What are the pros and cons of clumping cat litter and what are some alternatives?

Original Question: What are your thoughts on clumping cat litter? Does it cause medical problems such as UTI’s, crystals in the bladder and breathing problems from the dust? -

What are the pros and cons of clumping cat litter and what are some alternatives? Mar 4, 2018


Thanks for your question.

There are no studies that have linked clumping litter to medical problems. Some people have raised the concern that clumping litter has ‘silica’ in it which is known to be a carcinogen, however no retrospective study has found a link between the two.

I have seen clumping litter effect general cleanliness. For example, if you have a long hair cat and it gets some feces and litter stuck to its inguinal area, that dirt could provide an environment for bacterial growth. It’s logical that the bacteria could ascend the urinary tract and cause an infection. It’s also possible that dust from any type of litter could irritate the respiratory tract and contribute to airway disease. In my experience, clumping litter actually produces less dust that non-clumping litter.

So even if a study does not exist to prove it, it’s best to use common sense. If you want to avoid dusty or clumping litter, then you could consider shredded newspaper, a compressed newspaper litter that you’ll find in stores, or another all natural, non-clumping, low dust substrate such as corn.

I Hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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