Cats are great pets, but their litter boxes sure do leave a lot to be desired; and we're not just talking about the smell. The chemically scented, nonbiodegradable clays in kitty litter end up in landfills, or if flushed, in the sea. Even if flushable kitty litter doesn't make it all the way to the Pacific Coast where 17 percent of all sea otter deaths are caused by the parasites in cat feces, it's still filtered at a water treatment plant and sent to landfills. Kitty litter isn't so great for your cats, either. If it's the clumping kind and your kitty swallows it, he or she is bound to get sick. Kitty litter is also harmful to humans; most clay litters kick up silica dust, which causes respiratory problems. And pregnant women are advised to keep clear of the stuff in order to avoid potential exposure to parasites.
But your cat still needs a litter box, right? So what are the health- and earth-conscious pet owners supposed to do? Choose biodegradable litter that decomposes faster and doesn't tax the environment with harmful strip mining.
MORE FRIENDLY CAT LITTER OPTIONS
- Nature's Earth Feline Pine Scoop: This 100 percent natural kitty litter neutralizes odors without harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, or silica dust. It's made from highly absorbent, renewable southern yellow pine and natural Guar Bean Gum pellets that bind directly to ammonia particles and are biodegradable. You can find Nature's Earth Feline Pine online!
- Good Mews: Good Mews cat litter is made entirely from recycle paper and absorbs three times more odor-causing moisture than clay. Because it's made of natural fiber, it absorbs quickly to neutralize ammonia. It's also completely dust free, so you don't breathe in any harmful particles and there's no fine sand to clean up around the litter box. Good Mews pellets are also recommended by veterinarians for kittens and declawed cats because they're safe to be ingested, they're non-abrasive, non-irritating, and they're best for feline health. Good Mews pellets are also biodegradable! Find them at retail stores like Safeway and Fred Meyer, or at independent pet stores.
- World's Best Cat Litter: World's Best is corn-based so it's completely biodegradable, as well as clay-, chemical-, and fragrance-free. It can also be added to home composters once it's been fully scooped of feces. World's Best litter has highly absorbent proteins and fibers found naturally in corn, and it controls odor without the need of perfumes or scents. World's Best Cat Litter can be found online!
- Swheat Scoop: Swheat Scoop Natural Wheat Litter is free of clay, chemicals, and fragrances, and is biodegradable. Swheat is also made of non-food-grade GE-free American wheat, which means, like World's Best Cat Litter, it can also be added to home composters (minus the poop). You can find Swheat Scoop Natural Wheat Litter Online!
- Purina Yesterday's News: Yesterday's News is made of safe, odor controlling, recycled newspaper pellets. It's dust-free, is 3 times more absorbent than clay litter, and has virtually no small particles, so no mess will be tracked around your house. Yesterday's News also works great as a litter or bedding for small animals too! And their packaging is one of the first recyclable bags in the industry. Find it at Petco stores and at Petco.com!