But the sweet expression comes at a price, especially when I add traditional cat litter to the mix.
So I was thrilled when my friends at Healthy Pet sent me a sample of a new kind of cat litter to try. I just knew it could be the solution I've been looking for.
Traditional clay-based cat litter contains all sorts of eye irritants, including bentonite and silica. These are the tiny, gritty granules that fly up into the air every time a cat uses the litter box and scratches around to cover up the evidence.
Cats with normal eyes can be irritated by this cloud of grit, but Popoki's wide eyes make her especially vulnerable to the damage.
Okocat litter is different.
This product is made up of reclaimed timber and unused lumber, so it doesn't contain scratchy dust. You know that cloud of goo that flies up when you fill the box with clay litter? You don't get that with this stuff. There's very little airborne dust involved at all.
Okocat also doesn't contain perfumes and artificial smell-busting ingredients that can irritate Popoki's eyes. It can take care of cat odors just fine, but it doesn't harm her eyes or her health in the process.
I've tried using other products like this in the past with Popoki, and I haven't had a lot of luck. Popoki was declawed by a previous owner, and like many declawed cats, she has very sensitive feet. Big, rolled-up chunks of litter really hurt her crippled paw pads, and when I fill the box with products like that, she finds other places to go.
Okocat is a ground-up product that won't hurt her little feet. It feels a lot like clay between my fingers, and it's soft to hers. I didn't have any problem with her using this product at all.
I've been slowly transitioning Popoki to this cat litter, adding in just a little bit at a time. In a week or so, she should be using only this product. And that makes me really happy.
Clay litter is deeply dangerous to not only Popoki's health, but the health of our planet. Many clay products come from strip-mined materials that are deeply damaging to our environment as a whole. Sustainable, reclaimed products like this are better for future generations (and green consumers).
So I'm a convert. Do any of you use products like this? Shoot me a note in the comments. Love to hear your stories.
Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of this product to try. That was my only compensation. All opinions in this column are my own. This disclosure comes in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”