Clumping Cat Litter with Sodium Bentonite Is NOT Safe for Your Cat

Sodium Bentonite Clumping Litter Can Kill

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12 Responses

  1. Judith Blair says:

    I am fostering an 8-month old cat named Fred. One morning he came into the room and said “Wowowow,” and vomited a small amount of brown liquid. He seemed otherwise OK. But he did it the next morning. On
    the 3rd morning, I called the veterinarian. After examining him and palpating his abdomen (which he didn’t like), she gave him an enema – and got clumps of litter! Over the next 3 days they gave him subcutaneous fluids and 2 more enemas. So we immediately began searching for another litter. Problem: we have 9 foster cats, and 9 of our own. With non-clumping litters, the boxes need to be changed more often, creating more bags of litter in the garbage. We are limited to 6 bags total. So we are hoping to find a litter where the used material can be removed without removing most of the unused litter.

    • kapush says:

      Hi Judith,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
      In our shelter, at one point of time there were 39 cats. We had a trench dug outside in the open ground filled with sawdust and wheat chaff purchased in bulk. That worked for us.
      You can also take a look at this litter – it isn’t cat litter per se, but there are user reviews (including on this site) on how well it works.

      Glad the kitty recovered.:)

  2. Julie says:

    I’ve used clumping litter for all my cats, and they have never had any health problems relating to digestion. I have never seen the litter kling to the paws or other places on our cats, so when they clean themselves, they will only ingest a tiny amount of dust (as with most types of litter). If the dust expands 15 times, it would still not post a threat to the digestive system, as it’s so small from the start.

    If your cat has a tendency to eat litter, like if it’s an inquisitive kitten, I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t use clumping litter, because it seems logical that it’s not healthy or may even be harmful to ingest larger amounts of a substance that expands 15 times its size when in contact with liquid. But as long as your cat doesn’t eat the litter, I can’t imagine that it’s unsafe.

    I agree that there seems to be mostly anecdotal evidence on both sides, but because of this I really don’t understand why you would post an article saying basically that clumping cat litter will definitely kill your cat. You should have hard evidence when making such a strong claim. Also, if this was true, almost no person in the world would use it, because everybodys cats would die within weeks from using it. As I wrote in the previous paragraph, if the cat eats the litter, it could probably be dangerous, but most cats don’t do that.

    • kapush says:

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I’m so glad you’ve never had a problem with clumping litter – it is always good to hear about healthy fur babies.

      Not everyone has been so fortunate, however. If you scroll down to the first three comments here, you’ll know.

      I’m not sure where in the article I wrote ‘clumping litter will definitely kill your cat’. If you could point it out to me – doesn’t have to exact words, if you could point me to where something I’ve written *means* something that extreme, I’d be very willing to revise it.

      Regarding your statement about no one in the world using substances that are known to be toxic, yes, very logical, but smokers all over would probably disagree. While on that topic, may I also state that despite the very real dangers caused by smoking, I’ve personally known men and a few women as well, who have lived well into their eighties while still being smokers. But that didn’t make them say smoking was NOT harmful.

      Again, I’m happy that your babies are safe.

      I wrote the article to let people know the whole truth . It is important to be informed. You may have noticed that I did not exactly write an opinion piece. Everything has been referenced so that those interested may verify the facts as they stand. But without enough articles on this subject, people might not even be aware of the dangers.

      Thank you for visiting. I do hope we get to see you again.

  3. Jennifer L says:

    Citronella has ketones in it. You should NOT being using it in your “natural” cat litter for scent control. It’s dangerous if ingested. Furthermore, it’s used as a cat deterrent, so I’d be surprised if you’re not making your cats extremely unhappy by forcing them to use litter with citronella in it. I’m not a proponent of clay litter either, but forcing citronella on your cats is not good either. In this case, you’re using your own anecdotal “evidence” that it’s safe when it is not. Please do more research on the subject of citronella since you are claiming you have a “shelter.”

    • kapush says:

      Hello Jennifer,

      Thank you for your comment. First, I’m not ‘claiming’ I have a “shelter” – I mentioned it – there’s nothing to ‘claim’.

      It began in 2001 and has been in a bad state the last five years since I came into severe financial problems. I’m even considering a fundraiser after having self-funded it for the last 16 years. I’m fortunate to have had animal lovers in our area helping me out all the time, hence ‘our’ shelter, to acknowledge that help.

      Citronella is toxic to cats in large quantities (which is the truth about some good medicines as well). Not when sprayed in highly diluted state in a 5′ x 3′ trench full of a mixture of sand, sawdust, and ground garden soil (and some cat poop). I did ask my vet about it (he doesn’t claim to be a vet, either, he IS one).

      Citronella does not repel all cats. Please read the comment by Alice McLean at

      However, I have personally found it discouraging cats from pooping in a neighbor’s lawn when used without dilution.

      On a related note, onions supposedly cause anemia in cats. A friend of mine used to feed her cat a herbal soup with onions in it and the cat lived a happy life and died a peaceful, natural death at around 16 years of age. My friend didn’t know of the danger of onions and I did not know about the feeding – no one was doing anything to prove a point, but a point is proved nonetheless: It is best not to generalize.

      You don’t ‘force’ cats. To do anything. Period.

      If they were unhappy with the scent, they would have pooped elsewhere. There was a lot of open space where the trenches used to be.

      However, you raised a useful point and I’m going to add this conversation inside the article as soon as I can.

      Thanks again.

  4. Michelle Peterson says:

    My baby girl cat started getting sick less than 24 hours ago, with nausea and dry heaves of yellow foamy liquid. She wont eat or drink and I’m worried about her. I’m staying up all night to watch her and taking her to the vet at sunrise. My nephew brought his cat here 2 weeks ago to stay with my sister and I till August . He brought 2 boxes of clumping cat litter to use. Personally I won’t be scooping out the clumps as , I’m a believer in old fashion litter. I change the litter 3 times a week and clean her box everytime . My sister told me that Panda my cat has been using the new cats box and I didn’t think much of it until today, remembering some info about the clumping litter. I don’t understand that if the sodium bentonite clay is harmful to plumbing turning it into cement, then why is it OK for cats. I know my cat cleans her paws right after using the box. Why do they put a warning out for plumbing and not for cats. Does anyone know the signs and symptoms of Bentonite clay ingestion. I’m so sorry to those who’ve lost their cats as I know animals are our family members too. Michelle

    • kapush says:

      Michelle, I’m so sorry to hear about Panda. My wife had a cat by that name, once. Please consult a holistic vet if you think bentonite toxicity is the problem. I have discussed the symptoms in the article – it appears that your cat has diarrhea but that’s a misleading symptom which leads to wrong treatment. Hope Panda gets better soon …

  5. Mandy Cordray says:

    This is so horrible. We need these studies done! We lost 3 awesome cats since Jan. 1st. 2017. Our pets died from a common product. The clumping cat litter. I feel horrible. I am supposed to keep them safe. I want to get this issue resolved. Please help me, so we can spare other family pets from this terrible neglect. Let’s get these studies started!!! Mandy Cordray 217- 828- 1363 text me

    • kapush says:

      Hi Mandy,
      Really sorry to hear about your cats. Please share the article and other related material on social media to raise awareness. However, I would advise against putting your email and phone number where anyone can see them.

  6. Rich Sommerville says:

    Hi, My cat started have problems, eg: loose stool; vomiting often with hairballs and then w/o hairballs, but a greyish/yellow frothy substance; wouldn’t eat and had no energy. Took him to the Vet …$$$$. I then read about sodium bentonite on the web. I got rid of both litter boxes of the clumping litter and re-filled with a non-clumping wheat chaff material. My Wife and I force fed our cat a couple of times that evening. I also did a thorough vacuuming and mopping of the floors (I’m retired, but my Wife isn’t so our family responsibilities have changed a good deal). The result was, to say the least, unbelieveable. The next day the cat went to his feed bowl and sat to be fed, as usual. He ate 2 tablespoons of the Vet canned food and hasn’t vomited yet (3 hrs.). GET RID OF YOUR CLUMPING CAT LITTER !!!!!!!!!!! I can’t say this strongly enough. Take care, Rich

    • kapush says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Rich. And I’m sorry my reply comes so late – haven’t updated or even looked at this blog in ages :p

      Hope your fur baby is bouncing around happily, now 🙂

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