Animal-friendly Chemist Dopers: tell me about silica cat litter, please

I bought a box of a new (to me) brand of cat litter, made from silica. It says it’s non-toxic, biodegradable, etc. - but nothing about what happens if it’s ingested. Since cats can carry some of the smaller crystals/dust particles from the litter box on their paws, and then swallow them while getting cleaned up post-potty, I’m concerned… Should I be?

I keep thinking of those little moisture-absorbent packets of silica that come with new shoes, etc. - they specifically say, DO NOT EAT and KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Will the litter box kill my cats?? :eek:

From here.. I suspect ingesting small quantities of dust in the manner you suggest should not lead to any problems, since the amounts would be rather small.

The MSDS for silica suggests that the greatest risk would be from inhaling the dust over the long term, which can result in pneumonconiosis. But this involves high concentrations of airborn silica dust, again a condition which would not likely be present in your situation.

Thanks much!