The Dangers of Low Quality Cat Litter

The Dangers of Low Quality Cat Litter

cat litter tray cartoon Critter Caretakers Pet Services The Dangers of Low Quality Cat Litter

Have you ever poured fresh litter into your cat’s litterbox and seen or smelled the cloud of dust that plumes up?  I’m sure you’ve coughed a few times if you were too close!  This could actually be potentially detrimental to your health or your kitty’s health.  Not only do you both inhale this dust, but your cat will also groom her paws and ingest the dust and possibly litter from her box.  So what’s the big deal?   Well your Chandler pet sitter wants you to know exactly that!  Just imagine how litter is supposed to clump and absorb moisture.  Now imagine it doing so inside of your kitty.  It can coat her digestive tract and prevent minerals and nutrients from being utilized as well as cause respiratory issues and dehydration. Some clay litters have sodium bentonite which expands to 15 times its original size when wet.  It can block your plumbing if you flush it, so one can only imagine what it could do to your kitty’s digestive tract and lungs!  This substance cannot be a healthy thing to put into the body.  Even more concerning is crystalline silica dust which is also found in low quality clay cat litter.  Crystalline silica dust is thought to be carcinogenic and can build up in the lungs causing silicosis which results in shortness of breath and reduced lung capacity for potentially both you and your purry partner.  Not good!

Your cat sitters in Chandler have some recommendations for safer litters to try that will be healthier for your feline and your family.

Feline Pine or Feline Fresh is made from southern yellow pine and has no dust or bentonite.  The pellets disintegrate upon contact with moisture and turn into sawdust.  Once all pellets have dissolved, then you change the litter completely.  Feline Fresh also makes a clumping pine litter as well which has a texture more similar to clay.  This product holds up very well with multiple cats and keeps odors at bay.

Yesterday’s News by Purina is made from recycled newspaper and is virtually dust-free while remaining very absorbent.  It is unscented and non-toxic and flushable.  However, my personal experience has been that it does not keep litterbox smells to a minimum.

-Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter line is virtually dust-free and seems to keep the room smelling fresh while retaining strong clumping action.  One scented version only releases a pleasant scent when it comes into contact with moisture.  This litter looks like normal clay but is a healthier version! This is the litter I use and I like it very much for my 5 cat household.

Swheat Scoop is made from wheat and has low dust but also clumps.  It has no clay or chemicals, is biodegradable, and compostable.  It is also safe for sewer and septic systems. This substrate also feels like clay but is a lighter litter.  However, personal experience also reminds me that the clumping power is limited for this litter.  The corn-based litter made by Arm and Hammer is also similar, and I would put it on this level as well.

-World’s Best Cat Litter is harvested from corn and is 99% dust-free.  It is also lightweight.  Personally, while this is a healthier choice, I have not been satisfied with the price-point of this litter.  I also feel it tracks more than others.  But I suggest you do your own research and trials. Be aware this litter has been made with Round Up Ready GMO corn which if ingested (and most likely will be licked from kitty paws) can lead to kidney issues.

Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Litter is made from walnut shells and does an exceptional job of neutralizing odors and clumping.  It is 100% natural and environmentally-friendly.  My experience has also been positive in that the price-point is satisfactory.

So tell your Chandler pet sitter, given these alternatives to clay, what might you choose the next time you need to stock up on kitty litter?

1 Comment
  • Alex Boily


    I have researched cat litters and have some concerns with the cat litters on the market and the proposed brands in your article. Although, I recon that there is no perfect litter on the market, nontheless, the users deserve better information.

    Feline Pine or Feline Fresh brand may contain Phenol gas – a toxic substance found in all conifer (evegreen) trees.

    Yesterday’s News may also contain chemicals as the paper they use is most likely bleached and chemically manufactured.

    The same goes for World’s Best Cat Litter… The genetically modified organisms (GMO) corn used to make the litter is grown and planted directly in “round-up“ early in the season as well as all the other chemical agents used to help performance (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers). This industry is responsible for the disappearance of bees. Should we encourage such practices?

    It would be interesting to have these products tested in a laboratory for chemical or natural contaminants. Bentonite, silica or clay based cat litter aren’t better from a health and safety and/or environmental perspective. I hope more research can be done in order to have an environmentally friendly and sustainable product that are not as harmful to human or animal health.

    Alex Boily

    January 21, 2016 at 13:50

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