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When it comes to making eco-friendly choices for your pets and home, hemp-based litter is emerging as a game-changer. The cat litter you choose might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it has significant implications on the environment. Right now, we’re dumping upwards of 8 billion pounds of non-biodegradable cat litter into landfills every year.

Using a sustainable material for these products, like hemp based litter, can make a huge difference on the environment and consequently the lives of wild animals!

Traditional cat litter, like clay litter, is more than just a hassle - it’s harmful. Loaded with chemicals and non-biodegradable, this litter is a contributor to our growing landfill crisis. Hemp-based cat litter, on the other hand, offers a sustainable alternative that not only reduces our ecological footprint but also removes chemicals from our home and provides a healthier option for our feline friends.

But what is hemp? Hemp not only brings us sustainable products but simply the act of growing the plant improves our environment.

Hemp plants absorb up to 10 tons of CO2 per acre. That’s more than twice as much as trees! Also notable, all parts of the hemp plant are useful so there’s very little waste (more on hemp’s uses soon).

Hemp is not talked about enough! In fact, a lot of people aren’t aware of the sustainable products it creates. So let’s walk through what this is and talk about why it’s a perfect solution for our pets.

How Hemp Outshines Other Materials

Alternative materials don’t get very far in a showdown against hemp. One of the biggest places hemp shines is with cat litter, knocking traditional clay litter out of the picture.

Hemp Cat Litter VS Clay Cat Litter

Hemp cat litter beats clay litter in both sustainability and efficiency!

Biodegradable - Clay cat litter is not biodegradable. When you throw it out it’s sure to take up space in the landfill for the rest of your life. Actually, thousands of years. Consider how long ancient pottery has stuck around for! Hemp cat litter can go right into the compost bin. Dust-Free Hemp cat litter is basically dust-free. Clay cat litter can create a lot of dust when moved around which is not good for a cat’s respiratory system (or a human’s).

More Absorbent - Hemp cat litter retains five times its weight in water, absorbing up to 5 times more than clay. It also reduces ammonia odors more efficiently than clay cat litter.

Hemp Is More Eco-Friendly Than Cotton

Another material hemp transcends is cotton. Cotton isn’t biodegradable and can take decades to decompose. If you think about all of the clothes that get thrown away every year, you can see why using cotton for so many products takes a toll on the environment.

Hemp farming is also more sustainable than cotton. You can grow hemp with less water and with less pesticides. This means organic hemp is easier to produce! Sounds like a great plant to take up space in the fields, am I right?

Additionally, all parts of the hemp plant can be used, so it creates less waste! The outer part of the plant is used for clothing and the inner part of the plant is more commonly used for building materials and pet bedding.

The Benefits Of Hemp

  • Hemp plants are often grown without pesticides. They have natural pest-resistant properties thus making more organic products.
  • Farming hemp is great for the environment as hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 per acre (twice as much as trees).
  • Hemp is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
  • Composting hemp pellets adds nutrients to the soil, creating a natural fertilizer.
  • Using cat litter made from hemp helps take non-biodegradable clay cat litter off the shelves and out of the landfills!

Is Hemp Safe?

Hemp fibers are breathable, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic! The process from hemp plant to hemp fiber is done without harmful chemicals. Thus making hemp materials safe for pets to breathe in!

Hemp is often grown for CBD. CBD is found in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Hemp fiber doesn’t contain any CBD (neither do hemp seeds).

Don’t confuse hemp with marijuana. Hemp has a THC content of .05% and marijuana is 3-20% THC. Your pets will not be getting high off of hemp products!

Where Is Hemp Used In Pet Products?

With pets, hemp is used in similar ways as it is with humans! Hemp oil can be used in supplements and hemp fibers can be used in bedding and other textiles such as nesting pads for chickens.

Supplements For Pets

Hemp seed oil is not psychoactive as it’s extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant (it doesn’t contain THC or CBD). It’s a great source of essential fatty acids, amino acids, and proteins. It’s also easy to digest! Which makes it work well for supplements. Hemp seed oil is often used in supplements for dogs or even as a supplement on its own. Some hemp seed oil products are infused with CBD and will be advertised that way. However, hemp seed oil doesn’t contain this on its own.

Hemp-Based Cat Litter

Hemp is a perfect material for cat litter as it is biodegradable and compostable. It’s a natural fertilizer! Composting hemp pellets adds nutrients to the soil. Hemp-based cat litter also absorbs more than clay-based litter (up to 5 times more!) Clay litter adds 8 billion pounds to landfills every year. You can see why cat lovers need a sustainable alternative! Small Pet Select’s Hemp Pelleted Cat Litter is made with all-natural hemp stalk fibers. It’s 99.9% dust-free, pesticide-free, and hypoallergenic. Efficient and eco-friendly, you can see why hemp has been finding its way into the pet industry.

Hemp Cat Litter

  • 100% natural without chemicals or additives
  • retains 5x its weight in water
  • absorbs up to 5 times more than clay
  • reduces ammonia odors
  • hypoallergenic
  • 99% dust-free
  • low tracking (keeps litter where you want it)

Small Pet Bedding

Small pet hemp bedding has a lot of the same benefits as hemp cat litter. It creates a natural environment for your small pet to burrow and live in. It’s made from 100% hemp stalks and is completely biodegradable and compostable.

Hemp pet bedding absorbs 4-5 times its weight in water and suppresses ammonia odor. It keeps everything fresh for you and your pet.

Hemp Chicken Bedding

Hemp works great for chicken bedding for the same reasons hemp-based cat litter shines. You have a super absorbent material (much more absorbent than pine or straw) that lasts a very long time.

Some chicken parents use deep hemp chicken bedding for an entire year. You don’t have to worry about dust or chemicals and again the bedding is biodegradable and compostable.

Hemp bedding gives your chickens a very healthy and natural coop environment!

Hemp Chicken Nesting Pads

As we said earlier, hemp is very strong. It makes very sturdy eco-friendly nesting pads that add to the healthy coop environment! They provide the perfect warm clean space for nesting. The soft material encourages your hens so that you don’t have to go on an Easter egg hunt for your chicken eggs.

Cage Liners

Cage liners take advantage of hemp's absorbent properties. Hemp cage liners have excellent odor control while being fantastic for the environment both in your small pet’s cage and outside of it. It’s so important to keep chemicals out from under small pet’s noses and biodegradable hemp liners keep our earth happy as well.

Hemp Collars and Leashes

The strength and durability of hemp make it perfect for collars and leashes. It’s attractive and easy to care for. Hemp collars and leashes have a natural look and are hypoallergenic. Many pet parents love their walks with their hemp leashes.

Hemp Dog Toys

Dogs love a good tug-a-war with a strong rope. Hey, maybe they were even doing that in ancient China! Hemp makes strong nontoxic chew toys for dogs. A great alternative to plastics and other materials with chemicals.

The History Of Hemp

Hemp has a long history. Imagine hemp ropes from as early as 10,000 BC. In Ancient China, hemp was used for the strings of bows, paper, as well as medicine.

Christopher Columbus traveled on a ship with hemp sails. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and the first American flag was made with hemp!

In the 18th century, farmers were required by law to grow hemp. It was such a valuable crop that both the king of England and the Virginia Assembly would fine farmers who didn’t grow it!

Using hemp for a variety of products is far from new. Hemp was used to spin yarn and weave cloth. It was the most used textile for clothing until the 18th century when the cotton gin was invented. Cotton is softer on the skin than most hemp fabrics. However, hemp is just as strong as cotton (or stronger) and certainly more eco-friendly.

Is Industrial Hemp Farming Legal?

Industrial hemp farming has had a few setbacks as it was confused with the cannabis plant used to make marijuana. They’re both from the same species but industrial hemp contains less than .3% of the psychoactive compound THC.

It was actually illegal to grow hemp in the 70’s. However, in recent years, we collectively have a much better understanding of the plant.

The 2014 Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as distinct from cannabis and the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalizes the production of hemp in the U.S.

Prior to these bills, hemp was on and off the table as it got lumped into marijuana regulation. Hemp now looks to have a bright future. Perhaps it will make a comeback!

How We Use Hemp Today

One of the reasons the hemp plant is so great is due to our ability to use every part of it! So let’s break this plant down into parts so we can take a closer look.


The stem of the hemp plant is very sturdy! It is part wood tissue and part bast fiber. The wood tissue is used for building material. The bast fibers are used to make ropes, felt, and textiles. These fibers are elastic, tear-resistant, breathable, and absorb moisture. The stem fibers are the most absorbent part of the plant!

Hemp fibers are also used for clothing, shoes, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and pet bedding and litter.


Hemp seeds are a bit of a superfood! Hemp hearts (the soft inner part of the seed) are often used as a salad topping or an addition to smoothies. Hemp seeds are a great source of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. They are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids. They can be consumed raw or cooked.

Hemp seeds can be processed into hemp seed oil which is used as a food. In China, hemp seed oil has been used as medicine for 3,000 years!


Hemp roots do amazing things for the soil! They provide nutrients to the soil and play a key role in phytoremediation. This is a process where the soil is naturally decontaminated. Hemp can absorb pollutants and chemicals from the soil (and the air!). Leaves and Flowers The leaves and flowers of hemp contain cannabinoids. This is where the plant can be used for CBD oil, body care products, teas, etc. The leaves can be used as compost or mulch.

Hemp Brings Sustainable Options To Many Industries

Hemp is used in the food, biofuel, automobile, makeup, paper, rope, construction, textile, clothing, and pet industries. Changing each for the better with its sustainable properties and new options for many products. Choosing Hemp products over synthetic alternatives contributes to a healthier, greener planet.

It’s certainly not a material to shy away from!

A Review of Hemp’s Sustainability

  • Hemp absorbs up to 10 tons of CO2 per acre (over 2x more than trees) due to its large root system.
  • Hemp reaches full maturity in just 100 days, requiring less water, compared to the 30+ years it takes trees.
  • It provides pesticide-free products as it’s easier to grow organically (compared to other common materials like cotton).
  • Hemp is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
  • Composting hemp pellets adds nutrients to the soil.
  • All parts of the hemp plant can be used throughout various industries.

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