Having a cat with asthma requires a very special care in all aspects of the cat’s life. Feline asthma happens when the cat has been exposed to a chronic allergen which causes inflammation in the cat’s respiratory system, specifically the lungs. Chronic bronchitis ends up in asthma overtime.
Choosing a top litter for your cat with asthma avoids triggering an allergic reaction. It’s important to consider unscented natural cat litters with no additives or chemicals that could trigger an asthmatic reaction. Clay clumping cat litters use additives to create fast clumping when in contact with the cat urine or feces. These are allergens that need to be avoided at all cost.
What I excluded from my list:
- I excluded cat litters made of crystals due to the chemicals presented in it.
- I also discarded grass, corn or wheat cat litters from my list because there are not organic options so far. By not being organic, genetically modified elements could be present in the formula and also harmful pesticides such as glyphosate. Another “con” of corn, grass or wheat litters is the chance of the formula developing some type of mold that could contain aflotoxins, which is a bad carcinogen. Lastly, these type of natural cat litters could harbor small tiny bugs.
- Cat litters made with Cedar have plicatic acid, naturally found in this type of wood, which can damage the respiratory tract of your feline.
- I used to like Naturally Fresh Walnut Shell cat litter, made of walnuts shells, but it seems like the recent formula (2019) added a fragrance that doesn’t go well with an asthmatic cat.
Best Natural Litters For Cats With Asthma
After doing extensive research I came up with two good cat litters for asthmatic cats. I would have loved to offer more options but the main goal is to advice a good cat litter that won’t cause an asthmatic reaction on your feline. These may not be the most convenient cat litters to scoop nor the ones that will eliminate odors, but they will certainly keep your cat asthma at bay.
Purina Yesterday’s News Paper Cat Litter Unscented
Rating: 4.1 stars
Made of: Recycled paper
Purina Yesterday’s News is a non-clumping natural cat litter that is made of absorbent gray-colored paper pellets, no longer than half inch. The paper is recycled and it absorbs urine, and it keeps the odor under control only if you clean the dirty area. This paper-based cat litter doesn’t work like clay clumping litters that you can leave dirty and you won’t notice much smell. Even though the pellets are made of recycled paper, it doesn’t contain ink and it won’t stain any surface or your cat’s paws.
- Perfume and chemical free
- Non existing dust
- Environmentally friendly
- The litter can’t be sifted when scooped. You need to dispose the pellets that are dirty.
- Paper doesn’t have good odor control
- Not good for declawed cats
- Not good for multiple cats
How to scoop this cat litter: you need to find the spot where your cat has urinated, scoop it (no sifting) and dispose those pellets. Replace with new pellets right in that spot. Clean your cat litter box every other day. It may sound expensive but it won’t trigger your cat’s asthma and it may save your kitty’s life.
Ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter (regular version)
Rating: 4 stars
Made of: Wood fiber
Ökocat Natural Wood is a cat litter made of wood fiber that has natural clumping properties. The wood fiber consists of a mix of spruce, pine and fir collected from reclaimed timber. The formula I like is the regular (white w/light blue in the box) because it clumps better (in my opinion) and it doesn’t track as much. This version has the consistency of a shredded cardboard. If you have a declawed cat the soft formula (pink) may work better because it has a fine consistency, similar to clay cat litter.
- 100% natural
- Zero dust
- Environmentally friendly
- It clumps well
- Litter is scoopable
- It doesn’t work well with automatic litter boxes, such as the Litter Robot.
- Odor control has declined in quality overtime
- Regular version creates more litter tracking
How to scoop this cat litter: it depends on the version of the Ökocat cat litter you use. With the “regular” version you may want to use a good metal litter scoop with wide slots because its consistency is much coarser than the pink soft version in which case you can use any scoop. This cat litter is scoopable like clay clumping type, but you need to clean much more often due to the odor control not being excellent.
What to do if switching cat litter doesn’t help
Consider that managing and controlling asthma in cats could be challenging. You may never find out what are the allergens that trigger your cat’s asthma. However, there are various causes for your cat to develop chronic bronchitis or asthma attacks. If you are a smoker, you must stop doing it, at least in your house. Cats suffer the effects of being a passive smoker, just like people do. If you have a large yard with lots of flowers and trees, pollens may be the cause of these attacks. Also, avoid scented candles, sprays and anything that adds fragrances to the ambiance. Cats that suffer from asthma can’t breathe anything other than pure air, free of toxins.
It’s not the cat litter; it’s the room
It could happen that your cat’s asthma gets triggered in certain rooms of the house. Sometimes the triggering allergen is located in one place of the house and you can determine what it is and eliminate it. Some cat owners even get an allergy testing done in order to find out what’s the cause of their cat’s allergies that trigger the asthmatic attacks.
Tips to manage the litter box of an asthmatic cat
- Vacuum the house instead of sweeping it’s a good idea. If you have a carpeted house, you need to vacuum ideally every other day.
- Don’t pour down the cat litter right into the cat litter box. Pour cat litter outside the house in a lidded container and then use a cup to pour litter in the box. This reduces the creation of dust. If you don’t have a patio where to do this, make sure you pour down the litter slowly, leaving almost no distance between the bag and the litter box.
- Keep the litter box clean at all times. Chronic bronchitis or asthma can worsen with bad odors in the litter box. Since natural plain cat litter doesn’t control odors as good as the ones with additives and fragrances, you need to clean the litter box as much as it takes to keep it odor free.
- Consider that most natural low-dust cat litters are lightweight, hence you will experience much more litter tracking around the surfaces. To make your life easier, get a handheld cordless vacuum that you can use right away.
How to switch to a 100% natural cat litter
Don’t switch to a zero-dust cat litter all of a sudden. Your cat may not agree with your change and do its business outside the litter box. You need to slowly introduce the new cat litter by mixing the old litter with the new one as follows:
- First week: 25% new litter and 75% old litter
- Second week: 50% new litter and 50% old litter
- Third week: 75% new litter and 25% old litter
- Fourth week: 100% new litter
By choosing a good litter for your asthmatic cat you will be controlling effectively one important factor in purifying the air your cat breathes. This will keep your cat’s respiratory system without inflammation or irritation and will save your cat’s life.