It's one of those things: human beings can make a computer the size of a deck of cards, but we can't seem to figure out a tidy cat litter situation. I have tried everything, short of teaching my cats to use a toilet, to have a less messy, healthy and still earth-friendly litter box situation for my two cats — and it has always ended in failure.

I've used traditional clay litters (bad for the environment, cat's lungs, smelly and messy), wheat litters (healthier, expensive, but messy), corn litters (they don't cover up smells well at all), and most recently compressed waste pine sawdust (eco-friendly, cheap, somewhat smelly and a mess — bits of sawdust everywhere). Vacuuming up litter after my otherwise extremely tidy kitties has become an every-other-day task.

Let's just say neither my kitties nor I were happy with the situation.

But I have finally found cat litter happiness, and it is Purr and Simple cat litter, which is made from — get this — ground up nutshells (a waste product from the nut industry). Dark brown in color, this litter looks just like the pine pellets, but it doesn't dissolve as easily, meaning a LOT less tracked bits outside the box. Since it is made from nutshells, it's totally biodegradable, it really kills odors to a surprising degree, and it's price-competitive with pine litter.

While I have a fruit and Vega compost for my veggie garden in the summers, I'm actually thinking of starting a separate compost for this cat litter. While animal waste should never go in a compost that's going to be used for food crops, it's perfect for flower beds, of which I have plenty of!

Just a little something for those cat-loving, but litter-frustrated readers out there. Do you have a favorite cat litter solution?

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Found! My cat litter solution
Made from nutshells, this litter is less stinky, doesn't track, biodegrades and is healthier for my cats.