Tagged: “silicosis”

Cat Litter – What’s safe?

Cat Litter – What’s safe?

Cat Litter: What is safe and What is Not?

The more indoor cats you have the more important cat litter becomes.

Finding just the right cat litter brand can be a real challenge for a cat parent. Naturally, you want to settle on the brand that both of you like. This can take a bit of experimenting. But there is more to the cat litter question than just what works for you and your kitty. There is a question of health, not only your cat’s but yours.

Silicosis and the cat box connection?

While conducting research on the Dust Bowl, I came across something interesting. It was a disease called Silicosis. Silicosis is caused by chronic inhalation of silica. The tiny silica particles embed themselves into the lungs. They clog up the natural function of the lungs: the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Because the particles are so small the lungs can not clear them out. In other words, silica dust gums up the lungs. In turn the lungs become congested, filling with fluid, and eventually producing fibrosis and inflammation. The final result is chronic lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and lung tumors. Silica is found in sand, clay and soil. It is the prime component of clay litter.

It’s not just harmless dust….

Each time you pour clay cat litter into a cat box a puff of dust floats upward and streams throughout the room. You are inhaling these particles directly through your nose. As the litter dust floats throughout your home it is also inhaled by your family and other pets. Every time your cat uses the clay cat litter, digging into it, he stirs up more dust. Every time you scoop the litter pan you also stir up clay litter dust. Both your cat and you are inhaling large volumes of clay dust into your lungs. The clay cat litter dust floats throughout your home, ending up in the lungs of anyone who breathes.

It is a proven fact that exposure to silica dust is harmful, and clay cat litter contains the silica compound. Not only that, but exposure to clay cat litter dust puts people and animals at risk for such diseases called “Farmer’s Lung” and Mesothelioma Lung Cancer. The research is very clear that cats who are already suffering from lung problems have difficulty clearing clay cat litter dust from their lungs. It may not be the root cause of these lung problems but it certainly aggravates the condition. (Click on this link for a full report of this disease in cats http://www.texasanimalguardians.org/respiratory-di…a-dust-in-cats/)

There are many natural alternatives to clay cat litter.

In addition to the health hazards of clay cat litter, there are the environmental factors. Strip mining is part of the process of obtaining raw materials to make clay-based litter. It robs the land of all vegetation, topsoil and it removes the first layer of dirt all the way down to the first rock layer. It destroys entire ecosystems. Despite major reclamation efforts the land and bio diversity it contained can not be re-established. Once a system is destroyed it remains destroyed. The bio diversity it once contained can not be replicated.

The evidence is clear: clay cat litter is linked to respiratory problems in cats. It is a potential health hazard to humans. It is an environmental concern, destroying entire ecosystems in the process known as strip mining. As responsible stewards of the earth and loving pet parents we need to think twice about bringing any clay cat litter products into our homes.

Thankfully, the alternatives to clay cat litter have grown. Now, there are many types of natural cat litter made from wheat, corn, paper, cedar and walnut hulls. The only clumping ones in this category are made from wheat, corn and walnut hulls. These materials are safe for cats of all ages. They are free from perfumes and dyes.Their natural enzymes destroy odors. They utilize natural materials that would otherwise be waste product such as corn cob, hulls and secondary wheat or corn that is a grade below food use. Best of all, they are biodegradable which means you can actually use them (after the cat feces is removed) in your flower garden as mulch.

Yes, it’s true, these litters are more expensive than clay cat litters. However, isn’t the health hazard of clay cat litter more expensive when you factor in the veterinary bills or doctor bills? Cost should not be the primary factor when choosing a product that has this much impact on you and your cat’s health. cat_napping