Things You Might Not Know About Clumping Cat Litter

If you’ve got a cat or kitten, you probably know a lot about cat litter. Developed and marketed originally in the 1948 as “Kitty Litter”, the name is now used to denote any type of litter for cats. Before this time, sand was used in litter boxes, but it isn’t very absorbent and the small pieces make it easily tracked out of the litter box and around the house. When “Kitty Litter” was introduced, clay was used as the absorbent matter. That worked much better. Not only was it more absorbent, but it was less likely to be tracked out of the box. It was a great improvement. But that paled in comparison to the benefits of clumping cat litter.
Clumping Cat Litter – New And Improved!
The next big improvement was the advent of clumping cat litter. It was developed in the United Kingdom in the 1950s out of calcium bentonite. Bentonite is a substance that most of us have never heard of. It is made of granulated bentonite clay. This clay clumps together when it is wet and makes a solid piece that can be easily removed from the rest of the litter. This way, the pet owner doesn’t have to change all the litter when there is just a few bits of waste in it – they can just sift out the clumped part and throw it away. Periodically, the entire box should be changed to avoid bacteria buildup, but this only needs to be done every month or month and a half. The litter box should also be disinfected at the same time. Given these changes, the hassle and cost were diminished when clumping cat litter became available.
Still Just Bentonite? Not! But Are There Dangers?
The best news? Cat litter that clumps isn’t just made from bentonite anymore. Now it also contains quartz or diatomaceous earth. These assist with the clumping action. Cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet. Some people claim that clumping cat litter is dangerous to cats because they can ingest it or inhale it as they use their litter box. Once inside them, where it is moist, the litter can swell and solidify. This is supposed to be especially dangerous for kittens, who are more susceptible to these dangers.
Clumping cat litter also contains crystalline silica, which is silica dust. This is a known carcinogen. While it isn’t dangerous to humans, there are no scientific studies to show if or how it affects cats and kittens.
While these claims seem serious, they are only anecdotal. There have been no studies done on this matter, and so the situation remains unsolved. Is clumping cat litter dangerous? If you think so, don’t buy it. If you don’t worry about it, enjoy the advantages of clumping cat litter. Now, about 60% of the kitty litter sold is clumping cat litter.