Environmental Cat Keeping, PLEASE READ!

Jeau DominguezJeau Dominguez BuffaloMember Posts: 5
edited 21 September, 2007 in Cat Health
Hello everyone, I have been a member of Catster for some 3 years now I think and I have never posted on the forums before. Anyway one thing that I want to bring to your attenion is the difference that WE AS CAT OWNERS can make. I am owned by Weasley, Gandalf, Rasputin and Merlin. Merlin and Rasputin are both rescues - Merlin has chronic anemia, a grade 3 heart murmur and allergies. Rasputin has a regrowing mouth cyst that has to get remove every 6mths or else he can't eat and was born missing an eye. Gandalf and Weasley are both Bengals and perfectly healthy and mischevious. I myself am a huge advocate for the environment and doing things holistically and environmentally. My cats are on Innova Evo (I couldn't get Merlin and Rasputin on the Raw Diet) dry food and Dynamite Wet food (http://dynamitemarketing.com/Canned_Turkey_for_Cats.htm) which is wonderful and has worked for all four cats remarkably well. Anyway what I want to bring to your attention is this recent little study that I have been doing with my boys. I have always used conventional clay/rock/scoopable litters. I just thought it would be much easier. But I soon found out that not only was conventional litter detrimental to our cat's health, but also to our environment. Health concerns of conventional litter: a recent study found that clay-based litter silica dust in cats lungs...and that cats with respiratory disease had up to six times the amount of silica in their lungs than other cats. There is also the danger of cats licking the sodium bentonite off their paws when cleaning themselves (which is the clumping agent) can cause blockages in the system. I personally have known of one cat that had an internal blockage and died on the operating table. They found the litter blockages in its digestive system. Two others went through surgeries successfully. The environmental issues are: Cat litter comes from strip-mining which in itself is a very laborous, carbon-producing, environmentally detrimental process. Not to mention the kitty litter is already a broken down material - clay - and it is not biodegradable at all. Which means all the kitty litter you produce most likely goes to a landfill, doesn't biodegrate and is very hazardous to the environment from beginning (when they mine for litter) to end. In 1994 they found that there was 1.5 metric tons of cat litter that year...sitting in landfills and that can never be decomposed. So over the last year I have been trying to find alternatives for the litter. The first one I tried was Feline Pine PELLETS and I did like this litter a lot. But I didn't like that it wasn't too scoopable friendly and I know some cats didn't like it (even though mine took to it fine). So I tried the Swheat Scoop. Which by far is my least favorite litter in the world. I think I'd sooner use clay litter than this stuff. I found that once peed on it would stick to the side. I had to spray pam before putting the litter in. And even though the cats peed days ago, it would still stay wet and doughy. Yuck! So then I tried World's Best Cat Litter. I found that this one worked VERY WELL. It was easy to scoop out, solid scoops, didn't stick. It was great for the environment but definitely not for my wallet! So I started to use Tidy Cats Small Spaces again for awhile. Well recently Feline Pine came out with a NON-PELLETED scoopable litter. It took me a month to try this. I went to Target to pick up my Tidy Cats and saw this new Scoopable Feline Pine. I picked it up and it was SO LIGHT. I thought "no way in heck could this work!" I own horses and we use sawdust for shavings and let me tell ya, it sure doesn't CLUMP. A month later I went back to Target and decided to give the Feline Pine a try. I was quick to notice that it was considerably cheaper. I took it home and have been using it for a month. This is what I have found: Facts: 4 cats 2 litter boxes (I use rubbermaid containers) I was getting TWO 27lb tubs of Tidy Cats Small Spaces every two weeks. So that is ROUGHLY about 108lbs of kitty litter and cat waste a month. Which is 1296lbs of litter in a single year!! NOW with the Feline Pine I am buying TWO 4lb containers every two weeks. That's 16lbs a month and 192lbs a Year. So you can see the differnce: Tidy Cats Feline Pine 108lb month 16lb month 1296lb year 192year Isn't that a HUGE diference? I was just so amazed. So you are producing a lot LESS litter and hte litter you do "produce" or get is BIOGREDABLE and GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Heck, you can even use it as mulch! Also: I was paying $12.49 for the 27lb tub of Tidy Cats and I am paying $4.99 for the 4lb box of Feline Pine. So I'm saving over $8 PER item....which is $32 a month which in turn I AM SAVING $384 a year!!!!! So what I'm trying to do is SPREAD THE WORD that CAT PEOPLE can do a HUGE difference environmentally. If enough of us switch over to an ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY cat litter we can drastically reduce the amount that goes to landfills AND save money! So please spread this to all your feline friends! Spread the word! And if you can, let me know if you do switch and how many lbs you're going through in a month. I'd like to keep track of the difference we can make and maybe make a chart. I'm also contacting magazines about seeing if they'd be willing to do an article on this too to spread the word. Anyway, here's hoping.

Comments

  • joy wampolejoy wampole Member Posts: 626
    edited 21 September, 2007
    Great info! As soon as I finish the litter I just bought, I will be giving it a try. Everyting you mentioned made perfect sense to me. I was worried about that nasty stuff sticking to their paws, licking it off and getting into their system also. I will keep you posted and let you know how it works out for us. Thanks for the info! Purrs, Sophie and family
  • Jenna LuskJenna Lusk Pacific NWMember Posts: 2,034
    edited 21 September, 2007
    I was using Feline Pine Scoopable and really liked it. My daughter, though, hated the smell and wouldn't go into the downstairs bathroom where we have the litter box. She is 5 1/2 and has issues with smells, textures and feel of clothing and loud sounds. She had started to "hold it" instead of going upstairs and developed a bladder infection. I went back to a clay-based that was scent-free, and she's fine with that. I would like to wait a while and try Feline Pine again because of all the reasons you mentioned. My cats seemed to like it, although it was a bit harder to clean up off the floor. Just have to see if I can get my daughter to accept it! The one thing I never confirmed was if it was okay with my asthma. I am allergic to pine, but I'm also allergic to cats... so it's kind of hard to ever know if I'm having a reaction to anything other than my wonderful babies. I definitely recommend Feline Pine Scoopable, though. And I don't work for them. I work for a small child and two cats! Binkies' mommy
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 21 September, 2007
    Very interesting... However, unfortunately, none of us cats liked Feline Pine pellets or scoop. We also tried The World's Best Cat Litter, I like it and use it but my 2 little brothers don't care for it so I end up with a box to myself! My little brothers insist on scoopable clay litter. Mom wishes they would have liked Feling Pine Scoop or TWBCL, but is resigned to buying clay at this point.
  • Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
    edited 21 September, 2007
    We tolerate Feline Pine Scoopable. Mom loves it because it smells good and clumps good too. Her favorite is The Worlds Best Cat Litter but its too $$$ and Dad hates how it smells. OK mom doesn't like it either but it clumps the best so far.
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