Cat litter comes in two variations – Clumping and Non-Clumping. Today we’ll talk about clumping litter. Well, this liter is a popular choice for many cat owners, as it makes cleaning the litter box easier and more convenient. But Is Clumping Litter Bad For Cats?
You may be surprised to learn that some clumping litters can pose serious health risks to your cat.
Some clumping litters are made of clay or crystalline silica. These can create dust that can irritate your cat’s lungs and eyes. Even you will be surprised to know that some studies have linked clay and silica dust to respiratory diseases and cancer in humans and animals. But not all litter is harmful, and we’ll talk about that.
Cats are very particular about their hygiene and comfort. They deserve a litter that is not only easy to use, but also safe and healthy. You wouldn’t compromise on your own bathroom essentials, would you?
So why settle for a clumping litter that could harm your cat?
Why Litter Safety Is Important
You may think that cat litter is just a simple product that helps your cat do their business, but it’s actually more than that. Cat litter can affect your cat’s health in different ways, depending on what it’s made of and how it works.
Cat litter can harm your cat in two ways: by breathing it in or by eating it. When cats go to their litter boxes, they dig and scratch in the litter to find a spot to do their business. This makes dust fly up, which cats breathe in.
Cats also swallow some litter when they lick their paws to clean themselves. How can licking litter cause problems? Consuming clumping litters, for example, can form hard lumps inside your cat’s body if they eat them. This can cause serious damage to your cat’s organs.
So, why is litter safety so important, you ask?
Well, think of it as your cat’s health insurance policy. Choosing the right one can ensure their safety, without inadvertently inhaling or ingesting harmful substances while comfortably doing their business.
What Is Clumping Litter and How Does It Works
Clumping litter basically forms clumps when it gets wet from pee or poop, so you can remove and throw away the clumps easily. This litter can be made from different things, such as plant fiber (wood, corn, pine, tofu, wheat etc), clay, silica gel, recycled paper and so on.
So, how does it work?
Clumping litter uses sodium bentonite that grows very big when it gets wet. This natural clay is also used for other things, like sealing cracks and holes in buildings, and it can block your pipes if you throw it in the toilet.
Sodium bentonite makes clumping cat litter easy to use, because it absorbs the liquid and solid waste from your cat and forms clumps that you can scoop out.
Clumping cat litter stays fresh longer, and keeps the smell away because you can get rid of the waste quickly, and leave the rest of the litter clean. This litter is better than non-clumping litter, which needs to be changed more often.
Is Clumping Litter Bad For Cats? What Vet Say
Clumping litter has both pros and cons. People mostly buy this product because it can easily remove the waste and keep the litter box clean and odor-free.
However, clumping litter can also pose some health risks to cats. It is connected to different health issues like vomiting, diarrhea in cats if they consume a specific amount.
Some vets warn that clumping litter can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma or bronchitis, or gastrointestinal blockage, which can be fatal.
Nevertheless clumping litter is safe as long as it is used properly and the litter box is well-maintained.
What Possible Danger Can Happen While Using Clumping Litter
Oh, the secrets hiding under the clumping litter that looks so safe – let’s find them out, okay?
Clumping Litter Contains Clay (Sodium Bentonite)
Clay is a common thing in clumping litter, especially sodium bentonite, which is a natural clay that grows very big when it gets wet. This makes it very good at soaking up and clumping the waste.
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s wrong with clay? It’s just dirt, right?” Well, not exactly. The key ingredient, sodium bentonite clay, might not be the best for our feline friends.
Why? Clay can form hard lumps inside your cat’s stomach or intestines, which can block their digestion and cause pain, throwing up, or even death.
Clay can also create a lot of dust, which can irritate your cat’s lungs and eyes, and cause breathing problems.
Clumping Litter Contains Crystal (Silica Dust)
Crystal is another thing in clumping litter, which is made of silica gel, a fake thing that takes in water and smell. Crystal litter looks like small beads or crystals, and it can be very fun for your cat, just like a toy or a snack.
Crystalline silica is usually linked to beauty, but for your cat’s litter, it’s another story. Some clumping litters have crystal dust, and this part that looks harmless may not be so.
How? Silica dust can cause internal bleeding, kidney damage, or cancer if they swallow it. This litter can also create dust, which can harm your cat’s lungs and eyes, and cause respiratory diseases or cancer.
Clumping Litter Contains Recycled Paper
Recycled paper is a more earth-friendly choice for clumping litter, as it is made of things that can break down, like newspaper, cardboard, or wood pulp. Recycled paper litter is softer and lighter than clay or crystal litter, and it can also be flushed or composted.
So, recycled paper – good for the earth, right? While the goal is nice, not all paper-made clumping litters are easy for your cat.
Why so? Paper litter might contain chemicals, dyes, or inks that can be toxic for your cat if they eat it or breathe it in. Even moisture makes paper soft and soggy. It can also be less effective at controlling odor and bacteria.
Safe Alternatives To Clay or Crystal Clumping Litter
Tired of the potential drawbacks of clay or crystal clumping litter? Fear not! There are also some safe alternatives for you and your feline companion.
Clumping Litter That Contains Natural Ingredients
One option is to use a clumping litter that is made of natural materials, such as corn, wheat, wood, or pine.
These materials are biodegradable, compostable, or flushable, which makes them eco-friendly and easy to get rid of. They are also free of artificial fragrances, dyes, or chemicals, which makes them safer for your cat.
You can try-
- Naturally Fresh Cat Litter
- ökocat Super Soft Natural Wood Clumping Litter
- sWheat Scoop Wheat-Based Litter
Non-clumping Litter Options
Another option is to use a non-clumping litter, which does not form lumps when wet. Instead, it absorbs the liquid and reduces the odor, but it needs to be changed more frequently.
You can try-
- Feline Pine Original Cat Litter
- CatSpot Non-Clumping Litter
- Naturally Fresh Pellet Formula Non-clumping Litter
These are some of the safe alternatives to clay or crystal clumping litter that you can try for your cat. But before buying them and using them for your cat, I think it would be better to check them if they are suitable for your cat, or talk to a vet if your cat has any health issues.
There Are Some Myths About Clumping Litter – With Clarification
There are also some myths and misconceptions about clumping litter that sometimes may make you confused whether it is safe or suitable for your cat. Let’s clarify them.
Clumping Litter Is Toxic To Cats
A common worry is that cats may swallow some litter when they clean themselves, leading to stomach problems. But you can rest assured that high-quality clumping litters are made of safe, non-toxic materials that won’t harm your cat if they eat a small amount of litter.
Silica Gel in Cat Litter Is Often Mistaken for Crystalline Silicate
Some people are concerned about the chemicals substances in clumping litter. But you can trust that reliable brands care about your cat’s health. These products don’t have any harmful chemicals that can hurt your cat or the environment.
Many of us mix up silica gel in cat litter with crystalline silicate. It’s true that crystal silica is a dangerous material that is mostly found in clumping clay litter. But silica gel is harmless.
Unlike regular clay litter, silica gel-based kitty litter doesn’t have any crystalline silica in it.
Clumping Litters Require Harmful Chemicals To Control Odor
The next myth or misconception is that clumping litters require harmful chemicals to control odor. But the truth is that quality clumping litters use natural materials that absorb the smell of cat poop and pee, without needing any strong scents or chemicals.
Hard Clumps in Cat Litter Might Cause Discomfort for Cats
As a parent, of course cat’s comfort is our first priority. But some of us think that hard clumps might hurt their cats’ paws. But you don’t have to worry about that. Because premium clumping litters make soft clumps that are gentle on your kitty’s paws and easy to remove from the litter box.
How Can Cat Owners Ensure the Safe Use of Clumping Litter?
Here are some tips to use clumping litter safely and responsibly.
Choose High-Quality Litter
Look for natural clumping litters that are made of biodegradable materials, such as corn, wheat, wood, or pine. These litters are safer for your cat and the environment, and they can also control odor and moisture well.
Scoop the Clumps Regularly
You should scoop the clumps at least once a day, and replace the litter as needed. You should also avoid flushing the clumps down the toilet, as they can clog your pipes and harm the water system.
Keep Litter Away From Food and Water
Consuming litter can happen if your cat licks their paws, or when cats bury their waste. To prevent this, keep the litter box away from your cat’s food and water bowls, and clean their paws regularly. You should also provide fresh water and avoid food-like scents in the litter.
Monitor Cat’s Behavior
Watch your cat for any signs of acceptance issues or discomfort from the litter. If you notice coughing, vomiting, diarrhea due to using provided litter, take your cat to the vet and change the litter.
Consultation with Vet
If you have any questions or concerns about clumping litter, ask your vet for advice. Your vet can help you choose the best litter for your cat and tell you how to use it.
We hope you enjoyed this article on “Is Clumping Litter Bad For Cats”. We talked about how it can pose some health risks to cats, safe alternatives to clay or crystal litter.
And yeah, have some clarification of misconception about clumping litter, as well as some tips to use it safely and responsibly.
So, what do you think about clumping litter?
Have you ever experienced any problems with it? Do you have any questions or suggestions for us? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!