Covered Litter Boxes Causing MAJOR Respiratory Problems? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Covered Litter Boxes Causing MAJOR Respiratory Problems?

My vet, who I've become casual friends with over the last year, told me the other day that another vet told him that the covered litter boxes that are on the market today do not have proper venilation, the cat breathes in too much dust while digging, and that studys were done that suggested it is downright dangerous to let your cat use a covered litter box on a regular basis.

This was devestating news for me, as I love my covered litter boxes. I've tried searching the internet for articles that back up my vet's claim, and I've only found a couple that suggest he might be right.

Have any of you heard of this? I don't know whether to get rid of my litter boxes, or get rid of my Vet. Please help.

The Original Male Kitten.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 07:11 PM
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I can see why some might be concerned, but I won't be rushing to get rid of my covered litter trays.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 07:15 PM
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Personally, I would just get a less-dusty litter I can understand the concern with all the silica in clay litters, but I wouldn't think natural litters would pose as big a problem...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 08:09 PM
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Unless your cats are having respiratory symptoms, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

PS - I discussed the issue of silicosis with a vet once and was told cats don't live long enough to develop it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 10:08 PM
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I just use translucent Rubbermaid containers. It is cheap and large. It has very high sides so my kitties never kick litters outside the box. Cleanup is a breeze.

I only have to scoop litterboxes twice each week and I have five cats.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2005, 03:44 AM
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Very interesting question, and I haven't looked into it yet. I can see that it definitely could be a issue with the use of certain litters like clay or silica that don't break down. Perhaps any potential damage would be mitigated with the use of "healthier" litters like Feline Pine, World's Best, Sweat Scoop, etc. where breathing it in is still ok. But could be all breathing could be bad. Or as TimsK stated, they don't live long enough to develop it. *shrug*

I'm now very curious about the studies, the type of litter, the amount and length of exposure, etc. Must add to my ever increasing pile of research.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2005, 08:58 AM
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That's very interesting.... I'm having serious problems with my cat being sick about once a week, and we don't know why. We did at some point change his litter from Catsan hygeine (clay based) to Tesco (a UK supermarket) chains own clay based one, which is probably a bit dustier.

I have been trying to find a pattern between him being sick and something I'm doing in the house.

I cleaned his litter tray on Sunday afternoon. he hadn't used it until later on yesterday (Monday) afternoon/evening, then at some point last night he was sick.

I wonder if the new litter is causing that, or if it's the sensitive stomach like others have suggested.

The only other thing I started doing a while back was letting the door/flap of the litter tray close behind him (our last cat couldn't work a flap!) so it used to be taped open, and we left it like that with him, but recently took the tape off and he seemed quite happy with it. I wonder if that's what it is.......
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2005, 03:16 PM
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i go by what my cats tell me. i had a covered box once that they both used for over a month or so. then the older cat started doing her duty outside the litter box right in front of it. i removed the cover and she hasnt done that since. at the time she had a urinary tract infection but she had that before the cover and after. (she was sick for a while, poor girl).

if you can afford it, i recommend those electronic cat litter boxes. they arent great for cutting down on dust (but theres litter for that) but they do clear out debry so that may help prevent against various illnesses. mine broke but as soon as i have the money, im purchasing a new one a.s.a.p!
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