Chapter 1


Learn about history of Clay Litter

Chapter 2

How is made

How Clay Litter is made

Chapter 3

Eco Impact

How Clay Litter destroys our planet

Chapter 4

Social Impact

How Clay Litter destroys communities

Chapter 5

Health Risks

Our health is in danger because of Clay Litter

Clay litter hurts our planet, the people

...and kitties

The history of Cat Litter

and what's next

Chapter 1

The history of Cat Litter

and what's next

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 clay litter is made

and why it is dangerous

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 produced each year in the US

The environmental impact caused by strip mining

Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals
Depletion of natural resources and minerals

Chapter 3

How clay litter destroys

the environment

Environmental impact of clay litter

end up in landfill

Is used for absorption of pet waste

*Mostly for cat litter

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.

Destroying the planet’s wildlife

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.

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.

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 destroys

our communities

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

How clay litter can damage

our health

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 over 8 decades of mining clay and silica,

it's time to change