The Scoop on Natural Kitty Litters

By O’Rya Hyde-Keller

You’ve installed a low-flush toilet in your bathroom and only use recycled toilet paper and eco-friendly cleaners. But is your cat’s bathroom earth-friendly, too? Billions of pounds of conventional clay kitty litter end up in landfills every year.

And not only is the stuff nonbiodegradable, its main ingredient, bentonite clay, is acquired through environmentally damaging strip mining. The ASPCA says that clay litter is safe for cats, but some vets caution that one of its main components, crystalline silica, a known carcinogen, could cause respiratory problems. And if it’s bad for your feline, it’s probably not healthy for you either.

You could potty train little Fluffy (really, it’s been done), but for those who prefer the traditional pooper-scooper routine, there are earth- (and cat-) friendly options. Here are a few of our biodegradeable and clay-free favorites.

Swheat Scoop: You can compost this wheat-based clumping litter, which has a sweet, grainy scent.

World’s Best Cat Litter: According to the makers of this corn-based litter, the fibers in corn are naturally absorbent and odor-reducing.

Yesterday’s News: This litter is composed of absorbent recycled newspaper pellets, so tracking is greatly reduced.

Feline Pine: This pellet litter is made from compressed pine sawdust reclaimed from lumberyards.