Better for the planet, better for your cat!

Have you ever put much thought into what your cat litter is made of? Cat litter was invented in the mid 20th century and it really hasn’t changed a lot since then.  Most cheap commercial cat litter is made of cheap processed materials that can actually do more damage than good as most of them cannot be recycled and cannot break down in landfill.  Did you know that most cat litter doesn’t break down for at least 1000 years and that 2.4 million tons of it ends up in landfill each year!

Not only that, but because of what it’s made of, cat litter types such as clay and Crystals actually cause environmental damage and deforestation? This is because their substances are harvested from deep underneath the ground, and therefore areas of natural forests have to be dug up to harvest it. There is also the topic on what processed cat litter does to your cats health, which you may not even think about!

Some cat litter can be treated with hydrogen peroxide (Bleach!) and other natsy chemicals and overpowering scents. Bleach can cause burns on your cat’s paws and skin. A cat’s sense of smell is also 14 times better than a human, which means they hate strong smells. This is a common problem with litter, as owners will often find their cats pooping outside the litter tray for ‘No reason’ or even worse ingesting it! Which can swell in their tummies and cause blockages. If your cat refuses to use the litter tray, it is usually because something is wrong with the litter, not the cat.

But don’t panic! In recent years people in the Pet industry have been thinking about the impact they have on the planet and now there’s a lot more choice for you and your cat. A few things to think about when choosing a cat litter

1.Texture: Is it nice and soft for their feet to stand on? Hard cat litter pellets or balls can be painful for a cat’s feet. You can test this yourself by resting weight on your hand on some fresh litter. If after a few seconds it starts to hurt, then it will hurt your cat’s feet too.

2. Smell: Like previously stated, a cat’s sense of smell is 14 times more powerful than a humans. And most cat litters are treated with harsh overpower scents which can be eye watering for your cat. It is best to avoid any scented litter if you can but if you are unsure. Opena  fresh bag and stick your head in and breathe in, if its too strong for you, its suffocating for them.

3. Dust: No one likes dust, not even your little toe bean friends. Most cat litters will claim to be ‘dust extracted’ which should indicate that they don’t have any dust particles in them. However not all of them are. If you tip a bag of cat litter out into a litter tray and there’s dust floating around, that is a good indicator it’s not dust free! This can be especially harmful if using an enclosed litter box and clay litter and their cat irritate your cat’s lungs and cause them breathing issues.

So what cat litters should you avoid?

  1. Clay

  2. Silica Gel crystals

  3. Bleach stone granules

  4. Hard Pellets

So should you use Instead?

Coconut Husk cat litter– This comes from a completely sustainable source as coconuts grow quickly and are easily replanted. The coconut husk that is used in this product is a by-product of the industry itself, which means that when the coconut is used in other industries (such as food or body products) The husk can be discarded as used as a litter, which means none of it goes to waste!. Coconut cat litters are naturally resistant to bacteria, hypoallergenic and absortant. It also mimics fresh loose soil (but without the muddy footprints!) which is your cat’s natural choice of where to poop!

The cat litter may also contain bicarbonate of soda. This is a natural product safe for your cat, and is great at keeping the coconut litter odour free! Once used the litter can either be used as compost in your garden or thrown in the bin as it is completely biodegradable, so won’t eat up space in landfill.

Corn Cob Cat litter– This is a growing favorite among the cat community. This recent addition to the litter industry is game changing. What makes this litter different from the rest is that it can be flushable! Corn litter is 3 times more absorbable than your standard cat litter. Some also have added Fen-oil (Extracted Virgin olive oil) which is a natural herbal extract with an antibacterial effect. It is also completely compostable/biodegradable so can be flushed down your toilet in small quantities.

Soil and Sand Mix litter– This is an old fashioned type of eco friendly litter. But like the old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. This can be an expensive option if you’re on a budget as it has to be cat litter sand/soil and not builders sand (As that can have sharp and harmful bits in!) However the benefits of sand/soil mix is that it’s soft on your cat’s paws and it absorbs into clumps so can be easily cleaned.

Recycled paper- Recycled paper has many benefits to being a cat litter. It is one of the most affordable options for people wanting to switch over to an eco-friendly option, so perfect for people on a budget. Paper has a Natural odour control with no added additives or chemicals. It is highly absorbent and virtually dust free, which also means reduced tracking on floors and carpets. Like all eco friendly cat litter, It’s biodegradable.

Wood– There are mainly varieties of wood cat litter available on the market. This can vary from shaving like particles to pellets. Either are suitable for cats but make sure to get soft pellets as hard pellets can be uncomfortable on your cat’s paws. Wood is brilliant for the environment as most of it is byproducts of other industries so the whole tree is used and is easily sustainable. They are a natural product so clump really well when wet and are completely biodegradable.

We hope this has helped you learn more about the pros and cons of different types of cat litter, if you have any questions or are unsure and want some advice. Please pop in the shop and one of the team will be able to help you. We also stock all types of Eco friendly cat litter mentioned above, so if you’re thinking of switching, come see us!