Friday, July 26, 2013

World's Best Litter Review & Giveaway

We like World's Best Cat Litter for three reasons:

First, it's not clay. Clumping clay litter often contains sodium bentonite - which itself is a form of clay, and there are concerns that it can be a contributing factor in gastrointestinal blockage in cats. Kittens are particularly vulnerable to sodium bentonite toxicosis, and many shelters (including ours) instruct foster families to avoid clay litters for that reason.

Second, it's not clay! Clay litter also contains silica dust, which can cause respiratory problems if inhaled.

Third, it's biodegradable and made of 100% natural, plant based materials. This also means it's eco-friendly, since clay litter use promotes clay strip mining.

Recently we were asked to review their newest litter formulation, the Advanced Natural Series. World's Best very kindly sent us a free bag to test out, and here are our findings:

According to the press release, this is a new advanced formula specially made for "high performance clumping."

We were happy to hear that this new formula still retained its all-natural, plant based ingredients.

But I was worried that this new version was not going to be flushable, and I immediately noticed there was no mention of that in the press release for this new formula.

So I wrote and asked about it.

Here's what they said: "Consumers have been flushing our product for years and we are not aware of any issues that it has caused. But due to changing laws, we are in the process of getting the needed testing to make this claim on bags or our website in the future."

I'm happy to hear they're actively pursuing the testing so they can actually promote this on their bags. Personally, I think this would be a huge win for them - it's certainly the reason I use their brand.

My understanding is that currently, your city or township's sewage treatment plants may have local policies that allow for flushing plant-based materials and you should check with them before flushing. Or if you live out in the country and have a septic tank, you'll need to follow the guidelines laid out by the septic manufacturer on what's flushable and what isn't.

So is it really better at clumping?

I hate dust in the litter area, which is one of the many reasons I refuse to use clay-based litter products. So I wondered how this new bag would stack up against their existing, almost dust-free Multiple Cat formula. I was happy to see that the litter looked as coarse as Multiple Cat. So far, so good!
Advanced Natural formula on left, Multiple Cat on right
I filled two of our 4 litter boxes from our standard Multiple Cat bag, then used the other two to test the new Advanced Formula bag. After a week of testing? Their press release wasn't kidding. It does seem to clump slightly better. And it does as good a job at odor control as the Multiple Cat.  I'm very happy with this product.

Giveaway Time!

Anyone want to test drive a free bag? World's Best is offering one free bag of their Advanced Natural Series to our readers - U.S. only. (please see rules & disclaimer below)

All you need to do is tell us you're interested in entering the giveaway, and indicate which scent you prefer, if your name is chosen. You can select either Original Scent - which we found to have a pleasantly mild, slightly nutty smell - or the Pine Blend.

Good luck! A winner will be chosen by and announced next Friday, August 2.

Rules and Disclaimer
No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Winners are chosen using and will be notified by e-mail. The winner of the giveaway will need to give us a physical address (no P.O. boxes please) to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours. 

If a reply email containing the physical address where the prize should be mailed is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen again by random. The winner will be announced in a separate post following the drawing.

We were given a bag of litter by World's Best to review, but were not compensated for hosting the giveaway. All opinions in this article are our own.


EDIT: Thanks to Connie of Tails from the Foster Kittens who caught a few typos and helped me realize I hadn't included all my source links.  It's bentonite toxicosis, (not toxosis) and it was written up in the journal Veterinary and Human Toxicology in 1997 (abstract can be found here).

It's also important to distinguish between sodium bentonite and calclium bentonite.

Sodium Bentonite is used in oil drilling, clumping cat litter and as a bonding agent in cosmetics and medicines, and even some livestock feeds. It's currently being investigated as a way food producers can ensure E. Coli bacteria removal prior to delivering produce to market. It's also used in the filtration of protein sediment in beer and wine.

The danger of toxicity appears to be in free quartz particles, which can present an inhalation hazard. And according to, this particular type of bentonite often has an exaggerated caustic Ph value.

The danger of intestinal blockage is also much higher in sodium bentonite than in other forms of the clay. Depending on the amount of montmorillonite (a mineral) found in its composition, sodium bentonite has the ability to expand to up to 20 times its volume in the presence of water.

Thanks to Connie, we have a story that links clumping cat litter (containing sodium bentonite, not calcium bentonite) to the death of a basset hound who ingested it.

Calcium Bentonite, on the other hand, has been used medicinally for centuries by humans all over the world to detoxify. A simple google search will reveal a ton of products on the market for both internal and external cleansing and purifying of the body - everything from a colon cleanse to an herbal whole body supplement to detoxifying soaps and baths.

The important thing to know about Calcium Bentonite is how it differs from Sodium Bentonite. Many of the products you find when googling assure you that their calcium bentonite product is a way for you to "alkalize safely" (a reference to the caustic Ph value of sodium bentonite).

And research in 2007 by Arizona State University even indicated that calcium bentonite clay might have antibacterial properties!

Sadly, it's not calcium bentonite that is in our litters. 

One last thing to note: the FDA does not distinguish between Sodium and Calcium Bentonite, and classifies it as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) only under the following conditions:
"to assist in the clarification of juices, beverages, and other food products, as a binding agent for the preparation of pelleted animal feeds, and as an ingredient of coatings and adhesives for food packaging materials."
Sources on sodium bentonite: 

Sources on calcium bentonite:,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=85154c461bfcc325&biw=1551&bih=918&bvm=pv.xjs.s.en_US.MpiVkF51mpA.O


  1. we would love to enter! The most unscented they make is our choice. Mom and I hate HATE the dust in clay litters. WHY do they DO that? It's harmful to us and to our pawrents.


  2. We are interested to know you were already using this type of litter. We would love to get away from clay, just do need it to clump ok. Please enter us in the giveaway for the Original Scent. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  3. I have used clumping litter since I've owned cats. I too heard the rumors that scoopable litter was dangerous and could be ingested and cause blockages. When I started fostering the warnings were dire. kittens will die if they use scoopable.

    I searched and searched the internet, the only 'proof' of this came from those non reputable websites that you barely trust loading and the ones you do trust simply said it COULD happen.. theories and conjecture. I haven't looked for along time, and your post prompted me to look again for proof that this rumor actually has some evidence that it is true. I found this..

    The vet in the story with 45 years experience doubted it was possible for clumping litter to be an issue until he ran across one particularly persistent basset hound. So while it IS possible, the likely hood of it actually happening is minimal.

    As for it not being clay, that is wrong. bentonite is a natural clay, and it is classified by its dominant element.
    I've actually taken bentonite as part of a diet to reduce toxins. and it has actually been intentionally put in animal feed

    the dust and the asthma are valid concerns. I had not heard of "sodium bentonite toxosis" so I googled it. Google told me that toxosis was misspelled and should have been toxicosis. I couldn't find any reputable medical information on the latter, and the former came from typo and all. Interesting website, but there is no information on who wrote the article, nor do they site any sources or studies or any corroborating information, to which I have to say anything there should be verified by outside sources. Their information page gives very limited information More searching on the vet seems to support there is an actual vet, but there is still darn little information on him.. and again, we do not know he actually wrote that article, as there is no author tag on it.

    I am not opposed to the food based litter movement. I think it is brilliant. Unfortunately I can not support it in my household because Jack eats corn and wheat based litter. I have tried the walnut based litter and everyone has avoided it, and the pine - well with two cats who have medical sensitivities, I won't risk it. and I don't think people who prefer or need to use the clay shouldn't need to fear it. Be aware sure.. but the risk is so minimal. (although that being said I don't use scoopable with my foster kittens until they are past the eating litter stage - but I know many foster parents who use it exclusively from birth and haven't had an issue)

    Thank you so much for this post.. I so love revisiting issues I hope you don't mind my comment.. if you do feel free to delete it.. I won't be offended in the least.

  4. Good luck with the give-away. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. We're also testing this litter (post will be this weekend) and want to know if you're having tracking issues. Mom loves the litter except for we get it EVERYWHERE! She said in all her 25 years of cat care she's never had a litter that tracked so badly. Are you guys making a big mess with it too?

  6. Connie, you know we *never* mind your comments!

    Interesting additional information and no, since it was our shelter's policy, I didn't question the kittens and clumping litter issue.
    I think it's better to be safe than sorry on that point, but that's just personal preference.

    Regarding bentonite toxicosis (oops, sorry for the typo!) here is my source - it's from the National Institutes of Health Library and it's an abstract of an article published in the journal "Veterinary and Human Toxicology" regarding evidence that cats can suffer from bentonite toxicosis:

    One case does not an epidemic make, however. And I used clay litter with Ryker and his older brother Caleb without any issues, ever.

    How do they say it? Your mikleage may vary :-)

    And you are correct: bentonite can be helpful in certain instances - in the management and absorption of lithium in lithium poisoning, for example:

    We like plant-based litters but completely understand why some may not be able to use it. And the pine based litters? NO THANK YOU!

  7. Oh and oops - I see how you might have misunderstood the wording of Reason #2.
    I was being silly when I wrote out my reasons for liking World's Best: Reason #1: "it's not clay!"
    Reason #2 - "it's not clay!"
    (uhm, wait, you already said that. Yes, I know, but I like that it's not clay just that much, ha!)

    I never intended for it to sound like I thought bentonite wasn't clay. It is, of course!

    Just bad phrasing on my part. :-)

  8. I have never used clay because I hate the dust and the tracking. I started with silica, then settled for recycled paper pellets (flushable!. I tried pine at one point and Ling told me exactly what she thought of it by peeing on Whisky's bed (poor Whisky).

    World's Best is very expensive over here and with 7 cats AND the cats who come for boarding, it isn't very economical. But it sounds like a very good product!

  9. Ok, you've got us sold on flushable. : )
    Sign us up, Buttercup!

  10. We have learned a whole lot by reading your back and forth especially with Connie. We would be greatly interested too so please sign us up too!

  11. PeeSSSS
    if we won...we would chose the Original scent.

  12. Thank you for yet another informative post. Mommy hates how dusty our litter is. It being clay, of course, it is not flushable. She'd love us to try some of this litter for those two reasons. She says that Original Scent would be good. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

  13. Really good post. We're glad to see that they aren't changing the product in a way that makes it clump less or have less odor control. we use World's Best and would be worried about that. We would be interested in trying the pine blend to see if we find it acceptable.

  14. Original scent, please! World's Best still is, as far as Annie's concerned. That clay smudge around her nostrils was frightening, imagine what would get into her lungs.

  15. I would love to enter and really hope to win the Original Scent! I have used the WBCL and I do like it, but have found that it doesn't clump as well as clay. Still a good trade off for natural versus clay, and if this new stuff clumps even better, that's a win-win!

  16. We'd like to try this. We've been using clay litter and doing okay with it, but we've noticed it isn't clumping as well and the odor control stinks!

    We like to try the original formula if we were to win.

  17. Hi Pumpkin! *waves paws*

    As far as tracking is concerned, World's Best and clay are about the same. Really, we haven't found a litter that *doesn't* track - except for the pellet style, which is against Faraday's religion, so we don't use it (MOL).

  18. Hi Kitties Blue! *waves paws*

    yes, we remember the CLOUD of dust that used to billow up whenever mom filled our litterboxes. Even happened a little bit with Swheat Scoop, which mommy first switched to.

    Not with this stuff at ALL! We've noticed NO dust with World's Best.

    Hi Julia! *waves paws*

    We thought it clumped about as well as our old clay litter, but YMMV (your mileage may vary). Mommy's very happy with the ease of scooping!

    The idea might be a bit gross, but we'd be happy to video mommy scooping it if you'd like, to show you how it clumps. We could send you the youtube link - MOL!

  19. I like this litter so I'm gonna enter. Hope I win. I like original scent.

  20. We'd like to enter the giveaway! We would like to try the Pine Scented one if we won. Thanks so much!!

    Dunkel and the Gang

  21. I reviewed this litter and like it so much, I'd like to enter for a bag of the pine one. We were never fans of WBC until we tried this one.


Coolio! A comment? For US?