In the late 1980s Na-bentonite was discovered to be ideal for making clumping cat litter. Na-bentonite encloses pet wastes in clumps of absorbent clay, which can be scooped easily and completely from the litter box, decreasing the amount of litter wasted and keeping litter boxes clean and odor-free. The development of clay-based litter, and particularly clumping litter, has contributed significantly to the acceptance of cats as indoor pets.
Over the past decade, the annual consumption of clumping cat litter has more than doubled. Pet-waste absorbents now account for approximately 25% of bentonite production in the United States and Europe. Pet litter is perhaps the most widely recognized application for bentonite because of its direct use by consumers.