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Cats & Kitty Litter

For many of us, cats are non-human persons. Even if you don't view them that way, as living creatures who share their live with us, they deserve to be treated with love, kindness, and respect. One way we can make sure our cats are safe and healthy is to avoid clumping clay kitty litters, and instead use one of the many safer alternatives available.

Cats Make a Home

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
― Jean Cocteau

Cats are Nice

“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE. 

—Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

Cats are Educational

“A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful.” 

― Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad

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What's the Issue Here?

Clumping clay kitty litters, the kind that contain sodium bentonite, may be related to a number of cat health problems, such as respiratory problems, bowel problems (including irritable bowel syndrome), urinary and kidney problems, as well as a host of others. On this page, you'll find links to articles concerning clumping clay kitty litters and the possible health hazards they pose, not just for cats, but for many other creatures as well. In addition, you'll find a link to a page of excerpts from some of the letters I have received from others describing their experiences with clumping clay kitty litters and their cat's (or other pet's) health problems, as well as some other links of interest to cat lovers.

It all started with this article: “Clumping Clay Kitty Litters—A Deadly Convenience?” This article was first published in Tiger Tribe magazine in 1995. Since then, it has been available at my Web site and has also been reprinted in cat-related newsletters and at Web sites uncounted times worldwide.

Many people have written to tell me that they were able to save their cat because of the information they found here. I've reprinted a small selection from the many letters I've received.

After reading this article, you may be wondering what to use instead. This page summarizes information about alternatives: Alternatives to clumping clay kitty litter.

Adopt or Support a Cat

If you are adopting a cat, one great source is your local animal control agency or shelter. Many such places kill thousands of cats a year. Any cat you adopt from such a place is another cat saved from almost certain death.

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A cat is a lifetime commitment

Please do not adopt a cat unless you are willing to take care of it for its entire life. To adopt a cat and later give it away, take it to an animal shelter, or — unthinkably — abandon it is incredibly cruel. If you are at all unsure of whether you can make this commitment, give yourself time to consider the adoption until you are sure. Also, it takes time to create a relationship with a cat—just as it does with a human—so give yourself and your new cat time to adjust to each other and to learn each other's ways.

If you can't adopt, consider volunteering or giving money to one of the following groups, who work tirelessly to aid as many cats as they can.

Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County supports feral cat colonies and also has a small, absolutely no-kill shelter from which you can adopt. Please support them any way you can.

The Cat House on the Kings is a very worthy no-cage, no-kill cat sanctuary and adoption center in California. You may have seen the wonderful video about it, which is well worth watching.

Torre Argentina in Italy is a group that supports feral cats and has a small shelter from which you can adopt. As with Cat House on the Kings, you can “adopt at a distance” by paying for the needs of one or more cats at the shelter.

Additional information

Switching Your Cat to a New Kitty Litter

Alternative Cat Boxes, Toilet Training Your Cat, and Furniture for Cat Boxes

An article by a vet on the potential dangers of clumping clay kitty litters

Cat Health Problems and Clumping Clay Kitty Litters

Intuitive Animal Readings

Over the years, I've been asked to do a number of psychic readings for people's animal companions—horses, dogs, and cats, mostly. In doing so, I have been amazed, delighted, and sometimes awed by what our animal friends have to say. Find out more about your beloved animal companion(s)!

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