How Was Cat Litter Invented and by Whom?
Before Cat Litter, people kept their cats outside. Then, in 1947, Edward Lowe, a delivery man, whose family had a business selling ice, coal, sand, sawdust, and granulated, kiln-dried clay in Michigan, was out of sand and suggested to a cat owner that she could try granulated clay which was as good for absorbing cat urine as it was for grease spills. And thus, Cat Litter was born.
Cat Litter: To CLUMP or Not to CLUMP
Clumping clay cat litter, which forms a hard ball when it gets wet, can be harmful or fatal to kittens, especially long-haired kittens. Several brands use this clay to make their litter easier to scoop.
What makes it clump? It’s a natural clay ingredient called sodium bentonite. When this clay gets wet it expands and forms a hard mass. So when your cat or kitten digs in the litter box it’s stirring up clay dust and breathing it in. Once it gets into their lungs, it expands from the moisture, and in time builds up, causing all sorts of lung problems. Once the clay litter is inside the cat or kitten and expands, it not only could cause dehydration by absorbing all the body’s moisture, it could also form a hard mass in the intestines over a period of time, which could be fatal. Please ask your vet about this potential hazard.
Cats Who Miss The Litter Box vs. Cats Who Spray
Cats who miss their litter boxes and go on flat surfaces do this for many reasons, or combinations of reasons, including boxes not being scooped often enough, the possibility of a urinary tract infection, the location of cat litter boxes, the size of the boxes, the litter itself, or additional cat(s) in the home who are intimidating.
Spraying is more a territorial response. Spraying occurs most often, although not exclusively, among unaltered males. If he is truly spraying, he’s hitting vertical surfaces, such as the walls or sides of furniture. See your veterinarian for either scenario.
Please Note: Some cats do not like any litter and will urinate in odd places such as an empty box or bathroom sink without having a physical problem such as a bladder infection. Most times you can find a litter that your cat will like that feels soft under his paws such as finer litters which are made from wheat, grass, and various other ingredients. Coarser cat litter such as pine pellets and silica may not be liked or tolerated. Remember, what you may think efficient or like, your cat may not like. Also, litter box preference (size, shape, cover, etc) can be a big issue.