Special Kitty kitty litter is perhaps among the cheapest kitty litters available for the quantity you get versus price. I buy a 25 pound bag of Special Kitty kitty litter for under $5. But when you buy cheap kitty litter, you get cheap results, as in the inability to clump, poor absorption of odors, and huge granules that can get stuck in your cat’s claws. Why do I buy it? Because I don’t use it by itself, of course! Special Kitty kitty litter may be cheap, but it helps stretch the more expensive kitty litter I use as well last a helluva lot longer.
I prefer Arm and Hammer Multi-Cat kitty litter, even though I just have one cat. But the box is expensive (about $20 for a 40 pound box) so I combine equal parts the cheap stuff (Special Kitty) with the more expensive Arm and Hammer Multi-Cat to allow the more expensive kitty litter to do its job while not being drastically used during the week.
For my single cat, I can even use about a 3rd expensive kitty litter and 2/3 of the cheap stuff. Now that we let her outdoors she uses her litter box far less than she used to, so I’ve cut down. On average, even with entirely dumping her litter out once a week (sometimes twice), we only buy kitty litter every couple of months.
You also don’t need to make the litter box so full that the cat is swimming in litter. I only fill the box a few inches, just enough for the cat to squat and bury in. You don’t need to fill the box full. This also eliminates a lot of litter scattering as the cat scratches around in the box. So long as you clean out the litter box daily, you don’t need to overfill it with litter. It’s just waste, particularly if you dump out the whole litter box often like we do.
I also pour baking soda in the bottom of the box before pouring litter, to make my mixed litter (cheap and expensive) eliminate even more odors and absorb that ammonia smell of cat urine. Little things can go a long way to stretching out your kitty litter even further without compromising clumping ability and odor control.
Don’t be afraid to add a cheap litter to your more expensive brand of kitty litter to help the expensive litter stretch out further. You can easily mix equal parts of the cheap stuff with a more expensive brand and still have great kitty litter to use and save yourself a lot of money, and be hitting the litter aisle less often at the store. So long as you clean the litter box daily, dump out the old litter once a week or so, and maintain a clean litter box all the time, you could likely just use even the cheap stuff and forgo the expensive litters altogether if you wanted.