If you're an environmentally conscious cat owner, then it makes sense that you should give preference to natural products when buying materials related to caring for your cat. And it's no different for cat litters. You want to buy cat litter that is safe for your cat and is also safe for the environment. Of course, it's also important that the cat litter you buy doesn't hurt your wallet.
A lot of the cat litter products designed for the mass market contain a considerable amount of silica dust, a chemical associated with upper respiratory health problems in both cats and humans. Moreover, the products contain synthetic fragrances that can compromise the health of cats.
Another problem with traditional cat litter products is the sodium bentonite clay used for "clumping" the litter. This form of clay is useful because it swells up to 15 times the initial volume when a cat defecates or urinates into it. The swelling up makes it a great cat litter substrate. Rather than replacing the entire litter box, you can simply remove clumps of waste and fill out those spaces.
However, when cats ingest sodium bentonite clay, they suffer gastrointestinal distress. In some cases, these health issues can lead to death. Furthermore, the clay is often extracted from the earth through strip mining, an activity that is destructive to the environment.
A Wide Variety of Eco-Friendly Cat Litters
Thankfully, concern for the health of cats and the planet has been increasing, especially in recent years. For that reason, a number of environmentally friendly options for cat litter have become available in the market.
For example, some manufacturers make cat litter from recycled newspaper, which is reportedly three times more absorbent than sodium bentonite clay. It's non-toxic and tough on odors despite not containing chemical fragrances. It's also 99% dust-free and comes with paper packaging that is recyclable.
Sawdust and wood shavings are also great alternatives for cat litter substrate. For example, some manufacturers use a blend of cedar chips and hardwood that contains no silica dust or clay. In addition to being affordable, these cat litter products have a pleasant odor, are easy to handle, and are compostable and biodegradable.
Other sawdust or wood shaving alternatives include cat litter created from dust-free pine chips and those made from blending clay and cedar chips to control the odor. Another solid choice for cat litter are products that are made using a proprietary fibrous material blend.
Other manufacturers use enzymes present in renewable wheat crops to deal with the odor in cat litter. In addition to being low-tracking and low-dust, this form of cat litter is also compostable and biodegradable. Wheat kernel corn is yet another excellent solution for Eco-friendly cat litter. Some manufacturers derive their cat litter from vegetables and modified maize.
If you're both Eco-conscious and frugal, you can always make your own cat litter by repurposing everyday materials that you would otherwise dispose of. One good solution is plain sawdust, its downsides being that it does not keep odor at bay, it's not dust-free, and it's not easily available in many urban areas.
You can find instructions on how to convert old newspapers into Eco-friendly cat litter. Even though the process is a bit involving, you end up making good savings as you extended the life newsprint that would otherwise be discarded.
Choosing the right Eco-friendly cat litter
With so many options for Eco-friendly cat litter available in the market, choosing one that fits your needs might seem a bit confusing at first. But with a bit of research, you can identify a solution that fits all your requirements.
As you shop around, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure the cat litter is low-dust and low-tracking. The dust factor varies from one cat litter product to another and is important even for varieties that use fine-grained crystal. And, of course, you want the litter to stay in the box.
Second, uncomfortable as it might be for you, research has shown that cats prefer their litter to be unscented. Their aversion to scented litters might be so strong that they avoid it altogether. The best solutions for odor-control are activated charcoal or carbon ingredients in the litter.
Among the best sustainable and Eco-friendly cat litter solutions on the market today is Catfidence. This 100% organic solution is up to five times more water absorbent than traditional cat litter products. Absorption and odor-control are all natural. Moreover, it's dust-free, flushable, and uses no chemicals or additives, making it safe for your cat