Litters that contain perfumes as odor control can irritate cats’ eyes and aggravate allergies. But that’s just the start.
Popular among many cat owners, some clumping litters can be downright dangerous to cats. Many litters contain a compound known as sodium bentonite as the clumping agent, which expands to 15 to 18 times its dry size when wet. Cats lick their paws, especially after being in the litter box, and can get internal blockages from the dust alone. Many cats and kittens eat litter. This can have deadly consequences as the litter swells in the intestines, especially in kittens. If you use litter with sodium bentonite and your cat experiences constipation, muscle weakness or lethargy, get them to a vet ASAP.
Ever worried as you pour litter into the litter box if that dust swirling up is harmful? Many cat litters contain quartz silica. Silica dust is a known carcinogen, which can cause respiratory problems, some as serious as lung cancer, in your cat. Although there are no known studies on the effect of silica dust from cat litter on humans, many guess it could very well have the same effect on us.
So what’s a cat owner to do? Look for a cat litter made from wheat, newspaper or corn, which is free of dyes or perfumes and does not contain silica or sodium bentonite.
My all-time favorite cat litter is the aptly named World’s Best Cat Litter. Made from whole kernel corn, it’s a safe and natural alternative. It’s silica free, naturally clumping (no sodium bentonite), biodegradable and flushable. It also works great with self-cleaning litter boxes.
Check out all of our natural cat litter here.