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-   -   Let's Talk Kitty Litter!? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=51119)

zztopp April 4th, 2008 10:17 AM

Let's Talk Kitty Litter!?
 
We live on a small farm (9 acres) and do our best to be environmentally friendly, which also helps with our land management.

We use a straw-based bedding for the horses that breaks down fully in two weeks. Meaning, after 2 weeks we can spread it on our fields, which helps with space constraints, etc.

The barn cats and the house cats each have kitty litter boxes .. and we use a clay based litter. Bad me, bad me ... I know!!

We can't dispose of the kitty litter on the horsey manure pile, since they don't break down at the same rate. And I DON'T want to be spreading kitty litter on the fields that the horses eat from ... ick. Plus, our garbage bag limit is two bags a week ... and all that kitty litter takes up alot of space!!

So, what are my choices for both economical and environmental kitty litters?

Thanks everyone!

-- zztopp

SARAH April 4th, 2008 10:22 AM

Before the store I got it from closed (without warning!) I would get wood-chip/sawdust litter. It clumped and was flushable. Frankly, I wish I could find it again, because the clay, although scoopable is easier to clean than the non scoopable, does smell more and takes space in the garbage can (don't use a full bag/week though, and no limit here, so that's not the issue).

See if you can find the wood stuff, it's worth it.

phoozles April 4th, 2008 10:31 AM

Thanks to [B]growler[/B] I was recently introduced to Feline Fresh - it's a pine litter that comes in either pellet or scoopable form - it's a lot like sawdust, it clumps and is flushable..

It's also the same price as the clay stuff, which works well in my books! :thumbs up

Here's their website: [url]http://www.planetwiseproducts.com/feline.htm[/url] - they even have a rebate for a free first bag!

Thanks again growler for the tip! :)

Kristin7 April 4th, 2008 10:34 AM

I have used a pine litter before, called Feline Pine. It was pretty good, flushable and I think clumpable too, though this was several years back. Now I use a wheat based litter called Sweat Scoop, which is clumping and flushable too. The cats like it and so do I :thumbs up

sugarcatmom April 4th, 2008 10:36 AM

There's pine litter, which you can get in both pellet form (but not every cat likes it, although mine does) and in clumping format. Brands would be Feline Pine, Feline Fresh, Exquisicat, etc. There's also recycled newspaper pellets, like Yesterday's News (which also comes in a softer texture pellet that some cats might take to easier than the harder pine pellets).

Then there's clumping wheat litter like Swheat Scoop, and clumping corn litter like World's Best Cat litter. I've also heard of corn cob litter (by One Earth). Here's an article on cat litter with links to many of the brands I mentioned: [url]http://www.greenlivingonline.com/HomeGarden/bad-kitty-litter-bad/[/url]

What I do is mix half pine pellets with half Yesterday's News. My cat loves this combo so much that he'll even come in from outside (where he has access to a gynormous dirt vegetable garden), to use the litter box. But then he's kinda weird.

Chris21711 April 4th, 2008 10:51 AM

We can put cat litter in our Green Bin along with the dog poop.

ancientgirl April 4th, 2008 10:57 AM

I use Swheat Scoop which is wheat based, as you may have guessed.

It's clumping and flushable.

[URL="http://www.swheatscoop.com/"]Swheat Scoop[/URL]

sugarcatmom April 4th, 2008 11:16 AM

Depending on where you live, it may not be a good idea to flush cat litter:

[QUOTE]Although most of these green litters are septic- and sewer-safe, itís best not to flush them into our waterways. Cat feces contains the Toxoplasmosis gondii (TG) parasite, dangerous to pregnant women and marine life, particularly sea otters. Unfortunately TG is not filtered out in most water treatment plants, so donít flush your used litter.[/QUOTE]

Kristin7 April 4th, 2008 11:38 AM

No sea otters around here! Regardless, I don't flush the litter but instead throw it in the garbage. The flushability is a good indicator that the litter biodegrades. Not sure, but I think cat litter waste can be composted, depending on type of litter? At least, only the urine part, probably not good to put the poop of a meat eater in the compost bin....

ancientgirl April 4th, 2008 12:22 PM

Sugarcatmom, thanks for posting that. I'd read that a long time ago.

We don't have any sea otters here, but I also throw mine in it's own little bin. I put it in a zip lock bag then place it in a small garbage pail next to the regular garbage.

sugarcatmom April 4th, 2008 01:08 PM

[QUOTE=ancientgirl;574426]We don't have any sea otters here, [/QUOTE]

Ha ha, ya I didn't think you did, but just in case anyone else reading thought flushing was a good idea.......

Apparently this is a real problem on the California coast. Lots of sea otters dying from TG.

SARAH April 4th, 2008 01:15 PM

[QUOTE=Chris21711;574376]We can put cat litter in our Green Bin along with the dog poop.[/QUOTE]

I only wish we did have a green bin. Only paper/plastic/glass/metal recyclable bin (huuuge) and a regular grabage bin for everything else, which is silly really, because a lot of it is bio degradable, except the styrofoam ...

ancientgirl April 4th, 2008 01:31 PM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;574470]Ha ha, ya I didn't think you did, but just in case anyone else reading thought flushing was a good idea.......

Apparently this is a real problem on the California coast. Lots of sea otters dying from TG.[/QUOTE]

I did some snooping around and yeah, those poor little guys. Not to mention, a lot of people are still using that nasty clay stuff. I used to use clay until I started to do a little reading and because as a kitty Vlad had taken to laying in the litter.:frustrated: That was one of the main reasons I wanted to get him something natural enough so that if he ate it, it wouldn't make him sick.

Jim Hall April 4th, 2008 02:57 PM

uhh whats wrong with clay litter?

sugarcatmom April 4th, 2008 03:09 PM

[QUOTE=Jim Hall;574561]uhh whats wrong with clay litter?[/QUOTE]

From my link above:

[QUOTE][B]Clumping is bad for the health...[/B]
The main culprit is sodium bentonite, a natural clay ingredient that expands into a hard mass when it comes into contact with moisture. While this is convenient for cleaning, itís not great for kitty. Cats inhale fine sodium bentonite particles when they dig in the litter. Once inhaled, the clay expands when it hits their lungs, causing asthma and other lung problems. Cats can also ingest the clay while cleaning their paws and some even develop sores on their pads from it.

Silica-based litters are not much better. This porous granular form of sodium silicate absorbs odours and moisture but is also easily inhaled by humans and felines. Itís been linked to lung cancer, bronchitis and tuberculosis. Some cats can end up with a fatal form of pulmonary tuberculosis called silico-tuberculosis.

[B]...and bad for the planet[/B]
Both these conventional litters have an adverse effect on the environment. Produced by the destructive method of strip-mining, clay and silica litter canít decompose any further because they are already in their natural state. When you consider that we send about two million tons of cat litter every year to the landfill that adds up to a lot of fecal feline matter hanging around.
[/QUOTE]

zztopp April 4th, 2008 04:16 PM

Wow!
 
Thanks everyone for your help!

And espcially to sugarcatmom for that link ... pretty scary how bad -- and common! -- clay cat litter is!! :eek:

I can't find a website for Simply Pine -- ??!! I've found Feline Pine but still want to do some comparing ;)

We are leaning towards the pine based litters, for various reasons including human allergies.

Thanks!!

chico2 April 4th, 2008 04:16 PM

I change my clumping clay-litter every 2 weeks,I would love to change it to something that's environmentally better and safer for the boys(kitties).
Also every 2 weeks I have superheavy garbage-bags..
Swheat Scoop,Yesterdays News which I tried was a no go,but maybe I'll try the clumping Pine,first I have to find a place who sells it:cat:
There was also another that was recommended to me,it was called something like"Best ever something...":confused:but at $39 bag,was out of the question:yell:

sugarcatmom April 4th, 2008 04:25 PM

[QUOTE=chico2;574584]There was also another that was recommended to me,it was called something like"Best ever something...":confused:but at $39 bag,was out of the question:yell:[/QUOTE]

Probably World's Best Cat Litter, the corn-based one. It is expensive, but you typically use less of it because it clumps super well. I used to really like it, but when my cat started peeing massive amounts from diabetes, it wouldn't soak up his urine fast enough so it would pool around his feet. He hated that and started using the living room floor instead. I switched to the pellets, and he went back to using the box. Even though his urine amounts are normal now, he still prefers the pellets.

duttypaws April 4th, 2008 05:06 PM

[QUOTE=SARAH;574362]Before the store I got it from closed (without warning!) I would get wood-chip/sawdust litter. It clumped and was flushable. Frankly, I wish I could find it again, because the clay, although scoopable is easier to clean than the non scoopable, does smell more and takes space in the garbage can (don't use a full bag/week though, and no limit here, so that's not the issue).

See if you can find the wood stuff, it's worth it.[/QUOTE]

you can buy Felinefresh in Canadian Tire its clumpable and flushable :)

clm April 4th, 2008 06:02 PM

I use the Max cat multi cat litter. Non clumping. The boxes get totally changed out every week.
We have a 2 bag limit here as well. We have to pay $1.00 apiece for tags for any additional bags. Now I'm forever cleaning out something in this house, and normally I'm over the 2 bag limit anyway. :shrug:

Cindy

growler~GateKeeper April 5th, 2008 12:46 AM

[QUOTE=Kristin7;574400]No sea otters around here! Regardless, I don't flush the litter but instead throw it in the garbage. The flushability is a good indicator that the litter biodegrades. Not sure, but I think cat litter waste can be composted, depending on type of litter? At least, only the urine part, probably not good to put the poop of a meat eater in the compost bin....[/QUOTE]

Toxoplasmosis is dangerous to [I]all marine life[/I] so please don't flush it no matter where you live, whether you have sea otters or not, it will affect other species too. (not directed specifically @ you Kristin7)

With the Pine litters of which I use [url=http://www.planetwiseproducts.com/index.htm]Feline Fresh[/url] (your welcome [B]Phoozles :D[/B]) it is competely compostable only you would use it for flower beds etc not for veggie gardens, hay fields etc where someone would be eating from that land.

Kristin7 April 5th, 2008 06:25 AM

Unfortunately I did used to flush it when I lived in San Diego, though never would have if I had known back then. Poor otters (and other species) :sad: I don't live near the ocean anymore and the waters in my state are very polluted, as in, it is recommended to not eat fish out of any of the waters. Still, I don't flush it, mostly because I am afraid it would clog my toilet. What is a green bin? is that a compost bin? Someday I'd like to start composting, no idea why I don't now. Do animals get in the bins??

krdahmer April 5th, 2008 09:54 AM

I use the swwheat scoop as well. Love the new multi-cat formula... clumps harder and faster. And I have never had a problem with stink. I do not flush it here, simply for the sheer amount I would be flushing... pee and poo times 6 really adds up! (Guess that's a good thing after all!:eek: Poor otters!:sad:) I dispose of it in the doggy poop bags every night when I scoop and then into the regular garbage. I only do a big clean out every two months and all that gets put in seperate bags and tagged.

Ya Chico, at first the cost really put me off, but even though I spend $100 on litter, that's only once every two months (8-10 wks), and for 6 cats that's not bad. This litter clumps better so scooping is easier and cleaner and it also controls the smell a lot better than any clay I ever used. With my asthma I really had to look for a litter with no harmful dusts. I did also use the World's Best corn stuff, but didn't like the smell of it with the pee. The corn had a very sty type scent when used, and the swwheat is more of a bakery smell. :shrug: Not a bakery I'd ever eat at mind you...:rolleyes::laughing:

ancientgirl April 5th, 2008 11:36 AM

I wasn't able to find any Swheat Scoop at the market last week, which usually sells it for less than the pet store. Since I was on a very tight budget I went with the only other natural litter they had. Some corn based litter I'd never heard of. OMG, I can't wait to get paid again, because this stuff is terrible.

I will never buy another corn litter again. What I saved by not going to the pet store and getting the SS isn't worth the smell. It's not pungent, but when I walk into my apartment I can smell there are cats living here, whereas with the SS there is no odor. I'd love to try the Feline Fresh, but I can't find it anywhere here and I've looked online on Petco and Petsmart and they don't sell it either. I'm going to try ordering it from the actual site to give it a try.

In my opinion though, of all the litters I've used so far, Swheat Scoop is the best for me.

katie&thecrew April 7th, 2008 10:02 PM

I used to swear by Swheat Scoop, but then I found that it wasn't clumping as well and there was a distinct smell that turned my stomach...I now use Nature's Miracle litter and whooooa boy!!! LOVE IT!! Better clumping, distinct pine smell (which I personally love)...I have turned on some old co workers at the humane society to it as well!! I think it's the best out there, and I find it has even less dust than swheat scoop (I am a sensitive soul :D)

krdahmer April 8th, 2008 10:07 AM

I would have given the pine a shot too.... but alas I am really really allergic to pine! :rolleyes:

zztopp April 10th, 2008 06:20 PM

Awesome!!
 
Just to update ... we went and bought some EnviroLitter, which is a pelleted pine-based litter.

It's awesome!! Our cats eyeballs almost popped out when he caught a whiff of it ... he promptly left. Later that day I checked the box and there was, uh, evidence of him being in there! Have seen both cats happily coming and going, so I think they are happy.

The farm house now has a lovely pine scent to it ... Also noticed that the kitties now have fresh, pine smelling toes ;) LOL

onster April 10th, 2008 06:40 PM

ok im sold, gonna try some pine stuff next time i go to buy litter.

swheatscoop just isnt cutting it anymore. Doesnt clump well enough and i have the moral dilemna of my cats pooping in wheat when theres wheat shortages elsewhere in the world. I know its supposed to be non human grade, but still....

14+kitties April 10th, 2008 07:08 PM

Ok so...... silly question. :o I know this pine based litter says it will last forever and it's great for the environment. Great btw!! I have done some "googleing" (so not a word!) on it and they all say they are 100% recycled pine. Great again!!!
My question is........... If this pine stuff is made with 100% pine than why pay the money for a small bag ($7.99 up) when you can go and buy 100% pine based softwood bedding (shavings) in a huge bag at hardware stores (78litres I think which expands 3 times the size) for $5.25? Is it the pellet shape?
I am using the shavings out in the catuary. The kitties have an area they use and I just cover it with the shavings and clean as necessary. Then I can use the shavings as compost or mulch. I also have it in one litter box until they are used to it and then it will be in all of them.

onster April 10th, 2008 08:14 PM

thats a very good question 14+!

How are u finding that bedding pine? Im assuming it doesnt clump? (if the other stuff is 100% pine, how does it clump? unless pine is naturally starchy and thus clumps :shrug: i have no idea)


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