Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Perils of Cat Litter

The views stated in this blog entry are just opinions based on my research. 

Last summer my friend Judy picked up a bag of lavender scented World’s Best Cat Litter. I expressed my concern with how they apply the scent so she called the company and this is what Judy told me: “I called World's Best Cat Litter in Iowa and had a nice conversation with a gal there named Debbie. She said the company has done extensive research and that the lavender oil is mixed with several other natural oils with a vegetable oil base and is perfectly safe in the amounts combined. I thought it smelled a bit strong when I first opened the bag.” 

Apparently Debbie doesn’t realize that essential oils are toxic even in very tiny amounts! We also don’t know what the other “natural oils” are. This information about essential oils is everywhere on the internet and if aromatherapist know better than to use them with cats, then shouldn’t WBCL or any other pet product company? Also I will no longer use any corn or wheat based cat litter as they have the potential to contain alfatoxins. I realize the risk is very low but I’m not willing to take that chance. Especially with them breathing it in. Speaking of essential oils; any cat litter such as cedar will also have oils in it which is also toxic. It’s too bad because I do love the smell but it’s no safer than the lavender oil is.

Purr & Simple All-Natural Kwik Klump Cat Litter was brought to my attention by Kelli and what I don’t like about this is that it’s made from nutshells. Nuts of any kind are harmful but walnuts and macadamia nuts are especially toxic. Pets can start to develop symptoms such as an inability to stand or walk, vomiting, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), weakness, and an elevated heart rate within 12 hours of eating nuts. So what kinds of nuts are specifically used for this product? It doesn’t say…only that they are from northern California and the level of nut protein is small, 14 ppm, (parts per million). But again, when licked off of their paws and body, over time how does this affect their health? Long term use plays a part in everything! And btw, nuts can also contain alfatoxins! There are now all kinds of new cat litters with nuts in them including the new Blue Naturally Fresh Cat Litter. These nut shell cat litters are extremely dusty and your cat is breathing in tons of dust and possible alfatoxins every time they go in their box and scratch the litter!

Aflatoxins are common and widespread in nature. They can colonize and contaminate grain (such as corn and wheat) before harvest or during storage. The native habitat of Aspergillus is in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains; undergoing microbiological deterioration and it invades all types of organic substrates whenever conditions are favorable for its growth. Favorable conditions include high moisture content (at least 7%) and high temperature.

Aflatoxins are extremely durable under most conditions of storage, handling and processing of seeds or in foods or feeds made from contaminated seeds. It is very heat stable and will withstand temperatures up to boiling. Toxin levels in corn may decline in storage, but may still be present after 7 years.

I will repeat the statement I’ve made over and over in the past couple of years. Just because a company says their product is safe, it doesn’t mean squat. We’ve all learned this by now and some of us the hard way. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS read every single ingredient in a product and not just the active ingredients but the INACTIVE ingredients as well. If you can’t find the ingredients on the website you’re buying the product from, Google that product and include “ingredients for…” and you’ll find it. A company that makes it extremely hard to find their ingredients worries me. A company with mystery ingredients frightens me.

In my quest to find a good cat litter I’ve tried many different ones. I tried Cat’s Pride and holy moly what a mess! It’s mainly sand, sticks to them like paste and my cats left huge paw prints of wet cat litter all over the floor. Judy introduced me to Green Tea Leaves cat litter. Some sites are selling it for a ridiculous price but if you Google it you can find it for under $10 a bag. I added a quarter of the bag to their regular litter and although I love the absorbency and the smell is great…it is chunky, makes a mess as it tracks everywhere and Finnegan loves the taste! He thinks it’s a treat when it’s on the floor. So that one is a no go for us. Yes, I’ve tried the bigger brands like Arm & Hammer, Tidy Cat, Fresh Step, etc. and all were extremely dusty and strong scented. They also contain sodium bentonite clay - also toxic. I can’t try the paper ones as Finney loves to eat paper and I’m worried about the ink as well. I worked for newspapers for a very long time and ink comes off easy!

I finally settled on Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief. It has safe herbs in it, not oils. My cats like it; it doesn’t leave any funky smell or stick to their butts and lasts a long time! Two and a half bags will last me a month, even with twice daily scooping. And they’ve stopped sneezing! With other litters they sneezed up a storm and were covered in dust. Whereas this one does not kick up dust and yes, it tracks but not as bad as some others. I defy anyone to find a litter that doesn’t track, it’s impossible. This litter is my preference, and I have absolutely no ties to the company at all. Mainly I feel this is the safest and best litter brand out there. As I stated, this is just my 
opinion. Please don't take offense if you use any of these products, I wanted to re-address some of the issues I’ve seen lately with cat litters and keep your cat as healthy as possible. 


Cat litter said...

There are cat litter mats and cat litter boxes. Cat litter boxes are popular for its uses. Cat litter mats also now have same popularity as cat litter boxes.

Pet Products said...

Nice blog. I like it. Cat litter box is playing a big role to helping cat owners.

Unknown said...

Feline Pine is what we clumping, breaks down to sawdust, but isn't light enough to become airborne. We have to scoop a fair amount, but it's simple and we like it.

Leslie Leavitt said...

I love the Dr. Elsey cat litter. I havae atried them all and this one is the least dusty and my cats seem to like it.

IBDKitties said...

me too Leslie, my cats do well with that litter.