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clumping litter

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just read on another site that clumping litter can be dangerous to our kitties. It is made of a clay substance that is made to lump when it gets wet, so that when they clean themselves the litter gets inside them and can cause intestine problems and the dust can cause breathing problems. Have any of you ever heard this before? I have used clumping litter since I adopted Max three years ago. Now I'm worried. What kind of cat litter do you use? Right now I use a litter box liner - clean the lumps out everyday - and replace the whole thing every other week. I've never owned an animal before Max and I'm not sure how you treat non-clumping litter. Do you change it everyday? I am quite worried now and would appreciate any imput. I wonder if I should call my vet and see what he thinks.
post #2 of 6
Yup, adult cats people don't worry as much about the clumping part, but especially kittens and smaller animals like ferrets, any clumping clay that gets ingested can cause a blockage in the intestines which can either result in very expensive surgery, or death. Clay can not be digested, so that is the result.
The dust can cause respiratory and eye problems for animals as well. Even the ones that are labled 99% dust free, I have still found A LOT of dust in them!

There are solutions though, you can choose to use a clay based dust free non scoopable litter. Or you can get low dust scoopable clay litters for adults (I like Scoop Away + Crystals, and Arm n' Hammer + Cyrstals best for this.)
Other ones that shouldn't cause blockages are things like feline pine (or wood pellets) which aren't exactly scoopable, and don't hold poo odors well, but some people have good sucess with them. There is the worlds best cat litter, that is not clay based, I've heard it's great but a bit expensive for my taste. There is also Papuur which is my favorite, it's made of 100% recylced paper, virtually dust free, comes in clumping and non clumping and it's fully biodegradable. Another one is called SweetScoop which is similar to feline pine, as far as smells go for my gang.

There are a few other "natural" litters out there, but most of them are clay based yes.

Oh and yes, with the non-clumping litters, people generally change them 1-2 times a day. Just dump it all out and add more in. And of course clean the box.
post #3 of 6

This story has grown by leaps and bounds since surfacing a few years ago on the Internet. I do rescue, and I use clumping litter for all the cats that come through here, kittens included. Unless you have a kitten that will chow down on just the litter itself, it really isn't a problem.

After the article appeared, I did some research on my own and found out that this was the only reported case of kitten death- so if it is true, there should be countless other complaints lodged against the makers of clumping litter. Here is an article that helps put it in perspective

The Scoop on Litter
post #4 of 6
Hissy: I have read a lot on it too, and yeah it's really only a problem if a kitten eats a lot of it. But kittens can be very messy and have a lot stuck to their paws and lick it off and eat that, sometimes it's a bit TOO much on their paws, it doesn't happen as often as people think however. There has been many a ferret owner who have had problems with this as well, it's not an assured death, it's just a precausion a lot of us like to take for our smaller and/or younger animals. I don't think I have ever seen reports of a full grown adult cats dieing from a a little litter blockage from what they clean off their paws after using the box. Including my cats we've used all sorts here for the adults and have no had any problems.
I do however, use non-clay based or non scoopable clay based litters for very young kittens and ferret.
I have a bag of feline pine handy just incase some little kitten happens by that I have to take in, you never know what will happen.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
O thank you for answering! Max is three years old and is 12 pounds. So you don't think that I have anything to worry about. I use Arm N Hammer because it didn't seem to stick to his paws like the other brands did. I am much relieved that it was kittens and not adult cats that had this problem. I love Max so much and would not use anything that would make him sick.
post #6 of 6
Nah, I'm sure he will be fine.
My 3 are using the Arm n' Hammer + Cyrstals right now, they have used many a clay litters, and no problem here with my adults, except for one brand the walmarts special kitty clumping formula gave Asim terrible eye problems from the dust, had to bring him to the vet, poor guy. So I would totally stay away from that kind! I even choked on the dust while putting it in the box.
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