Created by the father of cat litter, Edward Lowe, Tidy Cat litter first hit the market in the early 1990s, when Edward became annoyed by competition from other cat litter brands.
He was the first to develop clay cat litter in the late 1930s in response to a friend who complained about wanting cat litter that was more absorbent than sand ashes. He came up with a solution that is still being used today by millions of cat owners--clay litter.
Lowe called his litter "Kitty Litter", which remained its name until he manufactured Tidy Cat as a way of distinguishing his litter from other "Kitty Litter" brands.
He also trademarked the name Tidy Cat to protect it from being used by opposing advertisers.
In 1995, Edward Lowe's Golden Cat Corporation was purchased by Ralston Purina Company, which also bought the Alpo brand of dog food in the same year.
Tidy Cat litter markets two different types of cat litter--clumping and non-clumping.
Non-Clumping Cat Litter
The non-clumping kind is the clay type that Edward Lowe thought of over 60 years ago to help out a friend.
Mostly made from the clay minerals sepiolite, zeolite and diatomite (or Fuller's Earth) that are commonly found in Alabama, Oregon, Wyoming and eastern Kansas, non-clumping clay cat litter is composed of absorbent, small granules that allow cats to dig easily into the litter, deposit his business and cover it up without much effort.
While non-clumping clay cat litter provides some control of odors, is inexpensive and can also be used for oil spills or as traction for ice-covered sidewalks and driveways, it does have some drawbacks that prevent some cat owners from using it.
One problem is that traditional (and cheap) clay litter produces dust when poured from the bag into the litter that may cause respiratory problems in cats as well as humans.
Also, a litter box containing clay litter needs its litter entirely replaced every two or three days due to bacterial build-up from cat urine, especially if more than one cat is using the box.
Even when a scoop is used to remove feces, the urine-soaked clay litter remains and will start to emit a strong ammonia odor that tends to infiltrate every room in the home.
Clumping Cat Litter
Another type of Tidy litter is the kind that "clumps" together. Originally presented to consumers in 1989, nearly 35 percent of all cat litter now sold to owners of felines is the clumping type.
More like sand than granules, clumping litter sticks or "clumps" together when moistened; a quality that many cat owners prefer because it facilitates cleaning a cat's litter box.
Because of its absorbent and gluey texture when wet, owners simply need to use a scoop to remove dampened clumps, leaving clean litter behind and no need to completely change the litter every few days.
In addition, clumping litter is a blend of clay and sodium bentonite, a type of clay that swells when wet which enhances its absorbent quality.
This also reduces the amount of dust coming from a bag of clumping Tidy Cat litter.
Tidy Cat also offers:
Clumping and non-clumping cat litter is for sale online at Petco and at Pet Food Direct in ten pound bags as well as 14, 20 and 27 pound, easy-pour jugs.
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