Silica dust in cat litter--dangerous? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-20-2007, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
heartmama's Avatar
 
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I am very confused about this issue.

On this website for example, the author begins by saying that dust from silica cat litter is a definite danger:

http://petcaretips.net/dangers-clay-cat-litter.html

Quote:
Can clay cat litter really pose a serious risk to your cat's
health? Yes, it most certainly can, and does. The reason is
very simple. Clay particles when broken down contain silica
dust (which is also found in sand, so crystal cat litter is
a danger too.
) Silica dust has been implicated as a cause of
lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, not only in cats
but in humans and other animal species as well.
However if you click on the hyperlink in the article, and go to her article on 'crystal cat litter', she proceeds to say that the dust from that silica is mostly harmless. Even though she JUST said in that article that it is a danger in the bolded text above. Here is where she contradicts that:

http://petcaretips.net/crystal-sand-cat-litter.html

Quote:
Crystal or sand cat litter does not pose any known health
risk to cats
. It can, however, irritate people who have
allergies, not only because the cat litter if not regularly
changed as recommended will stink, but it does have a fine
dust that is puffed up when cats dig in the litter box,
especially after the crystal litter has been used for a
while.
I'm obviously not understanding. Can someone explain?

We have been using "crystal" cat litter that is a silica gel for several months. It is far and away the best litter we've tried in terms of odor control and ease of use.

However there is a tremendous amount of dust emanating from the stuff. It is so heavy, I fill the box by taking it outside, holding the bag several feet above the box, and pouring slowly so the dust blows off in the breeze. I hold my breath too. If by chance I breathe it, intense coughing is the result.

I've also noticed a few times, that when the box is fresh, the cat will leave the box and wheeze a few times This just happened and thus sent me on a search to find out if this stuff is dangerous.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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Yes. SIlicea dust is very harmful. Once it gets in your lings it does not come out. I wouldnt worry about a cats lungs as thier lifespan is too short to worry about the longterm effects. A humans lungs on the otherhand... There is a disease called silicosus- which I have spelt wrong

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