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Columns: No Limits, No Kidding!




Since cat litter creators do not seem to have any first-hand knowledge of cats or small dogs, we are at the mercy of whatever the kitty litter industry churns out.


July 12, 2022

Nel Liquorman, Investigative Reporter


Cat and small breed dog owners have experienced more than a decade of toxic cat litter. “Good for the environment and biodegradable” sounds good but by now most pet owners realize that there are serious problems with cat litter contents.



Many cat litter products have been contaminated with wood fibers or other waste products such as residue from Herbal Extracts, aka Essential oils.


These toxins are from the Nutraceutical Industry, over which the FDA or USDA seems to have had no control even though kitty litter containing carbons blackened cat owner floors. Air-conditioning systems circulated litter box dust from room to room. Pets sneezed, owners sneezed and any asthmatic living in such a home suffered even more.


Kitty litter additives touted as technological secrets are no longer acceptable.



Industry needs to come clean by stating plainly on the packaging what all ingredients actually are. Consumers have had enough of all the “techno” and “bio-bullshit”!


FDA now provides a website with guidance on additives in human foods but it does not include a safety net when it comes to what can be included in pet foods. What agency has control over pet products such as bedding, toys and kitty litter contents?


The entire cat litter industry is now seen as a mess and small pet owners, from cats to mice to birds and dogs have many reasons to be ANGRY.



Toy dog owners often provide kitty litter boxes so their dogs don’t have to go outside in bad weather. If any of your pets are sneezing, you need to know the risk.


Scientists created a “cat litter” made of eastern red cedar flakes, guar gum, food-grade mineral oil and other biodegradable ingredients. This time they decided to use reclaimed eastern red cedar fibers which are highly absorbent. The red cedar flakes also contains flea-and tick-repelling compounds called bioactive sesquiterpenes.


However, the creative group saw room for improvement—namely, in getting the flakes to properly clump together and reduce the offensive odor of cat urine.


To achieve the latter, the researchers used a procedure called pyrolysis to convert some of the flakes into biochar. Biochar is a carbon-rich, highly porous charcoal-like substance with an affinity for capturing volatile organic compounds, including 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB), the chief odor compound in cat urine.


Mindful of the dust that can accompany biochar use, they lightly coated the material with food-grade mineral oil and glycerol. Market research also showed that cat owners prefer litter formulations in which 60 percent or more of the material clumps together for easier scooping and disposal. So, they mixed in guar gum, a common food-processing and binding agent.



The litter box flakes also contain flea-and tick repellents called “bioactive sesquiterpenes” which indicates the presence of Red Cedar Essential Oil. Here is what {Ref #1} says about that. “Eastern red cedar is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. Burning in the stomach, vomiting, convulsions, coma, and even death have been reported with overdose ingestion of Eastern red cedar essential oil.


That info refers to humans but cats are smaller and they get litter dust and tiny pieces of that cedar stuff into their fur and paws. And, yes, we all know that a cat licks their paws and every inch of itself and that toxins accumulate in the liver and kidneys.


Now, like me, you probably want to know if the Agricultural Research Service at the USDA is developing a cat litter on tax-payer’s dollars? And is it likely that those scientists are more knowledgeable about cats than the current litter makers?


In ARS’s own words, “The wood (red cedar) also contains flea-and tick-repelling compounds called bioactive sesquiterpenes.” These essential oil extracts just keep on marching through product after product.


I wish for once, litter creators would be concerned about the health of the cat and the people who share their homes with these wonderful creatures. Neither deserve to be poisoned by toxins in kitty litter!


Reference Information: {1} EST 2002 © Jul. 2022



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