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Eco Friendly Cat Litter
by Chris Malone,posted Aug 26 2013 5:19AM
Not one of the classiest post ever but an important subject to talk about. Clay cat litter is not a big friend of the environment and potentially bad for your cat's health. It is generally stripped mined used clumping clay cat litter never biodegrades in the landfill. Clay litter contains silica, which is a known carcinogen when inhaled. Clumping clay litter contains sodium bentonite which expands to 15 times its volume and forms an insoluble mass when it contacts liquid. It does the same thing when cats ingest it as they groom themselves after using the litter box.
So here's a look at green cat litter. The pros and cons:
What are green litters?
Green cat litters are made using natural ingredients, such as pine sawdust, cedar sawdust, corncob litter, wheat husks and silica gel pearls or crystals. There are even litters made using recycled paper, such as Yesterday's News cat litter.
While eco-friendly kitty litters are nicer to the environment, not all of them are an ideal choice for your pet, according to Dr. Justine Lee, chief veterinarian and pet expert for Wayfair. Some of them are less dusty, while others simply contain fewer chemicals — but you might have to try several brands and types to find which one fits your lifestyle.
All about kitty
Before you make the jump to a new product, remember that your cat might not be as excited as you are about the switch. And if your cat doesn't like the litter, he might end up urinating somewhere else in the house instead.
Ready to give it a try anyway? Lee recommends doing it gradually. "Cats do not tolerate sudden changes as they are creatures of habit," she says.
Keep in mind that many green litters (like newspaper and sawdust) don't clump, so you'll have to replace the litter more often, which can get expensive. If you buy a litter that does not absorb moisture well and the bottom of the tray stays wet and foul, your cat is less likely to go in frequently, according to Lee. "Cats that go into the litter box less often are more likely to develop signs of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)," Lee says. The answer? Keep your eyes open when switching litters to make sure things go smoothly.
What's that smell?
For all the good things about green cat litters, there's one thing you won't get from them... great odor control. That's because the odor control in most cat litter comes from the addition of synthetic chemicals that eco-friendly litters don't have.
The solution? Scoop daily. If you have several cats, multiple litter boxes might be the answer — so the litter stays clean for longer. You can also add some baking soda to the litter box to help absorb the odor. Some green litters, like those made from pine, have a natural scent that will help mask other odors and make them a better choice if odor control is really important to you.