Dangers of Sodium Bentonite Cat Litter
Cat litter manufacturers are aware of the dangers. However, they will point out that it is your responsiblity as owner to keep your cats safe.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is that cats will lick themselves after using the Bentonite Clay litter (or any cat litter) because this clumping agent will stick to their paws.
Every time your pets visit the litter box, they ingest the cat litter through inhalation and licking.
The Bentonite Clay litter accumulates in their stomach and swells, forming a hard lump that renders the stomach to the same state as blocked plumbing. The body will try to cleanse itself through repeated bouts of diarrohoea during which time the stomach can hardly absorb any nutrient. Unfortunately, only the diarrohoea is diagnosed by most doctors, and medicines prescribed upon vague diagnosis. The patient eventually succumbs to a very painful death. The only treatment is first to remove the cat from the litter, and then to put him on holistic treatment using soothing laxatives to get rid of the poison. During this time, homemade chicken or fish broth or stock is prescribed for diet, and if the treatment had begun early, the patient will likely recover in a few months time.
Currently, there are three main categories of cat litter: clump, silica crystal and the plastic crystal varieties. The last one is used by Cat Genie automatic litter box and it is reusable (until you have to replace it). The first two types are used by Litter Maid, a Self Cleaning Litter Box. Apart from these two leading brands, clump and crystal cat litter are sold by various companies, either as a standalone product or as part of the specific brand of cat litter box.
The clump variety of cat litter comes as grainy particles that absorb the liquid from the excreta and also controls the odor by forming clumps which can then be scooped out and replaced. The most powerful clumping substance is Sodium Bentonite, a certain type of clay that swells up to 15 times its volume in the presence of water, and is, therefore, extremely effective as cat litter. Today, more than 50% of the cat litter sold in the U.S. is of the clumping variety, and most of it is made from bentonite clay. We are warned against flushing cat litter that is made of sodium bentonite as the cement like clumping property can block plumbing.
The problem is not the clumping property of the cat litter, but the material used in clumping.
This, of course, can be easily overcome by switching over to an Organic clumping material. There are a number of organic clump litter available. Natural Wheat Cat Litter from Swheat Scoop is what we can probably vouch for. Probably, because even though we use wheat scoop, it is not the Swheat product. We purchase the chaff of wheat from wheat grinding mills in our locality and so far, the stuff has been more than excellent as litter.
The litter ‘box’ in our shelter is basically some shallow trenches dug in the ground and filled with sawdust and wheat chaff with a bit of citronella oil thrown in from time to time.
Recycled newspaper, wood shavings, good old sawdust, wheat chaff – anything organic that will not behave like cement is good cat litter for your furry baby. Click here for a list of Organic Cat Litter types .
Even silica crystals are not safe, and apparently, the litter in this case is responsible for affecting the lung tissues of the cat with lesions, and eventually causing cancer of the lungs or the throat. Cat litter is meant for your relief and for your cat to relieve himself. Read the details about silica gel crystal litter here.
Several animal welfare organizations have already begun to garner support against the production of such harmful cat litter, and if you wish to join them, you could begin with a click!
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