Does cat litter affect the amount of bacteria in the room?
The 15-year-old Wesley Wolf took a simple question when she stepped into the field of research two years ago: When my pet cats strolled through the room, did the various cat litter they used affect the amount of bacteria in the room?
At the time, the 7th grade student in Georgetown, Ohio, asked the mother of the veterinarian whether she could use the animals in the clinic to do an experiment. After getting the animal owner's answer, he placed three different cat litters in the cage of 30 cats: clay cat litter, condensed cat litter and shredded newspaper litter. Then, after 24 hours and 48 hours, respectively, Wolf pressed one paw of each cat into a petri dish filled with nutrients, and then waited for the development of the matter.
The type of litter does not make much difference, he reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all cats have similar amounts of bacteria on their paws. (Wolf said he can't assess the toxicity of these bacteria.) "So if pet owners worry about which cat litter should be used, they just need to find the cheapest or the most convenient," he said.
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