After getting a Thai ( also known as Siamese) kitty from the Humane Society (who was just coming out of foster care there from being so little when she arrived), I noticed after using the litter box with clumping clay, that she was very thoroughly cleaning herself off each time.
I wondered, "What is in that stuff?"
After I read the label I decided we would go with plain clay litter.
That produced some dust I was very concerned about...and the warnings to pregnant women were enough to make me go check out alternatives.
What could this be doing to my kitty? (I know the warnings have to do with scooping, but that is enough to concern any human.)
In the store I got on my cell phone to an alternative litter company who does not label the ingredient they use for clumping or for keeping the bacteria down.
They also won't tell you this 'proprietary' info on the phone.
Pine litter seemed ok....so I tried that but found that it was going to be costing a little more than I wanted to pay.
I didn't like the usage period they recommend for each application.
My cat needs to remain healthy and have sanitary conditions for living!
"How about that softwood bale of shavings out in front"? I asked the farm store.
"Sure, you could try it." They warned me to never use cedar for cats...damaging to the kidneys through the oils it exudes.
OK. So I brought this compressed bag of pine shavings home, and became pleasantly surprised! :)
It lasts for a very long time (I think at least a month) for $7.00 and every 2-3 days I dump it out into the garbage can, rinse out the box in hot water with the kitchen sink sprayer, and replace the shavings.
I have never seen a complaint from Kioki and I introduced them gradually by placing 1 inch of it under 2 or 3 inches of pine litter that comes in the box.
Then gradually increased the ratio to complete pine shavings.
She never steps on feces.
Her pee goes directly to the bottom.
She doesn't create a lot of dust.
Never has clay in her toes that might have her excrement on it.
She never displays her incessant cleaning habits after every usage, which she displayed with clay litter usage.
Nothing toxic or harmful out of this that I am aware of.
And it is cheap!
I also traded out her little covered (what is that about?!!) kitty box for a $6 or $7 plastic Walmart storage box that is at least 2x the size of the expensive box we purchased at the pet store.
We are totally pleased with this change and so is Kioki.
We feel safe and comfortable using the pine shavings.
I hope this helps someone who is beginning to realize that those clay, silicon, and clumping litters are not as safe as one has imagined.
Cheers and good luck to all!