Q: Does an environment-friendly cat litter exist?
A: Great question and the answer is yes! Several natural cat litters exist. Many types of clumping litter are grain-based, such as wheat, oats or corn cat litter. These are biodegradable and good for the planet. Other litters are made from recycled newspapers, pine and woodchips. I have found these have very little dust and are especially good for cats with asthma or other respiratory problems.
As with all things that relate to our cats, we do need to pay attention to their habits and note any changes. I remember when clumping (scoopable) clay litter was relatively new, I was caring for a 17-year-old cat named Little One. On my first visit I noticed she was limping. I checked the cat’s paws and was shocked to find clumps of hardened cat litter caught between the paw pads. They were like balls of cement, poor kitty. Her paws must have gotten wet while digging deep in the clay, and these clumps attached themselves. Luckily she was a real sweetie and let me soak her paws in warm water and gently remove the clay from them. When I told his owners they immediately switched to non-clumping litter.
Please know that I have nothing against clumping litter, in fact I use it myself. The kind of litter you use is really a matter of choice between you and your cats and Little One’s owners should have taken note of her problem.
I did switch to environmental-friendly dust-free litter a few years back and I swear by it. As a rule you will pay more for these cat litters but if you are a careful shopper, you can get good bargains. I always tell my clients to shop around and watch the circular for coupons.
Also remember to introduce a new cat litter slowly and give your cat time to adjust to it. Good luck and it is nice to know our cats can play a small part in helping the environment. As always I welcome your stories and comments.