Pine Cobble Litter
Only Natural Pet's pine cobble litter smells fresh and fantastic - naturally. No chemicals added, which I like a lot. And I was happy to see it was 35¢/pound cheaper than the biodegradable brand we're currently using.
|Maxwell: So momma, you gonna talk about this all day, or are we going to get on with the testing?|
I compared the texture of the litter to what we've been using, and noticed it's a bit less rounded. I wondered if this contributes to the "pancake-style" clumping Only Natural Pet says their litter features.
|Only Natural Pine Cobble on the left. The brand I've been using on the right.|
One of many complaints people have about litters is the high dust associated with it.
So I decided to do a pour test.
|Only Natural Pine Cobble on the left. The brand I currently use on the right.|
The pine cobble did give off a small puff of dust, but it was far less than what I recall clay litters producing. Still, you may want to be careful when you initially pour it into your litter pan. Since using it, though, I can tell you I've experienced no dust in everyday use/scooping. The clumps are a bit looser and less formed than you get with other litters but it's still scoopable.
|Maxwell doesn't mind the switch-over at all.|
Can you get cheaper litter? Yes. Many clay litters beat biodegradable brands by up to 40¢/pound.
However.If you haven't heard of the potential dangers associated with clay litters, please read on:
Clumping cat litter contains sodium bentonite. This mineral has the ability to expand to up to 20 times its volume in the presence of water - so you can see why it's an attractive ingredient to manufacturers of clay litter.
But some serious concerns have arisen with its use.
• It has been blamed for the death of a basset hound who ingested it.
• It can be a contributing factor in gastrointestinal blockage in cats.
• Kittens are particularly vulnerable to sodium bentonite toxicosis.
[Many shelters, including ours, instruct foster families to avoid clay litters for that reason]
• It can present an inhalation hazard to humans as well.
According to californiaminerals.com, this particular type of bentonite often has an exaggerated caustic Ph value.
I will never, ever go back to using clay - and now you know why.
The Food Test
But first: I was curious about the origin of pet food as we know it today, so I did a little digging. Did you know that processed foods for dogs and cats are a fairly recent invention?
Wikipedia tells us that:
"The 1930s saw the introduction of canned cat food and dry meat-meal dog food by the Gaines Food Company." So commercial pet food is a post-WW I creation.
|Easy Raw even smells good - like people food.|
Something you'd serve at your Thanksgiving table.
Only Natural Pet food doesn't have these things, either. And I do like that.
Look at the ingredients on the labels. I have, and you can, too, at this link here. You'll see it’s the kind of stuff you’d have on your own dinner plate.
Their foods include ingredients like free range and cage free meats, with no antibiotics or hormones, fresh vegetables and fruits. And no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. [We should all eat this healthy!]
So what did the gang think of this food?
First up: Max Meat Grain-Free Air-Dried Chicken.
|Allie inspects a piece of air-dried Max Meat Chicken|
At three weeks in, we're still not done with the switch-over, though there are some promising signs:
|I mixed Faraday's first bite of Max Meat with his standard fare.|
|Official Member of the Clean Plate Club :-)|
Next up: Easy Raw Turkey Dehydrated Cat Food
I wondered about the amount of vegetables I saw in the mix. Cats are obligate carnivores, after all, so that means meat, not veggies. Here's Only Natural Pet's response:
"The amount of fruits and vegetables are in this formula to avoid using synthetic vitamins...whole foods are better assimilated and we have to remember, these kitties are in our environment now, and they need a lot more antioxidant help."
Now on with the test:
|Easy Raw, mixed in with Allie's standard fare. Seriously guys, this stuff smells great.|
Again, we're still working on slowly introducing these foods. Easy Raw is very easy to mix, and you can whip up four days' worth and store it in the refrigerator.
We're also trying out All Smiles - a spray-on dental solution.
Because after the February we had, I would do anything - ANYTHING - to keep our three from having any more teeth removed.
Eight teeth removed between the three of them was very traumatic. And painful, too.
Only time - and another trip to the vet in 6 months or so - will tell if this product is helpful.
I certainly hope so!
FTC Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Only Natural Pet on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Only Natural Pet, but A Tonk's Tail only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Only Natural Pet is not responsible for the content of this article.
Wikipedia's History of Pet Food
Discover Magazine interviews Dr. Temple Grandin
Sources on sodium bentonite:
Veterinary and Human Toxicology article on toxicosis in kittens