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I clean out numerous cat litter boxes either every day or every other day. I do what I can to avoid breathing in the dust from the litter by using cheap/flimsy masks, covering my mouth and nostrils with a sack cloth, and/or holding my breath, but it seems that lung problems (e.g., congestion, coughing, wheezing) seem to increase in direct proportion to the amount of time I've spent cleaning out these litter boxes.

Are there any good, inexpensive methods to reduce the amount of litter I'm exposing myself to (e.g., certain types of masks, litters you advise against/recommend, products that can be sprayed on the litter directly to reduce the amount of residual dust, ...)?

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    As someone who works at a kitten rescue I suggest you get clumping litter rather than a lime chip type. Do you use a slotted pooper scooper? – SAM A Jan 30 '18 at 1:18
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    The litter isn’t good for the cats either. Can you switch to compressed pine or newspaper pellets? I use these and they do not generate much fine particulate. – Beo Jan 30 '18 at 23:03
  • @Beo Compressed pine and/or newspaper pellets sound worth a try. Thank you for the suggestion. – Kitten Rescuer in Training Mar 15 '18 at 1:24
  • @SAMA Yes, I do use a slotted pooper scooper and the kind of litter used does clump, but there are times when it clumps better than others. Not sure what the reason for that is, but compressed pine or newspaper pellets sounds like an even better idea. Good to know that the lime chip type should be avoided. Why is that? I'm guessing it produces more particulate. Whatever the reason, thank you for the suggestion. – Kitten Rescuer in Training Mar 15 '18 at 1:28
  • @Beo To be perfectly honest, I like your suggestion best. If you wanted to add it as an answer, I'd give you the green checkmark. – Kitten Rescuer in Training Mar 15 '18 at 1:31
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Get a proper mask - seriously. N95 rated, disposable masks are a dollar a piece (and are almost certainly good enough, and the minimum you should be getting) and should protect you from most of the stuff that's giving you trouble - particulates and mold.

It might be worth actually getting a comfortable mask (and this depends heavily on personal preference- we tend to have N95 masks around for occational countrywide smog outbreaks) if you're using it routinely.

Also remember fit matters. If a mask isn't creating a good seal around your nose and mouth, its mostly pointless.

Also consider comfortable eye protection as well.

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