I want to punch Arm & Hammer in the face. Yes, okay, I like their baking soda. But this rant is about their kitty litter.
Poor Frank. He has had litter duty almost every day now for the last few months for MY cat because I can’t scoop the litter without getting wheezy. I used to scoop the litter. Then we started sharing. And most recently, the entirety of the burden has landed on him because the smell of it makes me feel sick.
No, not THAT smell. The smell of the litter itself.
I got Sophie as a kitten from a shelter in August of 2010. But growing up, we had cats that went outside, so we never had to worry about litter. But Frank and I live on a busy street, and I feel really uncomfortable letting her outside, so she’s a house-cat. But that means LITTER. Ugh.
You’ve read my other posts, yes? So you know that my whole life I’ve been über sensitive to basically anything unnatural, and that I even struggled with chronic allergies for years.
Frank calls me “The Canary.” You know, like the canary in the mine? Because I’m always the first one to react. While my sister gobbles down GMO popcorn, popped in an aluminum pan; eats microwaved egg rolls that have 100 ingredients and have been pre-fried in canola oil; and slathers petrolatum products all over her body—I get a swollen puffy eye for a week from wearing eyeliner, get a 101˚F fever and debilitating stomach cramps from eating cookie dough made with regular white flour, and get an itchy rash in between my toes from eating food that touched aluminum foil.
The Canary. It’s a great nickname, right? Ha.
Well, anyway, so when we brought this kitten home, we knew we needed to buy litter, but I obviously couldn’t buy the normal clumping litter that’s all scented and dusty. That’s like ASKING for an asthma attack.
Then, there, on the shelf, we saw it: “ARM & HAMMER, The Standard of Purity, Natural Clumping Litter, Made with *100% Corn and added baking soda.”
Look! It even has a green leaf on the bag!
And I fell for it. :( But since then, I’ve been stupidly wondering why the “natural” cat litter has bothered me.
Frank scooping for the last few months has been bothering me, too. It’s MY cat, after all. And I know he hates it. So when we ran out today, and I had to buy more litter, I looked up the ingredients.
Get this. THEY AREN’T EVEN LISTED. Here’s what their site has to say about it:
They never actually say WHAT the ingredients are. They, instead, offer vague descriptions like,
“Specially formulated blend”
“A proprietary deodorization technology.”
Seriously? Deodorization technology? Gimme a break. That’s just a fancy name for chemicals.
So tonight I found an *ACTUAL* natural litter called Swheat Scoop. It has ingredients listed right on the bag (unlike A&H): “Naturally Processed Wheat and other Grains.” And it’s flushable!
So far it’s been great!
I love y’all for writing this. This is insanity, and it needs to stop. We are humans, not machines. Toxic chemicals hurt us, and what of the cats? Monstrous.
I’m here because I’m sick right now from having breathed this stuff super close for 10 days helping neighbors out with a car job in a closed shop (January) and I didn’t know what it was. It was the kitty litter they’d used under a car to sop up the antifreeze and oil that got spilled because of carelessness. I never dreamed it was the kitty litter. I kept smelling it. I knew it was a “fragrance”. One of those “100 or so proprietary – and carcinogenic – man made substances that they don’t have to tell you what they are because they are a trade secret.
As you can tell, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I feel so duped, having breathed this scary crap for a week.
We personally eat nothing but mostly homegrown food, no GMO’s, and detest any kind of “fragrance”. We’re herbalists who makes over 50 different herbal products from our own and nature’s herbs, and haven’t been able to stomach these “parfum/fragrance” chemicals ever. And they have only gotten worse with time, like the “Scent Lock” that’s in vomitously stinky drier sheets, they’ve added more chemicals so the smell never leaves.
What’s really scary tho, is the people who love this stuff…
I too was misled by A&H Natural Litter. It smells like bleach. It stinks.
I wish I had come across this article yesterday before we made the mistake of buying 6 bags of this noxious litter! We’d decided to try a new brand, and I, too, was tricked by the misleading “Natural” label and the innocuous ingredient of baking soda. As soon as my husband finished dumping the Arm & Hammer litter into our kitties’ box—all the way at the end of the hall in the laundry room behind a partially closed door—the entire house began reeking of a vulgar ’80s cologne. It was so pungent, I almost started retching. The deodorant was literally nauseating and made it difficult to eat or drink anything.
I have asthma, allergies, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and a rare lung disease called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and I am supposed to avoid chemical fragrances for all of these conditions. Unfortunately, this triggered lung inflammation, and I am experiencing chest pain as a result.
We were able to return 1 unopened bag to the store, but they said I would have to bring in the used litter to get a refund on the remaining 5 bags. I don’t want to risk dealing with it or keeping it around, so we just resigned ourselves to losing the $42.45 we wasted on this toxic poison.
I am so infuriated with Arm & Hammer and would gladly join you in punching them in the face!!
I have been sensitive to litter as well. We switched to Dr. Elsey’s litter and have found all types to be fabulous. When our Fluffy was getting a bit stiff, acceptable at 23 years, we switched from clumping to Senior, which is a gel litter. We have continued with that and I’m not tempted to go back to clumping litter, thought there are some advantages to clumping. Even the clumping is very low dust. We buy from PetsMart, there are other places that carry some if not all of his litters.
The web address is below:
Please don’t ever let kitty outside! That’s one of the most unnatural things you can do for your domestic cat.
Yes, you have to read everything on even pet products. Remember that what bothers you, bothers your teeny-tiny cat a thousand times more, plus everything she touches she ends up also breathing and digesting through her self-cleaning process. A rule of thumb is if you can’t make your own, find somebody that cares enough to make a healthy product – steer far away from big-brands. That being interpreted – basically don’t buy anything PetSmart sells!
Outdoor cats are bad for small birds and other critters,
Cats were made to be outdoors. Also, don’t you think all those outdoor birds are bad for the bug population? Just something to think about. Everything has a life cycle.
Is that a joke about the birds being bad for the bug population? I sure hope so. You should look up what Australia had to do because of all the cats killing all the wildlife.
In your other post, I also was duped by this cat litter. It is also Genetically Modified Corn plus Pine is in it and also clumping cat litter usually has a chemical in it that is a known carcinogen to man and animals. It also causes dust in the air to cats & humans that can cause respiratory symptoms.
Another known horror is that corn, wheat, etc…can cause Aflatoxin. Look it up too.
Did u ever hear about my cat litter story? We are WAYY too much alike. I reacted to A&H cat litter because it contained corn starch…. And it was 2 rooms away and I got really bad sinus pain and fell to my bed with the flu, I’m a canary too, that’s what my family calls me!!!
No, Caroline, I hadn’t heard about your cat litter story! Did you write a post about it? You might have reacted to their “proprietary deodorization technology,” too! I wasn’t reacting 2 rooms away—only within 5 feet. Does your family really call you a canary, too? How funny! :)
Somewhat of a tangent, but is aluminum foil bad? It must contain something that leaches if it gives you a toe rash, right? I’ve been wondering about it lately… I hope your new kitty litter works out!