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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I decided to try the walnut shell-based Naturally Fresh cat litter from Blue Buffalo as both bedding and in the litter box (my guys just destroy anything fleece) and thought I'd post some info.

I noticed the bag says 'walnut based' but it doesn't say that's ALL it's made from. So I called the company to find out what else is in it.

The only other ingredient is guar gum, which they use as a stabilizer.

The only difference between the non-clumping litter and the quick-clump litter is that the non-clumping is in pellet form and the quick-clumping is in little pieces. They both have the identical ingredients.

I googled whether guar gum is safe for rats, and it appears that it is.

Others on this forum mentioned that the clumping version is safe even if rats eat it because it is only supposed to clump when it contacts ammonia. I'm going to test that out by mixing it with a little water and seeing what happens. I'll probably spit on it too to see how it reacts with saliva.

One other thing...the non-clumping pellet form says 'virtually no dust' on the front of the bag. The quick-clumping one doesn't say this on the front, but does say it on the back.

So I'm going to give it a try. Now I'm not sure what to do with my 8 bags of hardwood pellets that I had planned to use all year.
 

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Ammonia is a gas, a gas can't clump anything. Did you mean urine instead? I don't see how a litter can clump to urine only. It seems IMO that it would clump to any liquids. I wouldn't use it for rats.
 

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Id also personally go for the non-clumping one, as clumping only to urine doesnt really make sense. To clump only to urine and not other liquids, the litter would have to have some chemicals that discriminate between different liquids and react only to urine. And also because the non-clumping one specifically says no dust it sounds more suitable for rats
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so I opened up the 'clumping' litter and did a little test. I put it in a container and added a little water. Then waited about 10 minutes.

To call this litter 'clumping' is a bit of a stretch. It did sort of hold together, enough to be able to fish it out with a spoon. But it wasn't at all like the hard clumps you get with regular clay clumping cat litter. This was more like how any small particles would stick together if they got wet. The 'clumps' broke right apart when I touched them. I'll try to post a video. But I don't see anything about them that would harm rats. A few other people on this forum said they use it and haven't had any problems.

And it really does appear to be low dust.
 

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I wish they would put ALL the ingredients on the package. Good job calling them to figure it out though:) Let us know I'm a few months how it is working for you and your rats:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's my update: I've been using both the pellets and the clumping for about 3 months now.

Clumping: is NOT dust-free. I've only used it in the litterbox so no big deal, but the sides of the pan are definitely dusty when I pour it in.

Pellets: I love this stuff! Before this, hardwood pellets left over from our stove had been my litter of choice, and this behaves the same way. When it gets wet, it disintegrates into a coarse powder, not powdery enough to fly all over and coat the sides of the tray, but enough so you can tell by looking that they have been peeing in that corner. It's more expensive than wood pellets ($4.20 for a 14-pound bag instead of $3.80 for a 40-pound bag), but I like that there's no wood odor. I know hardwood is supposed to be fine, but every once in a while my guys would develop some breathing problems, so I feel better about walnut shells.

It's cheapest to get it in person at PetCo (I haven't found any other brick & mortar stores that sells it), but I tend to order it from Amazon--just slightly more with Prime and I get the convenience of having it delivered. If you use Amazon, here's a tip: search for 'naturally fresh litter' then click on the first one you see which is the green clumping bag. But on the product page, you can choose the variation of Pellet. This costs $4.90 with Prime. It's an add-on item so you have to fill up your shopping cart with other stuff (or buy multiple bags at once). If instead you click on the purple bag right from the search results, you'll only see the outrageously expensive sellers charging $15 - $20 for the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
So here's an update. I've been using these pellets for about 3 years now...but it's time to make a switch. The one problem they seem to have is that they get moldy quickly. I thought I just wasn't changing the bedding often enough but then I saw a review on Amazon that said the same thing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R268BWL4WYSSS6/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07CK35SP7 Also they just changed their packaging from a 14 lb bag to a 10 lb bag for the same price. Well actually, for more! So it's a good time to switch. I was thinking about Back 2 Nature but it looks like it ships from the UK so it's hard to get it here for a decent price. Any suggestions? (For some reason this editor is stripping out all my line breaks, so sorry if this is hard to read. It never did that before.)
 

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It's so cool that you returned with an update on this product!

First, you can fix the line breaks by switching to the "Standard Editor" in your settings. For some reason, the site defaults to a crappy editor.

Settings > General settings > Miscellaneous options > select "Standard Editor" > save changes

I believe Back2Nature is basically the same as the paper pellet litters that you can get in the US. I use either the So Phresh fragrance free pellets for cats from Petco or the Exquisicat pellets from PetSmart. Some people use Yesterday's News pellets. I don't because they're more expensive and are made of up to 40% sawdust (link). It's probably a mixture of hard and softwood.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I've changed my mind once again; I'm back to using it. Two things have changed:

1. When they changed it to a smaller bag, they also changed the size of the pellets themselves. They're much smaller now.

2. I have a different set of rats now who are much cleaner. In fact, I can't figure out exactly where they pee.

#2 probably doesn't make a difference, but I have not seen any more mold. So I'll stick with it for now. I'll post again if I change my mind.

Also customer service claims that they don't use guar guar as a binder. I'm not sure I believe her because a previous rep had told me they do, and this one acted like they never had.

I'm not happy that I can't recycle the plastic bag it comes in though...

Thanks for the tip about the editor. Apparently my settings went wonky when they upgraded the forum to a new version, but it's fixed now.
 

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If youre not sure why not just use something else that you know is good and safe? theres plenty of options out there!
cat litter is never good for rats from what i've seen
 
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