How is Cat Litter Made?

Most of the heavily promoted cat litters are made from bentonite clay.  This is a clay that absorbs moisture and some odors although I’ve always added baking soda to help suppress that rancid ammonia smell.  As you probably already know, it comes in scoopable forms and in varying degrees of courseness.  Some are dusty and fine and so on.  Some say that the clumping clay litter is not good for kittens as they may ingest in when they lick their paws if it’s stuck between their toes.

Bentonite is a natural product but unfortunately it’s obtained by strip mining that’s a land destoying process wtih a heavy carbon footprint. Over 2 million tons of this sodium bentonite clay are mined in the USA each year to be turned into cat litter. But millions of tons of rock and soil have to be removed before you can reach this mineral below ground.  So now we have a huge hole in the ground that will probabaly be turned into a landfill. And where does you cat litter end up – well in a landfill.  I’m not sure that’s really the intention behind recycling!

Fortunately, there are now many alternatives some of which may be particularly useful for specialized needs such as cats with asthma or cats after surgery.



Sold on Amazon Prime in a number of blends. Click on Image.

An All Natural Litter You’ll Love.

This was recommended by our daughter in law who volunteers for a cat adoption group. It’s idea for our two youg male cats who share the same litter box. (That’s Tigger in the pic above.) We even place the litter box in a small room upstairs as it absorbs the odor so well that it’s not a problem.

This is called The Best Cat Litter and you can buy it on Amazon Prime by clicking the image left. It’s made from corn and is even flushable although I’m not tempted to do that. It clumps very well and is pretty well dust free.  It’s probably a little more expensive than the clay varieties but I find it does not need to be topped up at nearly the same rate.

It’s available in a variety of formulations not just the one shown.

What Litter Should I Use After Surgery?

The objective here is to keep dust and fragements irritating the scar.  Shredded paper litter or even long grain uncooked  rice can be used.  Paper litter does vary, some are made into pellets that keeps down the dust but your cat may not like the feel of that.  A product like Fresh News is more like a bedding and is softer. However, from reviews I’ve read, it can get stuck on the cats feet and spread around the house a little.  But as an after surgery solution this may be what you’re looking for.  Bare in mind that cats tend to hide after surgery so they may not be running around much either. The general recommendation is that it should be used for at least a week after surgery. Of course you may like the paper better and continue to use it!

A product called Yesterday’s News is also a popular brand of paper based litter. It comes more as pellets so it’s not dusty like a lot of clay litters but some cats may not like pellets if they prefer the more natural feel of something resembling soil.  It’s not much fun to step on either.

Paper litter tends to be more expensiver but it’smore environmentally friendly.  It can be composted and may even be flushable but I would not recommend that. Especially as the modern low flush toilets don’t send it rushing down the pipes with large volumes of water.  This can certainly be a problem with old cast iron pipes that are rough with corrosion.


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