- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Shelter Kitties: Unsafe Litter and URI's?

September 3rd, 2007, 10:32 PM

My name is Chase, and I'm the cat adoption counselor for a shelter in Austin, Texas. I am relatively new to this, and I'm concerned with the health and well-being of my cats, so I need some advice:

I came back from adoptions today to find that they were using Absorb-All (used to soak up oil and transmission fluid) as cat litter in the adult and kitten rooms. It says on the bag: "Harmful to respiratory system, do not inhale dust. Causes lung injury." I replaced it immediately with donated litter, but before I confront the shelter manager, I need to know if the Absorb-All really is dangerous to use as litter. My main concern was aggravating an already common shelter problem: upper respiratory infections. Is that justifiable or am I over-reacting?

Thanks for your time.


Jim Hall
September 3rd, 2007, 10:34 PM
ewwww yeah that would do it

is the shelter next to the public works or something od were they just stoopid ?

September 3rd, 2007, 10:41 PM
No, you aren't overreacting in the least. It has a high amount of small particulate matter ~ very conducive to respiratory damage never mind infections! Yikes ~ what were they thinking ? Thank goodness you had some proper litter on hand.

September 3rd, 2007, 10:41 PM
They hired this guy because he is ex-military and they wanted organization, but apparently he doesn't know squat about cats. He thinks they're just for keeping in barns to kill mice and snakes. I really feel like I'm having to step up for my cats' safety. Am I justified in being angry about the Absorb-all litter thing?

September 3rd, 2007, 10:42 PM
Ah, I thought so. Thanks.

Jim Hall
September 3rd, 2007, 11:14 PM
wouldnt be angry lets face it he probabnly never owned a cat in his life

Since your now in with them I would say some subtle education would be the best solution

September 4th, 2007, 12:17 AM
The shelters up here in BC use a pellet type of litter such as pine or cedar based & I recently switch my cat to pine pellets from clumping clay. There is a HUGE difference - no more tracking (the shelter cats obviously have limited space in the kennels & who wants to sit in litter all over the floor all the time?) & more importantly no more dust. They would benefit greatly from a pellet litter - no dust = less URIs. For donations you could (like they do here) ask specifically for a type of litter or for monetary donations for litter that you buy.

The Absorb-all :wall: is very bad choice for cat litter - it wasn't designed for close contact with any living creature, therefore they can put whatever chemicals in it they want, plus most mechanic shops are open ended on both sides so they would have tons of fresh air ventilation, not so in shelter situations.

Good luck w/military manager :fingerscr

September 4th, 2007, 12:28 AM
:eek: :eek: :frustrated: Ok I can understand wanting organization, but was knowledgeable about pets not also a requirement???:wall:

Definitely speak up, and let him know that it's ok to ask first, it doesn't make him any less in charge.... but may avoid dangerous situations like that in the future.

September 4th, 2007, 06:04 AM
I would think not only is that terribly dangerous for the cats but for the people there as well- what happens when a cat is scratching in a litter box? A cloud of particles/dust is released into the air. Also when filling or emptying the litter box.

What is this guy doing working in a shelter if he is that moronic? I would not only confront him but I would probably report the incident to OSHA- in fact, you may be required to do so, as anyone in the vicinity when this was in use was exposed to harmful substance.