The Reality of Traditional Cat Litters and a Better Option
ViviPet | June 11, 2019
Our cats light up our lives. From their fuzzy ears to their little pink noses, cats are the cutest creatures in the world! However, there is one aspect of cat parenthood that is less than cute: the litter box.
"No matter how much you love your cat, cleaning out the litter box is never fun. Did you know that the traditional clay or crystal litter you may be using can also be harmful to the environment and may not be the healthiest option for your cat?"
Where Does Clay Cat Litter Come from?
Before it winds up in the litter box, clay cat litter comes from the Earth. It’s excavated from 30-45 feet below ground where it’s dredged up and trucked away to be refined into a useable product. How does it become useable? It takes quite a bit of energy to transform the wet clay into dry granules. It is first baked at extraordinarily high temperatures to remove any moisture, then it’s broken and smashed into loose litter (no wonder there’s so much dust in these packages!). Lastly, they add sodium bentonite to help the litter clump, boxed or bagged, and set on its way.
"Most people connect the word “natural” with “harmless” and of course we want our cat’s litter to help keep them healthy! Unfortunately, clay litter may not be as harmless as many cat parents thought. Some of the minerals found in Fuller’s Earth and sodium bentonite have been linked to long-term negative health effects for our feline furballs."
3 Effects of Clay Litter on Your Kitty
Respiratory Problems like Feline Asthma
Did you know that the clouds of dust that flies up when you pour litter into your cat’s box? Well, your cat gets a dose of that experience every time he or she buries her waste. Over time your cat breathes in more and more dust which leads to irritation, allergies, and even asthma. These breathing difficulties can get worse over the lifetime of your cat.
Every kitten takes a nibble of their litter at least once. When you first drop your beloved kitty in her box, they don't know better and part of exploring their world includes tasting what’s around them. The problem with this is some cats eat more than they intend, and the clay litter then expands in their digestive tract after absorbing moisture. In fact, litter will expand nearly 15 times its initial size and when your kitty gets litter stuck in between their precious jelly bean paw pads then licks it off, they're at risk of experiencing digestive blockage and discomfort. Swallowing litter is similar to swallowing rocks, which is no fun for your cat’s tummy and can lead to a visit to the vet.
Germs, Germs, Germs
Germs or bacteria make themselves at home in clay litter. Prone to moisture areas, the clumping power of traditional litter also leads to clumps of bacteria that can reproduce and make your kitty sick.
Your Health Could be Affected
Clay cat litter even affects cat parents’ health. How? From increased allergic reactions to cat urine and complicating asthma, the dust and holding power of clay litter can lead to human health concerns. Remember that bacteria we talked about earlier? Well, cat waste can contain Toxoplasma gondii which is a one-celled bacteria found in cat poop. When you empty or clean your cat’s box, this bacterium can be carried in the dust and inhaled into your body. Toxoplasma gondii is the reason doctors tell pregnant women to steer clear of their cat’s box!
How Does Clay Litter Affect Our Planet?
"Remember the profound idea Mr. Lowe had to use clay as cat litter? We bet he never thought that the mining of the clay would lead to the ravaging of our natural environment."
Strip Mining for Litter
The clay used to produce cat litter is gathered from the process known as strip mining. This is as ugly as you may imagine. Bulldozers clear all the plants and topsoil to be able to reach the clay beneath the surface. Then the mining shifts into high gear. Load upon load of clay is trucked away, leaving massive cleared areas where nothing can grow and wildlife cannot thrive. This process can also push minerals into water sources making the water undrinkable for wild animals and uninhabitable for fish.
Filling Our Land Fills
Once the minerals are stripped from the Earth for cat litter, they cannot be replaced. These stripped areas are ugly, but the tons of cat litter sent to the landfill daily is even uglier. This litter usually sits trapped in plastic bags that do not biodegrade and neither does the litter itself. As trucks of clay is hauled out of pristine land, trucks of used litter is hauled to the dump where it adds to the mountains of waste that are unsightly and unpleasant.
What About Crystal Litters?
While crystal litter may seem prettier and totally different from clay litter, they’re actually quite similar. Crystal litter is made of silica dioxide sand (which is similar to those packets that come in shoes labeled as “Do Not Eat”).Most crystal litters also contain sodium bentonite which is the same material mined for clay litter. So, crystal litter poses the same health and environmental drawbacks as clay litter.
What Is a Better Option?
We knew we needed to find a solution to the harm at clay and crystal litters can cause. That’s why we came up with ViviPet Tofu Cat Litter. I know what you’re thinking: “Tofu?!" Isn’t that the white flavorless curd that vegetarian eat?” Well, yes, it is! And it is AMAZING as cat litter! If your cat or kitten accidentally chows down on her litter, it’s ok! Tofu is perfectly safe for her to eat and won’t cause rock-hard blockages like clay litter. Tofu is also 99% dust-free which is a breath of fresh air! If your cat has asthma or allergies, tofu litter can greatly improve her ability to breathe. She won’t be inhaling any harmful minerals day after day! One benefit of our tofu litter is that you can monitor your cat’s urinary health easily. Many bladder infections or bladder stones can go unnoticed with clay litter, but not with tofu litter.The rapid clumping power of tofu litter can also reduce allergic reactions to cats. The enzyme that people react to when allergic to cats is found in kitty urine, and because tofu clumps quickly and is flushable, you can dispose of those enzymes rapidly!
Is Tofu Cat Litter Better for the Environment?
Tofu litter is lightweight, so you won’t need to be a bodybuilder to pour it into your cat’s box. The lightweight nature makes the value so much better. You actually pay less over time and shipping is easy.The lightweight tofu litter will also feel like a blessing when you compare the hassle of lugging heavy plastic bags of used litter out to the curb and it's much easier to dispose. When your friends come over, no one will be asking “what’s that smell?”. Tofu cat litter absorbs odor quickly and effectively. You can scoop out and flush the solids without risk of your house smelling like a litter box. The gentle, spongey texture of tofu is also gentle on your kitty’s cute toes! She’ll feel like she’s walking on clouds when she steps into her litter box. And best of all the anti-tracking nature means she won’t carry a mess across your floor. No more dusty paw prints or the feeling of litter stuck to the bottom side of your feet.
ViviPet Tofu Cat Litter
Don’t continue to buy bulky boxes of cat litter that harms our planet one scoop at a time. Don’t risk your kitty’s health with clouds of mineral dust. Choosing ViviPet Tofu Cat Litter is choosing a better Earth in the long run and better health for your cat. Say “good-bye” to the grainy grab of clay litter on your feet and say “hello” to a solution that is flushable and won’t clog your pipes. Our planet and your cats are worth it, aren’t they?
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