Silica cat litter raises concern about pet's health
Cat owners love their pets a great deal. Their love is easily proven by the little things they do for their pets. One of these little things is cleaning their litter everyday. Another is putting up with the stench of that litter. Silica cat litter has appeared on the scene like an answer to a cat owner's prayer! Just an inch high layer of the new silica cat litter is sufficient to dry out the cat's waste and make it absolutely bone dry and completely odorless! Waste removal is now as simple as scooping up some hard, dry pieces of the cat's feces and disposing of it. This is as pleasant as it can ever get!
You need to use very little silica cat litter. For a single cat, you'll need to lay out one inch of the litter in the box, and this will last for two to four weeks. This saves you the bother of refreshing the cat litter every few days and in some cases everyday. This particular silver lining does have its attendant cloud! The fear is that silica is harmful to your cat's health and well-being.
The particles of silica are very small but they are edgy, not rounded. The edges can bruise the cat's paws as it tries to scratch around in the litter box. Moreover, the particles cling to the cat's paws. When the cat licks its paws as is its custom, the silica particles get licked up as well. Over time, the particle build-up inside the cat's intestines can cause a number of health problems.
You may be happy that you now have to refresh the cat's litter box just once or twice a month. But did you know that pet experts and pet lovers alike are very critical about this very point. Keeping the litter for so long is inviting bacterial, fungal and microbial infections. These infections may affect your cat, and spread to pets and people as well.
The main advantage of silica as a litter is its cost effectiveness, $10 lasting you for a fortnight or more. Secondly, it is easy to maintain, since you only have to scoop out the dried poop everyday. Thirdly, you have to re-lay the litter just once or, at most, twice a month.
On the minus side, the cost advantage is countered by the fact that the traditional clumping litter works out the same on a long term basis. The second point against silica cat litter is that clumping litter must be refreshed in a couple of days, which makes it healthier for the cat.
Lastly, the cat can be harmed by the silica particles, either by getting bruised or by licking it up. The middle path being the best path you may want to try out a mixed litter, with silica absorbing all that awfully foul odor, and the ordinary clumping to take care of all the criticisms against silica cat litter.
Silica cat litter is actually a very good product suffering from some severe drawbacks. The mixed variety can be a bridge between all-silica and all-clumping. This way you get the benefits of both varieties of cat litters. The clumping prevents your cat's paws from damage, and the silica litter prevents the foul odor from pervading the house!