This is still quite a lot of discussion on the internet and there are many webpages on the alleged dangers from dust both to cat (primarily) and human when using clumping cat litter. Some people are convinced that it is dangerous while others say the opposite. Surprisingly, there are no studies on this potential or alleged hazard to clear up the dispute. Also there are very few stories on the internet of cats being taken to a veterinarian for problems associated with litter dust inhalation. Inhaling the clumping agent sodium bentonite can cause a blockage inside the cat’s gut resulting in a serious illness. As for humans, apparently silica dust, which is in a lot of litters, can cause cancer.
Perhaps the lack of scientific studies is due to the fact that there is no perceived danger because vets don’t report cases of illness caused by dusty cat litter. But that begs the question as to whether vets are under-reporting or missing the symptoms. However a lack of reporting indicates that clumping litter is okay with respect to dust generation.
If there is this potential danger to cats in using a clumping litter why don’t all cat caretakers use a clumping litter that does not contain sodium bentonite such as the World’s Best Cat Litter (in America). This would be playing safe. And why not play safe? There are no downsides.
World’s Best Cat Litter is made from whole kernel corn. It neither contains sodium bentonite nor silica as far as I am aware. It is a natural product. And it is biodegradable and apparently flushable too. However, flushing cat poo down the loo is ill-advised because the faeces may contain bacteria or microbes which can harm marine life.
There is a trending page on PoC which was written ages ago. For some reason it has suddenly gained in popularity and is of interest to people. It’s about Tidy Cats Lightweight Cat Litter which is reported by Facebook users to be particularly dusty and some users have reported serious illness and even the death of cats using this litter. You can search for the page using the Google custom search above this article.
The trouble is that reports from users of an allegedly dangerous litter are anecdotal. They are opinions by customers. They are usually unscientific. Personally I value the views of sensible cat caretakers. However, it is easy to counteract their views by stating that the product is good. Reviews are somewhat unreliable nowadays because there are paid reviewers on the internet. And they are usually paid by the manufacturers to promote a product. It is difficult for the voice of a concerned cat caretaker to be heard.
Are you concerned about dust from your cat litter and if so what did you do about it?