Clumping Cat Litter, Yes or No?

editorial staffOK, I admit I can be a hard sell for some products. We have many cats with varied needs and I choose the cat litter as carefully as I choose their food. It’s a real project just to buy cat litter for this herd.

I can’t use Swheat scoop because one of my dogs is allergic to wheat and may ingest some of it. That one is out through no fault of the manufacturer. It’s also something to think about if you have animals with allergies. We often forget to look at products used for other pets.

Other natural products don’t do the job handling odor and others cause me to questions the ingredients. Everything in cat litter must be ingestible in my book. Cats groom themselves constantly. That means the litter gets ingested too. I have to ask what happens when it collects in kitty’s little intestinal system. No super clumping litter will ever be used in our house because I really don’t believe that it can’t cause any health problems, although I know many people will swear they’ve used it since day one and their cats lived to a ripe old age.

Newspaper cat litter like PaPurr sounds like a wonderful idea, but I wonder about the ink. Again, cats ingest this stuff. I don’t think the ink can be washed out, and newspaper ink varies. Some of it is pretty nasty stuff. There are safer inks used for some major papers but I haven’t had time to write to them to check on the composition of their ink. Besides, when you realize how much paper it takes to make this product, how could one possibly ever know that all inks used were safe. No, I’m not sure about this one yet. Maybe some day.

We have ultra-picky cats too. Forget to scoop one time and we’ll pay for it. Therefore, we continue to try brands and products we think sound good. World’s Best Cat Litter wasn’t the best for us when it first came out. Some years later, it’s our main litter. Less dust, a plus for our kitties with asthma and allergies, helps a lot. The odor control, without perfumes, is very acceptable too. Arm & Hammer used to have a flushable scooping litter but that disappeared–at least in our area. Many say there’s no such thing as flushable litter now. In addition, the cities don’t want cat poop and litter in the sanitary systems.

Many times, we use old-fashioned litter that doesn’t clump. They can still get some litter in their tummies but at least it won’t turn into concrete. It’s messier and we have to change it more often too. We also still have to watch the ingredients for silica and other hazardous materials, not to mention the dust component. (How would you like to breathe that dust in the closed quarters of a covered litter box?)

We constantly have a hard time finding a litter we all agree on and we’ve shared our home with cats for many, many years.So what have you found that works? Do you think it’s safe? Why?

We are also testing a new litter designed to monitor urinary tract health. The drawback is that in a multi-cat household the cats must be separated and tested one at a time. Still, this holds a lot of potential to avoid needless vet visits by providing owner’s with a way to pinpoint the kitty with a problem.