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Cat Litter Expert Here... Ask Me Anything.

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by b4bis91, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Kat0121

    Kat0121 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    11,189
    9,013
    Feb 23, 2014
    Sunny Florida
    They have 5 varieties of clumping litter. Clumping Cat Litter from Tidy Cats® Scoop | Tidy Cats®

    Unscented (I have never used this one or seen it in a store near me)

    I use:

    24/7 (red cap)
    Instant Action (blue cap)
    Glade Tough Odor Solutions (gray cap)
    4 in 1 (black cap)

    I like all 4 of these. My favorite is the Glade and the Instant Action but I would definitely get the 24/7 or 4 in 1 if they were not available. I also like the lightweight but would only get that if it were on sale as it is pricey.
     

  2. Kat0121

    Kat0121 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    11,189
    9,013
    Feb 23, 2014
    Sunny Florida
    I poured it the same way I do any other kind of litter. The amount of dust it gave off was ridiculous. I didn't like it and the cats didn't either. It's entirely possible that it was the batch it came from but I don't plan on buying any more of it to test that.
     

  3. mingsmongols

    mingsmongols TCS Member Alpha Cat

    514
    99
    Feb 23, 2016
    So I've always used wheat litter until the kittens are 8 weeks or so then switched to clumping. They like to eat it when their first learning and I'm terrified it with interact with the water in their stomach and clump, causing a blockage.

    My question is how realistic is this fear. Does clumping clay litter break down when exposed to gastric juices or could it potentially cause a blockage in young kittens if they ate enough?
     
    maggiedemi purraised this.

  4. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    8,395
    8,477
    May 22, 2015
    It could potentially cause blockage in both kittens and cats, if they ate enough.
     

  5. weebeasties

    weebeasties TCS Member Top Cat

    1,238
    3,842
    Jul 14, 2016
    Florida
    @b4bis91 Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! I have a question you may be able to answer. I have wondered if adding (clean) clay litter to my extremely sandy soil in my yard would help the soil retain water to help my plants. Or are there antimicrobial stuff in all litter that would be harmful to the plants? I am thinking about the very inexpensive non clumping types. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. I'm so curious but not enough to kill a plant if there's bad stuff in there!
     

  6. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    8,395
    8,477
    May 22, 2015
    It's been my personal experience that lighter, finer dust and particulates, which become more airborne than heavier particles when the cat digs around in the litter box, can really aggravate a cat's lungs. If your cat has signs of asthma, it's my view that a cat litter which has lighter-weight, more airborne particles can be worse for your asthmatic cat.

    When I first brought my kitten home a few years ago, I used the non-clumping clay litter that the rescue had used. I switched to a wheat grass pellet litter, which was a lighter-weight litter and resulted in more airborne dusty particles circulating around. Even though the format was pellets, there was still a breakdown of the pellets in the litter bag, and some dust gets poured into your litter box when you fill it. The cat can also break down the pellets when 'stomping' around in the litter box. This pellet litter also breaks down into a powdery wet dust when peed upon, which sticks to the cat's paws... and can be ingested.

    Anyway, my cat soon developed coughing, etc. Turns out, we were dealing with feline asthma, even though she was a young cat. We don't have things in our household which would immediately contribute to feline asthma so the first thing we worked with and changed was the type of litter, to see if doing that helped. I began using Dr. Elsey's Respiratory Relief clay clumping litter (my cat did not like the silica version), and even though it was less dusty than other clay litters, I decided to sift it even further to get more of the finer granules and dust out of the litter. Alas, there are a LOT of finer particles that can still be sifted out of even that respiratory relief litter.

    Changing and "fine-tuning" the litter even more really helped, in my view. We still have some things exterior to our apartment environment that can contribute to her coughing attacks/ asthma, but a lot of that is out of our control. So, we try to control the internal environment the best we can to help our cat but, unfortunately, she has needed some steroidal support for her asthma.

    I really appreciated reading the OP's post (message #5), as I agree that the fine dust or fine granules are really unnecessary. In my cat's case, they are harmful. She is a type of cat that likes making sure her litter box "deposits" are covered completely by litter, and hence, she has more of a chance of really breathing in a lot of airborne allergens while she's digging around. If having more coarse granules in a clay litter make the urine more likely to sink down to the bottom of the box, so be it -- we just let that harden up a bit and don't mind scraping and cleaning it more diligently. Our cat does better with her respiratory issues with a very sifted litter; the granules are larger yet still soft for her paws in the box (I think some cats don't like walking on pellet litters).
     

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