Love Your Litter

Learn about the different substrates for your cat's box - and how they affect the environment.

By Wendy Bedwell-Wilson

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Like it or not, cat litter is a necessary evil of feline companionship.

Whether you use a clay, clumping clay or plant-based substrate, litter gives your indoor pet a place to relieve herself that's similar to where she would do her business outdoors. And as a responsible cat parent, you diligently scoop and dispose the litter and refill the box, making sure it's clean and fresh for your cat's health and well-being.

But did you ever consider the environmental impact of your cat's used litter? You should, because it just might affect the type you choose to pour in the litterbox.

Mined Clay
Today's cat litter comes in dozens of materials, with the most popular being inexpensive clay and clumping clay, according to the American Pet Product Association, a nonprofit Greenwich, Conn.-based trade association that conducts a biennial pet owner survey.

To fill that need, millions of tons of traditional zeolite or diatomite clay and clumping bentonite clay are mined each year using a process called surface mining, says Ray Brown, Church & Dwight Co. Inc.'s director of home care, research and development, in Princeton, N.J.

But thanks to environmental awareness and government regulations, that mining process has become easier on the earth, Brown says. Mining companies now repair and improve upon the land once they've harvested the clay.

**Get the June 2012 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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