Recently I heard about the possible health risks of clumping cat litter. After doing some research, I learned that the controversy started in 1995 after Marina Michaels wrote an article for Tiger Tribe Magazine titled Clumping Clay Kitty Litters: A Deadly Convenience? In it she described several litters of kittens dying of an unknown cause until she determined it was the clumping clay litter that was causing the problem.
Upon further research, I found that all other articles about the subject pointed back to Michael’s’ original article and it seems that no research has been done to prove, or disprove, her claim. It also seems that if there is a problem, kittens are affected considerably more than adult cats.
Proof or not, I thought it would not hurt to take away a potential danger and replace it with a healthier alternative. I also thought it would be lighter and better for the environment. My only concern was that Chris’s pooping problem might come back if I stopped doing what worked.
In case you haven’t read my older posts, we struggled with Chris pooping on the floor for over three years. Sometimes he would use the box and sometimes he wouldn’t. We reduced the problem when we started using Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Clumping Cat Litter along with Precious Cat Litter Attractant and the problem stopped two years ago when we moved to our last home and put the litter boxes in the same room. I think having a second box nearby if the first one wasn’t perfect was helpful. Once the problem got better, I stopped buying the Cat attract but continued to buy the Precious Cat litter.
I thought the proximity of the boxes was the most important factor and I was hoping Chris’s new habit of always pooping in the box might be permanent so, before me moved, I bought a litter called Tidy Cats Pure Nature. It is made from cedar, corn, and pine, natural, renewable resources, and it is much lighter than conventional litter and easy to transport.
On moving day I emptied and cleaned one of the boxes but left other box. When I moved the cats to the new house I brought the litter pan with the old litter and put it in the new house next to the box with the new litter.
I then monitored both for almost three weeks. The new litter was used only about ten times and every time, except once, it was for pee. That is about once every two days for three cats, not very good.
I know the test was a little unfair because they still had their old litter as an option but it was a good way to prove what they prefer, especially since their old litter was…, well… old. I wanted to get rid of the new litter after the first week but waited to see if they would get use to it and use it more. They didn’t, and I didn’t want to force a litter on them that might reignite Chris’s pooping problem.
By week three I started seeing an occasional, small piece of poop on the floor. I assumed someone was having a problem with poop sticking to their butt, since it was so small, but as a precaution I bought more of their old litter and changed both boxes two days ago.
This morning I rolled out on exercise mat because I wanted to start doing stretches to relieve the back pain that I have been feeling for the last week or two. Chris found the mat interesting and lied on it while I looked for a good video to follow on YouTube. When I found one, I heard Chris clawing at the mat and turned to see him trying to bury a big poop that he left there.
I waited too long and now I now I have to buy more Cat Attract and start over. As far as a healthy alternative to the clumping cat litter…? I don’t have a good option with Chris living here.
If anyone is interested, some say that a good, cheap and healthy alternative to the alternative cat litters is Chick Starter. It is food for young chicks and is said to be very similar to World’s Best Cat Litter at a fraction of the cost. Just make sure you get the non-medicated crumbles. I used an Amazon link so you could see what it is but you should look for it at a local feed store where you can get it much cheaper. I would love to save money and get a healthy cat litter but Chris won’t let me.
Do you use an alternative to standard litter? Please share your experience.