. Instructions on the bag tell you to switch to the Pine Litter gradually over time, by putting a layer of this down and your normal litter on top of the pine litter until your cat accepts the pine litter on its own. I have tested this with now 3 cats and all cats accepted the change after a about a week. Of course every cat is different in their behavior and hygiene, so you will have to try this and see if your cat will get used to it. Hopefully they will, as this is a good alternative to clay litters, its cheaper, and seems to my nose at least to be EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE ON CUTTING DOWN ALL ODORS. Basically I rarely smell any bad odors at all, ever. Even the used wet litter has almost no odor, the pine neutralizes odors!

I like the fact that its made out of a recycled waste product, pine sawdust leftover from wood mills no doubt. So “Eco”. This TJ product is much cheaper as very similar products like Feline Pine, sold in pet stores. The bag is 3.5 lbs and says “one bag is a 4 week supply”. That’s about what it lasts for my one cat (Maya) if not a little more. Using the pine litter, I don’t have to buy (and lug!) the huge 25 lb. bags of clay litter I used to anymore. Major plus.

USAGE: Without getting too disgusting, my cleaning up method is basically as follows: I use two tools to clean up: A regular plastic litter scoop PLUS a large cheap plastic spoon I got from a dollar store. Now you have a scoop with holes and a spoon with no holes. I put the box on the toilet leaving a little space. I target the “solid waste” with the two tools and focus on getting the (dried) poop, while trying to toss out as little  pine pellets as possible with a little back and forth with the two tools. I dump the solids in the toilet.

Then I brush the clean pellets on top aside, and look for the slightly dark wet “sawdust” that the pellets turn into when wet as they dissolve. I use the spoon (no holes) and spoon out any that light wet sawdust. Then I give it a little shake and sprinkle on some clean Pine Litter. Done! This technique is a bit different from doing regular clay or clumping litter but this stuff you can flush down the toilet no problem I’ve found, unlike clumping litters as the wet sawdust is very light and flushes easily down my toilet. If you don’t want to do this, just bag up all the waste.

I have found that the Pine REALLY keeps smells to a minimum and lasts quite a long time without having to change the whole box. As the litter is bigger and feels different to a cat only trying this with your cat will let you find out if they will adapt to this product. If you are patient and do it gradually as the bag says over a week or two, they very well may adapt and accept this litter. Give it a shot.

Disposal: I confess when I clean daily I flush all the waste and its not a problem (I live in a apartment building in a big city) . If you live in the country it might even be able to be used in compost outside? The bag says it can be used as mulch after use.

Even if you have to use it with combined with clay litter forever, by putting a layer of pine pellets on the bottom then clay litter on top, the pine litter will still be effective in odor control. Of course your cat will mix everything up together but it still works this way too.

A 7 lb. bag costs $3.50. A better deal compared to Feline Pine, which sells for about 14 lbs for $10-12?

*TIP 1: For cleanup, get a cheap dollar store plastic spoon to use in conjunction with your regular kitty litter scooper, as the wet sawdust will just fall through that. Of course you try not to throw out unused pine pellets if possible…

TIP 2: While you are at the dollar store, also buy a cheap door mat to place under/in front of the litter box. It will help cut down on material migration / tracking. I dump the dust on it down the toilet doing my daily cleaning routine.

Have you tried this product?  Let me know what you think in the Comments section!


UPDATE: 2019 – I now have two other cats. Both got used to the Pine Litter quickly. Even with 2 cats, a bag seems to last about a month.

(this was Maya, who I had at the time of this writing but has since passed away, after 16 years of looking like a she was about 1 years old!)maya2


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry Crosby
    Jul 07, 2017 @ 13:43:13

    would like to try this product but can’t find trader joe’s around here, i have been using feline pine, she likes it but it is expensive, do not think she would have trouble changing since they are almost the same


  2. Jen
    Jan 16, 2018 @ 16:31:33

    This is my favorite cat litter of all time. EASY, good-smelling, inexpensive, low on chemicals and my cat embraced it right away. Very often it is sold out so I always buy more than one bag.I use about a bag every month with changing it out totally every two weeks, maybe slightly more.I do not add fresh litter to it as I scoop out the solid waste and it remains to be plenty for my cat friend to do his business in. I love that rarely are there ever full pieces that make it outside of the box to step on. Yes, some of the pine dust will get out of the box onto the floor from the cat’s feet but I place a floor mat beneath it and just shake it off into the tub or toilet. Done! Awesome, awesome product. Let’s support it so they don’t ever discontinue it!!! Great post above, totally agree.


  3. Jared
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 06:53:30

    This is a great product, but even at trader Joe’s prices, there’s still an unnecessary premium you’re paying for a product marketed for cats. Look for pelletized pine HORSE bedding at a feed store or online. $6-$12 for 40lbs; the exact same thing


  4. Teresa
    Nov 17, 2018 @ 16:21:49

    You should look into flushing cat litters…. they often add toxic chemicals to water supplies and have been linked to disease in ocean critters…… most folks are saying NOT to flush these days due to environmental concerns.


  5. Al
    Dec 01, 2018 @ 18:52:15

    Remove the obvious wetted areas daily (as well as solids), replacing with a little more litter, and keep the discarded stuff in a plastic kitchen bag till week’s end,
    then dump rest of cat box contents into the bag, tie and dispose of wherever
    you dump your trash……..the trash pros DO NOT want such to be composted,
    just bagged and out with the regular trash. Just rinse the empty cat box with hot water or a small amount of ammonia with the water, swirl it around to dissolve the nitrogen smell of urine and feces, and pour down the center of your drain…….
    wipe with a paper towel and refill with FRESH LITTER……KITTIES DO HAPPY DANCE!!!…..trash pros happy, YOU have a cleaner home…..EVERYBODY WINS!!
    Only advantage of clump litter is MAYBE it’s a little easier to see where the
    wet areas are……but REALLY NOW, at twice the price???? TJ’s clumps well
    enough……this stuff is the bomb!! (you can even add it to yer smoothies
    for extra fiber!!!!!)………..KIDDING….KIDDING……juss KIDDING!!!!


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