Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter Allegedly Killed Four Tonkinese Kittens

I have received a very poignant comment from a Tonkinese cat breeder in America about Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter and how she believes it killed four of her kittens who, incidentally, had been earmarked for adoption by clients. Tonkinese cats are purebred. They are in the Siamese family of purebred cats.

I don’t know how true her/his comment is. The story she recounts cannot be verified by me but it seems to be genuine and it needs to be aired and reported upon. Hence this article.

tidy cats lightweight litter is dangerous

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’d like you to read the her comment which is set out in its entirety below:

I am a registered breeder of purebred Tonkinese, Siamese and Balinese cats. In 10 years of breeding I have never seen anything like this.

A few days ago I changed from my usual litter brand to the Lightweight, simply because I was walking home one day and needed litter. I grabbed this product because it seemed that it would be easier to carry home.

Once in the house, I topped up the 3 litter boxes in the cat’s room, and left the box in the living room alone, as it still had plenty of the usual brand in it. Later than night, 4 of my 5 Tonkinese kittens (5 weeks old and just starting to explore the litter box) began coughing. There were no other symptoms, and no adult cats had issues.

By morning, the 4 kittens were dead, and the kitten who remained probably only survived because she was not involved in the romping around (as young kittens do) in the fresh litter.

Aside from me having to find that 4 beautiful kittens had suffocated overnight, I had to tell their potential owners that their beloved babies were not going to be coming home with them in 3 weeks.

I told my sister (also a Siamese breeder) about the kittens’ sudden unexplained death. Her first question was, “You don’t use the Lightweight litter, do you?” She told me about a friend of hers who lost his 4 yr old cat 2 days after switching to this litter. After hearing this, I went online and found far too many common experiences.

Is there a class action lawsuit started yet? If not, there should be! My financial loss was $2800, but even worse was waking up to find dead kittens and then having to email their owners and break their hearts.

I recommended that she got an autopsy and a formal report on her kittens and if the results confirmed that they died of damage to their lungs, to then sue the manufacturers in the small claims court.

Tonkinese cat

I have a page on the dangers of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter. It is a popular page sadly because cat owners are concerned about this product, and justifiably. Another visitor to the site who worked at the factory producing the litter wrote an important comment too. He said the product contained a substance, perlite, which is very abrasive. It seems to me that the kittens referred to on this page, played in the litter, inhaled this abrasive substance and their lungs were damaged which killed them.

Don’t buy this product until you are sure it is safe. I have read all the comments and studied this product but never used it. To me it seems dangerous, possibly very dangerous. A cat guardian never puts her cats in danger or potential danger.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

19 thoughts on “Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter Allegedly Killed Four Tonkinese Kittens”

    1. I removed it. Thank you, by the way, for commenting. Your comment is very interesting. Could you please continue to update us?

  1. I had this litter tested. It is TOXIC in metals and is HALF silica.. which can kill ANY human or cat readily. I contacted TidyCat and have talked to them. Once I get the litter tested by a second lab to confirm, I will be reporting it to consumer protections. This will stop!

    1. Thank you. I do not know who you are but if you have the authority to make the manufacturers do something about this litter then it would be very welcome to a lot of people.

  2. Randy Christensen

    Hello,

    I used the Tidy Cat Light Weight litter from the jug. After using this product for a couple of weeks, my two cats & myself developed a cough. I got ride of the Tidy Cat and returned to my old litter. My older cat….Max….only 9 years old died from respiratory failure and I believe it was due to thus product. Beware! I miss Max so much…. ๐Ÿ™

    1. OMG Randy, that is a terribly sad story but thanks for telling it here. There is no doubt in my mind that this product is dangerous to cats and even humans.

  3. Gimmicks. Almost all of them are worthless. The idea is to present a new version of something that doesn’t need a new version in order to stimulate sales. My Mook is an excavator. Cats are programmed to dig in the earth. Not silica beads or whatever concoction is in this product. Like a good poop, cats need the stimulation of burying their product.
    I did some checking. Manufacturers have dismissed it. First hand accounts are important. I do not know if you can generate an adverse reaction report on via the FDA with cat litter. It is a known fact that dust is bad for a cat. Chemicals are bad for cats. Stuff that should be heavy made light through processing is not a good thing.

  4. I believe every word of this. My experience was horrid.

    I thought that I had a widespread upper respiratory thing going on here and began treating every cat for an URI that was costing me a fortune. I took one of my most severe cats back in to the vet and the first thing that she asked was if I had begun using a lightweight litter. She said to stop it immediately and dump out every litter box that had even a trace in it.

    It wasn’t Tidy Cats but Fresh Step. I sort of felt that, if Fresh Step and Scoop Away both came out with a version, that the hype about lightweight was just that, hype.

    NO, NO, NO!

    This crap is so airborne that the damaging elements clog the breathing passages.
    I don’t know why there isn’t a class action suit over these litters.

    Most of all, I don’t know why vets aren’t stepping forward to ban these. I asked my vet to please write a review to the Vet Board and get something rolling.

    All of my cats have recovered. But, I have converted to a natural pine pebbled substance that can be gotten at any feed store.

  5. Totally makes sense with what the breeder saw happen to the kittens – I have used bedding pellets (like wood stove pellets) for years as cat litter with no problems.

    I find it hard to believe that with the MSDS sheet calling out the respiratory hazards of this product, that Purina would still take it to market.

    Here is a link to the MSDS sheet on the litter:

    http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/96/96ab7cb9-fc30-46a0-a92a-cbc30d9eafab.pdf

    Product Identifier: Tidy Cats LightWeight 24/7 Performance Litter

    Hazards: Inhalation:
    Short Term: Dust may irritate the nasal passages.
    Long Term: Breathing small particles can be hazardous to lungs. This product contains crystalline silica in extremely small amounts. Crystalline silica in high concentrations can cause lung disease.
    Skin:
    Short Term: Dust may be irritating

    1. Thanks Kathryn. I believe the breeder too. It all hangs together and seems, sadly, to be correct.

  6. Kittens are very susceptible to breathing in litter dust. When I worked in the shelter, we weren’t allowed to use litter for kittens, only newspaper.

    I would think a breeder would be aware of this, even more than a shelter.

    I’ve seen many reports on this brand of light litter. All the more reason to have daily access to news about pet products, recalls, and reports of adverse reactions to all the various products used for cats.

    We won’t know unless we make an attempt to be AWARE and INFORMED.

  7. Irish Cornaire

    Oh noooo :'(

    Michael,tis why I wont use anything man made when it comes to litter,Cedarific is all I will use!

    1. I’ve converted to something similar. It’s natural pine pellets from feed stores and 40# costs about $6. Safer and better odor control.

      1. I like pine pellets. It is better at controlling odor. I actually that is it non-clumping too.

          1. I use World’s Best which is clumping, but clumps seem to break easily, and I like it. I’ve never heard of any issues with it. One reason I like it is that unlike the other litters I tried, it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the box and I don’t have a gooey mess there.

              1. Thanks for clarifying that. Wood pellets are like corn in terms of tracking and dust as far as I know.

    2. Yes, I can understand that. Man made stuff is liable to be dangerous. Humans are good at that.

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