Highly absorbent; highly nutritious?
October 19, 2008 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Could I eat cat litter?

Let me be clear here: I have no intention of actually eating cat litter.

But! We recently switched to the laboriously named Swheat Scoop-brand cat litter (which works quite well), which appears to be made of nothing but dried, cracked wheat.

Could I, say, cook this stuff up in some hot milk or water, add a little butter and brown sugar, and enjoy a piping hot kitty-litter breakfast? If not, why not?
posted by Dr. Wu to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Swheat Scoop is an all-natural scoopable litter that’s made from naturally processed (non-food grade) wheat. The granules can be licked during grooming or digested without serious health consequences. Taken from said website. Not sure what mildly serious health consequences you would be running into if you tried it.
posted by Asherah at 11:28 AM on October 19, 2008

According to this article, the product is possible because of a glut of wheat which makes it cheap enough for cat litter. The reasons that it would be labeled non-food grade would most likely be an effort to reduce cost further by not having to have the crop USDA lot inspected. So yes, you could probably eat it. But because it is probably not milled the same way that wheat flour is, and they probably leave most of the inedible chaff in it, your body would have a hard time digesting most of it.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:42 AM on October 19, 2008

Swheat Scoop often makes a market for "secondary wheat", such as crops affected by diseases like fusarium, commonly called "wheat scab."



I'd say give it a pass.
posted by fixedgear at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2008

Does it say chemical free?

Yes, it does.

Dr. Wu, I've been wondering the same thing. It actually smells good. But I think I'll stick with Cream of Wheat. :)
posted by jschu at 12:59 PM on October 19, 2008

Is it actually cheaper than bulk food grade wheat?
posted by acro at 1:34 PM on October 19, 2008

The mention of Fusarium brought to mind ergot.
posted by exogenous at 4:20 PM on October 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, all. This is pretty interesting. I didn't really consider the economic/agricultural/fungal/nutritive ramifications of wheat-based cat litter. Suffice it to say that I will NOT be dining on Swheat Scoop tomorrow morning.

However, whenever I clean the litter pan, I will think of you, AskMe.
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:23 PM on October 19, 2008

My downstairs neighbor's dog loves, loves, loves to eat clumps of our kitties' Swheatscoop (we have to chase her out of the kitty room every time she visits). The result? She poops twice as often in impressively large quantities.

Not sure if you would have the same reaction with the cooked stuff, but if you are already pooping as much as you want to, I would give it a pass.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:09 PM on October 20, 2008

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