Chlorox Pet Products Company Complaint - Too much dust, too strong of a perfume, possibly contributed to cat respiratory issue

Review by Virginia on 2012-01-15
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- Like many pet owners, I'm always searching for the ideal cat litter, one that scoops well, controls odors, and won't harm my beloved pets. I had used Fresh Step cat litter for a long time, not thrilled with the "crystals" but it did clump well, had good odor control, and the cats seemed to be good with it. I'd tried other litters but always drifted back to Fresh Step. The litter was always dusty but with the "new and improved" formula I swear it's been like ash falling from a volcano - clouds of dust everywhere when I fill the boxes, and the "improvement" seems to be jacking up the "perfume" to eye-watering levels (I don't have a particularly sensitive nose, either). As far as I was concerned the product already controlled odor well. On top of that, my oldest cat has developed a chronic sneeze - since I turned on my heat just about the same time I started using the "new and improved" Fresh Step, my vet and I can't be sure there is a one-to-one correlation, but we are tracking the situation closely.

In any case I figure the eye-watering perfume and rolling dust clouds were just unhealthy, period - at first I thought I had the odd bad box but they all seem to be that way. So thanks to the cat owners who post on Amazon and other places, I've already switched litters to Tidy Cat, Swheat Scoop, and some others noted for their low dust. I can already notice the difference in dust levels. There have to be some fine particulates or litter won't clump, but whatever clay Fresh Step is using sucks - filling a litter box shouldn't be like working in a coal mine. And cats have a sensitive sense of smell - the smell of this stuff is over-the-top and is no substitute for scooping the cat box once or twice a day.
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2012-01-16
Posted by S on 2012-01-15:
Try Purina's Tidy Cat (low tracking version). It is the cheap stuff. Like $3 a 20lb bag. Works well. I use to us the super clumping expensive stuff. It was awful. Our cat tracked it all over the basement. This low-tracking cheap stuff has barely any odor, it doesn't get tracked all over, and it is cheap! :-)
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2012-01-15:
When I had a cat, I never used the "scoopable" kitty litter. I usually used the original Fresh Step (also Jonny Cat and Tidy Cat), as well as other traditional ground-clay type litters. I never had issues with dust or tracking-and I had 3 cats at one time. I just scooped out the solid waste (flushing it down the toilet like human waste) and occasionally spraying the box with Lysol. I changed the box weekly.
Posted by ktisnumeroUNO on 2012-01-16:
If you like scoopable litter, I usually use arm and hammer. Its not the best deal, but I spend extra because I feel it clumps and controls odor quite well!
Posted by virginia_tide on 2012-01-16:
Thanks for the suggestions! I tried Arm and Hammer Scoopable but the dust was bad with that one too and it didn't seem to control odor. The worst was some off brand pine litter - did nothing and cats tracked it everywhere, now the vet tells me pine litter can irritate cats' feet. Don't these pet companies test this stuff in real-life situations before releasing a product?

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