Dangers of Crystalline Silica and Silica Dust

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Crystal litters, or to be more precise, silica litter, is a very popular product on the market recently. The white shiny specs are often assumed to look clean or hygienic, some may even indicate a health issue just by the pH of your cat’s urine. But what if we told you that crystal litters are not telling you everything you need to know?

1.Crystalline silica dust is a carcinogen

That dust you're seeing isn’t a nuisance dust that you should ignore. This dangerous dust can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses including lung cancer, silicosis, tuberculosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a scarring process that not only affects you but your cat as well.



2. Workplace safety requires a respirator to be used at work, but not at home, why?

According to OSHA, if you will be working near or directly with silica, you are required to wear a respirator to protect you from long term exposure. But why is it not required to wear one while cleaning your litter box? The short answer is big brand names do not want to scare their customers away from using their product, so to hide these dangers they advertise that their product is non-toxic silica gel. No matter what type of silica, it still poses a risk to your health. We’d recommend going with an organic and natural litter and avoid synthetic litters at all costs.



3. Even if it is not inhaled, your cat can still be a risk after grooming themselves

Silica litter puts felines at risk when it is kicked up or inhaled. Even if you don’t inhale any, the dust can stick to cats’ paws and the dust settles on their fur, leading to ingestion whenever a cat grooms itself. This can cause toxic exposure and digestive complications.



It is safe to say that crystal litters should be avoided completely and we all must take a stand against these companies that are hiding the dangers to keep you unaware. Of course, we would love if you used Cocokitty but for the sake of our precious furry friends, any organic litter will keep your kitty safe from carcinogens and indigestible chemicals.



I am not a cat behaviorist or veterinarian and my statements are all from my own experiences and online research. The Kitty Corner is just for fun and general knowledge provided for our fellow kitty parents. Cocokitty does not accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Cocokitty’s customer service team: customersvc@coco-kitty.com.