The Environmental Impact of Cat Litter: How Eco-Friendly is Your Cat’s Litter?

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Being a cat parent is unbeatable: the head rubs, purrs, the bundle of fluff to warm your lap after a long day. But there is one aspect of cat ownership that every cat parent doesn’t… well… love. That’s right! The dreaded litter box. From clumping to scented to flushable, there are so many types of litter. As an informed and environmentally conscious cat parent, the litter you choose matters. In this blog post, I’ll provide information to shed some light on the down-sides of traditional litters and show you one way you (and your kitty!) can reduce your environmental impact.

The Scoop on Typical Clay and Crystal Cat Litters

Did you know that the process of making traditional clay litter hurts our planet? Understanding the history and where clay and crystal litters come from may surprise you. If you’re a curious cat-lover, read on for the full story on your cat’s litter.

From Cinders to Crushed Clay: The Invention of Clay Litter

Before the 1940s, cats lived very different lives alongside their human families. For one, their litter boxes were filled with some unconventional materials by today’s standards. If you stumbled upon a litter box eighty years ago, it would be filled with sawdust, sand, dirt, or even ashes.

This is until the inventor of clay cat litter came along in the mid 20th century. This inventor, Edward Lowe, didn’t even mean to start the next kitty-litter-craze. He was just answering the request of a neighbor, Kay Draper, who was fed up with her beloved feline tracking black paw prints all over her house! To solve her problem, he offered her Fuller’s Earth, or crushed clay which he knew did an excellent job taking care of oil spills in auto shops.

To Lowe and Draper’s surprise, this product worked well. And soon pet stores all over the United States and beyond were selling clay kitty litter.

But Where Does This ‘Miracle’ Product Come From?

As the name implies, “Fuller’s Earth” comes directly from our planet. It’s mined and excavated from Earth's surface leaving shallow pits that turn into unsightly scars on our landscape.

The process of making clay litter begins in mountains and hills. Raw bentonite clay is pulled from Earth one truckload at a time in a process called strip mining. How many truckloads are mined in the U.S. each year? Two million tons’ worth!

To get to this clay, companies must remove all the existing topsoil and vegetation. This leads to deforestation, loss of wildlife habitat, erosion, and depletion of natural minerals. It also leads to sediments getting washed into streams and rivers which pollutes waters and harms fish and aquatic vegetation. It can also destroy watersheds and increase flooding.

There’s also the obvious, too: strip mining is ugly, noisy, and creates dust.

The mining of clay for cat litter causes:

  • Depletion of natural minerals
  • Loss of forests and natural vegetation
  • Loss of wildlife habitats
  • Flooding and changes in watersheds
  • Noise
  • Dust
  • Erosion

After the clay has been excavated, the process of making cat litter is not over.

The clay is hauled to a processing plant which requires a lot of fuel. It’s then baked and baked at high temperatures (up to 2000-degree Fahrenheit) to remove any moisture. This is what gives it its absorbing properties. From there, it’s cooled and crushed into finer granules before being packaged and shipped out to stores.

What Other Environmental Impacts Result from Clay Litters?

There’s also the problem of where used cat litter ends up: the landfill.

Clay cat litter is not biodegradable. If you’re like the typical kitty parent, you scoop your cat’s litter clumps into a plastic bag, tie it tight, then haul it to the trash where it is picked up and then dumped at a landfill. There they will stay. Trapped in plastic. Until the end of time (Yes, I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true).

What if it was not tied in a bag, would it biodegrade eventually? The simple answer is no. Do you know why clay pots are often found in thousand-year-old archaeological sites? Clay does not naturally decompose like other organic materials.

Clay litter also isn’t compostable or biodegradable.

Is Crystal Cat Litter More Environmentally Friendly?

This is a common question. Fortunately, it’s easy to answer. Crystal cat litters are sourced the same way as clay litters: strip mining then refining the material. Instead of using primarily bentonite clay, crystal litter is made from sand. Sodium silicate sand, to be precise.

What is sodium silicate sand? It’s the same product used to absorb moisture in the packaging of new products. You’ve probably seen those small packets in your box of shoes that says “Do Not Eat.” If you opened that tiny bag, the beads are made from sodium silicate, the same product used to make crystal litters.

The answer: Crystal cat litter is not a more responsible or sustainable alternative to clay litters.

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The right choice, for your kitty and the earth.

What Makes TofuKitty the Best Eco-Friendly Cat Litter?

After over eight decades of mining clay and silica, it’s time for a change.

Many cat parents looking to have minimal impact on our Earth are searching for more enviro-friendly alternatives to clay and crystal litter. Luckily, many have found TofuKitty. TofuKitty litter makes it easy to be a responsible cat parent and environmentally conscious.

TofuKitty has found a way to end the damage to our environment with sustainable and biodegradable litter from a natural source! TofuKitty is the best eco-friendly cat litter because it’s:

  • All-natural and organic
  • Biodegradable
  • Sustainable
  • Toxin-Free
  • Renewable

TofuKitty litter is made entirely of recycled plant-based ingredients that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Heck, even the packaging is recyclable! The litter is also made with food-grade ingredients to ensure your kitty remains safe, visit after visit to her virtually odor-free box.

Because it’s made from a natural plant source, TofuKitty litter is biodegradable and locks in CO2 to protect our atmosphere from destructive greenhouse gases.

And when you join the TofuKitty Club, you help reduce harmful CO2 overall. How? Home delivery isn’t just convenient, it eliminates the use of excess fuel by skipping deliveries to stores and reducing your trips to the supermarket or pet store.

Additionally, (not to toot my own horn) but because TofuKitty is 2-to-3 times more absorbent than clay or crystal litters, you end up using less over time. One 10-pound bag will last a one-cat household up to a full month!

You don't have to feel guilty when scooping that poop, anymore. Because TofuKitty is 100% plant-based, you can safely compost it or flush it. Or if you end up tossing it out, it’s completely biodegradable!

You and your cat can rest assured that TofuKitty is an environmentally safe cat litter. So, join the TofuKitty Club today and save help the planet one scoop at a time.

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Introducing TofuKitty litter

Hi, I’m Molly, an environmental ecologist and creator of TofuKitty. I created a new kind of litter that was made with you, your kitty, and the planet in mind. You shouldn’t have to choose between effective cat litter and making green choices. My litter is:


Triple odor protection


Dust free




Low tracking

Chemical free

Super absorbent

Pest free

Soft on paws

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