Dust; dust everywhere and what is a pet owner to do. Okay the fact is you have asthma and you are highly sensitive to dust. You clean your house from top to bottom and you still have a big problem that just won’t go away. You have Fluffy your adorable spoiled lovable cat and you have her litter box, something you dread cleaning but it has to be done. Everyone tells you to get rid of the kitty and you will have less asthma flare-ups, but what can you do, you can’t get rid of Fluffy she is part of your life.
The scoop on asthma and cat litter
Guess what, you have been worrying so much about yourself you forgot to worry about Fluffy too, cats also can get asthma and one of the ways they get it is from the products used in cat litter which can aggravate asthmatic symptoms.The number one rule for both you and your furry friend is to keep the litter box clean. You do not need the smell of a dirty cat box to breath in and neither does poor Fluffy.
Types of cat litter
The next point of concern is the actual cat litter. There are different brands and different quality all of which will affect both your asthma and your cat’s asthma differently.
Choose the right brand
You need to choose a cat liter that is fragrant free. Though nice smelling to you fragrant cat litter may irritate your cat whose nose which is right down there in it.
You have to find a brand that has the least amount of dust as possible; both you and your cat are sensitive to dust.
You want the cat litter to be biodegradable flushable and easy to maintainYou want it odor free
Do not use a clay based cat litter. Although it is great for clumping and makes it easier to clean, it also has a lot of dust. Almost 90 percent of all cat litter is made of clay pellets.
Beware of the clay brands that claim they are dust free; they contain some silicon particles that are cancerous according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The particles cling to your cat’s fur and paws and as he walks around they get into the fibers of your furniture and into your floors .You inhale these particles, which in turn will cause respiratory infections.
A better product for your cat and for your own health as an asthmatic is Silica gel, which is an odorless mineral made of silica consisting of vitamins. It is odorless and can be used for a month providing you remove the feces daily. Recycled newspaper made into pellets is also a good choice as it is 99 percent dust-free.
Plant based litters including corn, cornhusks, wheat grass, beef and kenaf is a good choice. This litter is odor free and has very little dust and can be flushed down the toilet. However, it does produce mold if left too long so it has to be changed every few days.
There are pine and cedar sawdust litters. The trouble with this type of litter is that the resins in the wood have been known to cause respiratory tract damage, chronic respiratory disease, and asthma. In pine there is a substance called abietic acid, which when oxidized releases various allergens.
Be aware of the toxoplasmosis infection caused by the toxoplasma gondii parasite. It is potentially dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn child. This parasite is found in cat feces. Any pregnant woman should not be cleaning a cat box.
There you have the facts, you don’t have to get rid of Fluffy because you are an asthmatic, but you may very well have to get rid of the cat litter you are using.