Chapter 1


The evolution of cat litter

Chapter 2

How It's Made

How clay litter is made & why it’s dangerous

Chapter 3

Enviro Impact

How clay litter destroys our planet

Chapter 4


How clay litter kills animals

Chapter 5

Social Impact

How clay litter destroys communities

Chapter 6

Health Risk

Our health is in danger because of clay litter

Clay litter hurts

our planet, the people ...and kitties

The evolution

of cat litter

Chapter 1



  • Clay litter was accidentally discovered in 1947.
  • People are still using a product that’s been virtually unchanged since the 1940’s.
  • It wasn’t until the 1990’s that non-clay and organic cat litters were even an option.
before 1940

Cats do their business outside in the great outdoors.


The first litter box (E-Z Klean Kitty Toilet) is available in stores. Litter boxes are filled with dirt, sand, sawdust, paper, or ashes.


The accidental discovery of clay litter (Tidy Cat) is made by Edward Lowe with the help of Kay Draper.

early 1950’s

Clay litter (Tidy Cats™) is widely available in stores.


Biochemist Thomas Nelson accidentally discovers clumping litter (the addition of sodium bentonite).

mid 1980’s

Scented cat litter is introduced to the market.


Litter made of silica gel crystals is invented.

mid 1990’s

Non-clay and organic cat litters (wood, corn, straw, hay, coconut skins, newspaper, etc.) hit the market.


Sustainable, biodegradable, eco-friendly TofuKitty litter hits the market.

Chapter 2

How it's made

& why it's dangerous.

  • Clay litter is made using a process called ‘strip mining’.
  • It causes deforestation, noise & water pollution, and kills wildlife & ecosystems.
  • Harmful additives and chemicals get added to the clay to make the final product.
Step 1

The process of making clay litter begins in mountains and hills that were once otherwise pristine.

Step 2

Engineers identify mineral deposits (clay) which can be 30 to 40 feet below the ground.

Step 3

Trees, bushes, and other vegetation in this area are then bulldozed and dumped nearby.

Step 4

Huge holes are dug into the earth and, if necessary, explosives are used to break up the rock to reach the raw clay. Excess soil and rocks are dumped nearby.

Step 5

The raw clay is dug out of the earth and placed in trucks and transported to the processing plant.

Step 6

From here, the clay is loaded onto conveyor belts where it’s crushed into smaller pieces.

Step 7

It then makes its way into giant kilns where it’s baked at temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit in order to remove the moisture.

Step 8

It’s then cooled and crushed into finer granules before being packaged and shipped out to stores.

Step 9

The clay is then sorted and screened so various sizes of clay particles are included.

Step 10

Lastly, the clay gets blended with additives like sodium bentonite, dust-controlling agents, and deodorizers before being packaged and shipped out to stores.

Interesting facts

World's sodium

bentonite supply

is extracted from a 200-miles long area of Wyoming

Tons of bentonite

is produces each year in the US

The environmental impact caused by strip mining

Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Loss of forests and natural vegetation
Loss of wildlife habitats
Flooding and changes in watersheds
Water pollution
Wildlife deaths

Chapter 3

How clay litter destroys

our planet.

  • Clay litter is made using an unsustainable process called ‘strip mining’.
  • Strip mining impacts: water pollution, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and pollution, and formation of sink holes.
  • Millions of tons of bentonite-based kitty litter takes up space in landfills and doesn’t decompose.

What exactly kills the planet

Strip mining impacts

Strip mining is used to create these litters. This process destroys huge sections of natural forest habitat and leaves giant holes in their place, in addition to contaminating natural fresh water sources and displacing wildlife from their homes.

Water pollution, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and pollution, and formation of sink holes are among the worst effects of strip mining on the environment.

Unsustainable & Toxic

Bentonite clay is non-renewable and isn't biodegradable. Once it’s displaced, it enters a landfill…permanently. Meaning 180,000 dump trucks worth ends up in a landfill each year, and it will never, ever break down.

Traditional litters aren’t biodegradable, resulting in over 2 million tons of cat litter sitting and accumulating in the landfill year after year.

These litters contain hazardous chemicals like sodium bentonite, crystalline silica, and other toxic additives that find their way into our freshwater sources and contaminate them.

The cost of fuel to transport the mined bentonite to the drying facility and the use of petroleum products to dry the material make the production of clump cat litter ridiculously detrimental to the environment.

Chapter 4

How Clay litter

kills animals.

  • Mining for clay litter destroys habitats and slaughters local wildlife.
  • Mining may have adverse, long-term impacts on wildlife, including extinction.
  • Sediment from the mining process essentially chokes aquatic life.

What exactly kills the animals

The loss of habitat that occurs can result in fragmentation that disrupts migration patterns and separates populations.

Destroying the planet’s wildlife

No Food, No Shelter

Birds, rodents, and other animals that depend on trees and plants for food or shelter lose their homes or starve to death. Any creatures that actually survive are forced to relocate and find a new homes and food sources.

Poisoning the Water

The sediment from this process finds its way into fresh water lakes, rivers, and streams where it essentially chokes aquatic life and further destroys the ecosystem.

Dead Animals

Mining also may have adverse, long-term impacts on wildlife, including impairment of its habitat or native environment. Many animal species cannot adjust to the changes brought on by the land disturbance involved in mining. In cases where an important habitat (such as a primary breeding ground) is destroyed, the species may be eliminated.

What Studies show

Studies show that water flows from selected mines carry sediment loads up to 1,000 times greater than flows from unmined areas. Sediment increase cause:

Decreased Water Clarity

Increased sediment loading into a stream will decrease water clarity and reduce visibility for fish seeking food and places to live.

Damage to fish Gills

Damage to fish gills and filter feeding apparatus of invertebrates.

Chapter 5

How clay litter destroys


  • Health concerns for mining communities: silicosis, cancer, kidney damage, and enlargement of the heart.
  • Women suffer the most: higher workload, broken family, domestic violence, no financial gain.
  • The land is destroyed: runoff and erosion leads to depleted soils, lower crop yields, and contamination.
Toxic fields

The increased runoff and erosion from strip mining has led to depleted soils and lower crop yields for the local communities where strip mining occurs, and contamination of toxic substances such as mercury has led to disease and contaminated soils and sediments.

Life in mine is not easy

The communities that live near or work in these mines are at risk to a number of health concerns including silicosis, cancer, kidney damage, enlargement of the heart and other pulmonary diseases, due to the contamination brought by mining.

Women suffer

Women in mining towns often don’t see a direct economic benefit and actually can become overloaded in their responsibilities to provide for the home without the help of their partners who now work long hours in the mines.

Domestic violence

Those living in mining towns have higher rates of divorce and domestic violence.


The excess flow of men into mining areas has been shown to increase prostitution or create prostitution rings that never existed before.


There is a strong correlation between mining towns and high alcohol consumption, a factor known to be associated with increased violence, particularly against women.

Chapter 5

Clay Litter is Dangerous for

your health.

  • Clay litter contains chemicals which are harmful for both humans and pets.
  • Excessive dust can trigger asthma or create respiratory issues.
  • If ingested by animals, clay litter can lead to intestinal blockages which can lead to death.
Gastrointestinal tract

Sodium bentonite is natural clay that swells to 15-18 times its size when liquid is added, similar to expandable cement. If the litter is ingested by your kitty, (or any other pet) it’ll expand inside them and turn into a cement-like mass that can harden in the gastrointestinal tract causing illness and even death.

Risk of cancer

These litters contain hazardous chemicals like sodium bentonite and crystalline silica that are harmful for your cat and your family.

Risk of asthma

The excessive dust and crystal particulates in these litters can trigger asthma or agitate airways in cats and humans alike.

After more than 8 decades of mining clay and silica, it's time for a change.

Try TofuKitty, a 100% plant-based, sustainably-made, eco-friendly cat litter.

Not a cat owner, but care about our planet?

Then become a social activist!

Use your voice and your network to help us educate cat owners (and non-cat owners) around the globe about the impacts of unsustainable cat litter, like clay and silica. We all need to work together to make better choices for our health, our communities, and our planet.

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