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Kitty Litter: Is It Safe?

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Cats can be finicky, so finding a litter they like is important. The more cats you have, the more important it becomes.

As if finding the right brand of litter isn't challenging enough, now there is the question of health.  For you and your cats.  Passion 4 Paws has experienced this health issue first-hand, so we know it to be real.  For this reason, we no longer use any clay or clumping cat litter in our shelter.  Read on to see what the alternatives are, and then you decide.

Silicosis and the cat box connection?

Silicosis is caused by the constant inhalation of tiny particles of silica. These particles embed themselves into the lungs clogging up the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The particles are so small the lungs can not clear themselves out by creating mucous or coughing. In other words, silica dust particles gum up the lungs. The lungs then become congested, filling with fluid, and eventually producing fibrosis and inflammation. The final result is chronic lung problems such as bronchitis (note, any disease ending in “itis” denotes that it is an inflammatory illness), asthma, and lung tumors.

It’s not just harmless dust….

When you pour clay litter (clumping or regular) into a litter pan a puff of dust floats up towards you and streams throughout the room. You are inhaling these particles directly through your nose. The residual litter dust is inhaled indirectly as it travels throughout the room and around your home. However, your cat is under constant exposure to silica dust since each time he uses the box he inhales these particles directly into his lungs. Plus he is also inhaling the indirect dust floating in the home atmosphere.

Clay is a mineral that is very difficult for the body to eliminate. Exposure to clay 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 dust from their lungs. It is the clay litter alone that causes these lung problems.

The alternatives are a natural litter made from wheat, corn or paper. The only clumping ones are made from wheat and corn. These materials are safe for cats of all ages. They are free from perfumes and dyes.  Passion 4 Paws now exclusively uses World's Best Cat Litter, Feline Pine, or other pine pellet brands.