Cancer Causing Cat Litter?

FelisCatus

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Hello everyone,

In another thread I was talking to another user about Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight cat litter:
Does My Cats Pee Look Normal?

after doing further research on the cat litter I use, I found a lot of complaints on Amazon about UTI/infections being caused by this. Although my cats personally have not had any issues due to this (nor do I see how it would cause an infection... which is a living organisim attacking the system). I did find lots of mentions outside of Amazon about silica (the clumping material) in cat litter causing lung cancer in cats.

Before I dive in and do further research I was wondering if someone else already has? Have you heard of talks or seen research papers of clumping cat litter causing cancer? If true this is more bull, I always think I am doing the right thing (in this case keeping the litter box odorless) and might be causing more damage in the long run.

After reading about this I was looking at alternatives and apparantly pretty much all cat litters are terrible for cats health...

-clay cat litter without clumping properties still causes irritated lungs due to being inhaled while using the litter box
-clumping cat litter for the reasons mentioned above
-crystal mineral cat litter due to being rock hard and hurting cats feet
-newspaper shredded cat litter due to the ink being poisonous

I had then come upon a YT video by a cattery person and she claims to use a different natural (although minerals are also natural) source for her cat litter... I see a problem with her set-up though... the sawdust could also be inhaled by our cats and cause lung problems.... (fine particles).


Sigh.
 

FeralHearts

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I have three different types of cat litter in my house atm.

Clay - it's like the dust cloud from H*ll. but the cats like it best.

Okocat - super soft version- also dusty. Really like this one. I could try the regular version but it looks a bit hard on the feet. Cats are so so on it.

Pellets - (like what's in the video above) horse bedding, kiln dried to take away items that are toxic to cats - specifically pine. It's a bit hard though. I wish the cats like this best. The dust settles to the bottom perfectly and no dust cloud at all. It's amazing. One of my girls, White Label uses it when her favorite litter box is in use. I have had zero issues with dust with this one. I really wish the cats liked it better. Problem: I could never tell the color of the pee, or how much pee. That was important to me.

I tried the paper one. It was bothersome. Like the pellets - I couldn't tell how much they pee'd etc. or color of the pee either as the litter is dark so I axed it right out of the house.
 
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FelisCatus

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I have three different types of cat litter in my house atm.

Clay - it's like the dust cloud from H*ll. but the cats like it best.

Okocat - super soft version- also dusty. Really like this one. I could try the regular version but it looks a bit hard on the feet. Cats are so so on it.
[...]
Have you done any research about your cats breathing in the dust from the clay/Okocat cat litter?
 

FeralHearts

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Have you done any research about your cats breathing in the dust from the clay/Okocat cat litter?
Yes, as I originally purchased it because Charlie has Asthma and it's supposed to be low dust and good for asthmatic kitties etc. The super soft one I have is not that low dust, but I'm betting the original version with the larger chunks might be.

Clay is supposed to have the potential to cause cancer - even in people.

The okocat - I've not read anything yet that indicates major issues. It's been used in Europe for years and years. I'll poke around some more about it.

Out of all of them, it's the pellets that appear to yield little to no dust. Which is weird as I really thought the sawdust it produces would be an issue. It's almost like the sawdust produced is just heavy enough that there is nothing noticeable. Could there be something microscopic that I can't see - sure.

Edit to add: Ay wood product for cats litters - pine is the wood to avoid as it's toxic for cats, as well as known to be a problem for asthmatic kitties yet, many of these have pine in them. They are kiln dried - which apparently removes it. I'm still suspicious.
 
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FelisCatus

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Yes, as I originally purchased it because Charlie has Asthma and it's supposed to be low dust and good for asthmatic kitties etc. The super soft one I have is not that low dust, but I'm betting the original version with the larger chunks might be.

Clay is supposed to have the potential to cause cancer - even in people.

The okocat - I've not read anything yet that indicates major issues. It's been used in Europe for years and years. I'll poke around some more about it.

Out of all of them, it's the pellets that appear to yield little to no dust. Which is weird as I really thought the sawdust it produces would be an issue. It's almost like the sawdust produced is just heavy enough that there is nothing noticeable. Could there be something microscopic that I can't see - sure.
The microscopic (aka fine particles) is what I was trying to point out about that ladys set up.

At this point I don't think there is any type of cat litter that is 100% safe for cats but that pellets one is probably the best option.
 

FeralHearts

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I edited my post to include this:

Edit to add: Ay wood product for cats litters - pine is the wood to avoid as it's toxic for cats, as well as known to be a problem for asthmatic kitties yet, many of these have pine in them. They are kiln dried - which apparently removes it. I'm still suspicious.


The microscopic (aka fine particles) is what I was trying to point out about that ladys set up.

At this point I don't think there is any type of cat litter that is 100% safe for cats but that pellets one is probably the best option.
I agree nothing appears safe for humans or kitties. The clay is known cancer-causing for humans and cats.

I wonder if there is a way to test the air around it. The pellet one that is.

When I clean it - I feel nothing going into my lungs. I do when I clean the Okocat and the clay.

The pellets - nadda. It smells like a barn - but I don't mind that. Other than that I've never seen anything in the air, or felt anything go into my lungs. I'm actually rather impressed with it.

The problems I see with it are the inability to determine how much kitty has peed. That's a big one for me. It's a little hard, so I imagine a problem for those with sensitive paws.
 
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FelisCatus

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I edited my post to include this:

Edit to add: Ay wood product for cats litters - pine is the wood to avoid as it's toxic for cats, as well as known to be a problem for asthmatic kitties yet, many of these have pine in them. They are kiln dried - which apparently removes it. I'm still suspicious.




I agree nothing appears safe for humans or kitties. The clay is known cancer-causing for humans and cats.

I wonder if there is a way to test the air around it. The pellet one that is.

When I clean it - I feel nothing going into my lungs. I do when I clean the Okocat and the clay.

The pellets - nadda. It smells like a barn - but I don't mind that. Other than that I've never seen anything in the air, or felt anything go into my lungs. I'm actually rather impressed with it.

The problems I see with it are the inability to determine how much kitty has peed. That's a big one for me. It's a little hard, so I imagine a problem for those with sensitive paws.
If it is known and proven to be cancer causing, I don't see why it is still allowed to be sold?

I was tempted to try out the pellets, but I also read what you mentioned about them being hard. One of my adopted kitties is declawed so it would hurt her...
 

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If it is known and proven to be cancer causing, I don't see why it is still allowed to be sold?

I was tempted to try out the pellets, but I also read what you mentioned about them being hard. One of my adopted kitties is declawed so it would hurt her...

Good questions - here's what I know:

...because with science - for every study that says one thing - there is always another that says differently, or, that the risks are not as bad as once thought.

Cigarettes are known cancer agents - why are they allowed to be sold?

Many things in pet foods are bad for our pets and known to cause issues - yet - also still allowed.

The human race is sometimes not the brightest.

You could put one litter box out and see how she responds to it? If the poor girl is declawed it actually might be better as nothing will get stuck in her as they are large?
 
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Good questions - here's what I know:

...because with science - for every study that says one thing - there is always another that says differently, or, that the risks are not as bad as once thought.

Cigarettes are known cancer agents - why are they allowed to be sold?

Many things in pet foods are bad for our pets and known to cause issues - yet - also still allowed.

The human race is sometimes not the brightest.

You could put one litter box out and see how she responds to it? If the poor girl is declawed it actually might be better as nothing will get stuck in her as they are large?
Good point... but with cigarettes humans have a choice to put them in their mouth and smoke them. Our cats cannot buy their own cat litter, the most they could do is stop using one and poo everywhere until you try another or if you're a bad caretaker rehome them.

I think I will try the side-by-side method of transitioning and have 2 cat litter boxes, one with the old lightweight cat litter and one with the pellets.

I feel like this lung issue is either not that big of an issue as I do not hear any uproar about it anywhere or no one knows about it. Meanwhile dry food vs canned vs raw is everywhere... one crompromised system is enough to take down a cat, so this should be in the spotlight too.
 

FeralHearts

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Good point... but with cigarettes humans have a choice to put them in their mouth and smoke them. Our cats cannot buy their own cat litter, the most they could do is stop using one and poo everywhere until you try another or if you're a bad caretaker rehome them.

I think I will try the side-by-side method of transitioning and have 2 cat litter boxes, one with the old lightweight cat litter and one with the pellets.

I feel like this lung issue is either not that big of an issue as I do not hear any uproar about it anywhere or no one knows about it. Meanwhile dry food vs canned vs raw is everywhere... one crompromised system is enough to take down a cat, so this should be in the spotlight too.
Yes, we have that choice - true.

That indeed would be a bad caretaker!

That's a good idea. That way you can see what they like the best. (or is it just the one kitty you have?)

I agree with you. There are so many food debates, which is absolutely important - but - as is anything the kitties might come into contact with - litter being a big one too. They are way smaller than we are so ground level they are going to be exposed to more dust particles not just from general life, but from the litter etc.

Let me know what the kitty thinks of your experiment.
 

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Have you considered grass litter? I switched from clay to smartcat litter and have been really happy with it. It's soft on my cats' feet, clumps well, controls odors, and has very little dust. The only downside is that it tracks a lot because it's lightweight. And it's expensive, but cheaper generic versions are available in some places.
 
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FelisCatus

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Have you considered grass litter? I switched from clay to smartcat litter and have been really happy with it. It's soft on my cats' feet, clumps well, controls odors, and has very little dust. The only downside is that it tracks a lot because it's lightweight. And it's expensive, but cheaper generic versions are available in some places.
I was literally wondering if there was such a thing as grass litter when I was writing earlier. I have never seen it in any local pet stores.

How do your kitty cats use it? Do you have any vids? Would it be tracking mud (what holds the grass... dirt?) dirt + pee = mud?

The lightweight cat litter we use now also tracks everywhere and is a nightmare to constantly keep cleaning up but I had thought it was good for them.

Thanks!
 

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I was literally wondering if there was such a thing as grass litter when I was writing earlier. I have never seen it in any local pet stores.

How do your kitty cats use it? Do you have any vids? Would it be tracking mud (what holds the grass... dirt?) dirt + pee = mud?

The lightweight cat litter we use now also tracks everywhere and is a nightmare to constantly keep cleaning up but I had thought it was good for them.

Thanks!
I've only ever found it online - look up smartcat grass litter on Amazon. They also offer a clay litter so make sure you find the one that specifically says grass.

The litter is grass seed, no dirt or actual green grass involved. It's a beige granule that looks a little like clay granules in terms of size. Somehow it clumps, I think due to the starch content of the seeds. And they use it like normal litter - dig around and do their business. The clean granules do get tracked out quite a bit. Let me see if I can find a video for you.
 
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FelisCatus

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Here's a video from the company that makes it - scroll halfway down the page: #6504 SmartCat ALL NATURAL Clumping Litter by Pioneer Pet-5lb Bag – Pioneer Pet
Thanks for finding that for me, they do ship to Canada but only use UPS... I never had luck with them and always troubles. I will contact them and see if they have a merchant/reseller here locally in Ontario.

The 2nd video with them throwing around the clumped cat litter was a little disturbing to be honest... :blackcat2:
 

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Thanks for finding that for me, they do ship to Canada but only use UPS... I never had luck with them and always troubles. I will contact them and see if they have a merchant/reseller here locally in Ontario.

The 2nd video with them throwing around the clumped cat litter was a little disturbing to be honest... :blackcat2:
Oh I didn't even see that second video - that is a little bizarre. I do agree though that it clumps very well, at least for scooping purposes. Can't say I've tried throwing the clumps!
 

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Generally, there's not enough clay dust to be harmful in the average home. It's the factory workers who usually end up with lung disease from too much clay dust.

I'm allergic to most natural litters. There is one I like and am not allergic to, made of corn cobs. Not the hamster bedding kind of corncob litter, but a pellet like the pine litter, except the pellet is smaller. It's not terrific at odor control though.
 

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My first cat, Sidney, had lung cancer at the end of her life but to be honest she also had an abdominal mass and probably had IBD we never knew about. Looking back with what I know now, I suspect she had IBD that progressed to lymphoma and metastisized.

I did switch to a non-clay litter when she was having problems, just in case. I started using Swheat Scoop (wheat), Nature's Miracle (corn) or World's Best (corn). I wouldn't use pine since cats are allergic. We later ended up with mice in our apartment and my landlord asked us to stop using these food-sourced litters so now I am back to clay.

My guess is that the clay litters are fine to use. I don't think it caused Sidney's cancer. Many things in our world cause cancer and you'd probably have to live in a bubble to avoid all of them. But if you're worried, try a wheat/corn/newspaper type if it will ease your mind! I really liked Swheat Scoop/Nature's Miracle and I'd recommend it for sure.

I guess if you wanted something really natural, you could try dirt. That's what I used to help litter train my second cat, Amber, when she moved in from being an outdoor kitty.
 
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