Monday, June 11, 2007

Cat-lit... The new menace?

This was sent to me by an old friend who has always been a firm supporter of environmental issues. It provides food for thought about a problem that few of us ever considered.
Thanks, Bev, for bringing this to our attention.

"Re cat litter - I don't know what kind you use/have picked but an RVT (reg. vet tech) on-line friend of mine in the US is passing this onto everyone she knows who has cats. The DVM she works for apparently has inside information to back this up and she will be passing this on when she has permission. I have her permission to cross-post.
Not only is cat litter unsafe for the environment; according to the Bureau of Waste Management, approximately 8 billion pounds of kitty litter is dumped into landfill sites every year! Apparently that is over twice the amount of disposable diapers! Not only this! Clay cat litter is made from silicon particles which explains why there is dust produced with clay litter. Silicon particles, as we know, are a known carcinogenic and that means breathing in these particles can not only cause cancer, but also respiratory diseases. This is according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

When your cat goes to cover his waste, the dust is kicked about everywhere; the dust becomes an invasive intruder. Research has shown that silicon particles do indeed cause cancer-like symptoms in laboratory rats but so far, there is no data available to say if it does the same in cats. However, there does exist evidence that silicon causes problems in humans. Case studies have also shown that cats with respiratory problems have 6 times the amount of silica in their lungs than healthy cats. If this is what’s happening to cats then just imagine what it’s doing to humans who have twice the lung capacity. The studies are overshadowed by the needs of cat owners and the availability and ease of using cat litter. It has also been shown that kittens, because they lay down in the litter, are more at risk. Also because kittens then lick themselves clean."

On the face of it, this information is very disturbing. My own view is that although the amount of cat-lit dumped on landfill sites is a serious problem, my immediate concern is for the cats! I shall most certainly look for an alternative to kitty-training even if I have to replace the cat-lit in the tray with old newspapers until she is old enough to use the garden.
Comments please.


odinsgal88 said...

My friend is recommending wood based pellets, I believe, although I know several people on a guinea pig forum I belong to use a small animal bedding called Carefresh and are quite happy with the results; it's compressed paper pellets. I have used it for the guinea pigs and it is very easy to deal with, low odour and I can compost it (though I'm not sure you can do that with the waste of carnivorous animals.) Its drawback for me was the expense - because I have so many pigs it worked out to be quite expensive.

Graeme said...

I just have to ask you this...
What do you do with all these guinea-pigs?

odinsgal88 said...

Nothing - just feed them, and clean up after them, and nurse them back to health, and pick grass at 3AM in the snow because one is ill and it's the only thing she'll eat when I run out of Recovery syringe food, and plot secret and evil ways to get back at the ba$tards who let some of them get that way in the first place.

Not forgetting letting them pee on me and poop on me and bite me, chew big holes in my clothes, pull my earrings out and make me chase them for half an hour round the house and/or garden when it's time go go in.

But then one falls fast asleep lying on me, or licks my nose with their cophrophagic breath and I forget all the above.