Kittens may eat litter out of curiosity so it is recommended not to use clumping litter until they are older. Ingesting clumping litter can cause intestinal obstruction. Be sure to use a non-toxic litter and monitor usage.
Clumping litter, often made from sodium benotite clay, will stick together when mixed with urine or feces. If eaten, it can form clumps in the cat’s digestive system and cause a potentially fatal intestinal obstruction. The clay can also remove minerals like iron and potassium from the cat’s body.
Malnutrition is common in many cats. Eating junk is actually a reaction to these nutrient deficiencies. Many commercial cat litters are made from clay and contain an abundance of minerals. Your cat senses this and tries to eat the litter to make up for what’s missing in her diet.
Litter isn’t good for cats to eat, but some litter is more dangerous than others. Clumping litter contains sodium bentonite and is particularly dangerous for cats. The sodium bentonite can clog up in your intestines and cause constipation. In extreme cases, ingestion can even lead to bentonite toxicosis.
If your cat eats clumping litter, it can cause respiratory and/or digestive problems. Because vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause coprophagia, make sure you’re feeding your furry friend a high-quality, balanced commercial cat food. Because there is a risk of becoming infected with salmonella or E.
Many experts recommend that the best litter for kittens under four months of age is non-clumping clay or crystal litter. These types of litter have larger granules and will not stick to your kitten’s paws or fur. This means the risk of picking up litter while brushing is much lower.
Many mass-market cat litters contain significant amounts of silica dust, which has been linked to upper respiratory problems in cats and even humans. Likewise, the chemical fragrances in many cat litters can be toxic to cats.
You can tell if your cat has pica by catching her in the act. Unless you’re around your cat for several hours each day, keep an eye out for vomiting, diarrhea, and other signs of pica, as well as toys and other non-food items that look chewed or eaten.