Toxic “Plant Extracts” and Other Toxins In Cat Litter

Dear Friends,

In case you are wondering what is going on with your Cat Litter, that it has started smelling really strong lately, and that the smell is filling up the entire house, with a sharp quality, something like menthol, you are not alone. Recently all of the traditional clay littlers have started adding something called, “Plant Extracts” to help with odor control. And this can be quite bothersome, to both you, your family and your cat.

I have had my cat for almost 16 years, and was quite surprised when recently I purchased the same litter I had been using, and it was so unpleasant, it actually stuffed up my nose, as it filled my house with strong odor. My cat was not happy either, and starting scratching and not licking herself. So I went to the store and tried another…and another… until I noticed all of them, in small print or large print said that they now contained Plant Extracts, without a definition of what that meant. Finally I was able to find one litter that worked for us… and that is: Fresh 4 Life Eco-Clump Cat Litter. No chemicals. No smell in the house. Happy owners and happy cat.

No I don’t get paid anything for saying that. It is just the only one that did not have: Bad odors from Pine, Corn, Wheat, with GMOs, Toxic smelling newspaper ink, or Plant Extracts.

And as the litters did not mention what was contained, or could be contained in their ‘Plant Extracts’ I decided to look it up and found this. I hope this will help you stay healthy if you have a cat, or multiple cats. Here is a surprise for you and not a happy one. There are even more toxic and cancer causing chemicals hiding in your cat litter. You can read about them in the links below.

What May Be Included in Fragrances and Plant Extracts

  • A deodorizing composition preferably can be used with known anti-microbial agents such as benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, chlorohexidine, triclosan, quarterly ammonium salts, thymol, and carvacrol, and/or anti-oxidant agents such as BHT, BHA, vitamin E and vitamin C to prevent deterioration of the deodorizing composition and maintain its deodorizing activity, and in addition, enhance suppression of the mal-odor generation by microbial putrefaction. A deodorizing composition preferably can be employed with known encapsulation technology to deliver the activity on demand.
  • The extract may be obtained from any method known in the art. Specifically, an extract may be obtained by mixing a plant source with a solvent followed by elimination of the solvent, if necessary.
  • The amount of fragrance required depends on the application. Generally, the fragrance is added in an amount that will neutralize the odor of residual mal-odors which the ESM is unable to completely quench. Preferably, addition of from 0.01 to 50% of a fragrance is added per 100 mg of the deodorant composition.
  • Preferably, the fragrance is from about 0.1% to about 30% of the deodorant composition.
  • Preferred pro-fragrances include complexes of bisulfite, with fragrance ingredients having aldehyde or ketone functional groups, and esters of phosphoric acids, and sulfuric acids with fragrance ingredients having a hydroxyl group.
  • The fragrance comprises at least one compound selected from the group consisting of Amyl salicylate, Benzyl acetone, Benzyl salicylate, 1,1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-2,3,5,6,7-pentahydroinden-4-one, 2,6,6,8-tetramethyltricyclo[<1,5>]undecan-8-ol, Citronellol, tricyclo[<2,6>]dec-4-en-8-yl acetate, tricyclo[<2,6>]dec-4-en-8-yl propanoate, 2,6-dimethyloct-7-en-2-ol, 2,6-dimethylheptan-1-ol, Phenoxybenzene, 4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethyl-6,7,8-trihydrocyclopenta[1,2-g]isochromane, Galbanum oil, Geranyl acetate, Geranyl nitrile, 3-ethoxy-1,1,5-trimethylcyclohexane, Hexyl cinnamic aldehyde, Hexyl salicylate, Iso-Bornyl acetate, 1-(3,4,10,10-tetramethylbicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-en-3-yl)ethan-1-one, 2-((2Z)pent-2-enyl)-3-methylcyclopent-2-en-1-one, 3-[4-(tert-butyl)phenyl]-2-methylpropanal, Linalool, Methyl 2-aminobenzoate, (1E)-1-(6,6-dimethyl-2-methylenecyclohexyl)pent-1-en-3-one methyl 2-((1E)-1-aza-8-hydroxy-4,8-dimethylnon-1-enyl)benzoate, 2-nonynal dimethyl acetal, 2-phenylethan-1-ol, -Terpineol, 1-((6S,1R)-2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexyl)hexan-3-ol, 2-(tert-butyl)cyclohexyl acetate, 4-(tert-butyl)cyclohexyl acetate, 2-methoxynaphthalene, 1-(2,6,6,8-tetramethyltricyclo[<1,5>]undec-8-en-9-yl)ethan-1-one, Acetyl iso-eugenol, Allyl amyl glycolate, 1,6,10,10-tetramethyl-5-oxatricyclo[<2,6>]tridecane, (1S,2R,6R)-1,6,10,10-tetramethyl-5-oxatricyclo[<2,6>]tridecane, Amyl -cinnamic aldehdye, Anisic aldehyde, Benzyl acetate, Bergamot oil, 7-methyl-2H,4H-benzo[b]1,4-dioxepin-3-one, Cinnamic alcohol, Citronellol, 2-methyl-3-[4-(methylethyl)phenyl]propanal, 2-oxabicyclo[4.4.0]decan-3-one, (2E)-1-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-3-enyl)but-2-en-1-one, 2,6-dimethyloct-7-en-2-ol, 1,1-dimethyl-2-phenylethyl acetate, 2,6-dimethylheptan-1-ol, Eugenol, 2-oxacyclohexadecan-1-one, 3-(4-ethylphenyl)-2,2-dimethylpropanal, Geraniol, methyl 2-(3-oxo-2-pentylcyclopentyl)acetate, Hexyl acetate, Hexyl salicylate, 2H,4H,4aH,9aH-indano[2,1-d]1,3-dioxane, (3E)-4-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-2-enyl)but-3-en-2-one, (3E)-4-(6,6-dimethyl-2-methylenecyclohexyl)but-3-en-2-enyl)-3-methylcyclopent-2-en-1-one, 1-(3,4,10,10-tetramethylbicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-en-3-yl)ethan-1-one, 2-((2Z)pent-2-enyl)-3-methylcyclopent-2-en-1-one, 4-(4-hydroxy-4-methylpentyl)cyclohex-3-enecarbaldehyde, 3-[4-(tert-butyl)phenyl]-2-methylpropanal, (5E)-2,6-dimethylhept-5-enal, Methyl chavicol, (1E)-1-(6,6-dimethyl-2-methylenecyclohexyl)pent-1-en-3-one, 2,5-dioxacycloheptadecane-1,6-dione, Trans-2-Tridecenal, Phenyl ethyl acetate, Phenyl ethyl alcohol, Styrallyl acetate, Dimethyl cyclohexenal, 5-heptyl-3,4,5-trihydrofuran-2-one, 2-(tert-butyl)cyclohexyl acetate, -Fenchyl alcohol, 1-Decanal, 2,6-dimethyloct-7-en-2-ol, 4,6,6,7,8,8-Hexamethyl-6,7,8-trihydrocyclopenta[1,2-g]isochromane, Benzyl benzoate, Methyl 2-(3-oxo-2- pentylcyclopentyl)acetate, 3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-al, Linalyl acetate, Petigrain oil, Lemon oil, Lime oil, Geranyl nitrile, Tetrahydrolinalool, vanillin, caryophyllene. Lemon oil, Orange oil, citrus oil, cedarwood oil, Bois de rose oil, citronella oil, patchouli oil, eucalyptus oil, bay oil, grapefruit oil, mandarin oil, sndalwood oil, juniper berry oil, rose oil, ylang oil, tangerine oil, geranium oil and Limonene

carbohydrate polymer containing D-galactose and D-mannose units, or other derivatives of such a polymer. Galactomannan gums include guar gum, which is the pulverized endosperm of the seed of either of two leguminous plants (Cyamposis tetragonalobus and psoraloids), locust bean gum, which is found in the endosperm of the seeds of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua), and carob gum. In another embodiment the binding agent comprises a Xanthan gum dissolved in water or a cellulose ester. A preferred cellulose ester is commercially available under the trade name METHOCEL™.

Other odor control anti-bacterial agents include sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, hydroxamic acid, thiourea, iodophores, 3-isothiazolones, salts of phytic acid, plant extracts, pine oil, naturally occurring acids and antimicrobials, such as quaternary ammonium compounds, organic sulfur compounds, halogenated phenols, hexachlorophene, 2,4,4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether, trichlorocarbanalide, 2,4-dichloro-meta-xylenol, 3,4,5-tribromosalicylanalide, 3,5,3′, 4′-tetrachlorosalicylanalide, and mixtures thereof. Some of these odor control anti-bacterial agents can be added to litters to function as bacteriostats, ie., they are present in relatively low amounts to ensure lack of or minimalodor by transiently present bacteria which may act on the unused litter ingredients to produce off-odors or signal to the consumer that the product is “not fresh.” Some of the preferred bacteriostats include a number of materials produced by Rohm and Haas under the brand name Kathon.

A particularly effective class of bacteriostats are boron compounds, including borax pentahydrate, borax decahydrate and boric acid. Polyborate, tetraboric acid, sodium metaborate and other forms of boron are also appropriate alternative materials. Other boron-based compounds potentially suitable for use are disclosed in Kirk-Othmer, Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 3rd Ed., Vol. 4, pp. 67-109 (1978), which is incorporated by reference herein. Effective borax compounds are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,351, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Applicants have found that borax provides multiple benefits in odor control by: (1) acting as a urease inhibitor, which controls odors by preventing enzymatic breakdown of urea; and (2) exhibiting bacteriostatic properties, which appear to help control odor by controlling the growth of bacteria which are responsible for production of the urease enzymes. Applicants have further found that an odor controlling effective amount comprises at least about 0.02% equivalent boron, more preferably, greater than 0.03% equivalent boron.

In some embodiments, the anti-bacterial agent comprises approximately 0.02%-1%, by weight, of the litter composition and typically the anti-bacterial agent comprises approximately 0.02%-0.15%, by weight, of the litter composition. As will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, the compositional levels can be adjusted to ensure effective odor control and cost effectiveness.

Odor Controlling Agent

In a further aspect of the invention, the litter composition includes one or more odor controlling agents in the form of odor absorbing agents which provide an odor control benefit by preventing the odors from being detected, such as absorbing, encasing, or neutralizing the odor. Compounds that absorb primary amines are particularly desirable. Other odor control actives include nanoparticles that may be composed of many different materials such as carbon, metals, metal halides or oxides, or other materials. Additional types of odor absorbing/inhibiting actives include fragrant oils, carbonates, bicarbonates, kieselguhr, chelating agents, chitin and pH buffered materials, such as carboxylic acids and the like, cyclodextrin, zeolites, silicas, acidic salt-forming materials, and mixtures thereof. Activated alumina (Al2O3) has been found to provide odor control comparable and even superior to other odor control additives. Alumina is a white granular material, and is properly called aluminum oxide.

In a further aspect of the invention, enzymes are employed as odor control agents. The enzymes include ureases and proteases, such as pepsin, tripsin, ficin, bromelin, papain, rennin, and mixtures thereof.

  • [
  • Artificially produced or synthetic deodorizers are also available. An alkyl or polyoxyalkylene ester of undecylenic acid has been used to deodorize mal-odorous animal feeds. U.S. Pat. No. 5,747,090. The deodorizing composition was found effective in reducing the foul odor from animal feeds when the feed contained from 0.1% to 5% by weight of the deodorizing compound.

The present inventors have previously discovered that the deodorizing effect of certain synthetic phenolic compounds is enhanced by combining the phenolic compound with a polyphenol oxidase. U.S. Pat. No. 5,804,170, herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. In addition, certain naturally occurring phenolic compounds will show the same enhanced performance when used in conjunction with an enzyme capable of oxidizing the phenol. See Japanese Laid-Open Patent No.



About Emi Miller

Emi Miller has practiced Integrative Holistic Medicine for thirty years. She is a Registered Nurse, Nationally Certified Holistic Nurse, NCCAOM Certified Asian Bodywork Therapist, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, and an Interfaith, Stephen Minister. Emi is also a meditation teacher and Pastoral Care Counselor. She has been a student of the world's Spiritual traditions for more than fifty years, and blessed to receive wisdom from many Masters and Saints. She is dedicated to helping bring forth unity of the world's religious Ideals, and the reality of the One Creator of All. Besides her writing and studying the sacred religious traditions, Emi enjoys long walks by the ocean, music and theatre, taking journeys and discovering beauty in natural places, and visiting with good friends and family.
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