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SpatzieLover's avatar

A question for you scientists and science enthusiasts here in Fluther: Can you explain why Mordenite Zeolite is used for cat litter?

Asked by SpatzieLover (24554points) March 18th, 2011

So I did look this up on Wiki before asking here ;) But I’m hoping one of you would be so kind as to explain to me the hows/whys as the wiki pages I saw on Mordenite and this page on Zeolite. Neither really gave the reasons for cat litter usage though it did state Zeolite is used to absorb the ammonia in fish tanks, and I can obviously relate that to the litter

I was changing my cats litter boxes with these pellets and noticed the only ingredient was Mordenite Zeolite.

I’m curious as to it’s safety, too. Thank you in advance.

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9 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

You answered it yourself, actually. Mordenite is a subtype of zeolyte, which are commonly used as commercial adsorbant. It’s safe. They use it because it’s abundant and cheap.

anartist's avatar

Absorbency and low cost.
See here

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you look on the links you provided, it would appear that Mordenite neutralizes odors while zeolyte is absorbent.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Okay, I was getting dinner ready when I wrote this. Now I’ll get more specific in case anyone else has a moment and knows a bit more about this

I saw that a small amounts of mordenite were selling at fairly high prices

And saw these images of the crystal form

I was left wondering how someone thought of using this as litter and why it works, also if it were considered safe. (it isn’t considered safe in it’s fibrous form)

After coming back here and seeing the answers, my questions were still unanswered. I’m usually quite good at web searches. Also, my husband is an earth science enthusiast. he’s busy working…but when I quickly asked about mordenite he’d never heard of it

The Tidy Cat bag reads:
Ingredient-Mordenite Zeolite a Natural Mineral
Product Of Japan

I found a zeolite site from New Zealand which has pretty much answered my questions about the odor absorbency.

If anyone lives in a state where they mine mordenite, or if you know of a site that shows product use/development, I’d appreciate your input as I’m curious to know more. Usually, I buy foods/personal care items for my pets and for my family only from the USA.


Rarebear's avatar

I can’t say I’ve actually given a second thought to where my cat’s litter comes from. I’ll be curious to see what you find out.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Rarebear I’m a label reader. One of my cat’s now has a large cancerous tumor. I am now wondering more about every product coming into my home

Rarebear's avatar

Oh, I read labels myself. I just never thought about reading the label of my cat’s litter. I’m sorry about the cancer.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Rarebear Thank you.

It happens that I am allergic to cats and their litter. So I thought I’d researched pretty well before buying this stuff…99.9% Dust free/All Natural. Since I had ordered the whole system on Amazon, I didn’t know what it was made of. I now sort of wonder though.

I know the litter has not caused the cancer. This cat was toilet trained. As he’s begun to need palliative care, I thought a litter box would be best. That way he doesn’t have to leap on & off the toilet…or accidentally fall off or in due to imbalance.

As I was filling the box today I wondered, “What is the all natural ingredient?”. I’d never heard of it. Then I asked my science brained husband, and he hadn’t heard of it. Then I read the wiki pages and those didn’t really answer my questions.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Inventor of Kitty Litter

Googling Ed Lowe and zeolyte, I get:

It’s a natural material because it’s mined. There are no artificial chemical additives, like the crystals that are added to kitty litter.

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