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KCBS Animal Update: The Evolution Of Cat Litter

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(CBS)

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Jeff Bell20100908_KCBS_0122r Jeff Bell
A Bay Area native, Jeff is thrilled to be at KCBS, a station he...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— We don’t actually talk about cat litter often, but it’s worth knowing that what we use today in our feline’s boxes has only been around since the 1940s.

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett with the SF SPCA said a man named Edward Lowe works with Industrial Absorbants and noticed that his neighbor’s cat was being put out all the time so he suggested using a clay absorbent, which became the Tidy Cat brand of cat litter.

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years. So, what happened before this?

“Before then they were often indoor/ outdoor cats. If you remember the old Flintstone’s cartoon theme song: ‘Maybe someday Fred will win the fight and that cat will stay out for the night.’ It’s only been a very short period of time where we’ve been able to have cats indoors full time.”

Having said that, we’ve only had just over 50 years experience of cats indoors and we still don’t know so much about their behavior, but we’re learning more about how to better interact with cats and what they need to be better companions.

We’ve come a long way from the absorbent clay of the 40s. Today we’ve gone to clumping litter, which is a little more convenient for cat owners. There’s a current push for it to be more biodegradable so that it can be flushed rather than go to the landfill.

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