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Caution to use of Corn Based Cat Litters

Caution to use of Corn Based Cat Litters

Corn and moisture are not a good combination; deadly aflatoxin mold can be the result.  While many pet owners avoid corn ingredients in their pet foods because of the concern of aflatoxin, do we now have a new concern with corn cat litters?  One pet owner says a definite yes; the death of her pet raises suspicion to aflatoxin poisoning from Worlds Best Cat Litter; a corn based cat litter.

In late 2005, many pet owners learned a new word to be worried about; aflatoxin.  Diamond Pet Foods contaminated with the deadly mold aflatoxin was recalled; at least 100 dogs were killed.  http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/2005/ucm111929.htm  In October 2009, Wysong Pet Foods recalled numerous brands of pet food due to aflatoxin contamination. http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/wysong-dog-food-recall.html  Because of these recalls and the true concern of aflatoxins, many pet owners avoid at all costs corn ingredient in pet foods and pet treats.

But what about corn cat litters?

I hate to admit this, but it’s something I never thought about prior to receiving an alarming email from a pet owner.  “Is it possible that a corn-based cat litter could contain aflatoxins once it has come into contact with a moisture-rich environment (i.e. litter box). My 3 cats began vomiting and one developed hepatic lipidosis resulting in the insertion of a food tube but then developed hind leg paralysis; another developed kidney disease; and the third is now ok once the litter was replaced with clay. Unfortunately, the one with hepatic lipidosis was euthanized because her prognosis was so poor (miss her terribly).”

My first thoughts…of course it could be possible.  With further information, it seems clear it is VERY possible.

From Cornell University Department of Animal Science “the commodities with the highest risk of aflatoxin contamination are corn, peanuts and cottonseed.  Pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination of peanuts and corn is favored by high temperatures, prolonged drought conditions, and high insect activity; while post-harvest production of aflatoxins on corn and peanuts is favored by warm temperatures and high humidity.”
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html

With corn ingredient pet food and cat litter, pet owners first need to trust that the corn was accurately tested prior to pet food or cat litter manufacturing.  Testing accuracy is difficult.  Consider a ton of grain.  Only one small sample of each ton is tested for toxins.  While that one small sample might test clean, it is possible another section within the ton of corn IS infected.  Again, testing accuracy is difficult.

Next, a pet owner has the concern if the corn ingredient pet food and/or corn cat litter was subject to warm temperature and high humidity after production of the product.  This would include warehousing conditions of the product long after it left the manufacturer.  With corn cat litter, this could happen right in your litter box.  Covered litter boxes with added warm urine.

The livestock industry tells farmers that “uninfected corn at 18% moisture can only be safely stored for just over a month at 70 degrees F”.  Broken kernels of corn are three to four times more susceptible to mold growth than intact kernels.  http://nationalhogfarmer.com/nutrition/0101-mold-infected-corn/

Even clumping corn cat litter and the absolute cleanest litter box – remnants of moisture remain in the box.  Are they growing deadly mycotoxins that could be inhaled and consumed by cats visiting the litter box?  If so, what is the risk to cats?

“Mycotoxins can show carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic, teratogenic or immunotoxic effects. Mycotoxin exposure in the workplace may occur through inhalation and skin contact, e.g. during occupational handling of organic matter such as livestock feed, food products, or waste. Various studies suggest that both acute and chronic effects can occur, depending at least on the exposure level. The magnitude of the potential health risks associated with a respiratory or dermal intake of mycotoxins has largely remained unclear to date.”  Published 2/26/2009
http://www.springerlink.com/content/g84651382h40326p/

zeldaThis is Zelda.

Zelda had to be euthanized because of liver failure and numerous other complications.  Zelda’s Mom – JH – is needless to say heartbroken.  JH wanted other pet owners to be alerted to the possibility of risk with corn cat litters.  Below are some of her comments.

“The illnesses of my cats have occurred within such a short period of time (within 4 weeks of switching to Worlds Best Cat Litter in late December 2009).  Soon after euthanizing my Zelda and seeing the decline of my two remaining cats, my husband and I were really puzzled and convinced that they had come into contact with something toxic  The only change that had been made was the litter; so we quickly switched back to the clay, and neither has vomited since.”

“After relaying my concerns about the litter to her primary vet, she said that the presence of aflatoxin would be her main concern, but could not definitively say that was the cause.  I’m still waiting for comments from the specialists who included an internist, oncologist, and cardiologist.  I think that the simple fact there is suspicion and probable cause is enough to warn others.”

Dr. Berryessa from Georgia Veterinary Specialsts (who treated Zelda) stated that “aflatoxin is definitely associated with corn but could not conclusively say that this caused Zelda’s liver failure;  she was cremated and an autopsy was not performed.  He further stated that if this litter is ingested, it could aggravate a cat who has kidney disease because it could contribute to dehydration.”  

The cat litter company, Worlds Best Cat Litter, told JH the lot number was tested clean of aflatoxins.  JH told the company her “concern was not with the product in the bag, but rather what happened to it once it is used as litter and comes into contact with moisture.”

While Worlds Best Cat Litter did respond to JH’s concerns with the litter, an email from their ‘Research Department’ is very suspicious (and down right stupid in my book).  Please take a close look at the sections I bolded…

“We use corn and other ingredients, which meet the standards for pet foods. There are no possibilities of contamination and toxicity issue when the product is in the bag and fresh out the bag. We use a high temperature and pressure process to produce the product and make the product meeting feed/pet foods standards in terms of microorganisms. The product was made in winter (Nov. 29th, 2009) and won’t have any mold or fungi issues in normal conditions unless it has been subjected to high temperature and high humidity or moisture in the litter box.”

‘There are no possibilities of contamination and toxicity issue when the product is in the bag and fresh out the bag.  The product won’t have any mold or fungi issues unless it has been subjected to moisture in the litter box.’

Does Worlds Best Cat Litter understand what cat litter is used for?

I have to wonder if Worlds Best Cat Litter ever bothered to test their products for toxins when it was used as a litter.  I wonder if anyone ever gave the slightest thought to moisture in the litter box.  If anyone ever gave the slightest thought of the pets that would be using this litter.

Dr. Cathy will be adding her concerns in a follow up article soon.

My sincere thanks to JH for allowing me to share her heartbreaking story with readers; her wish as is mine is that by sharing this heartbreak, other lives can be saved.  I hope your other babies fully recover; I hope your broken heart will heal soon.  Zelda will not be forgotten.

Add corn cat litter to your list of cautions for your pets, any corn litter.

37 comments

  1. I use this litter and am concerned. I switched because my cat has seasonal allergy flareups and I wondered if litter could be one of his triggers. It wasnt’ (I switched to SweetScoop, a wheat-based litter), but I stuck with the “natural” litter because I wanted to pursue a cleaner lifestyle for him. SweetScoop is a good product, but does not clump well. World’s best varies a great deal: sometimes it clumps very well… other times, very poorly. I reject the manufacturer’s claims of absolute quality control because the effectiveness of the product varies from bag to bag. So what to do? I don’t want to switch back to “chemical laden” litter… the best defense, it seems to me, is to clean the box immediately or at least, ASAP, at the very least, twice a day. Too many people think cleaning the unfortunate animal’s box once a week is sufficient.

    • Aflatoxins are poisons secreted by molds to defend themselves against predators. Those predators would be insects (“storage mites”) but not the cat himself. I can understand the issue of mold formation, given the wet and warm environment of the litter box. But I don’t see a lot of opportunity for infestation by mites… they didn’t come with the product…

      So you’d think that the molds that might form in the litter box wouldn’t necessarily trigger that defense and the risk to the cat would be minimal (assuming he doesn’t eat the litter). So you’d then think… that the litter would be “safe,” and surely “safer” than so many commercial litters which are developed with chemical additives.

      I HAVE, however, experienced infestation of (“grain” or “pantry”) moths… they come into the house with food (often fruit) we think of as “fresh” from the grocery store. A more common source is birdfood, which is often infested in the bag, when you buy it (regardless of cost, not necessarily only in “cheap” bird food). Cheap dry pet foods can come infested. But they can get infested once you open the vaccum sealed bags and keep them in your hoime, or, transfer them to new storage containers. The moths breed in the tiny-est of cracks between cabinets, etc., but they DO seek food sources in the house: oatmeal, rice, and then, you find them in the litter box. The corn must be an attractive food source, whereas clay would not be.

      I clean the litter box so often… as much as a means to extend the life of the litter as concern for the cats. I also wash out the boxes twice or at the very least, once a week, even if I am not “changing” over the litter that day. Most plastic litter boxes are porous, and do need disinfecting more than we think.

      • Good point, Peter, on the whole ‘disinfecting’ thing. I didn’t think about that, given I use double black garbage bags as liners, but occasionally a claw will put a hole thru the bag and although it doesn’t APPEAR any urine or anything has hit the plastic box, I think I need to disinfect them and wash them out more anyway. Yeesh. Its always something. And its getting harder and harder to trust what we are feeding, using in the litter box, etc. etc. But I guess, if you think about it, we as humans are becoming more and more distrusting of what WE are eating too ( i.e. GMOs)

      • I too scoop our litter daily & clean with alcohol or vinegar & water often. But, you mentioned we don’t have to worry about our cats eating the litter. NOT True~~ every time our cats Bath after using litter box, their paws are covered with litter DUST that they have to LICK off. THIS concerns me.

        My cat has asthma now, diagnosed suddenly 2 yrs ago that made her susceptible to bacterial infection that turned into Pneumonia. She needed a 2nd round of Antibiotics, but she gets her Inhaler daily now. We used Feline Pine & WBs for 13 yrs we’ve had the cats. Our vet said to STOP Using the feline pine because any Pine scent left in the wood chips can cause respiratory damage to cats. Lots of studies on it say Pine damages a cat’s lungs. Yikes. It might have even caused my cat’s respiratory. I preferred the natural aroma of Pine in the house, BUT not at the expense of killing my cat. I would like to switch my cat to something other than World’s Best, but not sure what. We tried Dr Elsey’s but it was SO DUSTY, it even bothered MY asthma. My cat sneezed & coughed more when we used it.

    • I am also finding that, after using WB for the past couple years, the scooping factor definitely varies from bag to bag.

    • I agree with the (at least ) twice a day cleaning….my cat vet told me that the boxes have to be scooped at LEAST twice a day if not more, but for most people before and after work will be manageable.

      I get the feeling, since I have been following his ‘scooping directions,’ that all the odor control sprays and intense odor control litter being advertised everywhere, wouldn’t be needed if people cleaned their boxes like he has me doing now.

      I understand that its just not practical if you work full time, cook and clean and have three kids…but thru his training of me, I am learning that a lot of the litter box problems can be stopped if the boxes were cleaned once in a while.

      But this whole toxic litter corn/ wheat respiratory issue…..I have yet to solve it. I think I will follow the advice of some people posting here, though and switch off of the pine WB and go back to the plain or multiple-cat WB….at least I can eliminate one problematic item: pine.

      What a dilemma.

  2. You should list the walnut cat litters as a caution as well. We just started using the Blue Buffalo walnut scoopable cat litter and it gets moldy. We took the lid of off the litter box, clean it every day, sometimes more often, and it still gets moldy. I have been experiencing allergic reactions with my sinuses because of this. I switched from Tidy Cat, because it’s chemicals gave me sinus issues, and not this stuff has mold, which I am allergic to. Great.

    • I’m glad someone gave feedback on this litter. I am allergic to 5 types of Mold & being treated for Mold Illness myself due to genes that don’t allow me to detox mold. Good to know. Mold would be bad for my asthma cat too. Nuts are often on the Avoid Mold Diet list.

      • Can I ask the people posting re: the corn litters…..how often do you guys throw the whole pan of litter out and start over again with totally fresh litter?

        I have two cats, use the WB Pine or WB red bag for multiple cat households….I scoop twice a day ( two large litter boxes, two large cats ) but find I have to dump the whole thing about every 10-14 days in any event. And start with fresh litter. Which is very expensive.

        I used to just use a garbage can liner to line the bottom and used unclumpable, unscented gravel from the grocery store ( very cheap ) and dump the whole thing every two or three days. But my cat vet told me that I had to use scoopable, which is was VERY allergic to. I literally got sick using it after a week or two. WB is the only clumping litter that I, ( with a face mask ) can use at all.

        Now I am hearing that the corn based litters are dangerous….and although I keep the boxes very clean, the message from WB ( paraphrase ) “…..unless it gets WET…” LOL…..WHAT? I am very concerned. And I live in South Florida, so, yeah, although the AC is on deep-freeze all the time, this could really be a problem. :(

        • about that same for us… about once a week. Yes, pricey i agre. Wish we could change. I have 3 cats adn they ALL like to DIG, so i need at least 1-2 boxes with diggable liter. I am experimenting with Yesterday’s News liter and trying 2 boxes of it with One Worlds Best to see if that helps my cat’s breathing and IF more than one cats uses it….lol. But, you have to remove the Soiled DAILY because there is no odor control. One of my cats is gluten intolerant, so i cannot use Sweat scoop or PINE, since she also has asthma. My vets said to avoid the pine, since it causes Respiratory inflammation & damage in Studies with cats & lab rats. Glad to hear other people are dealing with this as much as me. Wish it were easier! :)

        • Hi !,
          What reason did your Vet give you for not using gravel

      • Has anyone tried Blue Naturally Fresh Quick Clumping Cat Litter. Walnut based….I mix it with WB … cuts WB dust down, WB makes it clump better …but will it mold esp. in Fla

    • What concerns me about the walnut litter is that it’s difficult to see blood because of the dark color. It’s important to check for signs of blood in urine and stool when scooping the litter box. With this dark litter a serious medical condition could go undetected.

  3. I’ve been using Tidy Cats Pure Nature for years but recently noticed that some pee clumps develop a sort of white fuzz and I’m concerned that it is a type of fungus or mold. Does anyone have any info on this? The product is made of a combo of cedar, corn, and pine.

    Thanks!

  4. I have used Fresh Step Cat Litter and also Arm & Hammer Cat Litter, and when I go to clean the litter boxes out, my face would burn and I would feel a lot of pain in my head and ear, and my lips would burn, my tongue too. Then to top it all off… My stomach and my throat would burn along with my eyes, and everything else. I had to find a litter that DID NOT CONTAIN ANY SODIUM BENTONITE (Carbon), AND ZEOLITES.

    These 2 chemicals are dangerous and deadly to both animals and humans. No matter how many times per day I cleaned the litter box and also washed my face and body, I still felt like I was on fire. That is how badly it had hurt me and my 4 cats. My cats eyes would water up so much that I had to keep tissues around to wipe their little eyes and to have cold water around to dip the tissue in to wipe out the burn. My cats also got very dehydrated from using those cat litters.

    The Fresh Step Cat Litter and that I used was Multi Cat with carbon and it was to kill out the smell of feces and urine. It was the clumping clay.
    The Arm & Hammer Cat Litter that I used was the Natural Essentials Corn Litter.

    Both had also made it hard for me to breathe as well and caused a lot of dust to settle on my entire apt furnishings. They read 99.9% Dust Free! Not even close. There was so much dust on everything in my apt. that I had to wash down and dust every single day!

    Now I am down to trying out a kitty litter called Yesterday’s News which is made of Recycled Newspaper. It reads that it is 99.7% Dust Free. It is pellet form, and flushable. I don’t like it! It is very hard, and there is no possible way to scoop it out of the litter box at all with a scooper. My cats don’t even like using their litter box any more with that litter in their box. They prefer to use my bathroom floor because of the new litter! This is way too much for me to stand any longer.

    There has got to be a litter out there without any Sodium Bentonite and Zeolites in it or Fragrances! I will have to keep searching for a decent litter that is not going to harm me or my kitties ever again. If there isn’t any such litter around… I am going to straight sand or sterilized potting soil!

    Those other litters that I had mentioned above also made my cats vomit! So please try to find a litter that isn’t going to make you and your loving kitties sick and kill you, and them in the process.

  5. I just changed to World’s Best from Arm & Hammer due to the scent. If I can’t stand the scent how can my multi cat household. Does anyone have a suggestion on what to use when u have more 5 litter boxes in a home?

  6. I have two 15 pound cats and I have used the Worlds Best for the past couple years, scoop twice a day and toss all about every 10-14 days. But now I am concerned.

    I live in South Florida in the sub tropics as it is, a hotbed of mold, etc. just in our everyday environment. We have the AC on deep freeze but that doesn’t seem to stop mold and tropical creepin’ crud.

    WB It is the only one of the clumping litters that I am not horribly allergic to, but just in case, I wear a face mask while cleaning the box. I am that allergice, but I don’t have any issues with this litter relating to that.

    I used to use the non clumping clay generic from my local grocer….and now I am thinking of just going back to that.

    I used to get 20# for about 5 bucks and tossed the whole thing ever three days.

    I always use a garbage bag liner and large cat boxes so I just grab the ends and pull the whole thing off the box, and toss.

    This is very concerning. I liked Worlds Best, the best of all, but I agree with the poster who said that some bags clump better than others.

    Just in the couple months, the last couple bags have not had the clumping ability it has normally, which I figured was a quality control issue. Still, it is the best I have found. But now I am worried, not only because of corn and moisture, but also because of where I live, which would add to the problelm.

  7. I started using Feline Pine Clumping. It works well and there’s no worry about aflatoxin because it’s all pine and no corn.

  8. I wonder if one thing that may make the corn-based, flushable litter particularly susceptible to mold, fungus, and aflatoxin poisoning is that the litter box is usually kept in the bathroom where the waste can be flushed, since that aspect is one of this litter’s most attractive features. I would imagine that the heat and steam of people showering daily create exactly the hot and humid conditions that encourage spoilage and toxicity problems. We have long been pushing the litter box out into the hallway whenever someone takes a shower, just so that the litter didn’t get moist and would stay fresh longer. Now it seems there is even more critical reason to do so. I am so sorry to learn there are safety issues with this litter, since we carefully selected it after reading about all the health risks (as well as environmental pitfalls) of using the clay-based and chemical-based litters, and I have to say the newspaper-based litter worries me as well. Questions about the chemical toxicity of the ink is the first question that comes to my mind. Indeed it is ALWAYS something. I guess for now we will stick with World’s Best but be ever more careful about moisture around it.

    • thanks for that thought. I’ve been using this litter as well for the same reasons as you. If you find an alternative, please let me know.

      • Have you tried Odour Buster litter? It’s a clumping clay litter that clumps really well, has no scent and extremely low dust. I switched from Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat clumping clay and I’ve recommended Odour Buster to others who love it as well.

  9. I switched to the World’s Best Cat litter several years ago in an effort to eliminate my oldest of my three cat’s respiratory problems. His breathing improved but after about six months he began to lose weight. I thought it was a dental issue, he had some gingivitis, so had his teeth cleaned but that didn’t help. He kept losing weight, The vet asked if he was eating house plants because he suspected a toxin, but I don’t have plants in the house and he’s an indoor cat. To make a long story short, after many trips to the vet all treatments failed. Afterward I began to wonder whether the corn based litter was made with Roundup ready corn. The glyphosate in Roundup weed killer has been found to cause kidney failure in agricultural workers in Sri Lanka and several other countries. Roundup has been banned there and is several countries for that reason. Cats wash their paws after using the litter box so consume the litter inadvertently. I liked the WBCL because it was easy to keep the boxes clean, was reasonably dust free, and controlled the odor. I was scooping daily, disinfecting weekly, then filling with fresh litter It makes me feel very sad to think my choice of product may have killed my cat. I’m now trying to find a safe litter for my other two but so far the search is not going well.

  10. Dr. Cathy will be adding her concerns in a follow up article soon.

    Did Dr. Cathy do a follow up article?

  11. If any of you are using Purina’s pure nature kitty litter, stop using the product because it contains corn in it’s product besides Cedar and pine recycled from construction, furniture, and window manufacturing. After reading this article I was appalled! I just had a conversation with Purina and this is my dialogue with them that I’ll share with you all.

    Welcome to Purina! Please wait for a Pet Advisor to respond. We will be with you momentarily.
    You are now chatting with ‘Stacey ‘.
    Stacey : Hi! Welcome to Purina. How may I help you today?
    you: Can you tell me Stacy if your product pure nature kitty litter which contain corn is hybrid?
    Stacey : Hi there. I’d be happy to help you. Just to make sure I understand, you want to know if the corn in the Pure Nature Litter is hybrid corn?
    you: that is correct
    Stacey : Ok, please allow me a few moments to look into this.
    you: okay
    Stacey : I’m not sure if this helps at all, but here is the ingredient list for the litter: Corn Cob, Cedar, Pine, Guar Gum (natural clumping agent), Glycerin, Fragrance. I can try to find more information on the corn cob.
    you: please do
    you: these ingredients were listed on your website
    you: are you still there?
    Stacey : It is likely that our pet food contains GMO grains because genetically modified grain and grain products constitute a significant portion of the supply of grain available throughout the United States for both human and pet foods. United States grain handling and distribution practices result in a co-mingling of supply, which results in a loss of identity preservation. The FDA recognizes the safety and equivalence of products derived from United States approved varieties of genetically modified grain so there is no reason to exclude it from the general supply. In addition, the FDA does not require products containing GMO grains to bear additional labeling.
    Stacey : This statement would also apply to the grain used in our litter product.
    you: Well just so you know corn based causes, aflatoxins once it has come into contact with a moisture-rich environment (i.e. litter box).
    Stacey : I’m sorry, I don’t understand your previous sentence.
    you: You will have more people concerned about this http://truthaboutpetfood.com/caution-to-use-of-corn-based-cat-litters
    Stacey : May I ask, when you say “hybrid” are you referring to GMOs?
    you: The corn (gmo) causes aflatoxins which is derived from the chemicals being used for gmo corn
    you: It looks like you can’t help me any further. I’ll avoid buying this product in the future.
    Stacey : I will be more than happy to let our team know of your disappointment. I’d also be happy to look into this further for you.
    you: From Cornell University Department of Animal Science “the commodities with the highest risk of aflatoxin contamination are corn, peanuts and cottonseed. Pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination of peanuts and corn is favored by high temperatures, prolonged drought conditions, and high insect activity; while post-harvest production of aflatoxins on corn and peanuts is favored by warm temperatures and high humidity.” http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html
    Stacey : Would you like to share your contact information so we can call you back with additional information?
    Stacey : Also, please hold another moment or two. I’d like to provide you with some additional information.
    you: No thanks Stacey, i have the info I need.
    Stacey : We have ingredient specialists at each of our North American Purina pet food manufacturing facilities who are trained to sample and analyze incoming grain. These ingredient specialists are tested on a quarterly basis to ensure they remain certified on key laboratory techniques.
    you: I understand that but there is an issue called profit and Purina scientist who are on Purina’s payroll will never rock the boat.
    you: Thanks for your response.
    Stacey : I assure you I will let our team know how upset you are regarding this.
    Stacey : Would you mind sharing your email address with us? We would love to get your feedback on our products & services.
    you: No thanks.

  12. This article is nothing but speculation with ZERO proof of anything. Very irresponsible of the author the way it was presented and ridiculous for people to lose their critical thinking skills and panic without any fact based evidence. While the owner of the kitten- that had no testing or necropsy following its death- states there were no changes except the litter, if they were feeding the same brand of dry food they could have easily opened a new bag that was contaminated with aflatoxin. I’ve been using Worlds Best Cat Litter for many, many years with multiple, multiple cats. I scoop a minimum of twice daily and change out/wash/ disinfect the litterboxes completely when they get low, usually every few weeks. ZERO problems. EVER. Sadly this article is creating another urban legend and causing panic where none is needed.

    • We have been using this litter for 3 cats for 13 yrs too (on and off with Feline Pine). We stopped Feline Pine last year, after our Vet diagnosed our Cat with Asthma, then warned us of the concerns with Pine oil being hazardous to cat’s respiratory. We have one cat that developed chronic UPI, needing an asthma inhaler daily. My 2nd one has developed allergies too. Our 3rd is okay, just sneezes during allergy season. I really do wonder the long term effects of using GMO corn. 90% of corn today is made with Roundup-Ready corn seeds :( that is weed killer. No longer can you just wash off pesticides. They are grown with EVERY SEED, if it’s a GMO. Google Glyphosphate concerns in people, kids & pets (It can cause tumors and immune system issues, Infertility). ALL GRAINS are known to be high in Mold and Mycotoxins, because they are stored in Silos. I am learning this, since I’m undergoing Mold Biotoxin Illness myself. But, the problem is my cats refuse to believe any other litter is the Best, except WB, so continue to use it. they like the diggable factor and I cannot use Clay around MY asthma or my cat’s. For now, we’re stuck with World’s Best. For my own health, I always wear a face mas with ANY litter I use.

      • Since Cornell (see quote below) states that corn is one of the grains with the highest risk of mold aflatoxin, you might consider switching to using rabbit alfalfa pellets for your cat litter. It is low in dust, clumps well, naturally eliminates odors due to the chlorophyll, creates very little “tracking problem”, and is very cost effective.

        If you scoop the box daily, and change and clean the box bi-weekly, you shouldn’t ever have a mold problem.
        I’ve been using this for years after reading about it in a holistic cat magazine. And I’ve never had a problem with mold.

        [Quote: From Cornell University Department of Animal Science “the commodities with the highest risk of aflatoxin contamination are corn, peanuts and cottonseed. Pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination of peanuts and corn is favored by high temperatures, prolonged drought conditions, and high insect activity; while post-harvest production of aflatoxins on corn and peanuts is favored by warm temperatures and high humidity.”
        http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html

  13. I’ve been using this litter with zero problems since 2006. My home is pretty humid in the summer. I have 2 twelve year olds a six year old and a two year old cat. All are fine. I wonder if there was something else going on there. Recently, I’ve been using walnut based as well. I do have multiple boxes and scoop once a day. I just wonder if there is something else. Am I a bad pet parent? I don’t think this one story will make me change litters. Guess I will need to do more research. Does anyone else have this problem?

  14. I love WB cat litter. It isn’t dusty (which we’ve been warned against), it isn’t pine (which we’ve been warned against), it isn’t walnut (which people are complaining about), it isn’t clay (which we’ve been warned against), it doesn’t have perfumes or dyes (which we’ve been warned against). For heaven’s sake, people. I scoop whenever I see anything in the boxes (three boxes, two large cats) and I have never seen any evidence of mold or anything yucky other than what the cats produce. Fortunately, one of my cats often does his business outside – so I catch a break there. But I just don’t see where this litter could be that evil if basic hygiene is followed. In fact, it encourages one to scoop more often since it can go straight into the toilet and is septic safe. My boxes are all in or near bathrooms, and they get scooped constantly, much to the house leopards’ delight.

  15. I’ve been using this cat litter for a LONG time – probably 6-8 years, without incidence. I have a 14.7 year old cat, a 6 year old and a 5 year old.

    I am not going to switch my cat litter because of a claim that can not even be confirmed as a cause of death in a few cats. I’m guessing if there is an issue, it’s because people don’t clean their litter boxes… I think that’s a HUGE problem in general anyway. I have 3 litter boxes – 2 of which are in bathrooms, another not in a bathroom – and is covered. The cats don’t use the covered litter box very often (if at all). I clean them every morning as part of my routine before work.

    I love my cats more than anything – and would never put them in harms way. For all we know this could be someone from a clay litter company trying to get people to switch… If there was truly an issue, I would think we would have heard more about this by now.

  16. I once asked World’s Best cat litter contact, if this litter was Non-GMO, they never answered. This could be a concern as well.

    • Years ago I asked if the corn was Organic( didn’t think it would be, but I asked ) & was told that it was not Organic, due to the cost it would incur.
      ALL of the corn in the U.S. is cross pollinated with GMO corn…Whole Foods had a video we watched several years ago , stating that this was so ..they had found this out by testing Organic corn.
      I have been using WB for 6 years or so & have LOVE LOVE LOVED it & now I feel I need to find an alternative…maybe just plain old sand. My 18 year old sneezes periodically..it’s not worth the risk as far as I’m concerned .

  17. I have been using World’s Best Multi-cat for over 10 years, and currently have it in 11 litterboxes, with 28 cats. I started using it because it was biodegradable (clay, aka fine gravel, isn’t), it is flushable (sensibly, not too much at a time), and is safe for kittens (kittens eat litter out of curiosity, how many kittens have died because of ingesting clumbing clay litter?). I have never had one single issue with it. While I am sure that this article has some merit, what is the magnitude of “the problem” … one cat in 10 million.?

    Corona virus resides in all cats (and most critters for that matter), but I bet you put the number of deaths due to FIP above above that of corn-based litter. Yet we don’t put the call out to ban all cats because they might carry the mutant corona virus, do we?

    Face it folks, nothing in life is guaranteed, If you are nervous about the 1 in one 10-millionth chance, then don’t use it. I will continue to use it because it is the best litter out there!

  18. I’ve been using rabbit pellets for my cats’ litter for a long time. It clumps well and the chlorophyll naturally eliminates odor. It doesn’t cause much of a “tracking problem” and I can get a 25# bag a Walmart for $7. I scoop the box daily and clean and change the litter box about every two weeks. I haven’t noticed any mold problem, but I’m wondering if others have, or if there is any information about mold growth with its use as cat litter?

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