Silica Cat Litter Raises Concern About Pet’s Health

January 13, 2010

in Cats

The newest cat litter to hit the market is one that is based on silica. Silica is widely used as a simple drying agent. You’ve seen little sachets of this material in expensive electronic or photographic equipment. The cat’s litter box is laid with the silica litter just about an inch deep. That is sufficient to absorb all kitty’s waste and especially the foul odor from the litter box. There’s absolutely no smell anymore! Cleaning the litter is also so much easier as all the waste is as dry as a bone!

The number of times you have to refresh the cat’s litter box is just once or twice or month compared to almost daily for traditional cat litters. Each time you refresh the litter box you just have to lay down an inch or so of the silica cat litter. This makes it very economical. No wonder cat owners consider silica cat litter to be a wonderful product. But there is a darker side to this wonder product. The question that’s being voiced is whether silica is a health risk for your cat. Read on to find out…

Silica is the raw form of ‘glass’. Knowing this you’ll realize that silica can be sharp like glass. This can bruise your sweet little pet’s delicate paws. Some owners are concerned that their pet may inadvertently swallow some silica when it’s cleaning itself, which is not going to do Tabby’s digestion any good!

Some owners have an issue with the fact that it is not necessary to re-lay the litter everyday. They say that litter which is not changed for two weeks or more will be a happy hunting ground for bacteria which will adversely impact your cat’s health.

The main advantage of silica as a litter is its cost effectiveness, $10 lasting you for a fortnight or more. Secondly, it is easy to maintain, since you only have to scoop out the dried poop everyday. Thirdly, you have to re-lay the litter just once or, at most, twice a month.

The opponents of silica cat litter say that the cost effectiveness is as good as that of traditional cat litters if computed over a month’s usage. You use less silica cat litter, but this is offset by its high retail price. The second criticism is that the silica litter ‘absorbs’ the liquids from the cat’s waste matter, and traps it within itself. This cannot be removed every day. With the ordinary clumping variety you can remove the entire waste.

Let’s not forget that silica can be physically damaging to the cat’s paws. If you are extremely conscious of your cat’s well-being, then you can go in for the mixed variety. Here the silica litter is mixed with the clumping variety which gives you a fairly good alternative.

Silica cat litter is actually a very good product suffering from some severe drawbacks. The mixed variety can be a bridge between all-silica and all-clumping. This way you get the benefits of both varieties of cat litters. The clumping prevents your cat’s paws from damage, and the silica litter prevents the foul odor from pervading the house!

Another great solution, but also a more costly one, is to invest in an automatic cat litter box. Go to to learn about all your cat litter choices. You’ll discover why clumping cat litter remains the most popular choice on the market today.

categories: cat litter,litter boxes,cats,pets,animals,home

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