The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

November 25, 2008

Saying Good-bye to Plastic-Free Cat Litter… Again!

Arya loves SwheatScoop cat litter. She loves to rip open the bag, spread the litter across the kitchen floor, and then lie in it and take a nap. Why confine such an awesome substance to her litter box?

Soots on the other hand, will have almost nothing to do with it. To avoid grossing you out, I provide the following black and white representation of what Soots thinks of SwheatScoop:

I wanted to love Swheatscoop natural clumping, flushable cat litter. I really did. Especially because it’s the only flushable* litter that comes in a paper bag rather than plastic. [2016 update:  Swheatscoop has switched to a plastic bag.  We now use Integrity cat litter instead.] Even the boxed litters have plastic bags inside.

*For those who weren’t here for the beginning of the cat litter story, we feel comfortable flushing their poop because they are indoor cats that have tested negative for toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that kills sea otters.

We tried to love it last year and failed, switching instead to World’s Best Cat Litter — corn in a plastic bag — and writing a letter to the company asking for different packaging in order to assuage our (my) guilt.

Looks like I’ll be following up with them soon to see how they’re coming on that packaging problem because we just can’t have Soots pooping on the floor every day. Not to mention, the SwheatScoop does not absorb odors or clump nearly as well as the World’s Best.

And yes, this post was an excuse to show you photos of bad Arya being so totally cute that all I could do was laugh as I swept up her mess on Sunday… laugh, cough, sweep, laugh, cough, sweep…

But I really will write back to World’s Best Cat Litter. Not going to start a major campaign any time soon, but maybe those who wrote before want to join me in following up?

Here’s the contact info:

GPC Pet Products
1600 Oregon Street
Muscatine , IA 52761

Email contact form:

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Etsy handmade and vintage

I only post ads for companies I patronize myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

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My cat’s name is Arya too :)

AnnaPapercircle is a really awesome cat litter. It’s made from recycled paper and comes in a paper bag. It’s cheap and even though it does not clump, it is really easy to deal with.

Diane W

Hi Beth, I love your blog and website! I read Plastic Ocean last summer and have been altering my lifestyle bit by bit. A few months ago I switched to YESTERDAY’S NEWS cat litter, made from recycled paper and the best part is that it comes in a paper bag. I have discovered that disposing of the litter in a regular paper grocery bag works just fine, and of course you can use the Yesterday’s News bag when it is empty too. I tie the paper bag up with cheap twine, wrapped around the bottom of the bag and tied… Read more »


I know this is a really old post, but I use Arm & Hammer litter in a cardboard box and it has no plastic bag inside.


And I had been all set when I came here today on suggesting that you host a writing campaign. Maybe we get Credo to do it, but it seems to be a bit under their radar. You’d think that since this company is dealing with so much corn, they’d at least start using corn-based plastic. I know, that has problems and issues, too, but it’s a start. At this point I’d settle for recyclable plastic. Since we’re in SF, we have some outlets for it, but not the current kind. FYI, there’s a rebate for this stuff right now, but… Read more »


Hi Beth,
Love your blog. I started reading it regularly about a month ago and am trying hard to reduce my use of plastic. I took tote bags with me to the mall to Christmas shop and they are more comfortable to tote than the plastic ones they give you.

Just wanted to let you know that I emailed GPC asking them to change their packaging. Thanks again for all the great advice and for sharing your trial and error stories as you become plastic-free.


I just wrote them an email!


We tried the pine stuff that looked like broken pencils. The cats hated it. They like the corn cob stuff.

A Slice of the Pie

Why are kitties so cute when they are being naughty?

I currently have two cats and they didn’t like the swheatscoop. I have one old cat who is quite content using the beds or piles of laundry. Makes me wonder if I should put fabric in her litter box.

Also I loved your tasteful graphic to spare us the EW factor!


Sorry your cat doesn’t like SwheatSchoop. Mine loves hers and she hardly ever tracks it.

I think another option would be to go to a farm supply store and buy farm animal litter. It would be a bit cheaper and you might find some plastic-free choices.

Lara S.

This looks like quite a lot of work, but it would be worth it… :-)

Please consider it!

Lara S.


I just wanted to let you know that a fast food chain local to me, Burgerville (39 locations in Oregon and Washington), has started “going green.” They have replaced all of their lids, straws, cups, etc with corn-based products and put composters into half of their units (and are working on the other half). Also, all of the food has always been local and they purchase wind credits equal to 100% of their energy consumption. Interesting, huh?

They are not completely plastic-free yet, but I think this effort is note-worthy regardless.


I love reading posts about disposing of cat litter because it’s just one of those things that there’s no perfect answer for. You have to make the best choice for you.
I did wonder, after reading the statement from the previous post, if its possible that cats could get TP from mice in the house, or other unknowns?

Lara S.

Hi again Beth!
I read somewhere that you can actually teach the cats to pee/poop in the toilet! Sounds weird but I think it it IS possible!! =)

Lara S.


I’m in – never heard anything back from my last round of e-mail so left this on the site: Hi – I’m a pretty big fan of your product – but I have had about 3 bags in 2008 that didn’t perform very well – the litter was very powdery and my cats would come out of the box all covered with dust. I wrote earlier this year – and had a brief exchange, offer of a coupon and request for my address, which I provided but I never heard anything back after that — perhaps it was because I… Read more »


That joke was, ah, memorable (gack). Anyways, wanted to say I thought of you when I bought frozen artichoke hearts in a box, instead of the more cost effective bag. Only to open them up and see – ack! Plastic bags. So totally didn’t use to be that way. Sigh. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Small Footprints

Hi! Your site was recommended to me by Argentum Vulgaris at Tomus Arcanum ( It’s great … you have a lot of important information here.

I hope you don’t mind if I add you to my blog roll as well as follow you.

BTW … love the pictures of your cats!

Thank you for sharing all of this with us!

Small Footprints

Condo Blues

One of my readers told me that she uses the Doggie Dooley to compost her cat’s poo and litter. However, if you live in an area with heavy clay soils or have french drains that drain into your city’s sewer system this may not be an option for you.

PS: Nice mess Arya! You look very cute making it too.

Crunchy Chicken

See? You can’t get that joke out of your twisted mind, can you?

Alline Anderson

I guess we got lucky – our cat seems quite content with Swheat Scoop. We add generous amounts of baking soda (bought in bulk) to make it last a bit longer. I’m looking at trying to find a way/place (away from my veggie garden) to bury it so that it can decompose rather than land-filling it every two weeks… Thanks for the conversation – and I LOVE the photos!


That is too funny. I could totally see my cats doing that. We also tried Swheat Scoop, but the cats didnt’t like it so much (they even opened the bucket I stored it in and peed in there just the ruin the rest of the batch). I’ll have to give the other cat litter you recommend. I read on one website a lady uses sand for her litter box and when she mixed baking soda with it it’s great, haven’t tried it yet. I did try to make my own once from newspaper (cat’s HATED it) and it was way… Read more »


My 20 year old cat died this summer, but I went through a bunch of litter arrangements in her long life. Mostly I used cedar chips. I had guinea pigs, so I used to buy giant bails of cedar chips – but in plastic. I wasn't aware of the plastic crisis 10-20 years ago, I just consumed very little and shopped bulk at my co op. Then I tried clay that I bought bulk after the guinea pigs passed on. I used wheat stuff. My cat got so old that she missed the box nearly all of the time, even… Read more »


We buy a kind that of course I can’t remember the name of, but it is in a yellow box and has Naturals in the name. It does come with a plastic bag (inside the cardboard box that we recycle), but as we are not quite so plastic free as you, we use that bag to line our cat poop trash bin, and since we have 3 cats, I feel like that plastic gets pretty well used before it goes to the landfill. I really like the litter because it is not perfumed and not too dusty, and it is… Read more »

Beth Terry

Apparently, I don’t know how to spell it either, as I spelled it two different ways in my post and then just now went back and corrected it. But folks who subscribe will have seen the misspellings already!

Axelle, you are a better man that I. You and Allie should get together, what with your rinsing out clay litter and drying it in the sun and her papier mache cat litter also drying in the sun.

Man, I’m up way past my bed time again.


Arya just called and left a message saying I can’t spel SwheathShcoop. SweatCsoop. SweetScoop.


Those are THE BEST photos! Thank you, thank you for sharing them with your faithful fans, Beth, and thank you, Arya, for lovin' your litter. I don't like World's Best or Swheatsworth. They turn to dust and the dust gets tracked everywhere. They cost an arm & a leg and they can't be reused. I've gone back to using clay litter in paper sacks because it hardly tracks, it's cheap, and because it can be reused and here's how: When the litter box is ready to be changed, I scoop out the poops, pour the used litter into a bucket,… Read more »