Most of us seldom give a second thought to the type of cat litter we use in our homes. After all, it’s just litter, right? But as it turns out, there might be more to it than meets the eye. Some traditional cat litter could contain ingredients that pose potential dangers in your cat’s litter, which could be harmful to both you and your feline companion.
Bentonite clay is often a key component in conventional cat litter. However, certain forms of this clay could contain respirable crystalline silica in variable amounts. This substance is not only carcinogenic but can also cause irritation to your lungs. In fact, there have been cases where cat litter dust exposure led to hospitalization. Moreover, if your furry friend happens to ingest bentonite, as cats sometimes do, there’s a risk of a condition called bentonite toxicosis.
Another potential offender found in cat litter is cobalt chloride. The blue color it imparts to the litter might seem harmless, but it’s worth noting that this substance is also carcinogenic. Its effects aren’t confined to causing cancer; it can negatively affect the heart, liver, and thyroid of both humans and pets.
Additionally, many cat litters employ chemical fragrances to mask the litter box odor. Unfortunately, these artificial fragrances may be neurotoxic, causing harm to both humans and felines alike.
What’s even more concerning is the lack of regulation and safety standards for cat litter. No one is actively testing cat litter for safety. There are no legal limits to mycotoxin contamination in grain-based litters, and clumping litters aren’t subject to any safety requirements. Also, cat litter labels aren’t mandated to disclose all ingredients and are not verified for their accuracy.
So, how can we safeguard ourselves and our furry friends? The solution lies in choosing cat litter products from companies that prioritize long-term health and pet well-being. Consider these alternatives:
- ökocat Natural Wood Cat Litter: 100% sustainably sourced rescued wood
- Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat Litter: Composed of recycled paper, wood shavings, cardboard, guar gum, and mineral oil
- Feline Pine Original Cat Litter: Made of 100% pure pine
As parents and pet owners, ensuring the safety of our households, including our feline family members, is a top priority. It’s essential to evaluate the type of cat litter used in our homes and make informed decisions to ensure a safer environment for everyone involved.
- “A Case of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis with Giant Cells in a Woman Exposed to Cat Litter.” PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2021,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/36232221.
- Buck WB, et al. “Bentonite toxicosis in a cat from ingestion of clay cat litter.” PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1996,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8888544.
- “Cobalt.” New Jersey Department of Health, 2020,www.nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/0520.pdf.
- “Cobalt (II) chloride.” International Labour Organization, 1999,www.ilo.org/dyn/icsc/showcard.display?p_card_id=0783&p_version=2&p_lang=en.
- “What FDA Does and Does Not Regulate.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2019,www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/what-fda-does-and-does-not-regulate.
- “The Pet Products Held to No Legal or Safety Standards.” Truth About Pet Food, 2019, www.truthaboutpetfood.com/the-pet-products-held-to-no-legal-or-safety-standards.