Friday, August 24, 2012

The safe and toxic free home: Kitty litter

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I know, this topic doesn't seam all that huge to most people, and not everyone has a cat box, or a cat, but for those who do this really is a big problem. For one, clay cat litter is awful when you breath it in. Dust goes whooshing up in the air, and usually most of us let the box get dirty enough that we cant hold our breaths the entire time we are cleaning it.

 Clay litter generally has a clumping agent in it called sodium bentonite (natural clay ingredient) that expands when wet and hardens to make it easier to clean up. Unfortunately this has bean linked to many feline health problems, such as internal blockages, asthma, and other lung problems. Your cat is exposed to it longer, and they ingest it directly when they clean it off their paws. 

If your litter is Silica-based then you have another set of problems on your hands. Sodium silicate, absorbs moisture and odor but it too is harmful for humans and felines alike. It has "been linked to lung cancer, bronchitis and tuberculosis. Some cats can end up with a fatal form of pulmonary tuberculosis called silico-tuberculosis" ( 
Neither one of these types of liters can decompose, and they are both stripe mined. The end result, unhealthy cats, owners, and an unhealthy planet. 

Baking soda is great for eliminating odor, but it is also hard on your felines kidneys. Don't forget, they do clean themselves and if they use a litter box then they clean off that litter too. This causes the urine to not be able to be passed. Then, you spend hundreds of dollars to fix the problem.

Instead of using clay litter I suggest choosing a corn, wheat, paper, or pine based litter that is fragrance free, (very important, fragrances cause even more respiratory problems. you know what it's like sitting by an old lady that uses to much perfume, and you cant breath and/or you get a headache. Your' perfume is still harming you even if it isn't as strong as the old ladies, but so is you cat litter that has fragrances that aren't natural).  My personal favorite is Swheat scoop. It is chemical free, and biodegradable. Corn and Wheat litters also clump without the aid of Sodium silicate. 

If you choose a natural litter, you may need to change it more often. For my one cat, I only need to change it about once a day for the smell to stay away. However If I don't have much time I can go a little longer, especially if I deodorize the air with a natural air deodorizer

If you are particularly concerned for you cat, and especially if that cat has had breathing problems in the past you may want to consider the pine. Wheat and Corn may have come into contact with chemicals. Some farmers are careless, and allow any number of chemicals on their fields. If the product isn't processed in a way that eliminates these chemicals then you cat may be exposed to them. This is also a concern for choosing food for yourself, but that's another topic.

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