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whats the best type of litter to eliminate smells?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
does anyone know what type of litter is the best for eliminating smells? i've used normal non clumping clay litter for a while and after a few days of daily scooping, u can smell cat piss coming from it! i've tried recycled paper litter which is a bit better smell wise than non clumping clay litter but it still smells after a while...now i'm trying litter pearls, which are pretty expensive, but hopefully it will work! i also heard that clumping litter may not be so good for cats because they can get blockages from the dust of the litter that lands on thier fur which they lick it up when they groom themselves ! any ideas?
post #2 of 12
I love tidy cat crystal BLEND. If you scoop it daily there is no order at all. It is a wonderful litter!
post #3 of 12
but very expencive! I wish they would lower the price so I could use it all the time!
post #4 of 12
the crystal blend is the same price as normally litter, but I think it works as good as the crystals.
post #5 of 12
From my previous posting:

The first few days after i took Daisy home, i became increasingly concerned when i noticed black specks of dirt accumulated in and around Daisy' nails. Also, she used to pull her nails with her teeth!

i got so worried i even made a vet's appointment. When it was not available, i actually went to emergency room!! The vet explained it was the litter i used.

i did an entire day of research on cat litter, and i found the following article carries a very powerful and strong message:

i emailed this article, together with a bunch of websites, to all cat owners i know, even to SF SPCA.

(This article is very long, but it is WORTH your time, trust me!)


Clumping Clay Kitty Litters: A Deadly Convenience?
By Marina Michaels

Introduction and Synopsis

Clumping clay kitty litters may be related to a wide variety of seemingly unrelated cat health problems, included diarrhea, frothy yellow vomiting, mega-bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney problems, respiratory problems, general failure to thrive, anemia, lethargy, and even death. For more information, read this article and see the related pages listed at the end of this article.
If, after reading this article, you feel you have been helped in any way, or would like to contribute your own story, please write to me or spread the word. Thanks!

The article begins below. For more information, see the the CatMom.com Home Page.


Clumping Clay Kitty Litters: A Deadly Convenience?

". . . something able to block household plumbing must be wreaking havoc on the plumbing of our feline companions."

Cats die. Kittens die. It's part of life. But we still grieve when they die, even though we know it is only the body, not the spirit, that is gone. How much worse we feel when those deaths were unnecessary, could have been prevented by something as simple as changing the kind of litter we use.

I breed Japanese Bobtail cats and I grieved in 1994 when an entire litter of kittens (born in November 1993) died. Despite round-the-clock nursing and force-feeding of fluids and food, one kitten, then another, let go of his grasp on life.

The three kittens started out as a robust, lively group. Then, at weaning time, just as they were learning to use the litter box, they began to vomit a yellow frothy substance and to pass yellow diarrhea; the diarrhea looked and smelled like clay. They also had nasal and eye discharge. The diarrhea proceeded to turn harder and even more clay-like, and finally the kittens stopped moving their bowels at all. The veterinarians said they could feel "a hard mass" inside. The kittens dwindled into thin, dehydrated, frail little skeletons, sunk in apathy. Then they died.

When these kittens first fell sick, I wasn't too worried, because I had seen the same set of symptoms in two earlier litters. The first time it happened I'd lost one kitten, but the other survived with a week of force-feeding fluids. When a second litter started to exhibit the same symptoms, we took the kittens and their parents to the veterinarian, who tested them for everything from intestinal parasites to feline AIDS. The results were negative. "Some kind of virus" was the vague diagnosis, or "possibly giardia" (an intestinal parasite), even though the test for it was negative. We nursed them, gave them fluids and love, and like the previous kittens, these two were over the problem in a week.

So the third time, with the November kittens, although I was a little worried, I was confident we could pull these through as well. But their illness dragged on for three weeks, and they grew progressively weaker. Again we had the cats and kittens tested for a variety of problems; again, nothing. And then, all within the same week, the kittens died.

When a fourth litter, born in late March 1994, began to exhibit the same symptoms yet again, I felt frustrated, frightened, and helpless. What was going on? Was there something in the environment? Was my home somehow a "sick house?" Was one of the adult cats carrying something that the kittens were picking up? I always keep my cats indoors, so it couldn't be exposure to outside cats.


I decided I needed a new perspective and began to look for a holistic veterinarian. The next day, a friend gave me the card of a new holistic veterinarian in town, Dr. Stephanie Chalmers.

But before I had the chance to take the kittens to see this new vet, I was struck by a bolt of lightning. The clumping litter! It was almost as though someone had whispered it into my ear. It made perfect sense. Everything fit; it explained all the symptoms. My thinking went along these lines:

Clumping litter is designed to form a hard, insoluble mass when it gets wet. It also produces a fine dust when stirred (as when a cat scratches around to bury a recent deposit). And these clumping litters absorb many times their weight in fluids.
When cats or kittens use the litter box, they lick themselves clean; anything their tongues encounter gets ingested. Kittens especially tend to ingest a lot of litter when they are first learning to use the box.

Once the litter is inside a kitten or cat, it expands, forming a mass and coating the interior-thus, both causing dehydration by drawing fluids out of the cat or kitten, and compounding the problem by preventing any absorption of nutrients or fluids.
My cats and kittens had probably reacted with diarrhea initially in an effort to cleanse their bodies of the litter before it had a chance to settle and coat their insides. But kittens have very small intestines; a hard insoluble mass could very well produce a complete and fatal blockage within a couple of weeks.

On the strength of these deductions, I immediately went out and bought a plant-based litter to replace the clumping litter. I also took several of the hard, clay-like lumps of stool produced by two of the kittens and smeared them open. Not only did the stools have the consistency, smell, and texture of clay, but they even retained the color of the litter (gray with blue flecks) inside. This was confirmation enough for me.

As soon as I could, I took all the kittens, along with their mother, to Dr. Chalmers, who said that she had already heard of problems like this with the clumping clay litters. She put the kittens on a holistic course of treatment (slippery elm to help soothe the intestines; homemade chicken broth to nourish the kittens without putting further strain on their insides).

She also showed me an article by Lisa Newman, another holistic health practitioner, citing some of the cases of illness and death that she (Lisa Newman) has seen first hand--illnesses and deaths most likely caused by clumping litter. A light went on in my head when I read the following:

"There has been a rise in depressed immune systems, respiratory distress, irritable bowel syndrome, and vomiting (other than hair balls) among cats that I have seen in the past two years. All had one thing in common...a clumping product in their litter box. In several cases, simply removing the litter improved the condition of the cat." ("Great Clumping Cat Litter--Is That Why Kitty is So Sick?" Healthy Pets--Naturally, April 1994.)

The problem of health difficulties and even deaths resulting from clumping litters appears to be more prevalent than most people are aware of. I recently spoke with another Japanese Bobtail breeder, who told me of a kitten she sold that subsequently became very ill with a severe respiratory problem. The new owner used a clumping litter, and her veterinarian found that the kitten's lungs were coated with dust from the litter.

For a veterinarian to spot this problem is unusual. A more common diagnosis would lay the blame at the door of a virus, germ, fungus or parasite. There is not a general awareness yet that the clumping litters can be harmful--even fatal--to cats.


And the problem extends beyond cats. As Lisa Newman points out in her article, dogs get into the litter box for "snacks," and ingest the litter too. She reports that the autopsy of one dog revealed that his stomach was filled with the clumping litter.

An article entitled "How Cat Litter is Made" appeared in Cat Fancy magazine (October 1994). Shockingly, the article contains no cautions against the use of clumping litters, even though the description of one of the main ingredients in such products should be enough to alarm any thinking person.

"Sodium bentonite, a naturally swelling clay, is often added as an extremely effective clumping agent. When liquid is added, bentonite swells to approximately 15 times its original volume. But because sodium bentonite acts as an expandable cement would, litters containing sodium bentonite should never be flushed; when they expand they can block plumbing."

A few moments' thought is all that is needed to realize that something able to block household plumbing must be wreaking havoc on the plumbing of our feline companions.

What about my kittens after I switched to a plant-based litter? Sadly, the two females died. Both were passing clay stools right up until the time of their deaths; one kitten was still passing clay almost two weeks after I switched litters. The two males survived, though it took months for them to fully recover. Only after switching to a completely organic, homemade diet was I able to clear up the last traces of their ordeal. And still I grieve for the kittens who died so needlessly.


You may feel as horrified as I do at the thought that there must be thousands of kittens and cats (and other animals) ailing or even dying from clumping clay litters. What can we do to prevent such suffering?

One thing is let the manufacturers know we won't buy such products. My husband called a company that makes one of these clumping litters. The woman he spoke with said that the company is aware that clumping litters may be causing health problems, but that it is the consumer's responsibility to make sure their cats don't eat the stuff.

My husband pointed out that cats clean themselves with their mouths, so of course they're going to eat the litter every time they use their cat boxes. Unfortunately, the company's representative maintained her "buyer beware" position.

Given the attitudes of such companies, we can vote with our pocketbooks by purchasing products from businesses that are more responsive to our concerns. Be sure to let the makers of the clumping litter know why you no longer purchase their product. You might even choose to boycott all products made by these companies (it isn't hard to find out who makes what--just read the labels). An even more effective move might be to show this article to the owners or managers of stores selling these products.

If you suspect that an animal may be suffering an ailment caused by clumping litter, take him or her to a veterinarian or holistic practitioner immediately, and explain what you think may be happening. If you encounter resistance, it may mean that the veterinarian is unfamiliar with the problem and doesn't know how to handle it. Try to find a holistic vet--either locally or someone you can work with by phone--who has some experience with clumping litter impacting the intestines. Most importantly, replace the clumping litter right away with one of the plant-based alternatives. Even if your cat is healthy, it makes sense to switch to a different litter.

If you love cats as I do, spread the word. Tell everyone you know about this problem. Tell your veterinarian. You may save the lives of many kittens, cats, and other beloved creatures.

_______________ _________________

i changed my litter to theworld'sbestcatlitter. This stuff is biodegrable and flushable, and is actually made of all-natural, whole-kernel corn. It has odor control, is dust-free, and is safe for the kitties and myself. Even scooping off the litter is much more pleasant an experience than before, as it has a soft, velvety texture.

Both kitties don't have a problem with it. Their paws remain smooth and pink, and their nails are free of black specks.

MORE importantly, i feel assured that they are not licking toxic whenever they clean themselves after using the litter. i really want my babies to live the longest lives possible.

post #6 of 12
Depends on the litter and the cat.

Princess Purr says she recommends Tidy Cats, I can tell you that ALL of the Tidy Cats formula's I have used on MANNNY cats have not worked for smells AT ALL. It's one of the litters I hate the most.

So you'll probably go through a period of trial and error before you find one that works with your current cat.

My favorites for odor control are...
Scoop Away + Crystals
post #7 of 12
This story has certainly made it rounds. It has been refuted by top veterinarians in the country, and unless you have a cat that is actively eating kitty litter, you really don't have much to be concerned about. I have 18 cats and I use clumping litter all the time. I have never had any problem with any cat but I do not use clumping litter on small kittens, simply because while they are learning litter pan manners, they are a bit messy. I use regular clay litter.

I recommend to remove odor a product put out by CityKitty called an ionic litter box air purifier. It works great and is very affordable!
post #8 of 12
Originally posted by AngelzOO
Depends on the litter and the cat.

Princess Purr says she recommends Tidy Cats, I can tell you that ALL of the Tidy Cats formula's I have used on MANNNY cats have not worked for smells AT ALL. It's one of the litters I hate the most.

So you'll probably go through a period of trial and error before you find one that works with your current cat.

My favorites for odor control are...
Scoop Away + Crystals
Then you have never tried the crystal blend. I have been using that for a LONG time and it works really really well. People come to my house and ask where i keep the litter because they can't smell anything. And I normally only scoop the litter ever 2 to 3 days.
post #9 of 12
Princess: I have!! lol. I've tried the clay + crystals, and their straight up cyrstal litter, doesn't work *pouts*

I wish it did, cause EVERY store sells tidy cats!
But I'm having to send my fiance about 55 minutes away to pick up papuur kitty litter!
post #10 of 12
your kitties just must be extra sticky everyone I know uses tidy cat with crystals and it works good!
post #11 of 12
It's not even just my kitties, it's any fosters I've had!
I had stopped even bothering with Tidy Cats for animals that came in.
But then I had this momma and a litter of kittens last year, so I was like alright... I'll get that tidy cat + crystals stuff. And OH MAN, NEVER AGAIN, peeee yewww. LOL.

We could theoretically go with other litters besides Papuur, but that's what Asim likes, and we bend to the whim of Asim.
My fiance asked the other day "remind me again why we have to go out of our way to get this litter at petsmart." and I said "it's for ASIM dear, that's why". and he's like "oh, ok."

The best this town and whole FLIPPEN AREA has to offer us now is the Arm n' Hammer + Crystals. Works great for smells for a couple of days, but it's not very hard clumping, so even if I do scoop the boxes get preeeeety stinky after a little while. Not to mention the perfume, I like it, but it's overwhelming for the cats, and the dust is to much for even ME. I breathed in it a few days ago and oh lord it killed! I hold my shirt over my mouth when I scoop with this litter now, it's GOT to go.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks for your help everybody, well as im in australia, i can't get any of the brands u have mentioned, which was why i was asking about they type of litter, but so far i found a silica crystals litter called 'Litta beads'(they aren't really beads they are more like granuels!) at my local kmart that sell for about $10aud about $5us a bag. thats suposed to last 1 month a cat(i have 2 so it will proberly last 2 weeks!) but thats a good price considering some pet shops here are selling different branded litter beads for about $20aud!!

but when i went to kmart they only had 2 bags there so hopfully they will continue to supply that brand! its cheap, and so far from using it for about a week it really helps the smell..

oh also i found out that a bit of bicarbonate soda in the bottom of the litter box works at eliminating that amonia smell...
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