Cat box fillers made from absorbent clay account for approximately 95% of all cat litter. Although inexpensive, clay litter can be dusty and may encourage digging in the litter box releasing even more dust. What is so interesting or scary about these cat litter facts?
Read on for a surprising eye opening. Sodium bentonite expands when wet – it can absorb several times its dry weight in water. It is mostly used in drilling mud in the oil and gas well drilling industries. But bentonite, clay that’s usually yellow or greenish-gray, is not just used by the energy industry. Traditional clay-based cat litter contains sodium bentonite as the clumping agent. Since clay typically contains elevated levels of naturally occurring radionuclides, large amounts of cat litter can be measurably radioactive. Most cat litters contain clay or sodium bentonite, as it is highly absorbent. The clay in cat litter gives off enough gamma rays (gamma -rays) to trigger a detector. Yes, the clay in cat litter does give off radiation in very small quantities.
That’s not all to keep you up late at night worrying. Bentonite toxicosis can occur in cats from the ingestion of clay cat litter. “Suspected Bentonite Toxicosis in a Cat from Ingestion of Clay Cat Litter” was originally published in the Journal of Veterinary and Human Toxicology Vol. 38, No. 6, October 1996 (Fred Oehme, DVM, editor). Products traditionally thought to be nontoxic can produce toxicosis. Bentonite toxicosis causes hypokalemia and macrocytic hypochromic anemia consistent with iron-deficiency anemia. The cat in this study became ill from the chronic ingestion of a bentonite-containing cat litter. The signs of that cat were remarkably similar to those reported in humans from the chronic ingestion of bentonite clays. If you scoop out your cat litter box at least once a day, breathing in the dust produced over several years, is that enough to cause bentonite toxicosis in you?
We should think twice about bringing any clay cat litter into our homes and exposing our cats and families to these health hazards. Natural cat litter is sanitized litter box filler which controls odor naturally. No clay, no radioactive materials or health hazards used in these litters. There are many natural cat litters on the market today made from a variety of materials such as pine, corn, newspaper and wheat. There is no need to worry or potentially suffer devastating health problems from clay cat litter. Switch to natural cat litter and protect the lives of all your family members, not just your cats.