Newspaper Cat Litter, Soybean Meal Soil Conditioner, and Other Country Lore

Using soybean meal as a soil conditioner and shredded newspaper as cat litter were among the country lore tips readers suggested in this installment of a regular feature.

| April/May 1994

  • 143 country lore - newspaper cat litter
    With newspaper cat litter, you feline can read in their bathroom just like you read in yours!
  • 143 country lore - tea kettle
    Adding a bit of lemon removes hard water calcium deposits that are characteristic of tea grime.
  • 143 country lore - walnuts
    Fingernail polish will clean away the "dirty hands" residue from walnut harvesting. 

  • 143 country lore - newspaper cat litter
  • 143 country lore - tea kettle
  • 143 country lore - walnuts

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers.  

Newspaper Cat Litter

Avoid paying 10¢ to 28¢ per pound for cat litter. Newspaper cat litter is safer, recyclable, and free. Most cat litter is made from dried clay, which is rough on the pads of cats' paws, can cause pain and lead to infection. Clay litter can also be tracked through the house, spreading germs and mess. Newspaper, on the other hand, is soft and cannot get between paws; it is also recyclable.

For your liner, take two sections of newspaper that are of medium thickness. Place them into the litter box with the two folded edges facing one another. Next grab another section of the newspaper and, holding it by the folded edge, tear off enough strips to fill the box. (Tearing off strips while holding the folded edges seems to be the only way to get even strips that tear off easily.) If you prefer to cover wastes more than your cat has, add a few more strips to those already in the box. Dispose of the box's contents when full.

-Richard A. Bowen
Jacksonport, WI

Soybean Meal Soil Conditioner

If you have pets and are worried about spreading chemical fertilizers, try soy bean meal instead. While soybean meal is not a complete fertilizer, it is high in nitrogen and causes your grass to green up nicely. In fact, it is considered by many to be one of the finest soil conditioners, so you might try it in your garden also.

The only problem is dogs love to eat it. It is found in so many dog foods and does not seem to cause them harm.


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